Ebb and Flow

Yesterday, I had a great morning. I hung out with Kara after she crawled into bed with me in the morning. We did the Access routine together and she was a trooper. I was proud of her for sticking with me for the whole thing. Then we did some laundry and fed the animals and she read by herself for a while. Then I made us waffles while Kara put dishes away from the dishwasher for the first time. Then I had a shower. 

And then the good times were over. I was a basket of mess and hot tears for a couple hours. Still proud of myself for having such a good start to the day. 

Josie, Kara, and I went for a short walk which helped my pulled groin muscle (but not my mood) and then I had an Epsom sat bath to help it further. I watched an episode of Hemlock Grove while there. I was in there for two hours. Kara decided against a bath so I had no reason to get out. 

Jer got home and I cried for another couple hours. He just looked at me, saying nothing because all he wanted to do was fix me somehow. I was grateful for the silence. I don't need fixing.

After talking about my day, I was able to work for a bit which felt nice. I haven't been able to for what feels like a long time, but who knows.

Jeremy made supper and did dishes and we watched an episode of OITNB as we are seriously lagging behind. Then he read to me for a while which felt good. I almost fell asleep and then Kara came in and jumped on me for kisses goodnight. So much for the sleep plan. She entirely adorable though. :)

More laundry got done thanks to Jer.

All in all, it was a better day. 

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Love and Hate

I've been hearing the thought, "I love my life." It's been with me for over a month now. Three weeks ago, I realized that it was a cover, a lie. I go down the list and logically see that everything is pretty great. So, what the hell gives? "I don't love my life" is the truth of how in feeling.  In fact, "I hate my life" feels so much more true.  

And then I hear the thought today, "I don't want to be in pain." I initially tried to tack on the word 'anymore', but that too is a lie. It really is just that I don't want to be in pain. So what have I been feeling up until now that isn't pain, but a cover up of a lie that "I love my life"? Do I actually know what pain is? Of course I know. How could I not know? Unless I've never known. I've been told what pain is and I believed it. But is that actually pain? I'm a little too lost right now to tell. And I'm good either way.  There is some freedom here in not knowing pain. I have no expectations of something I don't know.

I grieve. I know what that feels like. In fact, it is with tremendous effort that I grieve now with this baby growing inside me that I am scared to death of losing. I have to be able to let go in order for Sullivan to be born. It won't work well otherwise.

So I've lit candles for the past three days - one for my dad and one for my miscarried baby. Her name was Amaranthe. She told me so in a dream. Amaranthe means 'love lies bleeding." I only found that out recently. But yes, it does. So I grieve for her.

My dad died in February. It was his birthday this week. We finally scattered his ashes this past weekend. I'm so grateful to have all the official goodbyes done. It feels like I can finally let go of what's expected of me and grieve deeper. Because, boy, have I grieved.

I see him differently now. I was so angry at him for so long. He never did know how scared I was of him. I kept him at bay being scared of me. But mom unexpectedly took me to the house I grew up in, the house he built.  And all I could see in the siding, the deck, the roof, the yard, everywhere, was how he wanted to provide for us, how much he loved us, how much he tried to give us the best, how I never said thank you for those things. I didn't know.

So I grieve and I have such fear.

And I live. And sometimes I feel like dying. And sometimes I hate. And sometimes I love. I am all these things.  

My husband wisely said to me tonight that he doesn't want to have to find something new about himself to change. Fair.

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The Emotional Storm Rages On

Today, I want to talk about everything that's making me angry. The comments may be initially directed at others, but every single one is truly about me.

How dare you insinuate that I'm going to raise a suck of a son. It hurts. You know how hard it is for me to keep believing I'm a good parent.

And I hate the product of the eight hours of work we did. It's fucking embarrassing. And you won't even review it. No. It's not okay that you insist on professionalism to absurd degrees other places but not here. 

Yes, I know I'm hormonal and depressed and overreacting. But I didn't get to see my family for four fucking days for you. And you pushing yourself is just going to make you sick again. I cannot keep up with you. And I finally get how intense and intimidating I must be sometimes because being one the receiving end is scary as hell.

I don't have the option of ignoring you and getting over it. We have deadlines. But I'm tired now. And I don't know what to do to make the situation better. I love you and your intensity. But I'm hurt right now. And I have to find a way to not be hurt.

I've been beating myself up for years for being a know-it-all. Today, I gave myself permission to be an expert. I have no ideas what that means but there was some relief there. I'll see what comes of it.

I come with pitfalls and traps that I set for myself to fail. There are less now, but they are still there.

This is all the depression talking. So it is mostly, if not all, lies. And maybe tomorrow or next week, I will be able to face all this and heal. That's a nice thought. 

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This Despair

It's been a while since I visited this place for a period of time. The longer I visit, the more I remember what I had gladly forgotten about my longest stays. This time is different. I'm here almost by choice, but really because it was time to remember.

I don't want to be this burden to anyone. But I sent my child to daycare today because I was incapable of being her mom. She left crying, not wanting to leave. I'm left a little broken, because I knew this was best. I told her that she could take care of me by going to daycare. Was it wrong for me to want that from her? She's done it so many times, I forget in her capableness that she doesn't need my burdens. But then, she is my child and whether I try to hide it or not, it is seeping into her being as well.

Today, I had an image in my head that alerted me again to how far I am sinking. And I don't want to leave yet. I have to admit that I want to be here. I want to be in this despair. It seems easier than all the other things I actually want more.

I think I'm luckier on this visit, because I can leave for moments whenever I forget about being here, how overwhelming the path in front of me that I am completely determined to walk. I am determined because every step feels good. Not like accomplishment good, but contentment good. Not the sort of thing I need to shout from the rooftops or convince anyone else of how awesome I did taking that step, but just at peace and kind of glowing from the inside because I did it for me - finally! I'm grateful to know how this feels.

I look down at myself in this pressing forward, trying to walk state and I see nothing holding me back. What I feel is all the roots of the trees behind me keeping me from moving forward.

As this baby grows inside me, as my body creates this new life, I have fear. Again, I have to be a mother. I've kind of figured it out with my daughter. But this is new. It's a boy. He's going to be whoever he is. We've agreed on what his name is. Turns out we've known his name for 5 years and just had to wait to meet him. And the love I feel maybe won't be so terrifying this time.

There it is again, just a little deeper this time - my love is hurtful. And the proof of it is how many people I've hurt and the vast majority, I loved and still love. But I hurt them - repeatedly. I did that. I ruin everything. How can I be trusted with this perfect little baby?

How can I be trusted as a business partner? I still don't know why she thinks I can do this. Why does she believe in me when I clearly don't believe in myself? I'm so scared that she's going to leave me, like he did. I love him so much still and for him to have felt hurt enough by me to leave. And me not loving myself enough to try to stop him, to fight for our beautiful friendship. I finally told the story for the first time earlier this year - to her. I was a wreck, I couldn't even tell the story in a straight line it hurt so much.

But I'm still here. I still love. And I'll surrender whatever needs surrendering once I figure it out and see that the fear is merely in defense of those beliefs by which I define myself. What's really scarier that not knowing who I am? Knowing. I think it's a trap of rules if I know but what if it's the opposite.

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My husband said that my FaceBook feed was really judgmental. I was offended and didn't say anything because I knew it was unreasonable. So, a week later, I blow up about it even though I haven't consciously thought about it in that time. It was percolating and festering and making me crazier without my permission or knowledge because I refused to acknowledge it in the first place.

Intolerance. It's a fabulous human thing that we do without conscious thought. Our subconscious does all the work for us.

I love to think that I am tolerant. But when I examine that, I have judgments about judgments. I have hangups about being told what to do. I have oh so many opinions which are all just judgments by a prettier name. Politics, parenting, partnering, working, and the ever changing what I think is right.

How do we know who we are without judgments? They rule all our relationships with others. Who we want to hang out with, who we loathe, and who we don't even notice is all determined by our subconscious judgments. Our relationships don't start out with rules, but they develop rules because of our judgments that are hidden away.

This is all very painful for me at times when I'm stuck in it. Looking at all the judgments I've made that have ruined everything, feeling guilty and not being able to fix it. I didn't know at the time what I know now. That's the prison I put myself in. It was at some of my lowest points where I was still blaming everyone else for making me feel stupid and inferior and worthless. I kept jumping from one person to the next looking for any kind word to keep myself afloat. I think I forgot myself once in a while and had fun in there too. :)

All the pain has been caused by my own judgments of myself and how the world should work. Judgment and expectation are all mixed up together in the pain. I find myself thinking, "Oh. That's judgmental too. Fuck." Usually followed by a big sigh. As I realize that yet another opposition to how I think is possible. I don't need to control that other opinion. It does have every right to exist along side my opinion and everyone else's.

Tolerance versus acceptance. Neither mean agreement. But allowing for all possibilities sets me free. It lightens my pain. Even enough to allow the joy back in.

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Parenting Anxiety

Most parents love their children more than there are words to express it. Most parents do their best everyday to ensure their children are getting everything they need. There are weird exceptions, but I'm going to focus on the majority.

I read an article today that sparked some interesting conversation. Some of that conversation had me overreacting. One person used the word NEVER, in all caps just like that. It was like an attack that in my over four years of parenting, I've been doing it wrong. And this person isn't even a parent. The rule of parenting being advised had the perspective of someone who spends all day with kids, but not a parent. GAH! I'll spare you the details of the of my "I'm a bad parent" monologue and move to the next stage. 

Of course, there was nothing wrong with the advice. It is every person's own experience that makes up their truth. And everyone is doing the very best they can, even in those moments of overreacting. There is a good reason for everything we do.

Me? I was hurt that I won't ever measure up as a parent. Most parents have these moments. I think these moments of doubt make us better parents. Constantly looking for another solution that might work better to lessen the risk of fucking up my kids. I'm not going to win the game of never fucking up my kid. I'm fucked up and kids learn by example more than they ever could in textbooks. Except some kids who don't. Reading actually creates different versions of examples to follow so I'm excluding that from the book-learnin' statement.

One famous mom wrote that she never praised her kids for everyday actions like going to the bathroom and eating all their vegetables. I can see how that might work. Unfortunately, there is no way to definitively say that this lead to any specific part of their adult behaviours or happiness. 

I will never know what affect my actions actually have on my kids. I might get them presents to get some temporary joy, but then I risk having them equate happiness with material things. I may tell her that she's good at playing the piano, but she could still believe she's crappy at it or think she's the best thing ever. I may tell her she's beautiful and she'll believe it for the rest of her life. I will never know. 

Since I had my first baby, I knew I wanted her to love herself. I didn't know how to do that so I told her I loved her. I knew that kids learn what they see and live with, so that wasn't enough. I actually had to figure out how to love myself for real and not in the fake way I'd been doing for years. I had to change if I wanted her to have a chance. So I started peeling back the layers. I have found some love for myself, but I'm not quite there with loving me as a mom. It hurts a lot, and I want it so bad. This is  part of what makes me a good mom. 

We all have hurts from our parents. They didn't mean to hurt us. In fact, they were making the best decisions they could. They did nothing wrong. I have done nothing wrong. 

And thusly, I move one step closer to loving all of me, even mom-me. 

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The Death of My Dad

What's polite? How do I properly express every angle of my grief when some parts are so dark?

I've felt unsettled since I heard. It's been surreal. Sitting on the couch next to my 13-year-old nephew who is playing Fallout 3 having just sent my 4-year-old daughter to the kitchen for a couple cookies for no reason. Recalling instantly that I had finished, only an hour or so prior, a painting that I'd been working on since last summer and with the dying of the leaves in the painting, I said another level of goodbye to my dad. Marking a sudden inability to carry on with a business planning meeting after an interruption from my daughter only 30 minutes prior. Seeing that my mom's dog hadn't been more than a few inches from me for a couple hours now. Fitting all these details into this one moment on the phone with my mom as she's telling me that my dad has died. For all the preparations and knowing it was coming, it still seemed so sudden which seemed bizarre. How could I be this shocked about news I was expecting?

I relayed the message to my nephew that his grandpa was dead. Can I say it so bluntly? Passed away seems so fucking nice when I wasn't feeling particularly soft-edged. What else does one do with death? Anyway, my nephew paused his game and sat there in silence. I hugged him. Then my daughter came back and knew something was up. So I told her that grandpa was dead and she would never see him again. That he wouldn't try to make her laugh anymore. And there would be no more candies from his pockets. Then we three sat there a while. I think I may have been babbling, vainly trying to comprehend what my nephew might be experiencing and how I might help him put this new experience into words.

Then I was up and going to the bedroom where my husband was napping with the girl following close behind. Remembering my nephew and inviting him to join us in the bedroom. I was already turning to head back to the bedroom to tell my husband by the time I registered my nephew's response. Time had absolutely no meaning. I woke my husband and told him and cried. My sweet girl started crying too, but hadn't joined us in bed until invited. Then we all cried together for a while with my husband holding his girls. There were words, but I don't remember them.

And again, I was just moving again, back to the living room to be with my nephew. I didn't want him to be alone. Then we sat and cried again. I described how surreal I felt and then my nephew expressed the same only this was a new feeling that he now had a word for. Surreal is unreal, it is a floaty feeling, not quite attached to your body feeling. It's still surreal.

My daughter expressed sadness that she wasn't ever going to see grandpa again. She was scared of him at the end (great evolutionary tactic there - kids are scared of sick people) so I was surprised by this genuine expression of loss from her. But there it was. She had felt it all along, but now it was time. She cried with us then. And then she was done.

Mom and my brother were on their way to my house and everyone was spending the night. I was so thankful my newly smaller family would all be together. Caught between wanting to hide away in my sorrow and get all the attention so I could not think about what I was actually feeling, I got everyone updated on FaceBook and Twitter and text, uploaded the best most recent photos I could find on short notice, and sighed relief at being done that part. Then I let the world support me with a hundred hands. The words didn't seem important, but that there was a lifting of me - a great trust exercise of falling backward because I did not want to stand by myself and being caught by the support of everyone I had reached out to online. Each hand of support letting me grieve a little more deeply because I was not alone and did not have to put on a brave face.

All this time, I was worrying about everyone else. What do they need? How can I help them? Then my sweet dog came in with a very big limp. If I was worrying about someone else, I wouldn't have to face the grief. So I did that for a while when talking with my family. Then I said it out loud when everyone was trying to convince me the dog was fine. I know the dog is fine! I just needed something to worry about since everyone else seemed fine! GAH!

The more I was focusing on others and not listening to what I needed, the more unsettled I became. Totally reasonable, right? Right.

Finally, I fell into bed, exhausted and, of course, unable to sleep. I just wanted to fucking sleep and escape the world for a while. Can I mention at this point that I completely love my husband for loving me so completely that even when I'm in the middle of me-me-me meltdowns, he can still see the woman he loves? Well, yes. That. I love him. After realizing I wasn't going to sleep, I started to talk and unravel the grief that I didn't want to face. There was the "how could he ...?"s that I previously faced a few weeks ago so it didn't take long to see the love in all he did for and to me. I think it'll still take some time for full resolution on those, but I'd be happy to be surprised on this one. Then there was the main disconnect - my image of him was that of my dad when I was little. He was larger than life and always there to protect me. He was my personal superhero who would always be there. Except now he wasn't. I could imagine dad on a slab in the morgue at St. Paul's, a skinny wisp of the man he used to be, but I couldn't make the image of him passing from life to death be real. I could imagine it. I knew that it must have looked that way. But it COULD NOT be real. Superheroes don't die. EVER. But mine was dead. My brother was kind enough to tell me the details of how it happened as he was there with mom and I wasn't. I'm glad he did because it seeming more plausible now, more believable that my superhero is dead. Fighting the truth is such exhausting work.

Still thinking about running away.

And I have a dentist appointment tomorrow.

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The Turns

It has been over a year since I last wrote a post.

Here's the reason: I have not really known how to organize my thoughts into one coherent train of thought. And I am still there, although it stresses me out way less.

This was the best adult Christmas of my life.  I was freaking out, as usual, with what I wanted and how to give everyone else what I thought they wanted because the two don't match.  I have always freaked out at Christmas and been unable to reconcile how much I love it to how disappointed I am.  This ever-present desire to be perfect is crazy-making at the best of times, but add Christmas and it's lighting a very short fuse on a chain of bombs going off inwardly and outwardly.

So I kept asking myself how I could possibly make this Christmas different.  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth, inwardly and outwardly, later - I had figured out how to do it all.  It was a slog down painful memory lane, much self-loathing to forgive, and feeling so stuck in the 20+ years of Christmas pain as my pattern.

There's a peace that comes over me when I finally see a new way of doing things.  Like when I figured out that I could just have my family together first thing Christmas morning for a few minutes where I didn't have to share and it was what I needed to fully appreciate the rest of the day.  Fifteen minutes of time with my family to myself and that was the only change to the day's activities.

In previous years, I have called myself selfish, rude, and a bunch of other nasty names for even contemplating such an act.  And in the process, "ruining" Christmas year after year.  Still some guilt there for the pain I caused in others and myself, but compassion and forgiveness are endless and just waiting whenever I need it.

So much for not being able to organize my thoughts.  HA!

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I'm quirky, confident and happy. My friends say I'm generous, warm, reliable, and dependable. My mom, dad, and angel say I'm beautiful. I'm not perfect, but that makes me human.

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    Games We Play

    • Rune Factory Frontier (Wii)
    • Galactrix (DSi)
    • Arkham Asylum (BG)
    • Puerto Rico (BG)
    • Liar's Dice (BG)
    • Smallworld (BG)
    • Agricola (BG)
    • Blue Moon (BG)


    • House renovations
    • D&D with Kaz
    • Playing Eclipse with TWS
    • Preparations for Alien Invasion

    Books On the Go

    • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
    • What to Expect When You're Expecting by Murkoff
    • From the Neck Up by Denise Dreher

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