Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goals for 2010

Totally intend to do
1. Get divorced and change name. Paperwork for both will be filed in January (funds allowing).

2. Pay all bills on time FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

3. Replace all bathroom towels, kitchen towels, and cloth napkins.

4. Lose deadbaby weight.

5. Raise a bunch of money for the March of Dimes. Everyone I know is broke but I'm going to set my goal anyway and just do my best and won't get upset if I can't raise that much.

Will try to do
1. Establish regular meditation and yoga practice.

2. Repaint bedroom (need ideas!), replace blinds with curtains, sew new bedding (Sara, and other creative folks, do you know of any nice bedding patterns?).


My goals for the year are boring, serious ones but that's ok because I finally feel up to doing these things.


What are your goals? Any fun ones? I want to try a MckLinky thing (crossing fingers that I did this right), feel free to play along (please don't leave me with an empty MckLinky!)




.......

Regarding the wish for password protected posting, I have set up a cleverly named (ha!) sister blog on wordpress to host relationship issues that I wouldn't want someone I know in real life to read if they stumbled across this blog. The first post is up now. I guess you will have to request a password, but I'll keep it the same so requests won't have to be made every time.

I have no idea how often that blog will be used or how long it will stay around. Don't feel like you have to read it, although some input would be nice since I don't seem to be particularly gifted when it comes to relationships. Just writing out my current concern has helped so much.


Wishing you all a very happy and healing New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'll be everything I'm not

It is very sad that our marriage couldn't help but be as it was. We were both so young and we both came from unpredictable/unsafe households. Neither of us had developed a healthy sense of self yet. Neither one of us could possibly be what each other needed.

Such a long friendship and long, so often unsatisfying, marriage ended so suddenly, irrecoverably, and SILENTLY.

Early in January the ex and I will meet so he can provide an explanation for why he left the relationship so suddenly, without giving an excuse beyond our "incompatibility". Finally some answers are on the horizon.

It's a little nerve-racking. I don't know what he is going to say. My therapist and I are going to prepare for the worst.

The worst case scenario is that this will be his opportunity to vent over a decades worth of frustration with me. And I kind of deserve it; there were countless times when I was a lousy wife - too emotional, too erratic, too depressed. I hate to think back on the "married me", I hate that she existed. My entire existence and personality were limited to reacting to being subtly neglected, demeaned, manipulated, and betrayed. That's all he knows of me.

.....

You know, I'm not one to look for a fucking silver lining but Toren's death was a catalyst, which looks like such a stupid statement written here because how can anybody not crawl out of the hell that is losing a child without becoming a new being? What I mean is that our marriage was not strong enough to survive Toren's death and who knows how long that union would have limped along without that extreme stress. Who knows if it ever would have morphed into the type of relationship I craved had Toren lived.

I want Toren just as always, but I want my marriage less and less the further I get from it. Both losses are simultaneously intertwined and completely distinct. While I will yearn for Toren forever I don't want the circumstances he would've/could've/should've been born into.

It all feels so raw right now.

.....

Chrysalis. In the 13 months since we stopped being a couple I have turned into someone different. Deadbaby, impending divorce, tons of therapy, psychiatric medications, making my own decisions, and thinking, thinking, thinking and I'm no longer "married me". Developing confidence and independent thinking co-exist with the vulnerability of knowing that a whole closet full of shoes can drop on you at any time.

He'll never know who I've turned into.

.....

This song is helping me process what I feel about meeting the ex. I want to be ready to be forever misunderstood by him without becoming overwhelmed with regret, shame, and negative emotions.

Lightning Field by the Sneaker Pimps

Sweet video with a short portion of the song

Full version, live, with Chris Corner perfectly adorable and drool worthy

Strike me down
Give me everything you've got
Strike me down
I'll be everything I'm not
Count the questions on one hand
You don't ask me what I planned
Strike me down
Should have asked me what went wrong
Strike me down
Should have stayed away too long

Strike me down
Give it everything you've got
Chance me now
I'll be everything I'm not
Hope's the child of what luck brings
Points to faith in higher things
Ask me now
Fire at everything at once
Strike me down
Take it any way you want

Strike me down
Better left it all unknown
Strike me down
Should have left it all alone
Wash the questions off my hands
I'm the fate in no one's plans
Strike me down
Give it everything you've got
Strike me down
I'll be everything I'm not

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why can't things be gloriously calm and good for a significant amount of time?

Still thankful that I'm no longer overcome by grief but I guess I felt like I was owed something wonderful - it's still a shock that there are annoying thorns on the roses, you know?

Edit
I'm thinking of moving to wordpress so I can set some posts as password protected, does anyone know how to move all of my previous posts over?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Easy as 1, 2, 3

1
The next series of check boxes started with the option "The Defendant and I do not have any minor children together." and while making a bold black "X" in that box the thought "Thank God!" zipped through my head. Followed by a twinge of guilt.

The absence of children simplifies a divorce but of course it isn't as simple as that. The myriad of feelings associated with Toren's death does not include thankfulness. But the feelings about divorce do include thankfulness that I will not be connected to the ex for the rest of my life through our children. I wonder if this is an emotionally complicated section of the paperwork for many couples.

If there was a minor child would this divorce be looming? I suspect not, but being able to view our marriage from a distance allows me to see all of the problems that were there all along. I miss the family that could have been while also being thankful to be in a healthier situation.


2
I'm including what I wrote for the blog cross-pollination here so that it will be included in my record of life post Toren and because I have a few other things to say about it. By the way, I loved participating in the cross-pollination and am honored to have swapped posts with Mrs. Spit and it's so fitting that she used gardening as a metaphor for grief since this is "A garden for butterflies".

My post

It’s true what some people say, that when you lay your eyes on your child for the first time you love them with your entire being. The first glimpse of my son was in the form of double pink lines on a home pregnancy test. Later I heard his amazing heartbeat and viewed his cute, little fetal self via ultrasound. When I held him for the first time a huge wave of calm and wonderment encompassed me; my heart burst open with warmth and pure love for him.



That was the first time I truly felt love. Relationships with parents, spouses, and friends can become so complicated; that short time resting in the hospital bed was an oasis of peace and love existing in a complicated story. During the next several hours he was held, named, and blessed.



After your baby’s body has been taken away to chill in the morgue those feelings of love get rather hard to reproduce, at least in my experience.



.....



I am an expert on anger.

I am an expert on jealousy.

I am an expert on sleepless nights where the dead baby keeps me up.



I’m an expert on despising love because its absence leads to so many ugly emotions.



I know all about gender differences in grieving styles and how a dead baby can strain a marriage. Subsequently, I am an expert on dining alone, maintaining a house alone, and longing for the family that is no longer possible. Soon I will have first hand experience of divorce.


I now know more about the numerous ways that a embryo, fetus, or infant can die than I know about what items parents need to carry in baby bags.


I’m an expert on being stricken speechless in response to thoughtless remarks.

“You’re young, you can have another.”

“That baby just wasn’t meant to be.”

“You named it???!!!”

“I thought you would be over it by now.”

“If my child died I would die as well.”

“Was there really nothing medically that could be done to make him live?”



.....



No one wants to become so familiar those feelings. Since he died two years ago I have been drowning in currents of loss. Having spent two years mastering negative emotions, what next?



.....



I want to be an expert on love. Friend-love… parent-love… stranger-love… ex-spouse love… new lover love… kitty and puppy love… self-love.

I want to someday feel the all-consuming, uncomplicated love I felt while holding my son again. I will learn to miss my son, rage against the randomness of birth defects, sneer when mentioning the ex, tense up around pregnant women, WHILE loving.



Beginning today, everyday I will practice love.



.....



What are you an expert of?

What would you like to be an expert of?


...........

To practice/express love everyday was a vow and that is what I'm doing. Now this is only possible because negative feelings and positive emotions can COEXIST. Understanding that love and joy and peace can be present along with sorrow and anger was a huge breakthrough for me. While healing and reforming my life and self into something new the clash of conflicting emotions was very confusing. Sometimes I desperately miss my old, almost-was family (and I may ALWAYS miss that), but I just acknowledge those feelings and then soon the emotions naturally and easily morph into relief that the acute phase of grieving is in the past.


3
The present - how my life actually IS right now - is very happy.


On December 2, 2008 I wrote "So this blog is not about rebuilding a marriage and successfully having a child after a deadbaby anymore. If anything, it will be about finding something to do in life once the life you carefully planned is no longer a possibility."

Letting go of a plan/dream is hard and I thought old dreams could only be replaced by new dreams but my old dreams have been followed by no long term life plans at all! Living in the present - enjoying the company of my housemates, and time spent with the snuggle bunny and friends - and not getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future all seems so obvious, but it sure took a long time to integrate.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guest blogger, brought to you by the Great Blog Cross Pollination

Grief , it strikes me, is a lot like buying a house in the winter, never seeing the back yard.

You don’t chose what’s there when you arrive, but you get to make all the choices after that. I stood in my present back yard 5 years ago, looking at 2 feet of dog crap, the world’s ugliest deck and an overgrown lilac(?) tree and threw up my hands. This was going to be an oasis? Not on your life, not without a firebomb to help me start over.

At first we walk out into this back yard that we have inherited, and it is a strange and foreign place. The placement of the shrubs, the ugly old iris clumps? They make us angry. We are frustrated, kicking the crappy looking grass, thinking “What stupid kind of idiot would put that there?”.

Usually, even in the most overgrown, ugly, unmanageable back yard, there’s something to catch your eye. An old-fashioned rose, a sunny daffodil, a tiny little johnny jump up. Something to make you feel the slightest bit, well nurturing. And the nurturing is a problem, after all ,that way hurting lies. That way leads to a hole filled with unrequited dreams. You pause, wondering if you want to put the time in at all, fighting against an almost primeval urge to create. Creation is the start of death, and you’ve had enough of that.

But, sighing, almost angrily, you dig around prune back and uncover. You sit back on your haunches, and stretch out your back, lifting your hands to the sky. Muscles seldom used protest, and you look at your hands covered in dirt and a few scratches from the brambles, and you don’t recognize them. You look around at the rest of the garden, and you chuck the hoe at the garage and stump back into the kitchen, returning to familiar piles of mess. At least that’s your mess.

The next morning you wake up, stiff and sore, and even though you swear that you are done with fostering this stupid business of growing life, the next plant in the jungle beckons you, and you go at that. Slowly, very slowly, you find that the living business of a garden has snuck up on you, and you feel responsible. You weed and water, and research. If you get very lucky, someone more practiced at this business of restoration shows up one Saturday with their gardening tools, and they help you go at it, providing succour and sustenance.

And then, something dies, in spite of all your efforts, when you bought the book and read on the internet, and you talked to the experts. You back away for a bit. You find yourself hopeless for a while, what would ever make you think you were any good at this life giving business anyway? For a few weeks, you ignore July’s heat and the lack of rain and you, well, you pout. You are, after all entitled to the pouting, no one could call you unreasonable for expecting something you had put all this damn effort and time into, to live.

The garden keeps calling, and you rush back in, and you find a few more things dead, but many more things still living, and that’s about the time you taste the first peas on the vine, smell the lilies coming up. Sucked in a bit deeper.

You make bigger plans, you dig up dirt, you re-seed the grass, hell, you go all out and you buy furniture, and you spend a breath-taking amount on a plant that will survive the cold season. You carefully dig the hole, you sprinkle in bone meal and rhizomes and you water very well, sending hopes and dreams into the ground.

There always comes a time in the middle of August, when it seems as if the summer will last forever, these long days will never end, and every night you have your coffee and a cigarette on the new furniture, the smell of garden heavy in your hair. You begin to think that you will always be in this place.

One morning you wake up, and the garden smells different. The smells are sharper, snappier, crisp and clear. You realize you do not know how to prepare the garden for this new season, and so you cut everything down, not realizing you should leave some stalks up so that you can see them heavy with snow. You don’t know to always leave a little something behind for the next season.

Fall slips past and then the snow flies, and you are not sure how to navigate this, it seems like another loss. As surely as you didn’t ask for the garden in the first place, you aren’t ok with it being taken away from you either.

This, this is the secret of gardening, that nothing stays the same. One thing becomes another, and then something else after that. Nothing is still except in our memory.

This guest blogger lives and gardens in Alberta, Canada, where her garden is under several feet of snow. Can you guess who it is? Her identity and my cross pollination post can be found here.


See all cross pollination participants here

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is a nice post :)

My local SHARE group is having it's annual candle lighting and tree decorating ceremony. Each of us brings an ornament to decorate a tree that is then donated to a local hospital in remembrance of our babies. It's a really nice night.

So this morning when the snuggle bunny says that he wants me to come back after work and stay another night at his place, I tell him that I need to find an ornament for the meeting. He said that he would help me find one and this evening we went ornament shopping. I had a few ideas of what I was looking for, one of which was a cute ornament that a little boy would be attracted to. Surrounded by ornaments, SB suggests that we find something that Toren would like. HE SAID HIS NAME! SB remembered and used the name of my son! Wow.

My ex, Toren's father, never would have helped me find an ornament and he only said his name one time, that I can remember (when calling the hospital to get Toren's measurements when I was crying over not having found out how big he was).

Anyway, I selected a dinosaur ornament. And I bought two of them and explained to SB that last year I only bought one ornament and once it came down to placing it on the tree I couldn't do it! I need one to share and one to hoard for my son's memory box.

It's so sweet and so complex. I am so lucky to be spending time with such an awesome and thoughtful guy. But why couldn't my husband show some concern for how much I loved our son? Why didn't he love us?

Someday those painful thoughts will not cross my mind and I will simply marvel at displays of kindness.

..................

On another, bitter, note, I have some gossip that is so shameful that I can't tell anyone that I personally know. Anyone need a distraction and want to hear about the "adventures" of people you don't know?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting here

For the last week and a half I've been watching my body heal from an unfortunate moment of unbalance that ended with me sprawled on the asphalt.

Healing is not pretty. Exposed, weeping wounds become covered with crusty scabs which protect those tender areas as new skin grows. Over the days bruises dawn and darken and turn sickly colors before fading away. Joints at points of impact stiffen and now I gently try to coax a normal range of movement out of my knee and hand.

Besides keeping the sores clean and preventing infection or further damage, there's not much you can do to speed the process along; healing takes as long as it takes.

.......................

Over the past two years since Toren died did I do enough to prevent "infection"? Did all of that alcohol work as an internal disinfectant? Did my brain shutting off and the mental numbing and the dissociation give my soul space to heal, free of external stimuli?

Could I have healed faster? Could I have done anything other than shut down and sit with my grief? Surging forward, determined to succeed and excel would have only been a lie and may not have led towards actual healing.

.......................

One year ago today I was preparing to kill myself. On the 16th I would end up in the ER, drunk and having swallowed every pill in the medicine cabinet. From there I would be transferred to a psychiatric inpatient hospital in the back of a sheriff's car. My journal entries from those days are very difficult for even me to read now as they document the shift from feeling desperately lonely, utterly hopeless and completely heartbroken to being at complete peace with not having another moment of this life.

Day after day, page after page of last Autumn, over and over I wrote about how lonely I was. When my husband said he didn't want to be with me anymore I was sure that I would never find another partner who would put up with me. If the person who knew me best couldn't stand to be around me what hope could I have for the future?

........................

Today my home is filled with 3 women, 2 cats, and one dog. I'm here half of the time, the other half is spent with a guy who likes having me around. Today I slept in late and had breakfast made by the snuggle bunny. We showered, went back to bed, went for a walk, went out for lunch, went back to bed, and all day we laughed. Back at home this evening, housemate L.'s laughter bounces off the walls through the house as she laughs at a TV program. Housemate C. laughs at her cute dog. My house is full of life and animals; the driveway is full of cars. Tomorrow night I'll be back with the snuggle bunny for a night out and then peace and quiet at his place. Tuesday night, who knows!

.......................

I've had little to say about the second anniversary of Toren's birthday/death day, but I've been doing a lot of thinking. The day of his second anniversary was lovely and I want to tell you about it soon, but already it's taken so long for me to write this much. It's really incredible... in the months up until October 30, 2007 I was joyous and expectant, last year, completely destroyed, and lately, I'm still living with the sorrow of being without Toren but I smile everyday. How do you find words for this sort of journey?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ah hell, what kind of post is this?

October 30

It's been two years since... what exactly?

since I last had faith that things would work out well

since my heart didn't constantly ache

since I was maternal

since I felt my family was proud of me

since I felt that the future would be gorgeous



and those don't adequately describe it

................

What was I doing two years ago? Was it a great day? Was it a happy day?

...............

It's been two years since I wasn't taking a single antidepressant

since I was happily sober

since I was happy to be living my life, with my own baby on the way, with my own husband - three unique souls together

since I believed that I would fall into the majority side of a very important statistic

since I didn't know the words "bilateral renal agenesis"

..............

I had been bleeding for weeks and frequent check-ups always turned out great - the baby had a strong heartbeat so everything was presumed to be fine. None of us knew that his heartbeat was contained in increasingly cramped quarters. So many people told me that some women bleed through an entire pregnancy and they have healthy babies. Over and over women have healthy babies. Everyone believed I would be one of those women. I was cautious but at 18 weeks and 4 days, after hearing that heartbeat so often, I thought it was just about safe to seriously argue about names and sign up for birthing classes and prepare his room.

Two years ago I believed that in just one more day, after the anatomy ultrasound, I would breathe a sigh of relief. Surely I had already had my big scare on the day so much blood came rushing out of me weeks before.

..............

Two years ago today I believed that in two days I would be showing off new ultrasound images of my little boy; I would be e-mailing the pictures to all of the would-be grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Two years ago I believed that my family was growing. I believed that I would never be on birth control again because siblings would be very welcome before premature ovarian failure hit.

.............

Two years ago today I never ever EVER would have guessed that that my husband would be GONE... that I wouldn't be balancing family life and work... that the baby's room would be rented out... that I simply wouldn't give a fuck about credit scores, mowed lawns, my career, basic car maintenance, home cooked meals... that it would be so easy to sleep with other men. Two years ago today I'd be shocked at the amount of alcohol I can now consume without getting sick.

Two years ago today I wasn't bitter, jealous, or consumed by anger; I didn't rage against being a member of the unlucky.

Two years ago today Halloween was my favorite holiday. I loved the parties and giving out candy to children.

Two years ago today I had more friends.

...............

ONE year ago today I believed that I was going to make a big comeback very soon, in fact I was secretly sure that I would have a new baby or be very close to birthing by today. I had hope.

............

Today... I have a bottle of wine which I will drink without judgment since excess drinking doesn't happen all that often anymore. I don't have hope for beauty in my life but perhaps I don't need it anymore. I sometimes get out of bed because I'm excited for the day instead of just because that is what is expected of me.

Today I hope that by this time next year Toren and I will have a revised relationship that allows for more love and less agony in my life on Earth. Today I still secretly hope for a family or at least something good enough to replace that craving.

...............

This post sucks, but it's important.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just sayin'

The breakup of a long term relationship is HARD. Wow is there ever a huge collision of conflicting emotions involved! No wonder my head is spinning so much of the time.

That's all for now - too dizzy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stalling to "submit"

I've made my health insurance selections for next year, except for clicking the "submit" button to make it official. I'm just ordering insurance for one, just me. I get to select whatever plan I want and don't need to discuss the pros and cons of each plan with anyone, and this freedom makes my head spin and my stomach ache. Perhaps tomorrow I can submit to a solo insurance plan.

Papers have not been filed yet but I plan on getting divorced soon and today that thought squeezes my chest. I miss him. Just right now. And I feel guilty for missing him because I have found another great guy, and I feel guilty for being so happy with the great guy because I cared for my husband so much it seems impossible that I could move on from that.

Today something happened that upset me and my husband knows exactly what to do in situations like that but the new guy totally bombed in offering support.

.......................

It's just been one of those weeks (already!) where I can't seem to do anything right. Although, just when I was SURE that I had just skipped my first period, signaling premature ovarian failure, today it arrived in full force, lured to the white panties I'm wearing. The now stained, soggy and sticky panties.

Anyway, that's good news. To kill time while waiting for my period I P'dOAS twice. Fuck if that action isn't exploding with emotions.

Last Friday I added new medications to my antidepressant cocktail. Sunday I'll add in hormonal contraception.

The calendar is ticking down to October 31 and I feel like I'm going to scream as people chatter on about costumes and parties. I can still feel being in room after room getting ultrasound after ultrasound, watching my son moving, seeing that he was alive with a strong heartbeat, while at the same time hearing about the organs he didn't have - kidneys, both missing... stomach ... bladder... all absent.

Anything that pretends to be scary repels me. Forget stupid, gory costumes, houses of horror and scary movies - the sequence of events at that ob visit were truly terrifying, true horror. Part of me is still stuck feeling overwhelmed by sorrow, fear, and rage at having to make the decision of when my son would die... I see no sense in feeling terrified by fake dead bodies and such.

I need to move to a smaller, windowless office at work to make room for new faculty. I'm trying to be accommodating and gracious about it but really I feel embarrassed, like I wasn't doing a good enough job to stay in my office, even though I know it just has to do with educational seniority.

And my car smells like it has a fuel leak. And my bank account is overdrawn.

.......................

With all of those worries and hormones and new medications and memories it's no wonder I feel "off". It's time to be good to me and take care of me. And it's time to go home and change out of these icky underpants.

Love to you all, thanks for listening to my whining.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have diligently tried for two years to drown the memories of the life I almost had in a sea of alcohol - unfortunately my tolerance for booze has become too high for these thoughts to be swept away... so grab another glass of wine and a huge bowl of ice cream and let's stroll down memory lane!

In the handful of days before entering the hospital to terminate Toren's pregnancy I did a lot of reading and learned that a fetus at a mere 20 week gestational age can be born alive. They don't stay that way for very long though. Toren died before he was delivered. I knew he wouldn't live no matter what gestational age he made it to and it was both a relief along with huge a disappointment that I never got to see him alive outside of me (I wanted desperately for him to die with me rather than with nurses tending to him so I did get this wish). At the 6 week follow-up visit with my doctor I asked her why he wasn't born alive and learned that with delicate fetuses who are not cushioned by amniotic fluid the force of the contractions often kills them. My uterus crushed Toren to death.

Another confession - I like to watch the show "I didn't know I was pregnant". Doesn't that sound ideal?! No known pregnancy to worry through and everyone on the show ends up with healthy take-home babies! Unlike the women on the show who recognize no signs of pregnancy I have frequent pregnancy symptoms, despite the absence of sexual encounters (until recently) and the baby. I have pregnancy daydreams. Almost two years after Toren and I DAYDREAM about being pregnant. Why not daydream about fantastic vacations to Greece or discovering a major cause of bilateral renal agenesis? Or why not at least daydream about paying all of my bills on time every month or being caught up on laundry?

What next? I am still suicidal every so often, like earlier tonight, and I think I have figured out a major contributor... add PMS to the list of self-diagnosed health issues! (Also on the list are PTSD and a sprained toe) Before August when my housemates moved in and I met the snugglebunny I was depressed 24-7; during the last couple of months I have been truly happy at times, but then around a week before my period I become so "moody" (as in amazingly depressed, suicidal, and out of my mind crazy). I'm afraid I will drive this awesome guy away by being insane and that makes me very, very sad to think about. I'm really trying to hold it together and I take my meds everyday and see my therapist once a week but I still can't quite make it to "normal".

And back to the start - at least I think Toren was dead when he was born. He and I were alone and I didn't quite know what had just happened due to the sedation I'd been on all week, pain medication for labor pains in the form of morphine which it turns out I'm allergic to so benadryl was added into the mix too. Gravity took over and it seriously took a few moments for me to figure out what I was looking at. He was all curled up and just when I was starting to stroke him with a finger a nurse leaned over me, cut the cord and swept him away.

................


I have confessed my way to sober. Good night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Numb...

... and I just wanted to numb out more with a bottle of wine and, before bed, a sleeping pill.

The no alcohol thing didn't last too long but I have cut back...truly.

Earlier today at my annual "female" doctor's visit I was getting my finger pricked for the blood iron test and suddenly a loud cheering came from down the hall. I looked at the technician and she said someone just found out what they were having - as in a boy or a girl baby. I said they must be happy with what they are getting.

Although maybe they would have had that response no matter the gender since if the gender is the major finding of the anatomy ultrasound you are doing pretty good so far. Not like one of those ultrasounds that start out with excitement from the parents and silence from the ultrasound technician.

"Oh, there he is all curled up at the bottom."

Without amniotic fluid present I couldn't see a baby at all, but it wasn't until later that I realized that this was a very bad thing. It wasn't just about not being able to see him clearly, it was deadly, but they don't tell you that right away.

...............

I like my doctor very much because she is so patient about answering my questions. The visit turned out well in the sense that all of my concerns were addressed. I am being tested for all STI's (because since the last exam I have had sex with a new partner and (last fall) my ex-husband, who was questionable in the faithfulness department), I have a prescription for the Nu.va Ri.ng (plus 4 samples, yay!), I will go in on day 3 of my cycle to get the FSH test to see if I am in premature ovarian failure PLUS my doctor ordered the anti mullerian hormone test to check on my ovarian reserve. I'm seeing if my insurance will cover the AMH test (it's normally part of infertility diagnostics, which are not normally covered, but I since I have a family history of premature ovarian failure my doctor and I are hoping that insurance will cover it as more of a preventive health thing) but if they don't I'll get it done anyway (if I can afford it out of pocket!) because I need some idea of how much longer I have to try for another baby.

..............

And I have gained less weight than I thought I did!

.............

I used the Nu.va Ri.ng for many years before quitting birth control and I'm glad to have a contraceptive that I'm familiar with. It has been about 2 and a half years since I last used a hormonal contraceptive so please cross your fingers that I adjust well to it and don't scare off my reason for using contraception! I'm glad I don't have to take an anti-baby pill everyday.

It truly is a wonderful thing that women are able to prevent pregnancy with a near 100% success rate, but the same cannot be said for conceiving. What will happen when circumstances are right for me? Will I still be fertile?

And it's not that I'm just complaining needlessly - since I'm not ttc I don't know if I have the ability to conceive anymore or not. I have a great deal of compassion for those with diagnosed infertility and hopefully my worrying about infertility that may or may not be present or near won't be upsetting. But I'm not in any position to have a baby. I know I could have unprotected sex right now in an attempt to conceive, but then what? I don't have a lot of money since my ex left me with the house and the bills that home ownership entails. I have two housemates now that probably wouldn't be too thrilled with a newborn entering the house. And most importantly, I like this guy I'm seeing and I wouldn't want to ruin what we have right now by getting pregnant. He is worth seeing how things develop between us without stressful complications or deceit on my part.

My mom and maternal grandmother each entered premature ovarian failure at age 35. I turn 35 in 4 months.

.............

After the doctors appointment I wandered around doing errands. I needed fancy salon shampoo, socks, a new bra, and after getting all of these things I still felt so unsatisfied. It was that feeling of knowing that regardless of whatever "treats" you bought yourself you would still want for more.

Empty. Numb. And only craving more removal from my thoughts through glasses of Merlot.

It isn't so surprising really.

It has been a good day. Really.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

P.S. thank you Goddess for the great sex!

"Have you held your own dead child? Has your husband left you? Have you lived through losing your immediate family?"

Sometimes I feel very judged by other people and that is what I want to say to them. Believe me, no one is more frustrated than me at my lack of stellar, or even adequate, performance.

I don't know where my energy went.

I can't find my mind.

My memory and concentration have been so poor for so long that I'm losing confidence in their eventual return.

Can I function like this for the rest of my life? Will this level of distraction and lethargy be enough for me to get by?

.................

It's one of those days where it's best to lay low and only attend meetings where I'm definitely needed.

Yesterday a crying baby was bounced and soothed and paced around the hall outside my office door. Today there are coupons for diapers, baby formula, and gym.bo.ree left on the breakroom table for anyone who needs them. And there are plenty of people around work with babies who will appreciate these thoughtful money savers.

You never see coupons for useful items for deadbaby mamas. Where were the coupons for cabbage leaves and sage tea to dry up milk that flowed for a tiny baby in the morgue? What about the specials for cases of wine and bottles of xanax?

...............

I suspect this extreme bitterness is brought on by P.la.n B. I don't know if it's a normal hormonal side effect or if the problem is more emotional. Next week I'll get a prescription for birth control at my annual doctors visit. Even as I type those words a deep ache settles into my belly and I wonder if I'll be able to say them outloud or if I should bring a written note expressing what I want to my doctor.

"I'm ready for birth control. Please give me the kind that keeps you period-free for 3 months because I want as few reminders as possible that I have functioning reproductive organs that are being unused. Furthermore, is it possible to do the three month thing with the N.uva R.ing so I don't have to be reminded every single day that I'm not getting a rainbow baby of my own?"

It's been almost two years and my arms still ache to hold Toren; my body still begs for a baby.

It's all very overwhelming sometimes. I can accept where my life is on most levels but there is still part that knows nothing other than the need to mother a child.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You know, one of the biggest roadblocks I have to getting an official divorce is that I don't know what to do about my last name. My degrees have my married last name and I'm really proud of earning those...

Fuck, along with the huge issues of divorce, like heartache, there are so many emotionally charged little things that require decisions.

And you want to hear a confession? I think part of the reason why bill paying has not been a priority is because I wanted his credit to be ruined and I didn't care about mine. Now I am caring about mine more. It's shameful, but I want to hurt him.

This time two years ago I was madly in love! Now, love is not a predominant emotion for me (it is getting better though!).

After everything that has happened in the last 2 years I don't know what my name is. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Without

Day one without alcohol completed.

Again. How many day ones will there be?

And of course this decision is from another dose of reality where the statement "my drinking is out of control" flashed above me in neon.

Moving into day two, refreshed after a peaceful slumber curled up with a snugglebug who wants to support me in sobriety and who made us milkshakes last night that we enjoyed while sitting on his balcony. Just chatting without getting drunk.

Moving forward without my son - without the family that I wanted. One step then another without numbing. Moving without some people who were once so vital.

Moving with people who want what's good for me overall, and not just what will make me happier RIGHT NOW.

..............

Moving in a positive direction is surprisingly so scary. I resist and resist, over and over, clinging to what is long gone, some of which I no longer even want. But today is day two - another chance to try again.

"It's not enough to stay here almost trying"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Word

Walking along the sidewalk was an older gentleman who looked normal - you know, clean clothes, appropriately groomed, serene expression - but every few steps he would wave his hands and loudly speak to no one. Over the traffic I only heard one word clearly:

"Motherfucker!"

If I didn't have a meeting to get to I would have seriously considered indulging my wish to park the little car and join him. We would be two regular, healthy appearing people vocalizing the random thoughts on our minds.

Perhaps he would be pissed that I joined him and then we could scream at each other. I imagine it would follow a pattern similar to sex with us ranting about merely annoying things before getting to the nitty gritty issues and once those were yelled out we'd smoke a cigarette, shake hands, and go our separate ways.

My random silent thoughts for today:

*I thought with frustration "Where's my bracelet?" while looking for the bracelet Zil made - the bracelet with Toren's name spelled out - that was immediately followed by "Where's my baby?". Even though I know that I don't have to worry about him, after all this time I still wish I had to.

* It's embarrassing to drive the little car. With only room for two people it's obvious to everyone that I have no family.


Want to share the random thoughts you are keeping silent?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I don't/won't remember where I put my wedding ring after displacing it several months back because my heart cracked whenever I opened the jewelry box. The ring is very "me" - romantic and old fashioned in style; I used to feel so loved when I looked at it.

A missing ring for displaced love.

Last night I dreamt that the diamonds were falling out of the setting and were lost. I knew it would never be worth it to repair the ring.

It's doubtful that I'll ever sell it ... I'm not sure I'll have children to pass my valuable jewelry on to ... Maybe someday I'll be old and will be close to someone's little girl and can give it to her.

Here, this is for you, let me tell you a story of love ... A boy and a girl spent half of their lives together; he gave her this very ring because he truly loved her. They had a beautiful baby who turned into an angel and their love accompanied the angel boy up into the sky to stay with him forever where the rainbows and stars live.

Friday, August 28, 2009

That doesn't hurt

Breathe! So much progress has been made!

It wasn't an agonizing stab - just a twinge and a subtle tightening in my chest ... it has to suck to be exhausted from feeding your child during the night and working full time during the day but it makes my head spin to hear complaints of how this woman's husband is not open to taking over some night feedings. It's hard to hear of feeding a baby as a chore when so many other people would consider it a luxury.

...........

Earlier this week, while in the shower worrying about getting intimate with boys because I'm heavier than I like, the usual "I don't like my body" thought was immediately followed by "I actually DO like my body!".

And I do! There are parts that don't conform to what is advertised as desirable but if I didn't worry about other people judging my shape I'd be rather satisfied with my appearance and my weight wouldn't be something I'd worry over much.

There still have been a few times since then where I've felt that familiar shame and even wondered if I should apologize - I'm sorry these tiny breasts aren't perkier. I'm sorry about the squishy tummy, it used to be so tight before Toren came and died and now I'm still so tired.

Body image is so complex! Any thoughts? Have you embraced your shape or any other features that could be considered "flaws"?

............

I'm seeing someone exclusively now; exactly one of the things I said I would never do. Why? Because I want to spend my free time with him, he's really nice to me, I have a good time with him, and most of the time I feel very comfortable around him - which is amazing since I'm so often uncomfortable.

You know how some walls must be lowered in order to get to know someone better? That is terrifying. When he says something sweet I tend to revert to a joke or silence. I can't really hear what he says because it's so hurtful to find out you've been lied to and it's so hurtful when true sentiments one day take an about face. Funny how kind words and gestures are so painful right now.

............

Another baby boy was born to a colleague.

A young woman at the nail salon asked what the date on my necklace signified and I told her the truth. She asked some thoughtful questions and I gently told her about his death and the end of my marriage - gently because I felt bad telling someone so young how sad life can become.

I wear the necklace everyday to work but no one here has ever asked about it.

This has been an incredibly unusual week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ready for a rant?

To the ex:

ASSHOLE!

For fucks sake, what makes you think it is ok to call me at work to talk about the DIY divorce packages you have found on-line and how we have already talked about "everything".

Blink, blink.... excuse me... we have already talked about what? Because from where I sit we haven't talked about one goddamned thing!

Discussing the division of property/debt will be easy, the conversation that seems impossible to have is the one where he says why he suddenly checked out and ripped our life apart with no tangible warning. Yes, we had a very, very bad year but he said he just wanted space ... he said I didn't have to worry, I just had to wait for him to come around again. And yes, we had enormous problems before with all of his fucking I love you's and fucking around on the sly and all of the fucking lies and fucking dumb ass me believing that one day he would understand that it was wrong to cheat on me when he loved me. That he would stop loving me instead of becoming devoted to me never crossed my mind.

Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid
Stupid Girl.

Why does this hurt? I never believed that he meant "separated", I knew that was his way of saying "divorce". Intellectually, I knew he was never coming back and I knew it would not be smart of me to get back together with him if he asked for it, but part of me still waits for him to truly love me.

How do I wrap my mind around my best friend leaving me?

How do I accept that the years worth of I love you's were untrue without my heart being crushed further?

How do I find a shred of self-respect when I put up with so much and just ended up getting so hurt?

How can I ever believe that other people actually like me when the person I was closest to didn't seem to really like me?

.............

I had a mostly productive day at work ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In a year or so, this will slip into the sea

Two years ago today Toren was just a vague wish ... just a hope for the future.

Contraception had ceased, prenatal vitamins commenced, and actively trying to conceive was planned for the upcoming winter. Meanwhile, I had been been feeling ill for a couple of weeks - nauseous, bloated, gloomy. On August 13, 2007, after listening to my frustrating and on-going symptoms a friend asked if I could be pregnant and while I thought it was unlikely, I picked up a pregnancy test on my way home from work anyway. Of course, that turned out to be positive and of course it turned out dismally.

But that was two years ago tomorrow. Two years ago today I had had a great summer with family visiting to attend my graduation, a trip to Seattle, plenty of time sitting by the neighborhood pool, and hanging out with friends. And then I felt sick for weeks, then so happy and excited, then so loved, then so worried, then so utterly heartbroken. And heartbroken is where I've remained.

One year ago today I was unexpectedly overwhelmed by tears from realizing that it had been a year since Toren hadn't been the primary topic of my thoughts. Now it's been two years since I felt the lightness of not worrying over him or missing him. Last year I wrote this:

"What I would give for thoughts from my self a year from now. Next August 12 will I be remarking on how much beauty and joy has entered my life or will it be another shell shocked statement of "didn't see that coming"?"

Well Anna from the past, if you could have heard your thoughts from the future, this is what you would have been told ...

You will still be a bit shell shocked from living another year without Toren and a good portion of a year without your husband - yes, he will leave your ass without hardly a word. But by August 12, 2009 you will also be so thankful for the joy that entered your life. You never would have believed that housemates would be a good situation for you but it is so great having C and L around! Also, you will spend this terrorversary with a boy - he's nice and fun to be around and tonight we see if he can cook.

.............

It's been a lousy year; the end of my marriage was so painful. But interspersed with sorrow is happiness. I'm so thankful.

.............

Tonight I see this guy for the third time; he's making me dinner. He is fun to be around and if we keep having a good time I'll definitely sleep with him and I'll be so good to him, but I will not confide in him, fall in love with him, need him, or see only him. I'm no longer that kind of girl.

...........

I like to listen to this LOUDLY

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Space

Years ago I read a magazine article that talked about creating space in your life for the things you want. For instance, say your winter coat is old and needs replacing but you keep wearing it on cold days because you haven't seriously searched for a new coat, and you haven't looked for a new coat because you still have the old coat. And you can't give away the old coat until you have a replacement, right? The article suggested getting rid of the old coat first because that creates space in your closet and life for something new.

For 21 months I've maintained heart-space and house-space for Toren. He will have his heart-space with me until the end of time but his house-space is gone. The almost-nursery is no longer waiting for the boy who can't come home.

Surprisingly, it's comforting to see the boxes that housemate L has already brought over stacked against the wall that never framed a crib. It's a relief that the space is no longer waiting to be filled.

On Saturday L and C move in. Fingers crossed that this will be a very positive change.

.....................

I'm doing badly ... I'm grateful for my new housemates and that I'm moving forward, but I really wanted Toren to live here, I really wanted my family to fill this house.

A while ago, stunned by how quickly a happy, hopeful life can turn horrific, I begged the Universe to release me from this hell ... I prayed for a change. The change is coming before I'm fully ready - there's still a part that can't accept that life continues after so much sorrow, there is still a part waiting for the nightmare to end in a reality that includes my baby safe and sound and my husband happy and present.

Anyway, a song to say goodbye

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crying in a good way

Have you seen the wedding entrance dance on Youtoob? It is so cute and sweet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I wish I may, I wish I might

I wish to be someone else.

It's just one of those days where I crave company with people who "get it". I don't need to retell Toren's story, or cry over how much I miss my husband and son, I just don't want to have to smile and pretend like it's a great day anymore.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Relationships and boys

Twelve years ago today I got married. I was 22. We met at a high school dance when I was 16 and he was 14. After being in each others lives for 17 years he said we were not compatible. He was right, but that doesn't make it not hurt.

It's hard to lose your spouse and best friend at the same time.

I've not thought about it too much today though. More hours have been spent thinking about the men I am virtually meeting through a dating site some friends signed me up for (I've even been asked out on a date already! but I told him I'll go only if we get to know each other better on-line first). But the prospect of dating is very painful too. It's an active step in moving away from the life I wanted.

I don't like being so alone but it's hard to imagine myself meeting new people or being intimate with someone new. It's hard to be someone more than a deadbaby mama and a woman totally dumped by her husband, after all, if the person who knew me best left with hardly a word how good of a person am I? My last couple of intimate times were disastrous so there's zero confidence there. And I look like I've been through hell.

Anyway, inspired by Grace's positive attitude:

Today I am doing better because instead of dwelling on the past I thought about what I want in the future.

I guess I just wanted to say brace yourself for frequent freak outs and bring on your best dating advice!!!

For you musical theater fans, here's a theme song as this deadbaby mama starts to tiptoe back into public ;)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Are you ready for this?

SQUEEEEEE! A tiny, absolutely adorable, baby watermelon!

They start out like this

This is an itty bitty cantaloupe

Wasn't that a nice post? Not even a smidgen of swearing or whining!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

(warning: carnage) Yes Kitten, that is exactly what I was talking about

... thank you for helping illustrate the point...

Sasha's just looking at the bird at this point; she lets go easier than I do.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let go!!!

Sometimes it is gentle and encouraging - "Anna, let go".

Other times it takes on the sharp tone I use when my cats have caught a bird or chipmunk - "Anna! Drop it!!"

"The family you had is gone and will not return. With a white knuckled, unbreakable grip you are clinging to a dead memory, a wish, a huge what-could-have-been, the corpse of what-almost-was. DROP IT!!!"

"With this desperate grasp on NOTHING how can you possibly hold anything new?"



......................................................................................


BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT
If I let go who will remember that my beautiful family existed for a short time? Who will recognize that everything felt so right with my marriage for those few months of pregnancy? Who will rage against the world because my baby died?


You were supposed to outlive me. I was never supposed to need to let go of you.


.........................................................................

I just had a fight with myself that is ending in tears and too much wine. Hooray for Friday night!

What are your internal conversations like lately?

Growing pains

Babies grow so quickly. The babies born well after Toren died are teething, trying solid foods, learning to roll over and crawl, and they are GROWING.

Toren stays forever tiny, his weight easily held by my left arm.

......................

I stopped by the cemetery yesterday evening after not visiting for several weeks. Since it is a communal plot there is usually something different each week when I normally visit. There was nothing different last night! No new toys or memorial items placed ... nothing rearranged. And this is what my grief feels like lately - stagnant, immobile, quiet and ignored. Work, a trip, "oh shit" financial situation, quest for housemates, love/hate emotion swings related to ex, and trying to reclaim my life, has pushed thoughts of Toren to the sidelines.

......................

My living situation is going to be very different in August when housemates move in. I'm happy about this because it helps with my goal of paying my bills, but sometimes the thought tiptoes through my brain "is this what I wanted for my life?". The answer is "no". I never had a desire to live with housemates. I feel like I'm too old for this. I should have my family with me. I miss them. I miss the life I almost had.

.....................

You know that feeling of everyone's lives are moving on, progressing, changing while you are stuck missing your kid? Now I see progression and change in my own life but it's happening out of necessity not desire. It's a good thing, but it's weird. It's a happy thing and a not-happy thing at the same time.

For today, how about a song about going places (I didn't watch all of the video) to inspire this Southern Belle to get her ass to work!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Aerodynamic handbasket

I don't think about having a baby much anymore. Why bother wishing when I have no spouse and I simply can't afford to have one by myself right now. Without the gnawing hopes for a family I've started to question whether I really wanted that in the first place. I didn't always want to have children and I didn't have to try long at all to conceive (all of you living with infertility feel free to throw stuff at me). Last night my friends baby was at my home. A blue eyed boy smiled, giggled, cried, had a bottle, played, and fell asleep on the quilt my Mother made for me when I was a little girl. He was really fun and really sweet.

I want a baby.

I would have been a good mother too.

I had a plan in place for breastfeeding for at least a year to reduce Toren's risk of developing celiac disease. We were going to teach him sign language so Toren could communicate before he could speak. I was never going to complain about sleepless nights because how could I be upset with a little human who wanted me near. We were considering a Montessori style play area. He would ride with me to work and go to day care while I went to my office; I would be able to visit him during the day.

And those were just a few of the plans for baby-hood alone! Later there would be annual passes to the aquarium and botanical gardens. He would get exposure to music, technology, art, dance and science to see if he took after his dad or mom. There would be a swing set in the backyard, we would hang out by the community pool all summer with the other families. Most importantly Toren would grow up knowing that he was wanted and is deeply loved and cherished.

While Toren was in utero, my wish for him was that he would be a happy individual. I figured that also included him being healthy enough to be happy, I didn't need perfection for his body, just joy for his spirit. Did he jump ship because it was not possible for him to be happy in our family?


...............................


I wasn't always a basket case.

I put myself through undergrad graduating with honors while working (pastry chef) and performing in student showcases (classical ballet). I was accepted into a top University for graduate school. I did fairly well there even after discovering that the ex was searching for "discreet" affairs with strangers on the internet just days before classes started. My boss for my work study position wanted me to stay after graduation so I did because I love her and the study we work on. She encouraged me to get a PhD next but I just can't do that much thinking yet.

Ah Anna, remember when earning anything less than an "A" was upsetting? Remember piping icing pearls and shells over and over to classical music so they would be perfectly uniform on wedding cakes? Remember foot cramps from the repetitive barre exercises and baby's breath in your hair performing a Petipa variation?

Now I'm hardly flustered when the bank account dips below zero.

All of that hard work just went to hell so quickly.

Now I'm a fucking loser who can't afford all of my bills let alone be able to afford to take care of a child. I no longer feel like I ever deserved a child.

Before. Dancing with my Dad at my sisters wedding

Removed to protect my anonymity.  It's a cute photo though, lots of smiling and laughing.


After. Reflection in sliding glass door.

I'm really sad now. A song for today.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You guys always know just what to say in your replies and your encouragement means so much, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!

What I wrote in the last post of what I wished I could say to the ex - I didn't mean it. Only a small part of me wants to say that. I'm not proud when I think or say angry things about him because those sentiments are not entirely true. I don't hate him, I love him! He was my best friend for over a decade. He was the person I wanted to see everyday. I wanted to have his children and raise a family with him. I wanted all of that even with his history of lying and infidelity.

It's incredible what you will put up with when you believe "I love you"'s. Once those endearments walk out the door ANGER rears up just for self protection. It turns out all of the times of absent devotion are only forgiven if the "I love you"'s are true and sometimes the emotions associated with these memories are overwhelming.

Ultimately I do not wish to never think of him again; I wish to someday be able to remember happy times from when we were together and not follow the path of feeling rejection and loss, and loneliness, and anger. I want the happy memories to remain that way.

................................

I've been doing so much participation in life lately, it feels like I exist again. And that is ok, taking care of issues is energizing! I hope it keeps up because it feels good.

The bad part is, it is time consuming and rather embarrassing to re-join life. This week I paid the traffic citation from my accident back in winter; this was urgent because I found out my license had been suspended because of it (so embarrassing!). Then I almost didn't get to join a credit union because my credit is not looking so hot (shit). All of these problems are because, for the most part, I haven't opened mail since October 2007.

I have a lot of catching up to do. But, as my Mom said, at least I'm doing it now. I love my Mother for saying she was proud of me for getting my license reinstated!

............................

Finding housemates is time consuming and so far no one looks great. The seemingly sanest of respondents is between jobs and is collecting unemployment and working part-time - I told her as long as she can cover the rent I am not bothered by this. Dumb? We'll see. In fact, as long as my kitchen isn't turned into a meth lab (because those are smelly and can blow up) I don't care how people get the rent, I just want to be able to pay my mortgage.

In an effort to get more interest from my roommates dot com posting I wanted to include a photo of myself (only because so many other people do it). Some of you, (Sophie had an excellent post a while back) have talked about photos before deadbaby and after; I hardly have any photos of myself taken "after" and I haven't found a single one without sunglasses. I posted this one though, taken during a trip to the Pacific Northwest. This is a "before". Although, it's actually during, about 2 weeks gestation, but I wouldn't know that Toren was present for another 2 months. The photo was taken 7-7-07, which means year 2 has already begun, and suddenly my chest is so tight.

Photo removed to protect anonymity


Add 20 pounds and some frown lines, take away the wedding ring and sparkle and you get me today. Just occurred to me that posting this photo with my ad may be too much of a misrepresentation! Might reconsider.

........................

Disjointed? Possibly. Re-joining life has hijacked my brain and I left my bag of medications in my office yesterday (worked from home today to let in gas guy and carpet cleaners) so it's been too long for some of these pills. I've got to go pick them up before I get dizzier, while driving ultra carefully since I just got my license back ;) So I leave you with my theme song for the moment. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrity sighting and other gossip

Guess who I saw!!!

Debbie from It's just me (along with 2pac and P. Diddy) visited my region of the world and I was able to meet her! Debbie is super duper sweet and fun and if we lived in the same area I would want to hang out with her often. We sweated in the Southern heat, laughed at/with her colleagues, and caught up IN REAL LIFE!

AnnaLand gossip

My trip out West to visit family and attend a conference was fantastic and just what I needed. I can't even believe that a few days before I was supposed to fly out I considered canceling the trip because I was just too depressed to leave the house. Upon returning to my silent, lonely home I realized how much I enjoyed being around other people, whether it was sleeping in my Dad's living room or on the hide-a-bed in their hotel room or in my own bed sharing a hotel room with a colleague. I loved saying "goodnight" to someone and not eating every meal alone. So while it was sad to return to "my reality" I discovered that I CAN be happier. Thus, I have promised myself that if, after renting out the spare rooms of my home, I am not happy enough I will leave. I will fucking walk away from this fucking house, this investment for my family's fucking future. I will go home to my Mother and leave the ex to figure out how to pay the mortgage and keep up with repairs. He can put the damn thing up for sale or lose it to the bank - I won't care! BUT FIRST I will make a serious effort to make my home happier by getting some housemates.

Which leads to piece of gossip #2: Yesterday I posted ads for the rooms. It is very stressful. So far 3 people have responded and I am convinced that all of them are scams (although I'm not sure how they could be scamming me, or why). When I don't hear anything for several hours I start to freak out and think that I'll never rent the rooms, then when an inquiry arrives I freak out because I'm so suspicious. At first I was thinking that the worst case scenario would be to be murdered by a loser renter. Then I thought that death wouldn't be so bad considering I've been whining about being alive for so long and I may have an opportunity to try out some of my boxing moves before being slaughtered. No, the worst case scenario would be my sweet kitties being harmed during a robbery or my murder. The ads were only posted just over 24 hours ago and I am this worked up...
So, every crazy person in the area may answer my ad but I'm just going to remember that I'm certifiable - I've been 1013'd and hauled off to treatment in the back of a sheriff's car so I can outcrazy the best of them. Um, yeah, that was my "assert yourself" and "call them on bullshit" fight song.

All of this was brought on by gossip snippet #3: Every time I see another e-mail from my bank telling me about another fucking overdraft charge I get so freaking angry at the ex for not bothering to contribute ANY money towards the mortgage this month or bothering to give any explanation for why he's ignoring my requests for it. I hope he can live with himself while he shirks his prior commitments and pays rent somewhere else. Of course I'll never say any of this to him, but if I could manage to speak around him I'd say "You fucking closed off, immature, adulterous man, so far I think of you often but someday you will never cross my mind."

Further inflammatory remarks in gossip passage #4: I am destitute. But it's not pissing me off as much as it could. Instead it's kind of empowering! No car insurance, no natural gas service (which means no hot water or cooking), and only $15 in gift cards and cash to live on since Friday. I'm living off the land (horray for my awesome veg garden!) and out of the freezer. Also, I'd like to give a big shout out to the George Foreman Grill which has allowed me to cook the turkey burgers from the freezer. Everyday I am just so thankful that I have food to eat and that it's hot enough outside that cold showers are not so bad. My goal for next month is to not have any utilities turned off.

Gossip story #5, a tale of self-assertion: There is a hope of acheiving that goal because I canceled all current and future appointments with Therapist 2. It wasn't pretty. Of course she asked if there were reasons beyond financial for my desire to leave therapy and you know what, there are! I felt uncomfortable many times. I was referred to her for trauma treatment and it turned into regular psychotherapy plus group therapy, which would have been ok if my insurance had been filed properly. Again, of course I didn't say anything beyond "I need a break". Anywoo, it's my fault for continuing to write the checks and spending hundreds every month, but by not paying her I should be able to keep the utilities on.

Finally, HOPE: I get paid soon. In July I'm starting a budget. Starting in July I will not pay my ex's bills (other than health insurance). On payday I will start my own car insurance policy and the bill will be less than $60/month and I'll be able to access information about my account without needing my ex's password or last 4 digits of his SSN. On Thursday the gas will be turned on and I'll have my own natural gas account rather than needing the ex to authorize anything on the account.


Wow, didn't think all of that would spill onto the screen...on first glance it may not look shiny and pretty in AnnaLand but a gleam is working its way in.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Next year I'm going to follow the recommendations for seed spacing. It's become very crowded in the garden!

Here is the layout of my gardens (replanting the lawn that died during the drought has clearly not been a priority). At the bottom left of the photo are watermelon plants (they are not doing so great); at the bottom right is a corner of the pumpkin patch; the vegetable garden is ahead and the butterfly garden is across the path from that, right next to the house. This photo was taken last weekend and already the vegetable garden is MUCH LARGER!


Here's Sasha kitty checking to see if the catnip seeds planted in the pot grew, something grew but I don't think it is the catnip :( Also pictured are romaine and red leaf lettuce, green onions, lemon cucumbers (caged on the left), tomato stalks with basil and parsley.

This photo was taken at the end of May before the cucumbers went through their growth spurt. The path is covered with vines right now and the tomatoes are 6 feet tall. When designing the garden I had visions of gracefully and leisurely walking down the path, picking ripe vegetables; it's more like playing Twister right now as I avoid stepping on plants!

The plants from last year in the butterfly garden are getting really big but the seeds I planted have been very disappointing. I don't know why they did so poorly. It's hard to see what's going on in this photo so I guess it's included here more for me. The first blooms on the purple butterfly bush are there, but are lost in a dark spot; I added two pinwheels and I like the shining movements they provide - makes the garden feel less lonely.


This butterfly chime is new.


Here's a photo of the stone added to the garden this year. Chokes me up still.


.........................

It's not been awesome in my headspace lately. I swear I'm not purposefully making things hard for myself or doing things to slow down my progress in therapy. Therapist 2 suggested I pretend like I feel like being alive to see if that intention will turn into reality. Ok, but I'd still prefer if therapy would just lead to ACTUALLY feeling better.

I head West in a few days and I'm nervous to see my family because I don't want them to know how poorly I've been doing. The name of the game will be to keep them doing the talking!!! I am eager to see the desert and maybe I can arrange a trip to the Pacific Ocean but overall getting excited enough for the trip to actually make progress in preparing to go has not happened - I arrive in Phoenix on Thursday and will end up in Anaheim during the weekend where I'll stay until Wednesday.

I used to love to travel.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have to pee...

... about every 10 to 30 minutes.

No pain.

Almost two years ago a had an asymptomatic UTI which was only diagnosed because my OB's office tested all patients. I was called a day after my first prenatal visit and was prescribed antibiotics. I don't know how long I had had the infection. I had been feeling like crap for weeks but I thought those were pregnancy symptoms, and before the positive pregnancy test I thought I was just under the weather.

Now, I've been under the weather for 2 weeks. Now, my ex is moving out ... my old life is moving further away ... I'm very upset so perhaps I just need to tinkle because I'm ultra nervous.

In case it is just neuroticism I don't want to see a doctor. Also I don't want to say the words "UTI", or hear it discussed, or pee in a cup. I don't want to think about kidneys and bladders. Without a family history of kidney problems, the causes of bilateral renal agensis are still unknown, but two "bad" things happened early in my pregnancy and I suspect one of them is the culprit: was it the UTI or the velamentous cord insertion? Which one killed my son? There has to be a cause!! How come a UTI could be ultimately fatal to a fetus (in this scenario of jumping to conclusions) but if left untreated I doubt I would die? How come people die of stupid things everyday but I can't just fall over lifeless from a broken heart?

I don't know why I get out of bed everyday. Today is just a bad day, other days are bearable.

The water broke for a very pregnant coworker down the hall, I guess she is going to the hospital now.

I'm going to the ladies room.

edit
Would you believe there was then a parade of strollers full of baby boys through my office? Ok, actually it was only one stroller and one tiny baby boy but it felt like more. Today is crushing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lunch date postponed :(

And I look cute today... at least cute for my new old, bitter, and broken self. I have aged so much in the past year and a half. I feel too old to be successful at starting my life over.

I'd like to go hit the punching bag but my nose is running too much (stupid cold). I'd spend too much time wiggling in and out of the gloves, alternating throwing punches and blowing my nose.

Earlier this week I agreed to pick my ex up from the airport with just hours notice (even though I requested a days notice). I didn't have much to say and couldn't speak very loud anyway with my sore throat. He didn't have much to say either. He made himself right at home in my little car by using the cigarette lighter to charge his phone, then he kept busy by texting and talking on the phone. And I remembered how much I've always hated that! I'd forgotten that it was usual for him to text other people while with me. Like I was invisible.

Since he has been in the house again I can't sleep. For the past week or so I haven't been taking traz0d0ne (since I suspect it makes me too groggy in the mornings) and I've been SLEEPING! Sleeping without listening to meditations on my iPod all night even! But for the last two nights I've needed the iPod on, and sleep has been very restless.

I feel sad, but something is different. I'm almost feeling stronger. It's like I'm one breath away from ... a new way of thinking ... a mental shift ... a scrap of positive self esteem perhaps ...

That's all. I just wanted to let you know why a date report was not going to be given.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obsess at home!

As an aging, reluctantly single, deadbaby mama one would think the last thing I need is the ability to test my ovarian reserve every single month all on my own. But you are crazy if you think my next day 3 will go by with using this.

No clue how this happened but I have a lunch date next week. I don't know how much of a "date" it is but it is a meal with a cutie where I suppose I should talk about things other than my dead son and absent husband. WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

I've been sick all weekend. It has been 75 hours since I have seen another human being. 50 hours of that time was a feverish blur. It's very very sad to be single when you are sick. Makes me want to move near my mom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Incredibly random post

My new-ish neighbors' dogs howl when they hear sirens. I wonder what the dogs are thinking. Do they howl because they are inspired to sing by the loud shrieks of emergency vehicles or are the unnerved by the sounds hitting their sensitive ears? Then I realized that I felt like yelling with the sirens.

"Someone's hurt, someone is hurt!"
"help help help help help help send help!"
"Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!"

Because someone's life may be falling apart at that very moment. Someone may not live. Someone's house may be burning down. Someone's child may be dead. Someone may be on their way to becoming as lost and lonely as me. That all freaks me out right now.

If you hear a news report of some woman in the South hauled into a mental hospital after being found pacing her garden, yelling with sirens, while wearing boxing gloves, please send cards of encouragement! Appropriate sentiments would be "hope they don't throw away the key!", "They say you need a lobotomy, it could be worse!", and "good luck with your crazy roommate!"

Seriously though, I did see a card that was a divorce announcement. It looked like a "normal" card on the front cover and said something about how life has to change and move forward and then on the inside it says something like "Just wanted to let you know about my divorce". Maybe I'm just ultra sensitive concerning divorce but that card did not impress me in positive ways.

I feel like I could go on and on with random thoughts. Maybe I'm lonely. I'm going to a real life support group tonight and hopefully spending time with women who "get it" will calm me down a touch.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I hate reproduction

Seriously. What nasty business the freaking miracle of life can be. Works out well for some people but leads straight to heartache for others.

My sister is having trouble getting pregnant. After doing everything right by waiting for a wonderful guy to marry and waiting for the right time for children now her eggs are old.

I HATE OLD EGGS!

I want my sister to get the miracle version of reproduction. Can't I just be the token reproductive failure of the family?

Sigh.

............................

For some good news, I loved my boxing lesson yesterday and can't wait to get back to the gym to practice some drills. The joints of my arms from fingers to shoulders are a little sore (as expected) but I think I'll be ready to hit the bag again on Wednesday.

Anybody else have non-reproductive related good news?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Unhappy

Expressing anger comes up in therapy a lot. My therapists encourage me to get mad and say what's on my mind instead of suppressing all sorts of negativity.

I was working from home when my ex dropped by unannounced in the middle of the day. After all of the discussion in therapy about standing up for myself and expressing when I'm angry with him all I can manage to do is mumble a few random sentences before starting to cry.

Yup, CRY!

And then smoke half a cigarette (first one in months). And then hide under the covers in bed for two hours wishing that the mattress would just absorb me into it, wishing for my heart to simply stop.

How is it that even when I'm at my least eloquent here in this blog, I can manage a "fuck you" but when it comes to speaking with a person I've known for half of my life, when it comes to speaking my truth, I become speechless?

...........

What if I never become able to handle my life again?

It hasn't been a good week, and that is coming from someone who doesn't have high expectations.

............

Sorry I haven't been commenting as much as normal; I'm reading all of your posts but just am feeling quiet. I love all of the cards I received! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On and on...

After loading the groceries into the trunk and running the cart over to the corral I sat down into the seat of the little car with a sigh and thought "He's dead". Then I realized I am always thinking that. How many times does that run through my head in a day? 100? 200?

He's dead.
He died.
Toren died.
My baby is dead.
He is dead.
He is dead.
Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, on and on, all day long.

Truly, brain chants related to dying are probably not helping me.



I wonder if I can change it to "love".

I miss him because I love him.
His absence hurts because I love him.
I remember looking at him on the ultrasound screen and I loved that.
I remember telling my parents about him and them loving him instantly.
I loved him during every moment we were together.
I love him still.
I love him.
I love him.
I love him.
love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, and on and on...

What I have and what I ache for

I'm listening to this song over and over. This is not the original video but the solitary aspects of killing time outside in this video better fit how I interpret the song.

The lyrics are vague enough to tell many stories, to me they speak of loss, loneliness, and trying to decide where to go next.

Lyrics to What Else Is There?

It was me on that road
But you couldn't see me
Too many lights out, but nowhere near here

It was me on that road
Still you couldn't see me
And then flashlights and explosions

Roads end getting nearer
We cover distance but not together

I am the storm I am the wonder
And the flashlights nightmares
And sudden explosions

I don't know what more to ask for
I was given just one wish

It's about you and the sun
A morning run
The story of my maker
What I have and what I ache for

I've got a golden ear
I cut and I spear
And what else is there

Roads and getting nearer
We cover distance still not together

If I am the storm if I am the wonder
Will I have a flashlights nightmares
And sudden explosions

There's no room where I can go and
You've got secrets too

I don't know what more to ask for
I was given just one wish