Thursday, October 20, 2011


Though I should be writing the Reading Clinic Report due tomorrow evening for grad school, my heart and head are so full that I need to write, to relieve some pressure of swirling emotions so that the logical side of my head can come out to work. It's been awhile since I've allowed myself to open the door and step into the fog of grief. At least two weeks. It feels like progress-- not that long ago, I couldn't go two hours without being hit by pain. I'm in therapy, once a week daily, and it helps. I'm focusing on me--doing the things that I need to do, and right now they primarily include working towards my Master's and achieving tenure at my job.

This week, my T started to talk about forgiveness--if I could forgive Apache for the past year of pain. I can forgive him for a lot of things. I can forgive him for cheating on me. I can forgive him for recycling me over and over again. I can forgive him for promising me a future and then taking it away from me. I can forgive those things because I know that his deployment has a major factor in this because things were different with him immediately off the plane. I can forgive because I love him and his family and I'm so very grateful that I helped him come home. I meant the last thing that I said to him-- I hope that he can find happiness one day inside of himself, without another person.

I can't forgive being abandoned and I can't forgive him allowing her to hurt me. Being abandoned--blocked from Facebook and left without a way of contacting him--outside of email-- hurts because it makes me feel like he doesn't care about me at all. Not a day goes by where I don't wake up and wish that I could talk to him about his day. Outside of the relationship aspect, I miss that connection and friendship that we had. He understood me and he didn't judge me. How could he block that all away without another thought?

My therapist suggested something that I never thought of before. Could the silence--the blocking of all contact be Apache's greatest act of love for me? He knew that our relationship was destroying me, cell by cell. He knew that I had been put on heavy duty anxiety meds at the end of our relationship. He knew that my body was starting to break down from the mental and emotional toll. I know that he had conversations with friends and family about how I didn't deserve to be hurt like that. He even told me that--one night after had texted me while we were broken up-- he said that he knew he should just let me move on and heal.

Is that what he's doing? Removing himself from my life because he knows me well enough to know that I won't heal or get over him while in contact with him? Could the angry, cold exterior really be a way of protecting me from him? And, we had recycled so many times, could he had known that the only way for us to break up--which no matter how much it hurts, I know that we needed, though I wished for a temporary breakup--was to go completely no contact?

In all reality, this is probably the denial talking. I'm sure he's moved on and that's the reason for the silence. I'm sure that I never cross his mind, and when I do, it's with anger. I don't know what the reality of the situation is. How he truly feels about me and why this happened the way it did. I know that it is best for me to believe the worst-case-scenario answer-- to understand that he hates me and i deserve it and that is not going to change. Not now. not ever.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Removing myself from the dramatic equation

Remember those equations in high school or college math that no matter how hard you try you will never be able to solve. It doesn't matter how hard you try or how many formulas you apply to try to understand, you won't because something are just unsolvable?

My life has been like that over the past year. So many different equations in all areas of my life that have been impossible to solve, and I haven't made a move on them yet.  Breaking up with Apache forced me out of the biggest unsolvable equation, but there were other negative relationships that I've been dealing with over the past few months. As I may have mentioned, I'm seeing a therapist who has been invaluable over the last few months. One of the biggest things we have talked about, other than my pain about Chris, has been how I seem to find myself at the center of drama. And we've worked on strategies about how to get out of that. It's a strategy I call "removing myself from the equation." As Susan says, "Let 'X' equal someone else for a while."

The last negative situation in my life has been the situation with my roommate (Cruella) and I. I moved in with Cruella, a fellow teacher, in June, just after my breakup with Apache. Things weren't perfect from the beginning, but i figured they'd smooth over. They got worse after she had her scumbag boyfriend move in "temporarily" in mid-August. Temporarily, hah. yeah right.  Things came to a head this weekend after the condo association sent us a letter citing us for having two dogs; both are hers. The complex only allows one, and, furthermore, she walks the dogs on the property, which is a no no, even though she cleans up.  Talking to her about it this morning, I found out that our landlord asked when I was moving out, because apparently Cruella told her I was only there "temporarily." NEWS TO ME!  I politely told her I would be out by the end of the week, packed up my clothes and that cat, and went to my parents.  Removing myself from the equation. It's for the best, because the drama situation is only going to get worse,  because she has no plans of getting rid of either dog, and the association is pissed.

In other news, I'm sorry that I haven't been on as much. Being back to teaching has made me a hermit as I struggle to juggle work, grad school, and seeing Magic. Its near impossible to juggle all three most days, especially when I'm depressed, as I have been on and off. As for my weight, I'm doing the best I can. I really don't have enough time to make it to the gym consistently, but I've just been trying to watch what I eat. I know that I'm gaining, cause the pics I took today with my friends at today's Renaissance Faire visit look hideous, but I'm doing what I can with what time I have. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shove It

1.) Write about a time you shoved someone were shoved.

I can't recall ever actually shoving someone, so I'm changing the writing prompt. Hah.

I have a little sister who I affectionately call "Piglet." My mother calls me Pooh Bear, and so sister has become Piglet. She's 22, and due to a febrile seizure at the age of 16 months followed by a severe concussion at the age of 8, she's intellectually disabled. Piglet is MUCH taller than I am (5'9'' at least, and now weighs over 350). She's a big girl, and doesn't know her own strength. Shadow (my cat that she has staked a claim on) is a saint because Piglet schleps her around like a sack of potatoes. Think of Elmira from Looney Tunes.

Anyway, the day before eighth grade, Piglet and I got into a fight over something. And started fighting in the kitchen. As most women with sisters know, brothers are not the only ones that get into nasty, physical fights. At the height of the fight, Piglet, who was about my height even though she was in the fourth grade, shoved me.  I staggered backwards, expecting to land into the wall behind me. However I kept falling, like Alice down the rabbit hole, tumbling down the cellar stairs before landing on the concrete at the bottom. By some miracle, I didn't break my neck. But on the first day of eighth grade, I got to sport an awesome black eye.

I haven't attempted to get into a fist fight with Piglet since. I keep my sisterly torture reserved to verbal insults or annoying pokes now. And if she feels the need to clobber me, I have the good sense to take it without defending myself, lest I ended up going for another ride down the cellar stairs.

Check out more writing prompts at Mama's Losin' It! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chosen by a Book

Have you ever felt kinship to a book—your body, heart, and soul propelling you to devour every word because you feel like you are reading the truths of your own life spelled out on paper? That’s how I felt when I picked up Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards.  In the book, Susan talks about how the unexpected adoption of an abused horse named Lay Me Down inspires her to overcome years of emotional neglect as a child, an abusive marriage, and destructive behavior to find the courage to love others again, and, most importantly, love herself again. (Though I know I should technically call her Richards, I can’t—her writing is so open and honest, that I can’t help but feel I know her). Chosen by a Horse was Susan’s first published book, and she followed it up with Saddled and Chosen Forever. Saddled is about how Georgia, the mare that Susan adopted, helped Susan pull through clinical depression and alcoholism, to finding her family. I read the book in less than twelve hours, and read the other two books equally as quickly.  I didn’t like Chosen Forever as much. Perhaps because it wasn’t as centered on the horses as the other two were, perhaps because Susan falls in love in the book, and I’m shying away from anything romantic these days, perhaps because some of her scenes take place on Little Cranberry Island, near the island that I spent a week with Apache’s mom last summer, and where he and I vacationed this winter. That wound is still too fresh.

It sounds cheesy, but reading these books about Susan coming to discover the truths of her own strengths and weaknesses has helped me to see my own truths. I’m learning, slowly, day by day to spend the time I have on this earth doing things because they make me feel good inside, not because they might convince other’s to like me. I’ve been trying to buy love from people, in a way, because I truly do feel, though I know it’s wrong, that I won’t be loved any other way. But looking back over the past 25 years of my life, and the past five years of relationships, the three men that I tried to “buy” with my steadfast devotion are gone. Trevor and Apache refuse to speak with me, and Jay is happy in his own relationship with DogFace. I’ve chosen relationships with broken men, hoping that once I saved them from the demons that haunt them, they would love me unconditionally the way I cared for them.

It’s time to love myself; to stop putting so much effort into finding love of another, and into loving myself. As Susan writes in Chosen Forever: When you're doing what you're supposed to be doing in this life, amazing things can happen."

So here I am, doing what I want to do because I want to do it. For me, that means spending time with Magic. Last week, since Hurricane Irene had knocked out power to most of my area and the start of school was delayed—I spent most of my unexpected time off at the barn. I hauled hay and water, rode Magic, relaxed in the hammock hung from two oak trees just outside his paddock. On the first day, after the horses had been couped up for 48 hours inside, Sin and I trucked the horses down to the 50 acre pasture. I took of Magic’s halter and watched as the herd of six Arabians galloped across the paddock, stretching their stiff legs, out of sheer joy at having once again having the freedom to run. That’s how I feel now. Free from the drama of keep a relationship alive with someone that thought nothing of disrespecting me and casting me aside. Free from the shame of staying so long. Free from the countless hours I wasted catering to him and mourning him.

I’ve owned Magic, raised him for five years this weekend, and he changed me in a way that no one else has. Owning Magic means that I have to sacrifice some of the frivolities that other women my age have. There are no weeknight bottles of wine, or Friday/Saturday nights at the club.  And that’s okay. Because Magic has been there for me through the worst moments of my life. The night that Trevor yanked my engagement ring off my finger, and went to his mother’s, never to once again sleep in the home that we had made together, I slept in Magic’s stall. Huddled beneath a horse blanket ontop of a thick bed of sawdust, I never once questioned my safety. Magic was there the summer I had the abortion. I saw him every day that summer, and he brought me back from a dark place I hoped I never would see again. And he was there for me through what Apache did to me, and this summer helped to remind me of who I was before, and who I still am today.

Some people disagree that animals can love, and I challenge them on that. There’s no other explanation for the way that animals act with “their” people. How Magic breaks away from the herd to join me near the fence when he sees me, or my cat, Spooky, snuggles onto my chest when I’m laying in bed, purring so hard his drool wets my pajamas. He is a shy cat, and doesn’t act like that with anyone else that he’s known almost as long, people who are as eager to pet him. Nope it’s me he prefers. If only human males could remember the loyalty that their feline and equine counterparts displayed.

 Part of being free again means that I have mental space. My phone is quiet now. When Apache was in Afghanistan, we emailed back and forth constantly. I saved every email, in case the unthinkable happened. 6,000 emails in the nine months that he was there, not including the hundreds of instant messages that we shared whenever he was able to get on the computer. I still have those emails and conversations. His body may have come back from the desert, but the man I loved, he died out there. I’ve come to accept that. 

I’ve come to be okay with the quiet. I’ve stopped watching (most) television. I’ve started reading again. Today I started (and finished) The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was an amazing book, about 1960s Mississippi, told from the perspective of three women:  one a young, white woman and two different African American women. The book, the author’s first, reminded me of E.L. Doctorow’s novels. Doctorow is one of my favorite authors—his story “Child, Dead in a Rose Garden” still haunts me.  “There is no history except as it is composed. There are no failed revolutions, only lawless conspiracies,” Doctorow writes in an essay called “False Documents,” about how history is not absolute truth, because it is written by those in power, to benefit themselves, to cast themselves in the best light. His books, such as Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, and The March, write about history from the perspective of the underdog—the characters that have been written out of or vilified in history.  

A major part of being free means that right now, I’m not dating. I’m not sleeping with men. I’m not even dabbling on dating sites. I’ve been hurt, badly, but yet I’ve felt this tremendous pressure to quickly find someone to replace Apache in my bed and heart because it would take the attention off of how much I’m hurting, and, perhaps, prove a point to him, if he asked about me. Maybe one day he’ll come to his senses, I’ve fantasized, and ask our mutual friends or his family, that I still talk to, about me. Aurora is incredibly happy with her new, handsome successful man, they’d say, shaking their heads. And he would feel the sting of pain that I felt, and realize Damn, I lost the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I didn’t realize what I had when I had her, and someone else did. But that’s all it is, fantasy. He will never again ring my phone, email me, or Facebook request me. Or if he does, it’ll be long past the time when I really want to hear from him. The sooner I accept that, rip off the remnants of this relationship like an old band aid, the better.

Even though I’m lonely, and wake up in the nights feeling cold because there’s no one beside me, I want to be alone. The wound is still healing. I think that’s why I’ve gained weight in the past four months (!) since our breakup. I don’t want to be attractive to men. Not yet. That’s hard. So many people try to fix me up with their friends, cousins, coworkers. But I’m not ready. People around here look at me funny when I say that. Not wanting to get married is considered a sin. In my town, it’s strange to see a 25 year old that’s not married or having children.

I’m working on combating the obstacles towards losing weight. I’m being more conscious about the hidden calories in things, and finding low cal alternatives for my favorite foods. I baked Weight Watchers Pumpkin Spice muffins (2 points!) to substitute for the 600 calorie monster, and found pumpkin-flavored coffee beans that are calorie free. My biggest hurdle to face is eating at night. Since Apacheleft for Afghanistan, and more so since our breakup, I’ve been sleepwalking to the fridge to eat. I know it’s an anxiety issue, and I’ve made an appointment with my therapist and APRN about medication. Hoping we’ll get it under control. I’ve promised myself that I’m going back to the gym this weekend.

I’m hoping that my life is on the up and up, dear reader. Tell me, what book (movie/tv show) that has made you take a good hard look at the truths of your own life?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Me, Myself, & Irene

So in case you've been under a rock, the East Coast of the United States was threatened by Hurricane Irene this weekend. The weather people (whose salaries apparently are a direct correlation of how wrong they are about the weather) estimated that the storm would strike the Northeast anywhere from a Category 5 hurricane to a tropical storm. 

I live in a small, rural town, and for the past week, old timers sat on the porches of the general store, sipping their moonshine lemonade from mason jars, strumming their banjos, reminiscing about the other great storms of the last century. (Alright, it was more like standing around the gas station Dunkin Donuts, sipping coffee next to their pickup trucks...we have hit the 21st century). 

By the time Irene finally made her second landing near Coney Island, New York she had been downgraded to a tropical storm with 65 mph winds.

As for me, I bunkered in my apartment with Spooky early Saturday night armed with batteries, flashlights, and food that wouldn't go bad. I figured that this was the time for me to relax and do all those things that I say I never have time to do.

* Iron my work clothes (which I almost NEVER do)

* Watch the Bare Escentuals how-to DVD

* give myself a manicure and pedicure

* Finish rereading The Outsiders, which was my students' summer reading, and creating PowerPoints and study guides on it

* Catch up on The Millionaire Matchmaker, which I've been watching for both entertainment and educational purposes. Sometimes I feel like I should be taking notes. "The penis does the picking. He's not getting up off the couch for you!" And I've adopted her two cardnial rules ("No sex before monogamy! Two drink maximum!) as my own.

* Make chocolate caramel apples, which I had for the first time from Gertrude Hawk Chocolatiers. They are Ah-mazing! and I made one for each of my work friends to celebrate the start of the school year. Here's the recipe.

* Scrub the tile floors of the kitchen and both bathrooms on my hands and knees with a wire brush.

* Started tracking my points for Weight Watchers again. So far, I've been doing okay. My biggest struggles are ensuring that I figure out how many Points the things that I eat are BEFORE I eat them. I went to Dunkin Donuts yesterday and had a pumpkin muffin. I went to track it and discovered that the muffin had 600 calories. SIX-HUNDRED!   OMFG!  

The storm was over Sunday night, and, miraculously we didn't lose power/Internet. Unfortuantely, I'm one of the few lucky ones. Trees are down on powerlines all over my area, and driving around is pretty terrifying because there are trees/branches hanging over the roads. the first day of school has been delayed indefinitely because the school itself doesn't have power and it's too dangerous for the school busses to be travelling alot of the back country roads.

What did you do while waiting for Hurricane Irene to arrive?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten On Tuesday #1

1. What is your favorite brand of shoes?

Flip flops- Reefs

Party Heels-     I can't wear them for very long because they HURT my feet, but Baker's, Carlos by Carlos Santana, Nine West, or Jessica Simpson.  

Work Heels: Naturalizer

Boots: Naturalizer or Nine West

2. How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?

I think kindergarten or first grade. Normal age, I guess.

3. How do you feel about freckles?

Freckles in and of themselves don't bother me. But I kinda have a policy against redheads, especially named Jen, and they all had freckles. It's not a stereotype, I've had three seperate MAJOR issues with psycho redheads named Jen. One of them trained my horse and tried to convince me that he was crazy and I should give him to her. NOT true.  One of them was married, and slept with my boyfriend (Jay) while her husband (Apache) was at boot camp. And I dated Apache, and he wouldn't divorce her, so she was always the white elephant in the room.  And Apache cheated on me with the third redhead. So I have cause.  If you're a redhead named Jen, I'm sure you're a great person. But I'm sure we wouldn't be good friends. We'd probably end up hating each other. Just sayin'.

4. I can count to ten in ___ languages.

Two. English and Spanish.

5. What is your favorite store-bought ice cream flavor?

I love Maine Black Bear by Gifford's of Maine. Yum! It's vanilla ice cream with raspberry swirl and dark chocolate candies filled with raspberry. Yum!

6. Were you in ballet or gymnastics as a little girl?

No :-( I always wanted to do dance as a child, but my parents said no. I don't know if it was because I was overweight or because my parents didn't have enough money for classes. I'm not sure. Nevertheless, let's add dance classes to the list of things I'll do differently when/if I'm a parent.

7. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?

Big Bird!!!  His puppeteer lives locally, and I've met him a few times.  I've always liked Big Bird though, even as a child. When I was entering kindergarten, my parents gave me the choice of attending the public elementary school or a Catholic one. Too young to understand the dogmatic differences, I chose public because they had Big Bird painted on the wall outside of the classrooms. 

8. What’s your bedtime?

Whenever I feel tired. It's usually around 11. I've resolved to be in bed by 10 starting tonight.

9. Do you have any jewelry that you wear every single day?

I wear my claddagah every day and a pair of silver hoops.

10. Who is the bug killer in your household?

Spooky. He's constantly on the hunt for them. He keeps the condo pretty bug free, so I guess I can keep him.

Want to try your own Ten on Tuesday? Visit Roots & Rings

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weigh In Thursday

Tonight I did something that I absolutely hate to do. But I did it for you, my loyal reader.

I stepped on the scale.
While it was on.
And looked down.

I would post a pic of myself on the scale, as proof. But I was naked. Trust me. That is NOT a pic you all want to see.

My weight, at 11:30 pm on August 25, 2011 is 221.6 lbs. Eek! At 5'3'', I'm morbidly obese.

I've been overweight my entire life, with the exception of a few years where I lost 100 lbs. My family is pretty hefty too, so it's nature and nurture.

One of the things I've done this summer is explore the possiblity of LapBand surgery. My insurance covers it 100%, and it's something I've considered for a while. I'd be lying if I said that losing weight wasn't about appearance, first of all, but it's more about keeping healthy. I have mitral valve prolapse and sleep apnea, all of which are affected by weight. My father is diabetic. It's also about family. My sister, is extremely obese, and I hope that if I lose the weight, she'll be inspired to pursue the surgery on her own.

So, I've spent much of the summer undergoing tests. To date, I've had an Upper GI scan, stress test, psych eval, and visited the nutritionist. I go back to the doctors on October 17 to review the tests and schedule surgery.

I chose LapBand over gastric bypass because I feel it's safer than gb. The surgery is done laproscopically, I'll be out for a few days, and they are not cutting my anatomy. They are simply wrapping a band around my stoamch, which creates a pocket, and then installing a port under my abdomen that allows them to fill or drain the band to adjust my rate of weight loss.

Has anyone ever had LapBand or had a friend/relative that did? I'm interested in hearing other peoples' experiences.