Wednesday, February 24, 2010

can't hardly wait!

moving day is tomorrow.

we signed the lease, got our keys. movers show up at 9 am.

i am so excited i can hardly stand it.

once we move i'm going to do something i've talked about doing for a long time: teach piano lessons. i've been playing for about 20 years...makes sense i should teach, right? i already have one student, and a mom bringing her daughter to meet me to see if she wants to enroll her kids. (possibly three of them.) i am really, really hoping i can get a bunch of students, so i don't have to get a job outside of our home. it would be a lot easier schedule wise, and with the kids. plus it will be fun! i'm teaching both kids and adults, and looking forward to it.

so if you know me in real life, and want to take lessons, or know someone who does, please let me know!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

busy busy has been a busy week.

as i mentioned before, princess has been sick. congested and such. she is doing better today, thank goodness. but we did have to take her to the hospital twice to have her poor little lungs suctioned. i felt so bad for her...she was pretty pissed. i would be too, if i had a tube stuck up my nose and down my throat!

well just as princess is starting to get better, buddy is coming down with the same thing. poor kid is coughing and congested too. but unlike his sister, he is a snotty mess. i've never had to deal with runny noses and toddlers before but let me tell you...gross.

i've also had two (that's right, two) separate cases of food poisoning this week. NOT. FUN. i swear i will never eat chicken again.

wednesday was little buddy's birthday party. we had it at the local cabela's store and it was a blast!

friday was his birthday. i cannot believe that he is two already. my baby is growing up!

also on friday we did the final walk through of our new apartment. i cannot even begin to tell you how stinkin' excited i am to move out of this basement and have our own place again. it is so nice, and so much space! i can't wait!

moving day is now less than a week away. i have lots of packing to do. so i guess i better run and get to it!

february blog carnival against child abuse

it's up here, at issue knitting. check it out! i even have a post up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

being a mother

sometimes being a mother is so hard.

don't get me wrong. i wouldn't trade my kids for ANYTHING. being a mom is the best thing in the whole world. i love them to death and i love being a mom. but that doesn't make it easy.

my poor baby is sick again. she's got bronchiolitis. coughing, chest fun. this poor little girl is sick all the time, i swear! it breaks my heart every time she coughs. i feel so helpless...there's nothing i can do. i just want to take it all away from her.

little buddy just got over being sick, too. some kind of stomach flu. poor kid. he spent a day vomiting. one good thing about it, he was sick enough to want to cuddle. he sat in bed with me and cuddled a whole morning! he hasn't done that since he was a baby. i'm glad he's doing better.

i took princess to the doctor today, since she is sick. i'm sure i looked rather comical. little buddy has discovered a new game. when you hold his hand so he can walk, he goes limp in the knees and throws himself on the ground. pretty frustrating when you're in the middle of a parking lot. so...i picked him up. i wish someone would have taken a picture of this. i had a giant (and i mean giant) diaperbag and my very large purse (which is, in fact, a cool looking laptop bag, just to tell you how big it is) on one shoulder. in my arms, a squirming toddler who is very large for his age. i was clutching his pants and holding on for dear life. poor kid probably had the wedgie from hell. in the other hand, i was toting princess' carseat. this girl weighs nearly sixteen pounds. she is not light. so, hip jutted out trying to keep little buddy from slipping, his pants scrunched up, hauling a heavy carseat, and frazzled because buddy is squirming, baby is coughing, and we better hurry up because there's a car coming....i can only imagine what it looked like.

friday is little buddy's birthday. he will be two. i really just want to cry about it. does that make me pathetic? i'm sure it does. my baby is growing up. he's becoming more independent. he refuses help now going down the stairs. "no! no! no!" is what i hear from him, all day, because he wants to do it himself. he's so big! so grown up! i just can't believe it. i just want to hold him and cuddle him and have him be my baby boy forever.

on the other hand, i sure can't wait for the toddler tantrums to pass. the whining...the not listening...well, on the other hand, i guess that doesn't really go away, does it? i still don't listen to my parents, haha. and i'm sure hubby will gladly attest to my whining.

i wish i could make my kids eternally happy. i don't ever want them to be sick, or hurt, or upset, or scared. i don't want them to experience all of the terrible things that i have, that their daddy has. i want to protect them from the scary parts of the world. i want them to learn, and grow, and be healthy and safe and secure and confident. too bad keeping them in a padded room won't foster least they'd be safe, right?

everyone told me how hard being a parent would be. i knew it would be hard. but i was not prepared for how hard it actually would be. and i'm not just talking about screaming babies at 3 am, and diaper blowouts in the middle of the car shop, and carrying a toddler and a baby, and living on little sleep, and the money, and all. i'm talking about how hard it is to watch your child and know all of the terrible things that are out there in the world. to see your sweet baby be sick and know there isn't a thing you can do about it. to watch your son fall on the sidewalk and scrape his hurt for the damage they will incur from society, from the hard knocks of life. to worry about their happiness. to wonder if they will be teased in school, if they will have friends, what kind of things they'll be up against, just to be who they are. my heart aches with the desire to protect them from every negative thing out there.

sigh. i better stop this line of thinking before it gets out of hand.

how do you be a parent, knowing that such bad things are out there, and still be okay?

i can't imagine how my parents must have felt when they found out they had failed to protect me from my uncle...what a betrayal of trust, what a massive blow, knowing that their baby was hurt and they hadn't prevented it.

i don't know what i would do if i found out someone hurt my babies like that.

guess you could all visit me in prison.

Monday, February 15, 2010

my personal coat of arms: part two

yesterday i posted about a personal coat of arms. it got to be pretty long, so i decided to split it up into two posts. here is the second part.

4- future goals. this is a tough one for me. the ultimate be happy. but is anyone really happy? no one is happy all the time. i guess the goal here is to learn to be happier more than i am now. learn to manage my depression and PTSD in a way that is healthier. my goal is to continue with therapy, deal with my past in a positive and healthy way, and move forward with my life. my goal is to be a better wife, a better mother, a better be nicer to my husband. to laugh more. to joke around more. to not get so worked up over stupid things.

and the scariest goal of all: to confront my abuser, to tell him what he has done to me and my life. how he has changed me. what he has taken from me, what he has done to my family. saying this sends tremors of fear down my spine. but i think it may be one of the only ways to truly be able to move forward--and what a terrifying leap it is.

5- resilience. another question. perhaps this means, how am i going to be resilient? i had to read up on the term 'resilience' in a psychological context. resilience is, in effect, recovery from trauma. taking the horrific experiences and turning them into a strength. becoming a strong person in spite of my childhood.

so how do i become a resilient person? i don't think i can do it alone. i need help. my husband, here by my side, is my biggest help. in spite of being frustrated by my issues, my instability, he is still here (a miracle in my eyes) and he still loves me. he tells me i am strong and tries to get me to see that i can be better than i am. my therapist, as well. she is helping me, treating my mental illness, slowly helping me to heal. if my husband is my support, she is my guide through this scary journey of healing.

the american psychological association suggests "ways to build resilience." these include: maintaining good relationships with close family members
avoid seeing crises/stressful events as unbearable problems
accepting circumstances that can't be changed
developing realistic goals and moving toward them
taking decisive actions in adverse situations
looking for opportunities of self-discovery
developing self-confidence
keeping a long-term perspective
maintaining a hopeful outlook
to take care of one's mind and body
learning from the past
maintaining flexibility and balance
paying attention to one's needs
engaging in relaxing activities that one enjoys

that's a lot to think about, and way more than i can (or wish to) address right now. so i will talk about the ones that i feel are most pertinent to me.

i have already talked about working on my relationship with my family members in my goals section. this is very important to me...and frankly a difficult task. it's hard for me to be nice when i'm struggling with flashbacks and nightmares and my own personal demons. but i have got to learn, for them.

i definitely need to work toward not seeing stressful situations as unbearable. when i get extremely seems my mind instantly gravitates toward suicide, which is definitely not healthy.

developing self-confidence....that is a big one. possibly the hardest hurdle for me to overcome. i have talked a lot about this in the past and so i won't go into more detail here.

the last i will discuss is engaging in relaxing activities one enjoys. for me...this is my art. for a very long time i have been doing very little, if not nothing, with it. until recently when i started taking an art class again. and i just love this. i love the two hours a week i have to paint....where i feel like myself, at the most basic and most pure level of who i am.

so, resilience. these are some pretty good ways to become more resilient to my past, even to my present, thanks to PTSD and depression. i have become more resilient than i have been in the past and i can continue to be more so.

6- hope. this is a big word. hope. i have hope for the future. hope for a day where i won't think about the abuse. hope for the day that i can be happy....without something big and dark and nasty lurking in the back of my mind. hope for being a better person. hope for better relationships with those i love. i have hope. some might call it faith. to is the same thing. faith that my life will get better. hope is what has kept me alive. without hope for a better life, without hope of being a better person, there is nothing else, is there? even with my family, even having my family, if there is no hope for a better life for them, then what is there? hope is the driving force behind all of us, i think. it is a fundamental part of life, what keeps us moving forward. hope for love, hope for money, hope for a better job, hope for a family, hope for healing, hope for happiness.

so now...for the last part. a personal motto. i wasn't sure how to do this either. so more researching on the internet....and i found a great way to do it. here is the format: "i am a _____, _____, and ______ person who is ____ing" phrase.

i am a passionate, loving, and creative woman who is striving to be a better person in order to enrich the lives of my family, friends, and all with whom i come into contact.

so there it is. my personal motto. i hope that's how it's supposed to be done.

so now...i challenge you, all of you readers out there, to create your own. this was a great way to reflect upon myself and my life.

thanks tara for inspiring me to do this.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my personal coat of arms

recently i discovered a blog of a fellow survivor, tara, who blogs at broken but learning to heal. i saw this idea that she put up on her blog: a personal coat of arms. somewhere in my distant memory i think i have done this before, but obviously can't was probably ten years ago at least. so i think i'm going to do it again, and would invite anyone out there who would like to participate to please do so.

so here's the setup. it is divided into six sections and a personal motto. here are the sections:
1-something you are proud of
2-something you hold dear
3-child self
4-future goals

i have decided that i am going to do both a written and a drawn coat of arms. my coat of arms will also be split into two posts because as i'm writing i've found it's pretty lengthy.

1- something i am proud of. i am proud of my art. i am proud of the way i can pour my emotion out onto a piece of paper by means of a pen, a pencil, a paintbrush. i am proud of the message my art conveys--it is my own, my soul, out there for the world to see. i am proud of myself for being courageous enough to show such personal parts of myself to the world, and to be open for criticism.

2- something i hold dear. i hold my family dear. my husband, my beautiful children. my chest aches thinking about how much i love them, how much they mean to me. my family is my world. i hold onto them inside of me with a fierce grip, one that i will never let go, never loosen. i hold the sweet smiles, the hugs, the word "mommy" and the love dearer than my own breath. i need them, i need their presence in my life, i need my husband's love and acceptance, the love and trust of my children.

3- my child self. to be honest, i'm not really sure what this is asking. who is my inner child? i haven't really addressed this much in therapy, if at all. i have been thinking about it a lot lately, reading others' experiences in healing and caring for their own inner child.

my inner child is scared. she feels terror, betrayal, confusion, physical and emotional hurt. my inner child needs to be held close, and to hear someone she loves tell her that she is loved, she is a good girl, she is worth something. she needs to be rocked back and forth and told that everything is going to be okay, everything is going to work out. she needs to believe that. and understand that even if everything doesn't work out the way she thinks it will still be okay. my inner child needs to feel joy, needs to feel safe and protected.

my adult self needs that, too.

tomorrow i will post the rest of them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

new layout

so.....i put up a new layout. it's pretty plain compared to the one april did for me awhile ago. i was getting restless...and needed something new. i would have had april do another layout for me but since she's all sorts of loved and popular now i just can't afford her talents. ;)

the picture in my header really spoke to me....the little girl inside of me is trying to be heard, to come out, to be allowed to express her fears, her joys, herself.

i'm not sure if it will stay, i may go back to my old layout. any feedback you have would be great.

another question. if i moved my blog over to wordpress, would you all move over and follow me there? i'm worried about losing readers if i do move, although i think i really like the layouts there better. i've already moved most of my posts over there, i just haven't done anything with it. check it out here if you'd like.

another new thing: on my sidebar i added the new "pages" widget, with links to my story, how to contact me, my surviving life's experiences posts, etc. so feel free to check those out. more will be coming soon.

tax return...

as hubby puts it...thank you, tax return fairy!this is my gift from the tax return fairy. a new bed! this is the pic from the website, obviously my house isn't anywhere near this clean or nice....haha. it's still in the box because we won't be putting it up until we move. i can't wait, though. our last bed was a waterbed frame that was actually meant for a california king so our mattress didn't fit right, and we discovered lastweek that mold was growing in one of the drawers. lovely. so now our mattress is on the floor. hubby says it makes him feel like he's camping out. isn't this bed gorgeous, though? i love it!

and hubby's gift from the tax return fairy. a 42" HD LCD TV. he is currently having some kind of seizure because he is so happy. he's playing on his PS3 and keeps talking about the incredible it is...he's so stinking happy and i love it. :)

oh the joys of having two kids, thanks to the government for giving us money for popping out babies.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

learning to separate

so my fish died sometime last night. found him floating in the bowl this morning. i think i know what went wrong though so hopefully i won't kill the next one. i wasn't going to show little buddy but while i was in the bathroom, before i could flush the poor thing, he ran in and saw it. so i told him to say "bye bye" to bob. he then proceeded to stand in front of the toilet saying, "bye bye bob!" over and over...made me want to cry. :(

so then we went to wal-mart and got a new bob.

the past week or so i've been having nightmares and flashbacks. i had been doing really well for a few weeks before that. i think it's partially because at my last appointment with my therapist we decided that we are going to get back into my childhood abuse crap. for the past few months we've been working on my communication and empathy skills. it's been hard...on both me and hubby, because i've been kind of a witch lately. i'm cranky and rude and on edge because i'm having flashbacks several times throughout the day...then sleeping like crap because of the nightmares.

today i am trying very hard to look more critically at my behavior. am i being rude? am i being crabby? i don't mean to be this way and more often than not don't realize that i am, it's just because i'm so stressed and on edge with the flashbacks. so i'm trying to change that. i don't want to take out my crap on hubby, it's not his fault. so i'm really looking at myself more closely. i'm hoping i'm doing a better job at separating the past from the present, at realizing i'm not six years old anymore and no one is abusing me right now. i'm trying to stay positive and to deal with the flashbacks better.

while packing i found an old journal that i haven't even started writing in yet. this is good because my therapist wants me to start journaling things as part of my therapy. before my next appointment she wants me to journal about the anger and grief i have experiences since the abuse. anger is an easy one. i've been pretty full of anger over the course of my life. but grief? i'm not sure where to begin. how do i mourn for my lost innocence? how do i even find the grief amidst the anger? it will really take some work to try to find that. i know it's there, but when i start to feel sad it immediately morphs into anger. perhaps learning to separate the two will help me learn to direct my anger in an appropriate direction, instead at hubby who just happens to be the closest person to me. it used to go straight to my parents and siblings....i want it to go in the right direction. it's going to be a tough thing to learn.

so how do i really find that grief? how do i mourn for my childhood, my innocence, what has been taken from me? where do i even start?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

survivor meme

i ran across this meme the other day at marj's blog survivors can thrive. it's an old one, from 2007, before i started blogging. but i thought it would be good to do. basically, you list 25 of your needs as a survivor and 5 wants. then you tag five more people to do it. i think this is a good exercise to do for anyone, even if you aren't an abuse survivor. after doing the meme, link back to marj's original post.

i went through and looked at a bunch of the memes that have already been done to kind of get a generally idea where i should begin. so here we go.

my needs (in no particular order):
1. i need to feel loved and cherished.
2. i need to learn to love myself.
3. i need my family, my husband and children, by my side every day.
4. i need to feel validated and understood.
5. i need to be brave.
6. i need to connect with other survivors, so i don't feel so alone.
7. i need to talk, to share my experiences with others.
8. i need my art.
9. i need to work on being a better wife.
10. i need touch, holding my husband's hand, kissing my baby's soft cheek, my son's little hand gripping my fingers.
11. i need to recognize that i will not always be understood or validated...and learn to be okay with that.
12. i need therapy, a connection with my therapist and a start to working through my issues.
13. i need cuddle time with my husband.
14. i need to feel attractive, beautiful, wanted every once in awhile.
15. i need to learn to communicate more effectively.
16. i need to feel close to my parents and siblings.
17. i need quality sleep.
18. i need my own space to be alone sometimes.
19. i need music, music to play, music to listen to, music to connect with.
20. i need to laugh more. every day.
21. i need to work toward confronting my abuser in a way that will be safe for me emotionally.
22. i need my teddy bear at night.
23. i need to be able to forgive my abuser someday, for myself, not for him.
24. i need a relationship with my Heavenly Father and with my Savior.
25. i need to use my trauma to make the world a better place, to make a difference in someone else's life.

my wants:
1. i want to teleport someday. (and say, "beam me up, scotty!" while i'm doing it.)
2. i want comfy pajamas, slippers, soft pillows and warm blankets!
3. i want a coke. i really, really want a coke....
4. i want new furniture.
5. i want to lose weight just by thinking positively.

so here we go, with tags. i'm going to tag some of you that aren't survivors, too, and if you are a survivor but don't want to write "survivor" needs, just write your needs as a person. please let me know in a comment when you've written your needs...because i would love to read them! and i'm going to tag more than five people because i cheat like that. :D

i tag:
1. jennifer at minding the gap
2. dawn-marie at SOLE
3. ali
4. susannah
5. vanessa at this is the story of a girl...
6. felicia at feliciab design
7. paula
8. jia at color me untypical
9. enola (i think you've done this before, but if you'd like to do it again feel free :) )
10. vicki at here in my world

moving again!

i know this is hard to believe....but we're moving again. we've lived here in my in-laws' basement for about eight months now and we are very ready to get out. we have been looking at local apartment complexes as well as basement apartments and homes for rent. we finally found one that we like, that is in a nice area that we can afford. hooray! we put a deposit down on a three bedroom apartment and we'll be moving in less than three weeks. we've already started packing everything up again. moving is stressful and expensive but i can't wait to get into our own place again.

this complex is fairly large but is nice and quiet. the apartment we got is really close to the playground, barbeque areas and sand volleyball court. there is also a wildlife reserve right smack in the middle of the complex complete with a pond, geese and ducks. our building is right by this, too. there is also a big park right across the street with more playgrounds, lots of grass and a baseball diamond. the complex has two swimming pools and hot tubs, too.

our apartment will have a big roman tub in the master bath, washer and dryer and a bathtub for the kids. andrew has been taking showers because we don't have a tub here. occasionally we can go upstairs and use my in-laws' tubs, but little buddy will love having a bathtub again. they also allow you to paint your walls in this complex so i'm looking forward to painting cute things in the kids' rooms.

hubby already met our downstairs neighbors and he said that they seem nice. i also talked to another family in the complex and she said there were a bunch of kids and that everyone is nice and it's quiet. all major positives!

we are taking a huge leap here. going back to apartment living will be a change. hopefully we won't have issues with noise, parking, or maintenance. money will be tighter but i think that it's worth it. as of now, we have two rooms: the living room/kitchen/little buddy's room, and our bedroom, which also has baby's crib in it.

so here's to space! our OWN space! hooray!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

please leave comment!

okay. all of you out there reading my blog. i know that there are some of you that read and do not comment. although i love comments, i'm really okay with this, because i suck at leaving comments on the blogs i read.


i decided to do a search today to find out who out there in the bloggy world has linked to my blog, and i found a few blogs who have me on their blogroll that i've never seen before (like this one). again, i'm okay with this, because frankly, i like your blogs, and i like my blog, and i like people reading my blog, because (as previously discussed) i'm kind of an attention whore when it comes to my blog. (don't judge.)


today is the day for all of you readers, stalkers, lurkers, whomever, to leave me a comment. you can leave a comment that says hi, or what's up, or something dumb, leave your favorite quote, your favorite color, whatever. or even better the reason why you read my blog. (i.e., you're bored, my patheticness entertains you, you relate to me, you know me in real life, etc.) i'm really just curious to know how many readers i actually have...for my own attention whore purposes.

so please leave me a comment, just this once, okay? thanks a bunch my bloggy pals.

oh yeah, and if you have a blog you want me to check out, let me know!