I hate you so much, Insomnia.

February 22, 2012

I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have insomnia.
There are flashbulb memories of it for sure.
I remember bits and pieces of Mom yelling at me for sleeping the days away as a teen.  Just not much else.

Insomnia does that.
It robs you of your ability to think and to remember.
It takes those most precious memories that you have and smears them, twists them, sometimes even erases them completely.

I’m sitting here awake in the middle of the night because my brain will not stop.
Medicine doesn’t help.
Sleep therapists won’t include me in sleep studies because I have OCD and mild depression that is currently treated with Zoloft.  I’m breastfeeding still so melatonin is out and the medicines aren’t a good idea until Molly is completely weaned.
I drink approximately one caffeinated beverage a week and am completely convinced that I will never have a normal night’s rest again.

I have chronic onset insomnia.
Whether my depression is active at the time, whether my OCD is managed.
Happy, sad.  Fat, skinny.  With a book, without one.  With meds, without meds.  Diet changes or junk food.  Behavior changes or laughing in the face of all of the “tips” designed to help.
I can comfortably stay awake for about 30 hours before crashing, with meds I fall asleep about 4:00 every morning.  I’d sleep until 2 or 3 without interruption if I could and would wake up exhausted 98% of the time.

It is what it is.
But I’m tired of what it is.
I’m a great mom.
But think about how fantastic I could be with a rested brain.
I’m a great wife.
But think.
THINK.

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I’m having a hard time.
Every 4 years the flashiest sporting event comes around – yes.  The presidential elections.
And every year it gets a little harder for me to keep my mouth shut.

After all, how can people believe THIS or THAT?
Did they not do the math?
Not read between the lines?
Not spend hours fact-checking to make sure they had the facts of the matter before spreading their opinion around sheep-like?

And the emails.  Dear heavens.  The emails.
Political forwards, sent from family member to family member – and eventually to me.
Only.  I don’t agree.
I’ve never agreed.
I don’t believe that all immigrants should HAVE to speak English before gaining citizenship or residency status.  I’m rather glad my ancestors weren’t held to that standard or I’d have ended up in a completely different place.  How egocentric is it that folks feel that folks trying to make a better life for themselves should learn our language to make things easier on US?
And.
Yes.
Outbursts like that.

So I take deep breaths and mute conversations that get me too worked up.
I pass on responding to many comments that seem so ignorant to me.
Politics aside, people deserve to have opinions, whether based upon their research or not.
They can base it on a clown’s nose stuffed up a dog’s butt if they want to and you know what?
I still need to respect their right to voice their opinion without forcing them to swallow mine.

And that is what I’m trying like HELL to remember.

The plight of the SAHW.

June 20, 2011

I’m waiting for it to rain.
It’s in the forecast, it needs to happen.
No, it’s not so hot here that I need the rain to cool things down.
I just feel better when it rains.  More settled.
As though the water washing over everything will help cleanse me and my cluttered thoughts.

Everything seems so cluttered lately.
I’ve lists of things to do in my head but very little motivation to accomplish.
Every time I pick something up, wash something, vacuum something – it’s a very short amount of time before it’s messed up again.
Plates left on tables that end up on the floor because I think I’ll wait him out – wait for him to pick up the plate… and the dogs get to it first.
Clothes dropped by the front door throughout the house.
Empty water glasses everywhere… up to 3 a day.
As though the setting down of those things makes them become invisible to all but me.

Even now I find myself sitting at the corner computer desk in my youngest daughter’s room – the corner that was supposed to simply BE a corner in HER room has become a computer room that I store some of her things in.

I need a nap, a rest, a break.
This staying at home thing is such a blessing and I don’t mind being the one in charge of the chores and cooking and cleaning.  I mind the simple lack of respect that I’m getting – it’s so easy to pick up after yourself.   To not make things harder on someone.

C’mon, rain.  Hurry.

Whoa.  What a month.
The Lord saw fit to grant me another birthday on this Earth, which is wonderful.
31 years.
That sounds like a lot longer than it actually has been.
Just yesterday I was riding my bike with the neighborhood kids and drinking root beer with my grandfather.
You hear that life is short, but that phrase doesn’t cover the sheer bitness of it.

Abbey surprised me with a visit to Minneapolis.
Mols and I were lazing about and I hear the door open.
I thought Nick was sick – something HAD to have been wrong for him to come home in the middle of the day.  Instead of his face, the smiling face of my eldest came running through the door.
Best. Surprise. Ever.

Life is just better with both of them around.

Things are hard on that front, but adulthood tends to be hard.  Hard and rewarding.
It would be nice if someone would tell you at the beginning of an uphill battle if the effort was going to be worth it.
for instance, homemade chicken and dumplings from total scratch?  Good, but not worth it.
Homemade chicken dumplings made with rotisserie chicken from the grocery store that I don’t have to bake myself?  Totally worth it.

You just need a guide – a scale.

Dang it.  Now I want some dumplings.

Another day, another blow.
My dad always tells me that the only way I can know if I’m making the right decision is to make one, wait ten years, and then judge the outcome.
Unfortunately I’ve found that bit o’ wisdom to be true – especially when it comes to parenting.

I’m a good mom.
I’ve made the best of the situation I chose for myself.
Had I known better, I would have chosen better.  Especially for Abigail.

I grew up in a poorish suburb of Memphis, just to the south in north Mississippi.
I was a pregnant teenager in a school that had more than its share.
Compared to the girls that walk the halls of that school now, we were all quite conservative.
And that is where my daughter goes to school.

It blows my mind to think that there are areas in other parts of the country that don’t have a 25% STD rate.
That have middle schools without pregnancies and that have children that wait past the age of 13 or 14 to have sex.
Granted, my daughter hasn’t chosen that path yet – and I, with my poor judgment, waited longer than that – but the statistics are grim.
It’s not unusual for girls to marry right out of high school and never venture far from their place of origin.
It’s not unusual for parents to be okay with their children only achieving the same level of success that they themselves have.

That is intolerable to me.
I was a teenage mom.
I have ‘Some College’ on all of the forms that I fill out.
I have worked three jobs at a time to make ends meet.
Abbey’s father lives 2 miles away from where we attended high school with his wife of 10 years.
They know little to nothing of what’s going on in their country and are content to answer questions with opinions they’ve heard from others.

I want Abbey to have more, to be more.

I can’t think of another way to accomplish that without taking her out of the area.
I’m married to a man that made the right decisions.
That got his PhD at a young age with hard work and that continues to make his way up into the world based on his work ethic, knowledge and sheer stubbornness.
We’re equals in terms of intelligence and many values – only I stay at home and change diapers because I’m blessed – and he goes to work and converses with Nobel Prize winners.
I’m not saying that we get everything right now – we don’t.  We’re human.
But we’re damn sure a better jumping off point than the area either of us grew up in.

The choices my daughter is making without me there tell me several things.
One, that she needs her mother desperately.
Two, that she needs different friends.
Three, that she needs therapy and medications to help her maintain a mental balance, just as the majority of the rest of our family does.

I’m praying so very hard right now that she can get all of those things.
It’s beyond the issue of mother vs. father now.
It’s beyond the issue of who wants her with them more – because, believe me, it would be so much easier to allow her father to be the one in charge of these next 4 years after I’ve handled the last 14.  But I’ve never taken the easy path with Abigail and don’t intend to now.
The truth is that she would be better off with me because the environment that she’s choosing for herself in Mississippi is a destructive one.
And sometimes a fresh perspective, a fresh place – a place to start over is essential.

I can’t feel my toes.

December 7, 2010

The cold weighs on me.
I suppose it does on any southern transplant that finds their way into a frozen Siberia.
It’s a good thing Minneapolis is a civilized city or I would die without food – the nearest grocery is less than a mile from me and that has literally saved our lives.
I probably wouldn’t venture much further in cold like this.

I know, I know.
I’m being overdramatic.
I think it’s my right, being 9 months pregnant, a big baby, and freezing to boot!

There are fun things about the weather.
I love watching the snow fall.
I like waking up to the white everywhere and seeing the kids play in it.
I like the idea that my daughters will know what real snowfall is and will be able to make a snowman more than once in their lives.

I also find it odd that the apartment complexes all have their own little machines for ice/snow removal on the pavement.  The complex next to us owns their own bulldozer!  or backhoe.  Technically I think it’s a backhoe, but my brain is really too frozen to think about it much.

My daughter comes to visit in less than 2 weeks and I’ve never been so excited in all my life.  There really aren’t words to explain how much you can miss someone until you’re missing one of your children.
Missing Nick was bad – but livable.  I found a new normal with our separation that I’m struggling with in this separation from Abigail.
I have not had an adult day where I have not been her parent and very few kid days – I’ve been her mom for half of my life at least and that makes an impact.

So we’re learning something new – hopefully not something forever.  I think we’d both go to pieces a little bit at that.  I worry about her.

BUT!  That’s neither here nor there – we’re not walking down that path today.
Today we’re  cold.
Looking forward to her visit.
Putting off Christmas shopping and unpacking.
And enduring Braxton Hicks contractions.

Those painless little contractions that are currently stoving up my uterus and making me want to punch the small schoolchildren outside of my window.
I’m so glad they’re painless.

(Don’t worry, the kids are safe from me, because, as I may have mentioned – it’s COLD out there.)

Pregnancy is progressing.  35 1/2 weeks now means that the time is rushing up on us.
I wish I had her nursery ready or her clothes washed or even enough boxes unpacked to get to half of those things.
But moving has been slow – I’ve been lazy and sore and lazy and tired and lazy.

Nick woke me up panicked that I was going to go into labor without having a hospital bag packed.  I have now promised to see to that this week so he can sleep at night.
I wouldn’t want to make it up there without my neck pillow, after all.  What a goose.
The hospital is only 2.5 miles away, so this wasn’t a factor I really worried about – I worry more about him having to leave mid-labor because the dogs need to be walked and fed.
This living away from the massive support system I’m used to is not for the faint of heart.
Maybe he should make friends for situations like this?
It’s a thought.

All in all, I’m not quite ready for Ms. Molly’s arrival.
I’m scared that it’s been so many years since I’ve done this and I’m a bit emotional with missing my Abigail…
And I have no idea what to do with the umbilical cord or changing diapers quickly or how to go without sleep when I actually want sleep…
So I’m doing the new mother chickening out thing.
Which isn’t very useful at this point, considering.

So the point being that things are good.  I’m cold.
Good and cold.

 

Just 40 cents a cup!

November 7, 2010

Wow.
Apparently when you’re packing up your life into one small large PODS unit and planning to move across country, things get neglected.
Like the Inner Me that I coddle with this blog.

Though I will say that no one wants to know the Inner Me that is currently inhabiting my third trimester pregnant body.
The newly off Zoloft third trimester pregnant body.
Yeah.
My doctor is a GENIUS.  Because THAT was a great idea.

I know, I know.
We don’t want the baby to go through withdrawal symptoms after she’s born from Zoloft – the lows from that are misery-inducing.
We also don’t want the hormonal pregnant woman to set up shop on a roof somewhere and throw rocks at people.
So it’s a trade-off.
My motherly instinct won.  Especially the motherly instinct that seems to be living in my husband’s body.

Never did I think that I would see the day where I’d lose my gung ho husband to overprotective fatherhood.
I’m convinced that if we’d received socket covers in the baby shower he’d already be using them to keep me from sticking things in the sockets by proxy – because it might hurt the baby.
No amount of persuasive arguments will convince him that poking the stomach right now won’t hurt the baby.  He doesn’t care if it’s to make the baby move, to play with it, or because I just seem like one of those women that would like randomly poking things – I need to stop and I need to stop NOW.
I have dreams about throwing her up in the air – when she gets to that fun stage, not when she’s still a floppy doughgirl – that cause me to wake up giggling at the idea of his face.
Parenting may be the straw that broke that particular Italian camel’s back.  Because things can HAPPEN to the kid.

But then again, it may be him going crazy after dealing with me.
Because right now I’m batshit nuts.
And, I don’t mean incapable or homicidal or unstable or any of those things that might cause a custody judge to read this and think I’m a half step away from the crazy farm.
I mean I’m hormonal, fat, uncomfortable and UNABLE TO EAT PROCESSED SUGAR! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT DOES TO A PERSON?!!!?

Apparently what that does to a person is causes them to procrastinate on packing and cry a lot.
And eat buckets of Sonic ice and stare longingly at the Eggnog lattes at Starbucks.
And eat 3 boxes of Corn Flakes in a week.

My life revolves around food a lot lately.

Ah well.
In another week I shall be well and truly nuts – on my way to Minneapolis,  with my husband and two beagles, leaving my daughter to finish out the school year with my parents – because that is the only option I have with all of the custody mess being put off, thankyousomuchlawyerofmyex’sthatseemstothinkdraggingthisoutovertimehelpsAbbey

This period in my life is the hardest I’ve ever been through in the 30 years I’ve been alive and I can’t even comfort myself with a Snickers.

For those of you that will see me in the hospital after this placenta is gone and I can once again have sugar, don’t judge me.  I can freebase refined sugar if I want to.

Songs MEAN something.
You can ask everyone around you and you’ll find that there are certain songs that they hear that immediately transport them into a mood, a memory, or even an alternate reality.
Some songs do all of those things.

For instance, I can listen to “Dreams” by the Cranberries and immediately be filled with a cheerful, purposeful feeling.
Edwin Starr’s “War” puts me in a head-bobbing, ridiculously silly mood.
And, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones brings to mind many things – frustrating my child when she was younger and begging for new toys, my basic theory on why my custody battle will never stop going or stop hurting, and Mick Jagger in leather pants. Creepy.

I found myself yesterday singing this particular song aloud at my desk. Complete with Jagger facial expressions and vocal stylings.
And by found myself, try realized I was doing so only after getting strange stares and pointed questions.
Le sigh.

You really can’t always get what you want.
When times are hard I try to remind myself of how blessed I am.
A great family, great friends, great job, great life.
But it’s hard.
Hard right now to think of positive things when this never-ending custody battle is draining the life out of me. Dramatic, I know, but as a parent you’re designed – to the core – to protect your children at all costs. Right now I can’t do that.
It’s not even a topic that she would have faced in the Life’s-Not-Fair adulthood school – it’s one of my own making and this total limbo of not having a decision is eating her up.
I seem to be the only one aware of this. Aware that it’s bigger than his rights/my rights. What gives parents the right to screw up their kid in their own selfishness?
Why is the fact that she’s hurting not THE most important thing?

I get tense even typing this.
I’m scared to death for all of us.
I can’t get what I want. She can’t get what she needs.

And following September…

September 28, 2010

I went for a walk last night.
The weather has cooled off – down from the three digit temps into gorgeous Fall weather temperatures that reward me for surviving yet another summer in rural Mississippi.
The trees are just starting to turn and everything, including the sunlight, is this gorgeous golden color that you only see this time of year.

I love Fall.
I love October.
I often confuse the two – I’m convinced October is a season unto itself. It smells different and feels different and is full of good times and memories and happiness the way no other season is.
That’s why I got married in October.
My daughter was born in October.
It’s just the best time of the year.

The smells in the air have convinced me that the season is upon us.

My walk was perfect. Two miles at a brisk pace, but nothing escaped my notice. I live in a gorgeous rural area and the lack of cars and power lines and noise mean real relaxation that urbanites just can’t understand.
I won’t have it for much longer and so every outing I make has me reacting like a sponge, soaking up as much as I possibly can so I can weather the winter in Minneapolis.

I sat on the front porch for a long time when I got back.
I could close my eyes and be a million different places all at once.
At my grandmother’s before she passed, getting ready for Thanksgiving, family all around and the smell that only her house held. So comforting.
My aunt’s for Halloween. Before her divorce and my grandmother’s death. When we all still joined together for family events – like her Halloween party – when I was young and so excited about the ghost-shaped cookies and trick-or-treating.
On my wedding day, seeing my husband face to face for the first time before the ceremony – knowing that I was marrying someone I could count on – someone I loved – someone I could trust.
Remembering when my daughter was born and how everything I could have ever wanted from life changed in that instant – the world became entirely about her – and still hasn’t changed.
Thinking of the way my mom’s perfume smells and how much I’m going to miss her and my father when I move.
Thinking about what home and family feel like; what they mean.

Things both happy and bittersweet.

October, you see.

I’m so glad I get this one last fall in this area.
I needed it.
Things are swirling around so fast that it feels as though my feet barely touch anything steady.
Walks and silence help, give me a chance to search, if not find, perspective again.

Ode to The Doughnut.

September 27, 2010

You learn a lot about yourself when you pack up an office and move it across the city.
I learned that I’m incompetent.
And that one of the things I’ll do is forget to pack all of my files… and will leave them in the old office that will be immediately thrust into remodeling (think walls being knocked down)… and will have to beg a co-worker to go rescue said files because I’m an idiot.
Oh.
I’ll also misspell names on the new business cards of the brokers I’ve worked for for six years.
Pour paper confetti all over the nice new floors that won’t be cleaned for days.
Get so stressed that I’ll accidentally forget I’m now gestational-y diabetic and will eat a doughnut… (no harm, no foul – the blood sugar never rose above normal).
I’ll drive the new hour long commute with a white knuckled grip, glaring at other drivers that swerve through traffic without signaling, wishing they’d get crotch rot.

Days like today make me really miss refined sugar.
And beer.