Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why I no longer need to know everything... and why it's hard to let go

When I was little, maybe 10 or 11, I decided that the reason I didn't fit in with the other kids was because I didn't know what they knew.

I didn't feel comfortable at school with the swirling masses of people passing me by in the hallway, bumping into me, coming close to me, pricking me with barbs of derision at times. I knew that I wasn't the girl in the shiny clogging shoes confidently showing off her skills, I wasn't the little girl with ribbons in her hair and perfect panache in dress and speech. I wasn't the girl on stage giving a glorious rendition of Johnny Appleseeds mother.

I was the girl that didn't understand what was going on most of the time. I knew I should not draw attention to myself as my cousin Joe did. He bore more teasing and derision than any other kid in the classroom because of his outspoken way of making outlandish statements and smartaleck remarks during class.

I didn't know why there were some kids that naturally had a lot of friends and why I didn't have any. I always tried to be nice... being nice didn't work.

So, at some point in about the 3rd or 4th grade I decided that I needed to know everything so that I would know what to say in any given situation and then I would have friends.

It probably started when I was being pressured into giving the bully girls the answers to my math homework. I hated it and didn't know how to handle them so I decided that the only way to get away from them was to do all of the work in the book and request to be allowed to go up a level in math.

I went home and sat at my desk in my room, I had a pile of notebook paper and my math book. I sharpened some pencils and got down to work. I decided that I would have to do all of the problems for each chapter, because I didn't know if the teacher would assign even or odd questions for us to complete, a daunting task. I read each chapter trying to learn what I should do, then I worked on the problems. I would get up only to go use the bathroom and to eat something then went back to work. Eventually, I finished up the whole book, it probably took me the whole weekend to finish it. I remember going to class with my pile of completed work and handing it to the teacher... I can't quite recall what happened after that.

I do recall siting amongst the books in my parents basement, making piles of books to complete, trying to arrange them in a logical order from easier to harder in the subject.

Because I thought, I can do this, I can learn all of these subjects and I will be set free.

The thought never quite went past the organization phase of things.

But I did learn that determination could accomplish great things, even really hard and seemingly impossible things.

Throughout my life I've only had enough energy to put that determination to use on a very few selective goals. With stacks of other goals on the side that never quite got the benefit of my attention.

I can see now that I was somewhere on the autistic spectrum while growing up. I can see now that my obsessions with gathering together all of the relevant information I can on any given subject (most recently health and nutrition) has it's roots in the mindset that I grew up with.

To my benefit I focused on the right subject. Health and nutrition. I found answers to the questions that no one could answer for me. How to make friends, how to relate to people... hopefully someday how to set emotional boundaries and to follow through...

But I don't need to know everything, I no longer feel that if I don't read every book on my shelves, or in my parents basement that I will have failed. I no longer carry the burdens (as much) of compulsive organizing of books and data.

Sometimes it's hard to let go. Part of my mad passion for knowledge has dissipated, part of me doesn't need it because it's easier now to grasp what I need to know. But still I feel a vacancy there, emptiness where I felt mad desire for knowing.

I've learned some restraint, and it's a good thing, but sometimes I miss the madness. I don't know how to function without it. I'm still functioning, at some level, the same as I always have... each day I'm working towards moving past what was in some ways an organizational structure, but in other ways a disorganized framework for learning. Because it separated me from the subject that I wanted to learn. Now I'm engaging more with my subject, and learning more... but feeling slightly unnerved at the change.

I am a kid again. Taking steps in the dark. Pushing towards the future that I want.




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quote from Anne of Green Gables

"Nothing very dreadful. I was just trying to write out some of my thoughts, as Professor Hamilton advised me, but I couldn't get them to please me. They seem so still and foolish directly they're written down on white paper with black ink. Fancies are like shadows. . . you can't cage them, they're such wayward, dancing things. But perhaps I'll learn the secret some day if I keep on trying. I haven't a great many spare moments, you know. By the time I finish correcting school exercises and compositions, I don't always feel like writing any of my own."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Everyday Life

I always know when my youngest Son is home, he comes up the walk singing a song, or making some other type of noise. It's fun, and somewhat annoying at times.

I've spent my day home sick, and working on my blogs. Basically rearranging them, making it easier for me to communicate, plan and share what interests me.

Hopefully I will wake up tomorrow, Sans dizziness, and can go to work. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Many Fears

I am suffering. From a lack of a better phrase.

Each day seems to bleed into the next and it's depressing. I need to find things to look forward to. I need to make the time to do things.

In a lot of ways I've just loaded my days up with work and my interest in research about food, putting off other interests, putting off other plans.

In some ways I am scared to plan, afraid that I will be disappointed if I plan, afraid to dream. I put so much effort at one point into writing down all of my goals, my hopes, wishes, dreams.... stuff I really, really wanted to do and accomplish. But then life took over, it's not easy to prioritize sometimes. The bulk of my life is made up of working... I hate being compelled to work so much...

There needs to be balance, I really need to find that balance... fit in the most important things so that I can have time for the other things. The problem is, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of things I feel are important. Learning sql to advance my career, writing speeches for Toast Masters (I've yet to do this, I really need to), being involved with Toast Masters in order to learn leadership skills. The problem here is that I'm scared, I don't know what to do... I feel like I don't have time. Perhaps that's my cue... I don't have time. I need to plan out dinners... but I get frustrated, I spend more money than I would like because it's easier to grab fresh meat in order to cook something quickly. I don't plan out dinners because I'm afraid my kids wont be home to eat and that the food will go to waste. I need to plan activities with my kids... but I'm afraid that if I do they won't want to go with me, they won't want to be with me. I'm afraid that I won't have enough money saved for our bills... afraid to spend... but ironically spend when it comes to things I want, things that further my plans around the house, or books that I'm interested in.

There is a lot of fear that I'm battling. So much fear. What can I do?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monkey on my back

I was listening to an interview on NPR today about focus. ADD, mindfulness, cortisol... how all of these things work together. How they are having kids practice techniques in mindfulness to improve their concentration.

I realized tonight that when I am trying to complete a TV series I get too wrapped up in it and watch too many episodes... I want to finish it. I don't savor the show I gorge on the show. Plus I try to do several things at once. Work and watch show and help kids with homework. It's all counter productive.

I don't tend to plan a lot. I hate sticking to schedules. I hate planning. For the most part because I spent so much time planning at certain points in my life and those plans never panned out. I tried to schedule things, but for the most part I could never stick to my schedules. I feel much like a failure in that regard.

Every day I grab my notebook with my "Toastmasters" workbooks which have different speeches we're supposed to work on and I bring them with me to work. I am hoping that some golden moment will arrive when I've completed all of my work and am just sitting there with nothing to do and I can write, something.

Sometimes I open up my blog at work, and leave it open, inviting myself to write some profound thought down. Like I can pull anything profound out of my brain when I'm shutting it off to focus on crunching numbers.

I am a creative, intuitive person. A lot of my innate skills are not used from day to day. It's isolating to me.

I like challenges and I would spend inordinate amounts of time teaching myself all this junk in order to compete....

Challenges, that's the spice. How can I make X system work better with Y system. How can I organize. I'm all about organizing. In fact that's a deferring tactic that I have used in the past. I can organize the heck out of things just to put off dealing with them... actually committing.

Perhaps that's what I'm doing with my relationships. Trying to fit them into a box, trying to analyze them, keep them at a distance.

Not getting too close... because getting too close well, I don't want to lose my individuality.

Sam... he's gotten in my head, got me twisted around until I'm not sure what I want. Very skillfully done. Twisted it around so that the only relief that I can get from his whiny, persistence is compromising on my integrity.

I feel like he's ruined my ability to try out relationships with other men. He's outright told me that other men won't care about our children the same way he does so there's no legitimacy to my having relationships with others. In many ways I don't feel safe dating, nor making a decision for moving forward in any relationship because I'm scared up a tree. Not wanting to really reveal my true feelings/identity to the enemy.

I'm no good like this. I've got to get Sam off my back. Else he will always be there, the monkey on my back, pricking me ever and anon...

Friday, September 27, 2013

I've been thinking about the sacred nature of relationships. Developed they are beautiful, it is wonderful to have someone who understands in some small way what makes you tick. To make a connection with another soul. It becomes a source of compelling strength; mind, body and spirit. A space where you know just what to expect from someone. As human beings we have the capacity to allow these relationships to be created, but they can be harmed. The tenure of the relationship will then change, no longer be the loving bond created. As a developing person, always reaching towards a better understanding of life, I can see so many areas where I need to improve. One of those areas is the delicate balance between relationships that needs to be created. Nurturing good friendships, weeding out what isn't working. Re-evaluating jealousy, seeing it for what it is, insecurity. There is a fine line to maintain when treading within the heart of another and when they are a part of your own heart. Once that has happened, change cannot come about quickly, lest you damage those bonds and permanence is the result of a temporary feeling.

There is a cycle of birth, rebirth within each soul. Birth and death. When I died, or more accurately as I lay in a state where I felt close to death, it was hard to imagine ever being full of life. It was a faint memory. I lay in tall grasses feeling light, looking towards my home, longing to have a chance to live.

I've been learning about the deep well of intuition in my soul. http://www.examiner.com/article/awakening-the-priestess-archetype 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dreams of Scotland

There's something in my bones that yearns to see Scotland, the ancestral home of my fathers family. It's funny how I seem to have a great affinity for people who's ancestors have also come from Scotland.

It's an aching for some piece of myself that was lost. Aching for tradition, history, passion. I don't know, perhaps it's silly since there's a larger percentage of Norwegian blood in me than Scottish. There's Irish blood in my line as well.

Perhaps I'm just tired of the austerity of the life that I live and I yearn for something greater than the circumstances that I find myself in.

Perhaps that is the very urge that drove my forefathers to leave their homelands, to traverse to this land. That urge to drive away, to seek a land of opportunity, to seek a place of refuge.

Yet I, the product of these many years of reaching towards the great American dream find that I am fettered by chains of poverty.

I'm taking as many steps towards freedom as I can. Learning skills that free me from dependence, financial dependence, health challenges (dependence upon drugs). To learning and striving and teaching my children as much as I can. I'm striving to break the bonds which hold me back from following my own path.

That's the point isn't it? To follow our own path, to find happiness, joy, fulfillment! Yet there are many, many people who never have that chance.

I count myself among one of the blessed to be able to reach, even in a small way, towards the things that bring fulfillment and happiness to my life.

Scotland will always call to me I believe. I will go, answer the call, walk the mysterious unknown pathways that await. As for now...

I am dreaming of that land.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Ramblings

Little Roo and I went up into the mountains with Darrin. We were going to go out and hike at Stewart Falls but halfway up Roo mentioned that she was hungry, opps. So we turned around and went to the little restaurant at Sundance. Roo got a cheese burger that was about as big as her head, I got one Sans bun... Darrin got a regular. I liked the atmosphere of the little restaurant, built like a wood cabin with rough cut wood floors, old fashioned tools hanging from the walls, old fashioned decor. Plus there's a little county store out front with some fairly good jewelry and neat things...

After we ate we strolled around the grounds, listening to the water running in the little stream, over rock bed and water fall. We found a little pond with a beautiful statue of a Native American arms stretched overhead in an act of supplication. There were fish in the pond and Roo was entertained by throwing little bits of bread into the water and letting them snatch at it. We walked around a bit more, Roo and I went up a rocky hill, she collected rocks... :)

After that we went down to Bridal Veil falls and hiked up the short road to the falls so Roo could see the waterfall.

I've gone through my blog, pulling out stuff that I hid, mostly because I feel I've moved past whatever was holding me hostage to not posting my thoughts.

I am feeling happier with my life, I feel that I'm able to make more of the decisions with my life and time. I feel that the puzzle I have been working on that is my life is starting to take shape... there are only little pieces to fill in, here and there.

I wish I had my own house, secluded with woods to explore, a garden to plant, a place to sit and read... for now I have an apartment/duplex, full of stuff, full of kids, full of life. The walls are all painted white, with touches of dirt here and there... well lived in. The carpets are beige downstairs and a hideous orange shag up... there are lots of signs of habitation on them as well. I wish it were cleaner... wish I had the time to really get things clean... but I work, so I don't have time... I have dollars flying here and there through the stores and into the kitchen and sometimes to the garbage... it's annoying when that happens. I have wonderfully mismatched chairs an an eclectic collection of print style paintings from here and there (Wal-Mart and Shopko). I collect cookbooks, which sit on the window sill and collect sunshine.

I'm going to take a couple of days off next week, it will be good... I hope I can get my home a bit cleaner and work on my ever lasting challenges.

I'm happier with life. Less often do I feel the need to "prove" myself... I know who I am.

I hope I can get out to exercise this week, Cross-Fit... hopefully go to a Yoga class as well. Would be nice.

As for now I wish you goodnight.

~SG
Who really knows another person? Really knows them, from their own perspective? I think it is an impossibility, because no matter how well you might think you know someone, the intricate patterns of their mind can shift and change.

How well, for instance, could someone interpret my silence, unless they knew my motivation for being silent. My motivation is often the fact that I don't know what to say at the moment, that thoughts have fled my mind, that I am preserving their ears from my sometimes quick judgments, or that I don't want to say what I should say... because then the closeness that I crave will go away.

I misinterpret just as often, but it is hard to know that you have misinterpreted someone elses words and motives.

Strength


Oh woman

the strength of days past

hope of resurrection

new life

Oh woman

walking the path to renewal

woman

renew

She walks alone

down the path of redemption

she walks with the elements

a flowing ember of life

life

minutely flowing throughout her blossoming body.

How fallow and cursed she feels as

Endless dramatics

fireworks

hot searing pain at the thought

the thought of renewing again

the quiet drama that has played out so many times

Can you feel my resignation, can I cease my trepidation. Can I joy at the thought of preservation?


How can I feel to rejoice?

When my hopes have risen so many times

on the tide of fancy

and been dashed against the stones of disappointment?

How can I feel to rejoice?

When by betrayal I am fed so many times

to the merciless lions

who claw restlessly at my heart

the very blood of life?

I have bled out my heart

time after time

a sorrow so deep and severe

so personally ridiculous

that I must hide

bleed alone

Would that I could cry

stand out in the open

in my insanity

to scream to the heavens

Enough!

It is enough!!

Why torment me so?

All a show of hysteria that is seldom understood

how far off is the mental ward?

Two lines, not one

I am preparing the shroud now

I should be happy, but I cannot be.
I haven't written much lately, I guess it's because my mind is so full of technical details that it is hard to pull myself out of them to focus on anything else.

The kids are growing, all off to school again, it is rather an odd feeling to have my oldest in middle school now. His school is right above the little high school that I went to after I had him. Driving him to school the other day was a surreal experience, I recalled driving with him as a baby, the anxieties that I had back then, the beliefs that I had about myself. It took courage just to show up to school, I was so depressed that it was difficult to pull myself out of bed in the morning. I remember thinking once that I really should do something for my son, wake up and do something, but I couldn't.

That was then,

Now each day is full of doing something for the kids, though I still feel the need to do more.

I think sometimes, that perhaps the past is a subject best dealt with and left alone, yet the past is what makes up the fiber of our being. The experiences that we've had are who we are, plus the choices we continually make, our desires, our likes.

I was philosophizing about life once (I know hard to believe init?) I thought of all of the things that make up our identity, where we live, what car we drive, the clothes that we wear. Can people rightly assume from those factors who you are? I realised that no, not completely, they could see the outward signs of my situation but not who I really am. My hopes, dreams, and potential are hidden.

If I could I would live in a beautiful Victorian style home, with antiques that I collected decorating the rooms; I would buy vintage clothing, just because I thought it was neat; I would have beautiful gardens planted with all sorts of beautiful plants and flowers; I would drive a powder blue VW Bug; I would wear nice clothing, though I wouldn't necessarily have a lot of it.

I can walk with dignity, even when walking in poverty, for I am not poor.
It is in solitude that I find the answers 

I have found you at last, over rivers, mountians, and the dessert vast. You were wandering among the empty hopes of my dreams, seraching for a way to make me see you.
Communication, silence, fraught with emotion both. Whisper to me of the serenity of hope, whisper to me of life and I will live when your arms encircle me, when your lips touch my own. You belong to me, here in my heart, you are a part of me. When you are in the room I can hear your presence as the person of hope and freedom that is waiting upon my life, waiting for me to notice.
What say thee, that trouble is brewing, troubled hearts?
Care thee not for the sorrows lain to rest?
Sorrows fully felt and dealt by the hands of capriciousness.
A heart once that broke, can never fully mend
but through the healing balm of a faithful friend.

The Problem of Too Much

(Ahh, more reflections... ;p)

We live in a day filled with information, information and stuff.

What happens to me, and a lot of people, is that with so much information and so many choices what to do with our time becomes a difficult question.

One of my goals is to get rid of the excess "stuff" hanging around my house. Getting rid of excess stuff is a really easy way to become more focused I think, plus getting rid of excess goals as well. :D

An interesting thing about my Grandparents home was that it was always clean and uncluttered, their house seemed to speak of simple elegance. I think that the main reason for this was my grandpa's unrelenting battle against clutter. He was always getting rid of stuff (to my disappointment though, he got rid of a really neat tee pee that I used to play with).

Of course, there were some area's that had accumulated things that we had to get rid of when they passed away, but on the whole their house was really a pleasure to be in.

In my last contemplative post I eschewed the idea of setting ever more goals, defining and refining them until they became succinct little goals that I could easily accomplish.

What is interesting to me is that people seemed to accomplish a lot more with their time so many years ago with out the "convenience's" of microwave ovens, computers, the Internet, television...

What did people do with their time? They took care of things that needed to be done, and then spent time talking to each other, singing, dancing, (unless you were of some religious sects) and living life.

Of course, I like the Internet, computers, (but not microwaves)... and a lot of the modern convenience's that we have. But I believe they can get in the way a lot of times. Plus they bring so much information into our lives that it can be hard to do anything but answer e-mails and sort out the news.

So what then to I suggest doing? Well I guess we have to be more ruthless in ridding ourselves of excess. Too much stuff, to much information, too many goals, too many expectations. Narrow things down and don't easily let new goals, stuff and expectations in.

It's all about balance isn't it?

:D

Perspective

My 7 year old boy Sione was coloring last night on the floor with Roxie (2 years old). He had laboriously been working on a cute little tree when suddenly Roxie came by and decided to "help" him by coloring a long purple line coming out of the tree.

He immediately started crying about it, "Roxie ruined my picture!" So I had to think fast... "No she didn't, she just added a rope swing," is what I replied.

Sione started laughing as he caught onto the idea "Yay!! Thanks Roxie!!" He shouted gleefully then went back to his picture.

It all depends on how you look at it.

Care

Not caring is a disease. If it runs rampant it can hurt a lot of people, I know someone right now who is making some very selfish choices and letting a lot of people down, I am very sad about it. It's something that affects me indirectly, I used to be very close to this person. This song (Concrete Angel by Martina McBride) reminds me of the situation, though this case is more about indirect abuse, not hitting but just as bad (not caring).

There has actually been a general trend of not caring in the world lately. On television it takes the form of comedy, where everything is mocked and there are no consequences, nobody cares.

Well I for one am trying to buck the trend. Thinking about this has made me even more aware of areas where I need to improve, I know I can in little ways. Like making more of an effort to get up with my children in the morning to make them breakfast, and to pay just a little bit more attention to them when they are talking to me.

I have noticed before that when I put just a little more effort into caring, then everyone is that much happier and my kids listen to me that much more (I think even leaps and bounds above the effort). So I need to do it...


A lot of things can be healed when you care.

Closet Beasties (Everyones Got Them)

Sorry guy's this is a complete family type of post... this is essentially the big drama in my life. I'm writing this mainly for my little sister.

There is a secret in my family, it's surreal, hard to tell and who would guess. Is it that bad? No... it is not that bad.

It has to do with abuse, and it goes back, back, back several generations and who knows where it started or where it will end.

Some of its alcoholism, addiction, leaving it's traces even after the alcohol has dried up and is not in the blood of the current abuser.

Grandpa carried around scars, scars from World War II, scars from his dad (I don't know).

Grandpa was a drinker, I've seen pictures of everyone sitting around drinking alcohol. Down stairs at my parents house (the house my Dad grew up in) is a room with red carpet and a pink elephant (a light switch cover) - a celebration of Spirits. He was also a smoker... he gave these up (as well as coffee) when he joined the LDS church, but the attitude still stayed.

He had a way, of being right. So right that whatever you have done wrong (even things out of your control sometimes) shows your complete lack of a brain, your sheer stupidity.

He had a way of being indifferent to your successes, a depressing attitude that stole your happiness away.

How do I know, because it is a niggling little beastie that lives inside my Dad and it rears its ugly head, right at the apex of some success or happiness that you want to feel good about.

Some of it's betrayal, betrayal that has left its scars and has left its dependant behavior behind.

My Grandpa (My moms Dad) left, he was a trucker and so not there a lot anyway. He left my Grandma with 9 kids and married another lady.

My mom and all of her brothers and sisters still have scars from this. They didn't see him much, but when they did he would line them all up and hit them with a belt... for anything that they "might" have done while he was gone. He too was a drinker, and a smoker.

My mom has not gotten over it. She has talked about all of the terrible things that have happened to her ever since I can remember. It effects her every day, it creates an enabling personality, it just makes me sad.

She's always been depressed, never really there. She's worked since I was about 5 or 6 so I was a latch key kid. She might think I blame her for working... that is not the problem. It was not being there when she was there, constantly reading a book (now listening to a book and she's always exercising).

I don't blame her!! She's a good person and I love her with my whole heart. I just wish that the gaping hole that leaves her vulnerable could somehow be filled so that she could fill our needs, her children.

I wish I could somehow pull out the healing balm of Gilead to fill up her wounds.

It has left a mark on me, as bad as a slap except the mark will not go away. It is lessening with time, as I talk with more positive people, but it is a silent saboteur of self confidence, of happiness. It messes with my mind at the most unexpected moments.

The sad thing is, who do you blame? It is a living entity this monster called abuse and I for one am trying to kill it. I am trying to be happy despite it all, I fight the battles with the self doubt monsters in my mind all the time.

I just wish they could be fought all around... one of the biggest talents in my family is "not" talking.

We can have congenial conversations about ridiculous things (sometimes really fun and a bit strange) but there is no substance to them. We do not deal with things, issues stand as silent gremlins on the table over Sunday dinner and we make jokes about selling cans of air, or nothing in a box.

I had a dream, when I was really little. I walked down the basement stairs at the home I lived in for the first four or so years of my life, the home my mother grew up in and which my aunt lives in now. They are steep stairs, with unfinished drywall sheets hanging for walls.

My Uncle Chip drew a devilish figure on one of the sheets at some point and this particular basement always freaked me out.

So when I got to the bottom of the stairs I found that there was hot lava everywhere, and you had to step on the stone path way to cross over to the other side (out the back door I guess, over to freedom).

This is a game I played with my cousins I suppose since their basement was always dirty with clothing and other things strewn from the bottom of the stairs to the back door, perfect for hopping on.

But in my dream it was literally Hot Lava. I remember trying to lead my family. But my parents went their own way, my older brother listened and went the right way and my younger brother Daniel sat down on a rock and wouldn't move.

No amount of cajoling, no present I offered would get him to move. The lava was closing in around me and I wept as I thought about leaving him behind. Then I woke up, my heart pounding, because I couldn't deal with it...

It freaked me out and I tried really hard, as in my dream to help Daniel. He has gotten the brunt of my Dads abuse over the years, especially our early years. Dad was really down right terrible sometimes, blamed Daniel for everything.

I tried to write Daniel letters, encourage him, poured my heart out to try and heal his wounds. But I gave that roll over to his wife when he got married, but he's ruined that... moved back home messing the family dynamics even more.

Now Dad has a more general spread of negativity. He usually sulks, not saying anything (but somehow conveying his disapproval). I know he's tried to work on it, but sometimes the negative, though usually "right," monster comes out (like I guess it did tonight... I gather from my sisters blog).

I think about this, I think... "it's not up to me to "save" everyone." But that is how I feel sometimes, how I felt in the past.

But I had to let go and move on because the hot lava will scorch me, ruin everything in my life if I stay on that rock.

I am just sad that my little sister (mainly, I guess my little brother Evan as well, though he's in Evan land I don't even know what he's doing most of the time), but my sister... man she's stuck there.

All of this... is what I had to deal with when I made a bad choice at 16, got married had a baby (then another), I put all this stress on my family. So I felt guilty about it, in the past... but I don't anymore, I can see the big picture now.

Even after saying all of this, I must say how much I love my Dad!! I love him!! He helps out other people all of the time, he helps and doesn't ask for anything in return, he is generally a great guy!! Just wish the mean little monster that hangs around with him would go away.

Daddy Dearest


Some of the first memories that I have of my daddy are of him raking leaf piles while I twirled around watching as the brown leaves fell from way up high down on top of my head and into my arms. I remember begging him to let me jump in the pile, then when I did he would dig me out again to tickle me.

Dad took the picture of me in the bucket (seen on my other blog, creatively written). I remember getting the bucket during my bath. I was thinking of the nursery Rhyme, "Rub a Dub, Dub, Three men in a Tub." Since I was taking a bath with my two brothers, I guess I thought I was one of the guy's. I was absolutely sure that the bucket would float in the bathtub, I was surprised when it didn't, Dad captured the moment for all posterity.

Also one of the first memories that I have of my Dad is the day that he broke my little broom stick. I was playing a game with my brothers, standing on a square of the living room floor that had been left uncarpeted, and Daniel (My little brother) was hitting my older brother with my broom stick. I was trying to stop him when Dad lost his temper, broke the broom stick and threw it down the stairs. I held a grudge about that one for a long time, even making him buy me a new broom stick years and years after it happened!!

We all went up with my Dad to Uncle Mo's house one day because Dad was thinking about buying Uncle Mo's big red van. I didn't like Uncle Mo's house too much because his house smelled like smoke.

They had a weird stone floor in part of the house (something like broken pieces of layered shale). Plus they had a plastic runner down their dark front hallway and off to the side of the front hall was a room with plastic covered furniture in it.

I remember that Uncle Mo had one of the first Apple computers, with a mouse even, in his study and Aunt Martha, his wife, had a gumball machine that was pretty neat.

Another weird thing about their house to me, was the circular glass table and round glass chairs in their dining room. Plus they had bar stools at the counter which were hard to climb up on. We would climb up there and huddle, while Aunt Martha tried to make us feel comfortable by offering us candy (only we had learned the lesson about not taking candy from strangers, and I didn't know them at the time, so...).

To get into the house you walk through their weird smelling garage, I still couldn't describe the smell to you, the closest I could come to is "Sickly Sweet."

Then you come to the foyer with the basement leading off to the right and the living room on up ahead. To me the scaryiest part of the house was there basement.

Walking down the linoleum steps into the basement, you decend into a dark gloomyness. The smell of stale smoke and metal is prevalant down there and if you glance into the first room that you come to you would be confronted with a bear head, it's glassy eyes stare at you and the bear seems to snarl at your discomfort. If you looked further you could see all sorts of other taxidermy hanging on the walls, the deer antlers and latter the elk head. All of this interspersed with mounted guns and western themed pictures.

One other thing about Uncle Mo's house was his dog Nipper, we were both fascinated and scared of him. He did live up to his name, yet he was also funny because he would bark at the television screen if it showed any horses. My Uncle called the horses Ol' Rosco, after his horse.

Anyway... Dad bought the old red van from Uncle Mo. Then he fixed it up with bench seats in the back and a table that could be lowered to form a bed. Then the whole kit and caboodle was covered in brown carpeting. This is the van that they used to move us to our new home after Grandma Dorsey died.

Dad has a funny habit, the couch seems to suck him in and he gets stuck there sometimes. Though he is a hard worker, he installs heating and air conditioning units around town (and sometimes out of state).

Dad used to bring us around to his job sites and we would entertain ourselves by walking around picking up screws and nails. It was really fascinating to walk around his job sites, through the framing of the walls, imagining what each room would be. Dad once added the copper plating to the spire of a new church that was being built, don't know how he ended up with the job.

Dad always had random screws and nails, hinges, bolts, and nuts. Odds and ends, bits of wire, pipes and other pieces of metal all a conglomerate of stuff that he kept in the basement and then later the shed that he laid out and built.

Dad was so perfectionistic when he built the shed. He got sand and leveled the whole thing and then laid brick using a level on each one. Then he built the shed with the metal pieces that the land lord sent over and he built shelving into the walls.

Dad liked to save random pieces of wood as well and he saved it behind the shed, thus spawning our imaginative wood working projects.

Dad built a little carpeted cat house, which the cats avoided, out of principle of course. Later on (when I brought one home) he built an interesting multi-level pigeon house, thus spawning a pigeon obsession that carries on today. (He has one lonely little bird and my mom doesn't want him to get more, poor daddy).

Dad would put up the swamp cooler every year and he would have us hold it while he fixed the wood to keep it in place. I remember the smell of the aspen filters as he filled them up with water.

He also likes to garden. I was mad at him when he cut out the grass to start a garden, because I liked the large lawn, but I soon grew to love his gardens. Over the years he competed with the neighbor, who was an Indian and always seemed to have things planted and growing way before dad did.

One year Dad decided that things were going to be different. So he got a large plastic garbage can and I found him outside mixing mud at midnight during the full moon. I went out there to tease him in his efforts as he plunged the shovel up and down in the mud. Yes sirree, that was the year he was going to beat out old Frank Talker. I don't recall if he really did beat him out.

Dad's gardens have been of varying success over the years. They were lined with square pieces of wood and there were about five of them placed strategically around the yard.

Actually there was one more, a little square garden full of mint, and lemon balm and other herbs. The mint and spearmint were the ones that usually dominated it though. That little garden was placed before the hole in the fence that we used to get into the back fields, "The Snake Pit," as we called it back there.

Dad is the one who would always bring up the guitar for our annual family reunion up in a little ghost town/resort town called Ophir. It was a boom town from way back when people went out looking to mine. Called Ophir after something in the bible, it has something to do with gold.

There is a mine shaft that we pass every year, they thought they had found gold, but they ended up being fooled by the fools gold!! There is also a crystal mine a bit further up that we went into one time, before the adults decided that it was too dangerous.

So Dad would always play his guitar, and one of our uncles would play his banjo. Everyone would sing old time songs and they would always try to get me to dance, which I was embarrassed to do, but did every once in a while.

Now for some reason, though Dad still brings his guitar, no one knows any of the old time songs. So it's not fun singing around the camp fire any more.

Dad used to take us fishing and hiking. Some how whenever we go somewhere with Dad we either get lost, or he likes to pretend that we are lost to freak us out.

He likes to do off the wall stuff to freak us out!! When I was about five or so, the lake was flooded almost up to the overpass on center street. Dad drove us over there to look at it, then for some crazy reason he decided to drive into it. The water started coming into the car and my brothers and I started screaming, imagining that fish were going to get in to bite our toes we picked up our feet onto the seat!!

He also likes to tell us stories. When ever we go anywhere with him he always seems to have met someone there, or he knows something about the area we are passing through.

Every memorial day we take the same route down to the cemetery and dad tells us about working at the railroad, loading sheet metal. If we drive to Arizona dad tells us about his LDS mission and living in Needles California.

Dad also likes to make up ridiculous songs out of nowhere. See if you can figure this one out...

"Oh the weather in Nebraski, is colder than Alaski, especially if you wear no clothes!!"

This sung with a sort of serious cowboy drawl. One of the many marvelous bits of insight that he randomly chooses to sing about.

Dad was a little rebellious when he was growing up. He used to ride a motorcycle, and he hung out with the hippies. He used to have his friends over and they would hold dance parties in the basement.

The floor down there is still black tile, with speckled bits of color throughout. He painted neon colors on the walls of his room in the basement and then used a black light to make it all stick out (my little brother does the same thing, he's a lot like Dad). We found a strange looking drawing on the wall when we took off the plaster to remodel, kind of evil looking, Muwahahaha!!

I think that he might have experimented with drugs at one time, though he's never outright said that he did, (maybe he just drank alcohol and smoked). He likes to tell us now about a couple that he knew that got into drugs and who wasted away and ended up dying young. It's a sad thing really.

He also likes to tell us all about his dog Rebel, how crazy he was. Or his dog Blue who would come home with porcupine needles in his nose, or he would get sprayed by skunks.

Dad also tells us about Cousin Eddy all the time, he says it just like that "Cousin Eddy and I..." I believe cousin Eddy was the star of the baseball team, played sports in high school, was a daredevil, I Dad looked up to Cousin Eddy.

Dad grew up in Orem, Orem had one main ditch running through the center of it and everyone up there had orchards and water rights. His parents, well actually Grandparents used to get there water from the ditch. The ditch is in fact still there and I think they run water along parts of it.

The house that my family owns up there used to be an underground house, then it was built upon later with red brick. There is a chute for the coal, and a room still filled with coal. Plus out by the front door is a metal pipe that they would fill with oil for the heater.

My Dad was the favorite uncle because he would do crazy things like taking us out driving, way before we could even get a permit. He would let us tool around in the parking lot of the church, or the stadium. Thus he was really popular with my cousins (for this and many other reasons, being that he is fun to tease).

Sometimes I miss driving places with my Dad, and listening to his funny stories. I miss the way that he would place his forehead on mine and look in my eyes, it always reminded me of a blue eyed owl. Plus he used to blink his eye lashes on mine. It always made me laugh!! Dad also used to run strands of my hair between his fingernails... now my little boy does it once in a while.

I don't miss my Dad's negative attitude, he sometimes brings it out and I hate it when he does it. Its a habit he picked up from Grandpa.

Yet I still love my silly, story telling, singing ol' Dad. (I forgot vitamin taking, he's always taken little packets of vitamins for as long as I can remember, and buy's large quantities of Ice Cream!!)

2006

We drove through the streets of the city, the kids running to put flyers on peoples homes, need concrete work?

We have done this before and it worked, people called, almost immediately. Now no one was calling.

After coming across house after house, with weeds in the yard, with signs "For Sale." The enthusiasm for our project started to wane. We started to send the kids out less... "Oh that one looks like they could use some concrete work..." yet we drive on, and on. Turning into an entire neighborhood of post-modern style homes in various stages of completion, the mood suddenly becomes somber.

As the light fades from the sky...

I tell the kids "this is significant, pay attention." They all become quiet, "do you know what inflation is?" They shake their heads no. "Well, if everyone has ten dollars to do things with and a loaf of bread costs one dollar

Taking responsibility

Why is this country, nay the world, in an economic crises? Why is it that we have so much abundance, yet so much sickness, poverty and suffering?

In general the religious answer is that people need to repent. If you are not generally religious it still makes sense that when people in general act in a dog, eat dog way and make poor choices, in fact the entire country gets to a point where people have no sense of personal responsibility along with a covetous and greedy attitude, it means trouble.

I was thinking about this today as I had two differing experiences. First of all I was in a wholeistic doctors office where the receptionist made a general comment about how enjoyable it was to work there because their clients were happy people. She said, “(you know), those people who take responsibility for their health take responsibility for their lives in other ways…” I tend to agree with that statement, it makes sense to me.

Then ironically, since I am frustrated by this next bit, I went to apply for government assistance with our utility bills.

Sitting in the government agency building where people come to apply for the food bank and utility assistance, the most prevalent sensation is that of grime. I used to bring hand sanitizer with me, when I would go to government offices because they somehow always end up seeming grimy to me. Then there is the prevalent smell of cigarette smoke, and generally the people sitting in government offices applying for assistance are people who have problems, self control problems, mental problems, weight problems, job problems, in the case of the immigrant families problems speaking English and discrimination. So I was thinking about something while looking around at the smokers, the druggies, the large and the small, the immigrants. Each of us had gotten there through the use of decisions and consequences in our lives, and I certainly didn’t feel any inclination to feel like I was above the others because I too was sitting in a government office applying for assistance with my utilities. I too had made decisions that brought me to that point. I too had to live with the consequences.

Am I different? Yes my choices have been different, but I have also failed in big way’s and in small. This world is hard to navigate, it is hard to fully see the consequence of our behavior. I think that it is fair to say that even if there is not a God, though I believe in God, that the things that have traditionally been considered “sins” per say are the very things that lead to the negative consequences that we are dealing with.

Greed, avarice, indulgence, sexual promiscuousness, alcohol, smoking, laziness, idleness (same thing), all of the traditional vices are the logical objects of blame for the situation that we are in. For if people are not willing to take personal responsibility, then there is no way to regulate the effects on other people and for that matter the world.

What gets to me about the attitude of my siblings (older brother excepting) is that they think that nullism is funny, and this is the attitude that is fed our children regularly and generally through the television. I can see the appeal of it, entertainment wise, but it is sending the wrong message. Really what is funny about idiocy, of self indulgence and permissiveness? Not much when it leads to a nation of overweight, self indulgent, people who cannot be trusted to accept responsibility for the decisions that they make. It is not funny, in essence we are making ourselves slaves of convenience, and I argue almost anything that is made for “convenience” sake, i.e. plastic bags, paper plates, fast food, t.v. dinners, self stable milk… it is all going to lead to the un-thoughtful consequence of ruining lives.
It makes me think about the thoughtful peoples of the earth, those people who used to be in charge, who respected themselves and the earth. Like the American Indians, indigenous peoples. They cared, they used everything that they were given, the whole buffalo as it were and they did not disrespect the earth and animals in general. Maybe that is one of the currents that runs through our people and country because now that I think of it there have always been lawless people who would go around killing buffalo, wolves etc. just for the heck of it. I guess that the streak has had its way with us, and now we have the difficult consequences to deal with, everyone does.

What can we do? I guess the only thing is to take a look at what we consider to be funny, what we allow ourselves to do, and gauge how much respect that we have towards ourselves, the earth and others. Then taking action to change and rid ourselves of the vices that have brought us to this point. Responsibility, that’s the answer.

Who is in control?

It is interesting to me as I learn more about real food (why do I even need to do this?) That there are a lot of people out there who theorize that we are being controled. By the Fed, Big Pharma (pharmacutical companies), the Government. If their case is true then who is in control? Who is planning the poor quality of our food (and addictive nature), which in turn leads us to poor health (and the ubiquitous drug commercials), which in turn leads us to apathy, which leads us to ignorance.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that there is not a connection, there definantly is. I grew up in a home filled with American style reasoning, cooking and methods. My mom worked, we ate junk food at all times (I am not refering soley to potato chips and candy which were ubiquitous enough, I am refering to the negligible nutritional quality of cereals, boxed dinners and canned vegetables). The television was on all of the time, and we never sat down and had conversations about the world, politics or things of importance. So I grew up with the idea (and I find this attitude to be everywhere) that there is nothing wrong with our food. If you eat too much you get fat, vegetables are generally good for you but you don't need them if you take a vitamin. Plus if you want to lose weight eating all veggies will do it (and that a vegetarian diet with little to no fat is good for you). I also had the idea that if you got sick it was because germs and viruses had invaded your body and that science just hadn't found the answer yet (ie drug) to end our bouts of illness. (Most people that read this if raised in America will not find the irony in these statements).

It and is such an inorganic, clinical view. Since this view is so pervasive it is easy to write off people with a different opinion as radical.

I have heard it said that all of the great dictatorships and regimes were able to maintain control as long as the people were kept in ignorance. Well I can tell you this, I have recieved a Bachelors Degree in Accounting, yet I still feel very uneducated. I can tell you from experience that I felt more like the teachers wanted me to regurgitate the book or information that they gave me and were not interested in real learning, too bad, life would have been a lot more interesting if my classes had been more like a hands on learning experience then an endless recicitation of abstract facts.

I feel cheated somehow, yet I know that real learning comes from the learners willingness to explore their subject. In fact I learned more in Accounting 1010 then any of the other classes on the subject because I got a copy of an old accounting textbook and read it through.

So now that I am off of my rant on how uneducated I feel, which I am attempting to remedy by reading a lot more, I will get back to my original rant about who is in charge. Like I said historically "the masses" have been and are controled through ignorance. Yet it was relatively easy to point out who was in charge, now it is not quite as easy. Is there some kind of corporate conspiracy, where they get together and decide to introduce addictive substances into our foods, or drugs that control our minds, or who decide who should be the next president? How scary is that idea?

I am inclined to think though that the USA is a product of a general mindset that we have had throughout our history of "New" and more "Innovative" ways of thinking and that we lost the conventional wisdom of our ancestors in the process.

Conspiracy theories are unnerving, they might be right, they might be wrong. I find them not to be very productive.

I would rather work towards a better life, for me and my family by trying to avoid as much as possible the cycle of poor eating, ill health, doctors visits and government dependance.

That's all for now.

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pieces of Myself

It's raining outside, rain always stirs my soul into contemplation. The past few weeks and months have been interesting. I've been on this quest to obtain all of the pieces of my personal puzzle that I feel to have been missing from my life. Around 6 years ago I found a little health food store, trying to make a go of things. I can't remember the name of that store now, they went out of business, but I do remember placing an image in my mind of who and what I wanted to be as I made a goal to seek after good health for myself, family and good health for the planet. I imagined never going into a store without a bag, I imagined stepping with confidence and energy, in fact I wrote a list at one point of who I wanted to be.

In part, I wanted to be able to speak to anyone with confidence, without fear. I wanted to be able to defend myself. I wanted poise, and grace. I've always thought of my grandmother as a beautiful lady and I've held her up as my ideal.

She was a co-founder of "The Orem Women's Club." She was well spoken, beautiful, always dressed well... a true lady.

I want to live with passion! I want to wake up each day full, of energy, of motivation, of life!

I think this is why part of me has been hesitant to be completely "IN" a relationship because I don't want to hurt the other person, I don't want to leave, but I don't want to be restricted from meeting other people... getting to know myself in relation to others. But then again I want to have the deepest most meaningful relationship of my life! I want to be part of some kind of Zen level of thinking where they understand me, I understand them... where I know what he is thinking, and he knows me deeply, truly, fully...

Is this fairy Tale thinking?

Sometimes I like to indulge myself a bit when thinking on the subject of what I would like to do with my life. If I didn't have to work, I could explore all of the books on my shelf, become a wise woman who can speak to almost any subject. I could practice Yoga, fill my soul with deep thought and contemplation. I could learn how the body should move, exercise, wander mountain paths and breathe the fresh, clean air. Learn which plants are edible, dig my toes into the loamy dirt and soak in the sun as I read. I could test out any number of recipes, really get the hang of getting dinner on the table each night, some tantalizing dish of nourishing food. I could sit by a stream and draw dandelions. Write songs as I walk along. Daydream...

I'm trying to fit a bit of my soul wishes into each day. Making my job work for me, and working out all of the pieces of myself that I want to be.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thoughts 07/29/13

Sometimes it seems that life is just a series of similar days, full of foibles and victories, full of striving. Sometimes it seems that I'm not getting anywhere, like nothing is changing.

Life is a series of incremental changes. Like sand through an hour glass. It passes ever so slowly through the sieve and what once seemed like an endless array of days and years on one end of your life end up as piles of days and years used up on the other.

I've been tending towards the paranoid lately when it comes to friendships. I hate seeing them end. It hurts when the object of your affection and regard disappears into the sands of time. It would help if I felt that those people who I had devoted much care and attention were still people I could call on if need be. It seems though that I expect too much out of life, out of my friends/loves...

I cared about Ajey deeply, I saw my failings and lived with the fear that he would come to resent me for them... it seems that he has. I knew that being together was the wrong course of action for both of us. I have too many ties here and not enough money/autonomy to maintain those ties both here and abroad. I couldn't have moved to India with my children. I couldn't have asked his parents to foot the bill for that, my own couldn't afford to help me in that matter either. He outright told me that he would give up any support from his parents if he came here, if we were together. It hurts to have been pushed into this impossible scenario. To have kept giving and giving to our relationship, trying as I might to give time to it when time fled my hands each day in my frantic efforts to pull myself together as a person, as a mother.

My weaknesses were in the fact that I couldn't sustain connectedness to Ajey, I was not as thoughtful as he was (or thoughtful in the same way), I couldn't send him as much stuff as he sent me, I couldn't respond to all the emails he sent in any sentient way, I was utterly buried in his affection... but more and more withdrawn as time passed and I realized that I wasn't living up to what he needed me to be.

Now I feel somewhat betrayed. It is right and proper that he found someone over there to be with. BUT he told me that we would always be friends. I thought our affection in that regard would not disappear. I thought he would still regard me with kindness. He doesn't. He basically blocked me from all of his posts on fb and purposely seems to be avoiding me. Jealousy of his now fiance I suppose...

That leaves me back to myself. Back to the silent whispers of my own soul filling each hour with a voice of longing to hear another soul speak the same words as my own. I am afraid of making new friendships. I want to feel connected, to be part of friendships that will last and not see them fade into the distance as a sunset of the past.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The End of The Affair

"You needn't be so scared, love doesn't end, just because we don't see each other... everything must be alright, if we love enough" ~Sarah, "The End of The Affair"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Strange Dream

Last nights dream was this. I was late to my cousins wedding celebration/reception. Everyone in there was dancing, they all had REALLY nice dresses, they all had perfectly done hair. I was wearing an old skirt and random shirt that I had grabbed in haste, my hair was straight like it usually is. I was carrying a mixture of seeds, millet, that had been soaked. My Dad asked me what I was going to do with it, I told him that I was going to make some cornbread for the party. The mixture I was holding was sort of a tightly packed together square of stuff that I was carrying in my hands. It started to crumble. I was frantically searching for a mixing bowl but all I could find were pots. I turned around to head back home, on the way a lady from my ward stopped me. Her name is Susan, she takes care of an older lady, Ursala. The older lady is declining fast. In my dream she was toothless and her eyes had been covered over by a white film. Susan asked me, deftly, if I would be willing to listen to/a presentation about a prepaid cell phone service and she started showing me packages all colored red and green to represent the different service levels. I told her I didn't have time at the moment. She told me she could stop by when I'm free. I felt bad about her living situation and figured that this was the way they were trying to earn money. So I agreed to let her visit the next day and decided that if it wasn't something I wanted to do then I would give her some money instead. My seed cake kept crumbling, I hurried out. I could see everyone in the gym having a good time. They were doing the rumba, holding on to each others waist and dancing around the gym. I felt jealousy surge within me. Jealousy for their closeness, jealousy for their nice dresses, their hair, my cousin Dezra danced by, blissfully happy. I rushed out the door. A girl in a ridiculous, over-sized dress, was in the parking lot. For some reason her dress was like a wire bad frame, people were pointing and laughing at her but ignoring me. I pointed and laughed for a minute as well then left. I needed to get eggs for my mixture of seeds in order to make it into something resembling corn bread. I also felt like changing, but couldn't think of anything in my closet nice enough to make me feel special at the dance. I thought about doing my hair, but realized that I don't have that much skill at doing hair. I saw my mom on the way and asked for her help. I was really sad inside that I didn't have anything to bring to the party. My "corn bread" wasn't done, I didn't have a present, I didn't feel like I was good enough to be at the party either. She took me home, I couldn't explain to her how I felt but wanted to, I wanted to cry on her shoulder but didn't. She had also been approached by Susan about the phone plan thing and told me of her revulsion. I secretly felt revolted but told her their living situation and that I planned on giving her money the next day. She went back to the party. I threw down the stuff for the "corn bread" and decided that I would instead go out in search of a different dress, and a present. I started on foot. I waled a few blocks then realized that I didn't have enough money, for dress or really nice present. So I turned to go back to the party. I had to cross really dangerous streets. Every time I would get to the edge I had to jump up and down to get the cars to notice me. Some of the people in the cars gave me a glare as they passed. I waited until things were clear then I would sprint across. I got back to the party, sort of, I was down the street in  the parking lot I imagined everyone in there having a good time and wanted to just give up and leave. Then I woke up.

So this dream represents how I feel a lot of times. Unprepared, impotent, unable to fit in, uncared for. I really longed to be a part of the celebration but didn't feel worthy enough to be there. Part of this unworthy feeling is driving me to cut myself off from others. It's also making me compromise where I shouldn't. I need to think about this a bit more...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Soul Searching

When I started this blog in 2009 I was trying to find a way to express myself, honestly. I'm a fairly introverted person, it's difficult to speak my mind at times because the words get stuck in my head in evaluation mode. There the words spin, and spin until the opportunity to speak is lost and what I wish to speak becomes irrelevant to the moment I find myself in.

It is sometimes frustrating in the sense that I at times feel misunderstood. Therefore I blog in order to speak my mind.

My thoughts tend to gel together right before I go to bed, which is frustrating since I don't want to jump up to write them down.

I was at one point in time a stay-at-home mom with an accounting degree. I had all of this potential, I could see it, I wanted to prove I could do what I was trained to do. I hated that I was so inexperienced that I couldn't find a way into a job that would let me gain experience. It was a difficult time for me, a soul searching time. I tapped into areas of my soul that left me breathless with the possibilities. I pulled together tools, art supplies, books on writing, books on studying for the GMAT/GRE, I cleaned and organized, found ways to meet the needs of my children, found ways to improve our living situation.

Now having run through the wringer of the past few years I feel this sense of stagnation. It feels like I've lost my sense of self.

Part of this had to do with placing my sense of self into a relationship that was on hold. A relationship that was untested, draining, and stressful.

The person who I wanted to be was in many ways shuttered into a shell. The projection of myself an image of my shadow self, not fully there.

I'm crawling out now taking stock of the situation. I'm somewhat shocked that I've come this far, a bit frustrated that I'm not further along (financially), and reassessing the direction I want to go.

So what direction do I want to go in?

?

Working gives me an opportunity to earn x amount of money. But if I don't pour my heart and soul into the work then I will stagnate, my earning potential will stagnate...

I am more than a worker

I thrive on creative thought, soul searching, sitting out in nature and soaking in the wildness of the world.

I work for a wonderful company, I want to do my best for them, I want to learn what I need to know in order to do my job more proficiently and efficiently.

AND I want to connect with my kids, open up and gain their respect. I want to teach them about creating and maintaining health. I want them to believe in me, believe in my word.

I want to be financially stable.

I feel a need to redefine my identity in terms of what I actually believe, morally, ethically, etc. 

Who do I want to be? Where do I want to go? What do I want to create?



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stupor

Stupor!! 

Yes Stupor. I have been in quite the Stupor. It's the oddest feeling, like walking through a dream, hoping to wake up some day. Wake up and do what you really wish to be doing, but doing what you need to simply survive.

When I was very, thin (120 lbs, that's as thin as I ever, EVER was in my adult life and thank goodness). I ate my way, naively, into a very bad state.

I thought I was doing something healthy for myself, eating bran muffins and TVP (to replace meat), but it wasn't healthy.

I ended up with:

Swollen intestines
Constipation
Swirling, dizzy, darkness
Weakness
Lethargy
Difficulty breathing
Craziness
Anxiety
Depression

I was Dazed, Confused and in an utter Stupor


I couldn't lift my baby daughter, I could hardly breathe. I felt a sense of surreal separation from myself. As though I were an observer of someone else who was walking about.

I remember concentrating on each footfall as I walked up the driveway to my parents house. I remember a sense of sadness because I had wanted to do so much, help with the garden, write a book, watch my kids grow up... but I felt like my soul was drifting apart from my body and that some day soon I would pass away.

I told my mom I felt like I was dying, she scoffed and said that was silly. I drove myself home and considered my options. I had no insurance, so I felt that going to the hospital was out of the question...

I settled upon the idea of calling my old pediatrician up and asking for help. He told me that I probably had alkalosis and that I should breathe into a paper bag. He must have thought I was crazy. I read about alkalosis on the internet, it's a condition where people become too alkaline from hyperventilation. I thought that drinking vinegar would help... more acid to counter the alkaline state... it didn't help.It was far more serious than that, I was numb, devoid of feeling, in a state of  anhedonia "Anhedonia: no pleasure in life; world looks colorless; inabilitiy to "love"; no remorse about personal behavior."

My brain felt like a dead weight in my head, useless, dry. I remember trying to lift up my hair dryer to try drying my hair. I couldn't lift it, COULD not BRING myself to lift it. My arm was a dead weight, I wanted to cry but couldn't. 

I gazed dazedly at myself in the mirror and talked myself through it. Forced myself through it. Then went outside to the Yukon, Sam and I were bringing the kids to my parents house. 

I remember the kids asking me a question, I couldn't answer it, I COULD NOT SPEAK it was so much effort to bring words to my lips. They kept asking and asking, I didn't want to let them do whatever it was but I said OK and I stumbled into the passenger seat of the car, relieved that I could sit.

I asked my friend Janae what was the matter with me, what I could do. She told me to stop eating wheat. I thought she was crazy, I thought her suggestion was crazy, WHEAT is for MAN. The STAFF OF LIFE, not eat it?? No, that didn't make sense, and yet it was the many bran muffins I had downed (along with TVP burgers) that had gotten me to that state.

Then I was afraid, very afraid... What could I eat!? Wheat was a part of everything, sandwiches, spaghetti, my delicious beef stroganoff... oatmeal, cream of wheat, rolls, bread, bagels, crackers.... everything I was used to eating... and it was in so many things.... it was a part of my identity. I was the type of person who liked artisinal breads, who made bread, cinnamon rolls, rolls, egg noodles, even spaghetti by hand. I LOVED BREAD!

But I was scared... I started cleaning out my cupboards much to the dismay of my family. I didn't know what to cook so I started making beef stews and chicken.... my kids are so sick of chicken.

From the time that I gave up wheat, nearly 5+ years ago until now I have slowly been regaining my health... I felt better, happier the next few days without it and never looked back. Each day my determination has grown and I've fought the disbelief of my family, the feelings of alienation, the feelings of separation... the sadness for it all... I've continued to fight, to research, because I never want to return to that state again.

Unfortunately, wheat/cross contamination is very prevalent. I was eating gravy on my potatoes every week, gravy made from cornstarch so it was safe right? NOPE it had been produced on the same equipment as flour and thus was contaminated. I would eat the potatoes and gravy, then would feel miserable, the same feelings of depression, difficulty breathing, speaking etc. would return. then throughout the week I would eat as cleanly as possible and would be almost better until I ate potatoes with gravy again. Then I figured it out, my mom felt so bad. But that is the danger, the wheat sneaks in.

When this type of thing happens, people think you are paranoid and a bit crazy, they resent you for your special needs... very hard to deal with.

At that point in time I was also going through a series of difficult and life shattering events. We were very poor, and then the economy crashed and we were even more incredibly poor. My ex-husband didn't know how to control his temper, he flew off the handle at times beating on the kids (especially my oldest), destroying things and/or being irate and having us walking on egg shells.

He did NOT understand what I was going through. He thought I had lost my mind and that I was cutting out foods for my diet (to lose weight). He thought I was being mean to the kids because I didn't want to get them fast food, junk food... pop, candy in general. That's why on Easter Morning when I came downstairs after getting jittery from eating a few pieces of candy and falling on my face... he lost it. I had started picking up that particular type of candy I had a reaction to and we were arguing. Finally I threw some in his face and said "you eat it then!" Because I was frustrated and irate, he didn't believe there was anything wrong with it.

He reacted violently, threw the coffee table over, picked up a bowl that had held pistachios and threw it at me... it hit the wall and left a mark. He picked up the baby car seat and threw it at me as I ran up the stairs to the front door... it hit my leg and left a large purple bruise... I ran outside and down the street and then because I was depressed, and anxious about what people would think of me and that there couldn't possibly be anyone who would want to help me since it was very early in the morning... so I turned around, went back in the house and perched at the top of the stairs.

He apologized stating that he was thought he was dreaming, that I was his uncle that used to kick him in his sleep. I didn't believe the excuse but for the sake of the kids I went downstairs, started picking up pistachios and candy... sweeping up dirt from the flower that had been on the coffee table... cleaning up and making things "normal" for the kids. He helped me, then went back to sleep on the couch.

Major life shattering event... one of several I experienced while with him. The next couple of life shattering events, our complete and utter financial ruin from his poor choices and the news from my oldest daughter that he had tried something inappropriate with her when she went downstairs one night.

I tolerated his presence in my life as I bided my time, trying to figure out what to do.

It was really hard to pack his things, hard to be strong, hard to fight off the Stockholm syndrome that I was dealing with.

I started blogging quite heavily, trying to make sense of myself, trying to reach out and connect.

“Find myself”

I wrote stuff about my life, I wrote poetry, I found links to things I liked and wanted to learn about. I ORGANIZED my blog, my thoughts, my links… I reached out to people and started following Ajey’s blog hoping to learn something of writing lyrics, music.

That action changed the course of my life. Ajey became my friend. He noticed when I would stop writing and asked me what was wrong. I was at a place of loss and despair. I needed someone to listen, accept me, and understand. He filled that need. He listened and he supported me to do the right thing where it came to my husband.

I needed a strong person in my life and he was that.

Then things became difficult. We started a relationship. I told him I loved him, the result of the bright happiness I had after speaking with him. Part of me though understood the improbability of the relationship working. The cultural differences, the differing outlooks on important things… we became engaged February 2011 a month after my divorce was final. I flew down to Australia to be with him. A big part of me wanted to still the anxiety in my heart, still my doubts and fears. It was nice being with him.

I was still unwell from my bought with death, and it was near the beginning of my montly cycle so I wasn’t thinking straight… overly emotional.

We drove up to lookout point atop Mt. Coot-tha, he wanted to propose at the very top but there was a couple up in the little alcove at the top and he didn’t want to disturb them. I understood that and we walked around until we found a little fountain. We sat down by the fountain and he proposed. I accepted. I loved him. I knew that… there was still anxiety in my heart though, doubt, fear… too many miles separated us and I knew I was going back to the day to day grind.

I was extremely poor, driving around in a little ’89 Honda that I had bought for $300 dollars from our neighbor. The passenger doors were broken, they had been side swiped in an accident at some point and didn’t fit too well with the place they should latch onto. We had to slam them in order to shut them. It ran well… but was embarrassing in a way to drive.

I remember at one point in time being exhausted, trying to find a job, applying for training through the woman’s resource center at UVU, then searching through “professional” clothing that was outdated, out of style, ill-fitting and poor quality. Ajey wanted to talk to me as much as possible, keep in touch, and share our lives together. I remember sitting at the side of the rode in my little Honda, white knuckled and distraught, overwhelmed… and trying to talk it out with Ajey. My feelings were overwhelming to him; he was helpless, thousands of miles away. He just didn’t seem to understand how incredibly stressed out I was. I felt so much pressure. Talking with him so much at the time was stressful as I was working at a job that put a ton of stress on me. They didn’t care about my situation, they were very demanding… I often worked long hours through the night trying to do what I was asked to do… my manager was under a lot of stress herself and felt that the way to train was to throw people into the fray and let them work it out on their own, amazing that I messed up so often.

I did amazing things for the company, rebuilt their processes, documented them, and worked tirelessly with the sql developer to help them get the processes automated. I was working through the nights sometimes and still my manager expected me to be there the next morning at the appointed hour. I was so exhausted, and NOT dealing with the emotional traumas that I had been through.

My son was in the hospital the week that I started working (he "ruptured his kidney") and I managed to go visit him (an hour drive) and get to work and spend some time with my kids at home. I had to get my baby daughter (now about 3) to go to daycare, she resisted and hated it. I had to love her and leave her. It broke my heart. I was also required to attend court sessions about the child abuse that had happened in our home and victim support classes (which was very hard to get to).

I closed off, I couldn’t speak I was too tired… still sick… trying to cook everything for myself to try and recover my health it was all insanity. I was engaged, but not able to be helped from that fact… it was a great burden to be engaged to someone a million miles away. How could we keep up the relationship like that? Then the last straw was broke at my nightmare job when I was sabotaged by a girl who came in to work with us. She took my training and of course did better at all the processes right away. She planted seeds of doubt in my manager’s mind about my capabilities. Pretended to be helping me out and then planted more seeds of doubt. When my manager called me in, inviting a team lead to sit in on the conversation, and told me that I was almost good enough to do the job I had been doing and that she was going to demote me, I said I accepted the demotion… but then went into the office at night with my friend Darrin and cleaned out my desk, left my badge… no notice. The way they had treated me, they deserved that.

Miraculously I found another job, a temp job, at Adobe about 3 months later. I knew when I started that job that I would make the temporary position permanent. I saw where there were weaknesses in the process we were working, I learned how to lead, I worked closely with some amazing and wonderful women and they taught me a lot.

But I looked out the windows, at the dark clouds, and it felt like my own soul moved along with them. My depression had not let up as much as I thought it would. I was eating THE cleanest diet you could ever think of but I still dealt with depression, anxiety, stupor, fatigue, weakness… I fought it; I tried so hard to overcome it. But it was a factor in my inability to really FEEL at that time. I was so blank inside sometimes… and yet I felt bad. I was letting my sweetheart down. I couldn’t give him the time that he needed, WE needed, in order to refresh and regenerate ourselves.

Sadly some of the most frustrating things/decisions that I ever made were in the midst of this stupor. I let myself down. I let my sweetheart down. I broke things off with him because I couldn’t keep up with the pressure anymore. I couldn’t. I let things happen to me with the least resistance and didn’t speak up when I should have. Thus, HE ended up betrayed, and I went through some bizarre levels of denial and justification as I tried to explain myself. I had the unfortunate experience of trying to talk things through with some other blogger that Ajey knew who he had confided in and who said would help. She pretended to listen then came up with her own conclusion. She judged me to be a lunatic and unfriended me from facebook. That REALLY hurt. I was crazy though, utterly insane… in some ways. I allowed my ex-husband to stay at my house, AND give me a back massage… I didn’t get up in horror as he took off my pants and then started to rape me. I finally started stuttering NO. He stopped and I filed a rape case against him. That was no fun.

My blog is a reflection of my inability to speak. At one point I told Ajey to not comment on my blog posts since at first I didn’t want my family to know I was friends with him whilst still married (going through the divorce process). Plus sometimes what he said didn’t fit what I was trying to convey. I was hurt when he didn’t “get” it, silly but that’s how I felt. I stopped writing, stopped commenting. It was hard to keep up with blogging anyway since I had so much stress in my life, so many commitments.

But my inner voice fell silent. I couldn’t seem to break out of the stupor.

I went back to see him, November of 2011. I had regained my temple recommend and went to support him with getting his endowments. Again I was getting to the first day of my cycle and this time was rather sick. We went about, and had fun, but I was fairly weak. We had to stop when on a hike because I would almost faint. We took it slower. There was one point on the hike though when we were walking through the woods, saying silly things, that I felt I had regained some precious kinship with him, the feeling was akin to how I had felt with my cousins when I was a teenager. We had many moments like that and he was so thoughtful. He had many little surprises for me; we connected again and remembered all about how fun it could be with each other. He was spiritual as well. Brought me to church, tender with the ward members, introduced me to his friends, well liked. We went to counseling together and the councilor helped, he made a lot of sense. I would have liked to have gone to him more. We worked through a lot of things and I thought that our issues had been placed behind us and that we would be together soon.

Then I got back home. He went to India to be with his family and to find a job. It seemed that things started to change, his requests of me started to change. He wanted me to come there with my kids… or just me and a couple of the kids. I just couldn’t. I was still trying to become stable at home. I wanted to have a good job established. I really needed to have my career skills in order. I was busy, busy, busy… not as stressed as I had been, but I still struggled with a sense of stupor. He was under a lot of stress; he didn’t like the jobs he was getting. He withdrew from me, I withdrew from him… and I didn’t file the papers for him to come here, the fiancĂ© visa, until July of 2012.

Even then I didn’t feel prepared and I was unsure of how things would be together. He explained to me his family situation, his father losing his memory, his sister unmarried, and his family honor in danger if the extended family knew of me, my kids. I had also made the mistake of being quite untactful when he sent me a very thoughtful gift of products from India. Well… we grew apart, in a big way, and each day I despaired at the thought of the future, the uncertainty. The VISA wasn’t coming, and I just got tired of trying to keep things up; emotionless conversations, emptiness, aching, longing… and feeling unloved, unwanted, unattractive. I wanted to find someone who I could be myself with again. So I broke things off with him that December, 2012. I looked into dating others, went on a few dates. Started talking to Darrin more, we had backed off from even being friends when that had threatened my relationship with Ajey. But there was no point in not being friends when I had broken things off.

I had a hard time emotionally. I was so distraught and heartbroken, heartbroken and sorrowful for me and him. I grieved.

At this point in time I had discovered that I was anemic, had low thyroid and iodine levels (the iodine playing a role in the thyroid levels). Physically I was still unable to handle the stress very well, so I didn’t handle it, Ajey was left alone and I know he suffered.

I am FINALLY recovering. Finally! I still have times where I suffer from stupor, stupidity… like my trip to Hawaii. Man I got sick. We tried to get gluten free meals for me but people just didn’t understand the concept over there. I ended up compromising again.

My issues now involve; finally facing up to all of the emotions that I have left on the table as I have struggled through the years, trying to rebuild my identity; trying to be a good worker when I feel like treading water… I can’t do that, I need to get back to work, refocus and be the type of worker that I know I can be. My determination to be a better mother is the strongest pull on my heart though. So that’s the state of my life.

In some ways it is hard to explain how I feel about the past, how my relationship with Ajey ended. He’s found another girl to marry, good for him. I couldn’t live up to what he needed, what we needed. I feel that my illnesses over the years have contributed in my inability to carry out what I wanted to say, to do, and to be. I don’t want to fall into the same traps again, to be in a position where I am compromising my thoughts and heart in order to placate another person. AND/OR hurt another person. It sounds like I’m making excuses when I mention the degree of illness I’ve been dealing with, hidden illness, it's more of an explanation than an excuse.

Now, I am utterly aware of the danger I face each day. Every time I get ill, I compromise in some way, knowingly or unknowingly. I compromise in a way that hurts me or others. That is the explanation for anyone who thinks I am extreme when I avoid eating out, or eating what other people make. I don’t want to be depressed, in a stupor, again! It’s that simple.

I hate that other people have been hurt. I hate that I have hurt. I hate that I haven’t been WHO I might have been all these years. I have been the best that I could be, and have achieved amazing things… but I feel so much better when I'm strict in my food choices.

I face new challenges. The challenges I have faced my whole life… but with a new perspective and a different outlook and ability.

I say, keep up the healing and let me live!! J