Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let me introduce you to someone

On FB we call him Mickey, after Mickey Mantle, he is a die hard Yankees fan and can spout off random stats like the best TV announcer. It is his passion. He shines, and I love it, so that is why on BBOC his nickname is Mickey. He LOVES it. When I told him he giggled...and yes even at 17 he giggles. Just don't tell him that I told you.

Really, he is Joshua, or Josh. My baby. My life, my sweetheart. My pain in the ass.

I call him son. (among a plethora of other colorful things) I used to call him booger, because as a child his nose ran ALL the time and that's no exaggeration. ALL the time. But I digress.

In 1995, I was pregnant for him. This being my second pregnancy, my midwife, kind of blew off many of my concerns.

 Why am I contracting so much? This said at my 14 week check up. 
 I feel a lot of pressure at subsequent check ups. etc

My blood pressure was fine. I wasn't due for an ultrasound. I was not getting pelvic exams because I was not yet 28 weeks gestation.

I. KNEW. Something. was. WRONG. 

I could feel it. In every single fiber of my mommy body. I. knew.

I was working full time and the back contractions were constant. 

I was told I was a worried 2nd time mom and to relax. 

My first was born 3 weeks early, fully natural. I was now 24 and young to them. 

I know my body.

SO, finally, one day at home his dad and I were off work and our oldest who was 2 1/2 was with us. I had made french toast. I was standing there doing the dishes.

It was August 10th actually. A Friday. 

I felt funny. Like something trickled, but I wasn't soaked, like you hear about, so I wasn't sure. I was contracting like a madwoman.

I was 28 weeks along. I was scared out of my mind. His dad thought I was paranoid.

I got in the shower so he wouldn't hear me crying to God to save my baby, because I. knew.

I got myself together and reminded him that I need to get my glucose test done. So, he had to take me to the Dr anyway. 

Off we went. I walked in while he was parking the car. I told the nurses that I thought I was having real contractions and leaking fluid.

They immediately put me in an exam room. By the time he parked the car and got back the Dr. was SCREAMING orders like I wasn't in the room.

"3 cm and bulging!!!! Get her to ST. Elsewhere STAT"

There was a flurry of activity all around me as I lay there fearing the unimaginable. I was going to lose my child. 

A nurse saw me laying there bawling about what was going to happen to my baby...and just being hysterical. She explained that I had to be Mercy Flighted to Strong Memorial Hospital where there was a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

At this point, my ex left me, yep left. (you will see a theme here and I have forgiven but these are the facts) He had to take our oldest back to someone I guess. I don't why, I wanted my son with me and near me. I was soooo scared.

I was so alone. With. every. fear. imaginable. swirling in my head.

I was put in a room while they waited. Hooked up to monitors to see if my not yet full size baby was stable. 

He was thank God.

They loaded me up on Terbutaline...oh it is this a drug from hell if you have fought pre term pregnancy...

Made me hyper, just what I needed. To not relax when all I could think about was the child swirling in my womb, that was his or her safe place, and was trying to come out. Trying really damn hard, too. 

To the nurses, the contractions slowed. But I knew better.

So alone, yes ALONE. I boarded the Mercy Flight helicopter.

When we arrived at Strong, I was greeted one. I was put on labor and delivery in a special room.

The loaded me up on Magnesium sulfate. I mean loaded. It is a natural muscle relaxant, but at high doses makes you burn. They tipped me upside down to take the pressure off my cervix.

It gave me a splitting headache. For which they did nothing. 

My mother and sister showed up. They stayed a few hours to keep me company. My mom wanted to buy baby clothes. Baby clothes for a baby that in my head might not make it and shouldn't be born yet.

The nurses explained about Steroid shots and what it would do for my baby's lungs. I recall getting 2.

I was semi-stable so they moved me up a floor and to a room.

My ex...I don't recall if he even made it that night, pretty sure he didn't. 

So Saturday and a bunch of interns roll around...I am constantly being checked. 

Clearly, I am contracting they say, but how can I be dilated??? ALL these interns are using a speculum and LOOKING...well the reality in this situation is that the pressure from the speculum pushing up around the vaginal wall, gives the illusion that the cervix is closed. 

They keep me stable on medications and want to observe me through the weekend. 

Ok, but they say I will be sent home on full bed rest because its clear that movement increases them (duh you guys, really) I say to these geniuses...I have a 2 and 1/2 year old at home and my whole family could I be on bed rest????

This whole time, I also know they aren't as lucky as they think and that things are progressing, but what would I know? It is only my body after all.

Sunday, oh Sunday. The Ex and his brother show up after getting lost and they bring my son...YAY!!!!!!  I missed my boy so much!!! They immediately go in search of food and leave my son with me. The nurses figured this out and one the aides came to hang out with us. They spent maybe an hour with me, but I spent 3 plus hours with my buddy. 

Sunday evening, my contractions are stronger...ok they say, must be the visit. They give me terbutaline. Yuck.

Monday, I call the nurse. I am contracting more and I "feel" something in the birth canal. And pressure, lots of pressure.

In comes "Drs. with brains" Lets do a pelvic...

Knees up...extreme discomfort...Doctor's head pops up. Inquisitive look on his mind you this is a teaching hospital, my legs are spread for a team of interns, med students, and residents...He then declares...

"Your doctor wasn't crazy after all. You are dilated and you have progressed to 4 cm now."

If I weren't so scared, I swear I would have said NO SHIT.

(THIS my friends is why my Dr referred to the place as St. Elsewhere, he loved it but hated that all the students got to make decisions and not listen to the seasoned folks like him)

What I did say was, I knew he was right, how else would he have said bulging membranes and why else would he have Mercy Flighted me...for fun?

Terbutaline makes you a little bit cranky. Just a little, as does 4 days of nobody believing what was wrong. My baby did not want to stay in and their efforts were not working.

I was visited once by my mom and sister Monday I think, but its a bit hazy. 

I was entirely, devastatingly, alone for the next 2 days. 

Late Monday they took me back to labor and delivery, hooked me up to monitors non stop. Said no more food. Gave me something stronger than Terbutaline and a big fat headache. 

Alone, I begged for water. 

Alone, I begged for Tylenol.

Alone, the contractions were sooooooo strong all night that I was curled up on my side crying, begging God to make it stop and let my baby stay in longer. 

I stayed that way for all of Tuesday. 

Wednesday, they finally got orders for something for my head.

They did another pelvic-6 cms at 9 am

They did an ultra sound-footling breech

They made me sign C-section papers because the baby might not survive a vaginal delivery, even though as they put it, if I was fully dilated, the baby would "fall" out. 

The doctor looked at my reports from the machine and said my contractions were slower but very very strong, I knew this...I hadn't slept because of them. Every 15 minutes, I was holding onto the bed railing for dear life as the wave of pain passed around my womb squeezing my baby. I knew that every day helped the baby so I kept going as long as he or she stayed in.

She then said, we probably can't stop the labor at this point. Great. She said they would check on me later. 

I made phone calls. Mom and sister and the then husband.

At about 5:30 they did an ultrasound to see if the baby had turned. Then they checked my cervix. 9cm. The doctor, looked at me and asked if I was ready to have this baby, because we can no longer stop the labor. 

I asked if the baby would be ok? They explained that a team of pediatric neonatologists would be waiting right there to make sure the baby was ok and that incubators and special equipment take over for my womb. I don't think I was ever so scared.

My mom and sister arrive as they are explaining that I have to have a Cesarean and right away. They ask who I want in the OR.

My immediate, tearful response was,
"I want my Mommy"

They took me and prepped me for a spinal. I was so cold. The walls were to white. So, white. I was shaking. They didn't let my Mom in until they had done the spinal. Then your bottom half is numb and they strap your arms to boards out at your sides. I couldn't wipe the tears from my face. And believe me the tears fell as I lay there shaking with unbelievable fear. 

At some point during this whole process I had to pick a boys name just in case and I told my mom. Joshua Thomas. 

They decided to try an External Cephalic Version-which boils down to manually trying to turn him while he was inside me so he wasn't breech. It was so uncomfortable.

We are lucky they didn't rip his foot off. As they finally opened me up and delivered him, they explained that his food was lodged in the birth canal. If you recall I told them I thought I felt something. Yeah. It was my son's foot. He had all these bruises on his tiny little foot. 

August 16th 1995 at 6:44 pm he was born.

He was whisked away behind a wall to be intubated. My oxygen was low. All I remember is that I had a boy a very tiny boy. He was 3 lbs 7 1/2 oz and 15 1/2 inches long. They brought him over to my head before they took us both our separate ways. He was beautiful. I kissed his sweet baby head and they took him away. This is what they brought me an hour later. So, I could look at him. 

So. tiny.

His dad came after he was born. I do know now that he was sad for that. 

I didn't get to hold him until the next day.

The. next. day.

When you have a preemie all of those privileges of being in the hospital. pfft. Nurses bringing you the baby to nurse or feed, then taking them back to the nursery for you to rest. Nope. Not a NICU baby. I had to traverse 2 floors and half the hospital to get to my son, all while dragging my IV cart. 

It was 12 hours later at 6 am before they let me out of my bed with my morphine drip to go hold my son. 12 hours he was alive and I did NOT hold him. I spent as much time in the NICU as they would let me. They made me rest. I pumped. He had my milk from the start. 

I stayed in the hospital for 5 days. I cried when they released me. I didn't want to go. 

I moved into the Ronald McDonald House. He was hospitalized for 7 weeks.

We battled jaundice, an open PDA valve, brachycardia, jaundice again, and severe anemia. My preemie was on caffeine to make sure he kept breathing. 

I can't even explain it. I had a 2 yr old. I was there 2 hours a day. It was hell. A mere 2 hours a day with my baby because there was no one to care for his big brother while I visited. The other residents at Ron McD house were my angels and took turns watching him so that I could go once a day. These are parents with children with Leukemia, cancer, MS, anything you can imagine and they reached out to me so that I could hold my son 2 hours a day. 

You see, my little man and I stayed at Ron Mc D house alone the whole time.

His due date was October 29th. He had been home for 3 weeks, we had just moved. On October 29th, his dad was at work, he was lethargic and listless all day. He wouldn't nurse. He wouldn't take a bottle.

5 minutes before his dad got home, his head literally lolled around like he had no muscles. I was freaking out. I told his dad we had to go to the ER NOW. I held him all the way there. Screw the carseat.

I walked in the ER, explained the situation to the nurses, they took me back to a room and IN THE HALLWAY, he turned BLUE in my hands. Not in the car, not at home but at the hospital, where they could save him him. His O2 Saturation level was about 76% he was so anemic he had no hemoglobin to carry oxygen. A trip back to Strong and a blood transfusion saved his life. This time we were at the PICU and I stayed in his room all three days.

When he was 3 he was running a fever like any kid. Took him to the doctor. Antibiotics. FEVER never broke. I kept calling. 5 days later I get someone to listen. They say go to the ER, we will hope they listen, we are ordering a chest Xray and blood work.

They saved his life. He was a small 3 yr old. He had an abscess on his lung the size of a 50 cent piece. He could have died. Again. I was pregnant for my 13 yr old at the time and it was crazy to not be able to go through tests with him. He had to have his lung aspirated. I stayed his room the whole time. He came home with a pic line for antibiotics for 3 weeks because the infection was so severe.

That is him about 6 months after the abscess. Monthly trips to Rochester. I don't care. Look at that smile. 

Now look at him...that is my baby. Seventeen. Almost a man and I still see the little scars on his feet from the tape. (he still has a scar) I still see all the needles. I still want to protect him from this world. 

Ironically, when I picked his name, I had no idea that it more or less means saved by God. His life has been one miracle after another. This blog barely scratches the surface.


I love you Joshua Thomas.

You may almost be a man, but you will always be my little boy. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

What I need

Today was both a good and bad day.

Both toilets in my house broke. One was gushing water..(my shitters like to break don't they?) One wouldn't flush and all and the unit we just replaced about 2 weeks ago was shot.

I did my best trouble today's outfit...a mini dress and shorts...I was under my toilet. 

I had to call in the reinforcements. We will call him My Knight is rather tarnished and slightly dented armor. My ex who is, well, not actually my ex. Confused yet? I am still married. We shall call him the Wise one. Thanks to a fortune cookie that he carries in his wallet that states "A wise man seldom speaks" Which describes him to a T. He seldom speaks. 

He is another Blog alone.

I have kind of lost the train of thought on this I will refer back to the point I started with...

My mentor told me to think about what my needs life, in a relationship, in everything.

So, what do I need?

I have discovered some things about myself during self reflection.

Words are meaningless to me without actions.

For the last four years I was told I was beautiful but treated like crap. Things in our home were let go. When I needed something done, I often had to ask "The Wise One" 

Compliments from women mean more to me than from men because in my eyes men only want one thing when they say a woman is beautiful. I KNOW, not all men are like that, BUT my experiences have warped me.

I want to be cherished and treated like a lady.
I need to not just be told I am loved but FEEL loved. I am a girly girl at heart. I like simple things, but I love when things around me are taken care of. 
Don't let my house fall apart. Make sure the bills are paid. 

Respect me.

Laugh with me and at me. I'm a goof and I like it that way. 

I need time to do things with friends and I lost out on that for years. I am just starting to again. Its so important. 

I want to not settle.

I want to be able to go to bed at night with a happy heart. 

I don't expect it to be easy.

I don't mind work. I want open communication. Responsibility. 

I have to get so over this lonely feeling. Its eating away at me.

I can't even say much more. I am far too overwhelmed.

Back to the basics.

Let go, Let God.

I can't do this alone.

If I try to do it without faith I feel like I am drowning. 
And there is a weight tied at my waist to keep me under.

The weird part is that I know I am ok. Deep down, its just being buried in all this gunk and trying to find my way out. I don't want to be weighed down with sadness.

I wake up every day. I have 4 beautiful children.
I am smart. I am really funny.
I have amazing Facebook friends.
I have a great counselor.
I am doing great work on myself.
I love myself. I really do.
I will be ok.
I will.

I have to be.


Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm so messed up I don't know which way is up

Maybe the title isn't exactly accurate. Maybe, I just think I am messed up and the reality is the we are all messed up and that is what makes us ok. I like that idea. It makes my insanity and imbalance seem...well normal. I think crazy is the new normal, because in so many ways we are all effed up but that's another blog.

In my very first blog I alluded to the idea that my body wasn't my own. Being raped isn't a simple thing to get over. I am still not over it. I still have fear even thinking about intimate relationships even though I crave them. 

I am addicted to relationships. Straight up, totally and completely. Its not the sex. Its the attention. I especially loved the high from a new one. Now, I don't crave it, but I find that I have no freaking clue what to do with myself.

I do not know how to be alone.

I have bounced from relationship to relationship non stop since I was 14 or so. No. lie. Never been single. 

I don't say this to be conceited...but someone always wanted me. Why, hell if I know. I even gained weight to try and stop it. Nothing stopped it. 

I hate it. I am a loyal person, but I craved the attention just like a little kid. 

I don't really feel that way now, but I feel so lonely and just shitty. 

I'm not flirting with anyone. I'm not resorting to my old tactics. I had skills to meet my needs. Serious skills. 

Just like any addict knows how to score their drug of choice, I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that if I got myself all dressed up and went out, I could get hit on and laugh and be amused...blah blah blah. Then feel like total shit. But I would score. I would get that temporary high. I would feel wanted. 

After I was raped as a teen, I turned being wanted into my high, my way to feel better, to escape. I HATED myself every fucking time. I know it really doesn't make sense. It wasn't the sex I wanted, it was the being wanted that I wanted. I was addicted to being wanted, to being attractive. Giving them sex was the BAD part, the part I did with my head turned and my heart locked up and hating myself every single time and hoping maybe they saw me as something more than just a piece of ass. I didn't know how to say no, I didn't know how to be true to myself. To this day I am most definitely afraid of most men. So, why as a very young woman would I fight after I had been violated so badly?

To top it all off, before I ran wild, when I had "the" boyfriend, he told me I was a slut all the time anyway. He manipulated me into doing things with him all the time. He threatened to leave if I didn't perform. He was my first, it was supposed to be special. He was supposed to sweet and kind. He was no different than any of the other assholes, only worse because he said he loved me while he made me do it. 

You would think that after all of this and all of the shit relationships I attempted after my teen years that I would not care and I would want to be alone. 

I. don't. know. how.

I am smart enough to stay away from bars and my triggers just like any addict. 

But I lay in bed at night and ache. I don't think about what happened. I am just so sad. So alone. I can handle it all day. It isn't about sex at all. It isn't about the ex Mr Brady...It is about simply being. 

I don't even know why...

I'm just so sad.

I'm not sorry the relationship is over. I am not unhappy with the path I am on. 

Maybe I am just finally grieving for the 17 yr old me who started on a path of life without loving herself...

Maybe I need to just forgive myself for what I DID then and realize its ok. 

This isn't a standard addiction, I am not addicted to sex...(I could care less about getting off) I like being found attractive. There is no rule book or meeting for me. 

I was called so many names, by so many people. I had a reputation BEFORE I earned it. I became the slut I was told I was. I just let it happen. I heard it and cried and didn't know how to make it stop. My senior year was one of the worst years of my life. 

I can't even begin to tell you nor do I wish to tell you how bad it was before I settled down and had my son. 

None of it was the truth. I was a very hurt young girl that no one noticed and no one saw was in pain. All they saw was what they wanted to see. 

If you take one thing from this. Just one. Never, ever, ever take what you see with your teenagers at face value. BUTT in their business. Snoop. Love them enough to make sure and ask if they are ok and KNOW them well enough to know if they lie. 

My mother never asked me what really happened the first time. She might have prevented the second. 

She never noticed much about me at all or asked. I drive my kids nuts with questions. 

Tough. Shit.

I love you guys.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Things that are pissing me off part 842

Ok, has a Things who piss her off blog now and again. Well, honestly I am not one prone to being pissed off, but tonight I am. 

And y'all better listen up.

I have to get this shit OFF my chest.

I play Mrs. Nice Guy, all the time. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I am a GOOD PERSON. But I am not a F#$%^&*ing door it?????

Just because YOU weren't man enough to DEAL with your anger issues and accept responsibility for YOUR actions doesn't mean that my kids and I should have to pick up the pieces of the mess you made.

YOU deserted us. You hear? Abandoned. Walked out and left with nothing. My kids that you supposedly left with NOTHING. We were 1 step from destitute. ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SELFISH OBNOXIOUS PRAT!

The security deposit on OUR effing house you somehow never had the money for....BUT I AM STILL FINDING FISHING T SHIRTS WITH GODFORSAKEN tags on them in the room. Did it EVER occur to you when we were together that BILLS come before buying useless shit especially since you own 60 t-shirts?????

Or that going to gun shows wasn't as important as being with your family????

I can't for the life of me figure out how our bills weren't paid. I can't. 

Oh and let's not forget the mess you left.

I would show you guys my basement but you would all unlike me.

There was a flood less than 2 weeks after we moved into this house. Lots of things were ruined. 8 mattresses or so. Tons of books and clothes. It was all LEFT down there this whole time. We moved in Feb people. He knew people with trucks who could have loaded it up and taken it out. Its still here and I am left trying to figure out what the hell to do with it. Guess what...over half of it is HIS crap too.

Oh and every time we had a decent amount of money HE went crazy shopping. Not paying bills like I said. I WOULDN'T BE IN THIS EFFING MESS IF HE LISTENED TO Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Since this is MY blog and I can go off on a tangent if I want, I am going to tell you a not so nice story about a night Mr. Used to Be Brady Pissed Me the eff Off...

Ok so I preface this with don't judge. PLEASE.

We had issues...clearly. For a while. He had anger issues. We tried to talk them out. One thing I did wrong was tell him I was done when we fought because over the years of abusive relationships I learned to fight with words as best I could and I hit LOW and fought dirty. When I get angry, I want to be left alone and he never understood that, ever.  If I he was being defensive and cranky my reaction was to push him away verbally. Just to get him to leave me alone, at any cost because he never respected my request to let me alone.

That being said. I got better over time and stopped. 

Seems as though I was keeping him in line...because he got progressively more mean as I got more laid back and respectful.

So, let's relationships go, I am not exactly sure where it fell apart. I can't pinpoint something specific that caused it. 

Stress, 8 kids. We had issues. No doubt. His ex was a constant source of problem. Between the fact that she showed up whenever she felt like it, which was almost never...she spent 3 years trying to get in his pants or convince me she was in them. Now, really...I am not that hot...But good lord...he was a lot of things but he didn't want her. I knew that. 

Well, back in say March or so...things weren't good. We weren't talking. He was always mean. Always just here. Not interacting. 

One day, his phone rang...I grabbed it innocently and it was from the mother from hell. When I clicked the back button I saw the messages page and there right before my eyes were tons of texts from his high school sweetheart.

Now-truth be told, I am not the jealous type at all. Be honest with me and I don't care about that stuff. If you have nothing to hide, you will tell me and it will be no big deal. Really, I just don't do it.

Well, he had been texting her a lot. I read them. Plans for lunch.

Ok, this point I wasn't a fighter anymore, I didn't get mad or argue. I seethed.

For. Two. Weeks.

Yes. For two weeks I waited for him to come and tell me the truth. To tell me he had a lunch date with her. He had talked about her before, he had attempted plans before, but never in secret. 

I waited and waited and I finally blew. I don't exactly recall how I told him, but it was a BIG fight. 

His response was that it was no big deal, they just texted about nothing and never really made plans and they never went to lunch.

Ok, so why not tell me. I was livid...I don't remember it all but I was so mad bcs he was so dishonest about it that I ran downstairs and told him to leave me alone, I got my keys and was leaving. I was in the bathroom, he came in...I was standing there...fists at my sides. Shaking. I told him to leave me alone. I said "I am madder than I have ever been in my entire life. You need to leave me alone. Now." He said, Go ahead, give it your best shot...I deserve it....

I got more angry. I stormed past him and went upstairs. He still hasn't seemed to fathom that when Michelle is pissed off LEAVE HER THE FUCK ALONE! Seriously, I am one of those crazy Italian women that needs to stew like a good pot of sauce. Once, I have simmered long enough, I will be reasonable enough to accept that I am wrong or calmly tell you how right I am.

Slowly it came out that he had been talking to her about US. About how when couldn't manage his anger and he didn't know what to do and he didn't know what to do about how I felt and all this. He had been sharing our personal issues with his EX...I was LIVID...I almost blacked out from the anger. Yes I am Italian. But he may as well have fucked her in front of me for how bad it hurt. No lie. I told him to shut up. I did. Now please don't judge me folks. I am not a violent person. What happened next was as much a shock to me as to him...

As I said, I half blacked out...then I straight up punched him. I was aiming (if you aim when you are infuriatingly mad) for his chest but got his bottom lip. Blood was everywhere. I mean everywhere. (He was no small man 6ft 240)

I started to cry and repeat I am sorry over and over...he pinned me to the bed and made me look him in the face while blood splattered all over. 

God was my life really this fucked up?????

I told him I would leave. He told me it was his fault and that he was sorry. I think this is the day I gave up my power. 

After that point, I was soooo afraid of being angry or standing tall so to speak that, I became meek and mild. Timid. Almost NO fight. I sort of argued, but more, I cried. I had no fight in me. It all came out in that one punch. The punch I never intended to deliver. 

It was so wrong, Oh, please forgive me. I really am not that kind of girl. I'm not. 

I was literally blinded by rage. I hated myself in that moment. I hated who I had become. I hated who my life had turned me into. 

Now, I am rarely angry. Surely not that angry. 

Right now I am cursing the fool because he still hasn't paid the water bill left behind from before. 

Among who knows what else. I don't know if I will catch up. Ever. My Angel from today was amazing. Now if God could send me a few more.

Obviously, my anger has dissipated as I have typed this. It took 3 or so hours thanks to the kids and texting. My mind is overwhelmed. 

My arms are empty. The anger left a sadness that creeps up on me and I don't know what or who I am sad for...
Do I miss him? Something else. Just a man? Myself? 

I miss feeling loved and protected. I miss arms at night. His? I don't think so honestly. I was so far gone and it was so bad. 

My issue with him is letting go of the good man inside because of the mean one running the show. The two are one and they don't separate. I couldn't live with both.

I have a secret or two that maybe someday I will tell...not so insidious but it only adds to the soap opera of my sordid life.

So, good night my friends and sweet dreams.


Friday, July 20, 2012

TGIF I'm going to be thankful dammit!!!!

Ok, my last few blogs have been deep and heavy and that's ok. Its where I'm at in life and it's what I need to write, BUT that being said I also have joy in my heart for many things. I have strengths and I have all sorts of happiness in my life. 

So, today, I will share with you some things that make me happy about me! Things that I am thankful for in life. Things that I chose to let SHINE!

When we are struggling, it is all too easy to let ourselves be literally bogged down by all of the negativity that seems to be surrounding us, whether it be in the form if stress, abuse, jealousy, anger, family issues, money issues, school issues...hell you name it...its easy to allow ourselves to be completely bowled over by negative thoughts about situations and about ourselves. Often, they may not be our own negative thoughts and they may not be true and often aren't based in reality. Yet, somehow, we allow those thoughts to dictate who we are and we find ourselves feeling as those we are lying in a heap under all of these negative things, with barely an ounce of energy to get up, let alone lift away those negative perceptions and replace them with the more real and more positive ones. 

So today, I remove my heap. I give you my positives. 

I am STRONG. You hear me out there? Strong. I take back my power. I no longer GIVE you the ability to hurt me or mine! Got that? You better. 

I have so many talents. I do. I am soooo creative and I have been blessed with gifts. I can sing, I can sew (yes people still do that and I do it well), I am crafty, I can cook and bake...I could go on but then you guys might just get jealous. 

I love my family wildly. I am LOYAL. My children may not appreciate it yet, but I love them beyond comprehension. 

I am an optimist. Yes, an optimist. Even with all that I have been through and you guys ain't read nothin' yet) I really have a positive outlook on life. I love life. I don't get depressed often and when I do it isn't for long. 

I feel blessed. I really do and grateful. For so many things. For my children, for my sister, for my parents-flaws and all, for my education, for my intelligence, for chocolate (hey, I can't help it) for sunshine, for rain, for my home, for my truck, for my exes, for my struggles, for my triumphs, for it ALL!!!! For YOU GUYS!!!!!! 

Everything, every little piece of my life has made me who I am and I am pretty freaking special.

I am a good friend to others. I listen well. I might give too much advice though :-O I talk too much and with my hands (Hey, I am Italian-hold my hands down and I literally start to talk like a drunk walrus) 

Most of all I am thankful for my ability to overcome and endure. To smile in the face of pain. To triumph over hardships and to ultimately do so with a glad heart. 

I have made PLENTY of mistakes in my life. I have, but that is OK. 
I am ok. Hell, I am better than ok. I am freaking fabulous. Maybe not every minute of every day, but the person that I am is really amazing. 

I have amazing kids. 

My life is going to be everything I LET IT BE and then some. JOY will come because I am laying out the welcome mat to happiness and putting on a pot of tea. Its a journey. I still have to do the hard work and cry out the past. BUT...I can smile along the way.

Will you join me?

So, my wonderful readers, what are your strengths???


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Not so fun at the Fair

****Warning Label**** this post is not for the faint of heart/the wimpy/the young/ or anyone who doesn't like graphic details. This is My story and it isn't pretty. I went through something this week that brought it up and I need to get it out. If you read it, I thank you. Do NOT feel sorry for me. I AM a survivor. Yes, I hurt. Yes, I struggle. BUT I AM ALIVE and I am a better person, in part because of all of my struggles. That being goes.

I am sure that through my therapy process, I will go through all the years leading up to this time, so I am going to jump to about my Junior year of high school. I had been dating the same guy since the end of January. He was my first. He was an ass. He cheated. He lied. He manipulated. But HE is not what this is about really, so we skip to late June early July of that year...1988. This boy and I were having issues (shocking I know) He was living with his brother and hanging out across the street at this guy's (we will call him K) house who was 20...he was there so often that I had to call over there to talk to him. Well, that led to me talking to K when I called to talk to my boyfriend, because I was 17 naive and unsuspecting. Honestly, I was totally clueless. K would get me on the phone and ask me questions and I had no idea why. So, because my boyfriend was there so much and there were no cell phones...they both knew where I was most of the time.

Forward to July 3rd or 4th. I was babysitting for a family. This is hard to explain because I babysit for several adults from the same family. On this night, I had all the kids at one house. I was at the grandparents house. (they had adopted one of their grandchildren and were raising her) So, I had that granddaughter, their daughter's 2 daughters and their son's boys.

Confused yet? I am. Bottom line. I knew this family. Very well. Creepy part. They lived in my Great grandmother's old house and my mother, my sister and I had lived in the very same house when we first moved back from Florida. Talk about strange.

Anyway...I just took some Ativan, hopefully I will be a tad less scattered as this progresses.

With me so far? Let's try to move on...

The evening that I was babysitting, K shows up where I am babysitting. I have blocked a lot of it out. I am trying to remember now and I can't. I remember he showed up and was just chatting with me. I remember that the kids were inside watching TV and it was after 8. I remember being in what was my old bedroom (how effed up is that?), but I don't recall how I got there. I remember not wanting him to touch me at all, but him doing it anyway. Next thing I know, I am flat on my back, screaming no. I don't remember him leaving. I don't remember the kids. I showered. I was numb, in shock.

The daughter and son whose kids I was babysitting came home. The daughter wanted me to go someplace with her and I was 17 and had just been raped. How much worse could my night be? She said, don't worry I will get you home. She was maybe 23 or 24. I was still in shock.

We went of all places to my boyfriend's brother's house. She had hooked up with him that night. She wanted to get laid. I wanted to go home. No one talked about rape in 1988 in small town America. So, I said nothing.

This "woman" didn't get me home until 7:30 am. I tried my best to explain the situation. That I was with the mother of 2 of the kids I was babysitting and didn't know what to do. I was a good kid. I did not get in trouble. I was responsible. I didn't drink. Yet, my mother and my step father chose not to listen. Instead, they grounded me. ALLLLLLLL summer. No phone, no friends. NOTHING. AND I had to work 40 hours a week for nothing in our family business. My kids haven't got a CLUE how easy they have it. Not a freaking clue.

Anyway, hurting like hell. Now grounded. Summer gone. Needless to say, I was pissed off at the world, but inside I was still little miss goody two shoes. I was so naive and so clueless about the world and boys and even what had happened to me.

Within a week, I had devised a plan to runaway. No lie. I had about $70 saved. I lived way out in the country and I went out my bedroom window one night and left a note. I don't even remember what it said.

I found my way to a phone and called a cab. I got to town. I found I had no place to go. Eventually I landed at a friend's house who had another young woman staying with her and her parents. Here's where my being so innocent and clueless got me into trouble. No one knew how innocent and clueless I was, everyone including my family wrongly assumed I had a clue. Oh, but if only!!!!!

This other girl was a year older and waaaaaaaaaaay more worldly that I was. She was dragging me all over with her. I went along. I had no idea what she was into at all. She was into men and boys and whoever. I don't know her history or how she got to be the way she was, I only know that as I followed her around, it was presumed that I was promiscuous when I was not. (but I didn't realize that this was the assumption until years later, looking back)

This leads me to the fair. (you wondered when we would get there didn't you?) This young woman knew one of the carnies and he was much older and could I entertain his 19 year brother while she was hanging out with the guy. Uh, ummmm, I don't know him, but ummm maybe I guess. So, off she went. It was during the day and the place was practically deserted. Most carnies sleep in, it seems because they are up late partying or so I was told. So, this guy and I were walking around and he said he needed something from one of the tents. I'm clueless and I go with him. These are huge tents and again there is no one around even though its broad daylight, (Ativan, you can help me now)

First, he tries to kiss me, eh I'm kinda shocked...kinda creeped out. I back away. He pushes forward. I put my hands up and push back but carnies carry heavy shit all the time and this kid is built and my 115 pound ass is a joke to him. He just kept walking at me until I was up against a table. Then he pushed me onto the table, on my back. I am 5 ft 3 inches tall folks, my feet no longer touched the ground, I had no leverage and couldnt even move my torso. He was holding me down while I was screaming and managed to drop his pants. (lotta good that shit did with NOBODY TO HEAR) So, he shoved me down which hurt and ripped off my shorts, pinned me to the table with his hands then did his business. No condom. Rapists don't have safe sex. Rapists don't care about anything. Not the girl. Not pregnancy, STD's NOTHING. I stopped screaming and just turned my head away from his kissing attempts and cried. Then he pulled his pants up and fucking left. Just. like. that.

I don't swear much but..


The first time I didn't know what had happened, but the 2nd time I did. I told my boyfriend, for all the good it did me. I was a runaway. I didn't have my family. I had no witnesses. Gah. My boyfriend wanted to beat him up.

I wanted to die.

I have literally avoided the County Fair for over 20 years. I have slipped through the side gate to the Demolition Derby, but that is as close as I have been since 1988. No lie.

Until Monday.

I now live on the same street at the Fairgrounds.

It taunts me every time I drive my son to school. Every time I drive to Walmart. I literally drive by the ever loving place a few times a day. I don't always think of it. I'm 41...I have semi dealt with it I suppose. But my daughter wanted to go. My kids Aunt came over with my 10 year old niece. All ready to go to the freaking fair. I said "I don't go to the fair." Response, "Well neither do I, but the kids wanna go and if you go I will have someone to talk to." I have know her since we were 14, in my head I prayed she remembered but it was my pain and clearly she didn't because I tried several times to deter the group from this plan from hell.

So, I gathered up ALL THE FREAKING COURAGE I had and I agreed to go. I changed my clothes. I took some Ativan. I put bug spray on and I went.

I was freaking inside but nobody would ever have known. The kids were having a blast. They rode rides. I watched the carnies like a hawk. Don't look at me or my peeps funny or I will spork your eyes out, ya hear????? I was afraid to look at name tags. I remember the asshat's name, you see. I do not recall his appearance and I hope time has been unkind to him. I was shaking inside if not outside. I can't take a full dose of Ativan, so I wasn't as calm as I would have liked.

But, I freaking did it.

The kids aunt and I talked and the kids had fun.

The next day my nerves about gave out. I wanted to cry and just be freaking held so bad. I no longer have a true inner circle. I have a friend who I trust and love, but she has a big family and isn't always free so I wasn't able to unload. I messaged a long distance friend and that helped, but I never got to really cry.

My kids are tired of seeing me fall apart. They are older boys and they don't get it. I can not burden my daughter with something of this nature at 10 years old.

It really sucks to feel alone and isolated.

It sucks that I feel like my life has been such a mess. It sucks to feel like I have no one I can talk with.

BUT, I will figure this out. I will persevere. I will be ok and I will show my daughter what its like to be healthy and show my boys that women deserve better.

I will LOVE me no matter what my past is and know that it is ok.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not sure I am ready for this

So, I have been going to counseling. This will be a good thing. I think. The first session was an intake. Why was I there, what was my problem etc. No big deal. The next two sessions were my therapist getting background information and history so she knows what to focus on in the sessions. 

She wants to focus on me being assertive. She wants to delve into why I have had relationship issues. She wants me to be ready to start with my earliest memories at Friday's session. As in, she said she wants me to discuss being 4 years old and what my family was like. 


She wants the girl who has lived in semi-denial/semi-awareness for 41 years to OPEN UP. 

I spent most of those 41 years without real anxiety. NOW I have it. And bad. Just typing this and I feel the tightness in my chest, the heat in my face, the increase in my heart rate and blood pressure. The fear. The panic. Its gotten so bad that even on Ativan my heart races to the point that I feel like I almost "choke" on my heartbeat when I try to talk...the words won't come out for a minute. I will have to pause. Regroup. Start over.

Maybe, just maybe if I "tell" you first, telling her won't be so scary. I'm not sure what I am afraid of...being 4 wasn't bad that I recall. After that, my memories get more intense and less pleasant.

So, I think I will "journal" for me here...To lessen my fear. Hopefully.

She wants my early years.

I'm old. They are jumbled. When I was about 4 and my little sister was a baby, we flew from FL to NY to stay with my Mema and Pepa because my parents either divorced or separated. I was never sure. (Long story) We were in NY for 6 months. I remember getting off the plane. I remember staying with and loving Mema. I remember being afraid of Pepa. He had a brain tumor and was crazy but I didn't understand that. My mother was very afraid of him. (I didn't find out why until much later) I had an uncle who was 7 months younger than I was and we had a blast. My sister had bad asthma. I recall lots of ER visits. I remember popcorn strings and Christmas away from Daddy, Snow Angels. Day care. Falling down the stairs, crying, Pepa getting mad and my mother telling him off. 

I remember Dad coming to get us and driving back to FL. We arrived on Easter Sunday. Snoopy was waiting for me. He was as tall as I was and I was afraid of him. He ended up being my favorite stuffed animal. 

Nothing traumatic. I think. Then we moved. Dad went someplace else. This I vaguely recall. But he never really went away. I do remember going places with him. But it seemed like it was only my mother, sister and I for a short while. Dad moved back in. THAT WAS NOT GOOD.

Though jumbled, the memories get more vivid. The police at my house because my dad tried to choke my mom. My mom sending them away and lying about what had happened. I think a neighbor called the cops, not her. My mom crying ALL the time. They fought a lot. At the end of 4th grade, my mom came to my sister and I and asked us if we wanted to move back in with Daddy. Now, my sister is almost 4 years younger than I am.

I remember the day she asked us like it was yesterday. We were in the room we shared and on our bed being silly. I knew my sister would agree with whatever I said, she was only about 6 and a half at the time. I was 10 and all I kept thinking was, Mommy are you crazy? The words that came out of my mouth were "of course Mommy" She was all excited about buying a house. I was scared out of my mind. My father was never, ever mean to my sister or me, but I was always afraid for my mom. Always. 

The year that followed was the year from hell. 

How's that for a start????

I KNOW why I have relationship issues and issues with men in general. I am no dummy. I have a degree in counseling. I have relived most of my mother's mistakes, just in less time. I figured them out much quicker and put up with less. I also had a much less traumatic childhood than my mother had. She suffered severe abuse, I did not. She suffered it at the hand of the man she THOUGHT was her father but found out at the age of 30 that he wasn't. My family is a mess. I have almost non-existent family relationships actually. Except for having the best sister in the world. I feel largely abandoned by most of my relatives. 

I s'pose this counseling thing is going to be good then, isn't it?

I know that I have made mistakes and we all need to be forgiven. But I am very, very grateful that somehow my daughter possesses the spunk and balls that I never had. She does not hide her feelings about people most of the time. If I lost my mind and wanted to move Mr. Brady back in and I asked her what she thought, she would yell at me and I would be PROUD of her. I don't want her to repeat my mistakes, I want her to watch me get healthy and strong and have my power back and NEVER LOSE HERS. 

I have been a tad random, if you are still reading...hey thanks. I will chronicle my journey to a healthy me and maybe along the way we will all learn a thing or two.