Jul 19, 2014

Therapeutic Endeavors

What I Learned As a Child


I see a therapist every two weeks now. It has helped me a lot. He is a good therapist to work with. He gives me homework to do. This is part of it. I haven't written anything here for a long time. Life has been hectic and those curveballs keep on coming. I'm catching them as fast as I can, but sometimes I need help, so, hence, the therapist.

The goal of this cognitive therapy is learning to change the self-talk that everyone has inside their head. Some of it is good. When it holds you back, it isn't. It keeps you from being the total person you can be.

So what did my childhood teach me?

1. Fear. The biggest thing I learned in childhood was fear. Fear of what was outside at night trying to get in and kill us. Never mind it was probably all in the mind of my mother. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming her at all. She did the very best she could do at all times when raising her six kids. She had her own issues to deal with at a time when we didn't go see therapists or doctors, and there was no Prozac or Zoloft to help keep the demons away.

Fear is a contagious thing. It jumps from one person to the next in the blink of an eye. It creates panic, which in turns brings chaos to an otherwise peaceful place. It doesn't matter who you are, or what your economic situation, fear can keep you locked inside your own little world, one created solely to keep you from facing that fear. I believe my mother became agoraphobic at some point in her life. She would not leave the property we lived on for many years. I learned to grocery shop when I was 11. No big deal, but it seemed strange to me. I always felt apart from others, not quite fitting in, because of the fear.

I can remember being very small and sleeping under the covers to hide myself at night. It wasn't until many years later I would realize we all are equal in the dark. The hunter and hunted are on equal turf in the blackness of a hot summer night.

More later.

Jan 6, 2014


On December 21st, I lost my dear brother. I don't know how to handle it. I really don't. There is no one here where I live that I can talk to about it, except a therapist, and I already know what they will say. It hurts as bad as losing my mother. Almost. I could pretty much talk to Buddy about anything. I don't have any idea how his wife, Nancy, is coping with his loss. They were together over 50 years. They were in their teens when they married, and they were best friends. Their passion and love never dwindled.

I remember being very young, and my surroundings seemed almost without color sometimes. There were periods of bleakness and sadness about the household. In the winter you were cold, very cold, and in the summer, well, you got hot, but you could stand it. My mother was still going through menopause, so you can imagine the mood swings and hot flashes. It really hit her hard. Always she was fanning herself with something, a magazine, a piece of notebook paper, anything. We never kept our windows up at night for fear of rapists and burglars. The fact that we had absolutely nothing worth stealing didn't seem to matter. I didn't know what a rapist was at the time, so I just went along with the program. That was how it was.

I remember Buddy sitting outside sometimes on a warm summer night, before he joined the Navy, and playing his guitar into the phone. I thought it somewhat odd behavior, but hey, I wasn't going to comment.

One day, however, things changed forever in our family. Buddy brought home his new girlfriend for us to meet. To me, a little girl who was all tomboy, but had a huge crush on Mr. GreenJeans, and Little Joe Cartwright, she seemed like a movie star. Her full skirt and white blouse, her bobbysocks, and teased blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, and wonderful smile, all combined to make me think she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She was nice to me, polite, and I can't remember if the incredible shyness I grew into was in place yet or not. Most likely, I showed off for her, doing ignorant little kid things to get her attention. I loved her from that moment on. I think she became a role model for me in many ways. I have never, ever heard her raise her voice to anyone. I have often heard her speak with authority, but never heard her yell and scream like the rest of us did. To me, she will always be 16.

I live many miles from her and other than the phone calls I have made, I have not seen her for many years. Yet hearing her voice, and oftentimes, Buddy's, kept me assured that they were still there. I still did have family that I knew cared.

I know that Nancy has many family members of her own to rely on at this time, and that gives me great comfort. There is not much I can really do, except listen. It's odd, somehow, that she and I have both lost sons in their mid-twenties, and dealt with that enormous grief that never really leaves. And now she must face this loss. She has her daughter who I know is a great and wonderful comfort to her. I know she is very proud of her and her successful career.

I guess I wish I could be there now. I wish I could comfort the person who made our family act a little more decent, a little more caring, and gave us sunshine when we had none.

Dec 19, 2013

more news

A lot has changed since I wrote that last post. I got pneumonia again! I learned some very unfortunate news about my brother. We have lost a wonderful gifted writer from our blogosphere, Joe Spado, "Spadoman" of Round Circle. He has imparted such wisdom over the years, and it is sad to see him move from this world to the next. I know the Great Spirit has helped him cross over and begin his new journey.

I lost my ex-husband on Dec. 6, 2013, EJ's father. It hit me in a way I did not expect. This man has been a part of my life since I was 20 years old. I will not say we were "friends" at the time of his death, but we could talk to each other. I am glad now that the last time I saw him I gave him a big hug. It is as if a big part of my life is now over. We would never have gotten back together, it is nothing like that. It is the fact that we did share two sons, and I honestly believe he is with the one who has passed before him, Travis.

I will soon be 59 years old. I survived colon cancer at the age of 39. It was stage II-b in the Dukes staging system for colon cancers. The oncologist gave me a 50-50 chance of survival, and 55-45, with chemotherapy. I like to think I beat the odds. I prayed for God to give me the opportunity to see my son's grown and on their own. He answered that prayer. Sometimes I think I should have asked for more, but, hey, what are you going to do?

I have fallen in love with my great-grandson, Jacob. He is "Grandma's boy!" He is such a cutie, and at one year, amazingly smart. He cheers me up when I feel down. I know that sounds a little corny, but it is the truth. My grandkids have proven to be a blessing to me. I had to step back, and let them be themselves. So, we are forging a family unit, and that is a good thing. I just hope I don't jinx it by writing about it. HA!

Well, enough news. More later.

Hey Linda and Kelly! Thinking of you this holiday season!

Nov 10, 2013

Wow, a year!

I cannot believe it's been a whole year since I posted on this blog! Time sure flies when your life is going steadily downhill, doesn't it?

I really have many things to be grateful for in the past year. My son did have his child, on December 7, 2012. A beautiful son, who was named Christian, for his mother. She had the baby induced, as this was recommended by her doctor, who said she lived so far from the hospital. I believe the baby was induced too early, and I have a little problem with the whole concept of inducing labor for convenience, rather than giving the baby the full term to grow.

Christian was fine. He was about 6 lbs. at birth, and about 27 inches long. He is now on a par with his peers. I say this because his father was premature at birth, and the agony of that left a great impression on me. Christina, the mother, decided to leave on Christmas Eve. They were having problems, and both of them needed some attitude adjustment, but it was not for me to intervene. That has a way of coming back and kicking you in the ass.

I had just gotten out of the hospital with double pneumonia, in the lower lobes. I was very sick, and went into the hospital after dropping my son off at work that morning. The doctor there almost sent me home, even though my oxygen level was only 86%, which is critical. However, after seeing the x-rays, he suddenly changed his mind. He made his diagnosis without all of the information. Just thinking about that, and all the other people this man has treated, blows my mind. It really does. I had to ask for everything I needed while at this hospital, even soap to wash with. I understand they may have been short-handed, but at least give me a bar of soap!

Back to more important things. EJ and I spent a very confusing and frustrating Christmas that year. His child was snatched away, and as they were not married, there was not a whole lot he could do. He did not know where she had gone. It was a mess.

Here is a photo of EJ and Christian:
EJ and Christian
 
 
My grandkids are with me now, EJ's step-daughter and her boyfriend and their year old baby boy, Jacob. I watch him while she goes to school at the community college here. She is 18. Her boyfriend is 22.
 
More later.




Nov 4, 2012

Well, the countdown has begun. EJ and his girlfriend are expecting the arrival of their baby within the next few weeks. I am becoming a basket case! The nesting urge has gotten me and it's driving me crazy. I want to get everything ready for the upcoming event, but its not my baby. It's theirs! What will I do with myself? I think I will lose my mind. They have decided on Christian as his name. Of course that has led to many humorous comments. "Christ, will you please leave that alone and go play???" Or, "Christ, what is it now?" What will be his nickname is the question. Chris is the obvious choice, but we already know a Chris, which I have written about here before. Christ is really not appropriate. Christian sounds so biblical and pilgrimish.

Sasha has learned to get along somewhat better with Simon and Spike. They are growing so fast and make me laugh out loud at least 50 times a day. My little helper will run through the house and the kittens will chase her. She is doing remarkably well in kindergarten.

My son, EJ, is beginning to look a little like a deer caught in the headlights. He has raised 1 child, and helped with 2 others, but this will be the first time he has done it from scratch, if you will. He will be a wonderful father, if he can stop worrying long enough.

We survived our visit from Sandy, and we didn't lose power! I really feel for our northern neighbors and my prayers go out to them. I think all of us on the eastern seaboard kept thinking the storm would just keep going on out to sea, as we have watched them to 100 times before, but this one was dead on from the beginning. The forecasters were marvelous in tracking the storm, but I have to say, I did not enjoy watching them brave the elements to report the conditions. We have enough to worry about without watching and fearing someone will be swept away before our very eyes. It was quite frightening actually.

You know, I really like Micheal for a name. Or Joseph. Why does it have to start with a C?

Blessings.