Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trials & tribulations

Being a Mom has always been my dream, well that and a country music singer. From a very early age I discovered when I sing people's ears would bleed (or so my eldest brother said). In those days and since I could always picture myself as a mom. I've poured my heart and soul into the job. There have been times I wondered if I would make it through the moments and times I prayed for moments to last.

I can't remember any more challenging of a time than right now. My youngest is in her final days of her senior year. It's been a challenging couple of months. First she had a terrible relationship that ended badly. It has taken months for him to stop harassing her. He has taken her confidence away from her and left her looking over her shoulder and questioning everything. She has been the subject of much gossip. Everything from her being a drug addict, to being pregnant to even worse things (if you can imagine).  She has been pushed to the edge of her ability to cope with it all. Just when she thinks it is settling down another round of rumors appear. She has cut herself off from nearly everything and everyone for fear of what will be said next. It's not just kids spreading rumors either. Some one turned in that she is using drugs so she had to be tested (someone must not have knows all of my kids have always been on a random drug pool kind of thing), questioned and watched, her teachers were told as a result and have treated her differently. No one bothered to tell them not only did she pass but she has also passed the weekly one administered at home (at $45 a pop). Friends of mine that haven't bothered to say two words to me in years all of a sudden send me screen shots of conversations about her (nothing noted where they stood up for her of course). She is struggling to hold it all together. Now should be an exciting time for her. She has worked very very hard and these last few days of school should be exciting, instead she gets anxiety at the thought of going to school and being treated differently or hearing more crap. She doesn't want to make plans and hang with friends because of what will be said next.

I've tried coaching her to ignore the gossip and to live her life to prove people wrong. I've tried proving the rumors wrong by tests and things. I've tried being an asshole. I've been angry at my daughter because clearly this crap must have something to do with who she is hanging out with or something she has done. I've tried medications, doctors appointments, apps on her phone, everything I can think of. The end result.... A 17 year old girl who wakes up a bundle of nerves, afraid to go to school and work who couldn't care less if she walks across the graduation stage with her classmates or not, or if she ever steps foot in work or goes to another event with friends again.

So what does a mother do? I've tried all I can think of and it just keeps going on and on. I alternate between wanting to take a few vacation days and hold her hand at school so she can get through the remaining days, to saying to hell with it don't go if you don't want to, to packing what I own the car and relocating. I'm at an actual loss. I don't want this time to set the stage for her future because we all know life doesn't really begin until after highschool.

Everyone I've spoken to has an idea. Some say tough love it and force her to go to school and deal with it head on. Which I've done and depending on the rumor of the day she may get through she may end up in the nurses office in a panic attack. Some say find the source and take action, which I have an idea but have been unable to prove.

The saddest thing about the last six months or so is to see the change my daughter. She has gone from being confident and sure to insecure and sad. I would give just about anything for the smile to be back in her eyes.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How quickly we forget

I've been on a journey lately to find the perfect underwear for a fat girl. For real this is a problem. I won't go into the details but it's really not as easy as one would think. This past year I have gained almost all of the weight back that I had lost. It's  upsetting that I'm starting back at square one but the truth is I did what I had to do to survive.

The day before yesterday I started having anxiety. It's really nothing new for me as I've had it for years, usually around the time mother nature visits. I've been able to manage it very well with magnesium, and some other things, however this time it wasn't working. Yesterday it got really bad. I have some rescue medication I got when my mom passed away that didn't even touch it. I was very near a full blown panic attack by the time I left work yesterday. I ran to Walmart to get yet another type of undies to try and decided if I was going to snap out of this I had to try everything I know to do so. I reached out to a friend, I did positive self talk, breathing exercises and I headed to the gym. I haven't been to the gym in a long time due to financial reasons & let me tell you it was just like the first time. Sweat appeared about half way through my first set of reps. I pretty much kept my head down and plugged away and guess what, by the time I headed out to my car my anxiety was gone. I got the best night sleep I've had in a long time & this morning I feel fantastic.

The familiar feeling of sore muscles makes me happy. I had forgotten this wonderful side effect of going to the gym. The anxiety reduction side. For me it's not about fitting comfortably into my clothes (which is way better than not), it's about being healthy. Mind, body & spirit. I haven't made that a priority in a long time, and I see now how big of a mistake that was.

For now I'm still on a quest for great undies, but I'm also on a quest for a better me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It all matters

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest pet peeves is to come home from work and have the TV turned onto the news and loudly hearing the twisted troubles of the world. My entire day is spent hearing peoples hard times & untangling messy situations for them. I love what I do & it brings me more pride than I can explain to be a part of peoples lives in such a way. For my own sanity however I must sometimes tune out current events. I need to come home & be busy with dinner prep or clean up. I need the biggest problem to be if Kevin studied for his test or Liana turned something in. I need to banter with my family and make memories that will carry me through the days when they are gone living their own lives. At least for a little while.

I've been watching the news here & there, reading articles & noticing posts on face book. Truthfully there is little question as to where I and my family stand on most subjects. If you aren't sure just check out the stickers Kevin has plastered all over my car. Truthfully my take is this: do what's right & it will all work out.

My explanation may cost me some friends & that's fine. To me it is simple. If you break the law you should have consequences. If you break the law or are suspected of breaking the law & run from police there is a very good chance you will be shot. Don't break the law & don't run & you won't be shot. I can not see where a person would need to break the law. Even if you are homeless and hungry there are alternative solutions to theft. Perhaps if a person is backed against the wall & has children to care for but even then there are options. Don't break the law. Simple. If you do break the law be a stand up kind of person & own it. You know you did it, own it & face the consequences. Just because someone has made bad choices once does not mean they will again. People deserve another chance, in most cases.

Don't be an asshole. For real. When you are an asshole apologise. I mean come on, at times we are all assholes. When you are one tell someone you are sorry. If people tell you that you are an asshole & you can't understand what is wrong with everyone, think about what you might be doing. Perhaps you are being a jerk. How hard can it really be? We all make mistakes. On that note a persons mistakes are not the fault of their children or future generations. By that I mean that I am sorry for things that happened years ago like the Native Americans having their land taken. I am sorry that people owned slaves. I'm sorry for the problems the Jews went through. I  sorry for a million things all of our ancestors did, none of that however is my fault. I am not to blame for any of it. I am not responsible for any of it. The truth is if we look into everyone's past there is a good chance we all have situations where there has been discrimination or miss treatment. I've been researching my ancestors & I haven't gotten all the way back to find out where everyone has come from but I so know I have some that were survivors of terrible situations. I don't feel entitled to a single thing based on their trials. There is a good chance someone, regardless of color or sex or any of the other labels we put on people will have had to deal with something that is not right. To me it feels like as far as race has come we, as a nation, have taken a giant step backwards in recent years. I can honestly tell you that I grew up thinking & believing every person is equal. It doesn't matter what color they are or who their parents are, everyone started with the same slate & how it all played out depended on the choices you (not your ancestors or those around you) made. Sometimes along the way shitty things happened & you just had to reevaluate and retry.

Growing up my family was one of the poorest in town. Often times we were the brunt of peoples jokes. I can't tell you the times I overheard teachers talking about our family. It was difficult to make and keep friends. Guess what.... I turned out pretty good. I have worked hard my whole life. It is not the fault of my parents or their parents. In fact the lessons I learned from my Mom & Dad have helped to build my life now. Good & bad. People need to stop having excuses & do the right thing.

I have seen many posts about republicans & democrats. How the problems of the world are a result of one or the other. Bullshit! When I see a post like that its all I can do not to point out how discriminating that is. One entire group is not responsible for the downfall of anything. Its a group effort. If you are 100% behind one group or another there is a good chance you are being closed minded. That is like saying all cheerleaders are dumb or all woman are bad drivers & is not only untrue but ignorant. One group be it Republican or a religion is not full of all good or all bad. Every group is equally mixed.

The bottom line is we all just need to do the right thing. When we don't do the right thing we need to correct that. Make good choices & for the love of God stop being assholes.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fear is a liar

Today is the day! Today I stop standing by watching life pass by & I start rejoining the living. Almost a year ago...wait I guess its been two, I worked very hard at changing the way I looked, felt, thought & ate. I was the happiest I remember being in a very long time. Then everything got turned upside down.

For the last little bit I've just been sitting by watching the trains pass me by. Every once in a while I attempt to hop back on, however I've been unable to.

Today that changes. I am embarrassed by how much weight I have gained back but that is not going to define me. I am standing in the middle of the tracks and the only way that train is getting past is with me on it. For me it's more than just a few pounds I need to shed. Its life and death & I choose life!  I'm not looking to be anything other than healthy and a little bit badass.

I have signed up for a 16 week challenge to make changes. Kind of like a jump start back on the train I fell off. If you see me trying to slip or jump, feel free to throw rocks at me or whatever it takes.

I'm trying very hard to find the new way of life that I've got now that everything has changed. Today, while I feel nervous about stepping on the scale & worried I won't be able to keep up and make it through the workouts, I feel excited & alive & full of energy. I can't wait to go grocery shopping and prep foods again and be in control.

Today is a good day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mamma warned me there'd be days like this.....

I've been very nostalgic today. I had the day off of work and decided to spend it sorting and reorganizing my closet. I came across lots of old art projects from the kids and different things that brought back memories.

Midway through my day I had to go to a doctors apt. I really didn't tell anyone in my family about it because I didn't want to worry them & I already knew the results if my stress test. I am glad I went. My mind is at ease now & I have a clear understanding if my cardiac status & how to move forward. For the first time in months I feel as if my fate might actually be different than both of my parents.

After my apt I sent Kevin & Liana the same messages I do every day about that time, asking where they are & what they are doing. Liana was quick to respond but Kevin didn't for about half an hour. When he finally did he said he was sorry he was with the recruiter for the past 2 1/2 hours. I knew he was going but didn't expect to hear that he is scheduled for MEPS the first week in August. OK I  mean I know its going to eventually happen and he will be leaving me for the United States Marines however its just happening so fast. My Mom (& every other adult I ever knew) said this would happen. They warned me that when I was complaining about the terrible two's I  would blink & they would be gone. That one day I would realize that was the most magical time.

Then Liana sent me a message which I can't even remember what it was now, but it made me remember when she was younger & was afraid to go upstairs by herself. How everything in her life I was a part of. Now I'm lucky if I get 5 minutes a day with her & if those 5 minutes she isn't in her phone or something. I'm loosing all of these kids to the real world & I don't want to just yet. When Kevin told me about his August date I felt almost a panic. All I can think of is the summer I sent him on a 10 day camping trip to the Adirondack Mnts. While he had great adventures, he clung to me so tight when I picked him up. For the next week he was like my little side kick, actually wanting to spend time with me. I Invision him that little boy who will go and miss his mom but is stuck. I envision all of the stuff they will put him through and I can't help him.

He will be fine.....its me that might not make it through.

Then one by one all three of my children have needed something from me today I have been unable to give. I am going to bed wondering if they even know I exist outside of being a checkbook, deliverer of forgotten things, doormat when they are pissy..... It helps sooth the hurting heart when I'm angry though so I'm going with that and the realization that one day I'll probably look back on these days and wish for them back.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

To Everything..... There is a Season

Last week I got a letter in the mail addressed to the parents of Kevin. I joked with him that every time I get one of these it causes anxiety & fear that it will tell me he has skipped to many days to graduate. As I opened it, with butterflies because I really was worried. Much to my delight & surprise the very first word was Congratulations!!! Kevin got an award that would be handed out during a formal ceremony and blah blah blah.....

For real! Kevin is going to graduate! For the first time this year I allowed myself to relax & believe it to be true. Every day since the letter arrived I've been hassling him about what he was going to wear & how he had to go. I've been telling everyone that would even pretend to listen about how my Son, the graduate, got an award. Poor Kevin. Its been a long week.

Tonight I rushed home from work, changed my clothes. Changed them again. Then bolted out the door just in time to sit in the auditorium packed with seniors who looked uncomfortable with their fancy clothes on, parents who looked at their offspring with that look of pride. We watched the touching power point with all of the baby pictures and senior pictures set to music and waited through the introductions. Finally they began announcing the awards. Mid way through they presented the awards to those from the graduating class planning to enter the military. Kevin was given an award for entering the Marines.

He looked so good walking across the stage in his dress clothes, shaking hands with whoever it was. I just realized I have no idea who presented his award. Anyway. After that he rejoined Jeff and I and we waited and waited for the ceremony to finish.

When it was time to leave my handsome young man realized he locked his keys in his truck. I left he and Jeff to figure it out, came home & as I was changing my clothes it hit me! Kevin is graduating & joining the Marines. Its not something that is happening in the future. It is happening now. My little kid who can win anyone over with his crooked little smile & smooth talking. The little boy who has always preferred to be outside than in. The kid who has given me heart palpitations all year because his "free spirit" has kept him out of class. He has told me since he was 8 years old what his plans were, I just always thought I had time to worry about it later.

Tonight I realized its later.

I am so very very proud of the young man he has become. He has so many qualities I value in people, like honesty, even when its not what I want to hear or its difficult. Willing to help anyone out without asking or expecting anything in return. Hard working.....I could go on and on. The point is this kid has made me so proud & so sad all in one moment. Love you KVT

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

77 Days.......

That's how long it has been since my world came crashing down around me. 77 days. That is 11 weeks, 1848 hours, 110,880 minutes. That really is not that long. Not when you were happily going about your business, doing normal daily activities like work, cooking dinner, planning the future.  When your body goes through a shock like that it does funny things, things I had only heard people speak about, but never really understood until recently. For me I had the initial shock, then my body and mind went into what I consider  self preservation mode. That is where I block everything out and go through the motions. In my mind I knew what had happened, however I was refusing to think about it, really talk about it, acknowledge it in any way. I secretly had my own fears of dealing with it. I didn't want to allow myself to lose control emotionally because I'm not sure I would ever get it back. I had fear that my fate would end up being the same. Fear of who I would be able to go to now when I need something, or even if I don't.

 I finally broke down and went to my doctor, where I had a long conversation about all of my fears. I laid it all on the table, went through every inch of every medical problem my entire family has, probably for the first time in my life. As a result I feel like I am finally starting to rejoin the land of the living. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been sitting in a dark corner waiting for the right time to feel better. I've been trying, very hard, to get back to normal. I go to work, I sometimes go to the gym, I've planned Kevin's graduation, I've gotten the garden planted and flowers worked on. I'm going through the motions. What I'm not doing is talking to my family or friends much. I'm afraid of my family and after overhearing my "friend" talk crap about me, I'm hesitant to really let anyone close. I do talk with my circle, Jeff, Leslie, the kids and a few family members and friends. My saving grace has been two people that have been going through the same thing and understanding whats going on with me. I just haven't really been to the point of ok until recently.

Then today happened. I woke in a great mood, feeling very positive. I was looking forward to working, then getting home and hopefully quickly doing my homework because tomorrow is Kevin's BOCES graduation and this weekend Liana has her marching band competition. The day was a typical day, like any other. I was focused on my tasks at hand and plugging through each patient. We had a very informative presentation at lunch time and if you know me, you know I love learning new things. I was feeling better than I have in so long. Towards the end of the day one of the girls from the front came to tell me I had a phone call. When I answered it a family member of one of my beloved patients notified me that my patient had passed away last night. I am so sad about this. I am close with a lot of my patients. When one of them goes through a difficult time I mourn with them. when they go through a good time I celebrate with them. When I first started working with Kim I was green. She was my first real full time nursing job. I was shy, introverted, unsure of every move I made. There are less than a handful of patients that saw right through that awkwardness and grabbed a hold of my heart strings and wormed their way in. This patient was one of them. It is a sad day for me today. The kind of sad day that makes me question why I even got into nursing. I know the real answer to that, I'm just spitting words out trying to make sense of it all. I might not actually be the right person for this job anymore. I mean I love what I do, but I don't really think I'm the type of person that can not get close to some people. The type of person that can be jaded and not see people other than a valuable life, even those I may not care a great deal for I believe are valuable and I'm not the type that will ever be able to turn that part of me off. I'll always be upset when I lose one of "mine". Truthfully I don't want to become that person either. I am sensitive and I want to stay that way. I want to continue to see good and value in people. I don't want to change that. 

Needless to say, I've been doing a ton of thinking the last week or so. I've come to a couple of conclusions.....

I am going to deactivate my Facebook. I can not do it until after July 4th, however I am going to. As I have been struggling with the new way of life (and it has been a struggle), I've realized people have to much access to me. I post something and I mean it in a positive manner, however someone takes it as negative. While it is their problem they misunderstood me, it has effected my life. Someone I considered a very good friend said today that I'm negative and I should be over it by now and I was using my moms death as an excuse. Here I thought I was finally working through things and was able to finally say, and believe and understand that my mom is gone, that I am actually able to finally see and feel again and for the first time for longer than a minute I could think something positive, however they took what I had said as negative. I can not and will not do that. If I'm honest people have often had a difficult time understanding me. Part of that is because I just don't want to trust people and I don't let them know the real me, and part of that is that people are assholes.Either way, if you are reading this I'm going to be gone from the big FB soon. If we are friends in real life we will manage to stay in touch. I intend to start a company page as soon as I finish my certification for Health Coaching and perhaps one day we will work together in that way.

I am both mortified and elated that Kevin is graduating. I didn't want it to come because I have to face it without my Mom. She was looking so forward to his graduating this year. She got new shoes, we talked about it so often and planned things out. I don't want to do it without her. I want to call her and ask her how to do thing like make fresh lemon aid like she did and how to make frog-eyed salad until she agreed to bring it, how many of this I need and other random things.   I want to be pissed off because she wont let me borrow her tent thingy for the day because my siblings will be mad if she lets me and not them. I want her to come over and walk around the house with me to check out my garden, and advise me on my flower beds. I want her to see the work I've done. I want one of her hugs that she saved for when you really needed it. Not the quick little hello or good-by hugs, but the wrap you in and let you know it doesn't matter what is happening, she is there to help you through it hugs. 

It is at this moment I realize it has only been 77 days. How can someone expect me to be over this already when I have only really been facing it for a week and a half? How can they not see the raw pain, or feel the shattering I have going on inside of me? Why can't they hear my insides screaming for it all to stop and for stupidness to STFU so I can breathe. Why can't I breathe?.......

77 days. 

I am encouraged today, even through my sadness. Today is the first real cry I have had since my mom died. I'm not talking about the time directly after. I'm talking since realization has hit. I'm excited because I know from here you progress onto the part where you celebrate their life. I'm excited because it seems I am moving forward adn even if I am not going through the motions per someone else's decided timeline, I am moving. I'm feeling and I'm going to be alright.

77 days from today will be the end of August. The time when Kevin plans to go to the Marines. 77 days is not nearly long enough.