Tag Archives: past

Loved You May and Hello June


May was the most interesting month I’ve had for what seems like forever!

A new medication for sleeping has done wonders for me.  Instead of needing and getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep almost every day, I now get up after only 7 hours and feel pretty perky.  All my other meds are the same and seem to be working really well for the most part.  I think the weather helps too.  I’m not isolating 1380021_10155657943450221_190890452345083084_nmyself so much as I was a few short weeks ago.  I love my yard; the sun sucks all the dreary winter from my body and brings the summer into my soul.

We found a cute baby kitty that we were going to adopt and kept him in the house with us for a few days until we could get him to the Humane Society to have him checked out and neutered.  He got out just before one of the most weirdest storms I’ve ever been through happened.  Snow with lightning and high damaging winds.  Then he never came back.  I still grieve for him.  He was so lovable and sweet.

The end of May marked the first anniversary of the death of my dad.  I still have the image of him taking his last breath as my sister and I clutched his hands, crying, and telling him to go.  It was okay to go.  I should have left right away so I wouldn’t have had to see his empty, thin body lying there.  I can’t forget it.  I still remember my mom as she looked after her death too.  I dream of them so much.    His birthday was 2 days after his death as well.  It was hard this year as I’m sure it will be every year.  It’s funny when I dream of my dad because, in my dreams, apparently his death was all a big mistake and he isn’t really dead and is still alive.

What makes it better, though, is in between the anniversary of my dad’s death 11107728_10155729474615221_1500065792585678561_nand his birthday my youngest granddaughter had her first birthday.  I remember the joy I felt when she was born in spite of the sad, dark time of a year ago.  This year was no different, really.  She is cute as can be and I love both of my grandgirls to bits.  Such bright and wonderful children who give me so much joy.

My daughter turned 18 in March and is almost 30.  Yeah. But she’s really doing great.  Doing fantastic in school, winning 2 awards and made the honour roll!  So proud of that girl.

I also met a man.  I decided to give up on the “bad boys” after reading several articles written by nice men who never seem to get a chance.  I also read some blog posts and comments from them where women have been stuck with the bad boys just like I was. And they just didn’t get it either. So…I’m giving one a chance.  It’s only been a few weeks but holy moly…wow.  He treats me like a queen, takes me for dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  He lent me his truck for 4 days (which my kids thought was really weird).

I have had to stop him from spending so much money on me.  If he had his way he would lavish me with gifts.  He wants to find me a car. He wants to buy me clothes. I said no. I keep saying no. He really giftswants me to be happy and expects a commitment in the future.  THAT I’ve  never heard before.  It’s been all disconcerting as I have not met anyone like him.  He loves how I look.  He’s beyond eager to meet my kids.  He wants to be with me all the time and I had to tell him I needed space to breathe and learn about myself in this new role.  It was a battle at first, only because of his own insecurities I think.  I notice he really doesn’t have that many of those so far.  He lives out-of-town on a beautiful 4 acre lot with an apple orchard and all the toys near a beautiful lake.  I’ve stayed there a few times and love the privacy, the birds and the sun on beautiful days.

I had a surprise graduation party for my son, his wife and my daughter on Sunday because they are all graduating.  My son got his GED back in the fall, my 11224583_10155851597945221_3784232355226808323_ndaughter-in-law went to night school to finish her high school and, of course, my daughter graduates high school in June.  My fella paid for all the food and drove me around everywhere to find supplies and presents.  He wanted to come to the party to do the cooking but I held him off as we had only been together for such a short time.  I just felt it was too soon.

He smiles all the time. And that’s important to me. We like and love so many of the same things and every time we discover something new it’s such a surprise.  He wants to make sure I’m not stuck inside and plans outings all the time.  He missed me yesterday and drove the hour drive and showed up at 4 in the afternoon with Chinese food for supper.

To think I was fighting this.  Neither of us could really understand my imagesCA48VGCDreasoning.  I do though, of course.  All those failed relationships, all the heartache and all the work invested and lessons learned.  He doesn’t want me to lump him into the same category as those guys.  He’s assured me he’s different.  I’m starting to believe it. His health isn’t very good at this time but we both hope for improvements.

I have high hopes for this wonderful man.  If it doesn’t work out at least I know there are nice men out there.

So bring on June.  Graduations, beaches, long drives and love.  Bring it on.

Roller Coaster


Finally, I feel I have the ability to write again, both electronically and emotionally.  Well, I still don’t know about the emotional part.  Its been a very emotion-filled few weeks, with many ups and even more downs.  My laptop may overheat but I will write with breaks so it can cool down.

During these times I came to learn valuable lessons about myself:  I’m still strong, there is always something new on the horizon, and I have my pride intact.  There were lots more lessons learned but those are the big ones.

I was always waiting for something.  Exterminators because we had bedbugs.  It took the landlord 2 months to get them here so poor Carly and I would go to bed each night so the critters could feast upon our milky flesh.  All the info we read from the government and exterminator’s websites recommended you don’t sleep on the couch or they will find you.  Where. Ever. You. Go.  So I couldn’t sleep.  I would stay awake until the sun came up, killing any that crawled on me and put them in a jar of bleach and laugh manically as they dissolved before my eyes (I bet you didn’t know how sadistic I can be).  During the day I would pick though my daughter’s bed, trying to decrease her discomfort.  She would still have new bites every few days.

During this 2 month time we were banned from seeing my grandchildren as my son has an almost supersized fear of the bugs and he did not want to risk any hugstransfer from us.  Ditto for the boyfriend.  I maybe saw him 4 times in that 2 months and that was to go to movies.  I was so relieved when we were finally sprayed at the beginning of December.  My oldest granddaughter was overjoyed when I walked though their door.  The hugs!  Hugs beat the bedbug blues every time!

Unfortunately the bugs seemed to be the beginning of the end for the boyfriend. He called less and less and I saw him very infrequently. We seemed to have a plan to go to Cuba though, where I hoped some alone time would help.  Over the holidays, he just stopped calling except for a text telling me Happy New year and don’t be mad, I’m going to Cuba with my friend.  That was almost 2 weeks ago and not a word since.

I knew this was a man who has lived with a very traumatic past and this is the worst time of year for him.  It took me a while to realize that he could not be ready for a relationship.  He needs to find his own self before he could ever trust his life won’t be ripped apart again.  I, of course, have had my own traumatic past.  The difference is I have both professional and familial support.  He chooses to have a different way of handling his feelings.  I’m afraid it ended with me having a broken heart because of the silence.  Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he really is just a jerk.  I don’t believe that though.  I do know, really, it’s for the best because, unless there is help in his life, my heart would never heal and would keep going through these unresolved issues he carries.  I think I might be stronger in some ways.  Unfortunately, I’ve now developed some trust issues of my own.  My self-esteem is even more damaged than before.  Who would want me?  I don’t feel attractive physically or emotionally/mentally.  What a mess.

There was one day that I slept away.  22 hours.  That was when I knew I had to try to do something but everything was pretty dark for me.  For those who survive depression hopefully knows everyone feels it differently; it’s never a contest, like “I have more reasons to be depressed than you do” kind of thing.  No.  What I feel ????is physical (heavy like an elephant) and mentally (my brain is a foggy bog of poo).  It’s how to get out of it is the challenge.  Sleeping 22 hours may not seem like a healthy way to do it but that was all I could do that day.  The next day was less, more like 14 hours.  Then it was 12.  I can handle 12. I did the dishes.  I tried to go grocery shopping.  Then suddenly I had stuff to do and had to get out of bed to do them so my going to bed at 7 am was not going to work anymore.  I seem to have developed a fairly normal schedule.

How I felt is so hard to explain.  I wish I had the words to tell you how dark my world was.  My dreams were where I wanted to be.  I couldn’t wait to dream because what happened in them was so much more exciting and meaningful than what my life was.  My bi-polar dreams have always been vivid but never so much as during this time.  My awake-time flashbacks from the dreams would leave me  quite confused. Once, on the rare occasion I did go out, I was very nearly hit by a bus and leapt 3 feet in the air as the driver laid on the horn, inches from my hip, waking me from my musings.  I thought no one would care anyway.  Of course I know now that is not and never been true.  I have my peeps who love me and always will.

Before Christmas, I was on the bus after seeing my mental health worker and tearsjust broke down.  I was crying in public.  No one did anything except for the lady beside me who handed me a used tissue.  I sat there with tears streaming down my face, suffering in silence.  Which is what most people do.    All this was not necessarily because of a man.  I was on my way to my darkness partly due to the isolation I was in and the feeling of not being wanted anywhere because of the blasted bugs.  I was just so sad and lonely and alone.

I missed my Dad so much over Christmas.  His joy was like a child’s when he opened gifts.  His place was empty at the table where we would squeeze his walker in.  I did have a wonderful day with my family though.  We all felt his presence there, especially when, for no explicable reason, glassware started banana-cream-pie-004falling out of the cupboard and breaking on the ceramic floor at my sister’s.  I was making the banana cream pie at the moment, which was his favourite dessert.  I had to stir and stir the homemade pudding for at about 45 minutes so it wouldn’t burn.  Maybe Dad thought I wasn’t doing it right but I kept right on stirring during all the crashing and sweeping and didn’t burn the pudding at all.  One of the best we ever made.  He was keeping me on my toes I guess.

Carly and I got wonderful news the other day.  We now have a townhouse we’re moving to through public housing.  Instead of paying rent I cannot afford it will be covered by the benefits I receive from Disability.  This is a huge financial relief for me.

I have lots to look forward to.  I will get to purge yet again.  The crap that weighs me down.  Crap that I hang on to.  Crap I can let go.   And it ain’t just because of the packing.

If I can help it, life is going be like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

 

Doing the Shuffle


I must tell you all, right off the bat, that I know I haven’t written anything for several weeks.  I really feel bad about it because I know it helps me get through a lot.  I’ve put my volunteer work on hold for this month because of the extreme anxiety I’m feeling about my health and the crazy developments with my father’s estate and, as such, the state of my family life.  The stresses have really gotten to me where I am, once again, staying away from candycrushthe outside world most of the time and hiding in my online games.  So boring I know.  I do go to my appointments and have made more effort into cooking some meals the last few days than relying on junk food.  It helps that Carly is home to eat.

After messing up the last 2 appointments booked with my new mental health worker we finally met each other for the second time.  It all went well until she asked me how my typical day goes.  I was quite embarrassed about it until I remembered that I do get up early twice a week for when my granddaughter comes over for the day.  (So fun to be with her…two years old and so cute and full of goof).  She asked me what my stresses are and I told her about the above mentioned in more detail.  It was a pretty substantial list but mostly I have such fast and negative thoughts.  Then I was to go over the positive things in my life which were fewer but still easy to come up with; kids, boyfriend, and my finances are a little better.  I was also to tell her about what I do to help the with stress.  Again the list was small but at the end of the meeting she said that column would eventually be full and she could see how low my self-worth and self-esteem were and she has the tools to work on those negative thoughts.

I so desperately want that.  So much.  Which is one reason why I’m writing tonight.

It’s been mind-numbing during the day and my sleep is filled with monsters and fear.  Restful sleep is really not a part of my nights.  It’s mostly 3 or 4 in the monstermorning when my brain will finally shut down and my eyes slam shut for anywhere from 5 to 12 hours of sleep.  I slept a day away a few weeks ago with a total of 19 hours.  Crazy.

One thing I told my worker that I was sure I looked like a “mental health patient” with my shaking and whatever.  She assured me I looked just fine and start thinking more positive about that at least.

Well, sure thing.  Except for last night…

My fella and I were finally getting to have some time together and were going out for supper except I kinda and sorta forgot about the going out part only because it was later than I thought we would be going.  He called and said he was here and I had just got out of the shower and was dripping wet, naked and just figured, no problem, I’ll just throw something on and let him into my building like I usually do.  I went to the front door, where he usually waits, then the back door but no fella.  I was quite confused.  I called him and asked him where the heck was he and he said at the front in the #1 parking space.  So, after wandering around the hallway in my nightie for another couple of minutes it dawned on me about the going out part.

Right.  He’s waiting in the truck.  For me.  So we can go out for supper.  Okay.  I got it now.

What to wear?  I felt all hot and sweaty after all that running around so I put on a tank top and jeans and put hair products in my very wet hair and ran out the door.  He asked me if I wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but I told him I wasn’t really dressed for one (that’s for sure!) so he suggested a favourite pizza joint we both like.

It was very crowded and we were waiting for a table when I noticed someone eating at a table nearby who doesn’t like me too much and the feelings are white winequite mutual.  I hid behind my fella after warning him.  He was worried about a cat fight or me being so uncomfortable that we should go.  I told him not to worry, I have big ovaries and can take it but could he please buy me a glass of wine tonight?  Absolutely, he said.

He’s such a nice fella.

So all the tables were full except for one right beside this person and a whole bunch of reserved ones.  The owner of the restaurant told us to sit in the reserved section for now until a booth became available.  “Don’t you guys leave,” she said.  Whew.  We sat in the reserved section (getting the stinky eye from THAT table) until a group of volleyball players started to arrive. It was then I noticed how hot my feet were as I listened to my fella regale me with his own restaurant stories.  I tried to remember which shoes I put on when, to my horror, I looked down at my feet and saw….

I was wearing my slippers.

I was sitting in a nice restaurant with soaking wet hair, a man’s lumber jacket, no slippersbra and a tank top and wearing my slippers and there is a person 20 feet away who thinks I should be locked up and felt the need to insult and treat me with such disrespect because of my illness I had to block her from my life.

 I looked like the stereotypical mental health patient.  Just like I thought…

A booth opened up and the owner had us skedaddle over there right away.  It was a really busy night.

My fella had me howling with laughter when I confessed to my slipper shuffle.  He does that all the time. He said he was going to get me a hospital gown to go with my slippers for next time we go out so I can really look the part.  It was then I remembered what I told my worker about the fear I had that people looked at me funny and man…I was laughing so hard.  We both were.  I had to put a little extra shuffle in my step for the rest of the night and the code word was “slippers” to make me start laughing all over again.

Supper was great.  At the end when my fella was paying the bill I asked the owner how her trip to Greece went.  She told us that she went there to find all her old boyfriends so she could fuck them since she was too young to do that when she lived there as a young girl.  She didn’t find any.

My fella was more shocked by her confession than by my slippers.  It just added to the general hilarity and weirdness of the evening.

It was great to get out.  It did me a world of good.  I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving with my sister’s family and my group.

I’m also looking forward to working with my mental health worker in the coming months.

So I hope everyone has a great Canadian Thanksgiving and even if you’re not turkeydinnerCanadian, eat some turkey.

🙂

 

Where Did You Go?


I have a sister who has been absent from the family for several years.  No one has heard from her for a very long time.

My sister has schizophrenia.

Since my Dad died a month ago my family has been hoping she will show up or call.  She hasn’t made any contact and my younger sister has gone to extraordinary lengths to locate her, short of hiring a private detective.

It amazes me how someone can disappear like that.  No Manitoba Health card for over 5 years so no medical treatments in that time.  She didn’t even have a card when we know she lived here for sure.

I feel so sad.  Where could she be?  I don’t want her to hide from us, to be afraid of us.

I remember going to see her at her old apartment about 3 years ago and knocking on her door and hearing her drag furniture and boxes away from her door.  After being allowed to enter, seeing her Spartan ways overwhelmed me.  She was scared, lonely and very, very ill. She couldn’t wait for me to leave and when I did, I heard all the boxes and furniture being barricaded on the other side of the door once again.

The last place she was known to live over 2 years ago the landlord said she snuck out of her apartment in the middle of the night, not taking much with her.

The fear.  I can’t know the fear she must live with every day.  All I know is the fear I have for her.  She won’t have ID so if something should have happened to her we might never find out.  No hospital stay information or death certificates would be available because no one will be able to know who she is.

This sister has become a ghost.  I know she might not want to be found but now it’s not about estates and letting her know the news about our Dad.  Now it’s about knowing she still lives, in whatever world she might find herself and hopefully still on the same earth as me.

Mental illness…another one allowed to slip through the cracks.  I can’t blame anyone for that though.  As her family we tried.  Her illness was so frightening.  I couldn’t even let my son drive her home at one time (for which he kindly volunteered) for fear of anything she might say he did or what she might do to him.  Her actions and words struck terror in my gut many times.  The medical community did their best short of locking her up for the rest of her life to make sure she took her meds. The one time she was on meds she was our sweet sister again but it didn’t last long.  Now it must have been years since she’s even seen a doctor.

I remember her when I was a very little girl.  I was very ill for the first few years of my life and still see her lovingly mothering me; taking me for walks in the carriage, scratching my back (which calmed me very much) and giving me treats.  When kids bullied me in school later on she went out and had a T-shirt made for me that said “Marie Boomer – Superstar”.  I wore that thing until the letters fell off.  It made me feel like a superstar.

I’m trying really hard to remember the wonderful sister she could be.  She left home when I was very young though and I rarely saw her until I was an adult again and her illness had progressed so much.  It’s not easy to keep the good memories alive since there are so few of them but I will.

I just hope she knows we are still here for her.

Please come home Sue…

I Need Naps


This week I finally had the chance to do a decent grocery shop.  And I went with my girl, Carly.  We haven’t been shopping together in close to a year.

It seemed that I could never get the shopping quite right; Carly wanted “healthy” things.  Well, so do I but our versions of “healthy” are two different ideas.  I had to teach her about balance and budget.  Since she was complaining so much I made her come with me.

So there we were with a borrowed van at the store and a good wad of cash.  I needed prescriptions and headed to the pharmacy while sending her to the fruit and vegetable section.  While my prescriptions were getting filled we met up again and started cruising up and down the aisles. I don’t usually cruise but I had a list too.

We agreed on some things that didn’t have much to do with food.  The most challenging was a new razor.  Ours was gross already so we agreed to buy a new one.  I was checking out the ladies and Carly insisted we get a men’s razor style.  I wasn’t too sure about that until she found a weird shaped one.  She was reading the package and exclaimed “It has a battery!?”  That perked my interest and it was only $7 on sale, half price.  Carly said she didn’t think we should get it as we probably were too technically challenged to use it.  It had an attached trimmer for heaven’s sake.  That must explain the battery, right?

I ignored her and got the last 2.  She has no faith.

Then it was groceries…she read every label on every box or container of food and exclaiming in a horrified voice every time; “OMG the sodium! …the saturated fat!…the CARBS!” and would quickly put the item back on the shelf.  I would pick it back up again horrifiedand show her what we had to do to make a balanced meal.  She had to realize it was OKAY to have fat, sodium and carbs to a certain degree especially since my cart was full of fruit and veggies too.  We picked up whole grains as alternatives to what we would normally buy.  We also bought a little more organic fresh food as well.  It was all starting to come together.

I must say, shopping with her took twice as long (at least) and three times the cost.  I’m just lucky we  had the money for this trip.  I asked her if she saw how much it cost us and she said she did and was shocked at how much we have to pay to eat healthy.  I warned her that, on our normally very limited budget, this shopping trip would rarely be like this.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…I did manage to sneak in my Cheez Whiz.  🙂

Boy, I had my exercise this week too.  I’ve been looking after my oldest granddaughter while my youngest granddaughter gets her eating habits in order.  I swear I’ve never been so tired.  It’s a really good tired though.  I go to bed before 11:00 (!!!) and get up for 8:00 am.  Amazing.  And she  has me running.  Running after her, ahead of her, beside her and with her.  In between we watch inane children shows that make me get ridiculous songs stuck in my head which have replaced the songs we played for my Dad while he was on his death-bed.  I don’t know which is worse.

We also nap.  Grandma needs her nap.IMG_0985

So a good week all around. Thank you to all who gave me their support the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate it as it had to one of the worse times in my life.  I don’t feel as alone as I did.  I feel better being busy and productive.

Until next time….

A Room Packed With Boomers


Well another week has gone by and my Dad’s memorial service is now behind me.  So was seeing some creepy family members I could have done without but I got to see some very beloved ones as well.  Especially cousins I hardly know but love.  The plan is to get to know them better.  It was rather a unique time…a room packed with Boomers is not something you see everyday.  I just ignored the creepy ones as best as I could.

dads finalIt was a glorious day filled with stories, the wind off the lake and my Dad’s ashes scattered at his final resting place.  It was banana cream pie, conversation and hugs.  It was sadness, relief, connections and my grandbabies.  It was seeing my Dad everywhere and hardly having to look.  My Mom too.

It was having to hold in all these emotions until leaving for home and reaching a short way from the cottage and then sobbing, uncontrollably, on my daughter’s supporting shoulder.  We held each other in our borrowed vehicle and cried for the loss of a great man.  Our ride the rest of the way was filled with silence but we could hear the songs and his voice in our heads.

That man was my Dad and I’ll miss him and my Mom so much.

Today was the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I found out more about my Dad today than I ever knew before.  My eldest sister sent out an email:

He said that he was suddenly put onto the minesweeper HMCS Minus & it was very much a secret as to where they were heading.
That Canadian ship was part of the huge armada of Allied ships that assaulted the Normandy beaches in order to invade Europe.
Dad was 2nd in command of the landing craft that took troops from the Minus to Juno Beach. He said that it was heartbreaking. The seas were
very rough & a lot of the other landing craft were letting the troops off too soon. He saw lots of men drowning & struggling in the water. He said
that they made sure that they went right to the beach to let off their troops.
On one of their trips into shore the captain of their landing craft (who was standing right beside him) was shot in the head by a German sniper. His head & brains exploded all over Dad.
Dad was now in command of the landing craft that was also now damaged by German gunfire. He could not turn the landing craft around to head back to his
ship so he had to take it in backwards. When he reached the ship the captain on the deck yelled at him for coming in backwards whereupon our father told the captain to “ fuck off”.
Dad said that one of his enduring memories of June 6, 1944 was simply the huge booming noise from the guns on all of the Allied ships that were there that day.

I know he experienced much more pain than even on that day.  I’m proud of him and can’t even comprehend the horrors he faced, even during the years following the war.  The nightmares never left him and he tried so hard to not let them into his daytimes.  He did a fantastic job.

I also said goodbye to a guy I was dating for 7 months who decided he wasn’t “that into me” and broke up with me, by text, the night before my Dad’s memorial.  I sure can pick ’em!  I don’t feel a great sense of loss though.  He was obviously emotionally challenged and I’m pretty sure I was the “interim woman”.  My life certainly moves on.

Well, another week is ahead of me with plans to be with my family and some friends who have been so great helping me get though the last few weeks.

I’m looking forward to looking ahead.

A Few of My Favourite Things…


I’ve been thinking about positive thoughts and where they come from.  I really have to force myself, everyday, to think of myself in positive ways.  I thought I would try to come up with a list of my favourite things, not necessarily about me but maybe it will tell the world and me what I like and love.  So, in no particular order…

  1. Blue.  I love the colour blue for so many reasons.  I sometimes gasp at a new shade that makes me wish for the tropics or paint a picture.  Neither of which I’ll be getting to do soon.  The best blues are cobalt and music.
  2. My daughter’s smile.  It lights up the whole room.  It’s a rare thing to be seen since she became a teen.  Her brother and I spied on her while shecarly was working the drive thru at her work and oh, she smiled at everyone!  We both were astounded by the transformation.  I love her more every day than I did the day before.
  3. When she laughs it’s like bells
  4. My son’s energy.  Oh man he makes me tired!  Always smiling is that guy.  Very social which is the opposite of me.  He’s always talking and getting a deal going and has high ambitions.  I am immensely proud of him.  He is definitely one of my favourite things.  I love him dearly.
  5. My Mom’s paintings she left behind.  I just love them because she 000_0131never really knew her talent until she was in her 40’s, 50’s and she still painted until she died.  She had a passion.
  6. I love when people aren’t afraid to tell me what they think.  Sometimes I’m afraid of it, thinking it might be bad but it rarely comes out that way.
  7. I love colour and beauty and movement.  I love the ballet.
  8. I love the symphony.  The music sends me somewhere else.  I fell in love with the symphony at the same time I fell in love with the ballet.
  9. I love the kindness of others.  So many people have shown me how good they can be.  I’m truly lucky to know them and I’m a better person because of them.
  10. I love cats.  So cute, especially my Lucky who is, thank goodness, stilllucky2 with us.
  11. I like dogs too but not as much as cats. 🙂
  12. I love chocolate.
  13. I love lilacs and the wonderful aroma they leave in the air during Springtime.  I don’t think we’ll be having Spring this year.
  14. Spring and Summer
  15. My favourite flower would forget-me-nots.  I think.  If I was to make a bouquet it would be made up of many different kinds.  Orchids are always an option.
  16. I love long car rides.
  17. I love going out for supper.
  18. I love new clothes.
  19. And Shoes
  20. Reading and reading
  21. I love watching movies where I get totally lost.  I really don’t have a favourite movie, there are too many.  It always depends on the mood of the movie; for action movies I love the Terminator series; for love stories my favourite has to be The Notebook.  Whatever it is it has to be good.
  22. I like that I haven’t cried in weeks and weeks.
  23. I like Dr. G.  He saved my life along with Dr. H who died way too soon.  He found me Dr. G before he had to go though.
  24. I love my father’s face when he wakes up and sees me and the joyIMG_0292 that’s there, even though he doesn’t know its me.  He knows its someone he loves and who loves him.
  25. I love my grandchild.  She’s adorable.  I love when she holds out her arms for me even if her mom is holding her.  I love when she makes me feel special like at Easter when I was giving her strawberries and she said, in her 19 month voice, Mo Gamma.
  26. I love my younger sister and her family.  And all their dogs.  And all their cats.  Those kids have been brought up right and I stole a lot of things to use to bring up mine.
  27. Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences.  I was just at my daughter’s yesterday and finally got to see her amazing photographs.  She has a passion.  All her teachers said the same thing.  She does excellent work and it’s a pleasure having her in class.  They are all sure she will go on to do great things.  She didn’t want to go because she couldn’t see the point as her report card was excellent but I made her.  I felt it was important for her to hear the praises and make plans and goals.  She was very proud of herself and could see me bursting with it as well.
  28. I like when I make good decisions.
  29. I love to laugh and laugh until I cry or a little bit of pee comes out.  Well maybe not that but you know what I mean.
  30. I love how I’ve been able to get along for more than 3 years without a car.  Maybe it’s 4.  I don’t know but it doesn’t matter much anymore.  The only time I’ll miss it is during the summer because I won’t be able to get to the beach when I want to go.
  31. THE BEACH!  OMG I love the beach so much.  I love how it smells and the sounds and love looking at the water.  In my teens, I used to have a secretdsc024061.jpg place in the cliffs where I could be alone, write in my journal and watch the water while burying my feet in hot, smooth, white sand.  I can still feel the sun on my face and arms. The spot is gone now as everything has eroded away.  My memories of it though always fill me with comfort.  No one could find me.
  32. Driving.  I know I said I didn’t miss having a car but I really like driving.  I used to drive a lot in the summers, especially, to get to my ex’s cabin, sometimes just for the day and it would be a 4 hour drive then.  2 hours each way. Oh you know what I mean.
  33. I love the show Friends and the Joeyisms.
  34. Days of Our Lives and Dr. Phil and Ellen are my friends during the day.
  35. Wine.  Yeah.
  36. Writing of course. That’s my passion.
  37. Sleeping
  38. Eating
  39. Loving
  40. No more fear

I think that should do it.  Its been very interesting making this list.  Thanks for being interested enough to read it.  I’m sure there are lots more and I’m sorry if I left out anyone. I’ll leave you with a video someone sent me today on Facebook that has become one of my favourites.

http://youtu.be/V7OGY1Jxp3o

Later

PS:  The pictures on this page belong to me and I do not give permission for anyone to copy them without my consent.  Thank you.

Looking Back, Pushing Forward


I’ve been reading some of the posts on my blog and have been learning a lot about myself.  There’s a little button I push that says “Random Post” and I click on it and get a different one every time.  Some of them are just hilarious and I’m so surprised with my sense of humour and how “on” I can be, even during difficult times.  There are posts where I can see how far the progress my thought process has become and the circle upon circles I’ve lived and survived within my world.  So even though I think I might be falling behind I can see I’m progressing and learning just like I should.reading blogs

I love the ones with my kids.

Some of my favourites aren’t necessarily the post itself, but the comments I’ve received.  So supportive, kind and so giving, They mean the world to me.  These are people who take the time out to express what my writing means to them.

Two posts that stand out, because they were written during one of the most awful times in my life are here and here.  Reading them again has really showed me how far I’ve come; the realization and seeing the journey of accepting myself with bipolar is really happening. The comments in both are what helped to keep me going.

Some that made me laugh out loud, even now, are here and here and here.

To me, two of the most meaningful posts I’ve written: here because it still moves me to tears that I could express my feelings and it was about my Dad and here because I first told a huge part of my story.

I feel bad that some of my earlier posts have been deleted when WordPress took over from MySpace and these were lost in the transfer.  I won’t get them back but I will just keep writing new ones!

There are others, of course, but the ones I picked will take a while to read or re-read if you would like to.  I would love to know which posts have been standouts for you.

Kill The Demons (or just find a way to shut them up)


On January 13, 2014 and a Monday to boot, I faced a demon I’ve had in my dreams and my life for over 5 years.

This was a spontaneous decision to go to this place on this day although I had wanted to do it for a long time.  I faced the outside of the door, more than a little apprehensive on what my reception would be.  Unannounced, with no appointment but a steeliness in my heart, my hand reached out and opened the door.  My feet crossed the threshold.

I was back in the building where I spent 15 years of my life, giving it my all and then, when I left, felt like a failure.  The first thing I noticed was the silence.  This place was always full of noise when I worked there.  The next thing I noticed was a face peering at me from the front desk; older and maybe even wiser.  It took a minute for him to register who I was.  He jumped and said my name with a bit of a shout, and had big smiles for me.  I barely remembered what we talked about. We giggled a lot.

This wasn’t what I came here to do.

I asked the lovely receptionist (who was my work-husband on and off for 20 years) to see if the Executive Director was in and would he see me.  As he made the phone call, I started to notice other things.

spirit1There were ghosts.  Everywhere.  I knew that the clients I’ve known here, loved and stuck my neck out for were mostly gone now.  Their presence was obvious, though, almost like a breeze in some cases (Hi Marie, it sure is great to see you!) to waves crashing from an ocean to a shore; strong, really loud and hard to ignore (Well, looky you! WELL THERE YOU ARE!!  I knew you would come back.  Why did you leave?  Why. Did. You. Leave. Us?)

I wasn’t sure this was a good idea anymore.  What was I expecting?  It’s been a very long time since my sudden departure.  I waited at the front and saw a former staff member, one of my favourites.  I shouted her name and she turned around peering at me too.  The smile on her face was huge, the hug she gave me was huge and my heart was huge just seeing her again.  We only had a moment to chat before the E.D. came out.

His face was all lit up, grinning from ear to ear, obviously glad to see me.  I was so  happy to see that grin.  At least he didn’t have a lawyer with him. 🙂 We made our way to his office, ghosts still clamouring for my attention.

Some of the ghosts?  There was “Bill” who came to see me everyday no matter what.  Actually there were a lot of “Bills'”. And “Tim” who nobody seemed to like and he beauty of naturescared them because he was a bit crazy but I could see who he was back then, a frightened, rejected man for most of his life.  He would visit and I tried to get him to be a bit more sociable.  Sometimes it worked and lots of times it didn’t.

All through the halls, they spoke to me.

We arrived at the E.D.’s office and I sat in the familiar seat.  He was very animated and very glad to see me which he told me over and over.  I was feeling a lump in my throat.  I had to get the words out.

I explained I was here because I needed to say something about when I left so many years ago.  I wanted him to know how bad I felt about what I put him and the staff through, especially the last 6 months I was there.  I realize now how ill I had been and that there was no choice but to leave.  I didn’t hold anything against him or the organization.  It was a huge part of my life and who I was.  Unfortunately it was too huge to bear.  I couldn’t save everyone.

I also told him how much better I felt mentally.  My life is still a bit off-balance but I am now progressing rather than going backwards or stagnant.  I also told him how often I dreamt of this place (almost every night).  He wanted to know if it was good or bad dreams and I admitted to both, mostly bad.

He was so shocked that I, or anyone for that matter, would come in and say these things.  He also said that an apology was never needed nor did he ever harbour bad feelings towards me.  He could see my strength and I could feel it too.  He thought I was brave!  HA!

He explained how it had been for him and the rest of the staff:

He told me I had been such a fixture there, the staff and clients all felt a strong connection to me and could see me struggling every day.  It was awful for all to watch and he had no idea how to explain to me what was going on and what they were seeing.  Me, who could not see anything at all wrong with the way things were and it seemed pretty hopeless to get me to understand that things were not right.  He ended up putting my health first and making me go on disability.

He didn’t know what a nightmare it was for me after I left.

Now, watching his face and laughing with him and listening to the funny voices he still did that always made me laugh so much, I knew that this part of my life has some closure.

He escorted me to the clinic where I found some more long-lost staff and we reunionhugged and told stories.  Most of the staff I knew were no longer working there but, to the people who still did, I showed off pictures of my granddaughter, my dad and my kids.  They were all so amazed at my Carly and how beautiful and grown up she has become.  I was treated like much-loved and sorely missed royalty.  They were eager to hear about what’s going on in my life and what’s in store for me next.  I felt so…special.

slamming doorFinally it was time for me to go.  Off to the lawyer to slam a door on another part of my life that has been up in the air too long.

The ghosts were following me to the door, waving goodbye.

I stood outside those front doors for a minute wondering if they would follow me.  They stayed on the other side.  But they will have a better, less guilty place in my heart.

Always.

Switching Bottles


Well, my friend Jam is back in town, and ready to party.  The last time I partied with her was here and that was a time I will never forget.  I did write it all down so that helps with the not-forgetting part.  Which is why I’m doing it this time too.  Its great catching up with old friends.

Of course some things never change.  For one thing, just like last time, we were having a snow storm and I was trudging up the street with snow that, in some wineplaces, was up to my knees .  I had a half a bottle of my son’s homemade wine in an insulated water bottle and some 7-up to tame it just a bit.  It is a tad wicked.  No stuffed mushrooms though, just a box of Crunch and Munch this time.

I put on makeup before I left, although I don’t know why.  I guess because I haven’t had a picture taken of me in months, not even at selfie jan 2014Christmas, which is fine by me, let me tell ya.  Tonight, though, there are lots of pictures of me that should just be burned.  I can laugh at them though as long as I don’t acknowledge it’s me in the pictures.  Ha.   I did take one selfie that was pretty good.  I was going for a one-chin look and think I did it.  I did have to reach up quite far with the camera to get the effect I wanted. What do you think?  I’m dreading when Jan gets back home and will upload a whole bunch on Facebook.

So I made it to the door and didn’t fall in a snow bank.  There they were, the girls from the block and Sue(p).  God I love them.  We had snacks, drank some wine and remembered the great times we had.  We also realized that things aren’t like they used to be.  We are all so laid back (old) although it could be because of the cold it really limits what one can do.  We weren’t about to get on a bus and go to a restaurant and spend lots of money on food and booze then hop on another bus and yell things at Shelly with the sole purpose of embarrassing her (“Shelly has a boooyfriieeennd!!!”) while on our way to the casino.  Shelly was so easily embarrassed back then, now she just gives it right back at us AND she says really bad words more often.  That’s fun too but not nearly.  Watching and hearing her apologize profusely to whoever she had to sit with on that bus would make everything just get out of control.

Life was so different then.

Memories of a stinky cab ride

Memories of a stinky cab ride

So what did we do?  I laughed so hard the back of my skull hurt so bad I had to make myself stop.  I swear I was having a stroke or my brain was just trying to leak out the back way.  We started posing for pictures but without our Sue as she left a little early.  She did drink a lot of wine before I got there.

Invaded by the teens.

Invaded by the teens.

Shelly and Jan’s kids were there as well as some miscellaneous others that Shelly seems to adopt.  Mine stayed home. They were mostly pushing cars out of the snow outside the house.  A lot of snow and you’d think people would know better.  These kids were so loud I couldn’t believe it but what great human beings.  Shelly would screech their names, demanding they come upstairs and help the neighbours get out of the driveway AGAIN and up they would come.  Except the girls.  They put on fashion shows for us and made us ache for our youth.

My place is so quiet.

That feeling of friendship, which I felt was missing from my life for so long, was as if it never left my heart.  How easy it is to relate to these women, and to laugh and tell stories.

The best story?  Sue was woken up one night by a stranger, who was obviously drunk and in her room looking for “Jordan”.  She kept asking him what the hell he was doing there.  She got out of bed, was in her nightgown (thank goodness) and followed him out to her kitchen.  (Who are you??) There she noticed he had (Who the hell is Jordan???) helped himself to some snacks and tried to open her Crown Royal bottle (which is so stuck but I bet I could open it).  All the while he kept asking her where Jordan was. (How did you get in here??)  He finally realized that he was in the wrong house (Sue has no idea how he got in there or who he was or who the heck was Jordan) and was going to leave.  He was heading for the door and Sue was worried that he didn’t have a jacket but he left anyway.  She found the jacket (he had set up a nice little bed on her couch). She called 911 and told them about the guy  (that poor, poor man is out there without his jacket.  I’m so WORRIED!) and how worried she was about him and could they please come by to get his jacket so he doesn’t freeze to death.  NOTHING about the break and enter.  Our Sue was just worried about the hoodlum’s welfare.  We were all imagining if it were us and we would not be so calm.  I would have been beating the guy over the head and chasing him from my place, screaming at him to get out.  Jan figured she would have stood there and screamed and panicked too.

Legs up and duck face for Shelly.  OMG we are so HOT

Legs up and duck face for Shelly. OMG we are so HOT

We talked about and remembered some recent firefighter stories,  the crazy diet stories, the backyard fire pit stories, some ex-husband stories (mostly good ones that were hilarious and not bashing them too much), the time when Shelly’s cat wasn’t as, umm, fluffy as she is now.  Hell, we were less fluffy back then too. The times when Shelly and Jan would be on the bus with their kids, someone always seemed to scream at them that they were lesbians.   Which led to some dating stories and questions.  Lots and lots of questions.  But not about lesbians.

It was a good way to reconnect with them.  They are my friends.  They were never gone.  I plan on keeping it up but when the weather gets warmer.  I’ll have 2 grandbabies by then and will be wanting to go show off visiting.  I hope Jan will be able to come back again soon.

Now I have to go to Urban Dictionary and look up what my name means.  Sue’s started off nice but ended up with nasty words.

I’m going to try to post every week again.  That’s my goal so hopefully I’ll see you next week!