Friday, July 10, 2009

10 things about me

1. I have pink in my blonde/brown hair.
2. I will be celebrate 10 years of marriage on August 14; I turn 35 on August 15, and my husband turns 35 August 16. Wham, bam, bam!
3. I have an Associates degree in Accounting.
4. I have gone back to school to get my Bachelor's in English Education.
5. I want to teach 7th grade.
6. I have two tattoos and counting.
7. I'm a good cook when I try, but I love to bake.
8. I've been in therapy 17 years.
9. My bio-parents live in China. I don't see them or talk with them.
10. I have seen Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly at least 50 times.

The Second Act

When I was in Charleston, I picked up a card that had a saying on there that means so much to me and gives me hope. It is a quote by Mary Anne Radmacher and it reads,

"Just because you bought the ticket doesn't mean you have to stay for the second act."

I love this so much. If I apply it to my life's experiences, it helps me realize I'm not a victim anymore and I can effect change in my life. Yes, I have a history of abuse, a trauma history, but I don't have to let that define what my life looks like now.

The first act of my life sucked, but I have a choice for the rest of it. I'm staging a curtain call and I'm not staying for the second half of the act. The second half of the act is where I stay stuck in my disorder and distorted thoughts. It is filled with actions of self-harm, an eating disorder, suicidal gestures, depression, mood swings, flash backs, insomnia, night sweats, nightmares, panic and anxiety attacks, etc...

So I'm leaving the theatre. Just because I bought the ticket doesn't mean I have to stay for the whole production. I'm staging a Coup d'etat. I'm finding a new production that will only bring me peace and happiness.

I hope you find a new second act, as well.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Charleston - Day 1

Besides my husband, these are the loves of my life. C. is on the left, O. is on the right. I'm surprised O. is letting me take a picture of her. She is normally camera shy.

This is the first full day of Charleston. We've just parked along the Battery where parking is free. It's already insanely hot and humid. Plan is to go to catch the boat to Fort Sumter where it's even hotter.
Feeling the love! They don't look or act like twins, but they are fraternal.

Backing up an hour, we are in the hotel gettnig ready to go. You can tell this is early in our trip because the room is still clean. :)
O. is here with her favorite pose.

C. is all usual.

Starbucks? Really, girls. Why can't we even go on vacation without running towards the nearest Starbucks? Okay, okay. It was really my idea. I needed a caffiene fix and the hotel coffee sucked!
Looking at the Battery from the ship on the way to Fort Sumter.

My three favorite faces in the whole world!
We arrive finally at Fort Sumter, the home site of the Civil War, April 12, 1865.

Construction on Fort Sumter began in 1829. I don't think this museum and bathroom were part of the plan. These are the original bricks built by slaves. They've lasted almost two centuries. They are very delicate and are slightly crumbly to the touch. These were the barracks and were built under the gun powder. During the attack, this proved to be just a little mistake.

C. is always inquisitive and alway asking questions. She's brilliant!

The man with all the answers and who also stole my heart.

O. and C. are reading about their history.

After Fort Sumter, we were a little hungry. O. wanted to go to Bubba Gump Shrimp. It's really good, but not for vegetarians, which C. and I are. The salad was good, but I like the mixed drink even better. The second drink even better than that.

C. is enjoying her "mixed" drink.
Words to live by:
"And that's all I have to say about that."

The benefit of the doubt

It's been a rough twenty-four hours. I see my T. three times a week, and the days I don't go in I don't know what to do with myself. D. took the day off work yesterday to keep me company. The lonliness feels so pathological and morbid that I can't take it. A deep hole wells up in me and I can't describe how dangerous it feels. I AM NOT SUICIDAL, but the thought of going to sleep crosses my mind. I don't know how to dig myself out of this malignant hole.

My thought process reminds me of the meditation that was e-mailed to me today.

"The difference between a mountain and a molehill is perspective."

It's all about how I'm thinking. Am I focusing on what is wrong with my life or am I looking at what is right? Yes, I could feel sorry for myself. I don't have a job, school starts next month and I'm terrified, I have financial troubles, my house is messy, etc...

But I love the challenge that the meditation poses. It reads, "Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and don't be so harsh." Giving the benefit of the doubt is what I always try to do with D. when we have a disagreement. I tell myself he didn't mean to hurt me or whatever the case may be. And giving him the benefit of the works.

If other people deserve the benefit of the doubt, then why don't I? What makes me so bad, so undeserving, so worthless, that I can't give myself the benefit of the doubt? What is so inherently wrong with me?

While I should love myself and take better care of myself, I don't have to do that to give myself the benefit of doubt. I can still give myself the benefit of the doubt. It's about being a little bit gentle with myself, less critical, and realizing I'm not atypical. There are other people that struggle with life just as much as I do.

To my blogging friends, when I read their posts, I don't criticize them or judge the quality of their post or what they have to say. I don't judge their life. I value thier posts and their comments. If I don't judge them, then why do I have to judge myself? I bet if I asked other people who have the same diagnosis as me they would admit to the same struggles as I have.

When I go to my support groups, we always end the meeting with the Lord's prayer (which I don't say), but the last words we say are "Just for today." That will be my motto today.

Just for today, I'm going to view myself as human. I'm going to view myself as someone who is doing the best she can. The mountain of laundry decorating my living room is not a commentary on my worthlessness as a housekeeper. Just for today, I will view myself as valuable, even though I don't have a job. Just for today, I will adhere to my meal plan, even though I feel fat. And lastly, just for today, I will allow myself to cry, to mourn my childhood, to feel all the painful feelings that sum up my existance. I will not judge myself for being human and experiencing my feelings.

Just for today, I will give myself the benefit of the doubt. I hope you do, too.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Back in the saddle, again.

I forget without peeking exactly how long it's been since I lasted posted. I was hoping to post while on holiday in Charleston but that didn't happen.

Charleston. They were the best of times. They were the worst of times. (C. Dickens for you.) It's hard to remember chunks of hours out ot the days. The members were all stoked and on stand-by because we had our god-daughters and we are determined that their childhood be not so ill-fated as ours.

We did the usual Charleston-touristy things vacationers do: take a fourty minute boat ride out to some shambles of a fort, spend an hour in the hot sun, take the fourty minute ride back and watch our god-daughter produce herself from the lavatory because of morning sickness. Poor thing. I'll be mean and post pics of her later. (Of course I won't.)(Okay, maybe I will.) :)

We took a pirate tour that C. wanted to take more than anything. I thought it was the most boring tour ever, and I've been on several in that city. Apparently, it was around here I was dissociating because I couldn't tell where we were or what day of the week it was. I holed up on the hotel room while the others finished out the day. I slept.

I slept alot on that trip. One of our members sole responsibility is to make me go to sleep. If I'm asleep, then secrets don't get told and all are safe.

So we met with our therapist and psycho-iatrist today. Double whammy. I took that one on the chin. The meeting with T. was good. It brought up a lot of sadness regarding being bullied and teased as a child. There's more to it and I won't bear you with it, but, suffice it to say, I got in touch with one of my adolescents, a twelve year old who bears the scars, scrapes, and tears from being rejected by classmates, teachers, and the biological parents. Her wounds moved me so deeply I couldn't help but shed tears, and I'm not a crier. I try to steer clear of emotions that cause me to cry or get angry. (That's another post.)

But this twelve year old had me in a vice grip mentally; I didn't want to let go. I wanted to honor her and parent her and tell her everything will be alright. Countless nights I cried myself to sleep wishing that someone would hold me and tell me everything would be okay. No one ever did, but I can do it for the twelve year who as yet holds know name of which I am aware.

I am going to start adding to my postings affirmations, meditations, thoughts, and down-right gibberish that is helpful to me in the hope that others might derive some meaning. It will include a quote, a little squirb, and maybe a positive affirmation for the day. We'll see how it goes.

When I started our blog, I wanted the general public, if not more importantly, friends and families of those diagnosed, to see the daily hell that we are put through; how hard it is to go outside the house; how difficult it is to raise two sets of children; the trials of having this diagnosis and be married; the pressures and disadvantages of having the disorder and going back to school. I could go on and on. But I think I want the blog to metamorphosize and be less about the mundane, trite activities of life and more about sinking our teeth into recovery.

We are more recovery focused and I want it to show.