Saturday, November 13, 2010

If Heaven Had a Phone...

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I would call Thomas and talk to him about the daily struggles his kids are facing. I would ask him for advice on dealing with his son's anxiety, because he, too, struggled with panic attacks and general anxiety. I could ask him to talk to Destin, and let him know he really isn't having a heart attack every time he has a panic attack. I would ask him what punishments he thinks are appropriate for the things that have happened lately. I would ask him to talk to Destin about drug use and all of the problems it caused him and his family. I could have him explain to the kids that he became such a different person when he became a father, and that he wasn't like all the druggies in his family anymore. He could reassure me that he is happy that he was able to work enough that his family receives his SSI, and allows me to provide for his kids no matter what. He would tell me that I need to stop feeling guilty and I need to remember to forgive and not judge.

 I would be able to talk to him  about his nieces. I would tell him how we were right, that their step-dad was sexually abusing them. I would tell him how they moved in here, and the oldest one attempted suicide several times while she was here. I would tell him that the younger one is pregnant. I would tell him about all of the late night calls, and hospital stays, the talks about the horrible things they have endured and how sad I am that we didn't do more. I would tell him that the older one is such a beautiful caring person who's pain runs so deep that she can't even see her own beauty. I would tell how the younger one is so beautiful on the outside, but is living in a life if denial, that makes her ugly inside. I can hear him laughing when I tell him that she hates me, because we both know that there is always time for healing and forgiveness.

If heaven had a phone, I would call my mother and ask for her advice. I would ask what anyone could have done to prevent her suicide. I would ask her what I can do to help save my nieces life. I would update her on all of her grandkids. I would ask her why she left us. I would remind her that I forgive her and tell her how much I love her.

If heaven had a phone, I would call my Grandma and tell her I understand what she meant when she used to tell me she is so tired, she wishes that she could just lay down, close her eyes, and never wake up. I would wait for her kind, warm, words of wisdom, and soak up her beautiful voice. I would ask her if she is caring for my little Arianna, and perhaps she would tell me my grandpa is holding her right now. I would ask her for her choke cherry jelly recipe and tell her how much I wish she was her to show me how to make it. I would talk to her about how angry I am with my step- grandma for forcing me out of our home after grandpa died, and how I haven't been in the house for almost five years. She already knows about everything, and she would remind me that harboring anger only hurts me, that I have all the great memories of that house, and that I should practice forgiveness to free my soul.

If heaven had a phone, I would talk to my grandpa and tell him how scared and alone I feel sometimes and he would tell me to quit that nonsense. I would tell him how sorry I am that I didn't listen more. I would tell him how lucky I was to have grandparents, and how bad I wish my kids had grandparents. I know he would tell me that when he was raising me alone, he had to be my mom and grandma and dad and grandpa, and I would remember that he did a wonderful job. I would remind myself that I need to forgive myself, and keep doing the best that I can do.

Who would you call if heaven had a phone?






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Friday, October 22, 2010

Who I Am

I am so many things. A woman, mother, survivor. My life has had so many experiences and it is mottled by so many stereotypically "bad" things. Today for the first time I have realized that long ago, I mastered defining myself. Is the definition complete? Of course not. Do you see me as I see myself? Probably not.

Take for instance, one recent aspect of my life... my chronic binge drinking. Do I call myself an alcoholic? no. When my life got out of control with an addiction to meth, did I call myself an addict? no.

There are always aspects of my life that are out of control, yet I still remain strong and I am able to proceed with this certain confidence that I can do anything I want to. Why? because I genuinely believe it.

I don't believe in God. Haven't for a long time. I believe in the good of all people and I believe there is good energy, beyond what we can see, that can be felt and can be harnessed, but I do not believe in some judgmental guyish type entity that has control over anything or that has expectations of me or that will punish me if I do not act accordingly.

I also do not believe there is a conscious existence after this one, so I really do make the most of using my consciousness :)

I know I haven't been around in a while. To try and explain all of the missed events would take entirely too much time and most of all energy for me to relive so that I could type it all out.

Today I spent the better part of the day looking for blogs on eating disorders. My niece is bulimic and she has been staying with us for awhile. When I haven't been reacting to a suicide attempt, panic attack, or sitting in an emergency room or psych hospital, I have been trying to understand the pressures that could lead to such self destructive behaviors.

The big thing that is missing, is self acceptance. As I read blog after blog, no matter the subject matter, there is a consistent theme of people who do not accept themselves. Fear that their appearance is not good enough, belief that they are unlovable, pain that they do not see themselves as capable of curing- whether it be emotional or physical pain.... and even worse I see so many people using one substance or another to try and feel better.

I guess that the big difference for me is that I learned to accept myself. I have also abused substances, but I abused them for the immediate gratification of whatever effect they caused and not to numb any type of emotional pain. When I abused meth, it was because I was recovering from a physical dependency on prescribed pain medicine and I liked the energy and alertness it gave me. My addictions were more of a physical and chemical relationship and when the risks outweighed the benefits, I quit. It was so easy because I did not have emotional dependencies on the substances.

It seems like such an aha for me to realize this for myself, but also as it applies to anyone else who is suffering. The key to overcoming an addiction or self destructive behavior or disorder is self acceptance.

Ironically, I did not master this until I had gastric bypass surgery because I was miserable in my 360 lb body, lost 200 lbs, had a body lift and got boobs, and realized that I could change my packaging all I wanted, but all it really changed is how other people saw me. What this taught me, was that what really mattered all along is how I saw me. How could I have ever thought that someone else's opinion of me trumped mine? How could I have ever thought that any one individual life was more important than another. You need to matter to you. You can be the best you and honor the good in you through self acceptance.

Where does this leave me today? That is the question I am asking myself. I haven't quite found my place in society, but I secured my place in the Universe from the start. I am not sure I want a place in society. I don't look too highly on fancy houses or cars. I only get out of my pajamas if I have to! None of my possessions define me and to be quite honest, most things in my house are purely functional, nothing impressive.

I took back control of negative and positive energy in my life when I realized nobody deserved to cause me pain, and that I have a right to decide what and who I want in my life. So yes, I have amazing emotional control over my life. I do not have any of the typical things that people usually associate with happiness, but I have myself and I happen to like me, so I am happy.

In any given situation in my life there is always one constant, me. If I don't like me then there is always going to be negativity in everything that I do. If the negativity got to be so constant and overwhelming, I can see why I would use other outlets to try and bring positive in or get the negative out... such as needing a codependent relationship, a substance, etc.

Some people have religious beliefs and they believe that the only constants are themselves, God, and Satan. I don't like that equation because it gives away too much. I like having control over how much negative is in my life and I don't like writing off certain behaviors as godly or evil. I believe everyone is capable of making their life something that they love. I just don't know how to help someone else to believe in themselves.








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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've been lying to you...

... actually I just wasn't telling the whole truth. Over the last couple of months I haven't even thought of writing. Why? The events of my life have been too chaotic and have taken up all of my energy.

I am on a new path of self discovery, but it is only after I confess something, that I can feel that this new path can begin here. So here it is.... since before I even began this blog, I was an alcoholic, and so much of what has been written here was done so in complete drunkenness.

There I finally said it!

When I started writing here I was in denial. I thought I was just socially drinking and having a good old time. I was so proud of myself for beating meth that I justified a 2+ year long alcoholic celebration.

I don't know how many times I thought about mentioning it, but I was afraid it would take away my credibility. I was really enjoying being a supportive voice to other addicts and their parents. I had not accepted that drinking to the point of blacking out everyday was a problem.

My guilt really started to accumulate when I started to see a pattern of out of control spending on alcohol and not enough money for necessities. I knew that I could easily turn to many of my online friends for support, but the truth was, I just wasn't ready to quit. I didn't know what to replace it with.

So here I am, slowly taking steps forward on life's uncertain path. My life did not spiral out of control the way that it did with meth, but I realized I was taking a wrong turn and headed slowly back in the wrong direction.

It feels good to have many consecutive sober days, to be without the daily need of alcohol, and to remember going to bed at night.

Sometimes I would write here on this blog, while I was blacked out, and it would be like a little surprise to get up in the morning and see if my blacked out mind matched up with my sober one.

It is never too late to start taking steps in the right direction.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Calm acceptance and moments of contentment, despite my daily struggles

Swirling water Pictures, Images and Photos

My head is swirling with thoughts and ideas. I haven't found where I want to be in life, but somehow, I feel for me, that when I have, that will actually be when my life is literally over.

Everyday I have a new idea, new insights, and new passions that guide me. I ALWAYS have more questions than answers. I have a semi-conscious voice that reminds me of what I "should be" doing on a regular basis. When I drive down our street of lower-middle income houses, down to the only duplex at the end of the street, that we only rent, I long for home ownership. I briefly envy the newer cars, the boats and RV's parked beside these homes. I imagine the professions these people have in order to allow these luxuries. I imagine houses full of family and love, and many good times shared, and for a brief moment it feels like the only way to have these things is to own a home, a nice car, some toys, and a mentionable profession.

Then I pull in to my front "yard" that is really an asphalt blacktop with scattered weeds. I get out of my wrecked minivan (only had liability when we were rear ended in a hit and run) and I walk up to check the mail, in the mailbox that is about ready to fall off the house, and I settle back into reality.

I walk into my poorly cooled house, settle into the recliner that is next to the window AC, the one that has a view of the street. It is the place that I sit anxiously, when my kids are gone, either at school or playing, anticipating their safe return.

Today I sit and I daydream about my goals... My unfinished degree that was sidelined by my drug addiction... All of the things I once had to "show" for my accomplishments... The new furniture I bought on my own, while supporting my kids and going to school... The Tahoe that I was almost done paying off... The drastic weight loss and plastic surgery that left me looking completely normal, if not even "hot" not so long ago... The credit that I was so close to repairing, after ruining it once before. A lot has changed since then. I do not have any of those things anymore. I lost them all to drug addiction, but the important part for me now, is that they got out of the way, so I could see ME.

The me on the inside is better now, even without all of those things. I think often when people around an addict first assess the situation, they see a loss of "things" and that really drives the pain deeper to the addict, who has likely already lost themselves inside. By the time someone started to take notice of my deteriorated emotional state, I had already heard over and over all of the monetary loss I was causing myself and others. My self worth had already been diminished to that of a societal burden.

It was when I stopped expecting myself to contribute to society, or to the economy, or to the "insert any other person or group of people here," and I realized that I had to contribute only to making my own life work, that I was able to start forgiving and loving myself.

I may never own a house or a camper or a boat. Even though the pain is never completely gone, I have accepted my past. I have accepted the past I had no control over. I have accepted the consequences for the choices I made in the past. I accept my life as it is, even if it is one day at a time and my goals are more dreamlike at this stage in the game.

I choose not to hide behind the things that keep me from seeing me, and so I believe I will have just as much as I need, when I need it.

I may never have a fancy new car, or a perfectly manicured lawn (ha or a lawn at all), or high achieving kids,  but I have people I love to share my time with. I have love to give. I may not have recreational vehicles, but I still have recreation (even if it is a free movie at the park) with the people I care to have in my life.

I still have a lot of work to do to work past a lot of the trauma that life has dealt me and that I dealt myself, but for me, the important part today, is that I am still here for the journey.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

12 year old Suicide and my Son's drug use

Unfortunately I am not referring to a suicide that took place 12 years ago. On June 19th, a beautiful 12 year old girl that is a part of my extended family, succumbed to the injuries she suffered days earlier, when she hung herself and her mother found her unconscious and nearly dead. This has hit me on so many levels and I can't seem to push through it.

For one, my son is 12. I cannot imagine him feeling endless hopelessness at his age. For two, I don't understand how in this specific case, everyone missed all the signs. It is such a tragedy.

I had intended to come here to blog about my son for some time. I fight to be aware of what is going on in his life on all levels and to stay tuned in. He has made new friends in this neighborhood that we moved to over winter break. They are different then his usual crowd. His grades and his interest in school plummeted. He changed his hair and dress style. He started caring less and less about consequences and more about "hanging out" and sleeping.

I knew something was up. Being that we drink, and there is alcohol in the house, and Bryson smokes, we decided it was time to take inventory and start counting/marking the bottles inconspicuously before bed. The first day Bryson woke up and everything was accounted for. he went to work and I left Destin and a friend at home while I ran some errands with the girls. When I came home the boys were gone and I decided I better check again. One beer was missing. I was furious. I called over to the friends and they were there. I told Destin I was coming for him immediately and that he better be able to tell me where the missing beer was by the time I got there.

He denied it even being gone initially. I told him I was taking him to the police station for a Breathalyzer and that if it came back positive then social services would probably get involved again.  His final story was that he let the other kid take it but he didn't drink any of it and that we could go do the Breathalyzer because he really didn't drink any. After a very long conversation about why he no longer had any privileges, or the trust of either of us, and how that was going to change our relationship, I decided that I would let him suffer through the guilt for awhile alone in his room.

I was reeling at Bryson about it and it occurred to me that it was highly unlikely this was the first or only incident. I went back up to his room where I found him sitting on the floor twiddling something in his hands. I sat on the floor next to him and told him we had more to talk about. I told him that I was going to Walgreens for a drug test and that he needed to tell me what I was going to find out before the test did. I couldn't believe my ears when he started crying and said he was so scared to tell me the truth, but that he really wanted to. The truth that he had been smoking cigarettes since he was 10 and had been smoking weed since we moved here in December. I cried. TWO YEARS?

We cried together for a minute. He hugged me and said he was so sorry but also so relieved and that he wanted to quit because football this fall was so important to him. He also said that he doesn't drink because he is scared since drinking is what caused the illness that took his father's life when he was 4. It took me a  minute to compose myself and I decided this was the best time to tell him my own truths so we could start working on that open and more adult-like relationship that I feel is going to be crucial for him during his teen years.

I told him of mine and Bryson's meth addiction. I told him about all of the things that happened because of it. I was actually shocked that he had no idea. He was in second grade when they were taken away from us. I also talked to him about all of the risks of different drugs and them being cut or laced. About overdosing and about legal consequences. I had plenty of family who have lost their kids or are in prison to use as examples. I talked about more immediate possible consequences, like Social Services getting involved or him starting out life with a juvenile record like my brother did. Consequently my brother is in jail right now at the age of 21 because he never stopped making those same choices. He is also well aware of Uncle P who was just paroled here, proceeded to get arrested after a month, and is now facing 4-12 years in prison because of drugs.

I told him that he had no choice but to quit. Honestly I was more upset about the cigarettes. Marijuana is legal for medicinal use in CO and is growing in popularity as a "healing herb." I don't condone it, but I also realize that with it available on every other corner in dispensaries, that talking responsibility is the key.I tried to talk more about how he needs to be of legal age before he chooses ANY legal habit (drinking, smoking, weed) and that he also needs to have the means to support his own habit without stealing. He said he would get the cigarette butts left in Bryson's ash tray. He told me who he had smoked weed with and who had supplied the weed and the paraphernalia. He also said he had stolen some from Uncle P. I am not naive enough to assume I got the whole truth, but I know enough to change the options he has.

I enrolled him in an alternative school, with very small class sizes and much more available guidance throughout the day, for next year. The kids in this neighborhood are off limits for now. He will have to reconnect with church friends or kids from our old neighborhood that I trust. He can no longer be left alone with his friends and no adults. Bryson is now soaking his cigarette butts in water so there are none available here. He isn't allowed to leave the house without us, so no walks looking for butts either.

It has been 3 weeks since I found out. The first week Destin was an irritable, grouchy, shaky mess. We encouraged him to talk about how bad he felt and be honest when he was having cravings. He said going without weed din't bother him, just without cigarettes. We encouraged him that he would feel better and that it would pass. He is uncomfortable around other people smoking in public and says he feels good that he did it. He even said he feels strong that he quit smoking when Bryson can't ;)

I didn't think it would happen so soon, but I was sure experimenting would be a part of his life. I know I can't hold his hand all of the time and there will be plenty more opportunities where he will have to choose what he is going to do. I have to equip him with education about the dangers of drugs and hope he will make good choices.

I was feeling overall confident about how it has played out thus far until the death of this little girl rocked my world. Obviously kids can have completely separate lives from what their parents ever see. Her parents say there were no signs. I saw several status messages that referred to her committing suicide and that no one would care. Even worse, out of her over 100 friends on there, not one commented back that they did care or suggest she talk to someone or tell her parents! Why wasn't anyone paying attention?!?!?

I am into what my kids are doing to a fault. I am on their myspaces. I have their passwords and I do check their phones. They have to ask for permission to be on the computer and I have parental controls that limit what they can do. I also check the browser history to see what sites they go on. Amazingly they don't seem to mind. They ask for my help to do their backgrounds and we look at their friends statuses and pages together. I have always told them they do not have a right to privacy over safety and that I care enough to know what they are doing. Is it enough?

I'm sure I will have more to say on this. I am overwhelmed with it all right now.

I am helping to participate on a facebook group that focuses on childhood bullying and depression and am speaking out in Brianna's honor. Hopefully the loss of her life can save another. I know it will help me to be even more increasingly aware of what is going on in my children's lives and take the time to talk to them and show them I care. I had a really awesome talk with Destin about depression and suicide last night and even how drugs can lead to either. We talked about how friends come and go and that if anyone is ever making him feel worthless he needs to talk about it. I showed him pictures of Brianna, and all the things that her friends are posting in the group, that I know they wish they could have said before it was too late. Drug addiction, depression, and suicide run rampant in our families, and I am not going to sit idly by and lose my children to any of them, if I can help it.

I would like to share the link to Brianna's page as well as her memorial fund. If you can show any emotional or financial support to the people that are grieving an unimaginable loss, it would be appreciated. If there is someone that you can share her story with that it may help, please do.

In Memory of Brianna: Let's put an end to bullying

and

Forever Brianna






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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Navigating life with an uncertain destination...

sometimes leaves my journey clouded and me disoriented. It is utterly astounding to me how the events around you can truly affect your own path.

I wish I had more positivity to report. As some of you may remember from past posts, Bryson's Uncle P, who was our past drug dealer and partner in crime, got paroled to our house. He had continued on the forgery and meth addiction path for a good time after we had stopped and his consequences included 3 years in prison. His parole here was following that 3 years plus some time in a halfway house.

I had some serious concerns. We had some rules that were not up for compromise. It went well initially. he was working at Subway, had his own insured truck and insurance, and was taking his wife to and from work (she is in a halfway house). Then it became apparent that he was not working. When we asked him about it he said his hours had been cut and he was about to get a job at the emissions department for more money.

In the mean time both me and Bryson got pulled over within a weeks time, and learned that both of our licenses had been revoked for unpaid tickets from the past. Uncle P was willing to get Bryson to work and also started taking the kids to and from school (they usually walk). Seemed like a nice gesture, but he was using our car to take Bryson and then deciding he could just use it the rest of the day. Part of me felt afraid to confront him because we had no other options, until either me or Bryson could get our licences reinstated, to get Bryson to work. His weekend shifts start at 6 am and there are no buses running that early. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't just drive his own truck.

After two days I just couldn't take it. I was too afraid of what could possibly happen with our vehicle out of our sight and worried about why he would be driving it. I told him we needed to talk and told him he needed to drive his own truck. Yes we appreciate the rides, but he is not working, he is living here, and he has an insured vehicle. We would be happy to give him gas money for the rides. I also told him I was more comfortable with the kids walking, because I was pretty sure by how he was acting that he was up to no good. I reassured him that we had no tolerance for that in our house and that it would be sooner than later that he would head back to prison if he continued pushing his parole limits.

The next day he took Bryson to work and was not heard from again. He didn't show up at 3 to pick him up. His phone was off. We started calling hospitals and jails about 10 pm. !1pm we get a collect call from him from the city jail. We cannot accept collect calls, but we knew where he was. After a few days of calls and my own investigating here is what I know. He has a new charge of Distribution of a schedule II illegal substance. Distribution means it was either weighed out, he had a scale, or it was such a large amount that it could not be for personal use. There is a 75,000 bond for that charge... yes thousand. He has an out of location for parole with no bond. His truck is in the impound with 3 police holds. One of which is for a hit and run involving an accident and another is for a complete search of the vehicle to look for more drugs.

The best I can take from this is that I followed my gut and am so thankful this did not happen in our car. It is a great learning experience for my 12 year old son and a reminder that helping people cannot come at the cost of my own family's safety. It is also very sad. He is 48 years old. He is supposed to be a role model and someone we can look up to. His wife is going to get out of the halfway house in 10 days and is devastated. We all would of much rather had him working at Subway for $7 an hour than selling drugs to make money. It is sickening.

I am also still sick. I have been to the ER again with the same advice to have an exploratory operation but no insurance and still no appointments for new patients at the clinic.

My son will have his cast off tomorrow and I still have not had any cooperation from the school in getting the parents to help pay for his broken arm. I was told they would send me a school directory and my son could help me figure out if the kids were listed so I could try to contact the parents.

He also got a referral for supposed "gang affiliation" because he and several of his friends "appeared to be all wearing red" on one day and then "appeared to be all in blue" the next day. Are you kidding me? If you knew my son at all and the crowd he hangs with you would find this funny. They are both skaters and hip hop style. Some where basketball jersey's and some wear skinny jeans! Also in case you are unaware, there is no known gang activity happening with 12 year olds in our suburban area that involves changing colors on a daily basis. This is ridiculous.

I am seriously considering homeschooling/unschooling for him next year, but that will have to wait for another post.

The latest and hardest to report update of all, is that night before last my 1 year old kitty was hit by a car. The poor baby drug herself down into our window well (the large kind that allow a person to get out of a basement safely) and then through our window (another 2 feet down) with her whole lower body completely crushed. It is the most painful thing I have ever heard/seen in my life. We rushed her to the vet and there was no hope for her life, only to stop her suffering. She was medicated and loved and then we had no choice but to let her go.

I am so thankful she made it home but I am still in agony over the suffering she endured. I am glad she felt love before she left instead of dying alone in the street. My 2 year old saw her and heard her cry out in pain and she was devastated. It was so unbearable.

I am still teary more often than not. I miss her so much and I am so sad.

Sorry I can't be here more, but obviously life has some things for me to tend to right now. Miss you all so much and I am about halfway caught up on everyone's blogs. Trying to balance my physical pain with my emotional pain and my mothering responsibilities. Thinking of you all as some of your journeys turn positive while others are still struggling.

"No one ever said life would be easy, they just said it would be worth it." ~author unknown



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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blog Song and Dance

I have become increasingly aware of how the blogging world changes for us all. To me it reminds me of song and dance. Sometimes we are feeling at our best and we can dance all night long, so caught up in the moment, we hardly notice how the night just flew by. Sometimes we aren't in the mood or we tire too easily, and so we have to sit a few songs out. Some people decide that going out dancing doesn't fit in with their current lifestyle or doesn't bring the same enjoyment it used to and they stop going.

... and so come the same feelings with blogging. I was kind of shocked and sad to see a few of my favorite people moving on, but realized the bittersweetness of growth. I was also feeling guilty that I have been neglecting to write or comment. In examining my priorities and what is going on in my life, I feel that writing here must be on my terms and when I feel right. My Sacred Insanity was created with the intention of just getting things out. Over time I think it has evolved to be a more in depth story of my past and how I have become who I am today, especially as it relates to addiction and how it almost destroyed me. Right now I need to take a little break from sharing so much, because I am involved in evolving in the present, as I am presented with new life challenges as a parent.

Addiction and loss kind of engulfed My Sacred Insanity and I realized that was okay. I never realized my sharing would help anyone other than me. It just isn't ALL of who I am. I created Acute Verbal Sabbatical as a place where I could share more of me today, and could write in my present struggles and happiness. Every time I want to post, I want to do it here because of the comfort of the people who comment and feel support and give support. I have realized that this isn't the right place for my everyday ramblings and I need some consistency in what is here. 

With that being said, I feel more comfortable saving this space for the right things at the right time. I know when I need to sit a few out. I haven't decided to give up dancing. If you don't see me sharing the music of my soul here, I might just be dancing in my kitchen with my kids over at Acute Verbal Sabbatical.


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In case you were wondering...

I have not felt like writing and have been feeling pretty busy and unmotivated lately. I think we are still recovering from spring break with all 3 kids home all day. We are still adjusting to my husband's schedule working days after 3 years of him working nights. The weather has ranged from blizzards to 80 degree days, and back, several times in the past few weeks.

We have had car troubles and I got pulled over and didn't know my license was cancelled for some reason. Not sure if it's a traffic ticket I didn't take care of from back when I was too high to care, or if it's related to my identity being stolen, also back when I was too high to care.

We are sponsoring Bryson's uncle who is on parole. Ironically he used to be our drug dealer and literal partner in crime. When we got arrested and started working our way back out of the hell hole we created, he continued on the wrong path and wasn't so lucky to get probation. He got out over a year ago but still hadn't learned and went right back to selling dope and violated parole in the halfway house. This time he has made it through a more intensive inmate rehabilitation program than he had to. He finished his time in the halfway house and now he needs somewhere to live. The sad reality and irony is that there are no other family members that are clean and can promise to provide a home free from weapons and drugs, but we can. 

I have to admit I am a little nervous, but we have clarified that we are not the one's who need him here and that anything perceived as risky for our family or that is in anyway violating his parole, means we will report him and and revoke his sponsorship. He is doing random ua's and ba's and should he fail even one it would send him back to prison so there is some comfort in that. Feels kind of weird to be on this side. 

I am still struggling with extreme bouts of insomnia which in turn cause me to feel exhausted all the time and I feel short and irritable with my kids. Still waiting for word on our health insurance application so that I can hopefully get to the root of it all.

Taking things one moment at a time and feeling pretty content with that because it allows me to live with hope for a better moment, despite my emotional and physical discomforts of this moment.




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Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

unexpected

I'm not in the right place to continue my last series of posts just yet. It is a genuine place of existence that deserves to be portrayed in my coherent reality of that time. Although I have healed, and my broken heart has been repaired, the feelings of visiting that broken heart cannot be endured on a continuous basis. Amazingly so, sharing the birth and death of two chapters in my life has opened me up to the possibility of adding another blog. One that is more for my raw and explicit feelings, often stirred from writing. I didn't think I could manage one blog.

I guess much like the mother who gives her all to her first child, pregnant with her second, and finds it incomprehensible that she can equally devote to another, I realize that I have more to say, and just like I grew a whole 'nother heart for each of my children, so shall come the inspiration for my other blog.

Look forward to a new addition (funny I mistyped that addiction the first time, ha!) as well as a continuation of my last post.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Part III- The Beginning of just Me


I stayed a week in the hospital. It was a full blown kidney infection. We decided to do the amniocentesis. I mostly wanted to know she  was really a she. Selfish 13 year old that I was. The ultrasound techs could not find my kidney. Still. The contractions stopped. I was sent home and expected back in school the next day. I showed up, but I did not feel good. I went to the asst. principle's office and he thought I was faking. He sent me to detention. It was in the basement of the school. There were NO windows. Detention was referred to as "prison" and we all knew that our underfunded school was a fire hazard.

I sat through detention, wondering why being sick from pregnancy was worthy of detention. It felt like she was shamed no matter what I did. I went home that night. My boyfriend was his usual stoned, literally overworked self. I started having regular "cramps." I looked to my book first. I now trusted it more. It said what I was experiencing was an emergency. I called my teen parenting teacher. She immediately began yelling at me, telling me I was going to fail out of school and be nothing for my baby. She told me I was melodramatic. I didn't know what that meant. She said to go to bed and come see her in the morning. I listened to her.

I wish I listened to my book. The pain woke me at 2am. I got up and went to go pee, thinking that was the problem. Immediately I felt the thick and slow decent of the warmth spreading down my thighs. Not pee. I said a short prayer as I walked for the light. I had been having periods for over a year before I got pregnant. I knew the hesitant downfall of blood down my leg by now. I also knew it was not compatible with pregnancy. My book told me that.

I woke my boyfriend because I was screaming. My grandparents came rushing down the stairs. I was already dialing the nurse line. They would give me permission to go to the hospital and take care of myself and her.

On the way the contractions were intolerable. I got there and emergency quickly took me to L&D. I was put on a chair resembling a dentist's chair. I remember thinking, a dentist's chair means minor business, an office visit, she  is going to be ok.


Within seconds there was an official looking person telling me that I needed a room, but it was in fact a state hospital, and there were no rooms. I was checked and was dilated to 4. no turning back, too late. A portable NICU bassinet was brought in and I was told to brace myself. Any minute.  I wish that was true. 16 long and agonizing hours of minute apart contractions and I was not even a 7. An epidural wasn't an option, so they physically and mentally numbed me with stadol. She was breech, but even though they gave me false hope, they didn't acknowledge the fact that a 22 weeker, with next to no chance, could not endure a breech delivery. I was given false hope that every minute inside meant she had a better chance.

Nature didn't help me keep her inside. They broke my water, saying there was no going back and they walked out. She was being born, bottom first, the next contraction. Thankfully there was an awesome orderly there to come catch her. 
Bet she thought she was only going to empty trash that day, not empty a 13 year old girl...




Here she was.

Here she was, yet no one came. Maybe if there were a Dr. in the room they would be working miracles, with this little angel fighting, beyond my sight. Yet she was in my arms and I was helpless. I watched her tiny chest raise and fall, with what seemed like the work of a million miracles each time. I could actually see her heart beneath her fragile and thin skin. It was working hard. Still no one came. I saw tears in the lying cheater's eyes. Even he loved her.

Someone finally came, but they knew, and the let us know. THERE WAS NO MORE HOPE. They didn't take her away. There was no oxygen, there was no NICU, there was no airlifting her to Children's Hospital. After all, her mother was only 13. No hope. A lost soul... two lost souls.

I held her from the moment she took that painful first breath to that moment I saw that last fragile beat, and then, nothing. No one was there to tell me she was gone. They were off tending to live births. I spent a magical, painful, intense, love filled, 84 minutes with her, while her strong little heart beat, but they didn't come. Even when she became still, even then I couldn't let her go. I held her 'til she turned blue and unrecognizable.

The hospital was nice enough to give me a grieving room where I could go see her until I could let go. Even though they didn't try to save her, they didn't disgrace her or downplay my loss like our families were doing. "It is better off this way," is not something you say to someone who just lost a baby. She had a preemie diaper and a little hand-made dress, and she was wrapped snuggly in a receiving blanket that my dear sweet friend had brought for her. They made her a tiny hat. They didn't take her to the morgue 'til I could say okay. They took her hand and footprints for me.... they let us name her.


...to be continued...







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Friday, March 12, 2010

Part II- The end of You

Summer school came to an end. The long hot summer days were growing shorter and my belly was growing. I was feeling her move now. Despite all of the commotion in the world around us, I was doing everything to keep her safe. I was not going to be selfish right now.

I had been politely told that I could not continue my education at my Lutheran high school, now that I was showing. I would need to go to a school for pregnant or parenting girls, or a public school with a parenting program. I thought the one that was all girls, that were either pregnant or parenting, would be better.

My first day there, I listened to the stories of all the other girls as we got to know each other. Rape; a one night stand; got pregnant from having a train pulled on her while getting jumped into a gang; still addicted to crack, but trying to change; boyfriend only hits her when she does something really bad, but he loves her. Parents wouldn't pay for an abortion.


Was there anyone here that wanted their baby? I was sure I would find someone. Right?


I managed to stay at the school for two weeks. I saw a mad boyfriend try to run over the mother of his child following an argument after school. I saw pregnant girls smoking weed during lunch hour. When I saw two pregnant mom's exchange crack while I was waiting for my Grandpa to pick me up, I knew this wasn't the place for me.

I switched to the nearby public school with a parenting program. My best friend went there already, but she was a year ahead of me. I would have 6 normal classes. Then I would have one period of "Parenting for Teens" and one period where I would go help at the school daycare, to help watch the other teen moms' babies that were in daycare while their moms were in school. This was definitely more like it.

As I settled in and started making aquaintences, I was thankful to be in a more supportive environment and cautiously optimistic of my future. Even though the drug use and betrayal continued, I chose to embrace motherhood and focus on becoming a mother. I didn't know what having a present mother was like, so I had a lot to learn.

I stopped listening to "You" and started thinking about me. Then I started feeling sick all of the time. I would talk to my parenting counselor or look in my book, "What to Expect When You Are Expecting". She would tell me I was being sensitive, the book would say to call my Dr. She would tell me pregnancy isn't supposed to be fun and I did this to myself, the book would tell me pregnancy doesn't have to be painful and to get support.

I finally called the clinic, (I didn't have a regular Dr. because I was on state insurance) and told them my symptoms. They told me to come in ASAP. I loved the clinic. The social worker would listen to me intently and always smile and tell me, "You are going to do fine!" My clinician explained every procedure and every test, and always acted like my baby mattered as much to her as she did to me. Today they tested my urine and the test came back that I, at least, had a severe UTI (something that was common in this pregnancy and I was used to the symptoms, check-ups, and antibiotics for), but more likely something more severe, such as bladder or kidney infection. I was sent to the hospital immediately.

The hospital was another 20 minutes away, in the heart of downtown. As always, my grandpa was taking me, but we did call my boyfriend to tell him so he could come to the hospital after work instead of going home. We drove around looking for parking for over 20 minutes. He insisted he should drop me off at the door and go park so that I wouldn't have to walk. I knew he couldn't read and I was terrified he might get lost and not be able to find me. We parked 3 blocks away and walked in together.

I was directed to go to Labor and Delivery and that scared me. I was only 20 weeks and my baby could not survive without me yet. I read it in my book. An ultrasound was ordered and that excited me. Maybe her sex would be confirmed. The U.S. tech was not nice and would not tell me anything. She told me I needed to talk to the Doctor. I knew from past ER visits, that something was usually wrong when they won't talk to you. My boyfriend was there now, and the Dr. asked to speak to both of us.

I had a severe kidney infection and it appeared as if my kidney that been operated on as a child might have stopped working and been reabsorbed by my body. One of our baby's kidneys was enlarged. This could be because of my poor kidney function or it can be a common occurrence in babies with down's syndrome. I was already having mild contractions from the infection so first step was to get me on antibiotics and fluids, and some medications to stop the contractions.


The next thing we needed to consider was an amniocentesis. This test would tell them if anything was wrong with her genetically, including down syndrome. According to the Dr., I was early enough in my pregnancy that if I wanted to abort because of a genetic defect, a partial birth abortion would still be considered because of my age, my health, and the baby's condition. The risk is that an amniosentesis sometimes causes preterm labor and since I was already contracting, the risk was greater.


The Dr. left us to talk amongst ourselves and decide. Suddenly my 13 years and his 16 years didn't seem like enough years, even combined, to be discussing the fate of this little girl's life. Tears that had been absent for a long time returned. I bunched up my hospital gown and used it to wipe my face. This exposed my belly and all we could do was stare at it for a moment. I felt like she could feel us staring and might feel our pain and uncertainty. Somehow it felt like my weakness was exposed to her because of my now exposed belly. I quickly covered my belly and began rubbing it, hoping she felt comfortable and safe again, even though I wasn't sure if she was.




...to be continued...



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Thursday, March 11, 2010

You






(If you are in a place where you can listen to my playlist,
 you will here the song that corresponds with the following lyrics)

YOU


You
It's for you
Only you
It's for you

I'll never know
I'll never care
I'll never believe my people
I'll tell you what I say
I'll never lie
I'll never try
I'll never cry for you people
I'll push you
Push you away
As you lonely people
Keep on running around my door
Yes, you lonely people
Keep on begging
Beg for more
And I'll cry for you
Yes I'll die for you
Pain in my heart it is real
And I'll tell you now how I feel inside
Feel in my heart it's for you

It's for you
Only you
It's for you


I'll never try
I'll never die
I'll never push for you people
I'll tell you how I feel
I'll never lie
I'll never cry
I'll never try for you people
I'll tell you, yes it's real
And you lonely people
Keep on passing time away
Yes you lonely people keep on passing,
Pass away

And I'll cry for you
Yes, I'll die for you
Pain in my heart it is real
And I'll tell you now how I feel inside
Feel in my heart it's for you
And I'll take everything
As it comes my way
Pushin' your pain 'round my door
And I'll cry for you yes I'll die for you
Is this blood on my hands all for you?

You shiver
And shudder
Recovers your mother
You feel it take control
All alone
Feel alive
In your soul

Come around town
Steal another dime
Take another line
Won't you feel it
Blanket your soul
Out of mind

Come around town
Steal another dime
Do another crime
Won't you get it higher & higher
All through time

Come around town
Steal another dime
Don't you push your drugs in my face
Yes, I'm feeling
Feeling fine
Don't you push your drugs in my face
Or I'm gonna put you in your place
Fuck you
I don't want it no more
And it's mine
Said this pain in my heart is all mine
Yes, it's mine all alone

I don't want it no more
I don't want it no more
I don't want it no more
I don't want it no more

And it's mine on my own
Yes, it's mine all alone
As I cry for you
Yes, I'll die for you
Pain in my heart, it is real
And I'll take
Everything as it comes my way
Feel in my heart it's for you
And I'll lie for you as I die for you
Pain in my heart it is real
And I'll tell you now
How I feel inside
Fuck you
It's for you 

-Candlebox


What irony I feel when I listen to this song now. I used to sit in front of my full length mirror that was propped against my daybed, putting on my makeup in the dreadful early morning hours, getting ready for summer school, and listening to this song on repeat.  It brought me continuous tears, and I would stare at myself crying, my freshly applied foundation streaking down my face, and tell myself to just shut off the song and quit feeling so upset. I would smudge the foundation and tears together into an acceptable mess. The tears would stop long enough for me to to apply my eyeliner, and then the words would again sink in, and the eyeliner would make a streamlined decent through the botched foundation job.

It was the summer between freshman and sophomore year in high school. I was pregnant. I had miserably failed the last year because of my complicated relationship and pregnancy. It was hot and miserable in August.  I was almost halfway through my pregnancy. The ultrasound tech said she was likely a she. Even though the pregnancy was intentional and desired by both of our lonely hearts, the guy also had other lonely intentions. 


The blissful delusions of my new happy family to be, were disappearing into his incessant clouds of marijuana smoke and lies, which I had no tolerance of after my past, and  at my tender motherly age of 13. This song confirmed both my love, his sickness, his selfishness, and my shattered dreams. It also reflected the lost path of my addicted mother. Melodious pain shared, pure and concise. 

The tears overwhelmed the smeared, tormented surfaces of my young face, poorly disguised by unneeded make up, that I truly believed concealed my insecurities, and dripped down onto my white maternity shirt.

I only had two. A white one and a blue one. The same shirt, different color. My pregnancy was not accepted. My cheating, 16 year old boyfriend made $6.10 an hour, and was slowly buying the bare necessities for our soon to be facade apartment, and life. Garage sales fulfilled a young soon-to-be mother's dream nursery. Car payments, insurance, and feeding us both, consumed the rest of the money quickly. Oh, as did the weed and cocaine. So, there was no money for maternity clothes. 

He had to be up even earlier than I did for his job. His job started at 6 am. Even though he was up at 4 am and gone by 4:30 (he worked 30 mins away and took several of his older coworkers that had lost their licences to work), his marijuana smell lingered when my 6:00 am alarm went off.


It didn't matter how sure I was, his lying, comforting words always convinced me to pretend to believe. Marijuana was a companion to cocaine. Unexplained dirty baggies of green or white residue happened along, as did unrecognized panties. There was always a great story, followed by a proclamation of his undying faith to me, his unequivocal love for our unborn daughter, and inappropriate sexual acts that I called "love."


The stain that began as a drop, spread into the interwoven material of my K-mart maternity shirt. I looked down and it felt like I watched my pain spread before my eyes, staining the canvas of my daughter's pre-existence. I chose to wear my stained maternity shirt anyway. What other person was really going to care what a 13 year old pregnant girl was wearing? So why was I doing my make-up again? 


I remember that we were reading, Follow the River, and how much I loved the escape into the travels of Mary Ingles, and specifically the birthing of a child by an Indian woman, along the side of the river, without pain relief, squatting over dirt, delaying the travels of the Indian tribe that had kidnapped Mary.


 I wasn't sure which reality was better.

Who knew that the pain of my lonely pregnancy, in the heat of summer, sired by a drug addict, immature (acting as an adult), unfaithful companion, was about to take a bittersweet turn for destiny.

to be continued....






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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

... The Storm


I am much calmer today. I am finally recovering from a serious hang over. I am not perfect. A whole lot of anger, induced by sleep deprivation, mixed with a whole lot of wine and an emotional conversation with a girlfriend, can sure stir up some deep seated insecurities.

I was caught up in purely my own suffering and oblivious to Bryson's own need to sleep to go to work. I felt like what I needed was most important and that he should care about it as much as me and put himself on the back burner. For an amount of time that I am uncertain of because it was in "wine time," all I wanted was for him to make me feel better, to help me fall asleep, to say kind words and understand that I understand he can't help his snoring, but it adds to my stress with insomnia. It all made sense in my head, but I have no idea what my tone was or what specifically I said. sigh.

All I know is that when someone I love and trust and look to for comfort, calls me crazy when I am suffering, I become one ranting pissed off chic. This morning when I read my last two posts I almost wanted to delete them. Then I thought to myself, no f*ck it, it is a part of my reality and even in a moment of weakness it shows strength. Even though I had drank too much and was emotional, I had no desire to use drugs. (ok I DID wish I wasn't drunk and could at least take my advil PM) I had no desire to use illegal drugs or abuse another substance.

I still had the hate and resentment of meth even though I had drank too much and I chose to write and express my anger rather than continue to fight with Bryson. There were the ugly words exchanged and then we left it alone. There was no crazy yelling. There was no ugly scene for the kids to wake to. That is such a different place then arguments of past relationships. I am so thankful for this relationship.

This morning we talked about it. We  both expressed our feelings in a non-blaming way and we both listened. We both apologized for the part where our actions turned irresponsible, unthoughtful, disrespectful, or hurtful.

We also brainstormed solutions and took action. He has breathe right strips to try. I have an Rx for trazadone to help me get to sleep. He is going to take extra care to listen for Victorya in case the meds work too well and I can't hear her.

We have agreed that if these steps don't work, we are going to get a twin bed to put in the office so that no one needs to sleep on the couch and there will be no hurt feelings that we sleep in separate rooms until I can start sleeping again.

I am so thankful for the capability to do the next right thing and to know that our lives are not perfect, but that makes me appreciate living it that much more.





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Reality: the hardest blow








Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. -Sun Tzu

Just when I thought my best friend would show up. Just when I thought I was not alone in the universe... and I thought HE would be here... I was met with the hardest words I could hear from someone, especially Him. "What do you want ME to do? It is not MY fault YOU can't sleep, YOU are crazy!"

He who sleeps peacefully, snoring,  and NEVER worries about the wellbeing of his daughter (or all of her previous 29 months of existence) because the "crazy" betrayed, isolated, bi-polar, orphaned chic, that you happen to sleep with once in a while, has it covered. You trust the "crazy" chic with your baby, sober or not.  (OH AND she has TWO orphaned children that mar your existence and pay your way with their SSI.) Your  baby's momma, can't sleep, does all the emotional work and your laundry and sugar coats your existence. Fuck your paycheck, YOU are crazy. What do you want ME to do?


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Dear Insomnia and Sleep,



Insomnia, I am done being nice. I fucking hate you. You are unwelcome. My best friend, sleep, is your nemesis, and I refuse to take your side. Real friends have given me weapons that your sneaky ass is demolishing. Breathing, and meditation, (maybe even misinterpreted as mediation), and even my non-religious prayer; all close friends of mine; introduced by many trusted allies, and widely accepted here, are being rejected by your demoralizing presence. Wine and PM pills do not defeat you and further my frustration. Easy sleep (and DREADFUL EVIDENCE of snoring) by loved ones is mistaken as my misfortune because of your powerful grip. You bastard. Why would you steal my best friend, sleep? Sleep is so much safer than my other vices? WHY are you testing me. Sleep used to be my ONLY vice. Did I test you with my meth/awake addiction?
Are you jealous that I only needed to be awake in moderation as I became healthy? Why are YOU testing me?

Sleep, you are not like meth. I can fucking survive without you, that dirty whore showed you that. Insomnia, why are you even competing when you know sleep was always my favorite? Sleep, I didn't mean to betray you. I want you back. I LOVE YOU SLEEP.

Sleep, I love you and I miss you, please believe me.


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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Inertia and Momentum

It seems to me that I am unequivocally being affected by the laws of physics.




Getting to sleep has been a nightmare. Getting out of bed equally as frightening. I have been using Tylenol PM and it slowly gets me to sleep and gives me about 3 hours. From that point on, I suffer through countless periods of semi-conscious racing thoughts mixed with brief periods of sleeping with lucid dreams. By the time morning comes and I SHOULD just get up, I have argued enough with my conscious mind to convince myself that if I stay in bed for just a half hour more I might fall asleep. I SHOULD be waking up my 2 year old to get her on a better schedule now that Bryson is working days. 


Instead, I watch her sleep and breath peacefully, feeling envious and content at the same. I do not get up until she does, usually about noon, when she is enough reason to break my inertia and gives me just enough momentum to get up.


The rest of the day is filled with the usual array of family going ons. Clean the kitchen, get dinner ready, make her lunch (breakfast), kids home from school, homework, facebooking, blog reading,  friends over, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, diaper changing, eating, cleaning, and then comes the dreaded time that me and my 2 year old SHOULD be going to bed. I try not to think about it so that anxiety doesn't set in. I put a movie on for her, hoping she may fall asleep early, and promise myself I will wake her up early the next morning so that she will not want to stay up so late.


The rest of the house turns in and sleep comes for them almost immediately. The sound of my husband's snoring is infuriating at times because I am so jealous of his easy sleep. My 2 year old is joyful company, but even she cannot wait up with me. Sleep comes for her and I know that means morning is coming. I am afraid to stop going. My momentum tugs at me, urges me on. Ten minutes turn to twenty, my anxiety is at its peak.


 I take the Tylenol Pm. I lay down and search for the recognizable comfort and relief I am used to feeling when bedtime comes. It is not there. I kick my husband so he will change positions and relieve me of the burden of his snoring for a short while. I start my nightly dance with my racing thoughts, pleading for them to slow down. The cycle repeats and somewhere my momentum gives up, inertia sets in and its time to try to get up early again.


This cycle is making me feel crazy. I feel defeated. I have tried prescription sleeping pills in the past and I am super sensitive to them. Even half of the smallest dose puts me into a coma-like sleep. They are totally incompatible with the need to sleep and listen for my little one. Not that I have insurance or a Dr. to discuss medication options with. 


I am here and reading. My coherent thoughts don't feel worth writing lately. I can't find the words to comment very often. I am aware that I am in a depression cycle of my bipolar illness. It is a time where I use my depression tools. I go through the motions and do the things I don't feel like doing. These times are when introspect and feelings are potent, but I choose to put one foot in front of the other never the less. The emotional turmoil and anxiety are not severe enough to debilitate me. 


I know that this will not last forever. I know I can control small aspects of my happiness by making good choices. I still feel happiness and joy throughout the day. 










"An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion." -Newton




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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil

my kids
Hear No Evil (Destin) See No Evil (Victorya) Speak No Evil (Aliviya)
tattoo on my left arm







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Sunday, February 28, 2010

So maybe alone I stand...

I am still here. Darkness encompasses me. I welcome the privilege of feeling. Once upon a time: was not a story. It was the beginning. Open to interpretation. Numb-ale. That which can be numbed. I choose feeling. Hard, hurt, dark, mad , undesirable. OPEN TO INTERPRATATION. Triumph, healed, light, happy, desireable.... Here I am....

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Words that help me see the light... an addicts prayer....

Prison gates won't open up for me
On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
Oh, I reach for you
Well I'm terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can't hold my soul in
All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

[Chorus:]
Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is you
These city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I'm callin'
And all I need from you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

[Chorus]

Hurry I'm fallin'

All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh, I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

[Chorus]

Hurry I'm fallin' 



(lyrics- Nickelback- "Savin' Me")





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Friday, February 26, 2010

I am hiding...



Darkness is coming for me. I cannot tell as of yet if it is just one of those days, or if it is one of those times when darkness comes and tries to take me to that place.  It has been lingering... grasping at me, despite emotional defenses being armed.

Every time I have an emotional turnover that really impacts my well being, I always consider if it is severe enough to merit a visit to the Dr. The answer is always no, but the question is more important than the answer. The question is one of my tools. It reinstates that facing it alone is not the only option. Facing it alone has been too unbearable in the past, and has almost led to ending it alone.

My body feels the drain. Insomnia taunts my exhaustion, leaving me powerless and tearful. Sleep calls to me, reaching for the longing in my soul that calls out to her. Seconds seem like hours; the clock is the constant bearer of bad news; time my newest nemesis.  People around me do not understand and I take the time that I need because it is not easily given. 

I see the sun peeking through my window, hope floating by on vague but distinguished rays of light. The darkness is two steps behind, but I am hiding with hope.

















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Monday, February 22, 2010

Under the Knife While Under the Influence



A collaboration of subjects on several other blogs got me thinking, well more accurately, remembering.


For those of you that may not know, I have breast implants. I had gastric bypass surgery 6 years ago and proceeded to lose 140 lbs in less than a year. I was a hanging, saggy, mess of skin and bones. I wanted and needed reconstructive surgery. I did not need the breast implants, but I wanted them and felt that after everything I had been through, I deserved to get them.

This sounds like a story that just about any person with similar experience could easily tell. My story is different because several weeks before my scheduled surgery, I began using meth. On the day that I went to my surgeon to have my pre-op tests and blood work, I was high on meth. I smoked it within a half hour before the appointment and immediately after. Did the Dr. know? I am not sure. I am not sure if substance testing is routine before plastic surgery.

At my preop appointment I was given some medications to take the day of my surgery and for after my surgery. This included Valium for nervousness and some sort of medication that had to do with blood clotting.
I was snorting and smoking meth all night and day by this point. I was staying up 2-3 days at a time and rarely sleeping. I was terrified that if I went under, the meth would react badly with the general anesthesia and I may have awareness or wakeup during surgery.

Even though I knew it only took 3 days to get meth out of your system, I could not stop using. I also knew that Valium was very effective at easing the withdrawal symptoms of meth, and I just happened to have enough to take for three days so that I could be safe for my surgery. I STILL could not stop using.

I smoked right before going to the hospital for my surgery. I was so high that I believed I could handle if I woke up during surgery. Are you fucking kidding me? I believed I was a good enough actor that my Dr. would not notice my pupils that were dilated nearly to the point of erasing the brown color of my eyes. Either he didn't notice, or he didn't care.

My surgery went on as planned. I was under for 14 hours. I had a complete body lift which removed 16 pounds of skin, reshaped my abdomen and butt, and inflated my deflated love sacks to that of a full C cup. I paid for an extra night of inpatient recovery because I knew I needed it. I imagine that those two nights were so much worse than they would have been, because I was feeling the physical withdrawal of the meth. I had a morphine pump that kept me from feeling the full effects of all the pain.

The first time that I had to get out of bed, it took me 45 minutes, assisted by two nurses just to get to the bathroom. There was one of those toilet extenders on the seat so that I would not have to bend as much or far to sit, as not to rip open the stitches I wore like a belt, fully encircling my waist. I looked at it and started bawling. It looked so faaaar away. I did in fact rupture a few stitches and it took an hour to get back to bed. I almost opted to have the catheter put back in.

I was finally discharged, with a new prescription for Valium and also one for a large bottle of liquid percocet. You would think with all of the legal medication in my possession, I would have been able to reason that it would be a good time to stop using the meth. Except that I hated opiates. I hated the way they made me sleepy and woozy and out of it. I hated that I would doze off midsentence and that I couldn't drive a car or care for my children while on them.

I was also in a new relationship, with a "normal" sized body and womanly curves, instead of rolls, for the first time in my life. I wanted to be amorous, not sleeping and drugged. I used the valium and percocet to sleep the first day. Then Bryson had to go back to work and I was responsible for my kids alone. We lived with my step grandma at the time and since she was unsupportive of the surgery to begin with, she refused to be helpful during my recovery. It didn't take long before I was craving the meth. Wanting to escape the physical and emotional pain, but still be awake so I could take care of the kids. I was calling Bryson asking if he would get some more by the end of that day.

It is quite a reflection for me to see just how deep my addiction ran at that point. Sadly that was at the beginning, and is one of the more modest stories of the amazing feats of Shawna, super-mom-tweaker, master manipulator, and criminal.

I don't think of all of those times very often. I do not see the reflection of my fake breasts in the mirror, and instantly think of the fact that I was high on meth while they were being inserted. I have buried my hatchets and live in now, but sometimes I remember who I used to be.



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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A reminder from Lou and some hindsight- Updated*



As I was reading Lou's post here, it brought back a lot of memories. Actually, they are fond memories.

Ahhh, the familiarity of that long hard road back into living in sobriety from living in addiction.

Some of my fondest memories and most serene moments were when I was facing a hardship that was at one time unimaginable.

For example, the second time I had to go back to jail because of a court error, only this time I was sober. I was not withdrawing. The concrete of the cell did not make my body ache and writhe from simple contact. I was not afraid of how long I would be in there. The charges against me were not pending, while I cowered in a bunk bed, itching and shaking from the lack of meth amphetamines in my system, soaked in sweat and regret. I never thought I could survive a night in jail. Then I thought I could never survive a night in jail without drugs of some sort, but there I was, soaking in only my sobriety and I survived.

Or the time I sat waiting for the bus to get to work, in 3 feet of snow and temperatures in the single digits, unaware that the weather was so bad that the city was nearly shut down. (I had never set foot on a city bus OR went without a car from the time I was 16, up until I went to jail and came out with no home and an impounded car that I could not afford to get out). It was 7 am and I had to wait for 2 extra hours because the buses were behind and I had to get creative to stay warm. I had only  my bus pass- no money for lunch and no cell phone (couldn't afford it), and no one to call even if I would have had the change.

I grew numb from the cold. I made it to work by 10:30, just to learn it had been closed due to the snow (I didn't have a phone for them to call me and tell me), and even though I already thought I couldn't take a moments more cold, I went back to the bus stop and did it all over again. I arrived at my scary apartment in the city, just about 5 in the evening, barely able to move because I had to walk from the main street, (about a mile) in my wet clothes that had defrosted on the bus and were now frozen to my leg hairs. Yet I was thankful to have a shower and ramen noodles to warm me. Despite all of the commotion from the murder in the building next door, I was just thankful that today, my door was locked, and no murderer or drug dealer would be knocking on my door.

Another, distinct experience (there were many), was when I unexpectedly got my period on the way to a supervised visit with my children. I had already stopped at the dollar store to spend my last $10 on some cheap games to play with the kids and some snacks, that I agonized over whether they were healthy enough. I ran from the bus, afraid blood was going to soak through my clothes, ran in and out of the bathroom to take care of it, and got to the door of the Human Services room just in time to see my case worker's disappointed glare, her finger tapping her watch, and the clock on the wall informing me I was 2 minutes late before she got the chance.

I saw my kids on the other side of the room and she told me my visit was cancelled  because I was late. She told them to go ahead and leave and we would "try again next week." She did not let me say good bye. As I sat and wept, and tried to explain to her what had happened, she proceeded to inform me what a worthless and unreliable parent I was. She also added that no woman does not know when she is going to get her cycle and that it was a pathetic excuse. All I could think of was how wrong this situation was. I wanted to go get high to ease the pain, SO BAD.

(You might be wondering where the serenity comes by now... read on)

The next bus wouldn't be there for an hour, so I had nothing to do but sit and wait and try to stop crying. About 10 minutes after the whole ordeal transpired, another mother walked in (10 minutes late for her appointment with her children). I had watched her children sitting and waiting for her, while the case worker, (a different one than mine) explained to the kids that their mom might not make it again. I knew this mother. She was in my drug and alcohol class. She had tested positive earlier in the week (something that would have ceased my visits immediately if it were me and my case worker).

She explained how her boyfriend had gotten in trouble with his PO, and he was her ride, so that is why she was late. I couldn't help but to look at the graham crackers and apple juice in my bag, and the games for my kids, and then notice the grease soaking through the Mc Donald's bag she had brought. She was allowed to proceed with her visit.

I sat there for the next 30 minutes. I was filled with sadness and rage, initially. I would get up, intending to go ask to speak to (confront)  my case worker, then rethink it for fear of being documented as an unruly client. More tears than I wanted, came. When my caseworker would walk through the lobby, I would work hard to conceal them, for fear of being documented as an unstable client.

So many things went through my mind. I had so many questions and no one to ask them of. Suddenly, I started asking them of myself and answering them.

Do you deserve to be seeing your kids today?


Why does this woman get to have so much control over my life?


Why did that other mother get to see her kids and I didn't?


Am I a good mother?


What did I do to deserve this?


I KNEW I was a good mother damnit! I was not going to let her defeat me. As the tears dried on their own, I got up to walk to catch my bus, and I realized many things. Whatever the consequences, or how unfair the situation appeared, I would not be there if had not chosen to use drugs and commit crimes. I really was the more advantaged mother in the situation, because that mother would likely never truly recover and might lose her kids indefinitely because I was aware of how many times she had already tested positive.

I still had my sobriety, I still had the opportunity to see my children again. Instead of leaving in anger, I left with intention. Intention to prove to myself what I was capable of... to show my case worker who I really was, and to always be at least an hour early for visits.


Six months later, as I sat down to my final interview with my caseworker, someone who I had actually developed a kinship with and who ultimately stood up for me in court and asked for what was supposed to be a one year treatment plan to be expedited and my children returned immediately, I told her THANK YOU for holding me accountable and creating an environment where I had to prove to myself that the mother I always should of known was there, really existed.

She said THANK you for being the mother that she always knew existed.

The incredible, unbelievable irony, is that she was late for our last meeting because she had started HER period unexpectedly.
I didn't cancel the appointment.

The point for me became that I could not control every situation and that because of my (criminal and negligent) actions, I was going to have to go through some things that I had once thought too horrible for even the worst person to experience. The unbearable became bearable.

I had no choice but to ask and answer my own questions. I had fucked up so bad, that no one asked questions anymore, because they didn't believe my answers. I had to prove I was worth a question or a concern, and even then, no one was anxiously waiting to hear my answer or ease my pain.

I remember a time when every lie I told, was believed. I remember when every guilt trip and exaggerated emotion was met with an eagerness to accommodate and a desire to fix me. My grandpa called it love. I recognize it now as enabling EDIT* my self destructive behaviors and addiction.

(I read something by Ken posted on his blog, The Interventionist, that brought more clarity to my use of the word enabling. Please check out his post, What We Talk About When We Talk About Codependency.

As quoted from his post:

 "Enabling: Shocker: enabling is not intrinsically bad. If  I enable my kid to go to college, or my wife to open a studio, or my dog to go to a groomer, or my DVR to catch LOST, have I done something wrong. No, and neither have you. Enabling is recovery shorthand for behaviors that either facilitate an active addiction by financially subsidizing it, or by interfering with the logical consequences of addiction. That is about the extent to which you can generalize about enabling. Anything beyond that isn't much more than a name to call someone. Instead of helping someone to empower themselves, it gives them something to feel a little guilty and ashamed about."

Letting go and letting our children suffer their own life consequences is hard. Choosing not to let go and to fix and micromanage their choices, is often interpreted as reflection of our own belief that they are not capable of doing it on their own. Children come to expect that their mistakes will always be erased and that their consequences will be cushioned. Drugs and alcohol come along to provide the relief from the disappointment of being labeled incompetent or underachieving. These behaviors, if continued into adulthood can create insecure people with low self esteem and that is dangerous, especially when the consequences become too big for Mom or Dad to erase or cushion.

I cannot express enough that no one could have fixed it for me. The opportunity to fix one's self is ALWAYS present, even in isolation. It isn't a button, it isn't a word, or a billion hugs that has the capability to "fix" an addict. It must come from a desire within that individual, and the followed through intention of finding the opportunities to gain happiness and contentment without an illegal substance.

Recovery, bless the lonely road that led me to you.