Monthly Archives: November 2015

Nostalgia

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This morning our youngest daughter and myself were talking about family members. Some are far away and some that are not with us anymore.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have the same meaning for me that it did in years past but those memories and feelings came rolling back as we spoke. We talked about my great grandmother and grandmother and the 5 generation picture my oldest son, my mother and myself took many years ago. My great grandmother and grandmother are both gone now. My youngest daughter never met them. She came later, much later, and never had that opportunity.

Seeing pictures of families getting together on Facebook and Instagram reminded me of times, celebrations and people from the past. We talked about her adoption as well and she mentioned her gratitude to my husband and myself for choosing her to be part of our family (pretty profound thoughts for an 10 year old) and we went on to talk about her as baby and her “gotcha day” and how and when and how that all occurred. It is a familiar conversation we have. For a while it was like we were transported somewhere else. It is so funny how days like yesterday can spur such conversations. She contributed a few other stories that she remembered from our gatherings in her almost 11 years and we laughed and reminisced.

She then informed me that she doesn’t like turkey anymore, especially if it is not flat and in a package. This is also a familiar conversation. With a raised eyebrow and a smile I informed her that I was taking a few days off from cooking and that would be what we would be eating for a few days. She took a deep breath, sighed, and said that was “fair” after all the work I did yesterday. You got that right girlie! LOL 😉

I noticed how easily my mind veered off into all sorts of emotion when discussing these things. It is like it is programmed to. A well worn road. Some painful, very sad feelings and some happy and comical ones came to the surface. For a moment or two, I was there. And honestly I do not desire to be. I know better. I know “there” isn’t real anymore. It no longer exists. When I am there, I am not here. And “here” is all there is. Here is where life is lived, not there. If I choose not to be “here”, I miss what “here” has to offer and I do not experience it fully and with joy.

Nostalgia gives us good feelings and bad but isn’t somewhere we should stay for long. I have watched people go through life and miss it because of a continual overdose of nostalgia. I have done that myself. They live there and not “here.” Life happens around them and it more like a dream than a reality to be fully experienced. They are never fully present. I “get” the appeal because life is painful sometimes. But, besides painful, it is wonderful, joyful, exciting and thrilling! It’s the most amazing ride ever! Like anything else in life nostalgia must only be used in moderation otherwise one can blink and miss years of of “now” and all that it has to offer.

So I looked at my daughter’s deep brown eyes, messy hair and the sun peaking in through the drapes shining on her sleep lined face and I returned to now. I smelled the coffee in the kitchen and the aroma still lingering from yesterday’s cooking and I took in “now”. Now is pretty amazing. Now is wonderful! Now is where life is.

Cheers!

April

 

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Changing Your Story

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It is very interesting to me how our minds concoct a story around who we we are, based on past stress and trauma, and when we try to change that “story” or alter it in anyway it can be a little like trying to free one’s self from quicksand. Our story can limit us and stunt our growth as a human beings and prevent us from being a blessing to others and functioning in our calling. Our story keeps us in the past and unable to move forward. It keeps us from embracing and enjoying now and as a result we miss life!

I went out to a movie and lunch with my little girl yesterday. Afterwards we walked through stores at an outdoor mall. Simple things, like this, four weeks ago, we could not do unless we wanted to pay a price. You have to understand that this wasn’t just something we were able to do, for most of the past decade. We tried but her brother always made it chaotic so I stopped trying, for years. We pretty much didn’t leave the house unless we needed to because every time I had tried, over and over again, it mostly ended up in disaster of one sort or another. This is a child that thrived on constant chaos and created it where ever we would go. He is getting the help he needs now and we are learning to get used to a new “normal” which we have not known for a very long time.We ate at 5 Guys and I could swear I had never done that before, ever. I have no memory of it. My husband told me that he and I had in fact been there before. That is so strange to me. Perhaps the memory lapse is from stress?  It was such a treat none the less. It’s fun experiencing something for the first time, again, LOL. 🙂

So I found myself relaxing and enjoying our time yesterday and just moving freely through stores with no fear of someone stealing anything or misbehaving to get attention. We just enjoyed ourselves. We were relaxed. What a concept! It felt really good to not feel “on guard” and be in a public place. I could feel a little panic rising up in my chest and my breathing becoming shallow, for no reason. “The story” was trying to come back, but I just kept breathing and it passed, eventually. It was a lie. My mind was not easily releasing me from the quicksand. But I see “it” and that is 1/2 the battle. I know what it is or rather was.

This was my old story:

Married mother of 4 kids, 2 biological and 2 adopted, struggling very hard with 1 of them.

Traumatized from that experience, almost daily.

Trapped and unable to live normally (can’t shower, use the bathroom or leave the room without an alarm set at home and in public places needed to be on guard and very rarely leave the house for that reason).

Almost totally isolated (no one understands this, we don’t even understand this, and we have very little support). Isolation is unbearable at times.

Lost my religion. So disillusioned with people’s behaviors that I spend years searching for the truth and dismissing a great deal of what I once believed based on my discoveries. A bit angry over what I discovered and having been lied to.

Unable to take care of myself because this child demands constant attention. Every attempt is met with retribution.

My weight skyrockets. My adrenals are barely functioning.

Depressed and having panic attacks daily. Food and drink are used to numb out from the constant emotional pain.

Had kitchen incident, after being distracted when son was acting out at the table during breakfast one morning, and I partially amputated a finger on my poor husband’s birthday. Finger no longer straightens and I cannot feel it. It is irreparable. It still hurts from time to time.

Closed successful business after lower back gave out (probably from the stress) and now unable to work outside the home because there is no one to watch a child that is now old enough to take care of himself because of severity of behaviors. So, even more trapped.

My husband and myself have become soldiers in a unwinnable war together. Although this has grown us and forced us to become closer it makes it difficult to be a normal couple.

My sister disowned me for reasons I still don’t understand. That was a very painful loss and after 4 attempts to reach out to her and reconcile were met with rejection, I gave up.

And the list goes on and on……

I am tired of the list so I made a new one. I changed my story!!

Here is my new story and I expect it to keep changing, for the better!

Married mother of 4 children. 3 of my children are wonderful people and revealing how amazing they are daily. One is very sick and no longer lives in our home and likely, if we can swing it, won’t again. We do not have what it takes to care for him any longer and that is OK.

Healing from trauma, daily, and very, very thankful!

Not trapped!!! I can move freely about my home. I can sleep in if I want. I can use the bathroom and shower, without an alarm set, and likely now everything will be OK. I can go out in public and enjoy the experience of everything out there!

Able to connect with people and spend time making new friends and loving on the old ones that stuck around. They are gold! So grateful! Not isolated anymore!

Lost my religion but I am finding the Kingdom, within! I am not attached to outcomes or people’s opinions or misinformation anymore and I have no resentment about their poor behavior or lack of character. People can only behave at the level of their consciousness and most of us “only see in part”. I love them, where they are and for who they are, now, and I have no bad feelings if they choose not to be part of my life anymore. I let them go. This is love. No attachment.

I have freedom to care for myself and slowly I am learning to do that.

I have lost 20 lbs. I am sleeping mostly through the night now and when I wake up, I am actually awake! I am healing!

Not depressed. That seemed to decrease when the attachments did. As I let go of people, outcomes, plans etc. the depression lifted! Growth has occurred. I see things I never saw before. Love this freedom!!

I can live with the finger and barely notice it now. It doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do.

Thinking of all the possibilities! I am going to find a wonderful job. I may reopen my business at some point. I think about writing and pursuing my art. I am not focused on the “how” anymore. I am focused on the “why” and finding my passion and calling. This is a new way of thinking for me and I am excited to see where it takes me! This is not the end, it is the beginning!!

Learning to have fun with my husband again and not have to be in a “war” together.

I wish my sister well, where ever and who ever she is. I am not angry with her and I am not sad anymore. I want only the best for her and I let her go. I respect her freedom to make her own choices even if I do not understand them.

In fact I pretty much feel that way about everyone.

So that is my new story that I am adding to, in a good way, daily.

What is yours and how does it need to change?

Cheers!

April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let Go of my EGO

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If you don’t want to drown you better let go of what is dragging you down.

So I haven’t been here in a while. I apologize but I have been rather “caught up” in the job hunting process. I am a bit confounded by what has changed in the job market, to be honest, but am slowly adapting and learning how to market my skills. I spent the last 15 years either self employed or working for a dear friend so obviously a lot has changed and I am learning the ropes. My days are filled with hours and hours of filling out on-line job applications and meeting people that tell me that I need to fill out on on-line job application rather than speak to them.  :/  Fun…not.  Gone are the days of walking in, looking someone in the eye, shaking hands and having an impromptu conversation whilst handing someone, a real human being, a resume.

It has been 19 days since we dropped off our adopted son (with reactive attachment disorder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ypmGTGGN7A ) at a residential treatment facility. Due to his unpredictable behavior, even at age 12, he needed constant supervision so consequently I have not been able to work since February. My previous employer, dear friend, allowed me to bring him when need be, i.e. vacations and school holidays. We never had a consistent babysitter or support equipped to handle him so he came with me frequently for the safety of his younger sibling and frankly to keep our home and valuables safe. Now he is no longer living with our family and is being treated for his mental illness several states away. I need to work and want to work but that is proving to be a different “ballgame” then I remember. So it has been 19 days, minus Sabbaths, housework, cooking and “mental health days” of job hunting. I read that on average it can take 4 months of job hunting to land a position. This gives me some comfort. I have a lot to learn but I first needed to shift my energy from being ambitious, which involved fear (resentment) and frustration, to an attitude of peace, perseverance and acceptance of whatever may or may not come. It took me a while to notice that my ego was getting involved in the venture and to correct that and step back a bit. I think my first clue was the first rejection letter I received and the subsequent internal reaction I experienced. It hurt and if I wasn’t attached to the outcome, it wouldn’t have. Everything and anything that causes us pain is the result of attachment. Sneaky little snake. :/

***Warning***

Deep realization ahead….

Beyond the danger of attachment, I am increasingly coming to believe that the born again process (yes I believe it to be a process, not an absolute or a given) is more about consciousness, first and foremost, than anything else. My personal belief is that it is a prerequisite of regeneration very contrary to religious dogma and tradition. (It’s OK if you call me a heretic, it won’t be the first time in the last 5 years) If one is not aware of the state of his or her being how can they choose to be delivered from it? Awareness or consciousness is step one in that process. The letter kills and the Spirit gives life. One’s phonetic pronunciation of a Name that isn’t even known to human ears or supposed strict adherence to ancient writing on paper that has been re-translated over and over again, and quite often with human agenda, will not change or regenerate them. The Word of God isn’t a what but rather a “Whom” and is entirely wordless in the human sense. There is a reason He told Moses, “I AM” rather than “Hi I am Joe.” He doesn’t need our “language” to BE. In addition, it isn’t so much what we do but who we are that is crucial and what we do, or not do, comes from consciousness and  the conscious and that still small Voice, the Bat Kol. Does obedience matter? Sure, but you kind of need to know who is giving direction to follow them. And, in my opinion this is not an instantaneous thing. “Christ consciousness” is real and the kingdom of heaven is truly within not within nationalized or territorial physical borders. Everything is spiritual and what we see isn’t at all what things are. What we see is a flawed and corrupt image but not the thing itself.

***I am done now, you can breathe. ***

So, I don’t know what the future holds or what will or will not happen. I choose to let that go.

So that is it for today. Catch you later.

Be Still and Know http://antidoteforall.com/

Cheers!

April 🙂

 

11/10/2015, Job Hunting Is Lot Like Dating

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I never liked dating. Does anyone? I didn’t date long and dating for me was 27 years ago. I was married at 19 and am happily so today. Thank God! It looks like an awful experience to me. It seems like a miserable “ego slamming procedure” from what I have observed from friends and family. Job hunting feels a lot like I would imagine dating would. Ugh !I can’t wait till it is over, honestly. I just want to be done with it, get on with life and be in a “committed employment relationship.”

I have a resume that is 3 pages long. I know that is a “no no” but look I am 46 years old and have over 28 years of valid life and work experience. How in the world does one sum that up in one page? So, depending on who is looking at my resume, I am either really old or really experienced. Maybe it depends on the cup is half empty or half full personality of the given individual, I don’t know. Another irritation is putting all these applications and resumes out there in cyber space. Who the heck is reading them or are they? It is just rather surreal to me. I guess I miss the experience of shaking hands with someone and seeing them face to face. I think that is better and more memorable and you get a better feel for things. I guess I have to accept the fact that the workplace and job market have changed radically, since I last had to do this, and just get with the program. Up and at ’em!

Cheers!

April

11/7/2015, Begin….Again

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Shabbat Shalom, Happy Sabbath and Happy weekend to all! (I think I covered everyone 🙂 )

So at the beginning of this week I was catching my breath from a few weeks of drama and about a decade of extreme stress and trauma. I’d like to say I am all recovered now but I don’t think it is that easy. I wish it was. None the less there are little improvements all around that I used to take for granted before this all began. It’s not over but I am able to come up for more air now in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time. I am “more” in my body and cognizant of what the results of reacting to the stress has done to me. My body is sore, all over, especially in my upper back and shoulders. I am very fatigued. Every day the pain lessens. I see this in terms of our flesh mirroring what is happening in our soul. And our soul truly being the only reality of who we really are. So with that in mind the physical is simply reflecting and giving clues about what is really true. And what is really true is that I am healing right now.

So I have been thinking a lot about leptin resistance. “In leptin resistance, your leptin is high, which means you’re fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s brain starvation.” I think this might be the case for me. So I am going to be looking at an approach that will address this and the adrenal fatigue beyond just a simple keto way of eating. I think that keto is a crucial piece of the puzzle but not the entire solution to this. I think these two factors, leptin resistance and adrenal fatigue are central to what is tripping me up.

The most pressing issue I think is the stress and that is finally being dealt with beyond meditation. I finally “acted” and that was the first step. Sometimes you have to let go in ways you’d rather not to keep from being pulled under and that is what had to be done. For me and for my family. I think my adrenals will improve now and my body will allow fat loss but I am feeding my brain with nutrients that nourish it because it thinks it is starving when clearly it is not. That message needs to be corrected and I am doing some research into how to accomplish that.

I will be weighing in again on Monday, which no expectation and with the intention of kindness towards myself rather than the usual self loathing. And I will begin, again.

Today, however, is a day to rest, refuel, be with my family and tomorrow to address my badly neglected house.

Cheers!

April

11/5/2015, And Life Goes On

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releaseitSo a lot of drama earlier in the week, then stillness and then busyness. Life goes on and it’s time to get back on the proverbial horse and go forward. I, after all, have some things to pay for. No bitterness intended, OK, maybe working through a little of that, if I am honest. Understandable, if you are in my shoes, but unacceptable to my soul and my body.

People ask me how I am feeling. That is difficult to sum up in just a few words and honestly, being a little numb, I am trying to figure that out. So for starters, tired……..

I feel tired. I feel like I have been carrying something very heavy and cumbersome for miles and miles and years and years and finally have permission to release it and put it down. My body actually feels tired and achy. Exhausted.

I feel hopeful. Hopeful that we will heal. Hopeful that I can salvage a little of my life, improve and grow. Hopeful that we can have joy here once again.

I felt really tense for a few days and I would cry for no reason at all and unpredictably. I felt like a bomb was going to go off near me, any minute, and I needed to duck and hide somewhere safe and there was no place to hide. That is fading, a little. It happens at unpredictable moments.

I feel like I can breathe. I feel like I can fill my lungs with more air.

For now that is all I can articulate.

Practically speaking, I need to get back into the game. MFP a.k.a. My Fitness Pal have had a parting of the ways for about a week. I couldn’t deal with reporting every morsel that I put in my mouth and juggle all that was going on. In a day or two I might be ready to check back in. Shark week happened to come at the same time as all this and going near a scale would have been more counter productive, stress wise and health wise, then helpful. So I took a break. But, I need to re-employ those methods and others. I did Pilates on Tuesday and walked yesterday. I have Pilates tomorrow as well. So, slowly getting back into the groove of self care, exercise and attention to my diet. I ate very little on Sunday because of all the travel and stress. I hope that fasting was helpful although it didn’t occur to me then.

I don’t know how much I will blog in the coming days. I know it will be frequently but I don’t know if it will be every day. I believe (hope) I will be employed here soon and I am not sure how I will be able to juggle everything. I do know that writing is really good for me and sometimes helpful to others so I will not stop writing.

Well, got an interview, so I better run!

Cheers!

April

11/2/2015, Life’s Happenings

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Yesterday we were on the road all day. Headed to the airport, caught a flight, flew to a city almost 3 hours from our destination, drove almost 3 hours to said destination, got our son settled in a residential treatment facility and checked him in with the owners (wonderful people 🙂 Very special people. I don’t know how they take care of so many of these RADishes. I haven’t been able to handle the one very well. ), drove back almost 3 hours, caught a very tight flight, drove home, noshed on some hot wings from Zaxby’s and turned in. Extremely long day and my body is testifying to that this morning. I am very physically and emotionally spent and for a variety of reasons.

Here is what is different about this morning. It’s quiet. There is no white noise machine running to keep my son from hearing me so I can shower and get dressed in the morning without his running a muck. It is hard to imagine unless you have a child with RAD but simple things like taking a shower, using the bathroom or just leaving the room are not things you can do on a daily basis without due diligence and planning. I have to get up 2 hours prior to his waking if I want a shower or really accomplish anything without him by my side. To nonchalantly live my life without carefully planning would mean to open up our family to theft, destruction of property, the abuse of our younger child and all sorts of chaos, daily.

So here is what has changed for us, so far:

No white noise machine running.

Younger child can talk rather than whisper while getting ready in the morning an doesn’t have to worry about making too much noise and stirring him up.

No alarms!

I slept 30 minutes longer than I usually do and probably could have made it an hour.

I don’t have to escort anyone around the house. There is freedom to roam. For all of us!

I don’t have to be in the room with anyone all the time.

I don’t have to check pockets, back packs or shoes.

I don’t have to worry about being baited into constant arguments over anything and everything first thing in the morning when I am barely awake.

I don’t have to worry about that in the afternoon either.

My butter knives and anything with a point can go back into the utensil drawers.

I can sleep in at least once on the weekend.

I can sleep deeply knowing that no one is going to be ripped off, have their property destroyed or hurt in the middle of the night.

Our younger child will have to learn to function in a home not on lock down and also learn independence skills she is behind on because of the way we had to live.

And…..

I will have to get a good paying job. RTCs’ are not cheap. I have no illusions. I am fully aware life is not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. We have a long road ahead of us.

So I have stepped into a whole new world. He will be back in a year but I am not sure that he will stay. Honestly I am not optimistic or expecting that he will. If we can’t function as a family he will go into another RTC or appropriate boarding facility. We won’t live this way again. We are done. I will no longer be abused, nor will I allow anyone in this house to. I am firm about that and I understand this is the not the end of the struggle. But it is a step in the right direction. My family is going to have some time and space to heal from a situation that has been filled with trauma for 9+ years that most people can’t fathom or honestly even begin to understand. People should try to understand. They will encounter these people in their lifetime and won’t know what hit them when they do. We don’t think human beings, especially children, are capable of such behaviors, but history attests to the contrary. The world is full of damaged people that will go around damaging others unless people become more aware and draw a line in the sand.

So if you are curious and want to understand what Reactive Attachment Disorder is below is excellent video. You very likely know some adults that have Reactive Attachment Disorder and are not even aware of it.

Cheers!

April