Stable for the holidays

Arabella called me the night before the family Christmas party. She told me she started dating Will that very day. She said Will got into a fight with his grandma who he is living with and they needed a place to stay. I basically told them there was no room at the inn.

My brother Luke and his family arrived right before the snow started to fall. We weren’t sure if they were even going to be able to make the trip since snowstorm Amelia was on her way too. Thankfully Luke got out of work early and they were on their way before Amelia made her blustery appearance. All the bedrooms at our house were occupied.

I told Arabella no they couldn’t spend the night. I hadn’t even met Will yet and didn’t hear a lot of good things about him. I didn’t need the extra stress right before family was coming. Plus Paul and I promised each other we wouldn’t take Arabella back in unless we had strict boundaries with her. I couldn’t give in just because she was pleading and begging. Predictably; she started swearing at me, said she wasn’t coming for the Christmas party, and hung up. Later she apologized via text.

Snowstorm Amelia dropped a lot of wet heavy snow on us. Paul spent most of the morning plowing out the driveway. He wasn’t able to help me prepare for the party inside. We ate later than originally planned without Alex (he got called in to work) and Arabella who showed up late.

When Arabella showed up she was friendly and I thought Will was also very personable. The only one who was snippy was my SIL Carla who is always that way. Dan told her off when she started to get too bossy. We opened gifts. Arabella even got us all little gifts. When Paul had trouble opening the packaging on his gift, Will pulled a huge knife out of his pocket to cut it open. I almost had a heart attack, but he meant no harm. I could tell he truly seemed to care about Arabella so I felt more relaxed about him and their relationship.

Arabella talked to me alone for awhile. She told me she wanted me to stop telling people she was delusional. I told her I had no problem with that as long as she stopped telling people I starved, abused, and tortured her.

Arabella said Will’s grandma was angry with him for quitting his job because someone said something mean to him. Arabella said that was okay because now he can help her with her ‘social media’ business. He is a photographer and my mom gave him my grandpa’s camera. I was kind of upset about that. Wouldn’t you ask your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews if they wanted the camera before giving it away to someone she barely knows?

I also heard from Paul that Arabella and Will think his grandma is spying on them and that she bugged his car. At first I thought it could be true. But who would want to bug their 21 year old grandson’s car? And how would someone even know how to do that anyway? I don’t believe a word of it. It’s sad to say this but I am happy she is not making accusations about me anymore. Now she is telling me she loves me again. Our relationship is better than it has been in months. I know that could change any day though.

Last week Arabella drove down to Kansas with Will to visit his family. They spent the night in a tent in Iowa on the way during a tornado warning. Will said he is a survivalist. One summer he spent half of it living in the woods sleeping in a hammock. But staying in a tent in December is just plain strange.

Arabella is going to be spending the holidays with Will’s family. A part of me wonders if they are even going to come back since they both don’t have jobs and have strained relationships with their loved ones at home.

Christmas Day will be quiet without her. Paul and I will be spending the day with Angel and Alex and their significant others. This will be the first time one of my children will be gone on Christmas Day. But at least right now I feel comfortable with where our relationship is at. Things are going really well with all our kids, or at least as good as it possibly can with everything going on.

I feel more at peace now than I did in a long time. Everything is stable for the holidays.

What a mess! Holiday stress

Last night I got a call from Arabella. She told me she loved and missed me. She told me she was coming to the Christmas party this weekend and she wanted to bring Will along. When I expressed hesitance, she told me he was her boyfriend. I said I didn’t meet him yet, I didn’t get him any gifts. But she knew she had me at boyfriend. I always told my kids significant others were welcome during the holidays.

Arabella asked if she could give me her gifts this weekend. I told her that would be fine but asked her why. She said she was going to visit Will’s family out of state for three weeks for the holidays. She said she didn’t get me any gifts yet though. I told her she didn’t have to.

She asked how I was doing. The conversation seemed comfortable and normal like speaking to an old friend. Arabella said she was gaining weight because she stopped taking all of her medications, even the one for her thyroid. She said she wanted to get all new doctors. When I asked her why, she said it was because I turned them against her.

Something struck me about the conversation was she was concerned about gaining weight. When she got COVID, she lost weight and thought she was starving. She thought I was starving her. The truth is that she could have lost half her body weight and still no one would think she was starving. But now she is concerned about weight gain? She doesn’t think she is starving anymore?

After the conversation was over, I was confused. Arabella seemed so normal. It left me wondering if I was crazy. I want so badly to think she is back to her normal self. I want to think I made everything that happened up. I felt stressed after I talked to her. She was going to be bringing Will to the Christmas party this weekend. My son Alex told me this Will guy was bad news. They graduated together. I started to imagine conflict between Will and my son.

Then my brother Luke texted me and said there was a snow storm coming this weekend ending right before the party starts. I was expecting a shit storm, but a snow storm on top of that?? How wonderful the first named snow storm of the season. Now I’m not even sure they are coming. My son will probably be called in to work during the party. What a mess!

My mom feels stressed out around Luke now. She said he triggers her and that is why she is having a hard time sleeping again. Luke has a lot of boundaries with my mom. Luke’s wife doesn’t like my mom. My dad isn’t invited because of the whole child porn thing. Understandably, Luke won’t ever have his children around my dad because of it. My son and my daughter Angel never want to see my dad again. Then there is Arabella who is living with my parents.

My brothers Mark and Luke have to drive several hours to get here possibly through a snow storm. Mark’s wife Carla is difficult. She is angry with my daughter Angel for turning my dad in. She just lost her own dad this year so she is extra mean. I’m not even sure why she hates my daughter. She has also had conflict with Arabella in the past. She is very critical and will probably say something about my son’s girlfriend’s pink hair. But she has always been nice to me.

Carla is also mean to my brother Mark. She belittles him and calls him stupid in front of everyone. This summer she got mad at him because he ate his cheese separately from his burger. Didn’t he know she cut it for his burger? MARK how could you be such an idiot?? My brother just laughs it off but it is very upsetting to us. One time my mom told Carla off. My mom never tells anyone off. But then she felt bad for telling her off and apologized.

Now my mom is planning on leaving my dad after Christmas. I’m not sure if that will happen or not. I joked that now she wants to leave my dad after Arabella moves in. I just cleaned Arabella’s room so my nieces have somewhere to stay if they do make it for the party. Arabella is a true hoarder.

My brother Matt can be hard to deal with as well. He burps and farts at the table. But at least he is medicated and won’t hurt the kids. Did I mention all my brothers have special diets? Matt is gluten and dairy free. Mark is gluten free. Luke is dairy free. I already bought all the food. Did you know that a small ham costs $30 now?? I do! Holy crap!!!

Oh, and my dog is not doing the best. He hasn’t had much of an appetite the last couple of days. Oh, and the boiler stopped working again.

This is why I don’t like hosting the holidays! It’s just way too much stress!!! If I make it through this weekend I’ll have a lot to be thankful for on my gratitude list. But as for now my anxiety is through the roof.

Monday mourning

I’m not in the best of moods today. I woke up at 4:30 AM choking on my own spit. Then I had to go to the bathroom. I tried to go back to sleep, but sleep didn’t come.

I was having a dream about Tom and Lisa. I had a dream their daughter ran away and that was why my daughter Arabella ran away. I thought about our friends who moved away years before. At one time I considered Lisa a best friend. We were running partners and trauma buddies. Both Lisa and her husband experienced a lot of serious trauma in their childhoods.

A couple years back Tom and Lisa’s oldest daughter died at age 16 in a fiery car accident. Their daughter was driving when she fell asleep killing herself and her friend. A year after that, Lisa’s teenage niece died. She got really drunk and fell into the river and drowned. A couple months after that her mother died. Plus the childhood trauma, I don’t know how she is doing it. Sadly, we fell out of touch when they moved several hours away. We used to talk several times a week, now we send a text every once in awhile.

The last time I spoke to Lisa she wasn’t seeing a therapist. I woke up with Lisa on my mind out of the blue. I’m wondering if she is okay.

At 6:15 AM my mom called. It is NEVER a good sign to get a call from my mom that early in the morning. My mom told me Arabella went into the ditch last night from the snowy roads. The day after Thanksgiving, my daughter moved out of the homeless shelter and back in with my mom. She got another waitressing job and things were looking better. But she already got fired from her job which is not good. She quit taking her meds.

After Arabella went into the ditch, she had her car towed to my parent’s house. Right after it was towed back, she left around 10 PM. She wasn’t back by 6 AM. My mom told me her location and I was able to figure out she was at a park and ride. My mom said she was there at least 4 hours. My mom also got a strange message from Arabella’s friend Will’s grandma saying something about Will triggering PTSD and having to lock up the knives in her house.

What the hell is going on?? Is Will suicidal? Is Arabella?? I couldn’t help but worry maybe someone would come knocking at my door to tell me my daughter is dead. It is a constant fear. My mom said Will and Arabella were planning on coming to our family Christmas party this weekend. I can honestly say I feel worried because they are both mentally unstable. I don’t think Arabella would physically hurt anyone besides herself, but I don’t even know this Will guy. Who knows what she has been telling him about us.

I worry more about violence now. I worried yesterday at the community theater show. Dan and Angel went to the show with us. The people sitting next to them were drunk and disruptive. They were talking loudly during the show, getting up, knocking over glass bottles. Dan and Angel actually told them to be quiet. How rude! But how do you know if those people could be dangerous?

Hearing the news about Arabella this morning was very triggering. At times Angel and I were close to tears. Why is my daughter mentally ill? We blamed ourselves, we blamed each other. But what good does that do?? It’s incredibly stressful wondering if today will be the day I get the phone call or knock on my door. It just tears me down to the point where I don’t even want to live anymore. Not that I’m going to kill myself, but it’s hard to feel any kind of joy. It’s just so painful.

Paul, Angel, and I started to do so much better after Arabella moved out. Our mental health improved significantly. We were under an incredible amount of stress when both my mom and Arabella were living here. The strange thing is that at the time we were blind to the effects it was having on all of us. Thankfully Paul, Angel, and I are seeing counselors to help us process everything.

I was very hesitant about seeing a counselor at first. But now I can’t imagine not seeing her. She has really helped me get through a lot of hard circumstances. That is why I worry about my dear friend Lisa. I’ll have to give her a call soon.

Wishes

I wish I could say my good mood has lasted but alas it has not.

I can’t pinpoint anything major just a general feeling of disappointment. Our furnace is still out, plus our boiler for our pool and hot tub are out too. We live in a big old drafty house. Something always needs fixing it seems. Thankfully we know what the problem is with our furnace and it is under warranty. We went from having to get a new furnace this morning to having to pay a couple hundred dollars to have it fixed this afternoon which is great. But I spent my whole day dealing with this and not all of the problems are fixed yet. I suppose it’s too much to ask for a switch that I can turn on to make everything work again.

I feel frustration about COVID and how it is tearing families apart for yet another holiday season. I’m angry about family attacking family over politics and vaccination status. If you don’t believe what I believe then you aren’t welcome to be a part of this family anymore but I still care about you bullshit. I’m so angry I want to cut some extended family out of my life forever. The sad thing is at one time I actually thought they might have cared.

I’m sick of hosting the family holidays. I’m angry that my mom never took it over after my grandma was unable to do it anymore. I’m angry I had to take on the responsibility in my mid-20’s after looking at my daughter that age and thinking about what I had to do at her age. I’m angry I never got to be a child or even a young adult without having to parent my parents who just never seem to be able to handle life without burdening their children.

I’m angry for the crime my dad committed. Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary. I’m angry that some family members brush it aside as if it never happened. I’m angry that some family members harbor anger towards my daughter for turning him in. I’m angry my dad is so shitty of a dad and grandpa he will not be invited to my daughter’s wedding. I’m terribly jealous of people who have supportive parents. Neither my husband nor I have had that. I’m angry my husband and I have a hard time with relationships because no one ever taught us anything useful. What the hell is normal??

I’m angry that my relationship with Arabella is not what I want it to be. I’m angry she wants me to stop telling people she is delusional when she accuses me of starving, abusing, and torturing her. I’m angry that people feel they need to choose sides. I’m angry people question whether or not I’ve been abusive. I’m angry that I have to worry whether or not she will be alive tomorrow.

I’m angry my mom favors my brother Matt over everyone. I’m angry that he abused me as a child and I was never protected. I’m angry that my dad never taught me I was worthy of love and instead told me how stupid I was. I’m angry that I have to live with the aftermath trauma created in my life. I’m angry that I live in fear and am unable to trust.

All these things have been very painful for me. I’m this close to telling people off. I’m not sure what I need to do to get over this new bout of anger. I feel triggered thinking about family. I’m not sure what is wrong. Tis the season I suppose. I did say this time of year is hard for me.

Tonight my husband and I are meeting with a new pastor. We are thinking of leaving our church. My faith has been horrible the last two years since I found out about my dad and with my daughter’s mental health struggles. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten much support from the church. I acknowledge they are not responsible for my faith but at least offer me some guidance besides forgiveness of those who have hurt me.

If you can’t help me because you never experienced any struggles in life I can understand that as I am not an idiot. But don’t make me feel bad for something I didn’t do. I have yet to pray away my PTSD. Don’t say I don’t have enough faith to overcome my anxiety. Maybe, just maybe, I had to be this way to survive and now I’m trapped in it. I don’t know how to be any other way because I don’t remember life before the trauma started. I don’t have fond childhood memories with my parents and siblings. I wish I did.

I like the person I am but I am getting tired of the bullshit.

Fortune cookie wisdom #31

If you want the rainbow, you have to tolerate the rain.

Wow, this is another good one. There is so much truth in this fortune as well. Oh, if we could only experience the rainbow without all that darn rain. I’m guilty of this as much as everyone else.

I want my life to be full of joy and uplifting experiences. Personally, I am getting really sick of the trauma and drama, my rain. Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I am under a perpetual rain cloud even when the sun is shining.

Yesterday I met with my therapist. I told her how triggered I’ve been lately. It doesn’t take much at this point after all the trauma I’ve been through. The other day I saw a commercial of a teen girl with her loving grandparents. I felt triggered because I don’t have the relationship I want with Arabella and my parents. My kids don’t have the grandparents I had. There is a lot of pain there.

I also heard my daughter Angel scream in the next room. She was goofing around with her fiance. For an instant I was triggered that she was in pain and I needed to help her. It reminded me of when I was young and I heard my brother attack someone and needed to help pull him off of someone. For a couple moments in time it took me back to the fear I lived in a couple decades ago.

I love the holiday season but I am afraid it’s going to be triggering for me. It always has been. Last year was one of the worst because it was the one year anniversary of my daughter Angel finding child porn on my dad’s computer. It tore the whole family apart. I’m anticipating this year will be difficult because Arabella left home on bad terms. The last several times she has reached out to me has been negative. I’m not sure if she is even going to be coming home for Thanksgiving and I’m not sure if I want her to.

I talked to my therapist about my concerns. I think it is unrealistic for me to hope that I won’t be triggered this year. My therapist said that being triggered is not necessarily bad. She said when she first started seeing me that I didn’t feel anything. I was numb. She said being triggered and feeling emotional about the triggers is better than being numb. She said I needed to make sure I didn’t get stuck in the triggers.

I think grief is a process I need to work through. But sometimes I get triggered and stay stuck in the feelings of despair and hopelessness too long. When I don’t want to live anymore that becomes a problem. I have to have realistic expectations otherwise I am setting myself up for more hurt. I cannot change people or circumstances. Sometimes the false hope that this time things will change, this will be the year I don’t get triggered, puts me in a bad place.

But where would I be if life was great all the time? We all have to go through sorrow and pain in order to feel joy. There has to be sunshine and rain in order for there to be a rainbow. If the sun shines all the time it wouldn’t feel special anymore. Life would get boring. Without inspiration my writing would become lackluster.

There is something amazing that happens when the clouds lift, the rain is ending, and the sun is starting to poke through to produce a rainbow.

It has to stop raining soon. I will keep watching for the rainbow.

Fortune cookie wisdom #29

You emerge victorious from the maze you’ve been travelling in.

Sometimes I feel like a lab rat in a maze. I solve one problem then I’m removed from the maze just to be placed into another maze. It’s hard to find the way out sometimes. Sometimes I search for clues from paths I’ve travelled down before to try to figure things out. But sometimes instead of answers I find myself triggered.

It seems like I find myself triggered by a lot of things lately. For example, last Sunday Paul and I went to church. The pastor was talking about bringing in Christmas season donations of new comforters for the homeless shelter. This is an admirable undertaking to give to an area of our community in need. The problem is that our daughter is currently staying at the same homeless shelter which has been very painful for us. Just mentioning the homeless shelter triggered pain in both of us. I realize it’s not the pastor’s fault for causing us pain. But sometimes that is how being triggered works.

I’ve been feeling triggered by other things lately too like my hair. I know this sounds totally crazy and it is. I mentioned this before but not recently that my autistic/schizophrenic brother Matt physically attacked me on a daily basis throughout my childhood. One of the things he did often was grab my mom and I by our long hair. A ponytail was a sure way to get abused by him. He would just grab on and yank. It was swift and painful. Sometimes he would pull my hair gently in a teasing way and laugh. He pulled my mom’s hair while she was driving which was terrifying. Hair=pain.

There was a point in my life when I was a teenager that I felt sickened by my hair. If I didn’t have long hair my brother couldn’t pull it. I felt this urge to cut off all my long hair. One day I grabbed a scissors and hacked off my hair. He couldn’t hurt me in that way anymore.

Lately I’ve been feeling triggered by my hair again. I couldn’t stand to look at it. I wanted to shave my head. I googled what it means for a woman to shave her head. From my research I gathered that a woman with a shaved head could mean she is confident, rebellious, ready for change, or having a mental break. Oh, it this what my nervous breakdown is going to look like??

Yesterday I went in and got my hair cut shorter than I have ever had it before. I’m still not certain it is short enough. I wondered why did I want to cut off all my hair. I had to go back and examine a time I wanted to do that before. I came to this conclusion. There was a time in my life when I was in a lot of emotional distress. During this time cutting off my hair made me feel like I had some control over what was happening to me. It stopped the abuse of the hair pulling. It was a successful coping mechanism.

Twenty-five years later I am feeling attacked by my daughter. I am under emotional distress. I am in a similar mental state that I was in back then. One of the successful coping mechanisms was cutting off my hair. Is it any wonder why I would want to cut off all my hair? It gives me a false sense of control and getting rid of it makes me feel like I am letting go of something. It makes sense for me to think cutting off my hair could decrease some of my pain because it worked before.

I also decided to update my profile picture on WP. It’s been over 3 years since I changed it last so it is time.

It’s probably not the best time

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been a rough week. I probably wasn’t doing myself any favors yesterday by rereading part of the book I wrote. I read journal excerpts written by my mom of a time when Matt was violent towards me. I was reliving getting hit and kicked. I really want to get going on the project of finishing my book but it is probably not the best timing.

Rereading the book forces me to process past traumas all over again all while I am going through current trauma. I am distraught my daughter decided to quit taking her meds. I am sick of taking care of her pet frogs for her. I want to find a better home for them because she is probably going to neglect them anyway if she takes care of them.

I am sickened by Arabella getting into porn. It is very triggering because porn was a big part of my life growing up and I didn’t want it to be. It also triggers me to think about what Angel and Dan found on my dad’s computer.

I was feeling quite down last night and was glad when Paul’s step-dad Darryl came by for a visit. Darryl felt sad about everything going on with Arabella. He is estranged from his two sons and had some hard times with them as well. Darryl said he was planning on getting married in 3 weeks. He wasn’t going to have a big celebration because they both have been married a couple times before. Paul’s mom passed away almost 5 years already from cancer. I told him he was more than welcome to have a small reception at our house and I would gladly help with wedding planning. Both Paul and I told him we could use something worth celebrating right now.

It’s been strange taking the sleeping pills. I do sleep better but I still have bad dreams. This morning I woke up before 5 after having a dream about my dad and Arabella. I felt so sad upon waking that I started crying. I get this feeling like I can’t do this life thing anymore. There hasn’t been much joy for so long now. I texted my best friend and she called me on her way to work. She told me we were going to get together for cards tomorrow night to take my mind off of things a bit. She is the best.

I got it into my head to not read my book today. Instead I wanted to create a timeline of my life to see if I could find any interesting patterns. On the left side I wrote down the traumas and on the right the good things. I want the book to have an orderly flow. When did he poke me in the eye? When did he threaten to poke my eyes out with a knife in his hand? My autistic/schizophrenic brother Matt was violent towards me on a daily basis for somewhere around 15 years. When did it start? When did it end?

When Angel was 4, Matt attacked her and I cut off almost all contact with him. Those were hard years feeling isolated from family. Here I am again feeling isolated from family because of everything that happened with my dad and COVID. Angel and Alex have not seen my dad for two years. My dad is not invited to my daughter’s wedding. It does hurt because he is still my dad. It’s a horrible feeling because I feel so conflicted. I feel stuck in the middle. Just because my dad was a terrible father doesn’t mean I’m a terrible daughter. But maybe I should just walk away from it all.

I feel isolated and rejected from most of the extended family because I am not vaccinated. My Aunt Jan made it clear I was not welcome at the family reunion. She tries to act like it’s no big deal but I feel very hurt. I just found out my Aunt Jan’s husband tested positive for COVID anyway. I just have to wonder if it was worth it. Was it worth pushing me away when I could use the support of family with all the hell I am going through just to get COVID anyway? Now whatever relationship I had with them is gone.

I feel okay right now. I will get through this somehow. Every day has its ups and mainly downs. If I feel anything it’s this tremendous agony over my daughter. The thing is I don’t want her to come home. I don’t want her in my life. What kind of mother am I? Would I say that if my daughter had some other illness such as cancer? Why should I feel this way about a mental illness she did not choose? My daughter’s last words to me were fuck you. I just can’t do this anymore. There’s nothing else I can do. I have nothing left to give.

People say it’s hard to have teenagers. It is. But it’s even harder to have children who are struggling mentally ill adults. I can’t ground her from bad choices. I can’t take away her phone and video games. I just have to watch her destroy herself as it destroys me.

How do I insulate myself from the bad choices of others? I am not a psychopath. I cannot turn off all feelings even if at times I want to. It’s not healthy for me to shut down and numb out. How do I not let it bother me? I can’t seem to figure that one out.

And so it begins

And so it begins…my daughter stopped taking her meds. My mom told me this as we were on the way to get a massage Tuesday morning. Arabella told my mom she doesn’t have a doctor or dentist anymore which isn’t true. It all started when Arabella blamed me for the insurance not covering the next part of her psych eval. Oh if only I was powerful enough to control the decisions of insurance company coverage.

As we were talking about this my Aunt Jan called my mom. My mom put the call on speaker phone. I hate when she does that as my relationship with my aunt is not on the best terms right now. I was stressed out and really didn’t want to talk. My aunt asked how I was doing and I responded okay. I can muster up an okay I guess. My aunt went on and on about a girl from her church I was briefly friends with before she moved out of the area in grade school. She’s a dog groomer now, isn’t that amazing? She lives in a really big house, isn’t that exciting? The other day she spent the day with her father-in-law, isn’t that wonderful? Like who frickin cares??

We got to the spa and my mom got locker number 13. We laugh because bad luck can be funny. I felt like crying during my massage. My daughter quit taking her meds. How long will it be before we get a call? Don’t think about it. I’m sure things will get better. How could it be worse?

I’m glad you asked. Now rewind back one day to Monday.. I had my physical Monday morning. They did a pap smear and took my blood. I didn’t lie on the depression and anxiety forms which of course was concerning to my doctor. I told her of the insomnia and nightmares when asked. I only have nightmares now when I do dream. I’ve had periods of insomnia and nightmares since grade school.

My doctor asked if I had been drinking to cope with my problems. I told her I would if she thought that would help. Instead she offered me some pills to help me sleep at night and feel less depressed. How ironic. Drugs are not the answer, but they can be. So I said yes I will try them.

Then in the afternoon I went to the dentist because why not torture myself by seeing both the doctor and the dentist on a Monday.

Angel told me Arabella dropped off her (my) car at my mom’s house for her to take in to fix. Apparently it is not her responsibility to take care of it because it is not her car. She told my mom she has enough money to buy her own car. But she doesn’t have a job or any money. Right? Arabella told my mom and Angel that she has thousands of dollars. Maybe it’s not true. Angel said it is true because she saw the money in her account. How can this be?

Angel said she told her sister she wouldn’t tell anyone but I guessed correctly. Lucky me! Arabella decided not to get reduction surgery. Her cup size is at the back end of the alphabet in a hard to find size even online. She is 18 with a baby face. How hard is it to guess how she is making money online? Maybe I should turn off her phone but that is her only form of communication with the few people she still talks to.

Thankfully I didn’t know about this when I met with our florist friend for wedding planning. He asked how my other kids were doing. It somehow seems I am never prepared for that question. When asked I told him Arabella was between jobs at the moment.

I really haven’t told anyone this but I’ve also been having heart palpitations. The doctor thinks it’s anxiety based and I agree. Sometimes I think I am going to have a heart attack. I don’t feel like I’m having a panic attack, it just comes on quickly out of nowhere and goes away after 20 seconds a couple times a month.

I’ve also had joint pain. I’m not sure why. Maybe all the stress and long distance running finally caught up to me. The last several days I’ve had intermittent pain in my ankle. At times it is too painful to walk on, then a couple hours later it is totally fine. I couldn’t figure it out because I didn’t hurt myself in any way. This happened to me over a period of 4 days. This has happened to me before for no reason. I have joint pain in other areas as well. Maybe I’m getting arthritis? I’m awfully stiff when I wake up in the morning too.

Yesterday I got my blood work back from my physical. It showed several serious problem areas. They wanted me to come in for another blood draw. Until my lab appointment I googled the crap out of it convinced I was going to die. I hate to admit but there was a little part of me that didn’t feel disappointed. My mom came over and I talked to her of my impending doom. But then the second lab results came back fine. Lab error. Way to freak an anxious person out! After that my mom received a call saying my brother Matt was having an allergic reaction and had a rash all over his body. But for a moment I was the sick and dying one.

Maybe I should start an anti-gratitude list. There is so much crap I didn’t even tell you about like my dog falling down the stairs. I am so glad this week is almost over because I am so done with it already!

Gratitude week 97

  1. Woohoo! It’s no shave November. LOL
  2. My husband is on week 2 of the detox diet and doing good.
  3. I’m grateful that Angel and Alex got gym memberships and work out several times a week. I’m happy that two of our kids have picked up on some of the healthy habits my husband and I have.
  4. The last couple of days the weather has been seasonally warm and sunny.
  5. I have appointments tomorrow with both the dentist and the doctor for a physical. YUCK! So the following day I made an appointment to get a massage. Yippee! It’s been ages.
  6. I started rereading the first edition of my book. It’s been almost two years since I wrote it and this will be my first read through since then. I’m grateful to have started the process again.
  7. I got a major project crossed off the list in the garage apartment. We finally got an oven hooked up after 6 months. My mom donated her oven which was great except that it was hooked up specially for propane and not natural gas. We needed someone to hook up the oven to the gas line. But the hard part was finding someone that could convert the oven back from propane to natural gas. I had 3 service guys out that couldn’t do it. We had to wait for parts. Some of the parts were incorrect. The guy from the appliance store that finally was able to fix it was out for the summer due to open heart surgery. He even had to come out a couple of times but he was finally able to get the oven converted this week.
  8. Angel and I met with the florist this past week for wedding planning. He was an old friend of ours from the community theater and gave us a discount. It was great to visit again. Crossed that off the list.
  9. I was able to cross off DJ from the list as well. Believe it or not but back in the day I used to drive my minivan out to the school once a month for the PTO meetings. I helped plan the school family dance and went through this DJ. We also used him when we planned my husband’s and friend Jen’s 40th birthday party. He said he would give us the same rate that he gave us over 10 years ago which is way under market price. Win, win, win.
  10. We have all the major stuff planned now for the wedding. They have the wedding chapel, the reception hall, cake, DJ, flowers, my daughter’s wedding dress, and photographer. My daughter asked me to be their wedding planner because I am a super anal organized detailed person. Since Angel lives at home we are able to talk about it and bounce ideas off of each other. Unfortunately this may have caused her future MIL to feel left out who is more of a fly by the seat of her pants kind of person. Thankfully we are all aware of the situation and maybe it can be fixed now before it is a problem.
  11. Yesterday Angel and Dan had their engagement pictures done. It was a horrible day for Angel however. Once in a while she provides care for an elderly lady with dementia. Angel was out walking with this woman yesterday when the woman fell and broke her leg. It was a very traumatic experience for them both. Thankfully since it was a beautiful day outside, there were several people nearby who offered help instead of walking away or recording the event. The whole experience was very upsetting for my daughter who was crying the morning of the day she had her engagement pictures done. The family of the elderly lady was very kind as well. I can’t imagine how horrible she must feel. I felt a little of that guilt when I tripped over my dog and thought we might have to put him down. It’s an awful feeling. Thankfully everyone was supportive.
  12. While I have enjoyed the time this week by doing some creative writing, I haven’t been really talking much about what is going on. This week was a lot more chill than the last couple of weeks. However I did find out that Arabella did not get the job she interviewed for earlier in the week. She also reached out to me today for the first time since I last did the gratitude list. Unfortunately it did not go well and I got another fuck you from her. Her insurance is not going to cover the cost of psychological testing and she blames me for it. She said she took me off of her HIPA form so I can’t talk to her doctors anymore. A couple of days ago I called the county to ask what kind of mental health programs they offer, but since I am not her guardian and she is over 18 there is nothing I can do. At this point I feel like I’ve done everything I could possibly think of doing for her. I do feel a sense of peace and gratitude that I’ve done everything I could humanly do for her. She may need a guardian some day but I don’t think she will ever let that person be me. I feel very conflicted with the holidays approaching. I’m not sure what is going to happen, but I feel like I am able to handle things better.
  13. I’m grateful my mom is going to spend a couple of days with her sisters next week. My mom hasn’t been doing too well lately. She has been having insomnia again and is very anxious she is going to have a nervous breakdown. I just can’t handle this right now.
  14. I’m grateful for everyone who has been supportive during this difficult time. Thank you to my followers for the prayers, well wishes, kind comments, and offers of support and hugs. I really wish I could thank you in person but that would blow the whole anonymous thing. I want to especially thank my husband who has been a rock for me even though he is going through his own hell with this. I know he reads my posts and is even okay when I vent about him. Thanks! Thanks to my daughter Angel who has been more like a best friend since we are so much alike. Thanks to my best friend Cindy who is always texting and calling to make sure I’m okay. She won’t let me slip away. Thanks to my son Alex who doesn’t fully know everything I’m going through but cares anyway. Thanks to my dog and my cat who still cuddle up to me when I manage to push everyone else away. Thanks for the good people out there who don’t get recognized but step up to help someone in need. You are the people that keep this world going and make it beautiful place to live in.
  15. I finished the What’s Normal book. Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed.
  16. Angel and I have been reading books together. We just finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and watched the movie. Seems like I could relate to that book better than the what’s normal book. LOL.
  17. Although I didn’t look at the stats, this must be my longest gratitude list yet. Wow, I must be a super positive person after all. I am making good on yesterday’s fortune of pushing away the negative today.

Gratitude week 96

  1. Clean sheets
  2. Cool autumn evenings sitting by the fire in our fireplace.
  3. We took our dog to the vet this week because he was still having a hard time getting around. The vet said our dog was having muscle spasms and back pain from arthritis. Thankfully we were able to put him on an anti-inflammatory medicine with pain reliever and he is doing a lot better. I’m so glad we didn’t have to put him down.
  4. I’ve come to the point of accepting where my daughter is at and am ready to get on with my own life. It’s not the life I want for her but at least she is safe right now. I’m sure there will be ups and a lot of downs on the road ahead, but as for now I am okay. I need to focus on what I can control which is getting myself healthier and stronger.
  5. Paul and I were talking this morning about our future and we decided that I would run our seasonal business. He would still have a big part in it but if I ran this business he could work year round for the other company he works for which will provide a better income for our family.
  6. Last weekend we were able to reconnect with some friends at the Halloween party. They invited us to go on vacation with them at the party. I didn’t think all that much about it until they reached out to us about it again. We decided what the hell let’s go. So for a week in January when the weather is icy cold at home we will be on the beach in Puerto Rico.
  7. I also signed Paul and I up for a couple’s retreat at a Bible camp we went to when the kids were little. Our marriage took some big blows the last couple years. It’s time to build it up again.
  8. This past week I went out for lunch with my good friend Jen.
  9. Tonight we are having a game night with my best friend and her family.
  10. Paul is on the same detox diet I was on two years ago. He is doing really well so far. He’s already lost 13 lbs. in less than a week. It really isn’t about weight loss as much as it is about getting healthy. It is a coffee, alcohol, and sugar free diet. Right now he is mainly eating vegetables. He has been making a lot of soups. He is a great cook and can make just about anything taste great so that helps. He can’t eat any meat right now but next week can add fish. I’m grateful for a husband who is always working on improving his health.
  11. I’m grateful they caught the man who attacked the woman with the baby on the trail I mentioned a couple weeks back.
  12. Angel and I went for a run this morning and the tree colors are still quite beautiful.