Homework

Princess Glitter Sparkle, much like PollyAnna assigns homework.  I told her this week that inside her isn’t blood it’s glitter. She’s just -glitter.  There’s no way else to describe it.  She’s glitter in people form.

So she asked me to draw what I want to look like inside- and this was the result..

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“What is it you truly desire?”

The title is a line spoken in a prime-time FOX show called Lucifer.  Im not going to get into the details of the show, if you are interested, google it.  It really is a good show.  However, Lucifer- the devil, has this power where he can look someone in the eye ask them that question and he will find out the true desires of their heart.

I need a little of that. I was thinking while I was on a walk yesterday…. I’m unhappy.  I am not content.  I am sad/angry/anxious/depressed; BUT what would it take for me to change those feelings?  What is it that I want?  What will make me happy, or at the very least “content”?

I feel as though my some of my circumstances are out of my control- our precarious financial situation for one.  The daily stress of one kid on the autism spectrum (albeit high functioning) , ADHD, with bipolar, anxiety and sensory processing disorder, and the other ADHD, anxiety and quite possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  I can’t change that.  I can’t change that my husband is sick and can’t work, which leads to the financial insecurity; a vicious circle.  There are so many other factors in my life that I feel like are obstacles to happiness/contentment.  But then- is there a way to be happy/content with the current situation? Im doubtful – how can you be content when you’re insecure about the future because of finances, because of your own mental illness, because of your husband’s illness?

So I ask again- what is it I truly desire?

Answer:  I have no earthly idea.

I joined the club…

Today I joined the elite club…. the forty club, the big 4-0 as in cresting the hill (but not quite over it).  In the past decade my body has been preparing for induction into the club with grey, white and silver hair, with wrinkles, and sagging, and most recently bifocals and cataracts.

For months I have been dreading forty; like it was the end of the world as I knew it.  And yeah, I’ll admit it kinda sucks to think that THIS is as far as I have gotten at forty, but at the same time I have accomplished some things worth recognition.  I have two beautiful children, who are smart, funny and amazing- each in their own way.  I have a marriage that after almost 18 years of marriage, and 23 years together is stronger every day.  I have a brother and a sister that I adore. I have a best friend that I admire, who makes me want to be a better version of me.  I have other friends too, friends who care about me, especially when I don’t care about myself.  I have a counselor who I love. And I have finally given her her name- Princess Glitter Sparkle.  (My husband coined it, and I told her about it.). We have sat with it for about a month or so now and she said there’s just no denying it- it suits her.  And in the past decade I also discovered my faith again.  I have a relationship with God.

So yes, while in the past couple of years it seems like the crap has hit the fan, and I have a hard time seeing the good past the crap, I do have some really good things in my life.  On the especially crappy days I need to come back and read this list.

Here’s to hoping 40’s beats the pants off 30’s.

 

How old am I again?

I actually got a lot done today.  More than I have in a while and more than I intended.  After the kids were at school hubby and I went back to bed to nap.  We really need to stop staying up so late.

I got up around noon, him around 1.  While he was sleeping I ended up cleaning our toy room.  It looked like toys r us threw up in there. I knew it would be too much for little one to clean so I had to put my own lack of motivation aside and get it done since little one was supposed to have friends over tomorrow.  Turns out we decided to go over there instead, and then I found out that my mother in law was coming over tomorrow so we had to cancel that too.  But hey at least the toy room is cleaned.

So later on I was talking to my mom, she’s stopping by because she owes me some money, and they were going to take measurements for a door for little one’s room, and take the too big door we have and my stepfather is going to cut it to fit… anyway, so I told her- “please don’t make fun of me when you come, my Christmas decorations are still up”.  Dead silence on the other line.  More silence.  So I said “I’m serious, please don’t make fun of me”.  The next thing she said was “It’s Easter.” I said, “Well, we’re celebrating his birth and death at the same time”.  Then we changed the subject.  I sat in my chair, looking around at the decorations that have been up since November…. almost 6 months.  I felt ashamed.  I felt like my mother was silently judging me.  That tomorrow she would look at me with disgust, pity, disappointment.  I couldn’t stand it.  So I took them down, and packed them away.  All I could think was – here I am less than 2 weeks away from my 40th birthday and my mom can still get me to do things I don’t want to, with just a little mom guilt.

It’s hard to believe that no matter how old you get you need and want your mom, and her approval. I think I recently mentioned that I asked her if she was disappointed in my life and the person I had become, and she told me that she was “disappointed in the fact that I didn’t have the support I needed to ‘shine'”.  It’s been weighing heavily on my mind.  In fact I wrote a poem about it.  The first poem I have written since 1995.

I think that had a lot to do with why I took the decorations down.  I can’t have another thing that she is disappointed in me for.  She already blames me for the fact that my kids have issues that need medication.  And logically I know it’s not my fault, but when your mom is disappointed in you- you can’t help but take it personally.

Ah well, tomorrow should be interesting, hopefully everything with my mother in law goes well… it tends not to.

Remember this weekend is the epitome of love. There is Someone who loves you so much, unconditionally, He calls you beloved. All you have to do is call His name, ask Him into your life, and make Him your Lord and Savior.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Happy Easter to everyone. Remember- spoiler alert- the tomb was empty that Happy Easter morning. ❤️

PollyAnna’s Spirit Lives on….

Apparently, it’s not the act of practicing gratitude that I had an issue with when PollyAnna assigned it, it was the fact that I was being told what to do.  And apparently, I have a problem with that….. who knew?

This morning I pulled out the old gratitude journal and added a couple of entries of things I was grateful for yesterday- my daughter having an amazing day at school, her being awarded quiet seat in her after school club (anyone who knows my little girl knows that’s as rare as a unicorn for her to be quiet), my son having a good time at his first lacrosse practice, and his being nominated into Upward Bound.

And if I am honest with myself, finding things to be grateful for is a tough one.  But the other night as I was brainlessly scrolling through my facebook feed I came upon this that Lysa TerKeurst had posted:

Bad attitudes breed bad attitudes.

Grumpy Hearts breed more grumpy hearts.

Ungratefulness breeds ungratefulness.

On the flip side, praising God breeds more

Reasons to praise God.

Thankfulness breeds more thankfulness.

And a person who practices both praising and thanking

Has a rare joy that very few people possess.

Today, let’s choose to be people who give praises

To our God so we can become people overflowing

With joy from our God.

~Lysa TerKeurst

Ouch! It’s true, I can rarely see things to be grateful for unless they are “huge” in my world like the things above were.  So I am working hard to be more mindful of the things I need to be grateful for, the little things that are a blessing.

And at the other end of the spectrum is my dad.  He calls me just about every day (and sometimes multiple times in a day).  I almost always pick up.  Occasionally I am having a bad day so I don’t answer, but in the past week I have talked to him 1 time on Tuesday, he called 2x on Thursday but I only was able to answer 1 time, I talked to him 1 time on Friday and he called on Sunday.  I just didn’t have it in me to talk so I ignored the call.  he called yesterday while I was teaching my co op class (only one more YAY!!!) and he left me a rude email about the fact that I must be mad at him because he has called me 3 times over the last couple days and I don’t get back to him blah blah blah.  So I get that pit in my stomach- the same one I used to get when I was a kid and knew I was going to be in trouble, and punched in the numbers.  Now let me explain- he lives in a nursing home, he refuses to pay to have a line put in his room.  So I have to go through 2 menus, get the nurses station, ask for him, they have to transfer me to a portable phone and bring the phone to him.

So- I go through all that, and when he gets on the line he proceeds to berate me for not talking to him in a long time, that he gets my voicemail too much, that I never call him.  I explain to him that it’s not an easy process to get through to him, I can’t just dial and he pick up the phone, (what I don’t explain is that I HATE talking on the phone with all of my being).  I remind him that I talk to him almost every day, and that my brother and sister don’t talk to him nearly that much.  He then moves on to being ranting and raving about how one of the nurses there looks like his step father, and does his bandage on his hand too tight, and how everyone is sick so they have locked down the floor, and how angry he is that he has to get up at 3:30 in the morning in order to be ready every day (he only has dialysis 3x a week so technically he could get up that early 3x a week and sleep in the other 4), and honestly if he weren’t so vain he wouldn’t have to get up that early.  He HAS to shave, he refuses to use an electric razor and won’t let anyone do it for him… well he is right handed, he lost his right ring finger, and has necrotic tissue and may end up losing his hand as well… so he has to do everything left handed, and he was yelling at me about it.  I wanted to ask him how all the Pepsi and devil dogs tasted now, but I held my tongue- and let him make me feel small like I always do.  He then tells me that I am volatile- what does that mean?  I asked him, he said he feels like I could have a nervous breakdown at any moment (now let’s stop here- if he feels this way WHY on God’s green earth would he provoke me, and treat me like that – oh yeah he’s a narcissist).  I told him I had a nervous breakdown two years ago, this is the aftermath.  After that he decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and hung up.

Why?  Why can’t I just cut him out of my life?  Why do I care that he’s mad at me?  Why do I listen to his condemning words and believe them?  He is alone because he drove everyone away.  We all left him at some point- me when I was 17 I left home and lived with friends of my husbands (literally strangers to me I met them for the first time the night I moved in), my mom, my sister keeps him at arms length, his long strong of girl friends after my mom and he split up, his last girlfriend/fiance of 11+ years.  He’s alone because he’s a miserable, mean human being.  And so maybe I keep answering the phone because he’s my dad, the only biological father I will ever have.  Maybe it’s because I know he’s lonely.  Maybe I still have this need to please him deep in my bones. But why do I let his words hiss in my ear, reverberate in my brain for days.  “you’re not good enough”, “you’re doing things wrong”, “you don’t love me”…. on and on.  His words are echoed by satan day after day after day… I’m all wrong.  I’m not good enough, I will never enough……

I think a big part of that is the reason I struggle with understanding the love of a Heavenly Father.  I get Jesus.  I understand His love.  But from a very young age from my father I received ridicule, condemnation, hurt….the scars are there- honestly they aren’t even scars they are gaping open sores, that he aggravates every time we talk.  It’s something my counselor and I are going to explore- how to have a relationship with him, whether I want to, the pros and cons etc. (PS new counselor still doesn’t have a name).

I have been trying to be more mindful of that nagging gremlin voice in my head that convinces me that all the bad thoughts are true- but as much as I notice the gremlin, I am still listening to him.

Another thing that my counselor and I talked about today is the fact that I can’t understand emotions.  I get the extremes- happy/joyful and angry/irritable/sad/anxious.  But everything in between I don’t get it. We were talking about her wanting me to track my moods.  I told her I have been, since the first of the year, but that I am struggling right now, because I don’t really know WHAT I feel.  The best I can explain is blah. She said that’s depression.  I guess you don’t have to be angry/irritable or crying to be depressed.  I told her for me it’s like a skein of yarn that you are trying to unravel because it’s all tangled.  I have one end untangled in a small ball and that’s happy/joyful and the other end has some untangled and rolled in to a ball and that’s angry/sad/anxious and the two are connected with this huge mess of string between them that’s everything else, and that being in the middle is confusing and uncomfortable for me.  That I would rather stay where it’s ordered, comfortable (because of familiarity not because it’s comfortable) even if that means I am sad and angry.  This blah business is hard.

Well I guess that’s all for this time.  At least I had something good to say.  Something positive to share. And I think that this new counselor and I are going to get along good- she doesn’t touch door knobs either 😉

Until next time…

Interesting…

I met with my counselor today (she really needs a name)… and it was interestsing how my post from yesterday fit in.   We finally finished up the intake questions today.  Now we can really “start”.

But she always gives me time at the start of our visit to just “let it all out”.  The things I just have to say.  And today one of the most pressing things was asking her why I ask people impossible questions.  And I think the question might have caught her off guard, but she said there’s a lot more to get into but one of her hypotheses is something called the Pain Body.  It’s something that a person named Eckhart Tolle came up with.

Here’s an excerpt from a website explaining it:

The usual pattern of thought creating emotion is reversed in the case of the pain-body, at least initially. Emotion from the pain-body quickly gains control of your thinking, and once your mind has been taken over by the pain-body, your thinking becomes negative. The voice in your head will be telling sad, anxious, or angry stories about yourself or your life, about other people, about past, future, or imaginary events. The voice will be blaming, accusing, complaining, imagining. And you are totally identified with whatever the voice says, believe all its distorted thoughts. At that point, the addiction to unhappiness has set in.

It is not so much that you cannot stop your train of negative thoughts, but that you don’t want to. This is because the pain-body at that time is living through you, pretending to be you. And to the pain-body, pain is pleasure. It eagerly devours every negative thought. In fact, the usual voice in your head has now become the voice of the pain-body. It has taken over the internal dialogue. A vicious circle becomes established between the pain-body and your thinking. Every thought feeds the pain-body and in turn the pain-body generates more thoughts. At some point, after a few hours or even a few days, it has replenished itself and returns to its dormant stage, leaving behind a depleted organism and a body that is much more susceptible to illness. If that sounds to you like a psychic parasite, you are right. That’s exactly what it is.

http://communicate.eckharttolle.com/news/2014/08/13/when-the-pain-body-awakens/

Now, I don’t know enough about this man to know if what he says is right.  I haven’t done nearly enough research to see where this aligns with my Christian beliefs.  BUT it makes sense to me.

I was telling hubby today, it’s like I don’t want to get better, like I don’t want to be happy.  I find ways to punish myself, ways to prove to myself I am unloveable (the impossible questions would fall in here).  I explained it like this- I asked my mother a question that had 3 obvious answers:

  1.  No I am not – to which I would think she is lying and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.
  2. Yes I am – which would prove I am “bad” an “embarrassment”
  3. The answer she gave- which proves to me (even if she doesn’t mean it that way) that I am “bad”.

You see, there is no right answer.  In all those answers I am the bad one. I don’t want to be like my dad, and yet- and I struggle to make my fingers type this- I have been unpredictable mood wise, angry over little things, resentful.

My fingers shook as I typed that.  It’s an extremely hard truth to face. 

I am living in a constant state of self-inflicted pain, in response to the pain I have already suffered?  the pain I am afraid I will suffer? I don’t know. I don’t know why I do this to myself.  I don’t know why someone as intelligent and as insightful as me can let this go on.  Why in over a year I haven’t gotten any better, and when I do start to crawl out of the pit I am in do I fling myself to the bottom again as if I saw something shiny down there that I had to get.

And that right there, that’s what makes me angry all over again- angry at myself. But guess what- I won’t do anything to change any of it. Like I said it’s like I don’t want to get better.  My husband tells me this isn’t an option.  And I want to scream, “don’t you think if I knew how to do it differently I would?”.  But I am tired.  I am tired of fighting, of feeling sad, of being angry, of being so irritable to those who I love most.  It kills me that I am hurting those that are closest to me.

There are days, a lot of days, I think about just leaving.  The thought kills me.  I love my husband and children more than anything in the world, but I can’t stand to make them live in this upheaval.  Hubby would say that should be incentive enough to change.  But I honestly have been trying and I just can’t get off this merry-go-round…..

I don’t know just more thoughts floating through my head.

*** I found this article http://www1.cbn.com/biblestudy/could-oprah-be-wrong%3F that talks about why Eckhart Tolle is not Christian, and in fact teaching anti-Christian things.  And I definitely agree with what they say- I haven’t read Tolle’s book and never planned to.  So what I would say is take the passage above at face value.  Look at it through the lens of Jesus.  Those who allow the “pain-body” to hurt continually hurt us, are letting the Enemy attack us, and we are believing his lies.  And it isn’t until we stand up to him with the Truth that we are able to kick him out of our heads- permanently or not just until next time he finds us weak….. ****

Anyway that’s my take away.  And I can get on board with that, the pain-body is Satan’s influence in my brain.  He makes me forget “it is finished”.  That I am redeemed, loved, chosen and all the other wonderful names Jesus has for me…… now how to get his voice out of my life forever.

Poverty

People in Poverty: A part of the general population of a given area, who do not have adequate resources to live fully independent lives.  These people tend to need help in the areas of Food, Healthcare, Education and sometimes even cash benefits (as in TANF-Temporary Aid for Needy Families).  Also a part of the general population that many people discriminate against, make unjust assumptions about, and have attitudes that cause those in a state of poverty shame.

This was my definition.  I didn’t look it up.  I spoke from my heart and my experience. My family is poor.  Am I ashamed to say that? A little. Am I ashamed when I pull out my electronic benefits card (EBT- not sure what the T stands for) to pay for purchases of food, or other things because we collect TANF?  Yes.

I am mentally ill.  You all know that.  I have recently added personality disorder to my ever growing list of mental ailments.  So that would be major depressive disorder, severe, recurrent, treatment resistant; OCD; PTSD; Trauma; Severe Generalized anxiety disorder. I can not work. There are days I can’t leave my house.

My husband is sick.  Do we know exactly what’s wrong with him? No. He has seen so many doctor’s but it always ends up the same, herniated disc at L5S1, some sort of cyst on his S2 vertebra, desiccation of the L4 disc. Fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, major depressive disorder, and I can’t remember the rest of the list. But it’s long.

My husband first became sick in Oct 2013.  He continued to get worse until June of 2014, when he was working at a car dealership as a mechanic and almost dropped a mustang off the lift.  It was at that point he realized he shouldn’t be working.  His exhaustion and pain were too intolerable. He went out on short term disability, and eventually lost his job.

We looked at the bright side of it, and he started his own business in January 2015, and tried really hard to run it all alone for 2 years 2 months.  He was successful, turning a profit each of those years, however, the pain and exhaustion worsened, the depression at his situation worsened, he herniated the disc, and in March of 2017 decided he couldn’t keep up and he closed the business.  This was a blow to us.  Financially of course, but also emotionally.  I still tear up when I drive by the place, or think about the stack of business cards he has.

Today he went to see a new rheumatologist.  She was rude, condescending, unaware of his medical history, and made snap assumptions.  Just because she never received a copy of his two most recent MRIs she basically told him he was a liar.  She told him that “chronic pain” is subjective and he should go back to work, and work through the pain.  This all within minutes of meeting him.  He feels she looked that he was on medicaid, and out of work and therefore poor and lazy.  She said he doesn’t have fibromyalgia despite the fact that she didn’t even examine him or do the pressure point test.  Despite 4 other doctors diagnosing him with fibromyalgia.

To say I was angry about this appointment is an understatement.  But there isn’t anything I can do about it.  There is nothing he can do about it.  I am so sick of the rhetoric that vilifies the poor.  We are not all lazy, free-loaders.  Some of us are fighting physical or mental battles that you can’t see.  You all know what they say about assumptions….

We are still waiting on the decision for disability.  We’ve been waiting for almost a year. I know this can be a long process, but after today’s visit we are discouraged and just want this all over.

I know I have said it before, and probably a lot lately, but this is not the life we planned for.  Not the life we imagined when we were two young starry-eye kids planning their future. Never did we think we would be poor, we didn’t imagine to both be disabled in one way or another, we didn’t imagine so many things.

We are trying to adapt, to find new dreams, but it’s hard in the face of the adversities we have encountered.  We are trying to just trust in God and His perfect plan.  But when you are kicked repeatedly and you are already down, it takes it’s toll.

And for me that looks like indulging in one of my three compulsions- self harm, spending money we don’t have or compulsively eating.  Today my drug of choice was self harm.  The insides of my lower arm are carved up.  Im not sure why physical pain helps when I am hurting so badly, but it does, for a little while. And now a several hours later, the anger has subsided some, but a deep rooted, soul-crushing sadness has overcome me. I wish that we would catch a break, we need it.