Thursday, October 24, 2019

And Still The Sun Rises

I'm still here. Haven't been able to gather my thoughts. Fighting fatigue that basically means I go to work and come home to spend the evening as a verifiable couch potato.

Doing hard work in therapy. Disassociated at work the day following a heavy duty appointment, after getting triggered by some coworkers vile joking conversation. I then accidentally slipped off the curb while walking to my car and banged into a vehicle with my hip and less than 15 minutes later got two of my fingers slammed in my car door. Still not sure if one of them is broken. With the help of my therapist I was able to ground myself enough to function for the rest of the day. Spent the weekend in my nightgown resting and giving myself permission to accomplish nothing of the get up and go variety of tasks. I need more of that.

Sunday, September 01, 2019


I had great plans for this long weekend.

Last week was my busiest week of work for the entire year. Getting through it without being wound up tight was a blessing. I am grateful to find that my mood is better than it's ever been. I wake up in the morning and the thought of going to work doesn't feel depressing.

My fatigue though. Oh boy. I told my doctor this week that it sucked driving to work and feeling like it's the end of the day and time for bed. So far this weekend I've mostly slept.  I wonder why we, or should I say, I, don't count sleeping as being productive. And why does productivity rate so high anyway?

It's too bad one can't get paid for reading and sleeping. I'd make a fortune.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Cry, Cry and Then Cry Some More

How can it be that I find less time to write here now that there isn't a baby in the house?

About ten days ago we helped our son gather his belongings and move back in with his wife. Sweet baby rode with us in our vehicle and I cherished every moment. He was asleep in his dad's arms when we went to leave and as much as I'd told myself I wasn't going to cry until we were in the car, the tears were falling before we even said goodbye. I continued to cry as we drove away and then for a distance down the road.

After we left sweet baby we drove another three hours to see our two granddaughters. It was good to be among giggles and playing and the reading of books. They are dancing sparks of joy in my mind and in person and I can't help but smile when I think of them. I so often wish they lived closer.

The next morning Dearest One and I and a psychotherapist spent that day and the next one exploring and making connections between deep childhood wounds and current relationship patterns of behaviour. If there was a hare in the picture up there I would have to say we made progress somewhere in between the speed of a turtle and a hare.

I must have felt safe because I have never cried so much in two days in my life. Nor had anyone heard before what I call my 'keening cry'; the one that combines the ugly cry with primal pain.

I had told my regular therapist I wouldn't text her while on the weekend but she reassured me it was okay. I tried not to swear in the psychotherapist's office but I found myself whispering, fuck when the following three statements were made. I texted the first one to my therapist followed by the words 'fucking yay.'

Protection and connection are incompatible.
Requests and expectations are incompatible.
Reactivity and curiousity cannot coexist.

Because of the hard and exhausting work we did over that weekend, the emotional charge I've had in one of my most challenging familial relationships lessened to the point that I can't find it. I don't know if that person senses it or not but Dearest One thinks they do. Understanding why, where and how that relationship felt like such a threat and the ensuing conversation and tears was healing. I've done work in therapy here to help lessen the charge, and was on my way, but the work I did and the insight gained melted away so much displaced energy.

Normally I an super wary of things like that happening. Worried that I have instead stuffed my feelings because I found them so unacceptable on some level. But the change feels authentic and I am now able to set boundaries without the accompanying underlying smoldering anger. It was time and money well spent with the kind of changes that happened despite ourselves. Don't get me wrong. We did deep preparatory work and we couldn't have prepared for the insight and ensuing changes that took place.

We drove 8 hours home to an empty house. We had to put the last of our two pugs down a few months ago and so for the first time in 30 continuous years of having dogs, there was no dog to greet our return. Combine that with months of having a baby in the house and the initial quiet was jarring. We are grateful to be just the two of us again and we miss the baby. There really is nothing better than a baby recognizing you first thing in the morning and smiling all the way up to his eyes at you, bedhead and all.

I was cleaning up the living room on Saturday and came across two tiny squeaky toys that belong to sweet baby. Then a soother and a tiny pair of socks. I put them on the table and took a photo of all things baby then sent it to his parents. Then I sat there and cried.

Thankfully sweet baby and his parents are coming for a visit this week. I'm sure there will be tears all over again but some of them will be the happy kind.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Entirely Possible

Our infant grandson came home last night after being gone close to three weeks. Those weeks make such a difference in the life of a baby's development. He didn't recognize his Papa because his Papa went from full whiskers to clean shaven during that time but he had many full face, eyes smiling looks as I held him. Eventually he came around and fell asleep in his Papa's arms. A baby is good therapy.

It looks like he will be going to live with both his parents on a permanent basis soon. I will miss him dearly. I have worked hard in therapy to come to some kind of peace with it all. One that I believe would be totally different if the genders were switched. I don't think many people would be supporting a woman headed back into the situation even with the changes that have taken place. But then again that is only my opinion. I would be far more comfortable telling my daughter how I felt than my son, which either speaks to the differences in my relationship with them, or societal expectations. I don't know which.

I've set my boundaries. Made clear what would make me phone authorities to step in if necessary. I somehow found the grace to be kind and loving while doing so. Who knew I was capable of that after months of sheer anger about my lack of control? Somewhere along the way my anger has diminished and I've gained some acceptance of what I can't control.

Yesterday in therapy my therapist said many hard truths to me. She said them in a kind and loving way and I was able to hear her. I'm getting better at accepting hard truths when it comes to myself. I like to dish them out to other people but not so much when it comes to me. I think most people are that way.

I better get off the computer. Somewhere in my wisdom I made a physio appointment for seven o'clock in the morning. I've been awake since 3 AM. It's going to be a long day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Leveling Up

Isn't that what they call it when you are playing some kind of video game and you're going to the next level? I have no idea. My gaming ideas run to the likes of playing Sudoku on my phone. So there you go.

We've been away camping for ten days so far. Tonight we came home to do laundry after stopping on our way for an enjoyable evening socializing with friends. The kind of people you can be yourself with. The world needs more of that.

Tomorrow we'll head back to the campground for the rest of the week. Birds singing in the early morning. Deer and their young walking outside the camper window. Walking barefoot through mud puddles. A sibling quartet of squirrels running hither and yon. Sitting around a campfire. Playing cribbage. Sleeping. So much sleeping. I wish sleep helped weariness of heart.

I saved this photo as I was scrolling on social media because I'm in a place of hanging onto so much shit that is not serving me or my relationships very well. And I'm inching closer to letting it go. My therapist sent me some homework earlier this month and as I looked it over I thought to myself, "Oh, fuck." I told her that despite my plethora of "oh, fucks" that I recognized the work as the next step in my healing. In response she said, "I continue to be impressed with your ability to have a natural emotional reaction, settle yourself a bit, dust yourself off a bit and then say "OK - Next" 

Here's to letting go of shit.
Here's to leveling up. 
Whatever that means. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Questions For My Therapist

I feel like I'm in some kind of emotional boot camp these past few days. Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, I type things on my phone to ask my therapist:

I'm the only one in the family who feels duped. The rest are able to not make it about themselves and simply support the person in getting well.

Why does it seem like I'm the only one still angry?
The only one still on alert?

Why do I need acknowledgement?
Why do I need to be right?

How can I get the "I'm a bad person" narrative out of my head?

I'm realizing I'm making life all about me. Worrying so much that I'll be alone or not liked or not good enough or abandoned. And I don't think there's enough attention that could be paid to me by anyone that would fill that void. Now what?

I feel like my anger was suspended over the weekend. I couldn't make myself go there but I'm aware that the anger isn't gone.

So I really want to be in control of it all. Want it to go my way so that I can feel safe. And if it was like that I would alienate everyone who matters to me. I can see it's futile to want this anymore. And I can see it in a way that feels like acceptance. And all I want to do is cry. Because it feels scary and I feel raw. So raw. Like I'm stepping out of a cocoon. I know it's where my freedom lies.  I know it. I don't know how to get there.

I've been so proud of having an edge to my personality. That edge is not serving me anymore.

You know how I said at my first appointment that my goal was to be able to sit with my back to the door in a restaurant? I changed it. My goal is to learn to feel compassion for myself.

Saturday, June 29, 2019


It is late and everyone else is asleep. My brain is still busy and because, last night sleep was elusive, I best just type away until I can settle.

The last few days I have majored in the brain part of the photo. Fixated on my screw ups. Unable to see the good. So many tears, harsh words, exhaustion.

As a result I'm not liking myself very much. I have many notes made on my phone for when I see my therapist next week. They all boil down to why am I acting, thinking, believing this way? Ways that I was sure were behind me a long time ago.

Dearest One and I have joked lately that the epitaphs on our gravestones may include something akin to cancel all future appointments with our therapist. We are sure we will be needing to see her until then. We are funding her retirement, which we don't want to hasten. We are grateful that we have the means to see her. To get help. To continue to grow, change and face whatever is in front of us even though I definitely feel like I am a two year old having a temper tantrum lately.

I detest not getting my way.

A conversation yesterday left me wondering about that. About the rest of the people in my world not seeing things the way I do. You know, the right way. But yesterday something shifted just a titch. Enough that I am more open than I was before that shift. I don't know what to do with it, yet. Part of me feels like I am giving up something I should hang on to. Part of me feels like if I don't budge I am going to be very lonely.  I'm glad there is a safe place and person to sort this all out with.

Look at that. I can write a whole post without swearing.