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Archive for December, 2013

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I am not the actual Walter Mitty from the movie, no.

I am certainly not the bumbling, silly, goofy, Walter Mitty from the 1947 movie.

I am most certainly not the 1937 version from James Thurber’s classic short story.

No, I am not THAT Walter Mitty… However; I am A version of Walter Mitty.  A paradox of sorts.  I am a complex version of similar, different, longing and urgency.

I am Walter Mitty.

I have lived a muted version of myself for a very long time now.

I have done my duties, as a mother and a daughter, to the best of my abilities. I am aware that I am not finished with those duties.  I am constantly aware I am not ever going to be “finished” with these duties.

I am aware though, that I constantly have a nagging, persistent dream to “break out” of this protective shell and burst forward with my adventure.

I will be 40 in April.

I started a new blog about a year ago called “40 Things to do Before I Turn 40″… I have not posted to this blog, or even visited this site in over 6 months.

I lost my hope.

I lost my drive.

I lost my focus.

I am once again mute.

Something about this movie, about Walter Mitty, started to hit a nerve.  I have started to smolder once again with the dreams for adventure and travel.

No, I do not care to run off to Iceland or Greenland or Afghanistan..

I do, however want to get back to planning my trip to Washington.

I do want to go on long hikes in the mountains.

I do wish to learn to fly fish and kayak.

I do want to write my book/s

I DO WANT TO LIVE!

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I want to become the best version of myself! I do want to write somebody’s favorite book! I do want to smile again… and MEAN IT!

I have so much healing to do.  I have so many invisible fences to hurdle, so many brick walls to tear down… but I think I can do this.  I am only 40… I am ONLY 40! I have years of life left to live, and I want to keep life in focus and live it GRANDLY.

I CAN Be… Walter Freaking Mitty!

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So not to put you to sleep within the first paragraph, I am going to refrain from delving too awfully deep into the history of my son’s battle with (what I have always thought was) Aspergers High Spectrum Disorder.

I have always had behavioral, health, mental and cognitive problems with my poor sweet boy.  However, just anyone off the street would look at him, listen to him speak and see him as perfectly healthy and normal with maybe a few “quirks”.

I have struggled for years to find the answer to his sudden, unexplained rages. His dibilitating headaches.  His learning and memory problems have become worse in the past few years.  He has never been able to ride a bicycle or tie his shoes, but he can complete a video game made for adults in a matter of a few days.

I digress.

I quite my job to stay home with both children.  My new mission became to have Owen diagnosed with Aspergers (the only thing at that time that seemed to “Fit” his vast array of problems), so we could start receiving some sort of disability.   The same week my mother was put into the hospital, Owen was grudgingly diagnosed by a psychologist with Autism Spectrum disorder, depression, OCD and possible bipolar.  We got our first check for SSI on moms two month (death) anniversary.

I’m trying to get to the point.. sorry…

Last Sunday, while trying to coax my son away from his computer long enough to play a round of Pugopoly, he burst into tears and started telling me how depressed he is.  He stated his head hurts all the time, he feels exhausted, he can’t wake up… I knew all these things, because it has been a daily conversation for over a year now.

What WAS new to me was the feelings that he just wanted to “die” because he is so tired of hurting all the time.

Crushed me! He is only 9!

I quickly googled “child psychologists in my area and found one, emailed him and received a reply back within an hour.  I took him for his first visit on Thursday, my son’s 10th birthday.

What this Doctor did, was nothing like I expected.  He first of all stated that I may hate him for what he was about to tell me, I may call him a “quack” and wish to leave, but to please hear him out.  He then interviewed me about Owens past history, asked Owen a few questions, watched him carefully for approximately 15 minutes all together…. and then sat back in his chair and simply stated:

 “I don’t think for one second, that this child has Aspergers!”

He then proceeded to guide me down a path of new ways of thinking, different ideas and completely new possible explanations for my sons strange ways.

Auditory Sensory Disorder

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

He gave me these explanations, told me to go “look them up” read about them and give him a call back with my thoughts.

Totally aghast, lost and a little excited… i did just that.

The Auditory Sensory Disorder sounded a little like Owen.  The Temporal Lobe Epilepsy sounded a little more like him.. but neither one matched up with his rages, mood swings, memory loss and decline in school function and fatigue.

Then, I swear to GOD, my mother guided my eyes to this one sentence:

Some children with HH have significant difficulties controlling angry outbursts, aggressive tendencies and are diagnosed with “hypothalamic rages.” These rages often can be mistaken for “temper tantrums;” however, they usually happen quickly and without an identifiable cause or provocation. 

There it was!!! Something I could identify with… I kept reading.  It sounded like my son… it sounds exactly like him, Word For Word! It IS MY SON!! What is this?!?! What does he have?! This is IT!!!! I FOUND IT!

Hypothalamic Hamartoma

hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) is a rare benign brain tumor or lesion of the hypothalamus. Thehypothalamus is located at the base of the brain, and is responsible for many of the “automatic” functions of the brain including hunger, thirst, temperature, passion, and hormone regulation. A hypothalamic hamartoma can cause many types of seizures, precocious (premature) puberty, cognitive deterioration and severe behavioral difficulties known as rage behaviors.

Here is the link if you wish to read more on this:  http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/aboutepilepsy/syndromes/hypothalamichamartoma/index.cfm

A tumor?!!

Oh God! What do I do with this new information?! How do I process this and keep this calm and quiet over the holidays?

I know it sounds exactly like him… but what if I put him through more testing just to find out I am once again WRONG. Did my mother show me this because she knows how much it means for us to figure this out?!

So, while I process this new information, prepare for the Christmas my family expects and start a New Year without my mom… I will pray, research and welcome ANY feedback any of you have for me!

I am at a loss!

Merry Christmas!

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I doubt you will find me twirling around in a lovely blue frock belting out my list with total, soprano, abandon.  However, I do have a few things I am willing to give a gentlemanly nod to… in the spirit of the season, of course.

I am comprising this list with one thing in mind; these things tend to make me smile on even the darkest of days.

I may even post a picture or two so you can smile with me.

A Few of Chirp and Flutters favorite Things

1.  Rain

rain

Not just rain, but fog, drizzle, sleet, sprinkles, storms, snow,

downpours…precipitation in general makes me smile.  The gloomier it is outside, the happier I am.

2. PUGS

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I can’t look at my little guy, Samson…. or any other Pug for that matter, without wanting to squish his little fat body and face and kiss him all over! He is the epitome of love, beauty, hillariousness, and sweetness all rolled up into a chubby little package.  (plus he is the PERFECT cuddle buddy!)

3.  Coffee and Coffee Mugs

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Self explanatory 🙂

Hence the Tumblr blog…  http://booksrainandbirds.tumblr.com

4.  Washington, the state….

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I have said it before, and I will say it again and again… I WILL live here!! I love the mountains, the ocean, the trees, the city, the music, the coffee, the flowers, the rain, the birds…. and I have never even been there.  I Will go.  I think my family is afraid for me to travel there, for fear I will never return to Texas… they have a legitimate reason to fear this 😉

5.  This guy

1003940_10151603636757286_1837259262_nHe Owns my Heart

6.  And this guy…

011Ignore the ugly girl beside him 😉

7.  Books

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So it’s a good thing for me to be working in a library

8. Trees

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Trees of all shapes, sizes, types and colors.  Fruit trees, nut trees, flowering trees, plain trees, skinny trees, old trees, new trees, ugly gnarled trees, shiny silver barked trees, pine trees, palm trees, trees with hammocks in them, tree houses, trees all alone on a hill, trees so thick you can’t move through them, trees that are dead, trees that are covered in moss, petrified trees of old, trees with bark so thick it’s an armor.  I love trees!

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imagesCA4V39REI am back to talking to my mom again.

I had a very good session with the counselor on Thursday, from which a new outlook and the taking back of some power in my personal life, has since occurred.  With these feelings of peace and strength, also came a truce of sorts with my mother.  I am not sure how long this period will last, if it will just be a few days or from now on, I can’t predict yet.  I do know I am a little more at peace and a whole lot less depressed.  So that is a VERY good thing.

This morning while doing dishes (one of those mindless tasks that always seems to invoke a thread of words that I feel must be IMEDIATLY written down, thus resulting in no more housework and hours of me sitting at the computer), I had an epiphany of sorts:

My mother lost her mother to cancer around 23 years ago.  I was 15 when this happened.  I remember her being extremely emotional and upset, crying and hiding in the bathroom for hours, disowning me for being late home from ballet class, lashing out and yelling at us all.  I remained fairly detached during this time.  I was not very close with my Grandmother, after all, I remember she had been quite mean to my mother, and she really just made it difficult to ever get very close to her.  I continued to be my mom’s “good girl” but I do know I was not the “comforter” my mother needed at that time.  I was only 15.  I remember my Aunt calling me “strong” and “just who Mom needed to get through this”, but I really do not remember doing much different from how I always had been, maybe a few more hugs and a little more obedient?

My grandmother was, what I have now since learned, the epitome of the Co-Dependant parent.  She was the main reason my mother became the person she became, the mother she became.  My poor mother had no chance of ever being a different kind of mother.  Things like “co-dependant parents”, “depression”, “verbal abuse”, etc… were not discussed or even diagnosed in the 1950’s.  She only knew to raise us girls the same way she had been raised.. with an iron will and a ready belt.  Guilt and shaming were the only words she knew.  Conditions, the conditional love… all learned from my grandmother, who probably learned it from her own mother.

So, I feel I owe my mother an apology, of sorts.  I need to release this anger I have towards how she raised me.  I know she loved me, I know she did some very wrong and unfair things to me…. said some very mean things, did some things that nowadays would be considered  “abusive”,  and YES I still have a right to  be angry for those things,  but she also did some very good things, some very loving things, and she did the very best she knew how.. It may have taken her a good 30 plus years to get there,  and it may have taken me fighting every step of the way,  but she was learning to trust me and allowing me to take back some control, however small, she was giving in… a little.   Part of it may have been that she knew she was not long for this earth.  I know she was trying to prepare me.  I don’t know if she realized just HOW hard it would be on me, but she was worried.

I don’t think for a second she would have ever taken responsibility for her actions and words against me all those years, but I do think she understood that some of the mistakes she had made were very bad, and that I was being very kind to just “let them go” the way I had.

I feel like, for now, I can release some of this anger and just allow myself to miss her and at LEAST make it through Christmas and New Years without blowing my brain out with the loaded “anger gun” I have been waving around.  I hope.

I still feel like a scared little 4 year old girl that has lost her mommy… I’m just not soooo mad and accusing her every minute, thats a start…. thats a start.

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Mom, doing something nice :)

Mom, doing something nice 🙂

 

It’s hard to belive it has been 2 months now since momma passed.

I have been so busy just trying to muddle through the day-by-day… I have let the time slip by.

I went to a Christmas program with my boss Saturday night.  I thought it would be awful, but it was really pretty pleasent, for the most part anyways.  It was very hard to sit through the show without thinking “Mom would have loved this!” or “Oh, mom’s favorite song!”

I did even tear up a time or two with the sadness that mom would have really enjoyed that music so much more than I was.

I allowed myself to miss her for the rest of the evening.

I think I have been sooooo very busy being angry with her, I have not been allowing myself the time to remember, grieve and actually MISS her.

For everything bad I say about her, I can now say a good thing just as fast.  And you know, she really was a good person in so many ways.  She tried so very hard to create a perfect, christian world for us.  I think her human side, her mental state, just did not ever allow her to be “happy” with her results.  I think she might have been just as hard on herself, on the inside, as she was on us.

Today I am going to “TRY” (big emphasis on the word “try”) to put up Christmas decorations and the tree.  I am going to try to get through December the best I can.  Then maybe I can look forward to kissing 2013’s Ass… GOODBYE!

This has been one Hell of an awful year.  I’m just going to try.. that’s all I can do, right?

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I’m feeling quite shaky, a little panicked and a whole lot anxious today.

I’m not sure if it is the copious amounts of coffee I have indulged in this chilly morning, or the fact that I bared my soul for over 2 hours yesterday.  I figure it’s the latter.

The new counselor seems very nice, exactly who I need in my life right now…  BUT… It is still a very difficult, painful thing to sit there and run a dry-eyed monologue about every terrible thing that has happened over the past 39 years.  A diatribe of “poor me’s” falling out of my mouth like rocks.  I found myself uncovering fragments… exposing just a few seconds of the pain just to quickly cover it back up.  Scuffing dirt over it with my foot, as if too long exposure to the air would somehow start to drag me back under my personal ocean of emotions.

She wanted to go back to the very beginning.

She wanted to know everything in just a few minutes.

Each crucial moment, each pivotal second of my life came out in a rush of non-emotion.

“Yes, I was abused and manipulated as a small child… next.”

“Yes, I was bullied by classmates, teachers, mother, sister, grandmother…Next”

“Yes a boy I was secretly friends with killed himself after I had refused to talk to him in the library when he asked for help…NEXT”

“Yes I married my husband to get away from my mother… NEXT”

“Yes, my dad blamed me for my daughters mental illness, stating I was “TOO SINGLE” to raise her properly… Next…

“Yes, I aborted a baby because my mother told me I had to, Yes my son is special needs and drains me dry every single day… Yes, my mother died and I miss her, Yes, My mother died and I hate her for leaving me….Next, Next, Next!!!!”

Every door, every single cupboard of my life left hanging open, exposed to my internal light and judgement.

She did try to close some of the doors before I left.  She also seems like she will help me to close all these doors after time… but as for now, they are still ajar.  Dinging and alarming like an obnoxious car door.  “Your Door is Ajar” is the constant mechanical voice in my head… reminding me that I am still wide open.  The cold air rushing in and making the cobwebs and spiders, that were once still and unmoving,  wave and sway in the breeze.

I went grocery shopping after I left her office.  Probably NOT the best idea.  Walking around I kept feeling like maybe I had a scarlet letter on my chest.  Maybe a “C” for Crazy… or just a “W” for Wounded…. I still felt like everyone around me could smell my sorrow, my damage.. maybe like smelling slightly rotted meat or even just garlic, obvious enough to smell it, but not quite sure if it’s pleasant or offensive.

I felt very anxious, very stressed, quickly finished my shopping and rushed home to my safe little haven.

Now I am shaking and nervous, weepy and exposed.  I am curious if I will feel this way every single Friday?  Will THIS be my new normal? I usually stamp these feelings down and cover them.. now they are growing and fighting their way around these doors, and I am supposed to let them.   The bind weeds of my emotions got a taste of the light yesterday, now to see which direction they choose to crawl, Back to the darkness… or towards the light.

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I’m on the edge, the cusp, the jumping off point of my start to recovery and healing…   It’s off to the counselor I go.

I think she will be really good for me.  She seems like a very nice lady, from her emails.  I am anxious to meet her and get started, but yet am extremely nervous.  I hope this helps me. I am not used to telling a total stranger all my dirty secrets face to face… so pray my typing skills carry over into my verbal skills 🙂

There are so many areas for us to work on. So many areas I need to have fixed, like, immediately…

I’m glad I am seeing her today, it’s already started out pretty bad:

The boy was angry, VERY angry…. temper tantrum angry, not sure why… maybe he was sleepy, maybe he was Aspie-ing out on me. (I know that’s not a word, but anyways)

The girl is needing a med change, desperately.  She is clingy and needy, weepy and violent.

The babysitting baby is here early, she is a good baby, but just adds to the mess.

I spent the whole day at work yesterday  with “Mary Sunshine and Christian Happiness”. (She is a whole other blog on her own. )

I am ready for some of this load to be lifted.  Some of this burden to be, at least, redistributed at best!

I still am on auto pilot, on life support, exhausted and drained.

So, Wish me luck… Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me and my new counselor.  I hope she is “The One”.

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