Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Fun....

Here's some pics from our snowy weekend in NH. Above.....would you look at that snow? It's a good 7-8 feet high!!
Below.....Jumping on the bed is allowed on vacation!!
Catching some warmth in between sled runs.....

Whheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! She had sooo much fun!

This is as we're getting ready to leave. We always go out for breakfast at the "Moose" diner. We call it this b/c there is a giant statue of a moose in front of the place. Bianca is looking out the window at it and says "Mama, I like the giant moose with the big antlers like this!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I saw Susan this morning and went with little on my agenda. I figured we'd talk about my anxiety surrounding Bianca going to Kindergarten and making the right decision for her school. It's often the sessions I have "nothing" to talk about that I get the most out of.
When I got there, I started off just filling her in on what's been happening since I last saw her. Told her about our long weekend in NH. Then started in on the stress of the happenings when I returned to the office. I was discussing what she and I have talked about before; how I know everything is about choices and consequences but how I feel like I just can't get a handle on things. There has to be a happy medium between where I am and where I'd like to be. Susan asked me how I was feeling at that moment and I said I was wound up. She had me do a centering exercise and then we started talking again. I said how I have such guilt over what is not getting done and this ever present sense of failure. She asked me where is the evidence that I'm a failure? I said "My back log at work, my messy house...." She then asked me where is evidence to the contrary, evidence of what I'm doing right? Umm. "I don't know" I said. She said "Sure you do," and asked me again. I said "um, Bianca?" She asked me what else and all I could see was what I did wrong, what I didn't accomplish, what I'm ashamed of. I can't see what I've done. I see only what I haven't. And I started to cry. So I knew we were onto something.
Susan asked me what the "little girl" had to gain by holding onto the failures? Nothing. I mean, I know that intellectually. What does she have to lose by letting that go? "Familiarity," I answered. She asked me where this thinking comes from and I was easily able to answer that it was outside messages from my father.....stupid, worthless, nothing you do is good enough. And Susan asked me why I so desperately wanted to make him right? Blech. I don't. Nothing pleases me more than making him wrong! Yet I let his messages dominate my thinking about myself, my worth and my abilities.
As she and I were discussing this, there were thoughts swirling in my head. It was really, really hard for me to say it but I knew it was a crucial point for me to acknowledge. "My weight," I whispered. "Somewhere in here, my weight plays a huge role. I have this 'fat and lazy' image in my head and I think I'm working so hard, trying to do more than anyone else to prove that I'm NOT fat and lazy yet at the same time, I'm creating a life where that is all I *can* be. Between my eating disorder and the choices I make, too much work, too high expectations, not enough sleep....I make sure that is exactly what I turn out to be." Phew.....the floodgates opened and I cried so hard.
When I was done, my chest ached. I mean it ACHED. Because it's where I hold all my stress and pain. It hurt and yet it felt strangely hollow and very, extremely exposed. I hugged one of the pillows from her couch to my chest. She asked me get in touch with what emotion or feeling I had at that moment. I already knew......vulnerable. All I wanted to do was turn off her lights and hide in a corner in the dark. Desperately, my head sought out jokes I could make to break the intensity of what I was feeling. Susan said that I seemed much more "present" at that point. I told her I really didn't want to be present and it took all my energy to remain there emotionally and not to dissociate.
After a few more minutes, I told her I was ready to change topics. I knew I'd put something huge out there but I needed to back off of it and mull it over later (knowing I'd come home to my blog!). I realize that I've made an enormous connection that challenges pretty much the entire way I live my life and judge myself. It's going to take alot of energy and processing and conscious thought to start to change the pattern. I'm committed to it but I'm scared to death.
I took the last few minutes of my session to discuss my anxiety over Kindergarten. As we talked, I pondered how much of my feelings are "normal Mom" fears and how much is "survivor" fears. She validated that it's a tough thing to sort out since we, as survivors, have such struggle with "normal" and not knowing what it looks like. I mean, for me, 5 years old was not a safe age. So I project MY experience of being 5 onto Bianca, worrying that it will be as full of pain for her as it was for me. I don't want her to be afraid of the world but I was. I started talking about the fact that I'd be sending her out into the world and that I'd be so far away. An hour away. That has been really, really weighing on me. And as I said it, my eyes opened wide when the realization kicked in. This is about *my* mother. My mother wasn't "there" for me and my worry is that because I'm not physically close, Bianca will feel that I'm not there for her. When I know that is so not the case. Because emotionally, I am soooo there for her. Geographical proximity is not what establishes the ability to support her....it's in our relationship and what we build together in our home and in our time together. Ah, things are coming together. Perhaps, by the time she starts in August.....I may just survive it after all.

Friday, February 20, 2009


"Sober" is a currently popular song by singer, Pink (Left).
I like her alot. I enjoy her music and I've seen her in interviews. She's coming off a recent divorce and her newest music is pretty raw. I'm really diggin it.
It took me a while to really grab the lyrics in this song. Once I did, though, I immediately equated it to my eating disorder and how I use it to stay "high", ie: disconnected from myself/my feelings.
I don't wanna be the girl who laughs the loudest
Or the girl who never wants to be alone
I don't wanna be that call at 4 o'clock in the morning
'Cos I'm the only one you know in the world that won't be home
Aahh the sun is blinding
I stayed up again
Oohh, I am finding
That's not the way
I want my story to end
I don't wanna be the girl who has to fill the silence
Cryin scares me cause it screams the truth
Please don't tell me that we had that conversation
I won't remember, save your breath,
'cos what's the use?
Aahh, the night is calling
And it whispers to me softly come and play
Aahh, I am falling
And If I let myself go
I'm the only one to blame
I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're like perfection
How do I feel this good sober?
I'm coming down, coming down, coming down
Spinning 'round, spinning 'round, spinning 'round
Looking for myself, Sober
When it's good, then it's good, it's so good till it goes bad
Till you're trying to find the you that you once had
I have heard myself cry, never again
Broken down in agony just tryna find a friend
I'm safe
Up high
Nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain
You're like perfection
How do I feel this good sober
Will I ever feel this good sober?
Tell me, No no no no no pain
How do i feel this good sober?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Asleep At The Wheel

No, it's not some clever play on words or reference to something deep and insightful.
It's literal. I fell asleep at the wheel this morning while driving Bianca to school. It wasn't as cute as this little furry guy to the left, unfortunately.
It's something I struggle with regularly, being over-tired while driving. I have a small arsenal of techniques to combat it. Sometimes I stab my arm with a T pin. Sometimes I munch on almonds. Sometimes I sing along with a great CD. This AM, I had no pin, I had no almonds and I was so tired that the music & open window were not helping. I was swerving all over the road and would continue to wake up a second later to find myself half way into another lane. Right before I got to Bianca's school, I went up onto a curb and grazed a telephone pole. I am very fortunate in so many ways. It could have been so much worse. It's the first time I've actually hit something and I'm freaked out about it. What if it were another car? Or someone walking on the sidewalk?
It's something I've discussed with Susan more than once. It's about consequences. Every decision I make puts a sequence of events into motion. I oversleep and pop out of bed already stressed out and angry with myself. I end up getting to work late so I work late to compensate for being late in the AM. Of course, I'm so tired through the day that I'm not thinking or working at full capacity which puts me more behind and more stressed out. I drink so much coffee to perk up that I get heartburn & jitters. Working late puts me off to a later start when I get home at night. I'm rushing around and I'm stressed out and it spills over onto Bianca with me constantly trying to hurry her along. When she goes to bed, I spend time trying to get stuff done which I don't have the energy to do because I'm exhausted and then I'm stressed about the house being a mess and how much work I have to do at the office and I can't sleep because of the anxiety so I stay up late trying to wind down by watching TV or playing on the computer til I can finally fall asleep at midnight or later. And the alarm goes off at 5am, I smack it around for an hour and the cycle starts over again.
My shoulder/chest pain has been particularly bad the past 2 weeks or so, so I know I'm feeling particularly stressed. I sometimes have the chance to catch up on sleep &/or house stuff on the weekends but not always. And then Tuesdays really kill me. That's my long day when I go to choir after work. So we don't get home til 10:30. It's really rough on Bianca, too. Weds my Mom comes over which is nice. That goes both ways for me....sometimes I take advantage of her being there to entertain Bianca. Other times, I want to be in on the fun, too! Just seems like there are not enough hours in the day and I don't know how to handle it.
This weekend is full for me so I know I'm not going to get much rest. I have decided I'm going to make a point to get the computer equipment I need and am going to ask my boss if I can work from home at least one day a week (preferably Weds). Doing that will allow me 2 1/2 extra hours to sleep and I think will make a big difference. Not to mention that I get 10 times more work done at home when I'm not being interrupted by co-workers. It's a start.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I feel like I've been MIA lately but I've not really had much to talk about. Things are pretty status quo.
I've not made any progress with my eating disorder. My friend, JS, was on vacation for a couple weeks so I was without her input for that time. She came back right before I left for a long weekend with Bianca in New Hampshire. We had a nice time, playing in the snow and relaxing in the house. I'll post some pictures later in the week. Anyway....JS gave me a packet of information that I've yet to look at. Last week was crazy busy with work things and stress surrounding them. ~
The weekend was good. Saturday was errands. Sunday I was so happy to be able to get together with Enola. We've been friends for a few years now and this was the 2nd time we've been able to meet up. Our daughters are around the same age and had fun playing together. I got to see the new baby who is such a little love!! He's so handsome, happy and "chatty". After we got home, Bianca said "Baby sure did have alot to say!" and told me how much fun she had with Enola's DD, wanting to know when they could see each other again.
So, as the title says, the biggest thing on my plate lately has been thinking about sending Bianca to Kindergarten. I mentioned in a prior post that, when I moved here, I was operating under a false impression about Tom's (XBF) place in my life, our future and his involvement with Bianca. I didn't give the public school much thought because we had other plans. *hmpfh* So much for that. I am still, unproductively, holding onto some anger at him about this when really, I have no one to blame but myself. Aaaah, writing.....as the words were forming under my fingertips, I realize that I'm not angry with Tom. I'm angry with myself.
What are my options?
1. Private school. This was the first thing I looked into. I feel that a smaller classroom and more individualized attention would suit Bianca better. Also, I work an hour from where I live and I would prefer to have her closer to me. Cost is prohibitive, like $17,000 - $25,000 just for the school year. And then another $5,000 or more for summer.
2. Religious School. I have some serious issues with religion so this is hard for me to even think about but I'd regret not at least looking into the possibility for Bianca's sake. The Christian academy is nearly as unaffordable as the private schools at about $15K a year. I could actually pull off tuition for Catholic school and there is an award-winning school the town over from me. I spent some time reading their website. I just can't do it. They accept non-catholic students but it seems like the whole point of accepting them is catholicize them! There is so much mass & religious eduction for even the youngest grades. The rules absolutely strip the kids of one shred of individual expression. Right or wrong, I just picture a school of hypnotized clones.
3. Magnet &/or Charter schools. Seems like it could be a good alternative being a public school but requiring application & acceptance. Class sizes are slightly smaller. The deadline was 1/27 for registration. So it's now a waitlist lottery. And I'm finding it incredibly difficult to locate these schools. There does not seem to be any master list of schools in the district. I don't know if there is tuition. And then the magnet schools have a theme...the one close to me is International Studies. How do I know if that's the right focus for Bianca?
*Update to this. Made some calls yesterday & learned that despite sharing the title of "Magnet School," the schools are entirely unaffiliated to one another. That is why there is no master list of schools. And I also learned that my local Magnet school had over 400 applications for 60 spots. Soooo...that's out!!
4. Finally, public school. This causes turmoil in the pit of my stomach. The price is right, for sure. I'm worried about the distance from my office but changing jobs, particularly in this economy, is out of the question. I'm worried about the quality of the school. I learned something about the school that caused me some concern about how much attention Bianca will get. I posted about my worries on a Mom's message board the other night and I got totally raked over the coals about it.
As I examined my statements, thoughts and concerns, particularly in having them questioned and harshly judged, I came to some conclusions. I am going to find fault with any school that is a possibility right now. I'm going to pine away for the private and Montessori schools, wanting to believe they will be better simply because it's not where she is going. The simple fact is that I am terrified to send her to school. It's relinquishing control over her life and influences. I am scared to put her in the hands of strangers. And I think the word "public" sends me into absolute fits of panic and horror. Public....the public....strangers...no control. All the things she is about to be exposed to. The bubble I want to keep her in totally exploding and sending her out into the "real world" where things are ugly and hurtful. I want to shelter her and I don't want her to grow up. That's really what it all comes down to.
There is much comfort in knowing that, while in her current Pre-K, I know the teachers and she has grown up with them. It's secured with alarm coded doors and cameras. It's 10 minutes from my office and I can be there in a flash if she needs me or just if I feel like visiting her. It's an open door policy to parents and I can come and go as I please. An hour away from my baby.....who is in the care of unknown people....is presently more than I can handle thinking about.
The best thing I can do at this point is to go visit the public school, get a sense of what it is like and see how I feel while there. I didn't think this would be so hard but it's really tying me up in knots. Most of the time, I'm fine with single parenthood. There are two times that it really, really sucks. #1: when I'm in desperate need of a break/me-time and #2: when I feel completely incapable of making a decision on my own, like now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This is from something my T gave me a while back. Thought it would be a good reminder for me and maybe helpful to someone else in the process. I used to have a terrible problem with what my T called "storytelling" where I would let my thoughts completely run away with me into a paranoid fantasy or where I'd rerun something through my mind over and over again and beat myself up over it. Fortunately, I've been able to really get that under control with a single word, which is "Unproductive!" Still, I have yet to master things like allowing thoughts to come into my mind without pushing them away.


JUST NOTICE THE EXPERIECE. Notice without getting caught in the experience. Experience without reacting to your experience.
Have a "TEFLON MIND" letting experiences, feelings and thoughts come into your mind and also slip right out.
CONTROL your attention but not what you see. Push away nothing. Cling to nothing.
Be like a guard at the palace gate. ALERT to every thought, feeling and action that comes through the gate of your mind.
Step inside yourself and observe. WATCH your thoughts coming and going, like clouds in the sky. Notice each feeling rising and falling like waves in the ocean. Notice exactly what you are doing.
Notice what comes through your SENSES ~ your eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue. See others' actions and expressions. "Smell the roses"

PUT WORDS ON THE EXPERIENCE. When a feeling or thought arises, or you do something, acknowledge it. For example, say in your mind, "Sadness has just enveloped me" or "stomach muscles tightening" or "A thought of 'I can't do this' has come into my mind"
PUT EXPERIENCES INTO WORDS. Describe toyourself what is happening. Put a name on your feelings. Call a thought just a thought, a feeling just a feeling. Don't get caught in context.

Enter into your experiences. Let yourself get involved involved in the moment, letting go of ruminating. BECOME ONE WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE, COMPLETELY FORGETTING YOURSELF.
ACT INTUITIVELY from wise mind. Do just what is needed in each situation.
Actively PRACTICE your skills as you learn them until they become part of you, where you use them without self-consciousness. PRACTICE: 1. Changing harmful situations, 2. Changing your harmful reactions to situations, 3. Accepting yourself and situations as they are.


See but DON'T EVALUATE. Take a non-judgmental stance. Just the facts. Focus on the "what", not the "good" or "bad", the "terrible" or "wonderful", the "should" or "should not".
UNGLUE YOUR OPINIONS from the facts, from the "who, what, when, where."
ACCEPT each moment, each event as a garden accepts both the rain and the sun and each leaf that falls upon it.
ACKNOWLEDGE the helpful, the wholesome, but don't judge it. Acknowledge the harmful, the unwholesome, but don't judge it.
When you find yourself judging, DON'T JUDGE YOUR JUDGING.

DO ONE THING AT A TIME. When you are eating, eat. When you are walking, walk. When you are bathing, bathe. When you are working, work. When you are in a group, or a conversation, focus your attention on the very moment you are in with the other person. When you are thinking, think. When you are worrying, worry. When you are planning, plan. When you are remembering, remember. Do each thing with all of your attention.
If other actions or thoughts or strong feelings distract you, LET GO OF DISTRACTIONS and get back to what you are doing ~ again, and again, and again.
CONCENTRATE YOUR MIND. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop and go back to one thing at a time.

FOCUS ON WHAT WORKS. Do what needs to be done in each situation. Stay away from "fair" and "unfair," "right" and wrong," "should" and "should not."
PLAY BY THE RULES. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
Act as SKILLFULLY as you can, meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation you wish you were in, not in the one that is just; not in the one that is more comfortable.
Keep an eye on YOUR OBJECTIVES in the situation and do what is necessary to achieve them.
LET GO of vengeance, useless anger, and righteousness that hurts you and doesn't work.