Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resurfacing again

I have resurfaced. As I read back over the entries I have posted I see growth, change and wow - maturity.
Hindsight brings us clarity.

When ruminating over a problem the best advice should be " just take one step then look back and readjust..." Seems so clear now. So much time waster over the right decision. Random thought I know.

I have graduated. I am now a doctor inthe academic sense. Doctor of  Nursing practice specializing in Informatics... Fancy way of saying I know a lot about nursing and information to improve health. But I am still me. Lover of all things creative and shiny and love to learn.

I am spending the summer exploring. Exploring what the world ( actually my immediate area) was doing while I was studying.

I have a garden, I am painting water colors and I am learning about essential oils. Oh and I am finishing my house projects. Trying to reclaim my house. But that's another story.

Finding me and who I am now. I started this blog in my early 40's now pushing 50. What's on my itinerary now? I am resting and reconnecting. Getting ready for the next great adventure.

I'd love to post a pretty picture but ... I can't get that feature to work on my iPad. Next post I promise.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Cutters, cutting... I didn't really understand what this was until I had one in my home. I had a basic understanding. This was what some teenagers were doing... another fad that emerged out of the borderline teenagers looking for attention.
Boy was I right. It was my own daughter's way of screaming for help. She  was in so much pain that I, her own, mother did not see. As I reflect on those dark days. I have my story to tell and then hers. I'll start with mine...

We were you average american household. Mom, dad, two teenagers various animals living in suburbia. We laughed an teased. We had high standards for our kids, semi strict rules, went to church.
At the end of a retreat my daughter was on a counsel told us of what she saw on our daughter wrists.

 At first I reacted like I could just yell it away. Or grounding or more control. But what I didn't realize was that my parenting up to this point was part of the problem. As I screamed at her to stop then begged her to stop I learned from her that her pain was real and it was deadly. I needed to change my parenting, I needed to forget everything I knew of this girl and listen to her. I was desperate to save her from this evil called depression. I would not let it take her away. I read everything I could. I googled and searched until I found something that worked. I knew it was up to me. No one else seemed to understand. I know I didn't but I was her only shot.

I changed her world. I removed her from friends that didn't build her self esteem. I drove her everywhere. I became a bloodhound to her moods. I hounded her about her feelings until she would scream and yell and then cry and we would sit huddled in her closet rocking until the tears dried up. I promised her she would not battle this alone. We would find away to beat this pain she was in. Slowly she started trusting me. We tried different medications. Some made it worse some worked for a while but then the depression  would creep back in. As soon as I felt it was allowing her mood to dip we moved on. I would not loose my daughter to this disease. Deadly as a cancer we attacked it.

That was about 6 years ago. She knows it will always be her disease. That her meds will keep her alive. She had to understand this is not a phase or a teenage drama. This is a disease and it will rob her of everything good in her life if she does not treat it.

When we talk about those days now her reflection is fragile. I have to hold her hand how frightening the memory is.

She tells me about a world that she didn't feel she was worthy to exist in. That she was the cause of all that was ever wrong. That nothing she did was good enough or that she had any hope of having anything good because she didn't deserve it. She was so numb of feeling that the cutting actually felt good - reminded her that she was alive. Nothing mattered. Even her. This deep despair was so foreign to me.

And I thought we could yell it away. What a joke. I had no idea.

Here is what I learned:
Yelling or judgement does not work.
Patience and love does.
Be gentle.
Find a good counselor and take them weekly.
If they refuse love them anyway. It may be that they cannot face the demons that day. This is hard exhausting work to get better from such a horrible disease. They cannot will or think or hope it away. They have no hope, no desire to live in this world of pain.

I had to help Alicia create a new world for her. We found one thing that made her happy. Dancing. So we did everything we could to encourage that. We eliminated everything that made her feel bad. I listened and held my tongue when she attacked. This was her demon and I had to battle it with her. When she would withdraw I would crawl in bed beside her and watch disney movies till she slept. We removed all knives and sharp objects from the house. We went shopping and went to movies and lavished attention on her. She craved to matter. She needed to find something other than her bleak world. I considered home schooling but we were able to take many "home days". She suffered from migraines and stomach aches. She failed classes and lost weight. All symptoms of the depression. But slowly she started to grasp on to life again. She carefully made some better choices. We talked about friends that lifted her up and those that pushed her down. She learned to tell the difference. She like to look pretty so we bought some new clothes and and found safe places where she didn't feel stupid. I had to change every aspect of my parenting. Her younger brother complained. Her didn't understand why we were babying her. He was sure he would be strong and conquer everything that she couldn't. He didn't understand why we were giving her so much attention when she was breaking every rule.

Now looking back. I know that this disease is hereditary. That he would soon battle this disease in his own way three years later. He understands now.

Now six years later.
We have three people  on medication for depression. I am not one of them.
We do not call each other names or tease in this house. Our house is now one that only fosters self esteem and a safe haven from a often cruel world. We old build up. We listen and we let each other talk  with out censure. We tolerate bad moods. We learn to say sorry when we had hurt each others feelings.

We have become a house of lavish attention and safety.  They are caring and wise. They have lived through hell and are now extremely sensitive to others. They understand compassion.

This disease we will battle for the rest of their lives. But I am better armed and hope I can smell it coming.
God be with you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

 I  am happy. I have found peace. I say this with awe and conviction. If you asked me last year if I was happy, the answer would have taken me some time to answer as happiness is fleeting. At least my history has taught me so. Two years ago I was numb and tired of being so very unhappy. I was empty. Three years ago, I was  bereft and lost of hope. My heart was raw, scraping for a lifeline to cling to. 
Now, as I sit here re-reading this Blog that I started as away to put words to my thoughts.. to find some connection to anyone, anything to give me direction. I was looking up and sideways and every which way but in.
I have now looked in. In my heart and finally found my light. My light of strength of conviction and my light of hope.
I took my future in my hands two and half years ago. I quit waiting for life to happen, I made my life take a new direction, with full adult superpowers and started to create my own future...

My dear friend and sage said that if I changed the way I acted, others would adapt and change around me. I did not believe her. But it worked. I quit being afraid and started being brave. (I pretended till it was true). These adult super powers can be used for good. I changed my life and others adapted. I held my boundaries and expectations and they adapted. I reached and stretched and suffered but here I am three years later after days of misery and defeat... happy. Who would have thought?

I can't wait for my children to return from school for the holidays. I can't wait to hear their footsteps on the stairs and the mindless bickering of siblings... I can't wait to give my dear son his hug that makes me feel so very proud that this boy is mine. How very lucky I am to have had the privilege of being his mom. And my darling daughter, to listen to her  go on about nothing and everything as she explores her new life as a new adult... I am so proud I moved beyond fear and unhappiness and rescued us. All of us.
My new challenge is shame..It is one of my newly identified shadows. It creeps up behind me when I am not looking and makes me feel unworthy. Unworthy of the greatness in my life. Unworthy of the wonders of love. But the funny thing is with shadows. Once you bring them to the light... they are not so scary or powerful. Shame -be-warned-- I am on to you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Isn't amazing how one image can alter your next step? I wandered into this amazingBlog (website here). Wow beautiful. Graceful and peaceful... I just want to live in this space of harmony and diversity all at once. How can these be so different yet so harmonious that there is peace just looking at it. I want to make my space this harmonious, this relaxing and soothing. My space is a jumble of contrast and colors. I call my style drunken Diva. Where the lady of the house has grand ideas and luxurious taste but often gets distracted and never quite pulls it off. The home is filled with good intention but somehow as another idea or thought wandered in the completion gets lost and the idea is now wandering half in and half out of completion. Someday when I get brave I take you on a tour of what a drunken diva home looks like...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The phoenix...

Rising from the ashes...
Yes that's me coming from emotional ashes. I am surfacing again, taking the big breath of fresh air after being tumbled in a really big wave.
As a kid I loved to swim in the ocean, the thrill of fighting the waves, figuring out the time to drop under the wave, then pop up after it passed. But then once in a while a really big wave would take you down, then up then turn you into sand and gravel, not sure where to go or how to gain your strength. Lungs screaming-- then I would find my light and pop through the surface to grab air and sun light.

I think the last two years have been just this for me. I can see the sunlight -my God is forever molding and shaping me, giving me what I need to master and heal. I am floating. The waves have settled for now...

Wow, what a ride and now on to the next adventure. I just only hope I won't be under for so very long.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oh lighten up!

As read over my last few entries I can see with open eyes how sad and tired and intense I was. Life was hard and I was carrying the burden of so much. Life has shifted or at least I have adapted to my new life... the face of me is now recognizable again... The changing is difficult..But the emersion is beautiful.

I have emerged. I have found my rhythm. I can see how I have grown and adapted. This gives me courage and confidence that I can survive quite bit and still find me in the midst of chaos.

Like a caterpillar to butterfly we assume the transformation is painless but is it? I know, in my life as I morph in to yet another phase of my life, another new career, it is not painless. But the process is so worth it.

My clouds have cleared, the sun is shining. I have adapted to my new place of corporate america. I miss my art, I miss the freedom. I am now in a place to find the balance.

I have found peace... at last.
Yeah, me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two faces of me...I miss me...

Working full time, going to school half time. being mom to one grown up and one almost grown up...part time. (I wish it was more time), wife of grown up (at times) part time... and being me- not very much time at all, any more...
I miss laughing and my art. but I love learning and enjoy working... trying to find me in the new life I have created. I miss me. The me I thought I was and the new me I have become are at odds. This me I have become is an old me I traded in..when I became the artist, the caring and creative one. I traded in this serious, stressed, left brained creature I was to laugh and create. But that self had to go away to become this hard working serious self again, had to save the family... the home stead.
Oh, why can't the two selves find each other and dance in harmony.
I miss me.. the creative one... this serous one is boring and uptight. I had a glimmer of her, the creative one, yesterday when she dressed up the pets and laughed very hard all afternoon. But today she is gone and she says things like "I can't, I have to study and I can't, I have work to do..".When all she wants to do is carve pumpkins a day late with her very grown up little girl.