Long and Winding Road

I feel emotionally exhausted, but I did have a huge moment when I realized why I have suddenly been saying things to people that there is no way I would have previously said.  They are always very honest statements, and right now, I am being nothing but totally honest.  I see no reason not to be, I care less than I did about sparing someone's feelings.  I feel like people DESERVE to know the truth, and that I must be the truth teller.

I am not sure how this occurred to me yesterday, perhaps I was reflecting, but I felt good, really good.  Actually, I felt great, so free.  It was strange since I just lost my mother although we had been estranged for years.

The entire time I was growing up, was constantly besieged with constant warnings, threats, reminders - so, so often "DO NOT TELL!".  Meaning, do not tell anyone what was going on in our house.  The drugs, the physical abuse, anything they did, nothing.  It got to the point where I shut down and many times could not even talk to adults.  Whenever I would go somewhere without them, to a friend's house, to babysit, with my grandparents, anywhere, most times I got the warning before I left.

Once, I was watching television by myself at my grandparent's house.  I do not remember what show it was, but it had a marijuana theme.  Everyone was watching the same program in another room.  My mother rushed to where I was with urgency to tell me not to tell anyone!  At that time, I was hurt.  I was hurt because she thought I WOULD tell.  I knew to keep the "family secrets" secret.

I was in my mid 20's the first time I finally divulged anything about my childhood to a therapist.  It was not on the first session, it was awhile in of her pressing me.  When I finally did, I really had no idea that anything that had happened was that bad.  How could I?  I had never told anyone before.  When she a horrified look on her face, I dismissed it.  It was her way of showing sympathy to something I clearly had trouble talking about.

That night, for some reason, and I do not remember having any sort of dream, I remember suddenly sitting up in bed in a panic.  My then husband asked what was wrong.  All I could say was "I shouldn't have told" over and over again.  I was so scared.  While I knew I was safe, I guess I was conditioned that there was going to be dire consequences for what I had done.  Some how, some way, she had managed to absolutely terrify me about it.

But now - that is all gone.  I realize that for some reason, even though I have not seen her since I was 18, here mere existence was enough to intimidate me and leave me with guilt.  Now that she is gone, there is a very noticeable change that I can feel - a positive one.

I do believe this is life changing.  I thought this was some temporary grief process I was going through, but now I think it is a permanent change in my personality.

This is one that I do not want to go away.  I do not want the guilt or fear - that I did not even realize I still had until recently back.  Yesterday, I felt so liberated, it was the craziest feeling.

But later in the day, I slipped back to my old habit.  I started regretting something I had said, and right away my mind started thinking..."so THAT is why she told me that so often.  She was right about me all along."  I got really depressed and still feel a bit of a sting, even when the person let me know they appreciated what I said.

It is a journey I am sure, but a really tough one.  I do not know where this process is headed.  It has barely been two weeks.  I am such a mess!  I must be so transparent - surely everyone can see I am on a major emotional roller.

Yet everyone - even those that do not know my mother has passed away has been so very kind to me.  The people that do know, I mean, I could not ask for better friends or family members.  I had no idea people cared so much.  Sure, people can say the right things when they need to, when they find out bad news about someone, but nothing requires them to continue to check on me, to see how I am doing and if I am ok.  Nothing requires them to be understanding when I am erratic, to even come back for more.  I apologize PROFUSELY, I have no IDEA why I say what I do, and when I apologize, I can't say that I am sorry for WHAT I said, because I am honest to a fault, only that I am sorry if I hurt them.  No one has yet to say I have, but do they say that out of pity?

I am so freaking confused.  Truthfully, I am probably overreacting to the things I say.  I was most likely way too guarded before now.  The way I currently am, I do not know if it is normal, but it is different.  Anything out of my comfort zone feels uncomfortable of course, so I very well may have, and of course how could it be completely gone, remnants of the past ghost of "DO NOT TELL, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING".  That is enough to freak anyone the elf out.  : )

Posting Quickly

I am still just so...different.  Erratic?  I do not feel sad anymore, but when I say "anymore", I mean yesterday, just one day.

The things I have been saying, that I have thought at the time have been okay to say, my lord.  Now it is to Mark's family members, and I have never ever meddled in their affairs.  I even said something to their mother, but we were sharing, a really good, deep conversation on text and I felt comfortable with her.  I did make a comment about a topic that is extremely sensitive to her.

I think I can make it brief.  Their brother is somewhat estranged, but he does see his parents a few times a year.  That may not fit the description of estranged.  I use that word though because I know from his wife that he is very angry with his parents, and she is furious with them and they say they have absolutely no idea why his wife will not speak to them, even to say hello to them when she comes over.  She has told me that she is protective of him because of what he has told her of things that happened to him by them when he was younger.  Mark is quite a bit older than Mark and his sister so they do not know what it could be.

It makes her cry when they come over and his wife completely ignores her and everyone else (except Mark and I - she and I have gotten along extremely well, at least until my email yesterday).  BUT, I have been thinking about family relationships in general, we were TALKING about family relationships, and I brought it up.  They do not know it was not out of the blue, or that it was a question, like do you know if...not what did you do?  I do not feel bad about that conversation at all, yet they seem absolutely horrified I said anything.  OMG, people!  This is an OBVIOUS situation in the family!  You know, people cry, *I* cry, but does Mark freak out about it and never talk about something that I have cried about again?  NO!  Sure, he is more sensitive about it, but oh!!!

I get it now.  Another thing I am just saying what *I* think needs to be said, and damn anyone or anything who thinks otherwise.  Yes, before I would have been stopped by my empathy, but is it lacking?  I do not know.  It needs to be talked about, it just does.  NOTHING will happen if no one talks about it!  I do not want to get involved, which I know is not obvious, but being a tiny spark to something would be nice.

Outside of his family, I can think of one more just unbelievable conversation that I wish I could take back, but what's done is done.  I told Mark, after his initial shock at my telling him about his mother (what in the WORLD is their deal with her?  They need to stop treating her like a wilting flower!), I told him that perhaps I should minimize my social interactions until I am more back to myself.

I sent a text to my psychiatrist/therapist about my personality change, it does concern me.  I did find something interesting on the internet about it though.  It really is possible that someone's personality can change after the loss of a parent.  An example I read in a study was the loss of a parent who was highly critical of their child.  When the parent is gone, (I do not remember the exact wording), the person feels a type of liberation.  I thought about that...yes.  I do - I feel free now.  Free from SO many thing.

It is really, really hard to explain and even saying something like that makes me feel like I am a bad person.  But...yes, there were quite a few negative...beliefs?  feelings? I had about myself that are suddenly just gone.  I am not saying that my mind has CHANGED about anything about myself, but suddenly...whatever they were doesn't matter at all to me.  If I sit here and think about what they were, I will remember and I do not want to right now.

Just thinking about it, I feel so calm and relaxed.  Like...there is no one I have to please but myself, no one who will tell me I am not good enough when I try my very best and work my hardest.

Okay - ugh.  Too deep, alarm - alarm - I should not have gone there.  Maybe that is NOT TRUE - abort.  I do not know about that, but I do not want to think about it again, read it again to even delete it.  Just posting and forgetting.

Maybe I am not okay at all.

Glass Full

I feel so different right now, and it takes energy to try to explain to my husband when I act differently, when he acts strangely because of how I act.  The thing is, I really don't care what he thinks.  More later if I remember.

I feel...like my glass is full, but not like in the half full/half empty way.  Like I cannot take on any more, not even empathy for another person.  Actually, my life would be less painful in general if I could give up a just a bit of empathy.  I would gladly bestow it upon my husband.

I have no tolerance for unnecessary negativity.  I read the news daily, at a time of my choosing.  Yet when I turn on the television, at a non-news time of the day on a non-news network, they are talking about Trump.  Love/hate, it does not matter and I do not care.  Who wants all of this negativity ALL OF THE TIME?  Here is the thing - go ahead and be upset if someone wants to I guess, because love him or hate him, the things that are being said are going to make both groups angry for one reason or another.

But what is the PURPOSE?  Since this is not only news for the masses but broadcast television during any kind of program at all hours (I am talking about non-news networks) , are people preparing to protest?  Or simply watch and get angry?  And if it is the latter, why put yourself through it?  There is absolutely nothing that can be done.  Buy a membership to a cause you care about and move on.  Is it directly affecting your life RIGHT THIS MOMENT?  Or is the media feeding unnecessary fear and anxiety to all of us?

I just can't deal with it.  I do not need more.  Get it the FUCK out of my life.  If there is nothing that I can do, shut the hell up and do the entertaining you are paid to do.  As I have always done, I will CHOOSE when I would like to catch up on current events, and it will not be from entertainment sources.

I get that people have a lot of hatred that they want to stew about, be gleeful about when they hear hatred, but some of us just want to get through the day and end on a positive note.

WHY live life with hatred?  Why?  I would never accept something I did not believe in, but stewing in it and letting it make me mad and more angry day after day - that is simply not healthy at all.

And *I* have to put up with this bullshit because other people won't shut the fuck up.

I promise that was not being political about Donald Trump - I am 100% indifferent about him because right now it is not in me to care until I need to.

It is about getting out of my personal space and spewing hatred that I understand but I have NO CHOICE if I want to hear it or not.

I have ZERO TOLERANCE left.

I have NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE.

I have VERY LITTLE EMPATHY - if any?  I have never experienced this before.

I am at the knot at the end of the rope and hanging on for dear life.

Such a totally mundane occurrence that rocked my world today...

It started boringly enough.  Mark was in a looooooong traffic jam - he waited for hours.  He called after about an hour or so in traffic.  I happened to see on television what it was, called him and told him, then hours later he called me back.

But it was what he said that bothered me.  He said that at the point they forced him to take another exit, he looked and saw at the same time they cleared the road.  He then announced in a dramatic and pained (and 100% serious and annoyed) way that "He had the WORST luck in the world".

He called JUST to tell me that....he had the WORST luck in the world.  Because of that.

Well obviously he must call me when these things happen normally, I have no idea, and I must have some sort of reaction that is appropriate.  At that moment, I was dumbfounded.  I did not know what reaction he expected from me.  So I said, "I guess it was meant to be that you cleared the traffic right now."

Wow, that was definitely the wrong answer, and I found out right away!  He said he should have known not to call me and quickly got off the phone.

I thought about the exchange for awhile.  How petty, I was thinking, and yet, I know being petty is not unlike him at all.  Of course, I assumed he was exaggerating,  but seriously, this was yet another sign that the universe was against him? (I do not say this in jest).

Is it becoming clear yet that I have no empathy yet?

For some kind of explanation, it was very similar to when I was so, so depressed for months - I mean severely depressed.  At first, I tried my best to act like nothing was wrong until I forgot how I used to act when I was "normal".  That is exactly what this is like, yet different.

I do not want to end my life, I am not in the throes of despair, I do not think the world is a horrible place to live in, there is no pain that is never ending.  Yes, there is a lot of pain, but it is so, so complicated.  If could put it in words I would, but right now I do not understand what I am going through at all.

So a little later, I called him back.  I told him it was not in me right now, whatever he was looking for.  To be upset over something like that.  And I told him I had just realized something.  I was doing my best in trying to find positives - or just ANY positive in DEATH!

I said his reaction was normal and mine probably was not.  Was I being honest in that his reaction was normal?  And mine wasn't?  Who knows.  I do know that his world is not ending over TRAFFIC.  Wow.  If only.  If only that was the worst thing that could happen to someone.

I know he is trying, he really is.  Sometimes I think he just does not understand - he has never lost a single person close to him.  But he seems like....a crying baby but he does not see it.  He thinks he is this soldier, that he keeps everything in, he has no needs and honestly thinks he asks for absolutely nothing from me.  Yet even just that simple telephone conversation - he expected something from me.  It is so weird that I do not even know what it is I normally do, but I give him something during times like that.  I guess some confirmation of how hard his life is, how bad his life sucks.

Yet, it did not occur to me to give that to him today, nor does it even seem appropriate right now.  And what is it that I normally do say anyway?  Obviously it is not a "Pollyanna" response, which I would have known - that is my normal self, and he hates when I act like "Pollyanna" in response to things he says.

He does not realize how often he complains and requires a response.  But not *any* response, the "correct" one.  The one I have been trained over the years to give.

But it is so not in my right now.  To even care.  About that.  About so many trivial things.  I have nothing to give.  I cannot remember ever feeling this way in my entire life.

I feel like....he is being kind by "tolerating me", although that is my perception and probably just how he comes off, he is in no way a people person.  He gets an F on interpersonal skills, on knowing on to sooth and comfort - not just me, anyone.

He complained Sunday night about HIS needs, because I said I did not want to be alone Sunday night.  We were both at home, but he is an introvert - a borderline Asperger's Syndrome....individual?  He said HE needed his introvert time.  I never ever say this, because he needs so much damned alone time.  I said what about MY needs (because I am an extrovert.)  I told him MARK - it has been a WEEK since my mother died and you are complaining to me because I simply do not want to be alone?  All that I wanted was not to sit in a room - the living room - by myself.  He wanted to be in his office doing what he likes to do best, play video games.

So sure, he came into the living room where I was, sat on the couch, but crossed his arms and stared straight ahead in a huff and puff.  That made me SO mad.  I told him if it was someone he was close to, MY need would be to fill HIS hurt, HIS needs.

I was crying, yelling, ordered him out of the living room, that he was making it worse, I could not stand to be in the same room with him and would much rather be alone.  It was completely true, I did not want to be with him then.  Why do I have to feel like he is always "doing me a favor" just to be in the same room with me?!?

I am really reevaluating my relationships right now and they have become so much more precious than they ever have before.  Yes, I am complaining about Mark, but still, I do not know what I would do without him.  And one day, he will lose someone he loves, and I will be there for him.

There is a great part of a monologue at the beginning of American Psycho that reminds me of him right now. For as long as I live, I will never forget these haunting words.

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), at the end of a long monologue, states, "...there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.” 


Mailbox Talk - Deflection

I had a bad day yesterday.  I did a several things that I am technically not "supposed to do".  They are simple enough things, but things that either I know or have been told throw me off.

I have thrown myself into Christmas decorating this year.  I made a list of about 20 things I wanted to get done in my planner.  I have been told not to do that with my business - it adds overwhelming stress that I can not deal with.  Why in the world I thought it would be okay for my personal life I had no idea.

I did get my listings back on the online ecommerce site where I have my shop and sold a wreath, but this is now the slow season.  That is a good thing for me actually.  It feels good to have a "job" again.

So...I have time to decorate this year, even though it is late in the year.  I cannot remember the last time I have decorated like I am now.  I made this extravagant mail swag, which I was then going to make a huge bow to place on top of the swag, on top of the mailbox.

It was SO SO bitterly cold yesterday.  Let me start by saying - as crazy as this sounds, I am allergic to very cold weather.  It triggers my asthma.  My asthma wasn't triggered, but later I could not figure out what was wrong with me.

Anyway, it was perhaps 2:00am and I was outdoors taking measurements of everything about the mailbox and the post.  The temperature was in the negative with the windchill even colder.  Sure, I felt it, but I was quick.

I then had SO much fun!  I came inside and grabbed my sketchbook and colored pencils and made several sketches with measurements with what I wanted, browsing pinterest and all things internet for inspiration.  I have tons of materials so it really came down to what I had on hand and not so much what I saw besides general design.

I loved sketching, using my colored pencils (but even though I have 128 colored pencils, I STILL do not have the exact shades I need?  What the freaking HELL?  That was really frustrating.)  I need to do more sketching before making new wreaths, if for no other reason, I love it and it saves a ton of time when I start cold turkey with a new project.

But I was in super perfectionist mode - the all encompassing "I can do this as good if not better than a professional designer".  Who the hell do I think I am?  So of COURSE it took me tons of time.

I *finally* got the swag done, went BACK out into the arctic air and was then out for quite a long time.  Had my tools - wire, wire cutters, tape measure - professional everything.  I was thinking..."I definitely do not look like the once-a-year decorate my house kind of person".

You know, what if I did?  What if I was, am?  I actually kind of am.  So what?  What is wrong with that?

So...that added to my problems, stress, sickness.

Went back inside, took an Imitrex for now what was becoming a migraine.

Started what I thought was going to be this beautiful, perfect, huge designer bow to place atop my Christmas mailbox swag.  Note:  I have NEVER made a bow this large.  As a matter of fact, after years of trying and trying to make multiple loop bows, I finally figured it out this fall and have only made a few much smaller ones.

I have also only made one or two with double ribbon - two different colors of ribbon at the same time.  This had two ribbons and  I had planned it to be about 16 inches across.

It was a disaster.  I tore it apart, tried 10 inches.  Better, but not perfect, not even close.  I was SO frustrated, disgusted with myself.  I had to walk away.  It was nowhere what I envisioned.  I was NOT *perfect*.

What a disaster.  I was such a failure.

I got up this morning, looked at it, and you know what?  For my first bow that large and the very first one I have EVER done like that, it is actually REALLY good.  No, not perfect, but GOOD ENOUGH.  I have always, ALWAYS tried to work on that with my wreaths.  But see, this was not a wreath, this was decor for my home, my craftsmanship on display for the neighborhood.

Still...good enough.  I am going to happily put it on the mailbox today - when it warms up. : )

All of this about a stupid mailbox.  I also sat with my head in my hands and cried, really cried about my mother passing away.  No particular memory was really on my mind, and I cannot say what triggered it.  It just happened.  Maybe I was tired, frustrated, maybe there was no reason at all for it to happen.

I am trying to just go with it.  Feel what I feel when I feel it.  SO foreign to me, I am used to pushing things down and getting mad at myself for feeling anything unpleasant.  Not this time.

No one is able to tell me what my grieving process will be, only that it may be complicated.  It is very sporadic.

However, the anger has for the most part has subsided and that feels good.  But there is absolutely nothing else good about it at all.



One Week

I have good moments, and then suddenly out of nowhere, a not so good moment.  It isn't really "out of nowhere", there is always a trigger of some sort, but the trigger effects me out of nowhere.

Like right now.  I got up this morning, ready to get to work on anything, everything, feeling good.  I picked a random Christmas station to listen to and a song I have listened to a thousand times - Hallelujah - just brought tears to my eyes.  I am sad now.  Why?

I normally do not, actually ever really, reach out to my relatives.  But I am now.  Maybe I appreciate them now.  Or more.  I want to be close to them now.  More.

Wow.  I turned Christmas radio stations and guess what is starting from the beginning?  Hallelujah.  The thing is - I LOVE THE HECK out of that song.  Why does it make me want to cry NOW?

A few days after my mother passed away, I felt her presence.  At the time, I do not remember thinking about it in particular, but it was so strong it was suffocating.  I did not WANT to feel her presence at that moment, but it was so very strong.  Suddenly it felt SO CLOSE, I want to say maybe two feet above me, it was unreal - so surreal.

I know people feel this and it brings them great calm, they love feeling that they are in the presence of their loved one.  For me?  I didn't understand it.  I looked around through her eyes, but she was seeing.

Wow, this is hard.  My cousin who is a few years younger than me is wise beyond her years is so right in what she told me.  More wise than what my two therapists told me.  I will expand on that later, but it is nothing earth shattering.  She lost both of her parents, both tragically - and one in the most tragic way I can ever imagine (my aunt).

Kind of changing the subject, I spoke to my mother's husband again.  I call him because....I guess it is because of course I want to find out the cause of her passing and also to check on him.  He is so, so sad and in every word a grieving spouse.

He said he had been back to the cemetery and left a few more roses for my mother (it was only 6 degrees in Kansas yesterday).  He said something that I can relate to - he bought both himself and his dog new throws to keep warm.  I LOVE buying new throws for Bailey and I to snuggle in on the couch.  I buy too many, but there is nothing like having new things to cuddle with in Chicago (suburbs) when it gets so cold!

I apologized for not being at the funeral and decided to be totally honest.  I told him I knew that there were people who most likely did not not want to see me.  He completely and absolutely shocked me with what he said.  Very forcefully he said No, STOP!  Do not say that again!  There were so many people who asked about you and would have loved to see you.  You are part of MY family now.  He said more but I do not remember what that might have been.  I do remember how it made me feel - good.  But sad.  I do not want HIM to be sad, but I know only time can help.

We had a Christmas party that I had been looking forward to for a really long time, but since I was feeling so good, I had thought I should call him.  After the call, I thought...what am I doing?  My mother passed away only a week ago and I am going to celebrate at a Christmas party?  It didn't seem right and suddenly I did not want to nor feel like getting ready and going to have a "good time".

I am surprised at the amount of people who have been checking on me when really, I am okay.  Most of the time.  I am never in the throes of depression, I just get sad.

You know what a really weird trigger for me is?  The grocery store.  I think it has a lot to do with it being Christmas time, but I do not know.  Just everyone having somewhere to go, somewhere to be, people they are shopping for to get home to, they have not just lost someone important in their lives.

Of course, NONE of that may be true for all of them, any of them, but everyone seems like they have such a purpose, and when I am by myself, suddenly...I feel I have no purpose for being there.

This will be a good Christmas.  I will have moments maybe, but I have people in my life who care and that is something to celebrate.

And, OF COURSE, Jesus' birthday.

OMG - what is up with sad Christmas music on my normally happy music stations?  Time to switch to my own playlists - wow!

Better - This Morning.

I am actually surprised how many people I have that truly do care about me when something bad does happen.  I did not tell many people about my mother, really just the people I felt was necessary, but the kind words and concern was and is so nice and kind, and absolutely was not necessary for anyone to do.  No one was required to tell others or contact me directly to say they were sorry, that they cared, make sure I was okay, asked if there was anything they could do.

It makes reasons I've had issues with anyone seem so petty.  Sure, some issues are bigger than others, and there are still things that are not in my control to mend.

I wonder how often my own emotions are driven by my own insecurities.

Such a kind outpouring by relatives, and I have not spoken to those I would have expected not to have spoken to, and that is okay.  I actually have no idea how to even contact them, like my brother, although I am sure I could figure it out.  However, I am not looking for drama right now.  

I think my aunt, on my dad's side, was the only one who seemed to not really question that I was going to be at my mother's funeral.  She had left a message saying we could stay with her and a number of other very generous things.  I could not talk to her, they are hard to talk to on the phone, so I sent a text last night that I did not believe I would be going.  ,

I told her there would be people there that would rather not see me, I had not seen my mother since I was 18, per her choice, and it would be too traumatic.  I do not know if she understands but does she need to?  It does not change our relationship at all as far as I know.

I do feel a lot better, so far, today.  I have done normal things since I have gotten up (it is almost 10 am), I am not weepy, and I feel good.

Will I stay this way?  I imagine not, I am sure it will be an up and down process and the worst may be ahead.  I am unsure if anyone can tell me what to expect, if I will fall apart in the future - tomorrow, in a year, ever.  I hope I do not.  I remember with my Dad, I do not remember this, but my husband said I did not take it well.  Really?  I do not remember that, but I do remember about a year later it hit me kind of hard.

I do know this.  It is easier for me than others who are close to a loved one.  My life isn't changing really besides mentally.  I pray for those who do have hardships during the holidays, because while yes, this is a hard holiday this year, it is by no means any comparison to what others are going through, I know that.  My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to those that are hurting this year.


Let It Be

I don't, but it feels like I have the flu or some sort of physical ailment.  I have spent the weekend in my warm two piece pajamas while snow has been falling outside.  Smally, cuddly Bailey has been following me around everywhere I go, I am not sure if he always does this.  I do not think the the degree he is now, and I certainly do not WANT him to at the degree he is now.  I want him by me all of the time, and he is obliging without my saying a word.

Mark is being such a sweetheart.  Really, I could not ask for more supportive people in my life right now.  His family, my family that I am connected with - everyone is very supportive and understanding of how I might be feeling about the passing of my mother's passing.

Yet...no one can go through it but me, and there is no one to go through it with me.  I can't explain how it feels or expect anyone to understand because it was such a complicated relationship, so my
feelings are complicated and I am unsure what exactly I am supposed to be feel.

Maybe there is no right or wrong.

Right now, I feel both sad and weepy and nauseated at the same time, as if I threw up I might feel better.  That is what I mean, like I have the flu, but I do not think I do.  Going the other way is way worse, but again, I do not think I am sick.  Perhaps it is my nerves/emotions internally making me sick physically.

I have no plans to attend my mother's funeral - I do not have some big need to say goodbye.  I think it would be a lot more traumatic both right now and in my memory to go to her funeral.  I certainly do not think she would expect or even want me to be there.

Music has always been such a huge part of my life.  It seems like it has always been playing in the background my entire life.  One of the first songs I can remember playing was in the car with her.  It seemed like it was ALWAYS playing on the radio in the car.  Perhaps because it was a Beatles song, and no doubt it WAS playing all of the time on radio stations at that time.  I looked it up on the internet to see what year that would have been - wow, 1970?  So basically my entire life I remember music playing.

This is a fitting song, actually.  Paul McCartney wrote it about his own mother.  This is what she used to tell him when he was worried.




Mom - December 9, 2016

I have not quite processed this yet, not really sure how to.  There have been tears, confusion, a lot of moments I have caught myself staring into the distance.

Mark and I were on the way to counseling and I checked Facebook, just out of habit when I am bored.  I had a message from my mother's husband.  I read it, and reread it.  I said "Oh. My. God." out loud, which Mark wanted to know right away what was wrong, but I was unable to say the words right away.

Finally I told him what the message said.  My mother passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.  He left his number, and I do understand why he sent it in a Facebook message - it is the only way he knows how to contact me.

I am glad we were on the way to counseling.  I was able to talk about it with her and she was so helpful.  Of course it is hard, it is very hard.  But also, it is strange that in the last couple of days, my mind has been thinking of her passing away for absolutely no reason, or so I thought.

Our marriage counselor, who used to be my individual therapist, told me if I felt any sort of relief from her passing, it was okay, not to feel bad about that.  Of course I am sad, but there is a part of me that does feel a bit lighter.  There is no longer this person in the world that hates me and that says bad things about me and manipulates people against me.  If she ever did, I guess she did, I don't know, I am confused now.

She said it is natural to forget the bad times and suddenly only remember good times when someone passes, but to not forget - there were very bad times.  Maybe this all sounds so terrible of her to say, is it?  She was only 66.  But she said the strangest things to me, like a long time ago she vowed I would never again see her alive, so I would always remember her as beautiful.  My therapist asked me didn't I think that was a strange thing to say?  I don't know, but she kept her promise.

I did something I would have never thought I would be able to do, and that was to call her husband.  He had left his number with the message.  I was taken aback when I spoke to him.  He was so upset he could hardly talk, it was a mixture of choking back his crying while talking.  In a way, it makes me feel better that she was so loved, but on the other hand it makes me so sad that he is in such unbearable pain.

I asked if he knew, because she had passed away unexpectedly in her sleep, how/why she had died.  He said they had performed the autopsy and had the results but had not given them to him yet.  He rambled about some sort of excuses they gave him (small town Kansas - reasons that wouldn't fly here make sense there I guess) and said they were supposed to tell him tomorrow.  Mark suggested drugs, but I told him I believe that toxicology reports take six weeks.

That's it.  I have nothing more to write about at this time.

Yucky Post - Yuck

Thinking about all of this old family stuff before Christmas is too much - bad timing when it is alongside old Christmas memories already, you know?

I always wonder - who is the problem, my mother must be the problem, and yes, she does have issues.  But can't I be the problem too?  Yet...there are people who do not have all the information, all they know is what she has told them, and I am learning to just go with that, I cannot change that.  I am not always in the right either.  No one can be perfect - she or I.  But it does not even matter that I am the freaking child in this relationship.  And everything happened when I was 16.

I chose not to be a doormat any longer, to stand up for myself.  And obviously, to get away from the crazy, out of control, drug abusing, violent, neglectful lifestyle.  Also, I cannot exactly help that she threw all of my belongings out of the house, then cried for years asking why didn't I come back.  Um.  I was always speechless, I truly had no answer.

I already cringe and cower if someone we both know asks me something that would require me to say something not so pleasant about my mother.  For some reason, I think there will be retribution, I just do not know how and I may never know what it could be.

I am not the only one she has banished from her life, although I am not exactly begging her to love me.  Her entire family except her brother (Uncle Charlie that she said such horrible things about and told me she was going to hire a lawyer and sue him when we had our trust), my brother, and....that's it.  All of her/our cousins - her entire family, I guess they do not exist to her.  One of my cousins told me that she has not kept in touch with the family at all, even when our elderly aunts moved into her small rural Kansas city.  I am sure they would have appreciated if she could have looked in on them, seeing it could not have been more than a mile in any direction to their where they were residing. And...seeing that she worked as a nurse in a freaking nursing home?!?  There has been a funeral or two since then, and it seemed like they felt a lack of respect because she did not bother to show up.  They did not expect me to attend - I was only a child when I knew them, they did not even give me the information.  I would have gone, I think I did want to go, but it was like I was a child - no, no, it is okay - that kind of thing, you know?

So what did I do?  No idea why I did this.  One of my cousins passed away from cancer, one that I knew she liked a lot when I was younger.  So I sent her icky yucky gross husband (they all have been very disgusting men) a Facebook message letting him know he had passed if she wanted to go to the funeral.  I am guessing she did not, someone would have mentioned it to me if she had.

Honestly, I could care less what she does, what people think of her (really, I have no other choice, that is a HUGE hangup I had since before I started kindergarten, and for my own sanity, I had to let it go), so why did I bother to mention it to her husband?  Maybe I think it reflects poorly on myself.  But if that were the case, if what my mother still still does reflected on me as a person, I am not sure I could live with that. I do not agree with her lifestyle - definitely what it was, nor what I think it to be now.

I have been thinking - she has a lot of resentment, hatred, anger, whatever the awful feelings that she has, for a lot of people.  I can think of so many people and that is just the ones I know.  Who else is there?  What must that be like to live with these feelings towards so many people every day?

I bear this burden of what I feel for her - this one person.  I have pretty much worked out my feelings for everyone else.  I feel a sense of anger, regret for the past but also...no hope for the future, there is nothing that I have not done if something were to happen that should make me feel like I did not truly try.

So in that sense, I have peace.  It is not my decision, and that is a good feeling.  I can forgive, and move on.

But I do wonder...what are her feelings that she feels towards so many exactly?  I see them as a color - pure, dark tar black.  I want to describe the feelings, but you know, I honestly cannot.  I really do not know.  Usually I have some idea, a place to start, but I am absolutely clueless.

If I were to start somewhere, at least to make a start that could be wrong, I would choose that she suffers from low self esteem.  I seemed to recall that she NEVER wanted anyone to do better or have better than she did.  It was always some strange competition, the urgency in her voice to find out details, the putting down of someone.  And it was ALWAYS materialistic.

Yuck yuck yuck.  I cannot think or write about this much longer because it makes me feel very disgusted on the inside.  What a horrible and miserable way it would be for ME to live my life.  I do not know what I thought of it - if anything - when I was younger.

Perhaps they way she lives and how she protects herself from people and the world - that is contentment to her.  It makes her feel good.  I do not understand nor can explain, but I do not have to.

I am going with that, for the first time going to believe she is content and happy with our relationship the way it is, and you know....just let it go.  I need to LET THIS GO.  Give it to God, if there is anything to give.  There may be nothing but my own unresolved feelings....and longing.

But a person as toxic as she once was and as she continues to act towards me, that is the last thing I need in my life, nor would I be able to handle anything like that and stay mentally stable.

Perhaps I should trust God to know what he is doing.  It seems like I have done a lot, probably too much already.

Uncle Charlie

I still cannot believe it.  I lost contact to my Uncle Charlie, my mother's brother, decades ago.  The last time I saw and spoke to him was probably when I was 16.  Was it at my grandmother's funeral?  I adored him so much and missed him dearly.  I tried my best to search for him, which I consider myself to be quite good at, but to no avail.

My mother has a facebook account and yesterday I just happened to look at it, and I could not believe what I saw - his name in her friends list!

My heart dropped a little though.  Who knows what she has told him about me?  If anything, it couldn't be good.

I sent a friend request to him and was hugely surprised when he accepted right away.

So I have it for the future, here is what he said (I know, it is not much, but even the smallest thing from my beloved Uncle Charlie after decades means so, so much to me):

"KansasSunflower" I can not believe this is you. It is so good to hear form you. Your all grown up. and married? Working? How are you.I can never get any info from "your mother". I really hope life is good for you. Love to hear more from you.Love you.

I sent a message to a cousin who had been searching for him for years and years as well, and now several cousins are reconnected with him now.  I wonder if they have been exchanging messages with him?  I know they are SO happy to have "found" him again - I just hope he is happy as well.  What if he did not want to be found?

I miss him and wish I could see him.  I cannot imagine there being anything he could tell me about his life that would make me love him any less.  He is my Uncle Charlie, and Uncle Charlie's only come around once in a lifetime.

It has been a few days since I messaged him back and I have not heard from him, but Mark said to be patient and wait.  When I think about it, what is the other choice?  I think Mark meant before coming to the worst conclusions that I often do.  So, okay.  With family though, my family, on that side, I guess I expect the worst.  I wake up thinking of Uncle Charlie now.

Yes, he really did mean that much to me as a child, he really did.  He still does and always will.

Runaway Train

I wish I knew how the on/off trigger worked in my mind, where I can be completely fine one moment, and suddenly a feeling of...despair? washes over me in less than a minute and completely and absolutely changes my outlook.  Why?  How?  It can't be normal, right?  If it were, people would talk about it, there would be a name for it.  People would be on the phone and say - oh, "nameofphenomenon" just hit me, feeling really bad, talk to you later." RIGHT?  There would be a slang term for it in urbandictionary.

I have been working so, so, so hard this week, trying to finish the last of my wreath orders that are late.  I have mostly been working on the 13 large boxwood wreaths and am mostly done.  I have worked all day, stayed up all night then worked the entire next day when I returned home from Thanksgiving.  Since then, I have been working hard, nonstop, every day.

My fingers!  They have the top layer of skin peeled from my each of my fingertips, bloody hangnails, small blisters where parts of my fingers have continually rubbed some part of a tool over and over.  The worst is what I assume is a small but deep cut on the end of my left index fingertip.  I have bandaids on the ends of every finger that keep fraying as I continue to work with them.  Even typing now is not easy but at least not painful with the bandaids.

I was so excited to start decorating for Christmas.  My creativity had really kicked in and I had all sorts of ideas - inside and out.  I even watched Elf this morning, but I just could not make a smaller boxwood wreath.  I was making the most idiotic of mistakes and finally realized I had to walk away, but not before that awful feeling washed over me.

I do not feel like writing about how I feel, but no need to.  I actually thought, as the realization of the despair sunk in, I was feeling *exactly* like "Runaway Train".

Exactly.

I was wrong.  I do still think in music.


Kanye and Mentally Ill Creative Artists

Looking back, I always knew there was something about Kanye that...made him very impulsive with his emotions and at times using poor judgment because of it.  I never thought much about it, about his being mentally ill, although now I see the signs were there.

Who analyzes people for mental illness for absolutely no good reason in their daily lives?  That sounds depressing and way too much focus on other's behavior.  I would rather shrug it off as "well, that was certainly weird".  I can't save the world or judge others, let alone be some weirdo trying to warn Kanye he is mentally ill.

Yet, again, looking back from years ago, the impulsive things he said and did, I can't think of any that weren't really incorrect in what he said, it was more very shocking in the way he did it.  The message he was conveying was met with horror because of the method of his delivery.

Yet - I do not know how long it has been going on, but he has been IMMENSELY creative in so many areas!  Before he was admitted to the hospital, I wondered how he was doing it.  So many ideas on such a grand scale, things no one had done before nor thought of previously.

One thing always bothered me about him though and I did not understand why no one said much about it.  Everything else I shrugged off as personality and talent, but this one thing, just this one thing I could not understand.

He talked about himself like...he was some sort of God.  He was THE best, THE original, THE all knowing, all everything....I mean really - Yeezus?  Who else does that without people around them saying hey - you have to know (not saying because of "Yeezus") that you are not a God, right?

I do not know enough about personality disorders, but I just assumed that is what it was.  He must be a narcissist or another personality disorder that fits how he thinks of himself.

That could still be true, right?  Or could he have had grandiosity from mental illness ALL OF THIS TIME?

How would I even know - I have no clue what "normal" is and if it even exists or is something elusive that no one ever achieves.

That part did not seem like an act, he always seemed sincere to me, so passionate about many, many things.

I really, really worry about him.  While yes, I am sure he has plenty of people who are concerned about him, I also see that there are a LOT of haters and poisonous people out there towards him.

One of my biggest concerns for Kanye, because I do think he is absolutely a creative genius, is that like all of us with mental illness who are creative he will be put on medication that may stifle it.  Sure, doctors will say "oh no, your creativity shouldn't change".  Bullshit.

Does that person feel more stable?  Better?  Less extreme highs and lows?  There goes a chunk of creative inspiration.  For me, my best and most original creativity comes from intense, overwhelming pain, giddiness, that annoying agitation/irritation, or whatever extreme feeling I have at that moment.  Take those away, give me blah which psychiatrists INSIST I do not have the "blahs", and sure, I am so much less inspired.

However, different feelings, for me, lend itself to different forms of creativity.  Depression forces me inward, and I find myself reflecting and writing.  I express happiness outwardly with making anything and everything beautiful around me, I love making things like extravagant home decor projects and of course my wreaths.  Agitation?  Ha, definitely creative, probably the most original ideas I ever have, and also the most impulsive I get until I recognize it as hypomania.  I very rarely get this way, but it is so intense, it would be fascinating to somehow harness that creative energy during this time as it is so strong.  Not sure how to focus my mind though, it rarely happens and does not last long.

I watched a video of an extremely, extremely talented painter who was agitated yet so very passionate.  FYI:  No idea if he is mentally ill - I assume he is not, but whatever it is he has, I crave it, yet I have a feeling it comes with something not so comfortable.  Anyway, I loved every second of the short clip he talked about his work, his life, and I wanted the painting he was working on so badly.  Agitated and passionate - this is what one person does in that mental state.  His political views do not represent my own and is not why I am posting the link (for myself so I can find it later!), but because his creative energy that drives him is very inspirational to me.

This guys paints American flags and doesn't give a FUCK.

In NO way am I comparing myself to someone like Kanye, only that I think it is such a lie that medication does not take away someones creativity when a big part of being inspired comes from intense emotion.

People simply still do not understand mental illness.  When I thought back and started putting all of the puzzle pieces together, I was astounded that I had not seen what was so obvious, but like I said, I do not make a point of doing that.  Sure, sometimes someone does something that smacks you in the face.

I remember years ago watching Robin Williams on a talk show being the comedic genius that he was.  He could go from one topic to another so quickly and talking so rapidly that I had to really pay attention.  That's when it hit me - oh my gosh, he may actually have to be in some sort of hypomania to do this.  The pressured speech, the pacing, it was all there.  Yes, he was hysterical and I was laughing so hard, but at the same time...people love being around me when I am hypomanic - the life of the party.  Fun, talkative, doing unexpected and outlandish things - very similar.

I do sometimes find the words in songs to describe exactly how I feel, the out of control feeling, wondering why I am the way I am.  Billy Joel has a song called "I Don't Know Why I Go To Extremes" that is PERFECT for how I feel with my moods being, and oh my gosh I hate this, but "unacceptable to society" too high and too low.

I was watching a concert of his yesterday, and he played a song that he said was from an old album.  He said the song he had written had been in no way a hit, but he wanted to "play it for all of the manic depressives out there".

I KNEW it!  I am not glad for him that he/if he has bipolar disorder, but it explains everything.

Billy Joel - I Go To Extremes




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