I am trying to sort out my experiences and thoughts to better understand how to move forward and not stay stuck in the past.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thank you

This blog has been a journey for me.  It has helped me to clear my thinking, listen to amazing advice, adjust my perspective.  A lot of the time I have felt that I am running a race with the crew in Alice and Wonderland.  It all seemed so surreal.  When I wanted to start, everything else was stopped.  When I wanted to stop, everyone was running past me.  There never seemed any time to rest and look around, and then in the midst of it all, I was able to stand still, with everything moving past me, and learn to get my footing.

I have appreciated everyone who has read my words and given me that good advice--or not.  Silent readers are just as valuable to me, hoping that what I've experienced and put into words has helped in some way.

I still want to write somewhere, but I don't think I can write about this anymore.  My daughter is okay.  She's not great and it's not as bad and unpredictable and insane as it used to be.  I'm sure that there are a lot of reasons for that.  I've accepted actions that I never would have in the past.  She has calmed down.  I'm not so anxious.  I really can look around me on the worst day and accept it.  I can also look around me on the best day and be euphorically grateful.  I just feel as though I am starting to write about the same feelings and emotions and fears and worries and that is starting to make me feel that little twinge of anxiety in my gut.  I don't know if things will ever be normal or healed.  She may die from this eventually or she may choose to finally start putting all of her energy into fighting for herself instead of looking for the excuses to not fight.  I don't know.  I just feel as though I need to move on.  I have done a pretty good job of facing the ghosts in those places that housed bad memories.  I feel that I may be inviting them back, writing about the same thing only in a different place.

So, thank you for helping me on my road to healing and understanding.  I pray that healing happens to you all.  Remember, God does not give us the spirit of fear, but of Power, Love, and a Sound Mind.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spiritual Food

I was in Whole Foods, today.  I know it's only a grocery store, but I really love that place.  I feel healthier just walking through the door.  It is a little more expensive than my regular place, but for some special things, it fits the bill.  Anyway, I was waiting at the deli section for a pound of honey turkey breast, and I overheard the guys working behind the counter, that was behind the counter where I was standing.  They were talking about religion, and the one guy said to the other two something to the effect of, "...that's why I don't buy into Christianity..."  Of course my ears perked up.  I didn't catch it all, but the one thing he said was that once--yes once--he had a question and went to a priest or minister--yes, only one--and asked some questions, and he (the priest or minister) didn't have or know the answers.  So, because of that one encounter, that guy seemed to have written off Christianity.  At least that is what he was saying to the other two.  

I was dumbfounded.  When, if you are really interested in finding the answer to something, do you go to only one source?  I mean, if you were sick and went to a doctor who said that he didn't know what the problem was, would you just go home still clueless?  Or would you seek out someone or several someones to get answers from?  Wouldn't you be on line looking up everything you could?  Wouldn't you be at the library researching?  I think people have a passion for researching the newest technology devices.  Looking for a new car requires some research.  Your spiritual health should be just as important, if not more so.

As he was talking we made eye-contact. He kind of looked away and started talking softer.  I probably should have said something  to him, but I didn't.  I just thanked the man waiting on me, and walked away with my lunch meat, and some additional food for my thoughts.

Monday, December 1, 2014


What I want to write about goes along with what I wrote in the Clay post but I have to give a little history.  I was married to an abuser.  Mostly emotional, but some physical.  It took me eighteen years to make the move to leave.  Why so long?  Because your brain freezes when something so foreign happens to you that you really don't know how to handle it.  A lot of thoughts get jumbled from 'he had a bad day', to 'I made a commitment' or 'what about the kids?' to 'screw this, I'm done.'  But it can take a long time to get there.  A lot happens and I have learned that you can't judge a woman in that situation because you are not familiar with her mindset and history.   I do believe his actions were a mutation of his childhood with an alcoholic father and enabler mother.  That need to control a situation as a child can morph into a severely controlling adult who will go to any length to make sure that their world is as they feel it should be--to heck with what you think it should be.

Move to the present.  I have been working with a woman (my classroom aide) for 11 years.  An opportunity arose for her to take another position in an office.  More pay, better hours, less stress.  She talked to me about it and I told her to go for it.  I think that she felt as though she were betraying me in some way.  Working together for that long, we have a routine that works, and although it doesn't always run smoothly, overall, I like what we had.  We were (are) a good team in a tough and fragile environment.  The position, so far, is temporary, but someone had to be hired to take her place.  In comes Cathy (not her real name).  On the surface very kind, quiet, efficient.  She takes direction well, is enthusiastic, and  has a good rapport with the students.

About our room.  I rarely yell.  That means raise my voice.  Depending on the situation, though, I will be firm in my voice.  We often have children acting out and being disruptive.  Most of the time, I handle it in house.  Let the child talk it out, rock in the rocking chair, there are several tools within the room that I use to help them get a handle on their emotions.  Here is what I started noticing.  When a child was acting out or I was talking with a child, Cathy would end up kneeling by them and whispering to them.  Most of the time it was after a situation had occurred.  I would look up from working with someone, and notice that she was not at her desk.  I would look around the room, and see her kneeling beside the student who had had the issue and whispering to them (What is happening here?).  During one outburst of a student, she ended up leaving the room and bringing back the social worker and counselor.  The situation had not escalated to that point, and I never sent her to get anyone, so I was kind of dumbfounded when they came into the room.  She was still new to the room, so I was also kind of annoyed that she would take that initiative.  Not a good thing.  So, I talked with her when the kids left and explained, again, how the room worked.  I explained that I loved the kids and sometimes things may get loud, but there is a process.  When I came in the next morning, there were six or seven helium balloons tied to my chair.  She had bought them as an apology.  All of a sudden I had flashbacks of living with my ex, only in reverse.  He would do something sweet after an outburst, she was trying to make amends so that I wouldn't be angry with her.  I later found out through discussions with her that she had been with an alcoholic/drug abuser for several years before she married him and then eventually divorced him.  Once I understood where her history had taken her, I could see the behaviors that I used to do (sometimes still fall back on) to control my environment.  Though I'm not an abuser, she sees the outbursts and conversations as unnerving and her whispering to the kids, I can see, is her trying to calm the situation.  Her views are skewed because of her history.  This is a safe environment with behaviors that remind her of her former unsafe environment.

It's all about control.  Ironically, I do think we are fooling ourselves and exhausting ourselves if we believe that our controlling a situation is helping anything.  I'm not saying to be a slug and do nothing.  Do what you need to do.  Go through the daily process of living and working, but understand that there is a lot that is out of our control, but heavily in God's control.  There are times when you have to let it go and as scary and weak as that may feel, it's the strongest act that you can do.  The wisdom comes in knowing when (that wonderful Serenity prayer at work). Once you know, though, let go.

Because of my experiences both with my ex and child, and I could probably add my dad to that list, I am better able to understand other people.  Another example of, "All things work together for good to them that love God."

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I didn't realize how long it has been since I last wrote something here.  It's not like I didn't have ideas.  I pretty much have and idea or two a day, I just didn't seem to have the drive.  Emotions are draining.  Not only mine, but the kids at school, my family, stress (which I'm really working on decreasing), and I'm going to physical therapy two days a week because pain is also very exhausting and I'm tired of being tired.

Thanksgiving, here, was perfect.  My son, my daughter, my dad, and me.  I have the meal preparation down to a science.  My daughter went to work that night at the mall, an extra job she took.  My son and dad stayed and visited a while, though my dad, who was being driven home by my son, was nervous about leaving after dark.  Old habits and fears are hard to let go of, I guess.  Anyway, the day was a blessing.

That evening, sitting here alone, eating a piece of pie and watching a movie, with the dogs curled up on the couch with me, I started thinking about everything. I still have a bad habit of feeling the urge, when I'm feeling peaceful,  to open that door to the past and pick through horrible memories.  Why?  I have no idea.  But I still do it.  I started to do it on Thanksgiving evening, but before opening that same old, creaky door, I stopped.  It was as though I didn't have the energy for that, either.  Enough of digging through that 'stuff.'  Instead, I started thinking about how I would be had all of that 'stuff" not happened.  It was kind of refreshing to turn it around.  I'm used to internally lamenting about what life would be like if this evil hadn't befallen my child.  Life would be much better, for her especially, but for me, too.  The physical part of life, at least.  But I'm not so sure the spiritual side would be and I'm finding that that part of me, the spiritual, is far more important for my survival than the physical (material) part.

This extended course in misery, fear, and stress has, I have noticed, refined me on the inside into a person that I truly don't believe I would be had it all not happened.  I can also see a strength growing in my daughter that used to be there, but I haven't seen in a very long time.  The potter and the clay reference comes to mind (Isaiah 64;8).  I completely understand it and even better, I'm not bitter about it.  If this whole experience was allowed to happen to bring us closer to God, I'm okay with it.  No one has died, gone to jail, been injured, physically.  Yes, it has ripped me on the inside.  The stress and fear has been unbearable at times, but when I finally just let go ("It is what it is") mentally, things started to change.  Slowly, yes, but still change started.  Change and understanding.  I am not trivializing the struggle.  I'm not saying I didn't stamp around my house crying and yelling at God, because I did.  I would sound like a crazy person if I wrote all of the goofy reactions I have had during these past few years.  In the end, though, I stopped the ranting and just emotionally plopped down and became still.  I felt drained and exhausted.  I felt rejected and sad, but I didn't have the energy to react anymore--inside.  It's a hard feeling to explain, that stillness, but it was as if on the inside, I just couldn't emotionally move anymore.  I believe that is when my internal healing began, and continues.

I'm still learning.  I'm still trying to feel my way through this new mindset.  I still feel stress, but am working on it. We still have good days (more frequently) and bad days, but I don't fall apart, anymore.  There is a calm that I can only explain as God. I'm not sure how this is all sounding.  I don't want it to come across as though it's been easy once I emotionally plopped down.  It hasn't been, but it hasn't felt so isolating.  I don't feel so alone and weak on the inside.  I am feeling more uplifted and hopeful.

I just wanted to express that because this experience has been the foundation of helping me to interact more effectively and with a stronger purpose, with those around me--my work, friends, strangers, family.  And if someone else is experiencing the pain and stress, I just want to say, hold on...help is on the way.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I used to know what I wanted.  I wanted a new house. A new location. To be thinner, happier, a famous writer, go back to Italy for a week, hike in the woods.  On and on.  I was thinking the other day, though, even though there are things, like having dessert at a diner, that I consider to be honest with myself, I really do not know what I want anymore.  Okay, let me qualify that.  I know that I want my children healthy and well, safe and content.  I want that for them.  But this whole Alice in Wonderland, down the rabbit hole trip that I've been on has really just sucked out all desire for me.  I really did plan on looking for a new house, I even started packing some things up, but even that has become less of a driving force, especially when I try to tackle ALL of the stuff that I have accumulated throughout the years.  I pack up a few things and look around and feel so overwhelmed by the daunting task of separating what to keep and what to get rid of that, I get discouraged and walk away from it.  The everyday routine of getting up, going to work, coming home, playing with the dogs and going to bed is so monotonous to me, yet, there is kind of a heavy comfort to it too.

Ugh.  It this the effect of overwhelming stress and worry?  Have I become so used to the falling that I don't even care to reach out and grab onto something anymore?  That's what it feels like. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating a fact.  I'm not even sure if I don't like this feeling.  I'm really not sure what I'm feeling. I'm not happy or sad or afraid.  I am gliding in neutral.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Someone help me understand this thinking.

Normally, my daughter is so sharp mentally.  Quick wit, smart, insightful, and then there are days like today, well, really yesterday.  Things were fine here.   We are having good talks.  She seems to be developing a better understanding and relationship with God.  It even gets to the point where I fell like this madness is all over--She is finally strong enough to either not need alcohol or want it. But then, I come home yesterday, and I can tell we are back down the rabbit hole.  We don't argue anymore about it.  In fact, the stretch between falls is extending, though not extinct.  It is what it is.  So, today, as I was doing my usual Saturday morning laundry and cleaning, I went into her room and found her sitting there petting the dog.  I sat down on her bed and asked her what had happened for her to do this.  She told me that yesterday she was thinking at how far she should be in her life by now, but isn't.  (She has in her mind that she is a certain age and should be at a certain place in her life).  I listened. I wanted to interject, but I listened.  I wanted to make that, "Really?" face.  But I didn't.  I listened.  When she was finished, I told her I wasn't going to argue.  That I had heard what she had said, but was confused. I told her (reminded her?) that alcohol is the only reason that she isn't where she feels she should be.  Alcohol is the only thing that has held her back.  Alcohol is the only thing that has robbed her of all that she feels she has lost.  So...why run back to it?  Why not just keep working hard and pushing forward?  Why, would you run to the very thing that has been holding you back? (I might have been making the "Really?" expression as I was talking, though I truly was trying not to).  I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.

I also told her that ironically, with all that has happened and all that is on hold in her life, the only real waste of time has been being so lenient with pursuing and fighting and working for her sobriety. The harder she works toward that, the more her life will unfold-- if she would just stay sober.

She listened.  I left.  Life goes on--well, mostly.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

All of Those Ripples

Things are moving along, here.  All except for the humidity which seems to want to linger and linger.  School has started back up and honestly, it's like summer never was the way the routine kicks back in and life goes on.

Home is moving along, too.  As always, good and bad days, but the majority of days seem to be smooth and I'm thankful for the more normal routine.  We do have discussions still, and one that comes up and I must say is kind of a sticking point with me through this journey has to do with figuring things out.  Specifically, the discussion always circles around to how lopsided this figuring out has been.  She has only had herself to try to figure out (why does she do this, what are her triggers), where I have had to try and figure out my thoughts and reactions as well has her's and if we look at all of the ripples that tossing that stone causes, I am also trying to figure out my son's behavior during this as well as what other family member might say or think (which is why they don't know any of this).

I have been sober this whole time, trying to catch and analyze all of the triggers, reactions, behaviors, emotions--all of it--to try and figure out the bigger picture.  Sometimes I resent it, even though I have learned a lot from it. To be honest, I could probably write a whole book on resentments, but I don't really like wallowing there too long, so I doubt it would be healthy.

Anyway, I only mention this because we recently were talking about it here, and the conversation, as usual, didn't end that well because apparently I am rarely seeing it from her point-of-view.  Honestly, I'm not sure she fully understands her point-of-view that well, anyway.  I'm not mad, just stating what happened.  It is what it is--very comforting words that I now live by.