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<p>How is everyone doing this month?  I know that this time of year can be difficult for many reasons.  There are the pressures of the holidays and expectations that go along with it, and then there are just the normal daily situations or anniversaries that some of us of just happen to have at this time of year.  Come here to vent, give and receive support.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Myself, I have a couple of difficult anniversaries this month.  Both of them involve death of loved ones that took place when I was deciding to leave my abusive ex.  It's been 2 years since I've been out of that relationship, and it's been a long strange trip indeed.  But I want to give hope to those of you who are trying to find a way out or who are just starting.  In my case I was homeless for nearly a year and yet I reached out for help everywhere I thought I could get it and there was a safety net waiting to catch me.  DD and I have been very fortunate.  I think that part of this season's significance is recognizing how we are fortunate, no matter how big or small.  The size of ones fortune is really a subjective thing and not something that an outsider can judge.</p>
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<p>I'm a bit troubled today because I found out a few hours ago that a dear friend from college committed suicide this month.  This touches me because my younger brother committed suicide a few months ago because he was unable to escape a DV relationship. I feel like death is around me more than any other time in my life.  My brother, my friend, and then DD's sitters brother... the sitters brother has been slowly dying of brain cancer the past year.  That is just in the past few months and this is already a very sensitive time for me when it comes to death.  When I spoke with DDs sitter today she said that she knew the end was very near for her brother.  I'm not sure what all of this has to do with sa/dv except that it's been very triggering for me the past couple of days.  My friend who committed suicide was a good guy, we were only friends, but we had a strong connection and then I left the area and was only a casual FB friend.  My brother, the sitters brother..... it's like death is reaching out to touch me in places where I least expect it.  I don't think that DD or I am at risk which is really weird.  I think I am mostly triggered in my PTSD because I just found out about this other guy, my young friend, who also committed suicide and was also undiscovered for days before it was known.  And he also committed suicide because a relationship wasn't working out as he had planned.  I highly doubt there was DV involved in my friends case, but I know without a doubt that there was DV in my brothers death.  But the similarities when I'm still not fully in a place of accepting the loss of my brother.... well it's more than I can process at the moment.</p>
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<p>So that's my rambling introduction to the December thread.  I've never started a monthly thread, and I think that is silly.  I'm often not fully sure that I belong here, even though I know that many of you would tell me otherwise.  I think it's all part of the self-esteem issues that many of us deal with both before and after our abuse.  </p>
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<p>And with that wonderful introduction I will say...... Happy Holidays!  It doesn't matter how it looks to the outside world or even in your most self-critical view of this very moment.  What matters is that you are still here and there are people who love, care for, and depend on you.  How it looks today is not how it has to look next year or even a few weeks from now.  Hang in there and keep doing whatever you have to to bring yourself and your DC to a healthy, safe place.  Love to you all. <img alt="heartbeat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif"></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Theia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282759/december-check-in#post_16084085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
It doesn't matter how it looks to the outside world or even in your most self-critical view of this very moment.  What matters is that you are still here and there are people who love, care for, and depend on you.  How it looks today is not how it has to look next year or even a few weeks from now.  Hang in there and keep doing whatever you have to to bring yourself and your DC to a healthy, safe place.  Love to you all. <img alt="heartbeat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif"></div>
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<p>ugh, totally made me cry!  i'm sorry this is a tough stretch for you (and many others, i know). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>things that are good:</p>
<p>my kids have a preschool xmas program next week that is going to be very sweet</p>
<p>we're going to aruba (with my mom, icky step-dad, brother, sil, niece, nephew, step-sister, sil's mom) . . . i can't wait.  it's actually the same size as my town - 20 miles long, 6 miles wide, 90,000 people.  it's going to be hot, sunny and breezy.  and walkable!  plus there is a town/area called saint nicholas, so really, it's the perfect warmup to xmas!</p>
<p>then we'll get home and it will be solstice, xmas, new year's eve, etc!  fun!  it's not too cold yet, but the snow is pretty, and of course all the tiny lights.  i like december.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>things that are not so good:</p>
<p>my aunt is having a very difficult time processing everything that has come to the surface recently with her childhood abuse and the abuse of her daughters.  drinking, shoplifting, health problems, just not doing good.  her mom is either not speaking to her, or being very nasty.<br>
money sucks.</p>
<p>stbx is detaching from our boys.  he barely sees them.  we call every night, and he either doesn't answer (we leave a message) or blows them off and basically just says goodnight.</p>
<p>i'm also worried about my boys and the transition when stbx leaves (january) and they no longer see or talk to him at all.  not sure how to help them through that.</p>
<p>i've been involved with a group opening a waldorf-based charter school, and we are just forming our interim school board now.  i was going to do it, but i feel like i need to step back and just focus on my kids.  it's hard for me to get a babysitter for various reasons, and while i'm all for moms pursuing their own interests, it is just not a good time for me to be away in the evenings.  i'm feeling pretty isolated, which is probably why i'm on mdc so much, but i think in some ways, spending more time alone with my boys, just quiet time at home, might be for the best.</p>
 

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<p>Theia, I'm new here so I don't know your story but I was wondering why you feel that you maybe don't believe you belong here. I sometimes feel that way too, mainly because my H is not physically abusive. </p>
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<p>doubledutch, ugh.. the isolation is not good. I have the same problem. It's hard to find a babysitter and the less I leave my kiddos alone with him the better, so I don't have much of a social life. It's tough.</p>
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<p>This time of year is hard for me because my family is all out of state. I'm lonely. I'm married but don't have a partner in life. I think it's harder being lonely in marriage than it is being lonely as a single person. </p>
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<p>Anyway, this is where I'm at today.... After 11 years I'm still trying to figure it all out (is it me? is he sick? is he evil? is this abuse?). But for the first time in 11 years I think I may be close to finding the answer, or maybe accepting what I've long suspected. I found a great therapist and I believe this may bethe person who will finally help me sort it all out. I've been to many therapists and clergy people during this 11 year nightmare of a marriage and I've always gotten one of two responses. </p>
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<p>1. The Christian counselor/clergy person response; Forgive him. Submit as a Christian wife. Pray for him. And things will be fine.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>2. The non-Christian/secular therapist response. He's sick. He'll never change. Leave him immediately.</p>
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<p>I've been torn between these two camps for 11 miserable years, and it has to come to an end soon. I cannot do this for another 11, or 15, or 20 years. I need peace in my life and so do my children.</p>
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<p>Anyway, my new therapist is a Christian but he's also a social worker. I thought for sure I was going to hear the "pray, forgive, submit" thing again, but he surprised me. He does believe I should pray and forgive but he never mentioned "submit" and he admits that it is possible that my H is sick and will never treat me right. Most Christian therapists will not go there because they think it's all a matter of sin and forgiveness. He says I have every right to leave. Most Christians would not say that unless there was adultery, so this guy is much more open minded. I really shouldn't need anyone to tell me what to do, and ultimately it will be my decision, but I'm hoping this guy can help me step out of my fear and make a decision already.</p>
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<p>The very strange thing about all of this is that my H wants to come to therapy with me. He hasn't wanted to do that for years. I'm not willing to tell him no, so he will come next session. I am hoping he will reveal his true self to this therapist and maybe I will finally have peace that I am not imagining it all.</p>
 

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<p>sahmmie...I'm glad you found a great therapist. I would however advise you to be cautious with having your H come to sessions. In my experience, it all "went wrong". Either the sessions came to a screeching halt because my then-H decided the counsellor was a quack and/of forbade me to go,or the counsellor came to believe my then-H's bull and tried to convince me to work it out. Considering your situation, I think it's important for you to have a space where you can figure things out for yourself, away from your H's "influence".</p>
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<p>doubledutch...yay for aruba!! That's so awesome!</p>
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<p>Theia, I'm sorry there have been so many sad and triggering events in your life lately. I wish you peaceful and serene days ahead.</p>
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<p>AFM, life is good. I've decided to stay put at my job (I was going to be replaced a while back, and then was asked to stay...weird), because I'm committed to studying and completing my graduate diploma. I know it'll take me a loooooong time to finish (only taking 1 course per term), but it gives me something to look forward to, and it helps me not feel depressed about working such a "drone" job.</p>
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<p>I really haven't heard much from XH at all, save for those harassing emails once a month. I do expect things to change very radically in the next few weeks, as I've been informed by the CS office that all the paperwork is done, and CS is being deducted from XH's next paycheck. I know that this will have some repercussions: XH is maniacal about *his* "hard-earned" money, and he won't take it lightly that he'll be losing 250$/month to me. I'm crossing all crossable appendages that he chooses to quit his job and leave the province. Then I'll feel safe(r). I don't care about the CS; I just want to stop having nightmares about him breaking into our house and taking DD.</p>
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<p>I'm going to consult another lawyer (mine will be on mat leave) about what can be done--eventually, to forgo getting XH's permission for DD to leave the country. I'm not going anyplace specific anytime soon, but maybe in a few years, it would be nice to go to Europe. I've never seen Europe. Or Asia...But if I can't get a judge to sign off and give me permission to take DD out of the country (or renew her passport for that matter), then I guess I'll be exploring Canada a lot. It might take a few years of XH not being in contact with DD to be able to justify abandonment, but what the heck, I'm in no hurry....</p>
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<p>Other than this, I've done 2 phone counselling sessions with a therapist referred by my EAP. She's been really helpful so far in helping my verbalize the ICKY feeling I've had ever since I ran into my doctor a while back. What's really become clear is the guilt I feel for not going after him legally, and the ANGER I still carry for him. I'm not normally an angry person, but thinking about this "man" makes me see red. I think of violent ends for him, and it's a bit unsettling that my mind can come up with such things...anyway, I've got 3 more sessions with the counsellor before I have to start paying...I'll see where it takes me.</p>
 

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<p>We're pretty good, gearing up for Christmas. The kids have a concert this year, and I'm really looking forward to it. Also report cards next week... they both seem to be doing so well this year! I quit watching 2 of my after school care girls (sisters)... they only came on Thursdays, and the older one picked on another kid I watch. In my house, we treat each other with kindness... she wouldn't do that so she's gone! Things came to a head last week, and their mother called me on Monday. She seemed to be trying to make me agree that the other girl who I take care of was 'the problem' and I wouldn't assure her of that. I started out using diplomacy... I said the conflict between the girls wasn't resolving and I thought it was unfair for them to be in the same daycare, but the mother started trashing on the other girl!! Eventually I told her that I quit because I tired of her daughters attitude, and told her that her kid is a bully. That pretty much ended the conversation. I hate confrontations, but I felt good about how I handled that. You can't go wrong with the truth!</p>
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<p>Maintenance Enforcement has a trace on ex, because he's $2500. behind on child support, I'm not anticipating any repercussions if they find him, he's left the province. If the debt piles up enough, I could see him accepting SO's proposal to adopt the kids (on the condition that I agree to cancel the arrears, natch) He sent $20. for Sept., Oct., and Nov., but it looks like we're not getting it this month... whatever shall we do?! <img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"> I'm a little worried that he won't send the kids a present this year, it would be disappointing to them (b-day/x-mas gifts are the only thing he's consistently done that acknowledges they exist the last few years) There's nothing I can do about that though, I guess.</p>
 

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<p>I'm sorry I can't reply to everyone... one handed typing while holding baby. lol  hugs to you Theia.  What a great intro.  and of course you belong here.  I'm so sorry about all the death in your life right now.  I hope you find peace.</p>
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<p>Let's see... I'm here!  I have to go back to work in about a week and a half.  I'm half looking forward to it, and feeling like a horrible Mom because of it, but I think it's going to help me get into a better routine.  I can't seem to get settled at my parents... my Mom is being ridiculously hard on me, and it's been weighing me down a lot.  I'm in counseling and trying to ignore her best I can.</p>
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<p>It's funny because I always thought the major reason I ended up with the losers I did was because of my alcoholic father, but really... I'm seeing more and more how emotionally abusive my Mom is.  She loves to focus on all the negative and put me down daily.</p>
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<p>Well, hopefully this situation won't be forever.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>In better news, my divorce should finally be finalized soon!</p>
 

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<p>I'm currently ping-ponging between I need to go. I'm strong and I can do this. and OMG what am I thinking? He's not THAT bad.</p>
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<p>I started my two oldest in therapy. My oldest (9) has 'suicide ideation'. He's planned the whole thing out, but still recognizes that he has limitations. My 2nd is just ... sad. And I'm afraid she's getting it from me.</p>
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<p>I did find a copy of my resume this week, so I'm at least one step closer to applying for jobs. And I signed up for a 1/2 marathon (in May) and a 5K this weekend so that I can feel like I CAN accomplish something rather than ruining my kids.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But that is all.</p>
 

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<p>For me some things are going well and other things aren't...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Well:</p>
<p>*My house is in escrow! It should close right before Christmas. I needed to sell it. It's too much for me to afford on my own and XH left me with everything and he wants child support and alimony.</p>
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<p>* I found a new place to live. The downside is it's really close to XH (only 5 blocks) and a bit dated but the location is an awsome spot downtown where I can walk to everything from a children's museum, a mall, tons of restaurants, a grocery store, the harbor, etc within a couple of blocks. It is also realy bright and about 200 sq feet than I should be able to afford in this area of town. I was in a couple of car accidents recently and I have been a nervous driver so I'm happy to live somethere I can walk so much. It is my city's downtown so I shouldn't run into him much. I am already there several days per week and I haven't yet. </p>
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<p>* My car was totaled by the insurance company so I bought a new car this week.</p>
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<p>* I have met two new guys in my life who have been very sweet and supportive. I'm taking things slow and seeing what happens.</p>
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<p>* I have reconnected with an old friend. He said it seemed like I disappeared. I told him about XH and he totally understood why I was MIA. He even gave me the numbers from some mutal friends I had lost touch with.</p>
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<p>* My child custody/parenting agreement was signed and filed. This is the one my attorney said to get done out of the courts. XH was the stay at home parent so he had a decont shot at more than 50% custody.</p>
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<p>Poorly:</p>
<p>* STBX is making all kinds of threats to drag out the financial side of the divorce and cost me money (see other thread). This has been really stressful on me. I feel my friends are outraged at the bahavior but they don't get the mind control games my XHlikes to play.</p>
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<p>* I got into another bad car accident. I'm OK. But is was really stressful for me. Also, I live in an area with really bad public transportation and I work 30 minutes away. If I get even a speeding ticket in the next 10 months my license will be taken away.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>I got a call from my lawyer, the divorce got rejected. The judge wants it written into the order that I'm enrolled with maintenance enforcement. they just need to re-file with that information, it should be done in another few weeks!</p>
 

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<p>Hello everyone.  I hope that you are all doing well.  After I get my homework done this weekend, I will check in here and reply to everyone.</p>
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<p>Things are going really well for me.  I am taking an antidepressant and having one to two therapy sessions a week.  I think I am finally healing and moving on from the trauma of the divorce.</p>
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<p>I got the divorce papers in the mail Thursday.  I found a mistake on them.  In the past, when I had to talk to STBX for any reason I would have anxiety and cry.  In fact, I sobbed through an entire phone call with him once when I had to talk to him about divorce paperwork.  But on Thursday, when I noticed the error, I just dialed his number and asked him about it.  I didn't cry or get scared.  I think that is a good step for me proving that I am no longer in fear of him.  I will never 100% feel safe as long as he knows where I  live, but I don't feel like he has control over my emotions anymore.  I think that once I move, which I plan to do this summer, I will no longer be nervous at all. </p>
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<p>I am also getting a new cell phone number so he wont be able to call me.  It will actually be set up in another name so he wont even be able to look it up that way.  It is my Christmas present, so I have to wait 21 more days, but I am counting them down.  I love that he wont be able to call me!  He doesn't, though, because he is not allowed to call me because of the court order, unless it is specifically about the divorce but his lawyer normally does that, but it is still a little extra peace of mind knowing that when the court order runs out, he can't pick up the phone any time he wants to, you know?</p>
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<p>He also found a mistake on the paperwork, so the lawyer has to re submit it.  I hope that happens soon.  Hopefully next week I will get the new papers and five business days later...  I will be divorced!  Yay!</p>
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<p>Last Christmas was really difficult for me.  Because of my dog allergy, I was only able to stay for 5 minutes at my family's gathering.  They would not put the dog outside for me.  He jumped on me and licked me and I had a severe reaction.  It was a bit hurtful to me that people who are supposed to be important to me would not even put the dog in another room for the two hours I was going to be there.  Not that my right to be in my Aunt's home trumps the dog's right to be at his home, but it was over 50 degrees and they have a huge upstairs and basement.  I don't know.  It was my first Christmas separated from my husband and I really needed that support and a good day with my family.</p>
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<p>Anyway, my Mom is trying to get everyone to have Christmas at our dog free home, or my other Aunt's- who does have a dog but who respects my allergy and keeps the dog away from me- home.  If it is at the same place as last year, I will not be able to go and will be spending Christmas alone.  I don't want to spend Christmas alone, though.  But no amount of allergy medicine in the world *and I take two anyway, daily* will save me if a dog jumps on me and licks me.  I don't want to be sick for two days again like last year.  My Dad was pretty livid that it happened anyway, so he wont go there either because he is upset at how it all happened.  So at least he will be home with me.</p>
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<p>At any rate, my parents and I will open presents on Christmas Eve after church and dinner like we always do, so that is nice.  I do not have a lot of money right now, but I did buy gifts for my parents, my best friend, my two co-teachers and for the employee Santa game we will play at our Christmas party.  I will also make ornaments for each of my students next weekend. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>So last month I was in this cycle of thinking that being divorced meant that I had failed somehow at marriage.  I realize now that my husband is the one who failed.  It was not my fault that he hit me.  He had no self control and he had a history of violence- that I did not know about- even before he ever met me.  So I can not be blamed for that.  It was a bad idea when I walked down the aisle and I knew on some level that it was a bad idea.  I can not continue to make myself feel bad for mistakes that I made.  I have learned from them now and I will not repeat them.  It has made me stronger and I am no longer tolerating ANYONE mistreating me and I have even stood up for myself and my rights with a coworker who was taking advantage of me.  If I had never grown through this experience with my STBX, I would continue to be a doormat for people to this day.  So I am trying to look on the positive side of things.</p>
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<p>I am working really hard in therapy on communicating with people.  I don't really know how to talk to people in real life.  I know I can ramble for hours online.  I prefer text messaging my friends or e-mailing them and will never, ever answer the phone.  I wont do it.  She is basically making me initiate conversations with various people and I am going to report back on how it worked.  I had a very tense conversation with a stranger at Target the other day.  Probably easy for her, terrifying for me- but I did it.  I talked to her for about 3 minutes.  A waiter flirted with me the other day at a restaurant- he wasn't anywhere near my section but he came over about 5 or six times to talk to me- and I spoke back to him.  I was there to eat because I was waiting for my medicine to be filled next door at the pharmacy.  I had a sinus infection, my head was throbbing, my hair was in a ponytail and I think overall I looked like crap.  But he just kept talking and talking to me, asking me about my necklace, etc.  Seriously, he talked for about 3 minutes about my necklace, no man can be that interested in jewelry, right?  LOL  That was easier, I guess.  Still not anything I am comfortable with.  Then I made conversation with a few coworkers.  I am trying to get better at it. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>She also assigned me to do some self pampering.  So I started a skin care routine- I have never done that before, but my skin already looks better!  I ordered some pajamas that came in the mail yesterday.  I will wash those and have them ready for tonight.  I bought a nice set of body wash/spray/lotions in a yummy scent.  I also got a candle to light for a while each night while I relax.  Plus I took another Mama's advice here at MDC and started getting a coffee drink at Starbucks and reading a good book or magazine each day on my break from work.  Sometimes I talk to my best friend on my break if I can.  So just trying to take care of me.</p>
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<p>My class is almost over, my final is on the 13th.  I have an "A" in there so far.  I hope I keep it!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA:  I don't hate dogs.  I don't want anyone to think that I was being a "I hate dogs and therefore they must never be allowed near me" brat.  LOL  I am truly very allergic to them.  I break out in a rash if I am licked by one and I can not breath and turn bright red if they rub up against me.  If I am in the same room with a dog that doesn't want to be on me, I will sneeze, cough, have a runny nose and a severe headache later- but the severe reaction only happens if they rub up against me or lick me.  I love dogs but even hypoallergenic dogs can cause a reaction if they lick me.  I did not want to make anyone mad for thinking I was a dog hater.  I like them, I just can't touch them!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Purple*Lotus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282759/december-check-in#post_16092447"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Hello everyone.  I hope that you are all doing well.  After I get my homework done this weekend, I will check in here and reply to everyone.</p>
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<p>Things are going really well for me.  I am taking an antidepressant and having one to two therapy sessions a week.  I think I am finally healing and moving on from the trauma of the divorce.</p>
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<p>I got the divorce papers in the mail Thursday.  I found a mistake on them.  In the past, when I had to talk to STBX for any reason I would have anxiety and cry.  In fact, I sobbed through an entire phone call with him once when I had to talk to him about divorce paperwork.  But on Thursday, when I noticed the error, I just dialed his number and asked him about it.  I didn't cry or get scared.  I think that is a good step for me proving that I am no longer in fear of him.  I will never 100% feel safe as long as he knows where I  live, but I don't feel like he has control over my emotions anymore.  I think that once I move, which I plan to do this summer, I will no longer be nervous at all. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am also getting a new cell phone number so he wont be able to call me.  It will actually be set up in another name so he wont even be able to look it up that way.  It is my Christmas present, so I have to wait 21 more days, but I am counting them down.  I love that he wont be able to call me!  He doesn't, though, because he is not allowed to call me because of the court order, unless it is specifically about the divorce but his lawyer normally does that, but it is still a little extra peace of mind knowing that when the court order runs out, he can't pick up the phone any time he wants to, you know?</p>
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<p>He also found a mistake on the paperwork, so the lawyer has to re submit it.  I hope that happens soon.  Hopefully next week I will get the new papers and five business days later...  I will be divorced!  Yay!</p>
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<p>Last Christmas was really difficult for me.  Because of my dog allergy, I was only able to stay for 5 minutes at my family's gathering.  They would not put the dog outside for me.  He jumped on me and licked me and I had a severe reaction.  It was a bit hurtful to me that people who are supposed to be important to me would not even put the dog in another room for the two hours I was going to be there.  Not that my right to be in my Aunt's home trumps the dog's right to be at his home, but it was over 50 degrees and they have a huge upstairs and basement.  I don't know.  It was my first Christmas separated from my husband and I really needed that support and a good day with my family.</p>
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<p>Anyway, my Mom is trying to get everyone to have Christmas at our dog free home, or my other Aunt's- who does have a dog but who respects my allergy and keeps the dog away from me- home.  If it is at the same place as last year, I will not be able to go and will be spending Christmas alone.  I don't want to spend Christmas alone, though.  But no amount of allergy medicine in the world *and I take two anyway, daily* will save me if a dog jumps on me and licks me.  I don't want to be sick for two days again like last year.  My Dad was pretty livid that it happened anyway, so he wont go there either because he is upset at how it all happened.  So at least he will be home with me.</p>
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<p>At any rate, my parents and I will open presents on Christmas Eve after church and dinner like we always do, so that is nice.  I do not have a lot of money right now, but I did buy gifts for my parents, my best friend, my two co-teachers and for the employee Santa game we will play at our Christmas party.  I will also make ornaments for each of my students next weekend. </p>
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<p>So last month I was in this cycle of thinking that being divorced meant that I had failed somehow at marriage.  I realize now that my husband is the one who failed.  It was not my fault that he hit me.  He had no self control and he had a history of violence- that I did not know about- even before he ever met me.  So I can not be blamed for that.  It was a bad idea when I walked down the aisle and I knew on some level that it was a bad idea.  I can not continue to make myself feel bad for mistakes that I made.  I have learned from them now and I will not repeat them.  It has made me stronger and I am no longer tolerating ANYONE mistreating me and I have even stood up for myself and my rights with a coworker who was taking advantage of me.  If I had never grown through this experience with my STBX, I would continue to be a doormat for people to this day.  So I am trying to look on the positive side of things.</p>
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<p>I am working really hard in therapy on communicating with people.  I don't really know how to talk to people in real life.  I know I can ramble for hours online.  I prefer text messaging my friends or e-mailing them and will never, ever answer the phone.  I wont do it.  She is basically making me initiate conversations with various people and I am going to report back on how it worked.  I had a very tense conversation with a stranger at Target the other day.  Probably easy for her, terrifying for me- but I did it.  I talked to her for about 3 minutes.  A waiter flirted with me the other day at a restaurant- he wasn't anywhere near my section but he came over about 5 or six times to talk to me- and I spoke back to him.  I was there to eat because I was waiting for my medicine to be filled next door at the pharmacy.  I had a sinus infection, my head was throbbing, my hair was in a ponytail and I think overall I looked like crap.  But he just kept talking and talking to me, asking me about my necklace, etc.  Seriously, he talked for about 3 minutes about my necklace, no man can be that interested in jewelry, right?  LOL  That was easier, I guess.  Still not anything I am comfortable with.  Then I made conversation with a few coworkers.  I am trying to get better at it. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>She also assigned me to do some self pampering.  So I started a skin care routine- I have never done that before, but my skin already looks better!  I ordered some pajamas that came in the mail yesterday.  I will wash those and have them ready for tonight.  I bought a nice set of body wash/spray/lotions in a yummy scent.  I also got a candle to light for a while each night while I relax.  Plus I took another Mama's advice here at MDC and started getting a coffee drink at Starbucks and reading a good book or magazine each day on my break from work.  Sometimes I talk to my best friend on my break if I can.  So just trying to take care of me.</p>
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<p>My class is almost over, my final is on the 13th.  I have an "A" in there so far.  I hope I keep it!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA:  I don't hate dogs.  I don't want anyone to think that I was being a "I hate dogs and therefore they must never be allowed near me" brat.  LOL  I am truly very allergic to them.  I break out in a rash if I am licked by one and I can not breath and turn bright red if they rub up against me.  If I am in the same room with a dog that doesn't want to be on me, I will sneeze, cough, have a runny nose and a severe headache later- but the severe reaction only happens if they rub up against me or lick me.  I love dogs but even hypoallergenic dogs can cause a reaction if they lick me.  I did not want to make anyone mad for thinking I was a dog hater.  I like them, I just can't touch them!</p>
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<p><br>
I am shocked that your aunt wouldn't put the dog away for you for two hours. Oh my gosh! YES, your presence as a HUMAN trumps the dog's for two hours. SERIOUSLY. If someone came to my house who either didn't like dogs, was afraid of them, or especially allergic, my dog would be locked up before they arrived. Allergies tend to get worse with exposure, and I wouldn't want to risk you ending up in the hospital because you couldn't breathe. That is seriously messed up that they treated you as less important than a DOG. I say this, and I love my dog so much and he loves me. But bottom line is he's a dog, you're a person, and you matter more. The fact you want to protect your health from a very real threat does not in any way mean you are selfish.</p>
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<p>Also, I have anxiety as well as narcolepsy, and have had to practice talking a lot, esp on the phone. I also have unlimited cell minutes. If you ever want to practice chatting, I'd love to be there for you. That way you can get used to it and better at it without alienating your friends IRL. Just PM me your number and a good time to call. I'm on eastern time. It's taken me YEARS to get to a place where I feel comfortable talking on the phone and I understand exactly what you mean. The more you do it, the better you get and the less fear you have about it. I lost almost all my friends in 2004/2005 because I stopped calling and answering my phone. Nobody had text back then. Anyway, just let me know!</p>
 

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<p>I am really looking forward to two weeks off of work during the holidays. It means two weeks without pay but I'll take it anyway. My older son will be with his dad this holiday, which saddens me. I also am having some pretty good anxiety attacks over taking him to the airport. I am so afraid I am going to get groped at the security point, but I don't want to have to wait to board his plane all by himself. Ugh. I have been waiting to here from our local CASA agency regarding counseling. They offer free assistance and I really want to start seeing someone. They called me earlier in the week and told me that there are several people on the waiting list ahead of me. :(  I don't know what to do other than wait. I don't have insurance and I really can't afford $150 a session. I am going to a health clinic on Wednesday to see if I qualify for a county medical discount program. I am hoping that maybe the social worker can direct me towards some resources.</p>
 

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jaime, i love hearing about everything you're working on and the progress you are making!<br><br>
wytchy, is there any chance you could do counseling through an employee assistance program? my employer is small and we have that available, so i thought it might be an option while you're on the wait list. that is so sweet of you to get your ds on the plane. I remember waving to my mom from the window of the bus on xmas morning (on the way to my dad's) as a kid and it was reassuring. i'm sorry you have to be apart. oh, you may be able to figure out which checkpoints use the (uh, can't remember what the imaging thing is called) and have the "enhanced patdowns" and avoid those in favor of a checkpoint that only has regular metal detectors. i am travelling next week and my airport has three that use the new technology and two that don't!
 

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<p>I've looked at the list and the one airport we have here doesn't have the scanner. That actually concerns me because if they don't have the scanner then does that mean they do the pat downs? I would by far rather do the body scan. Anyway, I guess I find out in a few weeks. I did contact my work and they do have an EAP. I called and the best they would do is refer me to the place that I am on the waiting list for. The very best they would do for anyone is give them four in face sessions, but that is rare. They try to do phone referrals instead (rolls eyes). Even if I could see someone face to face, I'm not sure that it would help much and I'm not sure I'm comfortable spilling my past about being molested to someone that I will see 3 more times and then never again. Not sure I see much point in that really. So I'll see what I can find out on Wednesday. I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed that something else will work out.</p>
 

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<p>I'm here. "Losing time" from PTSD at times.</p>
 

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<p>I'm here and managing.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I just got back from 2 weeks in the USA visiting my dad with terminal cancer.  My mother (abuser) behaved herself amazingly well.</p>
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<p>I do feel like I'm sinking though... combination of my dad about to die, losing IRL friends, husband critical of all that I do, etc.  I have no support at all or people that understand me, my background, or can see what's going on.</p>
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<p>BUT in 2 weeks, I'll be in Bali with my midwifery preceptor who is like a real mom to me, so that's something I can hold on to and look forward to.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Erin</p>
 

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<p>I'm doing a lot better this month than previous check-ins. Starting back on an antidepressant tonight though, I feel like I need it.<br>
Still haven't talked with my therapist about what happened when I was a kid, my appointment got moved to next Monday because there was a death in her family. I'm still so scared to acknowledge what happened, it makes it so real :(</p>
 

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<p>I gues I'm hanging in there. Friday is the sentencing and I'm a bit apprehensive about going. I actually do not need to be there but I'd like to see what the outcome will be. I'm just trying to stay strong right now and taking things one day at a time, that's about all I can do right now.</p>
 

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<p>good stuff</p>
<p>-we are warm and have shelter</p>
<p>-I've decided on a career path (this is huge for me). I can do online classes and make my own schedule while dc are little and work more when they are in school. I'd like to post-partum doula and teach childbirth education classes with the hopes of eventually becoming a midwife. There are no natural childbirth classes here, and it's a niche I'd like to fill.</p>
<p>-I got a computer, for free! from the dv shelter.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>bad stuff</p>
<p>-I'm so broke</p>
<p>-My sexual trauma group ended. I had really grown close to those women and will miss them and that weekly check-in.</p>
<p>-I'm not loving my dv group. The participants change from week to week and the people that have been there for the past month are forced to through probation or something. They have the leader sign a piece of paper saying they were there. It's not the same opening up to people who are not there bc they want their life to change, kwim?</p>
<p>-I've really been struggling w/ bedtime and I've spanked dc a few times. I don't even know where to go with that. I am ashamed. I can feel the anger rising and rising when they won't settle and I feel like a pos mom.</p>
 

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<p>I have finally gotten a diagnosis for what was going on with me physically and why they found lesions on my brain. I am on a treatment plan that leaves me sleeping and or sleepy 18+ hours a day until my body acclimates to the new meds. But the good news is that I really feel like the meds are finally working, and once I get past the sleep side effects for this first few weeks, that I will have a easier time of it from day to day. The other difficulty is just coming to grips that I have a genetic neurological disease...and since it's genetic I worry about passing it along to my daughters.</p>
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<p>I have to ask you ladies for your forgiveness, as I simply scrolled through the thread to the reply box-I am having the hardest time being present and will come back and read more thoroughly, but wanted to check in. I know my issues aren't more than others and I really want to be there for you all-so i'm sorry. I will try to be more present as my brain acclimates to the medication.</p>
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<p>I love and support you all-even though Im tired as all get out.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><3</p>
 
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