Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Never a dull moment....

Bianca has asthma. It is sickness induced. She is on 2 types of preventative medicine year round. But generally within 24 hours of getting any cold-like symptoms, her asthma flares with a vengeance. At that point I have to start her on her "rescue" inhaler. I'm allowed to give her 3 doses at 20 minute intervals and then a 4th dose an hour after the last of the 3. If that doesn't's off to the ER.
So last night, I picked her up from daycare and brought her back to my office. This is a usual routine for Tuesday nights since I have choir rehearsal on Tues. She was coughing, coughing, coughing. This is her manifestation of asthma, BTW. She doesn't get the wheezing so much as the brochospasms. They are just painful for both of us! The poor kid is so sore from coughing all the time, non-stop. And my pain is watching her in pain. Any of you who are parents know the ache of being helpless to make your baby feel better.
Anyway, here at my office, she was coughing so long and hard that she ended up vomiting. Fortunately I know the noise and I was able to catch (most of) it in my garbage can. I'd already decided not to go to choir and that certainly solidified that I'd made the right choice! So we went to the pharmacy to pick up a new inhaler since we wore out the old one. I maxed out her dosage on the inhaler. I put her to bed. She couldn't fall asleep. Cough cough cough cough cough. After almost an hour with no improvement I knew we could not avoid the ER any longer. So I got her out of bed. She was so sad looking. She follows me into my bedroom where I'm putting some public-appropriate clothing on (pink snowman pj's didn't seem like a good idea for ME)She says "Mama, I just don't feel very well." As I was sympathizing, she lets out a series of coughs and with no warning *Blaaaagh*...pukes all over my quilt and my carpet. *sigh*
Summing it up.....I took her to the ER at 10. We were there til after midnight. They gave her a nebulizer treatment and a loading dose of steroids. She slept solid and quiet for 5 1/2 hours and then got up like a trooper at 6:30am. She was NOT going to miss her party at school!! She was adamant. While the steroids "typically" take 48 hours to kick in, that's not typical for Bianca. She is usually better after the first dose. This AM, she was coughing her curly little head off. I maxed her out on albuterol again. Very little improvement. I brought her to school, I gave them the story and told them to call me if she can't finish out the day. I called her specialist and filled him in. He told me to give it til tomorrow and if she's not improving, bring her back to the ER. And he thinks they are going to change her everyday preventative medicine to something stronger after this episode is over.
Her daycare just called me and said she's getting worse as the day goes on. Unfortunately, I'm maxed out on treatments for the day. I have to hope that the next dose of steroids helps. Dr said to try a cough supressant but I know that doesn't help her when she's like this. My heart is breaking for my little bean. She's so miserable. So I'm finishing my 3 things I need to do at work and packing up. Going to get her shortly and go home.
If I don't post again before tomorrow, I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving!!

I wonder....

A post by Mile 191 got me to thinking. She mentions flirting with a male teacher at a young age and it triggered me remembering a story I wrote in 6th grade. I was....what...11 years old? Actually, I think I was 10 because it was the beginning of the school year. It was a writing assignment to describe something that happened over the summer. I wrote a very sexually charged story about something seriously inappropriate that happened with a 30 year old man, including drinking wine and other unsavory details. It never occurred to me at the time that it was wrong or was my reality. Manipulation and sex had been part of my life for many years at that point and I didn't give it a second thought.
It occurs to me, though.....Why didn't my teacher give it a second thought? If you were a 6th grade teacher and a student submitted such a story about drinking, sexual activity and older men....wouldn't you do or say SOMETHING?? This was almost 30 years ago....not like today when teachers have to be so ultra-careful of broaching any personal topics with their students. Even if she'd turned it over to the principal, nurse, guidance counselor or ask me if I was okay. In the back of mind, I wonder if maybe my parents were called about it and it was dismissed as a young girl with an overactive imagination. But I'll never know.
A few years later, my sophomore year in HS, I was a big time cutter. I used to lift Exacto blades from the graphics lab and slice up my wrists over and over and over. I often wore wrist bands (hey, it was the 80's) to cover the marks. But I also used to draw pictures of razor blades on my desk in every classroom I sat in with a caption "Choose Death" (Again...this was the 80's...remember the Wham! slogan of Choose Life). One teacher did approach me in a caring manner and asked me if I'd written that on the desk. Even though it was also written all over my notebooks, I said no, of course, and he let it go. None of my other teachers ever mentioned it.
I just wonder how loudly a child has to be screaming for help in order for an adult to hear it and react.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Whinings

I left work early yesterday to meet the cable company at my house. My modem died over the weekend and they were supposed to come replace it last night. When they didn't show, I called them to hear they have me scheduled for Sunday 11/30 at 10am to fix my TV service. Um, ok. None too happy...but whatever. Managed to reschedule for tomorrow. Certainly can't go a long weekend with no internet.
I called my Mom at one point last night because I wanted her baking input. She's an amazing baker. Turns out she was baking also. Apple pie. For my brother's birthday. My brother, my abuser. I'd all but put it out of my mind that today is his birthday. Why did she have to remind me? And remind me that she will never accept what he did to me so she still bakes pies for him.....
**Possible SI Trigger Warning**
I'm really, really tired today. Like can't keep my eyes open tired. Was up late decorating cupcakes for Bianca's Thanksgiving party and then just couldn't fall asleep til late. I woke with one of my weird migraines where pain is a secondary factor; I was having severe nausea every time I moved and seeing shooting lights and auras when I opened my eyes. Took me a long time to pull myself together. I had a rough drive in. My commute is about an hour and I often fall asleep while I'm driving. There are a few things I do, most of them are unhealthy tactics, that keep me awake. This morning I opted for stabbing my arm with my T pin. I have to confess, I was out for blood this morning and it felt so good to feel that sharp point poke through my skin. There is a level that produces a pinpoint drop of blood and then there is a another level that makes it really start to bleed. I had a sense of urgency to create pain and see alot of blood today. I describe this in detail for the purpose of saying I haven't felt that way in quite some time. Usually the point of the SI in the car is more for staying awake than anything. This morning, not so. Staying awake was a good side effect but I was really desiring and needing to SI.
I joined a Yahoo Group for food addicts yesterday. I'm hoping it will serve as at least some sort of support for me. It's OA (Overeaters Anonymous) based and therefore focuses on the 12 step program. I have no concept of a Higher Power. I'm not ready to address my God-issues yet. And I don't know how to figure out what my HP is. Frankly, all I think of when I look at "HP" is Hewlett Packard, LOL!!! Seriously, though, it seems an integral part of the program and I feel like I need to identify what a HP will be for me before I can give it an honest try. Any suggestions on how I figure it out?
Got a call from the woman at Renfrew to say that she's talked my case over with her "team" and they are trying to determine the best course for me. She's placed a call to Susan, my T, and is waiting to hear back from her. I am confident that Susan will come in strong on my side of needing a group environment and be able to give some clarity to the emotional weight of my addiction. I may not hear any more til after the holiday, though. So...I wait.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello, Open Wound? Meet.......

I made my last post on Friday evening after my workday was over and before I went to pick up Bianca. After the evaluation appointment, I'd had to shut down the emotions so I could function to drive, pick up Bianca and have my Mom over for dinner. Friday, I held it in all day, finally posting about it and then again, immediately shutting down so I could go about my night. Before I left work, I IMed my friend Jermaine. I told him I wasn't ready to talk details but I needed to just connect. This is part of my effort to do less isolating. Sure, he said, he would be home that evening. I told him I'd call him after Bianca went to bed. Which I did. He was in the midst of putting out an unexpected work fire. His company does international work so he's frequently working odd hours in order to interact with employees in other countries during their workday. He said he'd call me back when he had things under control. He text messaged me about an hour later and said he was still trying to finish up. I told him we'd just talk the following day....I was going to bed.
During the hour I was waiting, I went to use my computer. Figured I'd check back on my blog or maybe do some writing. modem was dead. I called the cable company and they could only offer someone to come out this week and replace it. internet connection to my cyber-support friends.
Saturday I had counseling in the morning. I told Susan (my T) that I wished I could just take all the info in my brain and upload it to hers because I SO didn't feel like talking about it all. We talked about the Renfrew experience and she was as unhappy as I was. She did say they are not the only option in the area if they can't work something suitable out for me. I just don't feel up to doing this again right now. Anyway, she said I had every right to feel disappointed or angry. But also to realize that the intensity this is hitting me with is my "old" stuff. It's old feelings of not being able to get help, of looking for assistance and not finding it. She asked me how old I felt. Interesting question. I was not able to answer. She said it's a valuable question to ask sometimes and can help with distinguishing if you're feeling "old" feelings. I felt entirely blank as I pondered that thought. I think my ages are all messed up. I think I have inner child issues surfacing but, when I was a child, I had such grown up problems and responsibilities. I don't know how old I feel at all. I talked to Susan about a dream I'd had the night before that followed no pattern at all to me. She said it was just a myriad of negative feelings and emotions....anger, rage, abandonment, fear, helplessness, etc. All the things I'd been supressing for the past 2 days.
The rest of Saturday was filled with errands and stuff. While out, I bought Bianca the movie Wall-E. Super cute, we watched it twice when we got home.
Sunday, I had to sing at church in the morning. Usually Jennie and I go out for breakfast after church. Last week she emailed me that she made plans with her niece so she wouldn't be able to do breakfast. Reaching out in hopes of being able to have a connection, I asked her if she could at least do coffee after church and she said sure. So we went to Starbucks and I told her I'd had a really rough week. I told her I was glad we were able to go out because I was trying hard not to isolate. Bianca was being a typical 4 year old. She wanted my attention, she was playing with a stuffed animal she brought with her. I was frustrated at one point because she was testing my patience with a particular potty issue that may be the death of me. And all of a sudden, Jennie goes off telling me that she thinks I spend too much time alone with Bianca and it's not healthy for me or for her. Telling me I need to have more adult time and should dump Bianca at my mother's house every other weekend so I can do things for me. Tells me that Bianca is too clingy because she won't leave me alone when I'm on the phone and giving me advice on what to do about that.
Jennie is my oldest and dearest friend. I value her input. But this was such extraordinarily bad timing, I was knocked flat on my back. I felt like everything I'd just said went right over her head about having had a bad week and needing to connect with my friends. I could tell it's something she's had on her mind for a while because the delivery was HARSH and abrupt. I started to cry and then she tried to soften it up a little saying "I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm not a parent", etc. But it was too late at that point. Bianca came over looking for my attention and I felt like Jennie was just waiting to see how I would handle it after she'd just given me her opinion on not catering to my daughter so much. I said I couldn't sit there and listen to any more of this and feeling like my parenting is being judged. And I told her I had to go.
I went into the weekend feeling low and wanting to reach out. Attempt #1 Jermaine, didn't work out. Attempt #2 Internet, no access. Attempt #3 Jennie, got verbally beat up. Just left feeling like reaching out for support is not so worthwhile for me.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Etymology: Latin morbidus diseased
1 a: of, relating to, or characteristic of disease
2: abnormally susceptible to or characterized by gloomy or unwholesome feelings
3: grisly, gruesome
1 : inspiring horror or intense fear
2 : inspiring disgust or distaste
Whoever decided that the term "Morbid Obesity" was a good idea has alot to learn about sensitivity. Because, really, it's not enough that I struggle with this day in and day out? My self-esteem and body image are not in the toilet enough? So someone has to make sure that I'm equated with a word meaning diseased, unwholesome, grisly, gruesome and make certain I'm aware that I inspire horror, fear, disgust and distaste?
I had my intake assessment at The Renfrew Center (eating disorder clinic) yesterday. I was flipping out beforehand (see 2 posts down). I was chewing down my Rescue Remedy pastilles like m&ms. Renfrew in CT is located in a beautiful old home that's been redone to accomodate their function. Well, the home is currently under renovation so they had to temporarily relocate. If I'd not been to the other location in the past, I think I may have left once I got to this office. First off, it's in an office building and all the way in the back corner down a very narrow hallway that is like a maze. Suffocating and scary, particularly when I was already in panic mode. I get to the door and walk in. The entrance is cramped and tiny; it's stark. Decorated in an outdated contemporary style of silver and black with harsh light fixtures that cast pointed shadows on the wall, looking like devil horns atop each light. There is a girl sitting in one of the 2 waiting chairs that are smashed together in a corner. I'm not particularly feeling like being that close to another person at the moment so I stand at the counter. The shiny, cold, silver & black counter. One of the counselors comes out and calls the girl back. I'm standing there alone. No receptionist at the desk. I'm getting antsy.
A few minutes pass and my anxiety is climbing. I have a scheduled appointment. Why is there no one here? Why didn't the counselor say anything like "Someone will be right with you"? I'm invisible. I'm worthless. I'm not even good enough to acknowledge. I cough and clear my throat a bit, trying to make a little noise and hopefully alert someone that I'm there. My mind is racing. I have another Rescue Remedy as I fight the internal battle between reality and story telling. I walk to the hallway where the counselor came from and look, listen. "Hello?", I call out. Nothing. I pace, pulse escalating. I've had migraine symptoms for an hour now. Not so much the pain but visual auras, shooting lights and vertigo. I look at the emergency exit and think about making a run for it. No, no, I tell myself....I'm here to make a change in my life. Don't run away. I walk back over to the hallway that leads down to the offices and call out louder "Helllllooooo??" A moment later, a woman comes out and asks if she can help me. I tell her I've been standing there for 15 minutes. "You must be Kim" she says. she's expecting me and still wasn't checking to see if I've arrived? Nice. Women come to this place to deal with a shameful disorder/addiction and you're going to leave them standing alone in a horrible little waiting room? No bell on the desk or anything? No sign?? The woman apologizes for my wait and then says "You should have come around the corner to find me." WTH?? I respond to her "Really? How would I have known to do that? There is no sign or anything to let me know that I shouldn't expect a person to be at the front desk." She gives me another apology and sets me up with paperwork to complete. On the first page of paperwork...."Emergency Contact" section which I leave blank. Because I have no one to contact.
LaurieAnn, the woman doing my evaluation, shows up a few minutes later. Her "usual" office isn't open so we're going to have our appointment in this corner office where I'm filling out paperwork. This horrible, dirty office that is irregularly triangular in shape, has one full wall of windows to the parking lot outside, has a glass door from which you can see the waiting area and 3 straightback uncomfortable chairs. I don't know about everyone else....but for me, I need a certain kind of warmth to my setting when I'm going to let down my guard and talk about my deepest, darkest fears, pain and secrets.
LaurieAnn tells me to get comfortable and I tell her that it's really not possible. There are too many unnerving things in my surroundings. I'm very much on edge. I'm not comfortable. I start to cry. I pull a second chair in front of me as a barrier because I feel so totally exposed and vulnerable. To her credit, LaurieAnn rearranges the room a bit to make it better for me. Not good, but better. We start with a couple easy questions. The interview questions are actually arranged quite well. Easy stuff, slip in a tough one, ease back up, more toughies. It went nicely back and forth so that it didn't remain intense for long periods of time. Not surprisingly (for me, anyway) was the ease in which I can discuss my "trauma history" as they call it. I can detach from that so easily to share the facts. The food issues were MUCH harder to talk about.
Last time I did this evaluation, the counselor first recommended that I attend the partial residential program which is daily, M-F, 9am-2pm. I told her there was no way I could do that because I'd miss work. So instead she said I could do the evening program, 3 nights a week from 6-8. In theory that sounds alright except, logistically, it just doesn't work. I'm willing to leave work early 3 days a week but I have no one to watch Bianca consistently. I don't have a support network. I don't have a sitter. Because of my past, I cannot leave her with someone I don't know and trust. My mother works evenings. We live an hour from her daycare and 90% of the teachers don't have cars so they are out of the question for babysitting. By the way, the 10% who DO have cars are Moms themselves which is why they are not able to babysit. I have one neighbor who I would trust but she has 2 kids with a 3rd on the way and her kids bedtime is well before I would be home to pick up Bianca. My friend Jennie would be good except, again, distance...she lives 45 minutes away....but also her work schedule. She's not done at work til 7-8 at night. I could drop her off at Jennie's parents house because they are like grandparents to her. But that would mean leave work to get Bianca, drive 30 minutes to drop her off there, drive an hour southwest to Renfrew, then an hour back northeast to get Bianca and then 45 minutes back west again to home. Which would mean not getting home til 10:00 three nights a week and that is too much for her. Also, I'd have to quit choir during this time since one of the night meetings is on a Tuesday and, finally, there would be 3 nights a week I would have virtually no time with my daughter. Nothing more than the car ride.
In any case, LaurieAnn says at the end of our meeting that she's going to recommend the evening program for me. I tell her I can't do that due to childcare issues and I really need the day program. Well, she tells me....the day program is now only for anorexics and bulimics. I feel like the room is closing in around me and my knees get weak. All I can think is "Oh my God, even in a supposed safe place where they help women with eating disorders, I'm still the freak." I don't belong. Because I'm the fat one. The Morbid one.....stay away from her. She's not welcome....she's gruesome. I am not entitled to the same healing that they are. I am relegated to the cast off night group. The group I can't attend, anyway, because my life is a fucking shambles with no one in my support system. And now I see why....because this is what happens when I reach out for help. I'm slapped away and put back in my place to deal with it on my own. I begin to cry and shake. LaurieAnn grabs a chair for me (we'd moved into a different room at this point) so I don't pass out or something. She asks me what I'm thinking and I just blurt "I can't have gone through all this again for nothing. I can't do the night group and I just went through all of that again.....for nothing....AGAIN!"
She tells me that she will talk to the other counselor and see what they can come up with; that maybe it's as "simple" as me just seeing a nutritionist. FFS, woman....I don't need someone to tell me what to eat. I already know that. I don't want a one on one. I need the support of a group because isolation is such a HUGE factor in my addiction. I need to learn how to change my emotional relationship with food. If you think giving me a copy of the food pyramid and weekly weigh-in's is the answer to all of this, then you don't deserve to be working at an eating disorder clinic.
I had to run out of there because I was late to pick up Bianca. At the beginning of the interview with her, she asked me a list of questions about my moods and feelings. She asked me if I felt hopeless and I said no, that if I felt like there was no hope then I would not be there trying to make a change for the better. Well, after the way our meeting ended, I told her that I changed my mind because now I *DO* feel hopeless. I feel like I spilled all my heart and guts to this perfect stranger and then she went "Psyche! We can't really help you! But thanks for all the juicy details of your lowest moments in life!" I feel like there will never be an answer for this. I feel alone and isolated, ashamed, humiliated. Alone. And if I didn't already say it....I feel alone. The worst part of that is that I don't want to be alone but it's the only thing that feels safe right now. My safe little prison of solitude.

no words

I fear if I say a word right now, the tears will begin and they will not stop until I fall apart completely. So I hold them inside, as tightly as I can until........??

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm freakin' out a bit.....

I'm going to be leaving soon for my evaluation at the Renfrew Center (Eating Disorder Clinic) and I'm having a minor panic situation.
Trying hard just to breathe and stay calm.
I don't recall being so nervous the first time I did this. Maybe because I didn't know what to expect. Maybe because I was up in the air about treatment. Whatever the reason....send some calming vibes my way. I need them.
I will post about my appointment later or tomorrow. Right now, I can hardly breathe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Being Human

How I detest being human. Can you imagine a more ridiculous thing for me to waste my energy on? Trying to figure out how not to be confined to human limitations? It occurs to me as I get off on a tangent of lamenting these limitations that there is absolutely no way in hell that I will ever love, value, respect and accept myself in this life until I can QUIT trying to find a way around being what I am really fortunate enough to be. A human being.
Yet I despise.......
I despise.....


Hurts, emotional or physical

Requiring nourishment


Needing human contact

Physical limitations

Needing sleep

Bodily functions of any kind

Not knowing the answer to any and every question

Being subject to criticism

Making mistakes

Having to deal with any sort of ambiguity

Not being 100% on top of every single thing in life, at home, at work

Feeling like a failure at anything

Questioning my value as a person, a friend, a parent

Judging and feeling judged

Getting sick

Hearing my voice

Disappointing anyone at anytime

Not being able to do everything for everyone at a moment's notice
It must be perfect. Every single thing I do.
Every single.....

Word from my mouth
Action I take
Parenting choice
Meal I cook
Project I undertake

Advice I give
Sentence I type

Photo I snap
Choice I make
Mile I drive
Song I sing
Story I write
Game I play
Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
I know I cannot be. I know I am not. Yet I'm still driven by this desire to somehow find the key that unlocks the ability to achieve the impossible. How do I let go of this? How do I find self-acceptance? How do I come to believe that it's okay to be just what I am? It's not like I'm fooling anyone. I'm fairly sure there is no one on this planet who looks at me and thinks I am soo put together and fabulous that I must not even be human!!?!?! So what drives me to keep feeling this way?
Oh my's the inability to be. To just be. When I stop hating myself for being something that I know I will never be then I will have to live with myself as I am and accept that. And it's the feeling that I need to be tormented by something, that I don't deserve peace. That is why I can't let it go. It's not that I can't accept my lack of perfection. It's that I spend my energy fretting over a desire wholly futile to keep my brain from resting and getting to know myself as I actually AM. And to say it's okay. Despite the messages that were programmed into my psyche so early in life, I don't have to be any more than I am. Go figure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Broken Alarm

(And miscellaneous father ramblings)
I've been getting really into dreams lately and trying to "teach" my brain to make better use of my dreams. I bought a book which includes a dream journal. It's pretty cool, asking questions about the day, certain events, prevalent emotions, recurring thoughts. You write all that down before you go to bed and also write down if there is anything in particular you'd like your dreams to address that night. The following morning, you write down what you remember of your dream(s) and compare it to the day before to see if there are any parallels.
Saturday night, I had a most interesting dream. In my dream, my father came to my house, uninvited, and I found him sleeping on my couch. I left him a note and I went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, he was gone. I could not figure out how he got out of the house without setting off the alarm, since he didn't know the code. I looked at the note that I'd left for him to find that my mother (who was not in the dream) had written back to me on it. I went to my bedroom and was laying in bed when I realized that someone had broken into my home. I was trying to set off my alarm by opening doors and windows that are wired into the central system but my father had broken the alarm and I could not make it go off to alert the police. The intruder caught me and I woke up in a panic.
The first thing this said to me was that my father (one of my abusers) "broke my alarm" and left me unable to protect myself when I needed to. Because of his actions, his messages, his abuse...he beat me down to a place that I didn't know how to defend myself. Nevermind HOW to defend myself....I didn't even know I deserved defending. If that was the way my father would treat father....who is supposed to be my hero, my supporter, my protector.....then how would I ever feel like I was worthy of love and respect from ANY man?
I haven't quite put my finger on the meaning of my mother writing back on the letter I left for my father. I imagine it has something to do with her trying to make up for his behavior, overcompensating to pick up his slack or trying to make excuses for keeping our family together....not quite sure. As I re-read this, I'm also seeing other nuances...while in my home, my father was sleeping, ie: there but not "present". He left before I awoke, ie: abandonment.
These are my most vivid memories of my father:

1. When he threw me down a flight of stairs because I ran the dishwasher without putting his dinner plate in it first.

2. When I came home from a date and he greeted me at the door by grabbing my wrists, twisting them so hard that I had to bend down to the ground to avoid them being broken. He demanded to know what I'd been doing with the boy. When I said we'd gone to the movies, he kept yelling "What else?? What else?? What else did you do??"

3. When I finally told about the abuse from my brother, my father confronted me and made me say that I was lying and made it up for attention. He made me apologize to my brother for saying it.

4. Our final correspondence, 8 years ago. I initiated it through a Christmas card, tried to reach out yet again and see if we could address the past. These are but a few of the "gems" he threw my way:
"Kim, I was not going to respond to your letter. It seemed totally pointless. But perhaps you are seeking some kind of closure. Many people need that. I will not address each of your comments; I do not see any merit."
"Sometime I did something that terribly hurt and angered you. You have never told me what that was. In all likelihood you believe I should know but sometimes what is devastating to one person is inconsequential to the other. "
(*Important to note…read this with MASSIVE sarcasm intended*) "It's a good thing you are doing, or have done. Ending the abuse of this family history, understanding the dysfunctional background, no doubt forgiving your brother for his behavior as he too was subjected to that same loveless, tyrannical upbringing. Yes, you should be proud of yourself for that. "
"I believe you will never understand what I feel when I say what I am about to (I guess I am speculating, which I said I wouldn't but). The last thing that you probably want or would accept; but a piece of fatherly advice….let it go. Move on with your life. You will never understand me, so let it go. "
Doesn't he make you all warm & fuzzy inside??

Friday, November 14, 2008

A look back.....November 2006

Not feeling particularly inspired with a new post today, I decided to look back on this time of year, two years ago. I was posting with a Survivor's Forum online group which eventually fizzled out and led to the creation of my blog. It was immensely helpful for the time it was active.
Two years ago, here is where I was at. The *bullet* remarks are my synopsis of what was going on in my life and the comments in purple are excerpts from my posts.
*Bianca and I were living in my Mother's house because, financially, it was all I could do at the moment. I'd been living there since June of '03, shortly before I got pregnant. The weight of living in the home where the majority of my abuse took place, and trying to raise my daughter in this environment was suffocating.
*I was finally preparing to move out. I was house hunting. I was still in a relationship with Tom, my XBF and the one Bianca calls "Daddy", although it was beginning to fall apart. I was *just* starting to allow myself to see that it was happening while still scrambling to hold it together any way I could.
I hate to think anything bad about my relationship with Tom and hate even more to admit the things I do think. Yesterday I just started thinking.....have I done this to myself on purpose where I've put myself back in the position of waiting for someone I love to choose me and forever being disappointed? I can say a million wonderful things about him. I do truly love him. I also sit here with my life on hold waiting for him to sift through his family issues and, in the end, he is not choosing me or us. And I just wonder how that all plays into my past. It does seem to be part of a pattern.
*I was just completing a series of written & email correspondence with my mother about my childhood abuse and my anger at her for her role in it. She claimed that she "never knew" what really happened, so I told her. She never even commented on it except to say that "she can no longer say she's uninformed". It was a huge learning experience for me and really allowed me to take a step forward in my relationship with her. This was the beginning of my acceptance that some things in life just need to be grieved.
I was thinking yesterday.....what if my mother's not capable of meeting me in reality on this? What if she absolutely, steadfastly clings to her place of denial? It's a real possibility.You know, it's her prerogative. It's her choice. But I'm not sure how to live with that. How do I let go of my expectation for her to beREAL? I mean, I understand that having expectations of another person is generally pretty can't make people who you want them to be. But on the other hand, we all have a minimum personal standard of how we want to be treated. Does family transcend this standard? Not in my mind, they don't. I guess I don't understand where the compromise on this is. I guess I don't understand HOW to do the very thing I know I need to do which is to stop expecting her to be who I wish she was.
Susan (that's my Therapist) said that inherent in all of what I said is this deep down belief that my mother is capable of what I want from her and somehow holding it back from me. She has it but is not giving it, she could be open but chose not to be, she knows something she won't tell me. These are my illusions. That I'm not what I need to be in order to get from her what I want. That I need to somehow find the key to unlock her into being what I need. It's a carry over from the childhood abuse that taught me to assume responsibility. It can't be her....she is my parent. IT MUST BE ME. This is something I need to let go of. I need to stop believing she is capable of more than what she is giving me because that is where I'm getting caught up and being forever disappointed.
We talked more about where I am with my Mom and that my task now is grieving the loss of the ideals I had about her and mom's roles in general and then coming to terms with what is. I told her I felt better in ways about what I'd shared with my mother even though her reaction wasn't what I'd hoped for. It gave me a new understanding and for that I'm glad. And that I feel like I gave my mother the power before through my paralysis in dealing with the issues but now that I've tackled some stuff and learned that I'm definitely the "strong" one, I feel I have the power back. Susan reminded me how much of my life had revolved around surrendering my power/others holding power over me and my wishes.
*I was struggling with brother issues, trying to get a grip on how I felt about Jeff (my brother) potentially having a family relationship with Bianca. He's only seen her twice. Being that my brother was one of my abusers and I don't have a relationship with him, I was perplexed by the fact that I felt irate toward him for not making an effort to know his niece.
So where am I at today?
Well, obviously I moved out and made a home for myself and Bianca. That's a huge weight lifted though I have to admit it did not have the curative effect I'd hoped as far as my anxiety and panic symptoms were concerned.
Tom and I broke up in January of '07 and he's basically out my life. I would be lying if I didn't admit there are still some sort of feelings there but I'm not sure what kind of feelings they are. The process did allow me to recognize my bad relationship choices and eventually led to my decision to stay single, at least until I feel like I'm in control of me and my life.
The experience with my Mom was enlightening and opened the door to a LOOOONG hallway at which a realistic relationship with her waits at the other end. Presently, I'm about mid-hallway! I've accepted her limitations and made peace with having to grieve the loss of the mother I would have wanted. The piece I'm working on now is allowing myself to enjoy her for who she is.
It's funny....the part about my brother....I don't think I would have even remembered that struggle had I not read back on the posts. I don't struggle with that any longer. While the idea of "my big brother" was another thing I had to grieve, I accept that the one I have can't be part of our lives.
Guess I've made some progress in the past 2 years!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


If you're a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I'm pretty fascinated with dream interpretation. Unfortunately, I almost never recall my dreams. It's a shame to me since I truly believe that our dreams say so much about what's going on in our life and in our minds especially when it's a subject the conscious mind tries to ignore.
There is a radio show I listen to every morning and they have a dream expert in every couple months. Her name is Lauri Loewenberg from The Dream Zone. I recently bought her book and am looking forward to getting more out of my dreams. So far, I've only been dabbling in the dream dictionary section trying to interpret a couple dreams from the past two nights.
Cats & Snow. Are these two things connected? I had a dream the other night and a large portion of it was self explanatory based on a conversation I'd had with Jennie (my BFF) shortly before going to bed. The two things that stuck out to me as being out of place, or noteworthy, were two cats that were constantly at my heels and the fact that it was snowing. So I look up cats and snow. Both refer to being emotionally cold, or aloof, toward something. I've not figured out what that thing is yet, lol, but still I am amazed by the symbolism in dreams.
My dream last night: My neighbor (who is married with 2 young children & a 3rd on the way) comes over to my house and she's stressing out. I learn in the dream that she and her DH are actually not married but they are getting married. In the dream, they still have 2 kids and 3rd on the way. Except in real life, they have a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. In the dream, it appears they have about a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. (WHOA. I didn't recognize the importance of that until I typed it out.....that's the age difference & order of me & my brother) So, neighbor is stressing that she hasn't received her wedding invitations that she ordered and she needs to send them out very soon. She shows me a sample of the wedding invitation and it's a picture of her DH and the 2 kids with an iridescent invitation sort of super-imposed on top of it. She drops the invitation. I pick it up and hand it back to her. She drops it again and it goes under a cabinet. My mother, and a friend of my mother's, are both in the dream. We're all looking for the invitation and it cannot be found. I notice, in looking underneath the cabinet, the floor is filthy. Covered in particles, dust bunnies, etc.
I pick apart my dream.......Just yesterday, I was posting about how Bianca and I are the only family we need and we're in this place right now for a reason. I have a sense of peace about her not needing a father right now; just needing me to be 100% present. Since I wrote out the dream, I'm certain the photo represents the family I had growing up. And in fact, photos in dreams are an indication of a "snapshot" of a certain time in your life. Dream interpretation of losing something, again pretty literal, depicts something lost in your life. And dirt or dirty spaces are an indication of something you find shameful.
So, in a nutshell, this dream stamped my childhood as something I lost and that I'm unhappy about. I think her stress in the dream equals my stress over family situations. And I think the fact that she dropped the photo and I handed it back to her is representative of my repeated efforts to let go of my past. I think it's noteworthy that my mother is also looking for the photo since she has a lifelong struggle of family issues. Dream interpretation of weddings is a new beginning or a life transition. So, I think the invitation super-imposed over the photo of what I'm grieving equals an invitation for me to let go and move forward into this new phase. Pretty freakin' cool. Invitation accepted!

Nice to Meet You!

I'm not really sure why I've kept a degree of anonymity on my blog. Is there anyone I feel like I need to be secret from? Do I think someone is going to track me down through it? I think it was just the old assumption that I need to protect myself.
But as this blog has become a place of solace and honesty for me, I'm at a point where I want to stop being cryptic with the "DD" and "T", etc. codes.
So....Hi! My name is Kim. And my daughter's name is Bianca. From now on, I'll be referring to the people in my life by their names (unless the person I'm speaking of wants anonymity). I feel a sense of friendship and kinship in this blog community and it's time I let my guard down in this forum.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Advice

I posted a comment yesterday on a blog that I frequent. I reminded this Blogger, despite how it feels in the moment, to have faith that we are always where we need to be in our journey. That even though it doesn't feel the way we wanted it to, or hoped it would, that every step in the path has a purpose.
Hours later, as I had my 10 minutes of alone time on my drive to daycare, I realized that I need to listen to my own advice when it comes to this Daddy situation with my daughter. I don't need to worry about what she does or doesn't have. I give her all that *I* have. And this is where she and I are meant to be right now. And you know what? I feel a sense of peace about that. All my anxiety seems to be stemming from some pre-conceived expectations of what her life would be & should be like or some made up "requirements" for her to be a happy, healthy child.
My baby IS happy. She IS healthy. She has everything she needs. She has a roof over her head, a warm bed to sleep in, nourishment and stimulation. She has a great school and friends. She has people in her life who believe in her and support her. She is safe, cherished and loved beyond measure. What more does any child need??

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Spent some time reflecting after last nights posts. First of all, I called my BFF back. I got her voicemail. The message I left was.....well.... it was hilarious, really. "Oooooh God....I don't know whether to cry or be thrilled that you're not answering. I don't feel like talking. I think I need to talk but I don't want to. I'm pretty sure if I don't talk about this tonight that I won't do it at all. And I'm pretty sure that's the way I'd like it. Even though I know that's not how I'm supposed to feel. have no idea what to tell you at this point. I don't know if I want you to call me back or not. So. Well. Do what you will with this information!!!"
Needless to say, my friend called me back. My lovely, patient friend who even with a severe case of larangitis (sp?) carried the entire beginning of the conversation to help ease my anxiety level so that I could eventually talk. When she gives me feedback, I want to tune her out. I want to cut her off and tell her I already know the answer. Poor thing. I love her to death...I SO value her thoughts. But I have such a hard time admitting that I don't have it all under control that it's terribly difficult for me to take advice from anyone. She knows this, though, and she approaches me so gingerly with her words. God love her....I don't know why she is so patient with me. We've been friends for 25 years and I still can barely open up to her.
After we talked, I can't say I felt significantly better. I mean, I felt satisfied that I'd accomplished something that was tough for me. But I think I was so busy judging myself and all the hype over this one little blip in my life. I came out of it thinking "see, I could have just handled this on my own...there was no need to get her involved and make her deal with all my insanity."
Regarding the "Daddy" stuff with my daughter....You know, I always say that I wanted so much more for her. Yes, I wanted her to have "more" than what I had. Maybe I need to just rearrange the way I think about that. Because in ways, she does have more. Quality vs Quantity. It may be just me and her but I do make every effort to be a present and (mostly) functional Mom. I mean, I had a Dad and he sucked. I had a brother and he sucked. I had a Mom and she did a crappy job of watching out for me. So, in that sense, DD has WAY more than I had.
So what exactly do I mean when I say that I want DD to have MORE than I did? I am projecting my fantasy onto her. I am projecting the "happy family, happy home" fantasy and hoping that for her life since I didn't have it for mine. And you know what? That little bugger is incredibly perceptive. Until I change my thinking and quit wishing that for her, even though I NEVER say it out loud, she will pick up on it and start to feel like she's missing out on something. Somewhere in this messed up brain of mine, I have to grasp and learn to accept the ideas that I give to DD verbally that families come in different forms and there's nothing wrong with that. The two of us are a family and that's all we need.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sorry, but......

Why does it happen this way?? I suppose it's some "divine" way of telling me I need to work on something by smacking me over the head with it again and again. Last night, as I mentioned in my prior post, I had an image of XBF and I together and I felt so sad; a longing for the times we were together and happy.

This morning I was driving DD to school and she said something about her favorite Angelina Ballerina movie. Said something about Angelina's daddy. *Pregnant Pause* I knew it was coming. She made a comment about her own Daddy. It's been a while since she's mentioned him. It was a passing comment that didn't require more than just my quick acknowledgement.

I pick her up from school today and what's in her art folder? My least favorite project (other than Father's Day). The Family Tree. Mommy. DD's name. Blank leaf. Blank leaf. Blank leaf. Blank leaf. God it fucking breaks my heart.

And then tonight, after dinner, we're watching Dora together and there's this part at the end when Dora always says "What was your favorite part?" and waits for your response. DD said "My favorite part was when Boots got to hug his Daddy. Mama, next time can I hug my Daddy again?"

I know, I know.....I know I'm a good Mom. I know she's better off with no father than a crappy one. I know it all. But it doesn't stop me from feeling like garbage that she doesn't have a father. I wanted so much more for her.

I reached out to my BFF tonight and I'm sitting here avoiding calling her back. Isn't it crazy? I know I need to talk. I make the first move by sending her a text message and then I immediately start trying to talk myself out of it. You don't need anyone. Who wants to hear your problems? Do you really want to admit your weaknesses? What good will it do? Just deal with it on your own. Blah blah blah blah blah. Broken record.

Rough night

So I spent all of last week and the weekend being the sickie. I finally started to get some energy back yesterday and pulled myself together enough to come to work today. I decided to take care of me and get to bed very early. I got in bed at 9:15. That is insanely early for me. I figured after my first real day of any kind of exertion (cleaning, laundry, cooking) I'd be wiped out. So I got in bed, I turned on my TV which is my routine. I was watching House which was maybe a little too interesting for me to fall asleep to. I changed over to CSI because I've pretty much seen every episode 15 times and I can tune it out. No good. I switched to a VOD movie that I've seen numerous times. No good. I was feeling jumpy, antsy and anything but tired. I turned the TV off. BIG mistake. "What was that noise?" "What was that sound?" Turned the TV back on and put on the digital music channel of Soundscapes which is as relaxing as relaxing gets. I layed there and did my breathing, did my relaxation "chanting" (which I do silently in my head as I breathe). Still feeling very jumpy. Rolled this way and that way, tried to get comfortable. Even (confession time) put my hand inside my pillowcase grasping a small potential weapon I keep inside of it, because I was feeling so frightened. Sometimes having that in my hand lets me feel protected enough to calm down. It's now 11:45 and I'm climbing the walls. I'm being plagued by unpleasant thoughts and the sound of my heart beating inside my head is so loud, it's making me nauseous.
I've had a prescription bottle of Xanax for almost 2 years now and I still have 2/3 of it. I almost never take it. But I decided the only thing for me to do at this point is to take one. This is fast approaching critical panic attack levels and I will never sleep if I don't have some assistance. So I take one and go back to bed. They usually work in about 20 minutes or so. I lay in bed and decide I need to conjure images of safety. My safe place. What's my safe place? New Hampshire. And what pops into my head? An image of my ExBF and I laying in bed together in NH. Where I felt safe. And that safety was such an illusion. Yet I long for that feeling despite the fact that it was a fantasy. I miss the days when I felt like I could be myself and lean on someone else. What I would not have given last night to have his strong arms around me and be able to feel that sense of love and security. I feel betrayed by my own brain that it would throw this image at me. And I feel like I want to sob til the well of tears dries up but I can't let it out. I fear if I start, it will never end. So I angrily shake that image away and try to bring back something else.

I'm hearing noises and feeling some strange way I've never felt before and I start seeing images of skeletons and a devil. I can't make them stop. I'm terrified and think something is so different about how I'm feeling right now. I convince myself that something pivotal is about to happen and then, of course, I fear I'm dying because I'm seeing images reminiscent of death. I'm dying....and I'm going to hell. These figures plagued me for what seemed like hours though, in reality, it was probably only about 20-30 minutes. I was scared to allow myself to fall asleep and I let my brain run away with the storytelling it does....that I will die in bed and DD will find me and not know what to do or how to get out of the house and will forget how to call 911 and she'll be stuck there with my rotting corpe for days trying to snuggle up to it or wake it up. Oh the pleasantries I think about. It was a horrible, horrible night.
On the bright side, I'm feeling alright. I'm back at work. My eye only has one little red dot left in it. I heard back from the eating disorder clinic. My insurance will cover 100% of the partial residential program which is 5 days a week from 9am - 2pm. That would be ideal and it's what I will push for. It gives me time to drop DD off at daycare and get to the center. And it gives me time to get to the office and work for a few hours the end of each day. I go for my assessment interview next week. I made them schedule it at the end of the day because I recall it being emotionally draining.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quick Update

Here's an updated picture of my eye. Pretty, huh? It spread to the other eye though not as severely. It's actually starting to clear up a bit now. I'm still fighting a cold with a heavy duty cough but that seems to be subsiding as well. Right now, I'm just achy and tired. I need alot of sleep. It takes me a good hour or more to be able to function after I wake up in the morning. So maybe it's a good thing I was forced to stay home or else I would have likely ended up with bronchitis or worse.
Being able to work from home has been a God-send. It's helped me keep my sanity and at least feel like I'm doing something. In fact, it's been incredibly productive and that In Box that you saw in my previous post is now all DONE! I think I will continue to work over the weekend since I still can't go out. I'm hoping to be able to return by Monday. But we'll see. My eyes need to be cleared up first. Anyway, it's just incredible how much I can get accomplished when there are no co-workers knocking on my door all day long.
For now, DD and I are going upstairs to have lunch and take a nap. Now *THIS* is a work day I could get used to!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So this is me from 4:00 this morning. Well, at least it's my ugly, infected, swollen, goopy eye. My eye felt a little sore last night so I took out my contacts. It had a little red splotch at the inner corner and I thought I must have burst a blood vessel from vomiting during the migraine episode yesterday. Not uncommon due to the force of migraine vomiting.
Enter 4am and awakening to the sensation that my eye was about to burst out of my head. I look at it and the whole thing is blood red and (this is way gross, sorry....) the actual white part of my eye is bulging over the edges of my eyelid because it's so swollen. WTH?!?!?!???? It *KILLS*. It hurts so much, I can't even tell you. I deduce from the green goo that is oozing from it that I managed to catch my DD's pink eye. But I have no idea how it went from one little splotch to this in a matter of 6 hours. I've been using her eyedrops and it's not really getting any better. I have an eye Dr appt at 3:00. **See Update at end of post**
Not to mention that DD woke up at 4am also....I guess she heard me which is unlike her. Generally, I could have a Monster Truck Rally in her bedroom and she'd sleep through it. So she is going to have a rough day on top of it....AND we have choir rehearsal tonight so it's our late night. *sigh*
I just find it nearly comedic that the weekend I decide to pull my shit together, organize my life, start getting back on track and attracting positive energy to my days is the exact same time I got (1.) a cold (2.) a severe migraine and (3.) this hideous eye infection. Seriously?? Reprieve, please???
**Update After Dr** There is a reason DD's eyedrops were not working. DD had bacterial conjunctivitis. I have viral conjunctivitis. From eMedicine: Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are acute, benign, and self-limited. The infection usually resolves spontaneously within 2-4 weeks. (faint) Subepithelial infiltrates may last for several months, and, if in the visual axis, they may cause decreased vision or glare. Symptoms may worsen during the first 4-7 days after onset before they begin to improve and may not resolve for 2-4 weeks. The contagiousness of the infection also should be emphasized. Proper isolation from work or school is advisable to prevent epidemics in the office and at school. Patients should be instructed to take contagion and isolation precautions for at least 2 weeks or as long as the eyes are red and weeping.
Are you F***ing kidding me???? The Dr also told me I should go home and stay in isolation for a week. A WEEK??? I cannot deal. I don't know what I'm going to do.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No Such Thing As Dragons

So, you may or may not recall my post about dragons. They seem to be popping up all over the place to me now.
Friday night, I took my DD trick or treating at the mall. What a great idea!!! While there, we stopped in the bookstore. I got her a couple really cute new books. She chose this one: There's NO Such Thing as a Dragon. It's actually an older book, published in 1975, I believe. I had to laugh to myself when I read the book. It's about a little boy who finds a tiny dragon in his bedroom one morning. He tells his mother about it and she insists "There's no such thing as a dragon" so the little boy ignores it. And the mother ignores it even though it's growing and growing. Eventually (see book cover photo), it becomes the size of the house. The little boy tells his mother emphatically that there IS a dragon and she finally sees it. And then the dragon shrinks back down to the size of a kitten. The mother says she can deal with a dragon that size and wonders why it had to get so big. The little boy says "I think it just wanted to be noticed."
I think this book is awesome! My DD enjoyed the entertainment factor. But of course I saw the adult side of something tiny can grow so enormous when you don't deal with it. How it can shrink back down into something manageable when you finally admit you see it. And, thinking about my childhood, also how the adults in the house could manage to maneuver their way around the "dragon" day in and day out, even though it filled the house in a palpable way, without ever acknowledging it was there. Not just ignoring it, but also convincing the child that they need to ignore the "dragon" as well; it's not *really* there.'s all in their head.
Saturday AM I went to counseling. I was feeling pretty calm since I'd made some good realizations this week about the snowball effect and needing to take time for myself. I'd also had a good appointment with my Dr, going over my labwork. And I'd called the eating disorder clinic, so I'm one step closer to that. T asked me how I felt about the whole prospect of weight loss. I said I kindof felt on auto-pilot about it. I'm not really wrapping my mind around that right now. I'm thinking more about just getting through what I need to get through as this year wraps up. I'm thinking more of the concrete tasks ahead first. And I'm not so much thinking "weight loss" as I'm thinking about a whole new way of life.
It's SO amazing to me how the simplest question can bring about a whole new realization. T asked me when do I do my binging? What goes along with it? I said I do it at night after DD goes to bed and while I watch TV, catching up on my TiVo'd shows. I never thought about the two actions going together...TV & binging. I just thought of that as my time of night. So I've decided to shut off the TV before DD goes to bed and keep it off. I will then do the things that need to be done around the house with music. I'm going to call Cable and have them add TiVo to my bedroom TV. So after I'm done with chores, I can get in bed & watch my shows because I never bring food upstairs into my bedroom. What a simple change of routine that may really help me in breaking an aspect of my programmed cycle!
So my weekend was fairly productive. I chose to stay home and attempt to reorganize my world. Presently, it's more of a mess than it was when I started.....but I'm making progress. I have a few big bags of garbage to take out. I have a huge moving box of stuff to bring to a childrens consignment shop and another several bags to bring to GoodWill. And then I have to finish a few more projects. All in all, I'm happy with how it went. I have a cold which sortof interfered with my energy level but it was a nice balance of doing a project & then snuggling with DD. We even took a nice nap together on Saturday afternoon.
Interesting note that last night, I did sortof follow my "new routine" of no TV on while getting things ready at night. I went up to bed pretty early for me, around 10, and watched TV in bed. I even fell asleep fairly quickly. I awoke at 3:30am with a severe migraine, possibly the worst I've had to date. I was disoriented and just in excruciating pain. I made my way downstairs to find my medication and started vomiting from the pain. I lay in bed just writhing for the next 2 hours, sweating, chills, nausea, pain, pain, pain. It finally quieted down a bit and I managed to sleep from 5:30 til almost 7am when DD woke me up. I came into work late. But it got me thinking....for me, migraines are generally stress induced. I had a very low stress weekend. But I didn't follow my "routine" of binging.....did that stress my mind out to the point of a migraine?