Bad Vibes

Lately, I have not been good company. This morning, I decided to delete all the negative stuff I’ve posted since August. I log into WordPress and load my published posts only to find, I had just a few posts to delete. Why? Because I am not writing anymore.

I’ve been sucked into these bad vibes. I cannot say that I am extremely good at picking up on other people’s emotions. I used to think I was. But really… All I’ve been able to do is reflect anxiety and be completely a mess.

What’s even worse,  I have shutdown all activities (excluding CDubs activities). No posting, no positive thoughts, just shallow attempts at normalcy. I used to get 80+ hits a day on my blog, now I get 15 or less.

The content that’s being  viewed is from 2015. Nothing from 2016 except my goodbye friend letter.

Can we all agree 2016 was shit? I am longing to shake these bad vibes once and for all.

(Buzzfeed)

I mean just really. While I know 2017 is gearing up to be an orange-colored shitstorm, because I live in the good old US of A, I can try to stop the vibes from further screwing my life.

I can at least try.

So I want to go back to writing about things I’m reading about in the news, or problems I’m seeing around me that spark reflection.

I want to write about positive things that are going on, review some products cause I can afford to, talk about new things I’m trying to better myself.

I want to talk about everything with a better attitude and a bolder, less anxious outlook.

I used to do that a lot.

I’ve just been drained. They say new teachers don’t last more than 5 years, and then they are completely burned out. That we, new teachers, are weak kids who just can’t take working a full day with kids. Maybe we are.

But I’m just not happy. So I’m going to be happy. I’m looking into other avenues of employment very tentatively. I don’t want to rock the boat hardcore… that is unless I’m offered something that’s $10,000 more a year… then screw the boat, I’m swimming!

In the meantime, I’m offering more activities I enjoy in my classes, and really taking advantage of what I have, instead of complaining about what I don’t.


I mean that’s (above) what I have to work with in droves.

So I must change, adapt, or you know shake a leg!

For Christmas I received some wonderful gifts. I received beautiful charms from my husband and son for Christmas. I need some chains to display them properly. Both are simply beautiful pieces.

My aunt sent me the most beautiful lipstick by Too Faced called Unicorn Tears


Don’t worry, it turns pink after application!

I also received some Amazon money, and some other funds. I have been extremely blessed this holiday season!

I’ve used the money on me. Usually I buy things for CDubs. Maybe I’ll buy some household items like cleaning suppliers and splurge on the leopard print rubber gloves.

This year, self care all the way. I’ve gotten my nails done twice, a pedicure, an at home foot peel (that stuff is scary but works!), some clothes that fit, jewelry, makeup, makeup brushes (Ry found me a deal!), purchased some more happy place masks, facial soap, all that kind of stuff.
Probably should have saved it all but…

I’m also working on learning proper 21st century make up techniques. I was doing my makeup very 1960’s without really realizing it. Very flat, 2D type, cover all things, sort of make up. I can’t say after all the videos I’ve been watching lately that I’m anywhere bordering on proficient; but I am enjoying the process.

I’m a little shy sharing my forays into modern makeup because this happens:


I’m not bragging about the above, and I’m certainly not, “Oh woe, my clear skin and long lashes!” It’s just, anytime I post about me and makeup or even put on makeup for work someone tells me, “You don’t need makeup.”

Well no, I don’t, and you don’t need GTA5 or a new piece of jewelry. Still, you have/ do these things because you enjoy doing it or having those things. It’s a skill, artists take courses in developing their art, why can’t I practice makeup application?

Why can’t I enjoy makeup? Because only ugly girls wear makeup? Only insecure girls wear makeup? Please don’t even suggest only slutty girls wear makeup. That’s not true, none of those statements are true. You should see what I look like on the weekends, when I say screw maintenance I want to sleep instead! Seriously, what is with this stigma when it comes to wearing makeup? It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

Models wear makeup. You can’t say models are slutty, ugly, or insecure. Now I am NOT model pretty, I have no features on my face that make me, what’s the statistic? Five percent of the world’s population is unique enough to be a model?

I’m going to sound like the witch from Into The Woods here when I say, I’m not beautiful, I’m not flawless , I’m just pretty. I don’t have delusions. It’s okay to be cute (I’m past cute at this point, I’m not under 18), there’s nothing wrong with pretty. There are a lot of pretty people in the world; it’s okay to be pretty and not beautiful.

So that coupled with awkward selfies, I am documenting my rise into learning how to sculpt and line and shade my face. It’s hard too, being partially sighted I don’t see all of the colors anymore or the shades. Makeup has stupid names like posh, and weekend fun. What the hell kind of color is trendy?!
I ask Ry a lot. To recap I can’t see shades of blue or green and often mistake them for each other, pinks and purples can be browns or greys to me, and yellow is white. Woohoo. I can wear… red, orange… well orange sometimes looks like red. (My type of color blindness is called Tritanopia and I recently discovered it’s not hereditary but a casualty of my eye disease. I had color vision loss before the damaging effects of my disease were apparent.)

(I had to check this twice because the first time I loaded the same picture😓 they honestly look the same to me)
Maybe I shouldn’t use anything unless labeled Neutral Palette. 

Then blending. I took art in school. I got a 75 on my gradient shading project for BLACK. Black to white. My professor said I was to drastic between shades. To me, it looked just like his example. So there is that to contend with too.

I could just switch my profession to becoming a for hire clown, using only primary colors for my face paint.

It could be exciting.

Maybe not.

As for my weight loss blog, I received some negative feedback on that and have decided they can bite my nicely rounded ass; I am starting over again. I do love myself. Because I love myself I want to be healthier for me. It’s not because I don’t love myself enough or I feel like people who are plus sized are unhealthy my blood pressure is 105/80 people. It’s crazy and healthier than some of my more slender, running associates from school. So bam! Back up off!

Alright, I’ve talked way too much. I hope though I’ve convinced you my bad vibes will be countered at every turn and that I’m here, back at WordPress and ready to go!

Insidious 

 I‘ve held back, depression is hard. My mother is manic-depressive/ bipolar and I grew up through those ups and downs. I saw her arguing and screaming at things when it made no sense to do so; and I have seen her seemingly turn things around to improvement, only to be dragged back down into that hopeless oblivion.

I’ve seen myself and others get into funks that they could not shake, could not get ahold of those slippery eel like feelings and tell them to calm the fuck down. I’ve seen it, lived it, been sucked into it.

No, I can’t say to my mother, “I understand.” I can’t. I can guess, I can relate to life events, perhaps, and I can try to understand that things were what they were. Those things I can do.

I can’t forget, I can’t forgive if forgiveness hasn’t been sought, I can’t pretend that my flesh doesn’t crawl when she decides to give me a kiss on the cheek.

I can feel deep pity. I can feel a sadness that there is absolutely nothing to be done about the childhood I had. Though things have been better and my mother had recently help us a great deal, emotional scars cannot be healed with these gestures (though greatly appreciated). Perhaps they can smooth out the future but it’s hard to think any sum can fix the shitstorm I lived through. Some people may never understand this. Bless you. God bless you I am so glad you cannot. But don’t you dare lay judgement upon me because of this, you can’t understand.

So knowing mental illness as I do, it is so hard to watch someone destroy the goodness they have. No I cannot understand your motivations. I’m not you. I cannot judge on why you do what you do. However as someone who loves you, cherishes you, it is so very hard to see you become less because the illness is more.

The illness is so much more, it blocks out all the goodness and wonder in your life until all you see is it. The most nefarious part is how subtle it is. Sure the big episodes of panic and self-deprecation are noticeable but how about those insidious little thoughts of not being worthy, not being well, not being enough, lacking in love, lacking in worth… These tendrils eke out through your mind siphoning off any sort of pleasant thought. Feeding on your joy, so that you cannot even create a little.

It deceives you, sometimes it lets you be happy, gives you a thrill, buying something, eating something. but these are superficial. Always do these treats pull you out just enough to remind you how deep you really are in this quagmire that is depression.

As I’ve said, I’ve lived through this, I’ve seen it happen. I may not know it intimately in my thoughts day in and out; but I’ve tasted it, seen it, felt its effect.

So please understand me, and do not misunderstand me; I didn’t sign up for another 20 years of this shit. Did not.

Maybe this makes me incredibly unfeeling. Frankliy, I don’t give a shit. I’ve tried understanding, I’ve tried soothing, I’ve tried being angry at the problem, I’ve been angry at the person. I’ve tried ways to fix it. I’ve listened to lie after lie, hope after hollow hope.

I have suggested therapy, I have suggested light medications. I have suggested cutting out the things that are making it worse. I have listened.

I have been lashed out at, yelled at, ignored, refused, made to feel guilty for my own feelings, shamed, bullied, and given impossible standards to meet.

I did not sign up for this. Did not. This needs to be addressed. This has to be addressed, no more sweeping it away. No more about no one supporting, no one understanding. No more excuses.

No more insidious things creeping into everything that matters, tainting everything. No more. Action is required. Action.

(Edit: after posting this, I had my husband read this post. We had a rip-roaring argument and got things out. Are they fixed? No. Can we trust each other to change? Slowly. But at least it’s a start.)

It May Seem Lackluster to You

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Today I checked my phone, out of habit, around 30 times in the first 3 hours of waking this morning.

“Oh yes,” I’d think, “I deleted Facebook.”

Then I would put down my phone, feeling almost as if I was forgetting something, but I wasn’t. Then my son smiled at me and I realized that I haven really spent non- breastfeeding, non- rocking to sleep time with him in weeks.

Yet I obsessively checked my phone. Not that the phone was the cause of anything, more like a… Catalyst. (He’s sleeping in my lap now, after a fussy meal.)

What is everyone doing? How is my best friend? Who ate what, where? What articles are trending? Who hates who this week? Who’s more successful than me?

I don’t know. I do not know who did what today. I have no idea.

And I feel Shiny (captain… Lol). Perfectly lovely.

I slept in, I took adorable photos of Connor (after I realized I was checking too much.), and purchased groceries and saved $55 bucks in doing so.

We came home and I cleaned out the car, wiped out the inside with protectorate, took out some trash, cleaned out the fridge, did some dishes and I am about to make turkey meatloaf and mash potatoes.

When CDubs wakes up… That is.
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A Really Unfortunate Grouping of Character Flaws

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(Image: http://homedesign.kfoods.com)

I have an unfortunate mix of character flaws. I want to think I ignore my less appealing characteristics and only nurture the good ones but, I doubt anyone can truly accomplish that.

Certainly, we can push one or two unfortunate characteristics to the back, like yodeling in the shower or picking your nose, little things that aren’t socially acceptable but really not horrible things.

However what about deeply important, vital characteristics of one’s self? Things that make up your core being, food or bad, habits or failings you cannot obscure? What do you do about those?

I Can Change

Can you? Sure I can stop yodeling in the shower, I’d miss it but, I could stop it. What about vanity? What about absent mindedness? Can you really change such core things? I could cover my home in post it notes and schedule the shit out of my iPhone calendar but, am I really changing that absent mindedness? Seems to me it would have a new scheduling fetish with sticky paper.

Even then, what if I lose a note?

I Can Change Him/ Her

If I can’t change myself what makes me think someone can change me? Barring life altering events (hence the term life altering), someone cannot nag, bribe or encourage a fundamental change. Certainly, I could nag someone to pieces and perhaps their habit would change so every time they do that thing they think of me. Probably negatively, and possibly continue to be that way out of spite.

No, that won’t work.

Like Attracts Like

So then find someone with similar core values and characteristics. Fall in love with them. It’s just that simple.

Only befriend people that fit your existing standards. If you must be groomed to the nth degree, it is only reasonable that they must do the same.

Or We Can Just Realize

That we are all deeply flawed people who do absolutely the best we can. From start to finish, we try our best. Every choice and decision was born out of necessity and choice that was made based off of our particular wants and experiences.

I’d like to think, on a whole (as a race) we don’t try to disappoint, damage, harm one another. I really would like to think everything we do is with the best intentions.

I can only hope that others too feel the same.

The Reflection is Not As Strong as I’d Hoped

I worry a great deal about appearances. I’m afraid I got that from my Mother. Those that know me say, “But you lived in a hoarding nightmare.” Yes, that caused her a great amount of anxiety over maintaining a correct outward image. That woman knows the real deal when it comes to keeping up appearances.

I also have that skill or flaw. I took a test last week. It was a very simple 24 question test. Each question had the same 3 answers; satisfied, mostly satisfied, and Unsatisfied.

My results:

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The results are very depressing. I am depressed. I’d been avoiding that. Like really trying to ignore the fact that I am deeply unhappy. I don’t think it’s PPD, although, I also think I am treating Ryan differently ever since the baby was born. I’m not sure what to do because therapy is expensive. I also don’t have time to go because of Ryan’s schedule.

Someone said in the past couple of months that basically, I am very lucky and I have no right to be anything other than ecstatically happy. I have a baby, that should be more than enough (echoes Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s conversation with Felix a bit too much for my taste). Considering the place in which I place this friend’s opinions, it was a hard blow. I almost deleted my Facebook in response. I was angry.

Now I just feel very alone and isolated. I am afraid to reach out, call people impose on anyone’s life. I’ve felt that for awhile because of childhood abandonment issues. However I have beat those feelings down for most of my life because that was just silly.

That deep flaw returned with a vengeance. The fear of reaching out is so strong when friends do actually do so (again to me that someone wants to is amazing because my silly self thinks no one wants to. Considering my feeble attempts I suppose that makes sense) I over compensate and scare them off.

It’s a nasty cycle.

So I’m going to do what will benefit my own well being the most. I am irrational about Facebook. A lot of my ridiculous imaginings come from what I see, and am told on there. So it’s gone in about 10 minutes and I think it’s the right thing to do.

As to my deep character flaws… I’ll keep working on those. I want to change those quiz answers.

Overwhelming Week

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I’ve been completely overwhelmed this week, running around solving various accidents with money that should not have happened. I’ve been printing out purchase orders like they are going out of style and I witnessed Student B’s first meltdown in my room (Student B is a student with Autism).

I’ve been very busy.

But we were able to take a mini trip yesterday, to see our good band director friend, Danielle. She cooked for us, and another guest a DELICIOUS Chicken Marsala with scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole. I had 3 plates, I am not ashamed. It was the first solid meal I have been able to have all week.

We stayed talking, venting, and cuddling CDubs until 9, in fact, we stayed long enough to have a equally delicious kale, sausage, and potato cream soup.

She fed us up for the week, I tell you!!

And the venting, I needed it. Thank God for friends! I will do my best to pop on here and post more next week. I have a lot to update you all on and I have some general information to share!

Seeking That Vacation Feeling

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I love, love, love going to the beach. All of my best memories are vacations around water, usually sandy water. We go, everything is taken care of at home while we are gone. We eat like it doesn’t matter about pounds and diets. We laugh and purposefully go out and have fun. We shop and do not worry about if what we’re buying matches the decor or a specific set of outfits at home. Most importantly, we take the time to be together, to listen to one another and just be peaceful.

On vacations we feel carefree, we feel lighter. We don’t worry as much because “it’ll be there (the worry) when we get back. ” we talk about what fun we can have while we’re out and we dream. For me, there is never a set agenda on vacation. The whole point if the trip is to be satisfied at the end. To choose to be happy.

Then we go home.

All the weight of responsibilities pop back in: bills, work, obligations, planned fun, planned boredom. We put our noses down to the grindstone and don’t look back up until the next time we choose another vacation, another time to be happy.

I get it, I worry so much. I’ve got this cold fear in my stomach. We need to change our entire lives this summer. I am afraid of the paths that I see before me. I feel crippled by that fear and it’s frankly, tying me in knots. I know what I can live through. I know what poverty truly feels like. The thought of choosing poverty scares me to no end. The fear if my husband who has never known the worries of this kind of poor.

The fear of having a salary position, which is coveted in all retail and food service positions, and finding out I make less than people who work hourly. I mean I have a salary! I am full-time things are supposed to be good, be easier.

The pit in my stomach widens, gets deeper and darker, the coldness in my stomach becomes a hard icy rock.

but

I have always lived my life, since I left my Parent’s house, in pursuit of being happy. I want the feeling like I am on that sandy vacation at all times.

I don’t think it’s silly to want to live carefree and secure in the knowledge that I will be enjoying myself. That things will be taken care of.

So often lately I am choosing fear. Depression. Sadness.

After our son was born, there was such a joy in us. For two weeks my husband smiled. He had joy. I haven’t seen that since. Not once. We got close on his birthday when a dear friend visited.

but

I choose joy. I choose that life. Why isn’t that life choosing me?

It’s like Teddy said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The fear is of not knowing.

It wasn’t this scary last year. I can tell you why. I wasn’t a mother last year. I was getting married last year. My choices didn’t change anyone’s life but my own.

Now here I am afraid my son will not get the life he deserves. That my choices will fail him.

It’s crushing, all if this. It’s crushing me to bits. I sit here at home, not working. I know no more money is coming in until I go back to work.

I might not go back. I don’t see how we can afford to put our child in daycare. We are barely paying bills as it is. How can we think of me staying home? How can we choose this?

I want to be happy. I am so happy with my son. He is wonderful. He is amazing. I cannot see my life without him in it. There has to be a way to keep it all together. There had to be.

So in order for me to choose happiness, I have to make the choice to go head first into fear. Staying right now, in this land of indecision, is cutting me down to the bone. I have to move forward and make decisions. I have to make the choice to try.

To decide on happiness. To understand that this fear of complete destitution and fear of failing is only temporary. We are going to change this.

We are taking the steps towards what we hope will bring us happiness. We know trying to stand still isn’t working, it isn’t happiness. So I choose to move forward, to force us forward, hopefully towards a positive outcome.

I choose happiness. I choose to change our circumstances. I choose my son. I choose a better life.

I will find us a better job. I will make it so someone can stay home with my son. I will be happy.

but

I have to start towards that happiness. I have to make those first stumbling steps. A blind leap.

I wish I knew there was a nice place to land.

  

  

Finding the Joy in Small Things

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It’s a very apt quote for my blog; actually, I have some first hand experience with this, and feel like sharing.

In middle school, a lot of things had been going wrong, my mother was bi-polar and manic depressive and the medication, and possibly her life in general, made her exceedingly violent. (You may or may not recall, being bi-polar wasn’t a clear diagnosis in the 80s and early 90s and figuring out medications that would work was hard.) My brother and I shared the brunt of this violence. His stories are his to tell but, a particularly vivid memory I have was when I was 10 or 11.

I was trying very hard to understand my math homework. I have never been quite good at math. My mother while disturbed, scored a 1400 on the SATs in her day and is very intelligent. She could not understand why I could not get the answers correct on my homework assignment. So, in a fit of anger, she beat me until both of her hands hurt. She screamed a lot of things too, but I can hardly remember. (Eventually she did end up in an institution but, not for long enough.)

I was living with that violence, and my mother was deemed  by nicer folks, “messy” in the 90s, which now we would say she was a hoarder. It was bad.

Also my father worked more than one job to keep us afloat so, we didn’t seem him often and he couldn’t really protect us. Not to say he is absolved from my childhood trauma but, when one parent habitually beats you or ignores you (some medicines made her forget we were there, which is good, except when she locked us out of the house and we would miss meals) and the other comes home, feeds you, tells you stories and goes to sleep because he’s tired… Not because he is tired of looking at you. You tend to like that parent more. You do, even if he could or could not have done more in that situation.

We were also a lower middle class family, we couldn’t be classified as poor then, both of my parents have bachelors degrees (and back then that meant something). We didn’t always have enough money for food, good clothing, or the latest toys. Kids picked on us because of these things. They didn’t know what was going on at home, and even then, I am not sure they would have cared.

The point is, there was cruelty at home, at school, out at recess… Every place.

I became depressed and the one thing I had that may or may not have been, at the very least- on level with the rest if my peers was, my faith in God. I tried very hard to hitch a ride to church with neighbors often; the idea of a greater being that loved me and never wanted to hurt me- amazing. I was convinced if I was a good little girl, the angels would come and save me. Like for real, people in wings and halos would burst in and stop all the madness. It was cute, and it was wrong.

Well at some point in 6th grade, I had had it. I had been accused of breaking into a girl’s locker and my ‘best friend’ had told everyone I had done it, to save herself. Kids picked on me because I wore my brother’s old clothes, I didn’t speak like the other kids did (I read a lot of books and had a larger than average vocabulary, books were a good escape), I didn’t have the right toys, make up, I was fat, well not really but, chubbier than most. With all that, there was no safe place and I was done.

I thought really hard about suicide. From my vantage point, there wasn’t much reason to go on.

I was on the bus, near the end if the route looking out the window. I saw as you do, the lawns of this neighborhood rolling by, green grass, daffodils, weeds… And I sat there crying into the window silently. I was as always, cold, because we never seemed to have good warm coats, and I was seated alone.

I was thinking of all this unfortunate business, and like I was taught at church, I started one of my best conversations with God.

I complained about the unfairness, I asked him why this was done to me. Finally, as the grass was rolling by I asked him why I was so unhappy. I begged him, and I remember it exactly, “let me find the joy in a blade of grass,” because I couldn’t really find joy else where. If I had one thing to be happy about, I would be okay.

It was almost like, at that moment, that wish, everything changed. The grass I was looking at became intensely green, the flowers more beautiful. The world was beautiful. I saw it. I became warm and comfortable in that seat, all alone, as if someone was sitting right next to me. With that little wish, I started to see the little things that were good in my world.

The grass is green and nice to lay on while reading a book. I had lunch that day, I would be full. I finished my math homework alone. I scored well on my tests that week. I kept focusing on the positives. So much so, the little positives outweighed my large negatives.

No, my circumstances did not change until high school, when I realized I was bigger and stronger than my abuser. My positive attitude attracted a lot of people after a time, and joining the band helped a lot with finding good friends. Eventually, my parents found better work, and we had food on the table. Eventually things changed.

But being able to find the joy in “common things” has been from that day on the bus, my saving grace.

We are lucky. I am lucky and the common grass is quite, indescribably beautiful.

  (Original image: pesches.com)