I am definitely not an expert when it comes to insects. I know very little, in fact, except for what I have observed and experienced since moving here 18 years ago. Georgia has a lot of bugs and I just see yellow and black and I know there is a stinger there somewhere! It is spring here in Georgia and George and I, my companion of the canine sort, have been getting out and walking around the neighborhood. In doing so we have seen our fair share of bees and wasps or wasps and bees. Whichever. You know, things with stingers! Everything is blooming and it is beautiful but that means bees, wasps and other biting insects are buzzing around. So far we have experienced no stings, despite George’s nosy behavior, (must smell, all things, everywhere) but I am keeping my eyes open none the less. My husband has had the painful and unfortunate experience of being stung, a few years in a row now, by a yellow jacket, a kind of a vicious wasp like creature that lives in the dirt here. So I am diligent to keep my eyes on the ground when we take our walks. The bites he received caused his leg to swell up twice it’s size and it was very painful. 😦
For a good part of my life I have been a bit of a trusting person and a fairly open book to those that get to know me well. I have tended to believe that people wouldn’t cross certain lines or do certain things because I wouldn’t. That has been painful at times. And it is child like “magical thinking”. Like a dear friend says, “we see people how we are.” It is a fairly egocentric way to look at people and we are all egocentric to some degree. We believe people believe like us, think like us, react like us and so on. We tend to develop an attachment to these ideas or expectations. That being said I have been caught off guard by the behavior of many people at times for that very reason. Shocked really. When that happens I never really see it coming, and some things that have occurred still really puzzle me to this day. I guess my intuition was on the fritz or something and I just didn’t expect it because I thought I had a firm understanding of who that person was. Maybe it was more about who I wanted them to be. None the less, that is a mistake I have made consistently and I’d really like to prevent it in the future. Walking makes a person think and ponder things and I wondered why people sometimes “sting you” when you least expect it and this week bees and wasps came to mind.
Bees are funny little creatures. They are really methodical, organized and all about family. They just want to do their jobs and go home. They don’t have much of a social life outside of the hive and they thrive on togetherness with loved ones. They just want to build and maintain their hive, take care of the kids and make their honey. They really are not very conscious of others that are not bees and often see those that are different than them as a bit of threat. And quite honestly, sometimes, others are a bit of a threat to them. History has proven this to the bee and that is all he really has to go on, being a bee and all. It seems others like his honey and do try to take it at great expense to him and the hive. This kind of pisses the little bee off, quite frankly. It can cause the bee to become a little hypersensitive at times and very reactive to anyone that crosses his path or especially gets near the hive. People and animals often get stung, erroneously, because of the flawed perception of the bee, when they accidentally cross his path. But can you blame the bee, really? He doesn’t have the capacity to make observations or ask questions, he just sees a possible threat. All he has is his experience to go by and a deep desire to protect those whom he loves. The little bee will die to protect his loved ones and the hive and once he stings someone it will mean certain death for him. The bee has no regard for his own life. He is about his family. He is about the hive. You truly have to respect bees. They have very important jobs and without them we would be in serious trouble. Their shrinking population is having terrible consequences for our agriculture. Their presence is very crucial and we really, really need them. Bees don’t have the ability or the luxury to be objective as they are not conscious beings. They will sting when they perceive a threat, period, right or wrong, and always in the interest of protecting what is dear to them. Most people that “sting” are like the bee. They have lost objectivity, unable to see the whole picture and are just trying to protect what they perceive is being threatened. When you get stung by this type of person try to understand his or her perspective and understand that it is likely very limited because of painful, past experiences and history. This kind of individual is not “bad”. They are just very unaware. You might do the same thing in his or her shoes and most likely have at one point or another. We are all bees sometimes. But, do be wise and protect yourself.
Wasps are different in my opinion and very likely in the opinion of those who have had the unfortunate experience of accidentally crossing them. I truly don’t understand the reason for wasps if I am honest. I quite dislike them. I have been known to use some very unsavory vocabulary regarding them. Let’s get something straight. Wasps are not nice! Wasps do not sacrifice themselves when they sting you, for them it isn’t about that! If they can manage it they do not bite you just once. They keep coming! Wasps seem to enjoy hurting people and animals and bite over and over until you can get away from them. (again, I am not a insect expert, just drawing a comparison). Wasps are self serving, vicious, calculating and vindictive! (In my opinion) If you have ever experienced being stung by one you know how relentless they can be. The aftermath is extremely painful and it can take a while to heal after being attacked by a wasp! It is the gift that keeps on giving! While I think most people can be bees, from time to time, I do believe there are a small minority that fit into the wasp category. If you have ever met one, and experienced their wrath, you will understand what I mean. If you are under the impression they don’t exist or are really just misunderstood then I can guarantee you will experience one, one day. Sorry, I used to think that way too and that kind of thinking tends to draw them to you. Bees just want to be left alone. Wasps clearly want a fight and they look for the most vulnerable, trusting and unsuspecting person or animal to attack. I guess by now you know I am not really writing about insects.
It is not really my job, nor should it be, to label who is a bee and who is wasp and honestly they can be difficult to tell apart. If I can help it, I won’t be getting that close. I will leave that to my Creator. He is the Judge. What I do need to do is be wise either way. Both sting but I need to stop assuming I understand a person, one way or another, and just be aware, awake and vigilant. Just like long sleeves, a hat and a nice pair of thick Levis make one less vulnerable to being stung, appropriate boundaries in my own life are probably the best way to protect myself and those whom I care about from stings. Aggressive behavior on my part, stinging back, will stir up and anger both the bee and the wasp, so the important thing is to give them their space and carefully observe them from a good distance. There might also be a time to be defensive and take action but only if necessary. In time maybe I will figure out which is which but safety comes first. The important thing is to not put myself or others in a position to be injured. That is wisdom and love in tandem and I am hopeful the next time I happen upon something with a stinger I will see it before it sees me.
There are so many things that I know now that I wish I knew then. Isn’t it always like that? Could have, should have, would have? I remember being a child and thinking about how little I knew the previous year, compared to where I found myself at that time. “Look at second grade April”, I would say to myself, “she didn’t’ even know how to multiply last year. Boy, she was stupid!” I would judge and compare the little girl then to the person I was at that time and I think I did that just about every year. It became very subconscious, these comparisons, and at some point I started to drag other people into this self-imposed, mental torture, comparing myself not only to my former self, but to others as well. It is so ego based and emotionally driven. Stepping back and observing these patterns is an interesting thing. I was in competition with the old me and everyone else and pretty much finding myself on the losing end every time. It is a sick game our minds play with us. Most everyone else does it too and are probably highly oblivious to their patterns. “Comparision is the thief of joy.” It truly is. I think this is no where more evident then on social media. What a sad state of affairs that can be!
At some point, probably like 40 years later, it occurred to me that most the time I was doing the best I knew to do at that time utilizing the limited information I had at that moment. At about the same time it also occurred to me that that is also the case with most others. People don’t normally set out to consciously make mistakes or victimize one another. Except for a small minority of sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths, most people don’t intentionally hurt other people or make bad decisions on purpose. People, by and large, erroneously, emotionally react to the circumstances that they find themselves in and subsequently hurt themselves and others in that process. So judging, competing or calling out ourselves or others regarding mistakes and poor decisions made in the past is largely a waste of time and energy. If you would have known better, you would have done better, but you didn’t. I didn’t. We all do what we know, at the time, with the information and often highly subjective perception we have at that time. Our perceptions are largely shaped by our understanding. Our understanding is limited and often stunted by our emotions. Emotion is pretty much all we have until we become more conscious and consciousness, for most of us, is a long process depending on how much trauma and stress we have suffered and how we have reacted to it. When you start to see things in that light, and it is a light, you begin to understand that resenting yourself or others and the pain you or they have caused is really counterintuitive to growth and maturity.
So many decisions I have made have been the wrong ones and it’s tempting to succumb to a sea of regret. Looking back, however, there is much good that has come from the disasters I have lived through, often at my own hands. There are things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise and I honestly wouldn’t be the person I am today without having faced those trials that were largely the product of poor decisions. I honestly like the person I am today. I think she needs to grow more and shed a few bad habits but all in all I like her and the person she has become and is becoming. I am learning to love the person she was before as well. I really feel for that person because she embodied a lot of qualities that I know come from a very unconscous place. She was a very traumatized individual. The people that hurt her were also very traumatized individuals.
I often see this image in my mind when I ponder these thoughts. I see us all at an amusement park and we are in bumper cars. We don’t really know how to control the cars we are in. It is a strange and new experience for all of us! Some people are just trying to avoid being hit but they keep getting hit anyway and running into others no matter how they try to maneuver their vehicle away from everyone else. Some people think they will come out on top by gunning for others so they hit first but in the process their car gets pummeled. Everyone one is pretty much running into everyone else and there seems no end to it.
In life it is unavoidable that we are all going to run into one another, no matter what our intent might be, because we simply don’t know how to handle the vehicle we find ourselves in. No one is born with all the answers and honestly we need to be working on finding them for ourselves rather than spending time pointing out that others don’t seem to have them! Depending on how many “hits” we have sustained our internal guidance system often malfunctions or stops working altogether. When this happens we either run from conflict and appease others for our safety or we set out on the attack hitting before we are hit. When the guidance system stops working all together, that is dangerous. These individuals do really intend to hurt others, but for most of us, thankfully, our guidance system is merely malfunctioning.
Give yourself a break, you did the best you knew at the time and if you would have known better, you would have done better. So stop judging yesterday’s you! Give others the same break. They did the best they knew to do at the time and if they would have known better most of them would have done better. This doesn’t mean that the minority isn’t still out there, the ones that really are intending to inflict pain. Watch out for them and have appropriate boundaries where they are concerned. But don’t resent them. We become what we hate and if that is the case you really don’t want that guidance system to stop working altogether!
This morning it is 26 degrees where I live. That is pretty cold for our neck of the woods. The coffee is more for warmth than drinking this morning. I think I am absorbing the heat out of it as my hands grip the hot cup because it is cooling pretty quickly. I really prefer cooler weather because I sleep better but it is the waking up that can be tough when I am sleeping this well. My dreams have been vivid lately and the kind that I should be writing down. They are so entertaining that I want to keep sleeping to learn what the end will be but I always seem to wake before they are done. Man! ☺
I meet the most interesting people while I am out and about and pretty randomly. I ran into one of my Trader Joe’s buddies yesterday. I drive way far away to do our grocery shopping because we try to eat clean and TJ’s has amazing prices on a majority of the things we buy. (This is not a paid endorsement) Anything I can’t get there I pick up at Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods (joke is getting old I know, but it is true $$$), and then head home. Anyway, Trader Joe’s hires some of the coolest people I have ever met. I have a few friends there but this gal is on a similar journey and we talked about not reacting to other people’s drama, remaining calm and objective and many other cool things we are learning. She tends to absorb and feel the struggles of others like I do and also has the same knee jerk reaction of trying to fix things. Learning to manage and control that urge to right other people’s world that is not something people who don’t struggle with that understand very well. It is a meeting of kindred spirits I guess and a cool experience when it happens. It is nice to feel a little less alone. The problem with trying to fix things for others is that it robs them the opportunity to “see” themselves and it sucks the life out of the person trying to be the “hero”. We both have experienced that and are learning to observe and walk away when need be. Bad habits die hard!
Diet on track. Exercise not. I am trying to figure out how to adapt it to my new schedule now that I am working outside the home and still not feeling 100%. I think this is the longest head cold ever! So trying to be patient with myself and not fall into self condemnation. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.
So enjoy this little tune and stay warm!
It is funny how difficult it can be to get back into a routine after having time off. I recently had a 3 day weekend and it was so nice! I was supposed to have 4 days off but a co-worker needed me to cover her day for her so I went in yesterday.
Yesterday was set to be a 9 1/2 hour day but turned into a 10 hour day with no breaks. So I hit the ground running and today my body is feeling it. In addition to that, I am still getting over a cold and it seemed to be better but has returned some along with some Peri-menopausal unpleasantness. This is probably due to not eating as well as I should have in December. I am open book, so sorry if that offended anyone but if you know me you know better than to expect me to be anything but real with you. You will just have to put up with my kvetching for a bit if you don’t mind. Thanks. ♥
This is real life and it is real, not pretend. The last few days have been a struggle emotionally. I know what I am feeling is not real in terms of anything externally wrong. I know this is all virus and rogue chemicals but the experience internally feels real and frankly it sucks. Not every day can be a ‘victorious one’. That was one of the things about mainstream Christianity that I had a real problem with. Or maybe fundamentalist Christianity. Or maybe just our culture in general. Probably all of the above. I don’t know. I remember a friend and former mentor telling me, “just fake it hon, the devil don’t know the difference!”. What a load of crap. Sorry, love that woman, all due respect, but that is a lie. That isn’t real. That isn’t the human experience. I still have to live in this body last I checked and it has some issues. Some days are just a struggle. As adults we forget to be honest about that and it is inferred that we shouldn’t be and I believe that is why our struggles tend to last as long as they do and are even more difficult to get over. I believe that is one of the reasons we get angry and depressed. It is the same in any language and kids are honest….unlike most adults, sadly.
So honesty it is. Feeling rough today. Hoping it will pass soon. I might cry in my eggs for a bit (I am a “Paleo eater” after all) but in the end I will pull it together, get on with it and do what I have to do. That is the great thing about honesty. Once it is out, it’s out. I think she made it to kindergarten and had a better day, don’t you?
Back on track diet wise. Feeling crummy so no exercise today. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.
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.
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!
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.
So 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!
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.
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.
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.