Thursday, June 24, 2010

Words of Wisdom

My supervisor and mentor at work is retiring tomorrow. She's been packing up this week, and this morning we had an "open house" gathering to say goodbye to her. The director presented her with the usual retirement gift, and speeches were said. As I write this, she is probably already in a Connecticut casino enjoying herself. She said she'd come back tomorrow for lunch at least and to finish clearing out. I'm going to miss her.

As she was leaving today, after the party, she gave me a piece of paper "A few rules to live by" and it's mostly for work, but the first and last lines are definitely words to LIVE by. She said "Don't assume anything. Always check."  and  "Speak less. Listen more. You'll never learn anything new if you're doing the talking."

Common sense stuff, but so true, and I know she meant the last line directly. I do talk too much!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fake it until you make it

Well whether the kid was sick from the antibiotics or whether she had a stomach bug is now a mystery that will never be solved. On Friday I joined her at preschool to watch the older kids graduate. Friday evening was a normal one, and on Saturday morning I woke up with a stomach bug and was completely useless all weekend. So much for Father's Day! Plans were canceled, the husband was annoyed and forced into single parent mode, as I was powerless to do much of anything. On Monday I stayed home, and finally began to feel some recovery.
Today is Tuesday, and I almost stayed home and then decided to "Fake it until I make it". I'm hoping by lunchtime I'll actually be feeling better. The change in my attitude immediately affected my daughter who started behaving better and more cooperatively once she saw that I wasn't staying home. Hopefully this pays off, and I don't end up in the doctor's office later on for over doing things.

Fake it until you make it. Sometimes that's what you have to do.

Friday, June 18, 2010

trying to turn this over still

Yes I've been off for a few days. The kid was sick, but was well enough to go to school. On Wednesday though, the antibiotics caused her some stomach discomfort and she got sent home from school. We had a nice day at home yesterday though, and she wasn't really feeling sick. Whatever demons were in her body had already gotten out by morning.

So this post isn't about that. It's about this. I have several Al-Anon books which are often in my bookbag, but sometimes they are at the bedside table, or on a small table in our bedroom. The other day my husband found my "Courage to Change" book. He picked it up, said "What's this?" and laughed. I'm hurt. He has known that I have had Al-Anon in my life for years. I don't go to meetings right now but it's still with me. He knows I have trouble coping with my mother, etc etc etc.... I am hurt at his display of disrespect. I am not asking for huge amounts of support, but to be laughed at for simply reading the book.... I am not even sure if he knows about this blog or whether or not I should tell him. I am just hurt.

Last night at dinner he asked our daughter what he was getting for Father's Day. At first she just said "a present", and then he offered her money, and she confessed. She's 4 years old. I do not blame her one bit, but why? Why did he have to do that? He's a good man, but that was just another sign of disrespect to me.

In August we will celebrate our 7 years of marriage, but it seems like we are so very far apart. I just want to cry.

And that's all I've got this week. Sorry for not having more folks!

Happy Father's Day weekend to all the dads out there, and all the moms who do the "dad" part themselves too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Day at a time

I see Syd took some time over the weekend to check in, and leave some comments. Thank you Syd! I'm not going to respond to each thing you said, but I will probably comment back on a couple of them anyway.

This past weekend was a good exercise in taking things "One Day at a time" and letting go of expectations. We started Friday night with a trip to the forest. My husband was going camping, and since we are a one-car family, it was a family event to bring him to the campsite. Rather than dropping him off quickly, and running back to civilization, daughter and I went for a short hike braving the mosquitoes. A beaver was spotted, and much mountain laurel, and a deer was seen on our way home. All good things.

In the morning my daughter made it clear that she did not want to see "the grandma with the dead cat on her kitchen table", and she was pretty clear about it. I had promised her some mother-daughter time, and she did not want that time transformed into mother-daughter-grandma time. I respected her wishes, much to my mother's ire. We ran into an old friend of my mom's in our travels, and I mentioned the change in plans. His response, after having not seen my mom in 30 years maybe, was "well you know her temper, I wouldn't tick her off if I was you. She'll probably get revenge...."   Gee, thanks for that. Nice to know what old friends think of her. I held my ground with my daughter though, and we journeyed to the south instead of to the north. I took my daughter strawberry picking for her first time. I wasn't fussy about finding "the best" strawberries, or "organic", or anything else. I simply cruised around until I saw a sign on the side of the road, and followed it in to the farm. Picking was hard work for her, but it was fun. We finished before the rain started, and hopefully didn't get too many more than we can use.

The next thing to come in my path was my daughter waking from a nap with a fever. Sick and angry she refused to take the Motrin I offered her. Asleep and then awake again, I finally made the calls to take her to the doctor and to let my husband know he would not be spending another night camping in the rain.

So our weekend went. Taking things one moment at a time, not sure what would happen next, but not getting attached to too many things either. We chose out battles carefully as parents need to do.We let go of doing some of the things we each wanted to do, as a couple needs to compromise. It wasn't the best weekend ever, but we survived it as a family, doing our best to respect one another.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Does this define "crazy" for you?

A lot of us have "crazy" parents, but when someone asks me what I mean by "crazy" I have a hard time answering. Is she depressed? Is she schizo? Is she bipolar? Is she "just another alcoholic"? I don't know. Now though, I have an example of "crazy" fresh in mind so I thought I'd share it--

Last night we had to go run some errands after work/school and we were driving past my mom's place. I offered to stop for a minute with my dear daughter so we could see the new cats that she just named, but we hadn't met yet. So we go in, meet the cats, and my daughter is scared as hell as usual. Fine. Then my mom is like "Oh wait! I have to show you something in the kitchen."

Well what she wanted to show us was her cremated cat, and all the stuff they gave her with it. She had a cute little "birthday box" with a bow that the cat was in, a photo of the cat, and something else that was the paw prints I guess.

UGH! This of course instantly raised lots of questions for my 4-year old. I was choking anyway on the cigarette smoke, so we left quickly. My mom was still trying to talk to me, and I just had to tell her to shut-up because dd was asking me a ton of questions about how the dead cat got so small that it could fit into that box. We got back out to the car, where my husband was waiting, and then the two of us tried explain cremation to her.

This is the kind of stuff that drives ME crazy with my mother. All I wanted to do was meet the cats, and see if maybe my daughter would be less afraid of them since she had helped to name them. When I realized that my kid was just as scared as always, I was ready to leave and get on with the rest of our stuff.

I can't really complain about the cigarette smoke because truthfully we didn't call ahead or anything. We just impulsively stopped, which is something I never do. However, I think my mom should shown me privately what was on the kitchen table if she really needed to share that badly. She should not have drawn my daughter into it. It wasn't appropriate. And really that is the problem with my mom a lot of the time. She doesn't understand what is "appropriate" and what isn't. Not just with my daughter, but in life in general. Sometimes she does understands and does what she wants anyway, other times she just has no clue.

So I'm not really sure how this ties into Al-Anon, except that examples like this one are reasons why I have to have strong boundaries with my mother, and why I could never let her watch my child unsupervised. She will never be a babysitter, I hope to God.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


When I started this blog I wasn't sure if anyone I knew would read it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to connect it to my real life even. I thought it might just be this anonymous alter ego thing that I put out there and no one knew the real me. I think the anonymous part is important part of Al-Anon. However that is slowly changing over time. I'm learning to connect myself to the blog. I'm also starting to take myself seriously as a writer outside the blog world, and I'm starting to put more effort into it. I'm realizing that I have hobbies and skills that are actually useful, even if no one but me acknowledges them. I'm hoping to feed and nurture these parts of me better than I have been for the last few years. In doing so I should gain my sense of "self" back again, something I have a habit of losing over and over again. Too often in life I am "A Cute Girl's Mom" or "Wife of Somebody Important". Rarely am I "Somebody". Need to work on that I guess, over and over.

And this blog post strikes me as something that I might cross over to my other blog as well, at least in parts. Hmm... another thing I never planned to do. I hope no one is offended at me doing this. It just seems so fitting to be posting it on both places. The post started as something about "writing" but evolved into the whole "Somebody" thing.


In doing so I should gain my sense of "self" back again, something I have a habit of losing over and over again.... Need to work on that I guess, over and over.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Courtesy was the subject of one of today's readings, and I took it in this morning. On Saturday I had been treated not with courtesy at a restaurant with my family. I responded with anger, which was probably not the right thing to do, but I was done with them. It was the second time in two months that I had been treated rudely by someone at that restaurant chain, and I feel like I am done with them. Oddly enough, even the name of the chain would suggest that they give friendly service (hint).

At home, I am thinking about that whole resentment thing that I posted about last week and then I am adding the courtesy message. Hmm... I would like to send my husband a nice big "Honey please do" list, but would that be courteous? Probably not! So I am trying to find other ways of communicating. A gentle nudge here and there instead. This morning it was another "Hey, when you want to do that big renovation project, let me know so I can take the time off from work..." I know he is busy with a million other things, but I think he wants it done too. Sometimes I worry that our house is going to literally fall apart before some of this stuff gets done, but that's another story.

So I am trying to remember "courtesy" today. My daughter does a great job of remembering to say "please", "thank you" and "excuse me", but do I? I try. I'm trying to take it beyond that too, and just "remember my manners" when I'm around others, which I don't always do.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Resentment rears its ugly head!

UGH! Why do I resent my husband sometimes? He's got too much work to do, doesn't get enough sleep, has health issues, problems with his life... and yet... he gets paid more than I do, makes his life look so easy, rarely complains, and is so awesome in so many ways. He's a gifted teacher, a wonderful father, a valued employee (I am not a VALUED employee where we work), and so much more... he's a wonderful husband.

A gap has formed in-between us. I think it started when I was pregnant, and it has grown. Our daughter is 4 now, and we finally got her sleeping in her own room, out of our bed. Yet one of us is still spending a portion of the night sleeping on the floor. So there is this gap. He stays up later than I do, he gets up earlier than I do, he is smarter than I am, has more in-person friends than I do.... this gap.

Yesterday I met him after work, like always since we carpool, and I just unleashed on him a tirade out of nowhere about how he doesn't spend enough time with his kid, and the yard is a mess, and on and on... and while some of it was true, he certainly didn't deserve it. After I'd spewed and run out of words I wanted to apologize. It's not the first time though, and maybe it won't be the last. I am terribly abusive sometimes, and I don't know why. So after the kid went to bed, and I had some time alone (he was in her room), I opened up my Al-Anon books and I read about a few things, and RESENTMENT seemed to be the sticking point. I don't know why I resent him so much, but I think I do. It's not his fault that he has such a perfect life and I feel so torn apart. His life really isn't perfect either, I know. It's just me perceiving things. UGH.

So I am trying, trying, trying to turn this over to my higher power, and figure out how to get out of this bad place. How to stop resenting my husband, who I love so dearly, and how to bridge the gap between us. The trust is still there, at least I trust him. I hope he trusts me. Communication is tough though. For some reason, it's hard for me to talk to him sometimes. I don't know why. Yesterday I wanted to throw out some ideas for a trip to Maine, but instead I unleashed on him about everything else. Why? Why? Why?

Anyway, I'm trying to turn it over. I know I'm powerless, but I need to change what I can and I'm trying to figure out how to do that. How can I be a better wife before I lose him completely.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This was home for the weekend

I'm glad to be back now. We survived a weekend as tourists in Vermont, among the many New Yorkers who were there. Daughter was homesick after only a day or two, but we stuck it out for 3 nights anyway. I did take the time to do some reading and writing while I was away, and I wish I could tell you my favorite thing, but I'm not sure what it was. Maybe the serenity when I could find it. It was nice to live simply and not have big worries for a few days.