Monthly Archives: April 2015

Severing Ties

You can only call and ask and invite people into your or your children’s lives so much until their blatant refusals become enough to leave you as tired and empty as those excuses.  Let them go.  Whether it is an absentee parent you have to call and beg every month for child support or phone calls to their children, birthdays being missed and holidays forgotten, large gaps of no visitation, let these people go.  You shouldn’t have to force these people into your children’s lives when they obviously have things they would rather be doing, so don’t.  The kids are the ones who pay for it.  They deserve better than being a second choice, they do not deserve the neglect or coming in and out of their lives, so for them, let the dead beats go.

It is a hard lesson to learn.  You cannot force being a parent in a deadbeat.   If the kids are not top priority, they never will be, no matter who’s birthday it is or who cannot buy a new dress for a dance.  They do not care.  Let them go.

Flare

I fell down carrying a small box to my car while I was moving.  I hadn’t been feeling well, I seemed to have a cold.  I’ve been getting up and seeing stars and darkness and I have been ignoring random bruising and just feeling tired. 

Since that fall, I’ve had two more.  I am in the fog, that fuzzy brain fog where you find it hard to carry on a conversation or even form words into sentences on paper.  It is that fog where you forget the ages and birth dates of your children.  The fog where your address sounds foreign and you forget mid sentence what you are talking about and you cannot remember your own route you take home every day, the autoimmune hell type of fog.

I had leg cramps.  My head is doing the dizzying migraine.  The nausea is there.  I’m in a flare.   

So, give me time and I will be back to organizing my thoughts and not having to backtrack every few words.

Much love.

Steph.

Migraines

I was around twelve the first time I got a migraine.  I remember putting pressure on my eye and forehead trying to relieve the pain.  I also remember crying at school from it.  The lights and the noise hurt.  Every smell was excruciatingly nauseating.  

The first medicines I remember taking for my migraines were Tylenol 3, the kind with codeine, and Phenergan.  I can remember in high school pressing my head against the cold metal rails of my bed or curling up on the cool tile of the bathroom floor trying to find relief.  This was when I started getting Dimerol and Phenergan in a shot.

For a short time in my twenties, I found a good cure to be Imatrex, but, like every other medicine, it only worked for a short time.  The one to two day migraines morphed into a new kind of monster I deal with now, at 40.  

I’ve tried everything from eliminating caffeine, which gives me a migraine, to cutting out cokes and now I’ve eliminated beef.  The last one has helped the most.  I still curl up on the cold tile of a bathroom floor or look for something cold and metal to put on my head, but nothing works.  I have week long migraines at times that do nothing but switch sides while my vision, hearing, thinking, and functioning are all impaired.  My head is in the toilet, and I would do anything for it to just be a hangover, but it is a migraine.  

Everything is amplified.  Everything hurts that one side and one spot on my head.  My nose bleeds.  My ears ring in high pitched loud tones that don’t even match.  Nothing can drown out the noise.  Silence means just hearing the scream of the ringing in my ears.  

Pain meds do not work.  I hate when people suggest Excederine or any other over-the-counter meds and I wonder how I am supposed to keep these down, much less how they can work.  Then there is the drink water suggestion.  That usually ends up with the end result being an evening of dry-heaving, again, like a hangover, only worse.

If you have never had a migraine, you can never understand a migraine.  My pulse races, my blood pressure rises from the pain, which causes a headache.  It is not a fun condition to have.  I am still trying to find a cure.  

Or at least relief.

Until then….

I’m still searching.

Grace

 

My father always called me grace.  If there was a corner or edge, I would hit it.  If there was a doorframe, I had a new bruise on my shoulder.  Moved furniture?  Broken toes.  I could hit the same place, the same object, numerous times.  I never learned.  I have absolutely no idea where that bruise came from.

 

 We moved boxes yesterday.   I haven’t gotten my furniture, yet.   

  

When I was younger, I had a Great Dane.  If there was an animal I could compare myself to, that is the animal.  Big and clumsy.  I am guessing quite unaware of its own size.  Always bumping into everything.  That is me.  I’m a Great Dane .  A Great Dane named Grace.

 

 

That is where I fell yesterday.

 

 

Still waiting on most of the colors to show up.   I may need to be bubble wrapped before my next attempt at moving.  

Packing

i think I said before how completely disorganized I am.  I try.  I pack and I fold and I look  and I assess and the end result is still disorganized.  I have a mess.

 

It is not that I am not fond of messes.  They seem to be a defining trait in the core of who I am.  These messes are my thought processes becoming tangible.  It is a physical manifestation of my internal dialogue.

  

I try to pack my life neatly in uniform boxes and perfect cubes.  I try to make a mess a little bit functional.  The truth is, I am not even an organized type of chaos.

 

I am, however, semi-functional.  I am just functional on a very messy plane.  Welcome to my system.

 

  

And that is also a pretty good glimpse into my mind.

Gratitude 

 

  

 Sometimes, even those of us who find it easier to express themselves through writing down our thoughts struggle to find those exact right ones to convey a message as deeply as you feel the emotion behind it.  

 

I am not a photographer by any means.  The pictures do not come close, either, to what I am feeling right now.

    

I took a moment to allow myself to be consumed and overwhelmed by gratitude.  I’m not sure there is a way to paint a feeling that intense with words or pictures, I believe its intensity has to be experienced, not described.

 

 

So, here are some pictures of another really great night.  Here is hope for many more.

   

So, for now, I just leave a giant thank you.

 

 Thank you. 

Happiness

 

Sitting here, in a hotel, looking at my sleeping children, I feel such a peace inside of me I have not felt in so long.  It is a peace I somehow had forgotten. It is an, “I know everything is going to be alright” type of peace.  It is at feeling one with myself.

 This time last year was one of the worst times of my life.  I had married the completely wrong person and I stuck around way longer than I should have in those six months, yes, just six, trying to fix it.  It was a soul-crushing disaster.   It was the absolute worst relationship of my life.

 

I didn’t believe in divorce.  I waited 38 years to get legally married and I was not going to divorce anyone.  The problem came when I got to the point where I actually wished I would not wake up at all ever seen again rather than spend another day in that situation.  Like I said, I had never been so unhappy.

 

 

I was so unhappy, moving in with my parents was better than living there.  So, like I’ve said, I did.  It took therapy and alone time to heal, but I have.  I am by no means bitter.  I’m only changed.  I know me and I know what I am and am not willing to take from people.  I now know what I want.

 

 

This is what is important, and I am glad to have had this day to dedicate my day to what is important, is my family.  And here most of us sit, minus two, and we are happy.

 

  

DON’T SAY THAT

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As parents, we have a lot of struggles.  There are so many struggles. It is a never-ending quest to do the exact right thing, and to play it off somehow when you haven’t.  You always want to feel like you have made the right decision, and if you are me, you always second guess it.

As a special needs parent, that has become amplified for me.  Every decision through every day seems much bigger than it actually is.  Sometimes, I like to vent.  When I vent, I sometimes do it just to have someone listen.  Sometimes I do not want a reply.  The issue isn’t always just that I get a reply, the issue is the type of reply I get.

4 Lizzie

 

One of these replies is, “I am glad it is you and not me.”  I am not sure these types of people really want to say anything at all to you other than, “I do not care.”  Wouldn’t it be easier to say, “I am busy,” or, “I cannot talk right now”?  It is such a rude thing to say to an already tired parent who is probably in a world of self-doubt anyway.

Another reply I hate is, “Girl, I don’t know how you do it.”  This one is so defeating, so weighted, so negative, I hate this reply.  I am sitting here wondering the same thing.  You just reinforced all of my doubts.  Basically, you just told me you would give up and implied I should, too.

3Matt

There are many more, “Don’t say that,” phrases I could least, but I think I found the two that I find to be harshest replies I could find.

As parents, we should offer support to one another.  As friends, that should really just be a part of the deal.  There is enough self-doubt in any parent and reinforcing that instead of offering support really is damaging to a relationship between friends.  We should lift each other up.

2Sam

That being said, I know I am focusing on the negative.  I should think about making a blog with two things I really love hearing next time.

I think that sounds like a plan.

I Have the Best Friends Ever

I have always had great friends.  Maybe even the greatest.

I think it was around 1998 when I met Tuesday.  We were working at IKON office solutions in Houston.  I didn’t have a lot of business casual clothes.  I was a single mom and I had a pretty limited budget. I was living with Tuesday at the time.

I am kind of a slob.  I wad my clothes up or leave them where they fall.  This, of course, means wrinkles.

I was running late, really late.  Tuesday had already left.  My wool pants were in this wad in the middle of the floor.  I examined them.  There was no way I could go to work with that many wrinkles.  I tried to call Tuesday and ask her about an iron.  She was not there yet, so she couldn’t answer.  I had to think quickly.

Tuesday had a washer and dryer.  I could use the dryer.

I thew my wool pants in the dryer.

Now, I am usually not a stupid person.  This particular morning, I was.  To my horror, upon putting on those hot out of the dryer wool pants, I noticed the length was about three inches above my ankle and the liner was hanging out of the bottom.

I should have expected this.

So, I have to wear the pants.  I couldn’t just go out and buy new pants.  I could feel the burn rise up across my chest and face all the way to my ears as I walked out to the car.  I still got in. I still drove to work.  I still felt that same burn as I got out of my car and made my way to the office.  There I saw Tuesday.

She was trying really hard not to laugh.  I was trying really hard not to cry.  I was standing there, pants shrunk up three inches above my ankle, liner hanging out.  She asked what happened.  I explained.  Without missing a beat, Tuesday says, “They’re the new capris!”

And that is why I have the best friends ever.

I am a collector of not-so-necessary nostalgia.

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I am a connoisseur of weird in my own mind.  Yet, I am really just a collector of things unnecessary and unwanted.  I am a hoarder of nostalgia.  If I had curio cabinets, they would be filled with what-the-hecks, not whatnots.  The things of the least value illicit the most feelings.  I have never cared to collect things of monetary value, the value is in the memory.

My doll collection is my favorite.  It is mostly composed of creepy dolls I have found in random garage sales and antique stores that really hold no true value.  They fill up dusty shelves and lurk through painted eyes at the curious children who gaze upon them as they walk by.  Ominous is that stare.  These are things I may not even have collected in my youth, I just felt a pull from an expression in the faces of the doll.

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As if my creepy doll collection was not enough, I also am a collector of, “I will fit into this again,” pants and shirts.  These are not necessarily even ones I am fond of.  They may not have even been flattering.   They just sit, and they remain.

I collect childhood favorites.  Worn, torn, broken, insides falling out, I collect them all.  There are things that have so long been a part of myself that it is like they are an inseparable thread woven into the tapestry of my life, a colorful, yet small, addition.

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I collect papers.  I collect napkins.  I collect small pieces of unimportant cloth I have found, anything, with a sentimental ramble scratched out in ink, maybe crayon.  I collect my own words.  Files and folders of my own words.  Books, piles, mountains of semi-organized processes of thought, all collected in a manner where I begin to wonder what happened to the meaning.

The strangest part of my collection is my ridiculous basket of socks.  I hate matching socks.  I hate organizing anything, and I ended up with where I am now believing is the centrifugal force pulling in every missing sock from every dryer world wide.

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I am a collector of things, like that misfit toy island.  If it is useless, I keep it.  Every time I move, I relearn this.  Every time I move, I indulge fully in the memories.  Immersed in the reasons, as well as the words.

Tomorrow is a new day of recollection.

I look forward to every one.