I want what she has…

My daughter went into first grade in public school this year. I have homeschooled for the past five years. She did first grade at home last year but I just couldn’t teach her to read, or write her letters and numbers.

As it turned out she had an issue with her eyes that needed therapy weekly. She entered first grade without ANY sight words. She struggled writing letters correctly (she still does but it’s so much better). In January with interventions she made it to level 4/5. When they leave first grade they want them to be level 16-20. It was pretty clear my daughter would need summer school. Each week she inched along. About a month or so ago she was at a level 12. Which is AMAZING progress, but they were still recommending summer school.

I got an email from her teacher the other day, her final assessment put her at a level 16, 98% fluency and instructional level comprehension.

I could learn a lot from this soon to be 8 year old. She went from the bottom of the ladder in reading, so to speak, and with hard work and determination she got herself to the top.

She is one of the kindest friendliest child in the first grade. She helps her classmates with the subjects she’s strong in. She’s something special that’s for sure.

And she doesn’t give up. She’s strong. She must have a belief in herself to go from where she was to where she is.

I would be remiss to not also recognize the teacher and reading recovery teacher she had. They were AMAZING and both will be missed terribly. But without an inner drive, an inner strength, even with all the help in the world she wouldn’t have gone as far as she did. No one, not me, not her father, not her teachers expected her to catch up to the other students in a school year. She had eye issues, she was basically starting from scratch. But she surprised us all.

I want to be her when I grow up. I want to be the person who can be last in the race, keep on trucking and finish with everyone else.

She is my hero.

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. ❤️

Life block?

I started a post last night about why I haven’t written much lately, but it isn’t so much that I haven’t written lately, it’s not writer’s block- it’s life block.  I am barely living my life.  I am not someone I have ever been, or ever dreamed I would be. Part of me wants to be curled up in bed, or watching TV or reading.  And part of me looks at that part of me with disgust.

That part of me, looks at me and how I am living my life right now and wants to scream “wake the hell up”.  You have two wonderful children- yes they have issues, but they are amazing human beings.  Stop yelling at them for making messes, for wanting to play with slime, for being a typical teenager with earbuds in.  You have an amazing husband who stands by you no matter what.  He’s picked up the cooking when you dropped it, he doesn’t feel well either and yet he humor’s your breakdown.  He listens to every bit of whining you do about your past, or how you look, or how much this isn’t the life you dreamed of.  This isn’t the life he dreamed of either.  He didn’t expect to be unable to work at 38 years old.  He didn’t expect to have to depend on the “system”, he expected to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, and work hard all his life, to come home and be a jack of all trades, to be able to take vacations, and be able to do things he wanted to do.  That part of me, looks at me with disgust and disappointment.  Thinks I am selfish.  Hates me.  That part of me knows I am a disappointment to my family, that I have never done anything or accomplished anything.

And that part of me? Hates all of me.  Hates itself for not being stronger, for not being able to “snap out of it”.

I want so badly to wake up tomorrow and to smile, to be thankful for another day, to get up  and make breakfast, happily get my kids ready for school, or better yet still be homeschooling them, to cook my husband a good meal at dinner time.  To be the fun mom that makes slime, that let’s them cook in the kitchen and make a mess.  The mom who understands that her teenager pushing her away isn’t about her, that it’s about growth and independence.

But instead I am trapped in a prison of my own construct.  No matter how much I WANT to snap out of it, I can’t. I have mental illness.  It’s not laziness, it’s not weakness, it’s not selfishness.  It’s just as real as a physical illness.  I KNOW this is my logical mind.  In the part of my mind that Mary Poppins would say my insight lives.  But I can’t seem to accept any truth where I am not at fault for everything.

Another reason I haven’t written is that I just don’t seem to be able to muster up the energy most days.  For some reason that is unfathomable to me, February was a crazy stupidly busy month.  And what 2 years ago I would have scoffed at and completed with ease, makes me need a long nap.  My counselor and I were talking today about the fact that I am just drained all the time, I am grumpy and irritable, I have no hobbies anymore – even the thought of taking out my knitting needles makes me tired.  She told me about the “spoon theory”.  She explained it that we have a certain number of spoons everyday, and as a person with my mental illness has fewer spoons that someone without it.  So where someone without mental illness can get up at 6am, shower, get their kids off to school, make breakfast and maybe work out and only use a spoon, me just thinking about getting up out of bed to face another day uses a spoon.  And showering uses a spoon or two.  That by the end of the day I don’t have any spoons left.  So true. The only reason I have the energy to write all this out today is that I took a nap already, and I am home alone.  Hubby has taken little one to occupational therapy, and big one is still at school.  No one needs me at the moment.

Last night I was laying in bed thinking about how hubby has to take little one to occupational therapy and maybe I should surprise him and make dinner.  I want to do that so much, but just thinking about the work it will take makes me exhausted.  I am going to try.  Even though everything I cook lately comes out terribly, even though it will wear me out.  Sometimes I think I don’t express enough gratitude for all the does for us.  He is the unsung hero, here in the family, holding us up, when he himself can barely stand.   So while he might not be able to work, he is providing something so much more important than financial support, he is carrying the weight of it all on him. I will never be able to pay him back for all he does.  I just wish my family could see the tremendous amount he contributes to our lives.  I wish they would look at him the way I look at him and see a hero.

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.