Please Just Don't Pee on my Pants

The trials, tribulations and successes of a teacher on her own journey towads independence.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hmmm writing and pictures

So this is what I know... I know my dad bought me this computer so I would work on my writing. Like me, he could care less about graduate school, and cares much more about what makes me who I am and brings me peace. He knows the medium that helps me achieve that used to be art but over the years has changed to words. He knows that I don't much pay attention to punctuation or "proper" sentence structure and more to the words and how they sound and flow together - just part of who I am or who I am becoming I suppose. Tonight I had to help my son with dependent and independent clauses - and I thought really what is the point. I did briefly think that if I paid more attention in high school knowing that type of thing would probably make me a better, more consise writer - not sure how important that is in the world today.

Franz, of course just announced that instead of journaling tonight he should begin a blog and how gay being 13 is... really I swear those were his words.

So back to writing... there are many possibilities I suppose; from the serious to the more rediculous and everything in between... snippets of life or something longer of more substance... free writing, just being me and not worrying about the rules of the world or the opinions of others. I try hard not to worry about what others think and for the most part I'm successful at that.

What was interesting to me today was that I spoke with my room mate back when I was 20. She said she actually still had the book of poetry I wrote all those years ago. I couldn't believe it, that someone would keep something like that, even though I had given it to her for Christmas; I was certainly surprised that she still had it and at times even read from it. Maybe there is hope for my writing after all. My aunt and uncle had it too and just returned it to me this time of year last year - obviously read and thought about, but they figured with all my travels and moving around that I had surely lost my copy - how right they were. How interesting it is to go back and see where my thinking was all of those years ago. Then understanding how differently I think now. How much I tought I knew then compared to how much I'm willing to admit I don't know now. Interesting of course how the world changes and moves us about so we can learn and grow as we are meant to learn and grow.

So where does this leave me today? With a voice; a voice for those who cannot speak, those who choose not to speak and those who do speak but don't have a clue as to what they are saying. Perhaps it is time to start on that book "Please Just Don't Pee on My Pants"... a new adventure a new career path... a new way to keep the freedom and peace I have become so accustomed to... Thank you Denise, Uncle Ade, Tanta Anita, Terri,Dad and Greg - for bringing me back from the pit I was jumping into this morning when I woke up.

God Bless You All.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So You Suddenly Want to Help With Our Kids

So you call because you suddenly want to help with our kids... that's great... can you take Eliza to the doctor after making the appointment today? Oh, you can't,doesn't fit into your schedule. Can you take her to counseling this after noon and maybe actually stay for the session and pay for half of it since that what you agreed to do? Oh, you can't, your busy... How about the fact that Tuesday night was suppose to be date night with Eliza, do you think maybe you could do that? Oh no, that doesn't fit in either - gosh. How about picking the kids up for their Wednesday night visitation? Oh that doesn't work for you either. I'm probably going on a trip this summer for a week; think you can take care of the kids? Oh, no, I see, you don't have time and don't want to make arrangements... that's ok I've got it under control...Ok... hmmm how about I do all the above and you pay half of the gas and doctor appointment and half the gas to get here there and Lorenzo there earlier last week, and half the meds? Oh, that is a struggle for you - really... Then sure you can help back off and leave us alone. We are better off without your lack of follow through. We can do this on our own, because we have learned that we can trust each other and we do what we say we can do; whenever we can... and if by chance something has to change we talk to each other about it and change our arrangements... but we are always there for each other in this house no matter what. So go to hell.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Be the Change You Need in Your Life or...

During these past three years my life has changed greatly, but it took guts, it took courage, it took looking in the mirror and at my life and deciding that the road I was going down wasn't the path my life was meant to stand for. I took moving a body that hadn't been moved in a long time, it took giving up addictions and drinking water, it took at times putting myself before everyone else, even my children. I knew if I didn't get myself straightened out what chance did they have - basically none. So although the road was difficult and many times I wanted to quit - but thankfully had a loving sister that kicked my ass when that would happen - I have finally found life, my life again. You see one can face the facts of life and decide to make the changes necessary to be happy and strong and at peace; or one can decide to stay where they are at and accept life as it is... the thing is this... if you choose to stay where you are you automatically give up the right to bitch and complain about where you are - you choose where you are and only you are responsible for where you find yourself in life. Is it easy to blame others - you bet... been down that road too... but I grew up after 39 years and I just hope it doesn't take others in this world 39 years to grow up and enjoy life and find peace within.


I'm Sorry - Really Do You Think I'm Crazy

So after years of tearing me down to the point where I was nothing you think that a simple i'm sorry please come back into my life will work? - my response - are you on crack? It has taken me three years to get back on my feet and find myself... and it has been a long and hard road of recovery from abuse. It has taken close friends, hospital stays, counseling and doctor appointments, the financial support of my father many times over, loss of the ranch and my horses... it almost cost me my life - and you - you have the guts to tell me this morning you are sorry - sorry for what? Threatening to kill your children? Threatening to cut off their fingers if they touched your tools again? Punching a wall because your 10 year old daughter forgot to turn the rice cooker on so you punch a hole in the wall right next to her head?
Sorry really? Bull Shit - I've been down that road one too many times, well actually several too many times and I've moved on; I'm in a happy place; my home is finally peaceful and my children sleep in their rooms because they aren't afraid of what is going to happen next. They know it is okay if they spill a glass of milk because it can be cleaned up and isn't the end of the fucking world - sorry really? Sorry for telling me how stupid I am and how useless I am in life... how what I do for work and where I work is a waste of my life... really - go to hell. You see sometimes - I'm sorry doesn't work, sometimes I'm sorry is too late. And all the time, every day I'm glad I walked away and haven't looked back. My one and only regret is being so scared of being by myself that I took all the crap I took. Now I know that life by myself is so much better, safer and fun being free. Become a captive of your world and a pwan of your life... to that I politely say - NO THANKS!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Looking Your Best

Mom always said growing up that one should look their best even if they are not going anywhere that day. That it is important to do your hair and your makeup everyday even if your only plan that day is a mountain of laundry. I never really understood her thinking - if we were going hiking; we had to make for mom to do her hair and look her best - that was just the way things were.

I knew when I was working that it was always important to look like I had my act together and take care of myself; but now that I'm at home I find that it is even more important to do the little things. Get up and make my bed, shower, get dressed decently (not in house clothes - those are all gone, but not in dress clothes either - just casual and comfortable) then to do my hair and my make up. It really does make one feel better; keeps one from falling into a pit of depression and lifts one spirits... so once again - I have to say "I get it mom" Interesting that it has taken me so many years to actually, finally pay attention.



It seems like ages since I have written anything in this forum, but in reality it hasn't been as long as I think; just a few four short days. So what have I been doing... spending time and thinking about my boyfriend. Yes, you heard me right I did say boyfriend. At first that word off my lips seemed strange; a term I haven't learned in years, but in reality that is what he is. We love each other so why not call it what it is; and it makes us both happy. Do we know where this is going? No. Do we really care where this is going? No. We just enjoy each other's company and spending time together - we miss each other when we don't get the chance to spend at least a bit of time together each day.

You know when you begin to get to know someone you do so cautiously; or usually one does, or usually I do - my guard is up high as are the walls and fence around me to protect me; but this is different. That wall just melted immediately away which I wasn't prepared for but that I'm thankful for. The opportunity to learn about him while at the same time learning about myself new things through sharing who I am, what I believe and what I stand for. Part of me has known some of those things for years - I just hadn't articulated them per say.

Do I hope for the most out of this relationship - of course I do, who wouldn't. Do I let my mind wander to places that perhaps it is too soon to go - I have decided that is ok too. I have decided to let myself go so that the real me can be present - the me that isn't a retired teacher, the me that doesn't study the behavior of autistic children daily, the me that is a mom on guard all the time to avoid the next world war... I'm just letting me be me and it feels wonderful. He and I seem to be able to talk about anything and ask questions on any topic and I love the way that freedom feels. Does that freedom come at an expense? I'm finding not really; just the willingness to take the risk and let the other person into your heart.

So where am I going with this today - don't really know I suppose... just that I hope others will take the plunge even if they think they aren't ready, even if it doesn't seem logical, even if geography is a challenge... for others to listen to their heart and soul and make decisions from there rather than the logical mind.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Help Out!

Today has been a much harder day than I was prepared for or expected. The first day back of spring break... I'm sure most stay at home mom's are relieved to have their kids back in school. So that means that my kids are back at school and the house is quiet. I know there are times I wish it was quiet when they are around because of the bickering, but I miss their presence.

Yesterday I saw one of the aides at the store... everything is fine, great; so that is what I explain, it couldn't be better; but part of me inside didn't know how to respond. Kind of makes me feel like I'm lost, my purpose is lost. The day after spring break has always been a high intensity day; kids kicking, screaming, biting, restraining... I was prepared for that because that is what this day always is like for me and gearing up for the battle and having it not be there suddenly has thrown my world off.

I know I'm doing well. Have the nicest place to stay since I lived with my parents, two cars that run, three kids that for the most part are the light of my life, and a boyfriend in Wisconsin that means the world to me. But it takes time to adjust to a new life and I wasn't prepared for that. If I had known this day would be so hard emotionally on me I would have prepared myself... set up something to do with my friends that stay home, gone out to lunch, had them over, gone to a movie... something to distract my mind; which once it gets focused is not easy to distract...

So, ah... the day is half way over and I'm going to be ok; I will survive this day because i survive all days just some are easier than others...


Sunday, March 21, 2010


BELIEVE - that was my sister's closing advice to me last night before going to bed. Sometimes believing is a challenge... that of course what the evil one wants us to think... if he can get into our heads and make us question things - he wins. So my goal for this week is not to question things; but to believe. Believe the outcome will be as the Lord wants it to be... also means that things may not go the way I want; but of course my sister says "BELIEVE" and they will.

So sister here I sit on Sunday afternoon meditating on your message to me.


Grandma's Mountain

Mom has been on the other side since 2000. Lorenzo was born in 2003. The last time I went up the mountain to visit my mom was before Lorenzo was born; at least that is the last time I remember. But today I went... yep - loaded up the crazy doberman and we went for a hike/climb up the mountain. The terrain isn't bad; unless as my dad says "you could get a job as a sidewalk checker" since anything more than 1/4 of an inch causes me to trip - I really am the graceful. How I ever managed to play soccer, running with the ball and passing is beyond me; or swinging a baseball bat or playing catcher. Perhaps it is the more complex motions of life that I'm good at and when it comes to simple walking my brain just goes somewhere else. Well taken my gracefulness, a mind full of things I wanted to share with mom, add in the increase in my meds and it truly is amazing I got off that mountain alive.

You know what they say around here "never hike by yourself"... I do it all the time. I used to go with Dad when he could go - now it is just me and the hyper dog from another planet. Part of the way there is a trail to follow, but once it comes to climbing the mountain - one is on their own. I know the general direction I need to go; but the terrain has changed a lot in the last six years. Branches blocking my way; and bear grass - I hate bear grass... I suppose I wouldn't hate it so much if I wore jeans instead of capri's to hike in ... kind of a duh moment for me today. Despite all the times I turned around because I got myself trapped and despite all the times I almost twisted my ankle and body out of alignment I made up to Grandma.

I checked to see if here beer was still there and her smokes - they were, but not in the best shape. I thought next time I need to bring her new stuff and some yellow roses. It was always yellow roses between mom and I. Don't know why it just was. With everyone of my babies mom sent yellow roses... something I guess one just does when the other is in the hospital - who knows, but it always meant so much to me... like giving someone a vase full of sunshine and a dash of hope to go along with it. That was after all mom.

I knew she had some things to say to me so I was prepared when the first thing I heard was "see - you should have listened to your mom"... I know mom. I should have, but I didn't I was too busy trying to save a bad marriage. She of course knows that and I of course know that bringing a sweet, innocent child into a crappy marriage isn't going to save it. I knew it back then too, but thought, hoped it would be enough for him to care about.

In the end Mom moved on from "see" to let me know I'm finally on the right track... which is amazing; because Mom was the queen of criticism. The only other thing she told me to get my act together on was self medicating myself when I run out of meds. I told her I didn't under stand the big deal... she self medicated her whole life; as does Rob... he comment... see - see - where did that get her. So I promise to take my meds. She is happy with me and my choice of boyfriend and apologized for pushing other things so hard. I tell her it is OK... we all do what we think is best for each other and in the meantime the world keeps spinning.

I promised to come more than once every 5 years and she promised to let the things she said see about today fade away - she just wanted to know that I processed my crap to get on with life... and was happy to see that I was actually getting on with life in many new ways and on many new roads...

What an absolutely fabulous day.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Really Mom - Really

Ok - so the conversation in my head went something like this...

Mom "Gretchen dear, you need to get up and wash the blinds."

Me "Mom, the blinds are fine and I have cleaned everything else you wanted me to clean."

Mom "Get up and wash the blinds. You know it needs to be done, besides what happens if the perfect man walks into your life and your blinds are dirty..."

Eventually the out come... after several more words... the blinds are washed.


Meant to Be

A friend of mine asked me last night if I thought there were things in this world that were simply meant to be... my response absolutely. Now do I know exactly what he was referring to? No, from the conversation I can infer what I was thinking and I'm probably right and I probably think the exact same thing... but this is where life gets tricky... inferences can be wrong. I can hear what I hope to hear because that is what my heart wants to hear because I believe it so deeply within my soul that I want to make it happen. Is it meant to be? My answer would still be absolutely... here is the catch though... fear. We all have fear, fear of rejection, fear of what if one of us feels something and the other one feels something else, fear of what if we both feel the same way - hell, then what? Who knows, then decisions are made, choices are made... life is going to go on if it is meant to be or not - the question then lies in what are either of us going to do about it? That question doesn't only go out to him, but to me as well. I know where my thoughts and imagination (which can be out there sometimes - I can admit that) lead me... right now my hope is that his thoughts and imagination are leading to the same place.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Greasy Garage Quote

We were driving home from mama's mountain, had an almost flat tire and had to stop out in the middle of no where at a garage to get the tire fixed. The mechanic said that yes, he would get around to it, but it was going to be a while. I'm like great - now what are we going to do? Wait... no other choice really. So we went to the store that was next door got some water and snacks for the kids... and waited... So while sitting at the mechanic's desk I start reading the wall and come across this quote:

"Sometimes you have to give up who you are; to become who you are meant to be."

I found that interesting and wrote it down so that I could ponder it when I had time. Today I decided was time to ponder... so this is what that quotes tells me... I'm sure it will mean something different to anyone, that is what quotes are suppose to do... make you think...

Who I was... I guess once I settled into being a teacher that is who I was. I was defined by my job and my work. That simply ran my life. People still ask "What do you do?" I used to know an answer to that question and would say "I teach." What is my answer now is something left to be because I am in the process of leaving who I was to become who I will be. And I kind of like the idea of being just me... undefined by any terms, not able to be labeled, not fitting into any one's box - just so I can screw with society perhaps... maybe I should have been a sociology major and studied the effects of non-box fitters on the common society - but then I would be my work again instead of having the freedom to be me... and that is what I crave - to just be, like an eagle in the sky, soaring, flying, breathing...

It is an odd place to find oneself - not knowing from day to day, yet an adventure at the same time because i have the freedom to be me; which so many people give up in order to be who they are. It can become a tangled mess - that I get - and it can be a chase around in a circle, but there is also the possibility that within that quote lies the meaning to all life; our purpose here serving God and loving other people. So many people don't get the concept of loving others, even those right next door. I remember growing up I knew everyone in every house on our block. Now I don't even know the names of the people who live around me in my apartment building.

The idea of being alone, really alone, used to bother me and I guess that there are times it still does. Yes, it would be nice to have someone to watch something stupid on TV with, or have3 someone to wrap their arms around me in bed at night so that I can listen to them breathe until I fall asleep; but those things aren't necessary to who I am meant to be and to do for the world what I am here to do... to make people think about themselves in a way they never thought possible before. For people to look at others through different lenses then they even knew existed. Do I know how to do that? No, but I'm on a journey to somewhere and along the way I'm sure to meet some very interesting travelers that have stories to tell if I stop long enough to listen. Even sitting and listening, really listening to the stories of other people - not from their words; but from a deeper place deep in their soul where the true meaning lies; the truth which they are too scared to share; the place where the unimaginable is possible. That we are so the same that we can no longer judge one another against any standard, but most importantly against each other or even one's self.

Does that mean I live in a cheap house in the desert with my dog? That way beats the mansion on the hill that one has to work 80 hours a week to maintain and never gets the chance to sit down in their own living room and listen to the silence of their house, or listen to the laughter and breathing of the people they love that are around them... if the people stuck around long enough to even still be there.

See when you get down to the brass tacks of life... it is all based on relationships with other people, good or bad, lessons learned or opportunities lost - it is the interplay between the characters we meet in life that leave us where we are; yet take us to where we are going both at the same time.

My brother just called tonight and reminded me... it doesn't matter what you have, it matters who you are. What you stand for, what your beliefs are and who you have walking with you along your path. I think about my own worn out furniture and Target shelves and can easily be swept up in the purchase new and conquer the consumer market of others... or... I can sit at night and listen to the sounds my house makes, breathe, and know that I don't have to play the world's experiment anymore, because I have finally figured it out. I have people walking along my path with me that understand and accept me for the unique individual that I am; because let's face it I have never fit into the normal, main stream of America. My life started out on a different path from the moment I took my first breath... just interesting how many years it can take one to discover and accept that - to give up the reality they exist in; so that they can be in the reality that brings them peace and closeness to God is a good place to be.

So why is the theory of that quote so difficult to achieve... because we like what we know is safe and letting go is scary - not a place most people want to be on a daily basis with their life. Most people don't want to have the time look within themselves and examine what in their heart really is their place; for there may be nothing there in order to develop an answer. And the thing is... we are always looking for the answer when what we really need to be focused on is the journey. For in the end, in reality the journey is all we ever really had.

I wonder if that is what Thereau did all those years ago... by that pond, just sit and contemplate... about what... about everything, every breath, every leaf, every breeze through the trees about the human endeavor.

I like to think about the interplay between nature and man; particularly animals and people. I find a very strong connection to animals and my life so much more complete when they are a part of my existence - being away from them makes me sick at some level - down in the heart, which leads to down in the head and that for me, isn't a good place to be; and it isn't a good place to be because it doesn't allow me to be free with those that I love and cherish.

I also find it interesting how certain people weave back and forth within one's life. Not even friends at some point necessarily, but then suddenly there again in center stage, in the midst of your thoughts when you aren't being guarded and you actually let your shield down. Then there are those you knew so many years ago, childhood friends... in Libya no less that you get to reconnect with if even for the briefest little while - from all ends of the world - the thought that your lives touched in such a way that the meaning they left on you or you left on them had more impact than time can erase... ah and the great ability to have been able to do so without leaving any scars - only love. How does one live a life in such a way - perhaps that should be my goal between now and the time I die. Leave loving marks everywhere, but no scars. One has to be a very open person, not afraid to risk the rejection and judgment of the world... Is that the walk that Jesus himself walked? And if so who am I to compare myself to him? Except for the idea that he wants us to follow in his path and live as he lived to the best of our ability. That idea of mine so many years ago... of the flutterby (as mom would say)... I just flutter by your life leaving you changed in some way that words cannot be put to; just a feeling, an emotion; without the scar of having been loved and left.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Flow - Opening

Constipation stops up the world with all kinds of shit. There is work shit, non-work shit, kid shit, divorce shit, money shit... and it all gets stuck deep in the bowels of your own living hell, until you end up in the hospital. Then the doctor does x-rays, examinations, tests and more tests and finally comes back and says, "All you need is a good shit." No Kidding, I swear. that is what this writing is about - cleaning out allt he shit and moving on with life. Recovery and celebration... getting the flow re-established so to say.

Gretchen and Terri didn't even know they were drowning in their own bile when they set off for San Diego with their combined 7 kids, an ex-husbands van; which they didn't know had no insurance or current registration; heading for the one hotel room they thought, that maybe, quite possibly, they could afford. That's right two women, 7 kids and one room. Thank the money shit gods for credit cards, or at least back at that time... now we have learned and made sure that credit cards have fallen so far below hell that they will never resurface - lesson learned.

The morning they were loading up the van to get on the road it was noticed that the spare tire had metal thread showing through; of course the ex-husband currently and forevermore known as FF had forgotten to mention that. The ladies of course discussed the pros and cons of leaving the spare tire and taking it with them. In the end they decided that the room was needed for the peanut butter and jelly that they planned to live on for the next 4 days... and besides they had cell phones and road side service - lesson learned - if you don't haveit you will absolutely need it; when you think you will have service - think again.

However the decision was made and they loaded up the kids and headed down the road only a three short hours behind schedule. For the two of them that seemed pretty good... at least they were on their way.

It became quite obvious an hour into the gtrip that the kids needed something to do in order to protect themselves from each other and to keep their mother's for wanting to end their lovely lives. So to protect our sanity we stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up not one; but two DVD players that could be hooked together so there would be no arguing over who could see and who couldn't see and we also picked up several movies. Of course in our brillance we thought this would work perfectly. Of course the kids chose to fight over the movies, as that was the one thing left to fight about; so one of us instantly became the movie freak. Not an easy task by any means - lesson learned -= no solution is as easy as it first appears to be.

We were once again going on our way, a short 6 hours from putting our feet in the sand and salt water of the Pacific Ocean. How hard could this be, we are two grwn women, independent and brave... we did eventually arrive in San Diego, CA but it took slightly longer than the 6 hours we thought.

And so the beginning... peace, G

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lost in the World of Autism

Even though I no longer teach students with autism... some are in my family and I see and interact with them on a regular basis. My sister was talking with a respit worker the other day and he would have hired me on the spot for 13.50 an hour which is actually darn good money... but I told him I can only work with the kids that have my heart and right now there isn't enough heart left for another kiddo like that. I needed time to heal.

Children with autism no matter where they are on the spectrum are amazing individuals and so much closer to God then I think we can ever imagine being. The main person I am in contact with now is my sort of nephew and he is having a really hard time. Even with his meds, his sensory, a one on one aide at school... his school day ends at 1; before everyone else because he can't handle a longer day. If the school accidently takes him on a field trip because they aren't thinking the abuse that his mother has to endure would be beyond your wildest thoughts. He can tear the door off the van, rip the seats out, break off the visors all the while yelling at his mother what a fucking bitch she is... and she sits there, because what is there left to do?

She needs to go to Costco to get meds for him and he punches her because he can't get what he wants... some people see him as a brat I'm sure. What they see as misbehavior is really sensory overload and communication. Communication that means get me the hell out of here before I really lose it. I have no impulse control and you know that why am I here. He is there because everyone is afraid to stay with him, to be alone with him for their own safety. Is it fair - no... he has never hurt me, cussed me out yes, gotten in my face yes... but physically hurt me - he hasn't crossed that line yet. People need to look with kinder eyes on what they see going on around them for they really have no idea what another person's world is like.

Last week the aide brought this young man to his mom and said he had an extremely hard day - the mom said welcome aboard, the honeymoon is over now it will be like this everyday. Do what I tell you to do and it will be easier, but it will never be normal or what you perceive as normal, but it is his normal and where he is. All the professionals say you need to go into the world of the autistic child and connect with them there before you bring them into our world or even attempt to bring them into our world. That is so true, but it is also true that one can get lost in their world because their world is so much more complicated than ours.

Now let me think about the two non-verbal autistic boys I was working with... they came to my classroom and had to be locked in. A good day was a day I didn't have to punch out yet another ceiling tile to pull one of them out of the rafters of the ceiling. We made progress from there over time. After the aides and I began going into their world for most of the day and playing their games, building the trust that they needed. They needed someone they could rely on and someone they can trust. Most of them don't have that... if they do they are lucky... so one literally has to spend a year just in their world being with them before they can even invite them to come to our world for a few moments. But once that trust is built and they are willing to walk in our world if ever so briefly - it changes both their lives and yours.

So with that I say please - look compassionately at the world for you know not where that soul has been nor where it is going... you only see it for the moment.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heart Writing

You know one of the things I miss about teaching is showing kids how to write from their heart. How to put their emotion on the page and take someone's breath away... not an easy thing to do, but what a fabulous writer is able to do on occassion. While teaching there were times they took my breath away, there were times their writing was so strong it brought tears to all of our eyes, there were times the author couldn't even finish sharing the piece because it was so close to his heart we all just had to stop and breathe. The respect those kids had that year was amazing - no one said a word, they just waited patiently until he could go on. It is that kind of writing I miss. I miss inspiring young minds to stretch beyond the ordinary and scream to the world something totally new from deep inside their soul.

The other night I tried to take two of my published pieces from class and merge them into one with new heart built in... didn't work... I wasn't surprised as my heart wasn't the same place it was when I wrote the two pieces one 8 years ago and the other 10 years ago... our hearts change, our perspectives on life change - hell the whole world changes in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.

Writing from my heart was so easy back then, heck I was writing for school children, even if my writing wasn't the greatest it was good enough to impress them. I feel my soul screaming to write again - but write for who. One ultimatly writes for them selves for their own heart and what they need to share with the world. Sharing that kind of writing in an open forum like this is a huge risk. What if someone doesn't like what a say? What if I piss someone off? What if i put someone in an awkward position that they didn't expect? What if I share something so deep that it isn't shared back... does one fear the rejection? I need more then my writer's notebook and publishing the way I taught kids to publish in school. But it always needs to be safe, a safe, risk free audience. Then I think of the author of the blook Crazy Love. He took some huge risks in being judged for his feelings and his beliefs, but it didn't matter - what he had to share was so powerful that nothing could hold it back.

So my heart is in a different place now then it has ever been before, of course that shouldn't be surprising considering how life changes and throws us curve balls. I crave to write again from my soul, my spirit from somewhere beyond my conscious mind to the recesses and chambers of my heart where real living should be taking place, real loving should be taking place. Moving beyod the superficial world that exists so that everyone can be safe at least most of the time and move beyond that to the top of the mountain where perhaps it isn't so safe, where perhaps you may stand to close to the cliff and walk on the ledge... enjoying the rush of really living.


New Thinking

Time for new thinking I suppose although I don't know what it will end up being, perhaps a lot of nothing, or a lot of something that gives others something to think about. That is my goal after all... to get others thinking about something, besides what is on tv or what if for dinner. Life a bit beyond their immediate world.

Being a stay at home mom has changed who I am, do I dare say I'm a bit more like Mom then I used to be. I clean the kitchen cabinets now and the banister railing on the stairs... I look for smudges on the doors that used to go completely un-noticed but now with time on my hands absolutely drive me crazy. My sister of course says these are good changes - things that need to be done and I know she is right, but when I was working 60 to 70 hours a week... something had to give besides my sanity - it feels good to get caught up and not have to look at the smudge level my 6 year old leaves where ever he goes... he is a bit like the old pig-pen from snoopy days, getting him to take a bath - well let's just say it is a challenge. I refuse to bribe him or pay him for it, which he of course thinks is insane. I of course think it is insane that he would actually think I would pay him for a bath. Perhaps he will be a rich man some day, but not off of his mama.

Taking time for myself - now there is some new thinking that I'm actually liking. I enjoy reading when I can find something decent to read, which I haven't lately. Been reading a lot of Christian work but need something else for a bit that is more of escape than a travel into the depths of my soul and spirit and the meaning of my existance. But it has given me a time to recover from anger and hurts of the past, dare say forgiven things I never thought I would; and still working on forgiving things that are more recent and are still staring me in the face. I work on those things, contemplate how to move on and where to find the forgiveness in my heart for other's jackass moves (at least in my opinion). I have to be careful there since the slopes are slippery and I can easily fall into the self-pity and blaming myself for things that really don't have much to do with me.

Painting... haven't done much of that... even though it is a peaceful place for me to go, to put paint to paper hasn't drawn me in, I'm sure it will soon or paint to my table that desperately needs something done to it.

Exercise seems to have become a new passion of mine... I know - it scares me too. I actually enjoy walking the dog and most mornings look forward to picking him up from my ex's and off we go. If I'm not looking forward to it before I go; just seeing his (the dog's) excitement makes me feel good about the 3 miles ahead of us. Then taking a break and doing the three miles at home. Now if I can just figure out how to get rid of the baby fat around my stomach I'd be doing great... my 13 year old son of course who knows all about fitness tells me I need to do at least 100 sit-ups a day and 50 push ups... I just laugh - I can visualize myself doing them, but that just doesn't seem to get the job done. I don't think that is fair...

So those are my thoughts as I finish my break and my beer and head off to the bathroom to honestly scrub the floor in places that probably haven't seen soap in a while since the mop misses them... yes those spots are driving me crazy as well. Mom would be so proud that I've finally figured out how to clean... my ex would of course still say I don't do anything right. To one I say I got it mom... to the other I would say go fuck yourself.


Friday, March 5, 2010

In Search of Peace

There is nothing like the soft soothing music of Gordon Lightfoot to melt a troubled heart. When I hear his music I Remember being at the Wolter's for taco party nights. My parents drinking wine and playing games and laughing, laughing, laughing. Drippy candles lighting the room with soft warmness of Jesus' touch.

That is such a comfortable, safe place to be... lost in the haze of happiness. It is no wonder that even today when my world overwhelmes me I long to be lost in candle light, Gordon Lightfoot and a really good glass of wine. My wonder then turns to why I'm crying instead of laughing? Where has the happiness gone?

Why was it I could feel safe sitting on the kitchen floor wrapped in moms arms listening to Gordon Lightfoot. It doesn't feel safe to me now when I do with my kids. I wonder if it feels safe to them? I wonder if Mom did that in search of her own safeness?

I sit and watch the candle burn... dripping onto the wine bottle. Watching the colors, red, blue, green flowing together and turning brown. It takes me back to the smell of honeysuckle and the sound of my mom's voice singing along to Gordon Lightfoot. It takes me back to somewhere safe. Somewhere, where i don't have to do anything but just be loved. Takes me back to the flowergirl I at times so long to visit.

I miss you mom. Peace,

Mom - I So Get It NOW

I remember when the drinking first started. I was in thrid grade and we lived in Huntington Beach. At the time I didn't really think much of it... most of the moms on the block got together in the afternoon and had a beer or two before we all came home from work. I get that now - I can understand why you would need a beer before we came home - simply to keep your sanity. At least that is how I think it started.

Then in Libya that is what people did... they made beer and wine and drank. I think it was a way to deal with the world we were living in. A way to deal with the idea that the four of us would stand in separate lines hoping to be able to purchase a pound of ground beef. Of your having to wear low cut shirts to get what we needed in order to live another day. Even though Libya was hard I wouldn't give it up for a moment; but I think the drinking increased there. It gave you a way to escape the reality. I get that now, when I need to escape my reality as there are times it is so overwhelming... sometimes it takes a conscious choice not to pick up a drink; takes self control; takes keeping busy so I don't have time to stop and think to contemplate things too deeply.

Then when we moved to Wisconsin is when I believe you got sick. They (the researchers of the world) say it takes a major life event to kick in bipolar - we had some major events - leaving Libya, adjusting to American life, and Grandma passing away - watching her pass away with all the treatments and doctor appointments. Your drinking got worse as you were unable to deal with the highs and lows of your disease and you were misdiagnosed as an alcoholic while you were actually self medicating the bipolar... but of course that wasn't in the current DSM so no one knew what it was at the time.

Rob self medicates. I choose to take meds, but sometimes when they don't do what I need them to do there are times when I think "I could so easily become the alcoholic I grew up with." You see Mom it was never really your fault you just wanted peace and didn't find it. You wanted your mind to stop and be quiet and it wouldn't.

I remember your sleeping until 11 almost every morning and I thought it was just due to the alcohol; when in fact it had to do with your disease as most people with bipolar have issues with sleep. Up at all hours... I get it now. In order for you to sleep you drank. I write, I think, I read, I pace. Rob drinks... we all deal with the disease in different ways.

As I look back at your life so many things that i thought were uncontrolled choices based on your part were really things way beyond your control. I didn't know it then and I don't think you knew it either. So I just want you to know that I understand, I get it, I forgive it all so that now I can move on... you may have not needed to know that, but I did. I needed to it so that I could understand me.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Really 2:30 am

Yes it is really 2:30 am and I'm awake... major life decisions always take away my already crummy ability to sleep. Of course I try the regular stuff - calming music, clearing my mind (that of course is the problem - it just won't stop), stemming on my hair, then pacing. For those of you unfamiliar with stemming that is a fancy term for something you do over and over, like in a meeting if I'm not doodling on something, I'm clicking my pen, or bouncing my leg. Children with autism stem a ton and that bothers people, what people don't know is that they themselves stem just no one has bothered to point it out to them or it doesn't bother other people. Or as in my case I learn to make it something acceptable - doodling in a meeting rather than bouncing all over the place or clicking a pen. So there is a short lesson on stemming - how do you stem in your life?

I'm worried that's why I'm here. I know I need/want to get out of Benson. Benson hasn't been the best place in the world for myself or my kids. I have some options - great house in Rita Ranch and a great house in Whetstone. The advantage of the Whetstone house is that it is about 20 minutes closer to my dad and has a huge back yard, but no garage, very little extra storage for teaching crap that will probably never be used again - on an aside I have considered piling it all up and taking some gasoline and a match to it, but that would need the help of my brother and case of beer. The advantage of the house in Rita Ranch is that it is absolutely beautiful and is in a fantastic school district, one of the best in the state. The disadvantage is that it is an additional 30 minutes away from my dad compared to where I currently live. It is also in the "city" which I haven't really decided if that is a plus or a minus... still thinking on that one.

Of course I can always stay here. The advantage to that would be that Lorenzo could actually finish kindergarten in the same school he started the year. I could actually build up an emergency fund and the rent is cheep... but lots of memories and people that I don't want to see, don't want to answer too..."I noticed you aren't at the school anymore are you still working there?" I hate that question even now that I have a rehearsed answer and quickly walk the other way - just that everyone knows so much about my life bothers me...or they think they know so much about my life when they really don't know shit, because they have never taken the time to find out and they judge me anyway. That I won't miss.

So after this thinking on our new type of paper... I will go and look at that Whetstone house in the morning even though I had myself almost talked out of it and see where it leads me... see how it feels. The house in Rita Ranch had a very good feel and I'm just waiting to hear back from them... so I guess it looks like I'm moving somewhere afterall... the deal is just where.

My brother paces like a caged animal to stem... I'll go back to my meditation music and hair. There would be rum and coke if I didn't have just 3 days to lose those final couple of pounds. Good thing I have trained myself not to eat when I'm stemming - I used to... besides that there isn't any food to stem on since food stamps don't come in until the 6th... it is slim pickings around here unless you like carrots, which I do.... but I'm thinking not at 2:44 am.

Hope you all slept well and thanks for listening.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


You know last year in about April a parent actually had the audacity to write the school and complain that the staff was obese and disgusting. I was furious at first. How dare someone label a whole staff much less me. Especially when I had accepted her Down's Syndrom child and was doing the best I could to help him learn and go down a path that would lead toward his independence. I demanded that the principal respond supporting his staff and for a change he agreed and wrote her a letter back.

In April I started taking care of myself. I decided that day that no one was ever going to refer to me in that manner again, what hurt the most was that she was right. I had let my horrible marriage and stressful job give me a reason to eat anything I wanted when I wanted. I hadn't even really been aware that it had happened.

Ok - so maybe it was May when I sucked up my anger and decided she was right. If I saw that parent now I would thank her for spitting in my face and waking me up - I was in a lost world and now I'm not. Starting in May... until now I have lost 68 pounds - the long slow hard way - but that is the only way that works. And I'll keep going until I'm back in soccer playing fitness because that is where I feel the best. When I can kick a ball down a field, or dribble it and cross it over to the striker for a goal. That is the best feeling in the world.

So today when I really didn't want to take the dog on a three mile walk in the morning - I sucked it up and took him. I didn't want to do my 3 mile video work out either... and I postponed that until after the kids came home from school - then I sucked it up, changed my clothes, told the kids I needed 45 minutes of uninterruped me time and started getting busy. They actually cooperated and I didn't have to stop 10 times to referee.

I've learned a lot about myself these past few months... one is what took me 15 years to put on is coming off easier than I thought it would, but that it has taken focus and dedication and hard work. Things my dad taught me when we were preparing for my one and only cross country ski race, but I had forgotten.

Do I still have a ways to go? Yes I do, but in the bath today I thought "Dang those are nice looking thighs and look you can actually see your feet..." seems like such an easy thing to say about oneself but it just about brought tears to my eyes. My goal was 70 pounds by Christmas - didn't make that one cuz in November and December I took it easy... now the goal is 70 pounds by my birthday which is this weekend. I know that I'll make it even if it means a little extra walking, a little less eating and a ton more water. I have actually learned to drink water - that was the hardest part... giving up soda... but giving up soda and moving on with my life - has of course changed the path that my life is on. Thank God! and Thank that Mom who although rude, gave me a slap in the face I dearly needed.