Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feeling split between worlds

In trying to think about what to post about today I am finding myself split between different worlds. That in itself opens another direction to go in. I think a lot of us Al-Anons feel split between worlds. There is the outside world where most people do not know what we endure in our homes, and then there is the chaos that we go home to (or went home to as children/teens/spouses/etc). I think that is a post topic for another day. Maybe someone else out there wants to take it up, be my guest.

At work we are nearing the end of the Spring semester and the fiscal year. The last couple of weeks have been busy. It's almost over though, and I can taste the summer just around the corner. Summer is slower for me at work, and I savor it sometimes. Right now I am looking forward to it probably because I've been too busy this week. I'm not motivated to work today, and wishing I had a day off.

On the home front, I talked to my mother last night. What was that about not picking up someone else's baggage? Yeah. Good words, and I remembered them as she rattled on about some drama between herself and my brother. My brother and I are not close, and it seems like whenever my brother is getting along with my mom, I'm not. Whenever they have a fight, my mom comes to me. I don't get it. So the latest drama is that my mom is mad at my brother and his "woman" (ex-wife/girlfriend/mother of one of his son's). She is trying to draw me into the drama, and you know what? I'm NOT PICKING UP THAT BAGGAGE. Yup. Good words. Practicing my self-care and letting it go. My brother was labeled ADD as a kid, and whether that's his issue or drugs or whatever is his problem, I don't know. I detached from him a long time ago. I tried to save him once. Tried to give him love and support, with boundaries and when he didn't like those boundaries and the guidelines I insisted on, I detached with love. It's been tough love ever since with him. I wish dealing with my mom was that easy for me. Anyway, the problem is theirs, not mine. I love them both, always will, but I will not get sucked in.

I do plan to stop at my mom's apartment Saturday morning, alone, to see what she is selling in her yard sale, and maybe donate a couple of things, but I won't stay long. I promised my husband that. I have other things to do with my life than spend it in her toxic world.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

proof that time does not stand still in bloggerville

I've got deadlines today at work, and things to look forward to tomorrow. If I don't meet those deadlines I don't get to do the fun things. Still, I wanted to come here to bloggerland and give you all an update.

Thank you for your comments yesterday. It feels good to not be alone.

Last night on our ride home I asked my husband if he was going out (Tuesday night he usually does). He said he didn't think he should given my remarks over the weekend. So we talked. Our daughter in the backseat tuned out to her dvd player and I apologized for my behavior. I let him know I wanted to be a caring and supportive wife and mother, but the lack of sleep gets the best of me sometimes. He commented that I have always been a light sleeper and suggested I visit my doctor about the matter. I'm not interested in pills or therapy to help me sleep. No thanks. I countered with trying to transition our 4-year old into her own room. Admittedly I'll still be checking on her a million times a night, but maybe I'll get better about that too.

At home, he made dinner and I read stories to our daughter. We ate, and he left. My daughter mentioned she missed him on these nights when he goes out. I miss him too I told her, but he is losing weight and is happier, so we have to support it. We read some more stories and took our time getting ready for bed. By 9:30pm she was finally asleep. Around 10pm or so, my husband came home. I was still awake, but I went to sleep shortly after he did. Somehow, someway, we all actually slept pretty well. A little too well maybe. My husband overslept 20 minutes, and we were all running a little late this morning. I felt good though, rested. It was a good feeling. The coffeemaker went unused, which I regretted when I got to work, but still a nice night of sleep.

I tried to make my amends, and I will do my part to get our daughter into her room. I will do my part to try to get more sleep. Hopefully in doing these things I will be a better me. I want to be a better me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been quiet for the last few days, not being sure what to say, what to reveal, what to keep quiet about. Sometimes it's hard to know these things. Someone, actually more than one, some bloggers were posting recently about domestic violence. Someone said that not all violence is done by men. Sometimes women are the violent ones. I know this well. My mother was abusive, and still is, in many more ways than one.

One of my worries as a person is that I will follow in her footsteps. Sometimes I worry that I am. At 4am I do not feel human. My emotions get the best of me if I am awake. Sometimes I can blame this on PMS I guess, but really it worries me. At home with only my husband and my daughter as my witness, the tears and the screaming flow from me, and in the morning I barely remember. I am remorseful of course, but it doesn't make it better for them. I know this. Am I abusive? Or is it human to be irrational at an irrational hour? I don't know. I do not want to be an abusive wife or mother. I am not using substances so I can't blame it on being drunk or whatever. I just don't function well after a certain hour of the night/morning. By 5am or 6am I am sane again, but catch me at 3am or 4am, and I am something else.

On another off-kilter note, I was in tears this morning. I was in the library, doing my library work, and happen to be in a section of books about emergency care for newborns, infants, and pediatrics. One book was titled "born to die". I began having flashbacks to my daughter's birth, and other times when she nearly died. The time I held her in my arms, hearing her gasping for air, with a nurse on the phone telling me calmly to hang up and call 9-1-1, the ambulance ride, the week in PICU, and more. I silently let the tears slide down my face as I did my work. When I was done, I found my husband and gave him a hug. I reminded him that he was the only person in the whole world who understood me and I was so grateful for him. He reminded me that our daughter is medicated now, and those worries are behind us as much as they can be.

Today is one of those days. Today is one of those days that I am taking minute by minute, hour by hour and really trying to "Let go and Let HP" because I know I can't do it alone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The roller coaster ride

We had a 3-day weekend, one of those "Boston Holidays" on Monday. The weather was mixed, and our days filled up quickly. We took our daughter to an open house farm and she was less fearful than she has been in the past, we bought gardening supplies, and planted a small garden. Too soon maybe, but we are hopeful.

The last 2 weekends had been busy with Easter and other family things so we took the weekend off from visiting with friends and family for the most part. It was good to be on our own schedules.

So in the midst of this all my mother called and left a message demanding that I return my grandmother's jewelry that she had given me in September. Now, personally, I am still grieving. I have packed away whatever my mother gave me after my grandmother's death in various places. Some of it I can find easily, other stuff is more deeply buried. I guess the jewelry is buried. I looked for it in the places that were easily accessible and then on Monday night I called her back. She was not happy. I had not called her back fast enough, and the answer of "I don't know for certain that I have it, and if I do have it, I'm not sure I can put my hands on it very easily" was not pleasing to her.

Personally I think this is just another one of those control games that she plays all the time. It's a cry for attention. I hate these games and I don't want to play. She gave me stuff, it's mine. That should be the end of it, but I try to be nice. It's so hard. So the conversation continued until she used the "F" word and then I hung up. She called back, I hung up again immediately, she called again and then I let her apologize. I pointed out that Grandma's birthday is approaching and so is Mother's Day, and I imagine she is feeling some pain. This acknowledgment seemed to soothe things a bit, and she rambled on about other things. Mostly about how great my brother is to come over to her house and make her dinner occasionally. In September my mother and brother weren't speaking. They got angry with one another the night before the funeral and called it quits. It's interesting now that my brother is the "good kid" and I am the "selfish bitch". Oh wait, I'm always the "selfish bitch" and I let my kid watch too much tv, another pet peeve of hers.

Anyway, now I'm upset with her, and myself. I'm trying to do the right thing but I'm not sure what the right thing is. One thing I do know is that I won't be bringing my things to her house for a tag sale in a few weeks. Whatever I had hoped to sell will be given to charity instead. Although I could use the pocket money, especially with our insane medical bills this year, I need the sanity more.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


This is my first attempt at adding some random photos to this blog. A kayak and a canoe out in the water. Their voices could be heard from the shore, friendly greetings in the evening light.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming soon-- photography

Thanks to digital cameras everyone lately seems to feel like they are a photographer. I got a new digital camera for Christmas, and it is finally one that it is in my comfort zone. Slowly I am learning how to use it, and slowly I am remembering to slip it in my pocket for every day things. As a result, I have some photos of the lake, of nature, of things that aren't my daughter, and things that are.

Soon I will post some of the nature and lake ones here. My bit to contribute to the serenity of my fellow readers and bloggers. I am not a photographer, I am a writer. I will claim that. Even when I cannot write every day as I know all GOOD writers must, I still claim it.

My love of the lake, my love of water, comes from my alcoholic mother. My mother who spends too much time in the sun, and doesn't use sunblock, and tans to colors likely to induce skin cancer.. she gave me the gift of loving the beach and of loving the water. I'm a terrible swimmer, and have a lifelong phobia of diving, but I love being in the water anyway. I am passing that love on to my daughter. For the past several days we have made trips to the 2 beaches that we can walk to. It's too cold for swimming, but we bring the sand toys and play. Yesterday we made a sand castle at the "little beach"; on the weekend we visited the "big beach". As spring continues it's quest for summer, I am enjoying these times of serenity with her. I know these years will pass by quickly, and I want to hold on to them for as long as I can.

The child's birthday is over, Easter is passed us, and taxes have finally been completed (whew!). We have some more big events coming our way in May; but for today, for tomorrow, and as long as the rain stays away, I am enjoying the outdoors and being a working mother as much as I can.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Some bloggers are posting today about not feeling inspired, and others are doling out whole lists of what inspires them. So I'm inspired to write about "inspiration".

Actually I thought I'd share something about how I just get through a day when I feel like I can't get through it. Maybe it will help someone.

A long time ago I was sitting in church, I was a young teen probably, and had a world of trouble in my life with my alcoholic mother, divorced parents, boyfriends or whatever. Suicide was not an uncommon thought in those days, depression was common for me. So there I was one day and in our small little church that I attended with my father and maternal grandmother. I felt like the minister was talking to me, and maybe he was. There were only about 20-30 people there. He told a story about how when you get up in the morning and you just know the day is going to be crap basically, then think of something good at the end of the day and hang on to that thought all day long. That thought might be something as simple as brushing your teeth at bedtime, or eating a banana after school. It may not seem like much, but sometimes we don't have much to grasp on to.

I hung onto that. I don't have all the words to that sermon, and the minister died several years ago, but boy I liked him. He inspired me, he spoke to me, somehow, he got it.

So when your life seems like crap, and you don't have anything to look forward, put that banana or apple on your calendar for 7:15pm or whatever, and hang onto it for dear life if you need to.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Follow your own path"

Words of wisdom from my daughter this morning. She led us out the door to the car, but rather than going down the front steps, she went out back so she could listen for a woodpecker in the woods. I told her that we were following her, and she said something like "You can come this way, but you have to follow your own path. Don't walk in my footsteps. Make your own."

Words of wisdom from a child. These are the things I hope I remember when she grows up.  :-)

Focus on yourself.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Celebrating with our Family of Choice

We had a pretty busy weekend. Taxes did not get done, grocery shopping BARELY got done, beds were left unmade, and dishes sat in the sink. The weather was nice, and there were better things to do than be inside.

One of my big accomplishments, that matters to no one but me, is that we did not spend time with my mother. A major holiday, in my family anyway, and I dodged, and dodged well I think. My mom pleaded being sick, and I did not argue. Then when my father gave us an invite to his girlfriend's house, I jumped at it. My father has been divorced from my mom since I was a baby. His girlfriend has only been widowed for 7-10 years. Her children are grown, and she has grandchildren. Although we've met her several times over the last two years, this was our first visit to her home, and only our second visit with her children and grandchildren (our first visit was in February). My daughter had a great time, and I think I did too. I know at first we were all nervous but eventually we relaxed and really enjoyed the day.

My father is family of course, but it was nice to spend time with the rest of them. My daughter is too young to really understand family dynamics and all of that. She doesn't understand that I am nervous about "intruding" on this other family, and I think that's good. My daughter is showing her love for these people unconditionally, and easily, and innocently. When we left, she gave one of the women a hug goodbye. I am not ready to call that woman "aunt" or "sister", but it joyed my heart to see the expression of kindness.

I am hopeful that my father's relationship will continue for many years. He seems so happy, and his girlfriend seems happy too. I am so glad that she sought him out, and things are going well for them. I think we are lucky beneficiaries of it too. While my mother may be crazy, and absent, and my in-laws are all out of state, we have a "family of choice" that is sane, and caring, and fun. It should be an interesting journey.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting caught up again

Thank you Syd and others for reading and posting while I've been away! I just spent some time trying to get caught up on many of your blogs, and although I didn't comment, I did visit and tried to absorb what was there. I'm not a speed reader so there is only so much I can do. Thank you all for posting on your blogs and taking away some of the "alone feeling" that I get sometimes.

Today I had an event to attend across campus. I detoured on the way back to see an old friend who I had not seen in years. This campus is a big place, and we all get locked into our routines and our places. It wasn't easy to make that detour, but I was glad I did. It was nice to see a friendly face.

Today the kid went back to school, and we both got to go to work. I did miss her today, but it was nice to be in the old routines that we have. I'm looking forward to Easter, still scared on money, and wishing today was Friday. Aren't we all? The sun is out, and although the worries are there, I'm trying to think positive.

Be well all.