Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

i hope you all have a great thanksgiving full of lots of laughter, love, and yummy food!

this year i am so incredibly grateful for my family--my supportive husband and beautiful children. i would be nothing without them.

i am grateful for a home to live in, food to eat, a car to drive, clothing to wear, heat, indoor plumbing, electricity and all of the little things that i usually take for granted.

i am thankful for my friends.

i am thankful for medical care, therapy and medication that is slowly putting my life back in order.

i am thankful for pretty flowers, christmas lights, good smelling candles, fires in our fireplace, the sound of laughter and my piano. i am thankful for the ability to see, hear, taste, touch and feel. i am thankful for the sunlight, good books to read and the many wonders of my iphone. i am thankful for HD TV, cable, the radio, and the library.

most of all, i am thankful for my hubby's hard work, integrity and love for me and our children. i am thankful for the smiles, kisses, and "i love you"s that i get from my babies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

turn it off...please!

i wish i had an on/off switch for my emotions. i think life would be so much easier. unfortunately i am one of those people who tends to be ruled by emotions (much to the frustration of my husband.)

last night was a hard night. yesterday a hard day. i have been doing pretty well at sticking to my guns when it comes to my interactions with my parents--until yesterday morning. my youngest sister (of whom i am SO proud) had her volleyball banquet last night. at the banquet she signed her contract for a scholarship to play volleyball at one of the best universities in the nation--a PAC-10 university. my mom called me to tell me about it and the first thing she said to me in the voicemail (since i don't answer the phone from her anymore, for this reason) was a very sarcastic "it sure would be nice to talk to you, cornnut." proceeded by a message detailing that the signing was to be that night and i needed to call her back RIGHT AWAY if i wanted to be on the banquet list.

seeing as i was scheduled to work i originally told her no, and that i didn't appreciate her tone of voice via text. i then was able to arrange someone to cover my shift so i called her to tell her that i would be attending. what i got (of course) was her voice raised, an extremely rude and accusatory tone of voice, and she hung up on me--twice. an argument over the way she speaks to me, and she still was rude. (i later found out she thought i was upset about the short notice because i had said it would be nice to have prior notice, which she did not have, so how could i blame her for that? it would have been nice to have, that's all. and she thinks I take things personally. well that's not what i was upset about, i assure you.) i tried very hard to keep my cool but ended up losing it, as i usually do when emotions are high. after inviting me she told me i was no longer invited because i would "cause a scene." (of the two of us, she is much more likely to cause a scene.) i told her it was my sister's decision to make, not hers, so i called my sister and asked her if she'd like me to attend or not in a voicemail. all this happened at 9 am.

by 3:30 pm i still hadn't heard from my sister. i called her and was able to speak to her. she told me she would like me to come but it was my decision. so i attended. my mother did not speak to me, and i did not speak to her. my father spoke to me briefly, to tell me they had paid for dinner for me (although my mother had previously told me they would not pay for dinner for me because of my attitude) and there was a spot at their table. i refused to sit with them on the grounds of the argument i'd had with my mom, the fact that i was barely keeping back tears, and i did not want to ruin my sister's night. so i chose to sit in the back corner in the dark by myself. i told my dad thank you, i appreciated it, but no.

so throughout the evening i faced the consequences of my choices. i was alone, separated from my entire family while they sat together and ate and laughed and enjoyed the evening. at one point my youngest sister brought me a plate of food which was extremely kind of her. i sat through the program and awards and cried, i was so proud of my sister, and so sad i wasn't part of it. they read off a list of her awards and accomplishments. it was a pretty long list, seeing as she is one of the best high school players in the nation, has been to nationals (and took bronze), and more. the awards she won on her team included "most likely to have her jersey retired from the high school," as well as statistical awards including "most digs," "most kills," "most blocks," and "most aces." the only statistical award she didn't place first in was "most assists" and that's because she's not a setter. the team also voter her as the winner of "the rock" award which essential means she is the rock of the team, the one they all rely on.

after the program ended and she officially became a college player, i left immediately. i gave her a hug and told her i was proud of her and hightailed it out of there...where i cried nearly the whole way home (about half an hour) and cried myself to sleep.

i feel like i am finally standing up for myself, i am no longer putting up with the manipulation and emotional abuse i receive from my mother. the result is being separated from my family--more so than i ever was. as a kid i was the one who fought back and the result was being separated. as an adult i fought back, same thing--and it is always my fault, my problem, my issue, they never make mistakes or do anything wrong, they have zero responsibility in it. all i've asked for is acknowledgment of their mistakes and validation of my feelings. instead i get anger and even more blame. how frustrating and even humiliating.

i'm so sick of the drama i can't even begin to tell you. but this time i'm not backing down. i've told them it is their choice. their choice to validate me, or their choice for me to stay away. obviously they have made their choice, and i have made mine, and now we all have to live with the consequences.

and if anyone is going to leave comments defending my parents, don't bother. i don't want to hear it. the fact is they are masters of manipulation and are really great at twisting reality.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the story of how a one cat family became a two cat family

saturday morning hubby and i took the kids to the local farmers' market. we love going to it and it was the last one of the season, so we headed out and spent a few hours walking around.

when we got home i had to race inside to use the facilities while hubby got the kids out of the car. as i came through the door, i tripped over something that moved. it was a cat. i assumed it was our cat (seeing as it was inside our house) and said something to the effect of, "get out of my way, cat!" and kept on running. well, the cat (that wasn't our cat) followed me into the bathroom. imagine my surprise as i looked down and saw this grey little kitten, about four months old, looking right back up at me.well by this time hubby and the kids made it through the door and they were just as surprised as i was by our little invader. the kids immediately wanted to pet the kitty. princess was giggling, buddy was in heaven, and hubby kept looking at me saying, "no. no. no. no!" eventually the kitten was put back outside, as it must have belonged to someone in our complex. it stayed, though. hubby gave it food and water to kind of see if it was really hungry, as an indicator of ownership. it wasn't, so we assumed someone was taking care of it. inside we went, cat stayed outside.

a few minutes later hubby walked past the door and the kitten was sitting out on our mat mewing to get back in. after some pouty faces on my end and a large sigh and a "fine" from hubby's end the kitten was let back into the house. the kids proceeded to poke, prod, pull tails and ears, and just all around abuse the poor kitten as only kids can do (in spite of the constant "be nice!" warnings from us). the kitten just sat there and took it. no retaliation, nothing. we were pretty surprised by it.

the next day i put up signs at the mailboxes in our complex saying we'd found a cat and if it belongs to anyone, please call. that night i received a phone call--a man who claimed the kitten, but if we wanted it we were more than happy to have it...his mom dumped it on him and he didn't really want it. it's even been neutered already, bonus for us.

so we took it. the kids are attached. i am attached. hubby is even attached (as he says, "i don't want to like this cat!" to me). the only one in our house not attached? our other cat--baby. we've had baby since we were dating, she's about seven or eight years old. mew (the kitten, named after a cat who has recently passed that belonged to hubby's parents) keeps trying to play with baby...and baby responds by hissing and running away. it's only been a few days, though, so i'm sure she'll get used to him soon.

as hubby said..."they say you don't pick your pet, your pet picks you" and how true it is. some random kitten that ran into the house after me one day has become the newest member of the family.

and that is the story of how we got a new kitten.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the best cake i ever made...

so as you know, my little princess turned one last saturday. and what would be better for a princess than a princess party? we decorated the whole house in pink and white streamers, pink and white balloons and princess decorations. she had a little fuzzy pink party hat that said "princess," her onesie said "little princess," and we got her a sparkly pink princess skirt. everything was pink, pink, pink.

but the thing that took the cake was the cake.

a few months ago i was meandering around wal-mart and came across this:

and said, "this is perfect!"

my mother in law decorates cakes and has taken a bunch of classes. so i asked her if she would help me since i know nothing about cake decorating and have never made a two tier cake let alone a two layer cake. she agreed so we spent way too many hours making the cake. i got the wrong kind of cream cheese so the first batch of frosting was ruined. (word of advice: don't use fat-free cream cheese for baking. yuck.) top tier was chocolate, bottom tier was devil's food on one layer and funfetti on the other. somehow my MIL knows how to make delicious cake, i can't make a boxed cake mix taste that good. filled with cream cheese frosting and voila.
next up, the decorating. this took several hours...we were up until about 1 am. the kit comes with the towers, windows, door and little cones for the top of the towers. they are all plain white plastic, so you do the decorating. here they are after i'd piped the purple around the little windows and stuck edible glitter on them.
the cones we smothered in purple frosting and rolled in the glitter.
then little white balls of cream cheese frosting, and leaves...
here is the cake after we'd put on the leaves and flowers plus the door and the front part. the rest had to wait until the day of the party or the towers would all tip over.
so skip ahead to the afternoon of the party. we stuck the towers on, put the cones on them and frosting-glued them to the cake.
and here is the finished product. isn't it amazing?

what a cake for a baby's first birthday! i was so proud of it! it was sad when we dismantled it.
but let me tell you, those chubby little hands sure loved digging around in it!


and it was delicious!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

happy first birthday, princess


Today will soon be over
Tomorrow will arrive
Right now I’m going to hold you
Until you close your eyes

Words can’t always sum up
The feelings that I feel
So peaceful when you’re sleeping
I know you’ll hear me still

Singing ‘You are very special to me
And I am very special to you
I know that this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you’

Exactly what I wanted
Exactly who you are
I know we’ll work together
And we will reach the stars

Families stick together
And family lasts forever
Forever, that’s how long
I’ll love you

Singing "You are very special to me
And I am very special to you
I know that this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you"

I know this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you
(from baby signing time)

happy birthday to my baby girl...
i love you more than you will ever know.

love,
mommy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

leaves are falling, falling down

it's that time of year again.

my FAVORITE time of year. the leaves are changing colors and falling off the trees. while it's still monstrously hot during the day, the mornings are cooler, the sun is coming up later and my house smells like delicious pumpkin pie. (gotta love scented candles!) our local mountains are turning more red, orange and yellow as we speak. and you know what else fall brings?

that's right, HALLOWEEN!
when the ghoulies and ghosties come out to play, when pumpkins with big grins and scary faces are lit up, bats and witches fly through the night air and tricks and treats abound. i am so excited i put up my halloween decorations more than a week ago. i made a new wreath out of fall leaves for my door and put up our halloween countdown that i made a few years ago. we even came up with our costumes--the kids and i are going to be bumblebees and hubby is going to be a beekeeper. my little bees are going to be so stinkin' adorable. i'm really looking forward to trick or treating this year too, because little buddy will really understand the concept! and he'll be able to actually say "trick or treat."

and what comes with halloween?
one of my most favorite movies of all time...the nightmare before christmas.

one of life's little thrills of joy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

blonde to black

i dyed my hair black.

why, do you ask?

because i wanted to.

i have been a blonde my entire life. as i get older, my hair gets darker. i was in complete and total denial of the fact that i was no longer "blonde" but a "dirty dishwater blonde with streaks of light brown" (or some variation of that) for a long time. until a year or so ago i found long strands of dark brown hair on something (couch, probably) and was really upset because i didn't know who they belonged to....until i realized they belonged to me. talk about my self-perception shattering, i'd always been proud to be blonde.

so over the past few years i've thought a lot about going brunette. i've always decided not to out of nervousness (what if i hate it?) and out of my still-persistent state of denial (i AM a blonde, dang it!) and laziness (upkeep on roots? yuck.)

secretly, however, for a very long time, i have always fantasized about dying my hair black and getting it cut really short (i've had long hair most of my life, with a few exceptions) and going all punk-rock. unfortunately i'm not cool enough to pull off the punk-rock look.

so a few days ago, impulsively (or not, since i've been considering it for years) i spent a whopping $3 on a box of hair dye called "dark brown." one dye job later, my husband could barely tell a difference (i had to point it out to him) and no one else i met noticed, because the color wasn't that different (again, this state of denial. i thought i went from blonde to brown....but really from light brown to medium brown.) so then i decided it wasn't dark enough. another trip the the grocery store, another $3 on a box of hair dye i thought was titled "brown black" until i got it home and realized it was "soft black." so i said to myself, well, here's one of those things you can cross off your bucket list: dye your hair black.

so i did, and it was awful. my hair is ridiculously thick (i mean RIDICULOUSLY thick) and one box of dye was nowhere near enough. after rinsing and blow drying it was discovered that i had huge chunks of brown in my hair still. not so sexy. so another trip to the grocery store for a more expensive kind of hair dye, roping my hubby into helping me (since try as i may, i can't see the back of my head), and voila, i have black-ish hair. (all over this time, not just in chunks.) it still looks dark brown sometimes (like in this picture) but that's okay with me.

it's a little weird. and hubby says he likes it better lighter. so i don't know if it will last. but i did get to knock something off of my bucket list (which isn't really an actual list at this point), and i did something new and different for me, and overcame my denial about still being blonde.

next up, a haircut. it has been over a year since my last haircut and boy do my ends show it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

i know i've mentioned before that i've read the outlander series and really loved them. recently i decided to reread the first one and ran across a passage that really hit me. to give you a little background, the main character, jamie fraser, is accused of a crime he didn't commit in scotland in the year 1743. after being in prison and having been tortured and abused, he was talking to the other main character, claire, telling her about what his experience did to him mentally. he said,

"It's...difficult to explain. It's...it's like...I think it's as though everyone has a small place inside themselves, maybe, a private bit that they keep to themselves. It's like a little fortress, where the most private part of you lives--maybe it's your soul, maybe just that bit that makes you yourself and not anyone else. You don't show that bit of yourself to anyone, usually, unless sometimes to someone that ye love greatly.

Now, it's like...like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder--there's nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree and the little naked thing that lived there once is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear, tryin' to hide itself under a blade of grass or a bit o' leaf, but...but not...makin' m-much of a job of it."

this---this, is what it is like to be abused.

Friday, September 17, 2010

i am made of clay

have you ever looked back on your life and wondered how you got where you are? what it was that shaped you, made you, molded and created you into who you have become?

i ask myself, how did i become an overweight college drop-out, working part-time selling ties to make ends meet, with a less than stellar job and financial history, and even worse history with every relationship that matters most at the age of 24?

because of choices, that's why.

do you ever wish you could go back and relive your life? make different choices, become a different person?

i used to have so much potential. so many dreams. i had my whole life before me--my depression under control. i graduated high school top of my class, with a stack of scholarships and awards. i looked great (although i didn't think so at the time), i felt great, had tons of friends and thought i knew who i was. i had a plan, a path. i got a little freedom and it all began to unravel. poor choices. being overwhelmed. memories...nightmares...resurfacing. hormonal changes, triggers, my life darkened by post-traumatic stress disorder.

if i could go back and change what happened to me in my childhood, where would i be? who would i be? even if i could just go back six years, to eighteen, and relive it, make changes, deal with things differently--who would i be now?

i have one dream that has come true. i have a beautiful family. if i changed my childhood, would that change? my husband, my two perfect children. if i had found myself, would i have lost them?

i am made of clay, shaped by time, by circumstance, by my own hands and by the hands of others. at any given time one element has more impact than another.


i used to know who i was. but i used to be a different person. i have changed a lot in six years. i have changed a lot in 19 years...19 years since i first began to be abused. by far the majority of my life has been altered and negatively impacted by someone else's choices, by my own choices in reaction to it.

so who am i now?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

send me away with the words of a love song

this is such a beautiful song i wanted to share.

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
oh oh oh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She'll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger
I’ve never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand
There’s a boy here in town says he’ll love me forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no I’ll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I’m a gone
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin’

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
oh oh


The ballad of a dove
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ‘em in your pocket
Save them for a time when your really gonna need 'em oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls



If I Die Young by the Band Perry

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

when i get where i'm going

the other night i was driving home from work, and i wasn't in the best of moods. far from it, in fact. i was thinking about death because i tend to do that when things get overwhelming--wondering if life is really worth it, what happens when we die, is death better than life? some would say it's unhealthy for me to think about death. not thoughts of suicide, but of what happens after we leave this life. some say that life, as we know it, is really hell. some days i definitely agree with that stance. other days, though, i think this is a pretty awesome hell if that's what it really is. as i was thinking thoughts along this line, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. one i haven't heard in a long time. as i sang along i really thought about the words.

When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I'm gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

I'm gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he'll match me step for step,
and I'll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I'll hug his neck.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can't answer,
so much work to do.

But when I get where I'm going,
and I see my Maker's face.
I'll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
Hallelujah!
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I'm going.
Yeah when I get where I'm going.



and you know what?

when i get there, whenever that may be, the first thing i'm going to do...

is spread my wings and fly.

when i get where i'm going, by brad paisley, featuring dolly parton

Sunday, September 12, 2010

will you forget?

every year it has been a tradition of ours to go to the local healing field. they have them all over the country--if you haven't been to one, go. it is an incredible experience.

i was glad to see (and overhear) that there were other families there teaching their kids about 9/11 and the thousands who died. it is important to us that our children know, and that we as a family never forget that day.

we live in a suburb of one of the largest cities in our state. it is only about a half hour drive or so to get downtown. yesterday morning i headed downtown to attend a baby shower for a friend. between our apartment and their house i passed at least twenty american flags. take a guess at how many were half-mast. TWO. in the largest city in our state, there were two flags half-mast. i was appalled--disgusted, even. it has been a short nine years since 9/11/01 and already people are forgetting. the two flags that were half-mast? the local national guard office and a grocery store. on the way home i took the long way to our apartment and drove past the office. our complex is pretty big. no surprise that the flag was all the way up. i called the front office and told them i was a resident and noticed the flag was not half-mast. the girl goes, "oh yeah, i guess today is september 11th. i'll call maintenance and have them put it down." really? i couldn't believe that. this attitude of complacency is what makes me so unhappy. what a sad way to honor all those people who lost their lives, the soldiers who have been killed since, and even america as a whole.

i can guarantee that i will never forget. fifty years from now i will still get tears in my eyes, put my own flag at half mast, and honor the men and women who died for our country. i will still remember that september morning, watching planes fly into buildings, towers collapsing, people running--and feeling afraid and helpless. i will never forget where i was, what i was doing, how i felt.

will you forget?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

this is how i'm feeling today








a picture is worth a thousand words and i have seven.

i purposefully chose the images of little girls....because it is the little girl inside of me crying for her mommy and daddy to protect and love her.

the adult is confused, frustrated and angry...feeling betrayed by the people who are supposed to love and comfort her, validate and help her.

i'm glad i have my husband to protect me and love me and stand up for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

it's just part of life, right?


so i've mentioned how much my kids love signing time. so much that not only do we watch it, but we also listen to it constantly in the car.

here is one of the songs on perma-repeat.

It's just part of life, you bump and bruise and fall
Sometimes seems like everyday and sometimes not at all

When you're hurt you always become better
When you fall down you always get back up
And when you cry it never lasts forever
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out

It's just part of life and hugs can save the day
With kisses and a bandage we're ready to go play

When you're hurt you always become better
When you fall down you always get back up
And when you cry it never lasts forever
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out

this song is good and it's also bad, at least for me. crying doesn't last forever. being hurt? do we always become better? physically, usually, sure. emotionally? at times i have a hard time believing that i will ever be better. when i fall i sometimes want to just stay down on the ground. my husband is there telling me he'll help me feel better...giving me hugs and kisses, bandaging my emotional wounds. but bandages don't always fix it. every time i hear this song it makes me think.

there is more drama with my parents. (what else is new?) i've distanced myself from them over the last month and a half or so because i've been focusing on trying to heal--and the constant stream of criticism i get from them is far from helping me. with the baby's first birthday coming up in less than a month i sent them an email outlining some boundaries if they choose to come to her birthday party. the response was exactly what i thought it would be--a total blatant disregard for my feelings, completely invalidating me and denying any kind of wrong-doing on their part. as usual. it's like they think it will kill them to admit that they've screwed up here and there with me. then they place all blame on me. i wrote a response that i didn't send because it's just full of my frustration and hurt and years of pent up confusion and anguish where they are concerned. they say i'm the only one who "makes accusations" and tries to "instruct them on their behavior." probably because i'm the only one with the guts to do so, because i know for a fact there are others who feel the same way i do.

i want to have a good relationship with my parents, but i can't keep putting my mental health and the happiness of my own little family in jeopardy for them. i'm tired of maintaining a relationship based on what i HOPE it will become instead of what it is. i love my parents, i really do. they've done a lot of good things for me and i am grateful for that. i've told them that. so why is it so hard for them to just see they've made mistakes as well, own up to them and apologize? really that's all i'm asking for. the worst part is that their stubborn behavior is interfering with their relationship with their grandchildren which is hard on me, too. i want them to get to know my kids but not at the detriment of myself and my marriage.

so the big question is this: is a relationship with them really worth all the pain, hurt, invalidation and frustration i experience?

and why is it my siblings all seem to be able to take it--or ignore it? i took it for years and years...and now that i'm an adult i'm tired of it. i'm tired of them trying to control me, or support me in the way they think i need instead of what i actually need, what i'm telling them i need.

i wish they were there to help me out when i ask...HOW i ask. it doesn't matter if i say i should wear the red shirt and they tell me the blue one is best, that i'm wrong, even though i know i'm right...the red one is better for me...then they criticize me for choosing the red one and get mad because i'm not taking their advice. does that even make sense? then i always end up running back to them and apologizing, even though i know i was right, just to keep the peace.

i just don't know what to do anymore.

Monday, September 6, 2010

angel lullaby

lately we have been turning on music at night for little buddy to calm him down and get him to sleep. one of the cds i put on the mp3 player we keep in his room is the "goodnight baby" cd from signing time. one night i was sitting in bed and the music was coming through the sound monitor. i hadn't actually listened to all the songs on the cd, and i was surprised when i heard rachel coleman singing "angel lullaby," which is a song from "my turn on earth," an LDS play written in the 1970s. (the songwriter for this play, lex de azevedo, is rachel coleman's father. rachel and her sister created signing time.) this song is very special to me, because it is one of the few positive memories i have of my childhood--my mother singing this song to me.

You came from a land where all is light
To a world half day and a world half night
To guide you by day you have my love
And to guard you by night your friends above

So sleep, sleep 'til the darkness ends
Guarded by your angel friends
So sleep, sleep 'til the darkness ends
Guarded by your angel friends

There's one, stands softly by your bed
And another sits close with a hand on your head
There's one at the window watching for the dawn
And one waits to wake you when the night is gone

So sleep, sleep 'til the darkness ends
Guarded by your angel friends
So sleep, sleep 'til the darkness ends
Guarded by your angel friends

this is the only video of the actual song i could find on youtube, i'm not sure who these people are but it's a photo journey of their son.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

i would like a definitive answer, please

my life has been so full of ups and downs lately i just don't know what to do here. tuesday i saw a new doctor. my new EMDR therapist referred me to her for med management and also to have labs done, because she suspected i might have a hormone imbalance that is interfering with my treatment. she also said that she doesn't really think i'm bipolar, that it's more of a symptom than a diagnosis. besides, my regular med doc moved (which i'm bummed about because i really liked her) so i needed a new one anyway.

well i sat down and within about ten minutes of me giving her my medical history and background she told me i made it really easy for her--that it was obvious i had a major hormone imbalance. she thinks that all of my mood swings, migraines, exhaustion, the problems i have with pregnancy, issues with meds that don't work, etc. is all because i have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. obviously she can't be 100% sure because i haven't had the labs done yet. so i'm getting the labs done and hopefully we'll have some better answers. i really liked her and she definitely seemed like she knew what she was talking about. she told me she's pretty much positive that i'm not bipolar. argh. am i, or aren't i?

tomorrow i have my second appointment with my EMDR therapist. i'm looking forward to it. the EMDR we did last time helped and hasn't "worn off" as i was kind of concerned that it would. she has me reading this book called "the ultramind solution" that talks about how our bodies affect mental disorders. it's really interesting. the doctor that wrote it says that systemic issues such as hormone imbalances, food allergies (especially things like gluten) and poor nutrition, toxic environments, brain inflammation, stress, lack of energy and poor digestion can call work together to give us "broken brains." his theory is that when you take out the bad stuff and add the good to your body as a whole it will improve and sometimes get rid of things like depression, bipolar disorder, autism, alzheimers, ADHD, memory problems, etc. i'm only a little bit into it but so far i've learned quite a bit about my body's interaction with my brain. so we'll see if it's really something that will help or not...it seems a little gimmicky but it's worth a try, right?

so i'm really kind of frustrated. am i bipolar? am i just crazy? why is it that no one seems to know what is really going on with me? is it really just something as simple as a hormone imbalance that should have been treated YEARS ago? it it because i eat a lot of gluten? i have a whole ton of questions and no one knows any answers. i know i'm really annoyed with this, though.

for the twilight fans out there


bah ha ha....i thought it was funny.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

happy fourth anniversary

i love you through and through.

i love your top side.

i love your bottom side.

i love your inside

and outside.

i love your happy side,

your sad side,

your silly side,

your mad side.

i love your fingers

and toes,

your ears

and nose.

i love your hair and eyes,

your giggles

and cries.

i love you running

and walking,

silent

and talking.

i love you through and through....

yesterday, today, and tomorrow, too.
(especially your bottom side)

happy fourth anniversary to the man with the sexiest rear end i have ever seen.

i love you like crazy...and always will.

thank you for being there for me, for being patient and loving,
for sacrificing your own needs for mine.

thank you for being an amazing father and devoted husband.

thank you for your hard work.

the last four years have been full of ups and downs and sideways and loops and spinning...
but always an adventure.

thanks for being my best friend,
even though it isn't easy.

after all these years, you're still my everything.

i love you.

happy anniversary, hubby!


poem from the book "i love you through and through" by bernadette rosetti-shustak


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the post that describes my life

wow, i guess it's been awhile since i last posted, huh?

there are several reasons for this.

1. i am busy. with a two year old and a 10 month old i hardly get a chance to breathe. nap time used to be my "me" time but now little buddy thinks he doesn't need a nap most of the time...haha.

2. i have been reading during my "spare" time. don't judge me but i love those stupid romance novels that i can download for free on my phone. (and no, not the pornographic ones, hubby)

3. i have had very little to say

4. i have been in a depressive funk for about a week or so. today has been my first "up" day in awhile, which is nice. hopefully it will stay that way.

today i took my kids to the library (little buddy calls it the libwawy). for some reason i've really been marveling over this whole motherhood thing today. i watched buddy carry a little book around the kids section until he found the little tables and chairs. he immediately sat down and started looking through the book. he LOVES to read and it just makes my heart melt when i see his big smile and when he says "mommy eed a towy?" (translation: read a story.) he is growing up so fast i can hardly believe it. we are still potty training, we've had a few setbacks recently but i'm really proud of him for how well he has done. he loves animals, his baby sister and going outside. i look at pictures of him as a baby and it is so hard to believe how much he has changed in just two and a half years.

princess is also growing like a weed. she is nearly 11 months old, has six teeth now, "talks" a ton and has the cutest giggles ever. she gives me hugs and pats my shoulder when she does, which just makes my day. she also likes to head butt and grab faces, two things i'm trying to get her to stop doing. she adores her big brother and they play together so well. she also loves stuffed animals and eating anything she can get into her mouth. both my kids are really tall for their age. at 9 months (her last checkup) she was the average length of a 12 month old, and i'm sure she's grown a ton since then. buddy, at 24 months, was the average height of a 36 month old, in the 101st percentile. wow! tall kids! and skinny, too, although they both constantly eat and eat. i wish i had that metabolism.

i have successfully kept a betta fish alive for several weeks which is a HUGE accomplishment for me. (in may of 09 i killed three of them...all within a week. and i've also killed two goldfish in the last year.) but this one really seems to be thriving (knock on wood). i gave up naming them after gods (thor, apollo, and ares) because they are obviously not immortal. on the way home from the store with this one, hubby said, "may the fourth be with you" because this is the fourth betta. (get it? i thought it was funny....haha) so i named him darth vader. he's a dark blue and is making me so happy by being alive. let's just hope he keeps up the trend.

i also got a part time job. i work at the mall about 10ish hours a week, in the evenings. i miss my family but it is nice to have a few hours to myself, plus the money is a huge help.

in other news....i need to get up off my lazy rear end and start working out again. i got the 3o day shred video that jillian michaels does, and i lost 5 pounds-ish the first week i did it. then i got depressed and didn't want to do anything but lay on the couch/floor/bed and wallow in self-pity. i have been trying to do better about what i'm eating, too. like multi-grain bread, the 45 calorie sara lee stuff which is actually remarkably good. better than most multi-grains. and more fruit and veggies and while i'd like to say less coke, that would be a total and complete lie.

so now that i've overcome the "very little to say" part and the "depressive funk" part and also the reading part (since i finished the last book i was reading) maybe i'll get around to posting more. guess we'll see, huh? i have all these good intentions and rarely do they pan out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

someday i will sing this song...

Pure
by Superchic(k)

This is my brand new day starting now
I let go the things that weigh me down
And rob me of the beauty that's to be found
And life all around
And this is my prayer without ceasing, the negative releasing
And as i rise above, my burden is easing

I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, drink so deep
The river of life, my soul at ease
I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, rising above
The storms of life to live and love

This is my brand new day in the light
Troubles rising up on the left and the right
I keep my eyes fixed on where i want to go, the rest will follow
And this is my prayer without ceasing, the negative releasing
And as i rise above my burden is easing

I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, drink so deep
The river of life, my soul at ease
I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, rising above
The storms of life to live and love

This is my brand new day starting now
Letting go of the ways that i fall down
The old can be made new, the lost can be found, the lost will be found
And this is my prayer without ceasing, the negative releasing
And as i rise above my burden is easing

I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, drink so deep
The river of life, my soul at ease
I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, rising above
The storms of life to live and love

My soul is at ease and i am free
My soul is at ease and i am free
This is my day, my soul is at ease and i am free
(and i am free, and i am free)

I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, drink so deep
The river of life, my soul at ease
I bring the pure flow like water around
The rocks of life won't pull me down
I bring the pure flow, rising above
The storms of life to live and love

Sunday, August 15, 2010

i stumble and i crawl...

Crawl
by Superchic(k)

How long will this take?
How much can I go through?
My heart, my soul aches
I don't know what to do
I bend, but don't break
Somehow I'll get through
Cause I have You

And if I had to crawl
Well You'd crawl too
I stumble and I fall
Carry me through
The wonder of it all
Is You see me through

O Lord, where are you?
Do not forget me here
I cry in silence
Can you not see my tears

When all have left me
And hope has disappeared
You'll find me here

Saturday, August 14, 2010

one day, what's lost can be found...

Stand in the Rain
by Superchic(k)

She never slows down.
She doesn't know why but she knows that when she's all alone,
feels like its all coming down
She won't turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear,
the tears will not stop raining down

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain

She won't make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself and the fears whispering
if she stands she'll fall down
She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything she's running from
wants to give up and lie down.

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, whats lost can be found

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

Friday, August 13, 2010

i need a hand to hold

Hold
by Superchic(k)

Tell me that it's gonna be okay
Tell me that You'll help me find my way
Tell me You can see the light of dawn is breaking
Tell me that it's gonna be alright
Tell me that You'll help me fight this fight
Tell me that You won't leave me alone in this

'Cause I need, I need a hand to hold
To hold me from the edge
The edge I'm sliding over slow
'Cause I need, I need Your hand to hold
To hold me from the edge
The edge I'm sliding past
Hold on to me

Tell me I can make it through this day
I don't even have the words to pray
You have been the only One who never left me
Help me find the way through all my fears
Help me see the light through all my tears
Help me see that I am not alone in this

Thursday, August 12, 2010

i will still remain

Beauty From Pain
by Superchic(k)

The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know i'm alive but i feel like i've died
And all that's left is to accept that it's over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that i made
I try to keep warm but i just grow colder
I feel like i'm slipping away

After all this has passed, i still will remain
After i've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday i'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best i can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I'll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though i can't understand why this happened
I know that i will when i look back someday
And see how you've brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

After all this has passed, i still will remain
After i've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday i'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Here i am, at the end of me
Tryin to hold to what i can't see
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to Your promise
There will be a dawn

After all this has passed, i still will remain
After i've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday i'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

superchic(k)

i love pandora. seriously love it...found another great band whose music really speaks to me. be prepared for a lot of their music over the next few days...and check them out on youtube, it's worth it.

i'm supposed to be here

Suddenly
by Superchic(k)

She feels lost in her own life
Treading water just to keep from slipping under
And she wonders if she's where she's supposed to be
Tired of trying to do it right
Her dreams are just too far away to see how steps she's making
might be taking her to who she'll be

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

She feels locked in her own life
Scared of what she might lose
If she moves away from who she was
And she's afraid of being free
There's a way she knows is right
And she can't feel the things she knows and so each step she's taking
Is a step of faith towards who she'll be

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

And here where the night is darkest black
She feels the fear
And the light is farthest back
And through her tears
She can see the dawn
Its coming skies will clear
And the light will find her where she's always been

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

Monday, August 9, 2010

EMDR and group therapy

last week i attended my first session of group therapy and my first session of EMDR.

group was awesome. i went in feeling nervous, slightly anxious and apprehensive because i didn't know what to expect. turns out i left feeling much better. i really liked the therapist that runs it, and the other three women there were all women i felt i could relate to, although not all of them have been abused.

i then went to my first EMDR session on friday, with the same therapist who runs the group. i can't tell you how anxious i was going in to this session, with a therapist i barely knew. when i left i was in a state of disbelief--it really works! she had me think of a memory, my worst memory, and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not disturbing at all, 10 being the most disturbing memory ever.) for me this was by far a 9 or 10. just thinking about it made me cry, shake, and my chest was tight, heart beating fast, started breathing quickly--very close a full-on panic attack. she didn't make me talk about it, just had me tell her how it made me feel. "terrified" was the word i chose--then she asked me where i felt it. in my chest. so she had me concentrate on the feeling while i watched her fingers go back and forth. when she was done it had gone from a 10 to about a 7. the feeling i got was now "disgusted" and i felt sick to my stomach. she did the EMDR again. it was down to about a five and i felt tense, right through my shoulders and my neck. again the EMDR and the memory was to a three. i felt it in the back of my throat, like there were words stuck there that i couldn't get out. more EMDR and the memory was to a two. i could think about it, remember it in detail, and i felt calm and rational. no panic. no physical pain. it was incredible. now several days later it is the same thing--this memory no longer gives me a panic attack. i can't wait to continue doing this to get rid of my past anxieties that still haunt me.

i have been feeling a lot better the past three or so days since the EMDR, and even since i went to group therapy and had a session with my regular therapist. especially since the crash i had after my stupid hypomanic phase last week. i am so glad that my husband and children are so great and supportive of me.

and, on a plus note, my husband's cousin got married on saturday. my mother and sister in law made this beautiful cake for their wedding dinner:

if you've ever seen the movie Steel Magnolias you will understand the hilarity of this armadillo cake. if you haven't seen it, go watch it. you will love it, i promise.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The One of My Heart


There are so many people in the world, dear,
but there's no other one that will do.
You are the one of my heart, dear,
and I am the one who loves you.
I have so many stories to tell you.
I know wonderful places to see.
And because we can see them together,
they'll be nicer for you and for me.
Let's race in the sun and be happy.
Let's splash in the stream and drip dry.
Let's roll down a hill and be silly.
Let's lie and watch clouds drifting by.
Let's sit nose to nose and share secrets.
Let's wish on a star, eyes shut tight.
Let's whisper our dreams in the darkness.
Let's snuggle together at night.
If you need me, I'll be there beside you.
If you're lonely, I'll hug you awhile.
If you're lost, I will be there to guide you.
If you're sad, I won't quit till you smile.
Hand in hand, we will greet every morning.
Hand in hand, we will meet every day.
You are the one of my heart, dear,
and nothing can take that away.
No matter how much you may change, dear,
or whether we're near or apart,
I will love you forever and ever,
for YOU are the one of my heart.

I love you, Hubby...YOU are the one of my heart.
Thank you for all of the extra love and support you have given me, for a strong shoulder to cry on, for big hugs and kisses, for patience and understanding........especially over the last month. I wouldn't be here without you. Thank you.

(poem from Bear of My Heart by Joanne Ryder....has been slightly modified)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

i'm afraid of the dark

this thing called bipolar disorder really sucks.

i guess i never really paid a whole lot of attention to my mood swings prior to the diagnosis. but it's been obvious the past couple of weeks--and this last week i had a very obvious hypomanic phase.

hypomanic phases (from what i understand) suck worse than manic phases in the sense that you don't really get that high. i felt pretty good but it wasn't anything fantastic, it was more anxiety. i had this weird agitation going on in my chest that felt like i was going to explode at any second...like in the alien movies. seriously. i couldn't sit still, and at one point i was shaking so bad i couldn't even fold the laundry. plus side, i cleaned my house. but i was so incapable of dealing with emotion that even the smallest argument with hubby led to me freaking out and running away yet again.

i hate losing control. i HATE it. i'm tired of not being in control of myself. like i can sit back and watch myself lose control of my thoughts, emotions and even physical reaction, while the sane part of me wants so desperately to stop it, but can't. the real me is just helpless, reaching out to restrain the disorder but it always slips through my fingers, just out of reach, and i want to scream out in frustration. i cause the people i love most so much pain, frustration, confusion and anger...and all because i love them. sounds twisted, right? it's the truth. i love them so much i think they deserve better than me so i push them away. i love them so much they are the ones capable of hurting me the worst, so i push them away before they have the chance to.

it really sucks.

at least i have the love and support of my husband. i'd be totally lost, and probably dead, without him. he's helping me get the therapy i need. i'm still seeing my therapist, i have a good med doc, and tomorrow i will be seeing a new therapist to start EMDR. i am also officially going to group therapy, a group for women. it's dialectical behavior therapy and will help me to learn new skills to change my thinking and behavior patterns that cause misery and suffering to myself and those around me. we learn new skills that help with mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. these are all things i need MAJOR help with.

so...on i go into the journey of life with bipolar disorder. off into the darkness, the scary unknown, with very little--my husband holding my hand, my therapy "team" guiding me, my friends and family cheering me on. small glimpses of positive. hopefully the darkness will begin to lessen soon, because i'm afraid of the dark.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

inspiration award

i received an email the other day from online health insurance. this website gives away awards to people who have an inspiring story. here is what the email said:

"This award was created for people we feel have an inspiring story of recovery and survival, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. After reviewing your website and reading your inspirational story, we feel your story instills a feeling of hope in us all. Therefore, we want to recognize your story so that others may also feel inspired and hopeful in their own recovery and survival. You can also read more about the award and how it was created on our website."

thank you!

Health Insurance Online

A dedicated and comprehensive health insurance portal offering a variety of ways to learn about and acquire cheap health insurance. Offers a wealth of information on health insurance from books and articles.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

i want to go there...

Unbreakable
By Fireflight

Where are the people that accused me?
The ones who beat me down and bruised me
They hide just out of sight
Can't face me in the light
They'll return but I'll be stronger

God, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me

Sometimes it's hard to just keep going
But faith is moving without knowing
Can I trust what I can't see
To reach my destiny
I want to take control but I know better

God, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me

Forget the fear it's just a crutch
That tries to hold you back
And turn your dreams to dust
All you need to do is just trust

God, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop meGod, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

to the man who saves me when my world is upside down

Forever
by Fireflight

Sometimes I feel so cold
Like I'm waiting around all by myself
Loneliness gets so old
I'm in the lost and found sitting on the shelf
Been stuck for way too long
But I hear your voice
You're who I'm counting on

Oh, tell me you're here
That you will watch over me forever
Oh, take hold of my heart
Show me you'll love me forever

I know that you can tell
When I start to let my hope fade away
I need to catch myself
Open my ears to hear you calling my name
Been fighting way too long
But I hear your voice
You had me all along

When I'm starting to drown
You jump in to save me
When my world's upside down
Your hands, they shake me and wake me


Monday, July 26, 2010

more things i love:

cuddling with my hubby

listening to my son sing to himself (lately it's "happy birthday to you" or a song about how he can pee in his diaper....gotta love potty training)

hugs from my baby girl, she lays her head on my shoulder and pats my back with her little hand

warm brownies

getting to know new people and making friends

sarah mclaughlan

seeing my sweet little boy next to his daddy....how similar they look

hershey's bliss chocolates. a bag full.

baby fat rolls, baby giggles, baby teeth

my iphone

knowing i have people i can turn to when i need help, or just someone to talk to

nap time

feeling accepted in spite of my flaws

holding both my kids at once and knowing that being a mommy is the best thing in the world

my teddy bear, my quilts, my pillow....my soft comfy bed

my cat

reading sappy romance novels...watching sappy romance movies

fires in the fireplace

rainstorms with thunder and lightning and wind

singing at the top of my lungs when no one is around, while driving in my car

facebook

a band i just discovered called fireflight (seriously LOVE them)

kisses

a really good workout that gets endorphins pumping...and makes me feel alive

sunshine

the skulls on the back of my minivan

pandora radio

an ice-cold coke with condensation running down the side of the cup

saving money

the ocean...hearing the waves, and the gulls. the smell of saltwater, the feel of the sand beneath my toes

vacations

did i mention cuddling with my hubby?

shopping

other things i love

and more things i love

what do you love?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

distraction

i stole this from vanessa, who tagged her readers...and since i needed a distraction....here you go! i tag all of you, too.

1. Open your library (iTunes, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…


Opening Credits:
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (haha, love it....a la Wayne's World)

Waking Up:
The Lighthouse's Tale - Nickel Creek (that's depressing...even though it is a beautiful song)

First Day of School:
Excuse Me Mr. - No Doubt (appropriate for high school, i think)

Falling in Love:
360 Degrees of You (also extremely appropriate for me pre-marriage)

Fight Song:

Long Gone Lonesome Blues - Hank Williams (pretty wimpy fight song)

Prom:
Thriller - Michael Jackson (hehehe)

Life:
Get Over Yourself - SheDaisy

Breaking Up:
The Luckiest - Ben Folds (this is not a breakup song...unless you're a stalker...)

Mental Breakdown:
Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles (i guess i could see this)

Driving:
In Terms of Love - SheDaisy

Flashback:
La Vie Boheme - Rent Cast

Getting Back Together:
What Do I Do Now - SheDaisy (lots of shedaisy today, eh?)

Losing Your Virginity:
I'm Alive - Kenny Chesney

Wedding:
Angel - Sarah McLaughlan (one of my all time favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, but probably not a good wedding song.)

Birth of Child:
Don't Stop Me Now - Queen

Final Battle:
Revolution - The Beatles (this is a good one)

Death Scene:
Out Last Night - Kenny Chesney (must be a lighthearted death....due to a DUI or too much partying)

Funeral Song:
Imaginary - Evanescense (an angry funeral, but this is my depression music so i guess it works)

End Credits:
Absence of the Heart - Deana Carter


amazing how many kids songs i had to skip through on my itunes...you can definitely tell i've got a toddler!
okay, your turn!

update

things have been bad lately. with the PTSD. with my depression. and now i've been diagnosed with bipolar II. i'm on new meds, which has been a pretty difficult adjustment. i've had some issues with my parents right in the middle of this which makes things so much harder. i am so glad that i have my husband, who is so supportive and loving. i don't know what i'd do without him. and my siblings, and my in-laws, who have also been so supportive. my parents try, i know they do, but it just doesn't work out. thanks for all the support you all have given me, as well.

my therapist thinks that i was pushing myself too hard in therapy, too fast, and it just got too much to handle. she's got me backing off the workbook for a bit and she wants me to see a therapist who does EMDR. she thinks that will help get rid of a lot of the traumatic feelings i still have associated with the abuse so that i can move forward. anyone have good experiences with that?

anyway. i've got to stop dwelling on this right now. so expect a stupid frivolous post coming up next.

blog carnival and expressive arts carnival

i did get a post in to the blog carnival this month. it's up over at treating trauma in chicago, dr. kathleen young's blog. go check it out.

and unforunately i wasn't able to participate in the second edition of the expressive arts carnival. there are some beautiful submissions though, so go check it out at paul's blog mind parts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

i am really struggling right now.

i could use all the prayers and good vibes i can get.

i had an extremely close call...have been put on new meds, diagnosed with bipolar II disorder on top of the PTSD. hopefully new meds will start working soon and i can be somewhat normal again.

hoping i'll be up to posting again soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

under the layers

yesterday i posted a letter to my baby girl. and reread the letter i wrote to my baby boy.

it made me think.

would my mom have written me a letter like this? saying these same things? yes, i think she would. in fact...she did. i have a stack of letters my parents wrote to me, starting during my mom's pregnancy up until i was two. all of them telling me how much they loved me, what a beautiful baby i was, and that they only wanted the best for me. i started out innocent, a precious baby just like everyone else.

somewhere along the way something got in the way of that. i was abused. i became angry, depressed, lost, full of hurt and pain--trying to survive, inflicting pain on those around me because i couldn't deal with it myself.

so does that change who i am, deep down, at the core? who i started this life as?

i suppose you could debate this. yes, and no. one thing that i've grown up learning about (but never really believing) is that i have a divine nature, that i am a child of God, and as such i have worth. that no matter what choices i make, God still loves me and i am still worth something.

i don't know the last time i really, truly believed that i was worth something.

but here's the confusion, i guess. no matter what my children go through, no matter what they choose to do, i will love them. they will still be my children, my babies, pieces of me. no matter what life brings, or how they react to that, they will always be who they are right now. it may become hidden, muddled, covered up, confused...but will who they are at the core ever change? i don't think so. my little buddy will always be my sweet little boy, giving his sister hugs and kisses, saying "a boo boo, mommy" (translation: i love you), and lighting up when he sees his daddy. my princess will always be just that--my princess. my sweet girl, giving me hugs, blowing raspberries and grinning huge grins, reaching her chubby little fingers out toward me. how could that ever change? even as they learn and grow, how could the light in their eyes, the innocence and joy they find in such small things go away?

we all grow up. we all change. and, like i said, the innocence gets covered up. but even if it's covered up, it's still there. sometimes we have to go through hundreds, or thousands, of layers to get to it. layers of hurt, of pain, of bad choices, of the consequences of others' choices.

so why can't i see that in myself? why do i only see worthlessness in myself? why do i hate myself so much over something someone else chose to do? why did i respond to that with such hate and anger? why do i take that hate and anger out on the people who love me most?

i never want my children to lose their childlike joy and innocence. maybe that's impossible. it was for me. but even as adults, we can find that, can't we?

i just have to figure out where to look...and how to go about finding it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

independence: a sort of poem

what does that word mean?
"independence"?
does it mean freedom?
does it mean solitude?
does it mean separation?

separation
from hurt
from pain
from anger

solitude...
finally alone with myself
without him lurking
in the corners and shadows of my head
in the background
always there,
never leaving,
always watching.

freedom
from what my life has become
from what i have become.
from what i do,
from what i feel.

freedom
from the ties that hold me back.
but not from him--
because he doesn't hold me back--
does he?
i think
i do.


my hurt
my habits
my pain
my out of control
my depression
my fear

this is dependence.
dependence on the pain...
who am i without it?
for so long it has ruled me
ruled my life
ruled my thoughts
ruled my emotions
am i lost without it?

no. not lost.
found.
i am found without it.

independence.

i'm searching for you.
searching for freedom
searching for ME.

-----------------------------

written for the july blog carnival against child abuse

dear princess,

you are nine months old now. it's hard to believe it has been nine months since the day we brought you home from the hospital. nine months of watching you grow, watching your little personality emerge. every day i marvel at your tiny fingers and toes, your wide blue eyes and the way your grin melts my heart.

when your big brother was nine months old, i wrote him a letter, sharing a few things with him. i want to do the same for you.

you are such a determined little girl! you are so proud of your crawling abilities that you will go over or under anything in your way--including people, the rungs under chairs and the coffee table, toys, and i think you tried going over the cat once. i just love this determination. but when you're determined to get to something you shouldn't be playing with, mommy wishes you knew how to stay put.

we are all aware when you are unhappy. the high pitched screeching, while adorable when you're excited about something, is not so adorable when i'm trying to take something inedible out of your mouth.

speaking of inedible things in your mouth....here are a list of things you should not eat, although you have tried. stickers, plastic wrappers, covers for daddy's razors, your brother's underwear, the toilet seat (GROSS!), three-day-old dried up macaroni off the kitchen floor, shoes, poker chips, pieces of paper, electrical cords, bars of soap, crayons, cat food, and the CO detectors. just to name a few. some of these things about give mommy a heart attack.

mommy loves that you can feed yourself, but mommy doesn't love having to scrape half-chewed (or rather gummed) crackers out of your mouth because you put too many in there. i promise they won't run away from you if you only eat one at a time.

i know that chewing on things helps those poor little aching gums when you're teething. mommy's toes, daddy's ears, and the nose belonging to anyone within reach of your little mouth aren't teethers, though. it is acceptable to chew on the pink plastic duck, though, although i'm sure it's not as fun.

how lucky are you to have a big brother that adores you! even when you pull his hair, take his toys, chew up his books and kick him in the face he loves you and begs mommy to put you on the floor. you love him, too. daddy and mommy were talking just last night about how much we hope the two of you get along with each other the way you do now for the rest of your lives. nothing would make us happier.

even though you get frustrated when you pull yourself up on the table and can't walk anywhere, it's okay. mommy is in no rush to be chasing after you as you run from room to room training toilet paper behind you or taking off because you've got something in your hands you're not supposed to have....oh wait. you already do that....just on your hands and knees. and i'm pretty sure that you can go as fast on your knees as you could on your feet, my little speed racer!

kitties don't like hair being pulled. mommy doesn't either. and daddy sure doesn't...but feel free to pull the hair on your teddy bear whenever you'd like! maybe you could take a break from chewing on its face.

your third and fourth teeth finally came in, hooray! instead of getting your two front teeth, you got the side ones instead. you are just mommy's adorable little vampire baby.

you know how to make my heart melt. one moment you're screaming in my face because you're unhappy about something (you're such a diva!), and the next moment you've got your little head resting on my shoulder, your tiny hand patting my back. you know how to work it, don't you!

i am really looking forward to not only the next nine months...or the next nine years...but maybe even the next nine decades with you. (that would make me pretty old, but hey, it could happen!) you are my precious baby girl and i love you so much. the journey we have taken together has only just begun. your daddy, your brother and i are so grateful to have you as a part of our lives. we look forward to watching you grow and learn even more.

never forget what a perfect and beautiful girl you are, no matter what life throws at you. we will always be here to love you, to support you, to help you and teach you.

love,

mommy