Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Vacation

Today was C's last day of school for the term. She had a barbecue and bouncy house at the preschool, and I wish more than anything I had been there to see her bouncing around and laughing her head off. :D Now, we have seven weeks of summer vacation. SEVEN WEEKS. Of having her all day. Meaning no "free time" to go to the grocery store without her yelling and grabbing at everything she sees. No quiet brunches with my, well, imaginary friends, I suppose, since I no longer have people in the area to brunch with, heh. Seven weeks of caring for her 24/7 without those precious 16 hours a week to go to the salon, go to the gym, run errands... And all while my own school is starting back up for the summer term. Whee! Life is an adventure, LOL.

The new meds seem to be working remarkably well. I haven't had any mood issues whatsoever; the adjustment was pretty seamless. The only pitfall seems to be that they make me incredibly drowsy. It's not like the last meds, which made me pass out without warning behind the wheel of a car... This is gradual, a heaviness that drifts in like a slow-moving fog and takes over. That being said, I've been napping a lot lately. I'm hoping that will wear off as I get used to the new prescription, and, indeed, I slept much less today than I have been sleeping, so I'm taking that as a sign of progress!

It's great to be in a show again. Rehearsals are something I look forward to, and the work is... well, gratifying. I feel like I'm creating something again, like I'm collaborating creatively, and like I'm working toward an attainable end goal. In many ways, I feel like I'm starting over, trying to remember skills that I haven't practiced in half a decade... But it feels SO GOOD. I can't believe I've been doing anything else with my time for this long.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Inspiration in Innocence

I wonder why I don't draw more daily inspiration from my child. C has several disabilities, to be sure. She doesn't function anywhere near the level of other 4-year-olds. She's "special." "Delayed." And a host of other labels, to be sure...

When you strip all those labels away, though, what you have is a kid who truly LOVES life. She loves to laugh, and she'll find any excuse to burst out in uproarious laughter. She'll turn absolutely anything into a game. When she's told no, she finds another way to go about getting what she wants. Nothing stops her, nothing breaks her spirit, and she is ALWAYS grinning. What a great way to live life!

She is, of course, completely oblivious to the fact that she's not like other kids her age... And why shouldn't she be? What could she possibly gain by knowing that the world sees her as somehow imperfect or incomplete? In her eyes, life is beautiful. Nothing gets her down. Everything is a wonder...

Sometimes, when I'm feeling down or defeated, I really need to just take a look at my kid. Instead of seeing the dreams I had for her that won't come true, I need to focus on the joy in her life. Instead of concentrating on how I can't be all the mother she needs, I need to join in the laughter, become a part of the game, and just enjoy being with her. She's an incredible kid, and she has a lot to teach me, if only I'll open my eyes and ears...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Birthday

I had a birthday. By some planning and some chance, my parents were passing through town, so Hubby and I packed up C and spent the day with them. We had a lovely breakfast together, drove around the entirety of Lake Tahoe with a stop at Emerald Bay for a photo op, and had all-you-can-eat sushi for dinner. My kind of day! It was very nice. :)

I don't get excited about birthdays. They're just another day, after all... And, this year, it seemed an in-your-face reminder that I'm getting older than I want to be and still haven't really accomplished anything in my life. I'm still a student, I'm still not performing for a living (and that window of opportunity grows smaller with each passing year), I don't have a "real" job... The only thing of worth I've done is have a kid, and anyone can do that. ;oP So I started the day out a little bummed, but the abundance of love surrounding me all day quickly changed my spirits.

I'm still adjusting to the new meds, although that's going well. My moods have been stable, but the meds make me so TIRED! I have to take one at night, which is fine, because then I pass out for the night, but then I take another one in the morning, and that makes staying up all day quite a feat! I'm still working on adjusting to that. It seems like, if I can make it through the first three hours after I take the pill, I'm pretty much good to go for the rest of the day. I'm not having the trouble with spontaneously passing out that I was having with the previous med that sparked the change, though, so hopefully that means no more wrecked cars.

But yeah, I had a birthday. One year older... But this year, I'm working toward accomplishing my dreams. I'll have a Master's by the time I'm 30, and I've got my foot back in the revolving door of theatre, so who knows what could happen this year? :)

Friday, May 25, 2012


Day One on the new prescription:

Slept until 2pm. Went to get Hubby lunch. Came home, had to fight the urge to go back to bed. At 3pm. They weren't kidding when they said this stuff could make me drowsy... I hope I adjust soon. I have to be up early on Saturday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shifting Perspective

If there's one thing I learned from my accident on Friday, it's that life is fragile, and it can be gone in an instant. It can't be taken for granted. It must be actively lived, loved, and embraced. If you want something, you have to go for it. Nothing will be handed to you, but everything could be taken away in the blink of an eye. Love what and who you have while you have them, and let go of negativity the moment it creeps into your life. Live without regrets.

In the past few days, I've made peace with my demons. I've forgiven those who wronged me in the past, and I've learned to hold tighter to those who make my world a better place. I am stronger from the past, happy with the present, and optimistic about the future. I have always looked for the silver lining, but now I don't even see the clouds.

It took a potentially fatal incident to open my eyes. I hope that the rest of you are able to see life for all its wonders and embrace its beauty without such an eye-opener.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And Sometimes, Dreams Come True!

I can hardly believe it. My head is spinning, my feet haven't touched the ground... I auditioned yesterday for a local production of The Tempest (which just so happens to be the first play I ever did, waaaaay back in 10th grade--AND the play in which my first-ever kiss occurred--ON STAGE!!). I went in prepared, professional, and expecting great things of myself. I didn't expect a role, because these people had never seen me before and didn't know me from Adam. I didn't expect applause or congratulations. I didn't expect anyone to acknowledge me, or my valiant attempts at returning to the stage after more than half a decade away. I expected nothing from them, and everything from myself. I delivered.

I wasn't nervous. I read with confidence. I didn't hesitate to try anything they asked of me. I walked in with head held high, and I left two inches taller than when I had come in. I was PROUD of myself... For the first time in *I don't know how long.*

This evening, I got the call. I got a part! With plenty of stage time, a handful of important lines, and OHMYGOSH A REAL PART IN A REAL PLAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE GRADUATING UNIVERSITY!!

This comes at an interesting time, because, as we all know, I've struggled very heavily with PTSD this year. I've gone through a great deal, and I've journeyed a long way to find inner peace and strength in my life. Additionally, as I mentioned before, I passed out behind the wheel on Friday and ran off the road, wrecking Hubby's car. This was the final straw for my current meds, which means I have to change them--tomorrow. I'm anticipating a couple of weeks where I'm not sure what I'm feeling, or where I feel very little (that's typically the case when I transition: I go a bit numb). I was feeling anxious about that, but now! NOW! I have something glorious to keep me on Cloud Nine for the next two months!!

My readers have seen me fluctuate heavily in the very recent past. First, I was bursting with inspiration and optimism. Next, I was in a pit of despair. Well, nearly killing myself on Friday gave me the final kick in the seat that I needed to get out and start to make things happen. No more excuses. If I want happiness, I have to go out and GET IT, instead of waiting for it to come to me. I spent ALL DAY Friday preparing for this audition, shopping for an appropriate outfit, hunting down my actin' shoes, planning my hair and makeup, taking self-portraits so I'd have something resembling a headshot, updating my horribly out-of-date and dusty resume... I turned a very scary moment into a moment of reawakening. It gave me the courage I needed to go out and TRY...

...And I succeeded! :D

So, of my 3 goals recently set (to lose 30 lbs, to get my voice back in shape, and to be on stage before the end of 2013), I am currently ACTIVELY working toward the first two, and I've managed to reach the third. The one that mattered the most to me is becoming a reality right before my eyes. I am coming back to the stage, and it feels like coming HOME.

I couldn't possibly be any happier than I am RIGHT NOW.

Dreams really DO come true!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just Across the Horizon

Well, I can safely say the worst is behind me. My appetite is back to a healthy and appropriate size (meaning I didn't switch from fasting to emotional eating; I'm eating two small meals a day, which is my standard). I put myself out on a limb this morning, and I came out all the better for it.

Success can be measured in a variety of ways. For me, realizing I still have the strength to take risks, the confidence to be myself and give something my all, and the satisfaction of knowing I did an excellent job is going a really long way. I don't need reassurance that today was a success, which is evidence that *I* am a success. I don't have to let go of myself, and I don't have to get lost in a depression. Everything can be overcome.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wake-Up Call

This morning, around 5am, I fell asleep behind the wheel of my husband's Prius. I was driving 55mph along the highway when I lost consciousness, and the car veered suddenly to the right. It was the THUNK! of losing my side mirror to a metal post that jolted me from my unintentional slumber. Yes, I fell asleep while driving and hit a metal post while going 55mph. C and I were both okay, although the car sustained some fairly heavy body damage, and that side mirror is resting somewhere along 395S. Frankly, I'm lucky to be alive, and I'm lucky that C was in the middle seat and didn't take any of the force of the impact.

So here I was, last week talking about dreams reborn, this week moping about life getting me down, and today? Well, today, I could easily have died. I could have lost my daughter. By no fault of my own, in that instant that I lost consciousness, everything could have ended. Instead, I have to come up with $1000 to fix the car and hope that our insurance premiums don't go up. (Also, I have to switch medications, because I've been having some trouble staying awake at the wheel ever since beginning this particular pharmaceutical. Pity, because it was really working very well for my moods...) All in all, a VERY small price to pay. Catastrophe narrowly averted. Life goes on...

But it got me thinking. Life is fragile, and it's a gift, not a guarantee. My father-in-law told me just yesterday to quit worrying so much or I was going to find myself in the hospital, and that his own brushes with mortality have taught him to think of each day as a bonus. If every day is a bonus day, you don't want to waste your bonus time on something as silly as worrying about things you can't control. What I am now learning is that every day IS a bonus, and I don't want to waste it on depression.

Now, now... I know what you're all thinking. "But you're bipolar. Of course you're going to experience periodic depression." Yes, I realize this... But something snapped in me today. Just because I'm feeling depressed, it doesn't mean I have to give myself over to those feelings. I can fight them! I used this morning's accident as an excuse to spend the day preparing for a theatrical audition this weekend. I'm not expecting to be cast, but I guarantee I won't be cast if I don't audition! If I want to regain control of my life--if I want to recapture my dreams--then I've got to put myself out there! I've got to TRY. I can't fear rejection or failure; I have to embrace the opportunities that are presented to me. I have to stay positive, and project that positive attitude into the universe. I have to believe that I can see my dreams come true, that I WILL see my dreams come true, and only then can they stand a fighting chance.

I'm still feeling depressed. I still have no self-confidence and can't eat (although I had some noodles last night, which is more than I've had since breakfast Wednesday, and more than I've had today), and I still hate what I see in the mirror... But I have the opportunity to change all that. If I go out and PURSUE LIFE, I can regain that vitality and brilliance that I thought I had lost long ago. If I CHERISH what I have, I'll learn to focus on that instead of worrying about what may be lacking. If I live fully and love freely, then life and love will envelop me.

That collision was a wake-up call. Not only to literally wake up and drive, but to wake up to what life has to offer, right here and right now. The Universe may very well be speaking to me now, and it's screaming its bloody head off to tell me to get off my rear and put wonderful things in motion. Life is, after all, what we make of it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Sometimes, I feel that I censor my blog too much. Try to keep the readers happy, you know? Fill them with words of inspiration, of strength, of hope... But that's not true to life, not for me. I have Bipolar II Disorder, so my moods fluctuate. I might be on top of the world, full of dreams and ambition, thrilled just to be alive... Only to fall abruptly down to earth, where I lie beaten, alone, and bloody as hell.

Just last week, I wrote that dreams never die. I wrote about new goals I was setting for myself. I wrote about hope for the future, and a desire to make my dreams come true. This week, I write about defeat. About giving up. About despair.

It can happen in the blink of an eye. A rose-colored world goes dark, and, all at once, everything that shone in the sun is now masked in darkness. All I see is blackness, and all I feel is the cold enveloping me. I want to push myself, to dream big, to pursue greatness... But I feel like a complete and utter failure at all aspects of life. I lose all self-confidence, all hope, all will to go on. I simply go through the motions of life as dictated by C's schedule. I get up to put her on the bus to school, and I get her off the bus. I feed her, I bathe her, I hold her... But I feel so incredibly alone. It's all a charade. I can't connect with her, because I feel like I've been cut off from myself. I can't FEEL anything that isn't dark and gloomy.

I know, intellectually, that things will get better. That this can only last a week or two, that the drugs I take at night will counteract the chemical changes in my brain, that the heart is just an organ pumping blood through your body and not the seat of emotion. You can't die of a million heartbreaks; they're all in your mind. You just have to struggle through until the lights come back on. And the lights always come back on. If they don't, I just go to the doctor and get another pill. It's easy, really. It's a game of endurance.

But here I am, at the beginning of the game, just setting out on my dark path back toward the light... And it all seems so far away, well beyond my reach. Dreams are a thing of the past, because I can't afford them anymore. Hope is useless; it doesn't make the journey any shorter or less arduous. I can't even muster a smile.

Perhaps the only good to come of this is that I can't seem to force myself to eat. Makes dieting and losing weight that much easier... So perhaps I'll make a little progress on that goal to lose 30lbs. Without love and inspiration to drive me, I sure as hell won't make any progress toward putting myself on stage, but I would probably wither in the heat of the spotlight at this point. No, I just need to stick to the shadows, lurk in the darkness, and push through until everything shifts back toward a life worth living. A life that WILL return... Eventually.


They happen. You can let them get you down, or you can let them push you to try harder to reach your goals.

I was down last night, but today? I'm stronger than ever before. I'm fortified my walls, and I'm not letting anyone in. Life won't get the best of me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When the Universe Speaks...

When the Universe speaks, LISTEN!

I've been told that time and time again. Life works out the way it's supposed to. You may not realize it now, but you are exactly where you need to be for the rest of your life to move forward the way it's intended. Everything happens for a reason. You are here for a reason, these things are happening to you for a reason, and everything in your past has culminated in this one moment, in which you need to take the initiative to move forward.

It all sounds so neat and tidy, doesn't it? We may have made mistakes, but they brought us to this spectacular present! Or, perhaps the present isn't so sunny, but there's a new dawn on the horizon, and this is where we need to be now so that we can reach that horizon by morning.

For the most part, I believe in all of that. I know some who know me will be surprised, and others will be rolling their eyes at how obvious it is that I buy into this. When you live a life like mine, with the ups and downs that my life has had, you simply must believe there's some order to the chaos. A plan somewhere among the insanity. Some sort of rhyme or reason for what is, what has been, and what will be.

However, despite all of that... What about the future? If the universe has landed us exactly where we need to be now, does that mean it will neatly place us exactly where we need to be in the future? Or must we seek out the future that we want? Choose a goal and work toward it, even if it means fighting tooth and nail? If the Universe speaks to us about opportunities and when to take them, how do we actively listen? How do we distinguish between the voice of Destiny and the voice of our desires? What happens if we miss our cue because we were too busy talking to stop and listen at the right time?

I believe my life has happened for a reason, and all the ups, the downs, the sideways bits, the twists and turns... They've all led me to where I need to be. From here, though, I am faced with choices. With options. With opportunities! I'm halfway through school, meaning I'm halfway to a teaching license and a new career... But I'm hearing the siren song of the stage, beckoning me back. Life is settled and comfortable, but I'm stricken with wanderlust and a thirst for adventure. Do I keep my head down and push forward on the path I've chosen for myself, or is there some wiggle room to follow what sound like voices beyond my mind, beyond the four walls of this house... The voice of the Universe, perhaps? Can I have it all? Has life led me here so that I can have a steady career to grant me the economic freedom to pursue the dreams of my past?

It's so difficult to know what you're supposed to do, especially when what you are doing and what you want to be doing are staring you down, daring you to choose, seemingly at odds with one another... I want to make the right decisions. I want to follow the path that the Universe (be that God, Fate, the planets, or some other force) has laid for me. I want to find myself, in twenty years, exactly where I'm supposed to be.

As for now, I don't have a clue what that means.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


When I think of myself, I don't imagine some run-down, washed-up old woman. Sure, I'm not the vibrant dreamer I was when I was 20, but I haven't aged or fallen apart that much in the past 9 years (oh dear, my birthday's just around the corner now!). I see myself as a positive thinker, a strong woman, a mother, a friend, a wife. I see myself as someone who can weather any storm, and who has seen quite a few. I'm a fighter, although I'll never go looking for one. I'm a fixer, although I can't fix myself. I see myself as many things, and most of them are positive, but the one word that never changes is broken. I see myself as broken.

I've been broken for longer than I've been able to (legally) drink. Broken since long before I cast my first ballot in an election. Broken almost since I started to drive. I can hardly remember a time when I was whole...

Damaged goods.

I used to think someone would come along and patch me up, good as new. Some kind of hero would whisk me away, and life would be a fairy tale, fully of happily ever after. I thought someone would make the pain go away. Someone would shine a light into all the darkness and let in the sun forever. That never happened. That never will happen. It's a childhood fantasy. I'm a broken woman, and I always will be a broken woman. I'm okay with that.

Because, despite being broken, I've managed to piece together a pretty great life for myself. I have friends, I have family, I have people who love me and whom I love. I have dreams (still!), I have goals, I have drive. I have the determination to make it through every day and see through to the next. I have a daughter, a child, a little life who relies on me for her everything. And, broken as I may be, I give her everything. Everything I have, and more. I gave her life, and I will give her love until the end of time.

I may be broken. I'll always be broken, I'm sure... But that sure hasn't held me back yet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Have Decided.

Therefore, it must be so.

I will lose 30lbs.

I will get my voice back in shape.

I will be in a stage production of some sort.

All of this will occur by December 31, 2013. If not, the entire internet will laugh at me. Or just the 20 or so of you who regularly read my ramblings. ;)

It shall come to pass!!

Dreams Never Die

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember. Dreams never die.

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that I once had huge dreams. Like, ENORMOUS dreams. I was going to be a star! I was going to make a living on the stage, live my life as hundreds of different characters in different cities around the globe, become someone else for a few hours every night, and bring joy and perspective to those who came out to see me perform. I had DREAMS.

Then I had a child. Moreover, I had a child with special needs. A child who needs a dedicated team of medical specialists nearby to monitor her progress regularly. A child who needs extra attention, extra help, and structure to her life, more so than some other children. A child who can't be packed up and carted around the country with a touring troupe, or bounced around from apartment to apartment, city after city, without a single home to call her own. A place to grow and thrive. A life that I could never give her if I continued down a path toward the wild and crazy dreams of my young adulthood...

So, my dreams shifted. I dreamed new dreams: dreams of special schools, of helping children, of developmental milestones being reached and tiny smiles on my little one's face. Dreams of her first spoken words, the ability to potty train, walking distances without leg braces, telling me she loves me, her falling in love, her going to college, her falling in love and starting a family of her own... Dreams that are easily as grand and enormous as my dreams of stardom, but in very different ways. Dreams that are just as difficult to achieve as my earlier dreams. Selfless (or mostly selfless) dreams for my child's well-being. Those are the dreams I dream now.

However, even as I dream these new dreams, as I spend my days and nights working toward them, as I go to school in furtherance of them, as I devote my time and energy and heart to that little girl who needs me for so very much, I haven't lost sight of the old dreams. They haven't died. They haven't vanished. They've simply been buried somewhere deep beneath the surface... From time to time, they dig themselves out of their shallow grave, because I can tell myself I have killed them, but they never truly die. They are immortal, and, at times, they are stronger than I. These dreams have a life of their own, and they yearn to be realized. Perhaps they've matured with time, and they've narrowed the scope of their ultimate goals a little. Perhaps New York City and national touring companies are no longer a part of the dream... But the stage is still there. The lights, the greasepaint, the proscenium, the audience... Those things crave realization. They haunt me, and they call to me at night, when the lights are out, when I'm drifting off to sleep and my heart and mind are at their most vulnerable. They whisper in my ear, and they encourage me to seek out auditions, to go to karaoke, to do anything and everything I can to be in the spotlight once again, if only for a brief moment in time.

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember.

Dreams never die.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Still Here

I've been pretty quiet as of late. C's doing well, Hubby's doing well, and I'm wrapping up the loose ends on this semester of school. There's not much to report, and, as a wise blogger advised me when I first began this venture, "Don't blog unless you have something to say."

I'm out of therapy for PTSD. The EMDR seems to have been incredibly effective, and, while my triggers still exist and prompt some anxiety, they are no longer debilitating. I have found the strength and power to walk away from drunk, aggressive men in bars. I am no longer experiencing flashbacks. I have been regularly messaging someone whose very name was a trigger for nearly a decade, and I can say that name without flinching (although I'm not entirely sure if I could handle hearing the name spoken just yet). Most importantly, while I'm still carrying my pepper spray in case of emergency, I no longer grip it tightly when I leave the house. I'm no longer watching my street for my former stalker's car. I no longer fear public places in town because he might show up. Truth be told, I don't even think about him anymore, unless it's as part of a reflection on how far I've come. He has officially lost any power over me.

I've made a new friend who lives a few hours away, but she travels to the area at least once a month for work. We've been chatting and texting for a while, and she's going to be in town this weekend. We have plans for lunch and shopping, dinner with Hubby and C, and even for C and me to stay with her when we go out to Shriner's in a couple of weeks for C's next scoliosis or spina bifida clinic (for the life of me, I can't remember which one this is). It's nice to have a new friend, even if she is a little bit far away. I'm not done shopping for new friends--especially friends who live nearby and are available to hang out more frequently--but I feel a sense of closure at having solidified one new relationship after feeling so geographically isolated from my friends back home.

Life is good. My only complaint would be that I'm ready for this semester to be over so I can get fully caught up on my work before the summer term begins! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Snippet From a Chat with Hubby

me: i forgot she's not a baby >.> sometimes i wonder if i still think of her as a baby because i don't have an actual baby, so she's the baby of the house or if it's because she's developmentally still so young or if it's just because i'm a mom and we never let our kids grow up

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Well, life continues on, and I suppose I'm enjoying the ride. :)

I went to a burner party Saturday night with L. It was at a club up in Reno, and I had a really great time. L is a fantastic girl, and I felt like, not only did we dance around and have a goofy good time, but we had some really great conversation, as well. I went all out with a crazy costume, and at the party, I got a flyer for another one in early May--I've already ordered the fabric so I can sew up a fabulous costume for that one, too! L went out to dinner with Hubby and me on Friday, and he really likes her, too. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. The bonus: she has two roommates, so there's the potential for lots of group gatherings!

Hubby and I have been having some really great conversations lately. We've been discussing and redefining our relationship, and we're trying a new approach that offers the possibility of increased happiness for both of us. We've certainly opened up the channels of communication for a much more honest, open relationship. Suddenly, we can talk about things that I couldn't even bear to think of before. I'm feeling much more secure in our relationship, much more confident in myself, and more attached to him than ever. This new path may not work out in the end, but I think it's going to bring us closer together, regardless.

We're on our final week of C's spring break. Meaning I have to wash all her clothes this week and prepare myself to start waking up early again come Monday. The good news about her going back to school is that I'll be getting back to the gym regularly (whereas I haven't been able to go at all with her home all day), and with the recent change in my diet, I need that extra little push so I can start losing weight again. I feel like I just got used to sleeping in a little bit and having more relaxed morning routines, and now I have to go back to a rigid routine, which is a little bit of a bummer, but I've always done better with structure. So has C. This will be good for us.

I only have a little over a month left in this semester. I feel like the end is rushing up on me really fast, and that gives me the sensation that I'm forgetting things, not getting things done, falling behind... When I'm actually not. It's very disconcerting. On top of that, my desktop is still broken, and working on this old laptop is... well... less than satisfactory. Especially for writing papers (which I have to do this week). The replacement parts for my desktop simply can't come fast enough!

Life is good. I have no complaints, for sure. Things just keep slowly moving forward, and I'm trudging along with it. I feel like something exciting is on the horizon...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Social Progress

The title of this post seems to mean something much larger and more important than the progress of my social life. Nevertheless, this is a blog about me and my small life, not so much about the bigger issues, so you can rest assured that the social progress of which I speak is small-scale and self-centered. ;)

I have now met two women from my profile on the sort-of-for-dating site. I had dinner Thursday night with one who is a little bit older than me, has two children, and goes to Burning Man. She was awesome. This morning, I had coffee with another woman who is a little bit younger than me, has a lot of similar interests, and is new to town and, like me, looking to get out and meet new people while trying new things. Both of these women excited me and gave me a great deal of hope. I enjoyed talking with them, and I saw potential for many more pleasant encounters and new adventures. My road to building a social life seems to be paved with gold.

I still have a few others from the site that I intend to meet. I can see the beginnings of several social circles in my life; people to drink with, people to karaoke with, people to have quiet dinners in with... I'm hoping to find a home in these circles, and that Asher will find a place in them, too.

In other news, I have leads on a few different bands who are looking to add a female singer, or who are just forming and are looking for a singer, period. My time is limited between C, work, and school, but I think I could carve out a few hours a week to rehearse and perform, and I have a few connections for bookings to get gigs. I think something good could come of this.

I'm merging social worlds next Saturday night. The woman with whom I had dinner Thursday invited me to meet her at a party downtown, and this morning, I invited my other new friend to attend with me. I see it as an opportunity to get to know the both of them better, to introduce them to one another, and to meet even more new people. It will be a wild and crazy party because it's hosted by the burner community, but I think it will be a fantastic adventure!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Better, But Not Cured

After a few months of EMDR and therapy, my PTSD is remarkably well controlled. My triggers have a much smaller, more manageable effect on me now, and I can often breathe my way through a problem. My therapist has graduated me from weekly sessions to a follow-up in a month to see how I'm doing then and evaluate whether we need to continue treatment. I can finally think about my traumas without reliving them, without having panic attacks, and without losing control and running to the nearest bar for comfort.

That being said, one of my biggest triggers is a particular name. A man who assaulted me, who threatened me, who harassed me, and who tried to break into my home. Hearing his name, seeing it in print... It gets me all worked up and defensive. I can't even speak the name. I've tried, but the sounds won't come out. His name is my biggest trigger...

Sadly, one of the people I've met online who I'm supposed to meet in person (the one I was going to meet yesterday, although there was a last-minute change of plans, as neither of us felt well enough for the outing--it should be noted, I felt sickly because I'd been up all night/morning after a nightmare about one of my assaulters--further evidence I'm not cured), shares a name with that bad man of old. I see it every time I chat with him online. For the most part, it hasn't been an issue, but yesterday...

I don't know what it was. Perhaps it was that I just saw it so many times throughout the day. Perhaps it's because I could hear the name in my head when I read it on the computer screen. For whatever reason, it triggered an attack. It was very slow coming, starting with unnoticeable rise in heart rate and anxiety, and eventually culminating in full-body shakes and an inability to breathe normally. I actually had to take an anxiety pill last night just so I could catch my breath.

This was an isolated event. It doesn't happen every time I'm exposed to one of my triggers (unlike before), and it was very gradual. If I'd been paying more attention, I could probably have stopped the symptoms before they got so extreme. In any event, it's a sure sign that, while I'm much better, I'm definitely not cured. I may never be. I may be living with symptoms of PTSD for the rest of my life... The important part is that I learn to control them, so they can't control me. The men who hurt me no longer have the power in my life; I do. I've taken it back, and I refuse to let go.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homecoming and Renewed Goals

After three full months of living as a stray, occasionally wandering back into our yard in search of food and, perhaps, familiarity, our beloved Morgan (feline) has returned home. I came home from an errand this morning to find him napping in a collapsed box in a fenced-off section of our back yard. He woke when I approached, but didn't run off as I walked up to him. He remained calm as I picked him up and carried him inside.

He obviously missed us, because he's been incredibly affectionate since his return to the home. He's found a comfortable spot on a heating pad (my contribution) under our bed, with food, water, and litter box nearby. I'm having to isolate him from the other cats for a while so they can grow accustomed to each other's scents and presence in the home. The Duchess is not the least bit aggressive and lived harmoniously in the shelter with several other cats, so she seems curious, but timid, about this (from her perspective) newcomer. Seamus lived for four months with Morgan, so I'm not sure if they remember each other or not, but he clearly feels threatened by Morgan's return. He growled and hissed and tried to launch an attack on Morgan, but I intervened. When I go in to visit Morgie, I walk out to find Seamus anxiously awaiting me in the hallway, lavishing affection on me. Maybe he's afraid I'll stop loving him now that my older cat is back.

In other news, I had a meal replacement shake for lunch today. This was the first step in an effort to get myself back on track towards achieving my goal weight. I've been going to the gym regularly, but I've let that lull me into a comfortable situation of eating whatever I want, and I can tell by the roundness of my face that it's coming back to kick me in the rear. My clothes still fit--I haven't gained more than a couple of pounds at the most--but I'm definitely not losing weight, and I haven't been for a while. I let myself get comfortable with all the weight I lost, losing sight of my ultimate goal weight, and I stopped working for it. Beginning today, I'm jumping back on the diet wagon. Fewer carbs, less cake(!), diet drinks and water, sugar-free coffee drinks, and no fast food. Plus, I've got a pantry full of delicious and effective Nutrisystem meals, so I might as well eat the food I've already paid for. ;)

I won't be doing weekly weigh-ins or obsessing over this. I'm just going to make better food choices and continue my regular exercise routine, then enjoy watching the weight gradually melt away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

So Far, So Good

Well, I've been doing my jaw exercises, my ice/massage/heating treatments, and taking my anti-inflammatories, and I'm definitely noticing some slight improvements with my TMJ. I still can't open my jaw straight up and down, but the deviation is DRASTICALLY reduced. I'm clenching my jaw a lot less, which means less tension, less popping, and less locking. All of which translates into less pain. So, if things keep up like this, maybe I won't need surgery after all. *crosses fingers*

On the friend front, I've met a LOT of promising prospects! I have plans to meet with someone tomorrow for lunch and someone else Thursday night for dinner and drinks. I have two other people that have expressed an interest in meeting, but we haven't tried to schedule anything yet, so we'll see. The girl I'm meeting Thursday has a very active circle of friends, so I'm hoping I can work my way in with them and meet even more new people through her. Hubby's a bit anxious about the guy I'm meeting tomorrow for lunch. He has every right to be uncomfortable, but I've made it very clear to all parties involved that I WILL NOT be engaging in any inappropriate activities, and the guy still wanted to meet me. He's either clueless or genuinely interested in a platonic relationship, so I've decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, meet, and figure out what his intentions are. One wrong move, and I simply block him. Easy enough!

A while back, I posted about some of the symptoms I was experiencing in relation to the reduction in my medication. Well, somehow, without me even noticing, those symptoms faded away into nothingness. I have adjusted to the lower dose now, and I'm sleeping well, functioning normally while awake, and my moods are nicely in check. I haven't fallen asleep behind the wheel driving since the dosage was changed, so all is looking good.

The contractor is back today. There are a few very minor touch-ups that need to be done. Today, he's replacing the hardware for the blinds that was lost so that we can re-hang them, and he's fixing the latch on our door that stopped lining up when they took out the carpet. We still haven't moved our stuff back into the room; I think Hubby and I are both kind of enjoying the clutter-free feeling of empty bookshelves and closet rods. ;)

C is on her first day of Spring Break today. Because her school is year-round, it's a three week break. Here's hoping we both get through it without any major meltdowns! All in all, though, life is really good right now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Oral Surgeon

Well, the good news is that the oral surgeon saw me and doesn't *think* I'll need surgery. He said only about 5% of people with the kind of loose cartilage I have need it. That being said, he also said I was at a greater risk of needing surgery than most people, largely because I've been having troubles since childhood, and there's quite a lot of maladjustment to my jaw as a result.

There's deterioration on the right side of my jaw. The muscles on both sides of my face that are related to the jaw are inflamed and suffering spasms. I was given a prescription for an anti-inflammatory, and I'm supposed to spend an hour of every day icing, then massaging, the heating both sides of my face. I'm also incapable of opening my mouth straight up and down (it deviates a LOT to the right), so I'm supposed to stand in front of the mirror every day and practice opening my jaw straight. Ouch.

So the good news is, there's a lot that can be done that doesn't involve surgery. The bad news is, there's a lot of painful and time-consuming things I'm going to have to do to avoid surgery, and there won't be a quick fix for this lifelong jaw problem that's driving me out of my mind. It also means my jaw isn't going to be wired shut, so there goes my plan for an easy to follow diet. ;)

Essentially, I have a loose bit of cartilage in my jaw that causes popping and sticking, and I grind my teeth. I've been doing this for at least 22 years, which has led to a serious misalignment. Now, in three weeks, I'm supposed to retrain 22 years of bad habits.

...Wish me luck?

Spring Break

Well, C is at school for her last day of classes before spring break. Because her school is year-round, her spring break is three weeks. Which means, for the next three weeks, I can't go to the gym, I can't go grocery shopping without C, and getting work (real work or school work) completed will be more difficult. Yeah, I can't say I'm looking forward to this...

Of course, the positive side to spring break is that I'll have three weeks to play with my little girl. I wish it were in the cards for us to go somewhere and do something new and/or fun, like go to San Francisco and take her to the zoo, but we're just not in a position right now to take any vacations. Besides, I'm treading water with work and school as it is, and I can't afford to be away from my computer or without a steady routine that provides time to devote to work every day.

The Girl Scouts have been out in full force. Fortunately for me, I don't carry cash, so I haven't had the option of buying cookies, even if I wanted to. For a girl with my lack of will power when it comes to sweets, that's a real blessing. ;) Of course, having been a girl scout and District Top Seller for multiple years growing up, I want to support them and help them meet their cookie-selling goals... But not at the risk of my health. So, really, it's best that I'm unable to buy cookies. I think. I hope. Or maybe I'll run out and hit an ATM. ;)

After more than two months, we finally were able to sleep in our bedroom last night. There are a couple of very minor touch-ups that have to be done with wall texture, paint, and adjusting the latch on our door (it no longer catches), but we have a bed back in there, there are no more holes or exposed flooring, and we have full access to the master bedroom and bathroom again. I cannot begin to tell you what a relief that is.

My desktop is currently in a state of disrepair. We were gifted a lovely new desk for me to use, but in moving the computer around, something apparently shook loose. The power supply is dead, and there's a chance the motherboard may be bad, too. We've got an RMA in process on the power supply, so when they finally process and ship that, we'll be able to ascertain whether that's the only problem. If there's something else going on, it may be a while before I have my desktop back. I'm currently using Hubby's old laptop to get my work done, but I don't have access to my photography stuff, my school files, or even my time sheet for the first half of the month. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I have a working desktop again soon. This poor little lappy can barely even handle running WoW.

Life is going well. I go see the oral surgeon this afternoon about getting jaw surgery for my TMJ, the prospect of which excites me a great deal. I am SO over my jaw popping and aching all the time! I've got a handful of new friendship prospects from my online search, and I may even meet someone this weekend for a mini-hike and drinks. I'm loving having red/auburn hair now instead of the blonde; I feel SO much more like myself! Overall, no real complaints. As I said, life is going well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not Quite Right

Well, it's been about a week since I switched to the lower dose of meds, if my daily pill sorter can be trusted. So far, things are... not quite right.

Today, I feel like my skin is crawling, and I kinda want to just rip it off. I keep thinking about taking a shower, as if that might help. I'll probably give it a try, because, while it may be a stretch, it may have a placebo effect. At the gym today, I got dizzy (par for the course) and had to sit down on the gym floor for over 5 minutes (NOT normal) until my head got right. Even then, I felt nauseated and achy and all around WRONG. I felt like the only thing in the world I could do was crawl into bed and sleep it off.

I was really moody the first few days. Poor Hubby had to deal with quite a few temper flare-ups, mostly from my inability to take a joke. It's hard to be carefree and happy when your body feels terrible.

It's difficult to explain, but when your meds aren't right or you're adjusting to a new dose, there's this sort of disconnect between your head and the rest of your body, and things don't feel right in either place. In your head, there's a sensation of being detached from your thoughts, almost as if they're coming from an outside source. I'm not hearing voices or anything that extreme, but I feel like thoughts are handed to me instead of created within my own brain. On top of that, my body feels vaguely like I've got the flu, and my skin feels like it's been glued on top of my body. I feel like I could peel it off.

Emotionally, I'm doing alright. My moods have leveled back out again, although I'm experiencing some increased rates of anxiety (the reason my dose was up so high in the first place), and it can get a little emotional when you feel like your body's just OFF. So I cry a little. No big sobfests, but tears of frustration that I have to feel lousy and there's nothing I can do except wait for my body to adjust to the new levels of medication in my system.

In other news, I've set out on a mission to make some new, local friends. There's a website that's intended to be used as a dating site but has an option to select for just friends, too. I've met some really cool people on there in the past, so I started up a profile again and have started putting out feelers. I actually had plans to meet this really cool chick for drinks this evening, but something came up and she asked to postpone. Maybe she found my blog and realized I'm secretly crazy and got scared away. ;) In any event, I've met a couple of interesting people, mostly local. I'm having to be careful because there are far more guys on there than girls, and the hubby's not too interested in me making new guy friends, so I'm trying to be polite but distant with the men while sorting through the women and looking for those who have shared interests and/or interesting hobbies. I have GOT to get a social life! Our last local friends moved (ironically to the city where my parents live, so at least I'll still be seeing them a few times a year) on Saturday, and we didn't see THEM nearly often enough... I need to befriend someone who has a social circle so I can branch out and have people to see movies with, to go to dinner with, to go see local bands with, and maybe someone who doesn't work in the mornings who would like to get brunch once in a while while C is in school. My social life has been on the back burner for years now, and I think it's contributed a great deal to the troubles I've had. I can't keep waiting for my girlfriends in OK to suddenly decide they want to move to Reno or for us to get magically summoned back by some unforeseen job offer in Norman. We've settled in here; we bought a house here; I'm starting a career here... It's time to make it official and MAKE SOME FRIENDS HERE.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How We Met

When I was 14, I was an unhappy, introverted, nerdy little girl who had no real friends and was convinced she was happier that way. Then I took the SATs as part of Duke TIP, and I scored really well, so I was invited to all these summer academic programs. My parents decided it would be best if I went to one, that maybe I'd find a sense of belonging among other academically-minded kids my age. I fought tooth and nail, but at least they let me pick the course, so I picked a Shakespeare class and went to Natchitoches, Louisiana for 3 weeks of studies.

I had the time of my life! I met some of the greatest people who have ever entered my life, and I developed a shy girl's from-a-great-distance crush on the most popular boy at nerd camp.

The next summer, I couldn't WAIT to go back. I was incredibly excited because this summer, they were offering a course in Musical Theatre, which sounded like a blast. I nervously prepared my audition tape, was thrilled when I was accepted into the class, and showed up for my first day of class. We watched Into The Woods, then began preparations for auditions for roles. I was ecstatic when I was cast as The Baker's Wife, the role I wanted, and wasn't exactly upset when my secret crush, who was also in the class, was cast to play my husband, The Baker.

And so, at 15, a professor for a summer course married me to the cutest, most brilliant, most amazing man in the world. A few years later, when I was moving into my dorm for my freshman year of college, my husband, who just happened to be one of my RAs, showed up and helped me move my stuff. He had seen my name on his list of residents and rushed over.

For years, we were just friends. One of us was always in a relationship when the other was single. Suddenly, in 2006, I found myself single while he was, so I invited him out for a night of dancing with my friends. That night, I proposed to him. He didn't exactly give me the answer I was hoping for (his exact words were, "I'd rather date you first"), but it was good enough. We were engaged within days and married in no time at all.

Growing up, he was the guy to whom I compared every other guy. "He's cute, but not as smart as..." "He's smart, but not as kind as..." "He's kind, but not as cute as..." Seriously, this man was my ideal man, and I always knew it on some level. He was the first man (at 15) that I ever told I loved, and I guess I just never stopped. It took us 8 years to get together, but we managed to find our way into each other's lives for good.

I married the man of my dreams, my first love, the man who played my husband in the very first musical I was in. Every day, I am grateful that my parents forced me to spend that first summer at nerd camp, that I went back, that we were cast as husband and wife, and that we later cast ourselves as husband and wife. Sometimes, life really is like a musical, complete with happily ever afters.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Side Effects and Withdrawals

Over the past several months, my medications have kept my moods stable. I have felt myself collected, on firm and steady ground, without any major mood swings or breakthrough episodes of mania or depression. Things have been good. However, a disturbing side effect began to rear its head some months ago, and, recently, it has become so severe that I've had to adjust the dosage of my meds. That side effect? Narcolepsy.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. I don't know the clinical diagnostic criteria for narcolepsy, nor have I been diagnosed as having such. All I know is, I'll be fine, and then I can't keep my eyes open. Like, literally CANNOT keep them open. It doesn't matter if I'm standing, sitting, working, relaxing, carrying C, or even DRIVING (this is what gets so scary). I have become addicted to caffeine again in my attempts to overcome the overwhelming fatigue that hits suddenly and quickly makes me comatose. Even large doses of caffeine only dull the effects. I have fallen asleep in classes, and I have fallen asleep numerous times behind the wheel before I could get safely pulled over.

So, in an effort to protect not only myself but all the other good people who might be on the roads I drive, we have decreased the dosage of my primary mood stabilizer, Geodon. It's been about three days since I started the new dose, and last night, it hit me HARD. I take my pills at bedtime so any drowsiness will be put to good use as I settle in for the night, but at medication time, I started getting sweaty and shaky. My heart was racing, I couldn't catch my breath, and my thoughts went into a tailspin. I swear, I was hearing myself think at a hundred words a second, and none of it was in English. (I'm not claiming it was in any real language, mind you--I don't think I secretly know any other languages, nor do I believe it was any form of speaking in tongues, but the words that I was thinking--VERY LOUDLY--were definitely NOT English words.) My stomach ached, and I was on the verge of tears. I felt like I was dying. Every instinct in my body was screaming at me to go take another Geodon to increase the amount in my system, to combat the withdrawals. Of course, while trying to decrease a dose, taking extra medication doesn't do any good. Besides, there was no way to take a pill and get anything other than MORE than my previous dose, and who knows what effect that might have? For about an hour, while I waited for the evening's pills to kick in, I sat in bed and wished that I would die. Then, as suddenly as it started, the symptoms vanished, and I was able to enjoy a little television with the hubby before I rolled over to go to sleep.

We're not sure how effective this lower dose will be at controlling my moods. We're also not entirely sure that decreasing the dose will stop the frightening narcolepsy-like side effects. If the lower dose doesn't work, for whatever reason, I will have to change medications and begin again the arduous task of finding the right dose of the right medication. That means months of trial and error, of feeling like I'm walking a tightrope over a pit of bleak insanity, of struggling just to get through my day-to-day tasks. It's not something I want to go through again. Ever. It's a miserable process, to be sure. I'm hoping that, after these first few weeks of adjusting to the new dose, I'll be able to control my moods without falling asleep at inopportune times, and the withdrawal symptoms will cease. In the mean time, I am fortunate to have a strong and understanding husband to support me, to hold me, and to reassure me that these feelings will pass, and I'm not going to die.

To anyone who thinks that living with bipolar disorder is easy, let me assure you, it is not. Then again, living without bipolar disorder probably isn't so easy, either. We're all in this together.

Edit: It's only fair of me to point out the one positive side effect of this change in my medication: My appetite has decreased remarkably. I'm forgetting to eat, which means I'm not overeating for a change, which is always a good thing. We'll see how long THAT lasts, though. ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Open "Letters"

Dear Insurance Company: I realize you paid for 120mg rx last week, but now I need 80mg. I can't use my old pills to take my new dose. Sorry, it's just not possible. So yeah, you really ARE gonna have to pay for this medication again. I can't help it that my brain requires a different dose and couldn't wait a month to tell me so. So sorry... Except I'm not, because we give you all our money so we can have the pleasure of you constantly denying us coverage and benefits. So screw you. Love, WK

Dear Pharmacy: I appreciate your concern over the cost of my prescription. Yes, $100 *IS* a lot of money for one month's worth of pills. No, I can't go without, so FILL THE PRESCRIPTION I DROPPED OFF INSTEAD OF JUST SETTING IT ASIDE AND TRYING TO TALK ME OUT OF IT. These are psychiatric drugs; you should know better than to play around with those. Love, WK

Dear World: Yes, I know C's wheelchair is really just too adorable for words. No, that's not the reason we went out and got a $3,500 piece of medical equipment. Surprisingly, our daughter looking "cute" isn't worth anywhere near that much money. She's just gonna have to rely on her natural good looks. So yeah, that wheelchair you smile at because it's just so petite and cute? It's NECESSARY. Meaning you have to accommodate it like a real wheelchair, because, oh yeah, it's a REAL WHEELCHAIR. Also, the handicapped placard? They didn't give her that for being cute, either, so quit looking at me like I'm cheating the system when I park my car in a handicapped spot so I can put my daughter in her wheelchair. Love, WK

Dear Me: Stop letting every little, tiny, unimportant little thing get to you. The world really isn't out to get you, and those dirty looks come from people who are too stupid to know what they're glaring at. Concentrate on your husband, your daughter, your amazing parents and brothers and sister-in-law, your academic aspirations, your health, and embracing life. Learn to let the little stuff go. Love, WK


Last week, I went to the doctor. Nothing big, just a re-evaluation of my bipolar medication, because my mood stabilizer seems to have had the unexpected side effect of narcolepsy, and I can't afford to keep falling asleep behind the wheel. I wasn't able to get a morning appointment, which meant I had to drag poor C up to Reno with me to wait around in a psychiatric office for an hour.

She kept herself busy in the waiting room by throwing her ball around and chasing it, only to throw it again. After a while, she got bored of that game, and she started to notice the other people in the room.... And their smart phones. THAT got her attention! So then, instead of waiting, I was chasing her down and grabbing her as she tried to steal phone after phone, purse after purse... I was relieved when we got called back to see the doc.

By the time the appointment was over, C was completely stir-crazy, so while I was juggling my copay and scheduling the next follow-up, I put her on the floor, praying she'd stay by me. Of course, that was a ridiculous notion, and the very first thing she did was walk up to the nearest couple, lean in real close, and start pointing at their phone. Fortunately, they were a very nice couple who assured me she wasn't bothering them and that I could leave her there until I finished my business. As I scooped her up to walk out the door, the woman smiled at me and said, "We'll take her!" I laughed and said, "Well, she's quite the handful." Then the woman shocked me. "Our niece has special needs, and she's just so full of love. That's the great thing about these kids; they're full of love and all they want from you is love."

This was the first time a stranger had commented on C's disabilities, aside from noticing her when she was in her wheelchair. This was the first time someone identified her developmental and cognitive disabilities that wasn't a doctor or a teacher, already familiar with her case. Someone recognized her for who she is.

I really thought I'd be devastated when that day came. I thought I'd run home and mourn the loss of the life I had dreamed for my baby, the anonymity she no longer had, the distinction of being "different" that would now follow her around for the rest of her life. Up until now, people had just assumed she was younger than she is and attributed her behavior to her age. Now, they see it. They get it. The jig's up.

Oddly, instead of being heartbroken, I found myself a little bit... relieved. It's hard to explain, but it was like this weight off my shoulders, this sense that I didn't have to protect her image so much anymore, and this relief that I didn't have to explain away her behavior. That she could be who she is, and I wouldn't have to apologize for it. People would see her and understand. At last.

In the grand scheme of things, it was one tiny moment on one insignificant day... But, for me, it was life-changing. It marked the beginning of a new chapter of life, in which we don't try to hide or mask her disabilities anymore, we don't apologize for them or for her behavior, and we can finally fully accept who she is, because the world sees it now, and the world GETS it. My child has special needs; my child has multiple disabilities; my child is an amazing person who overcomes a lot every day. I will never apologize for that again.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


On this day in 2008, my first niece, Rebecca Lynn, was born.

Eighty days later, before I could hold her hand, she was gone.

It should be noted that her passing was not a surprise. In fact, the real surprise was that she had made it home from the hospital, much less through her first day. She was born with severe abnormalities due to a chromosomal anomaly that made life impossible for her frail body. Her death was a thing of mercy. Nevertheless, it was beyond painful for those of us who loved her.

This is where I point out that the same chromosomal anomaly that made life impossible for my darling Rebecca is the chromosomal anomaly that makes my beloved C the special angel that she is. Yes, the two girls, born just over a month apart, (the two girls I had imagined would grow up together, thick as thieves, favorite cousins), had the same unbalanced translocation. On paper, they look identical. And yet, my daughter lived, and my brother's daughter did not.

When Rebecca passed, C had not yet been diagnosed with any medical conditions. We hadn't even begun to suspect them yet. We certainly didn't know about her chromosomes, as the geneticists had all been crystal clear when they said there was ZERO CHANCE I could be a carrier for the anomaly that affected my brother's children. I remember at her funeral, all I could do was hold her hand and stare into her beautiful little face. A face that shouldn't have been beautiful because of the cleft lip and flattened nose, but that was somehow the most angelic face I had ever seen. I ached for not having been able to fly out to Texas to hold her before she passed. I wept for the loss of the best friend my daughter was never going to know. I hurt for my brother because I had my daughter in my arms, and he had his daughter in a casket.

Earlier today, I was planning what I was going to blog about tonight. My childhood alter-ego, the first time a stranger recognized C's disabilities (Wednesday), my long day of class... And then, on my way home from a night out with friends, I checked my email and saw the birthday email my mom sends out for every member of our very large extended family. A birthday note in remembrance of Rebecca. My Rebecca. My brother's Rebecca. The Rebecca who forever changed my life without breathing a single breath in my presence.

My heart still breaks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to the Grind

Well, I took a little time off from... well, everything! From this blog, as well. I took a trip home to visit my family (where I sadly had to work and continue my school work, but spent most of the week relaxing in the company of my family), then came home to immediately hop in the car for an unexpected weekend in San Francisco with Hubby.

Now, I'm back! I spent most of yesterday just trying to adjust back to the correct time zone (read: napping), but I have so much going on this week with school and work, I just couldn't take any time off today. The month is coming to a close, so I have to get in my final hours for February, and I have several projects that need some serious work for school. I feel a little bit like I'm treading water in a wave pool, but I know myself, and I always manage to pull it off in the end. It just takes a little bit of focus, a little bit of caffeine, and a few reminders about what my ultimate goals are and just how much they mean to me.

I'd like to post something deep and meaningful, but I just haven't the time. Aside from that, there's not that much to say! The vacation(s) was(were) amazing, I'm still riding the high that is having my protective order extended to a year, and, for the time being, my PTSD symptoms are a distant thunderstorm--close enough to make out the rumblings of thunder, but not close enough to see any lightning or roll up the car doors.

C is amazing, as usual. She taught herself how to wheel her wheelchair around the airport this past week, and she wheeled herself around San Francisco a little bit this weekend, too. Now the hard part is keeping her hands off the wheels while she's being pushed! ;) She is happy and healthy, and has been eating like a starved dog these past two weeks, so I'm hoping to see a little bit of a growth spurt soon.

Things with Hubby couldn't be better. I am grateful every day to have him, and I couldn't have been happier to spend the weekend running around SF with him. He is truly a wonderful man, and he's lifted me up through so much lately, I can't imagine my life without him. I'm a little bit in love. ;)

Well, that's about all the time I can afford to spend on things not-work. Back to the grind!

Monday, February 20, 2012


I may not have the ideal body type that I see on television or in magazines, but sometimes I've got to just remind myself that I'm a size 6. That really should be enough.

Especially when I start to wish I looked like I did in high school... when I was a size 8. Just sayin'.

Also, I felt sexy and confident when I was a size 18. There is absolutely no reason not to feel that way now.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Morning Bustle

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I woke up at 6am today. I tried going back to sleep, but my body was too ready to start the day. So here I find myself, two hours later, sipping a peppermint mocha and people watching at Starbucks. I have to say, as much as I adore my little C, it's nice to have a few hours to be out in the real world without having to keep one eye on her at all times (she and Mom are both asleep at home).

There's a study group meeting at a table across from my seat. I can't decide if I miss study groups or not. In undergrad, my study groups always met at the bar and ended with drinks. In grad school, group collaborations are done in online discussion forums, and studying is a solo endeavor. I could probably find a willing study group, but that would require finding a babysitter and driving an hour, and I seem to absorb the material better on my own these days, so there's not much point.

I'm enjoying grad school. The course plan is set for me to finish next year, but I'm considering a second Master's (in Autism), and I've got my heart set on a doctorate, so school won't be behind me for a while yet. That's exactly the way I want it. :)

I miss my husband, and I ache to be spending some bonding time with Her Grace, Lady Gretchen, but it's good to be home. I have mixed feelings about leaving in 3 days. If only Hubby could join me on every trip! Note to self: convince him to go into teaching so we can have summers off together after I finish school. ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hubby Outdid Himself

All my life, I've hated Valentine's Day.

I'm not a cynic. I believe in love--true love, even. Love that conquers all. I love romance. So I didn't hate Valentine's Day because it was too mushy, or even because it was too commercial. I hated it because it never failed to disappoint me.

For as long as I can remember, all I have wanted out of Valentine's Day was to receive a fluffy white kitten with a red bow around its neck. For a few years, I wanted a tabby, for a while a calico... But that kitten with the red bow around its neck, that was my constant dream. I ACHED for it. Since I was 6... Perhaps even younger, although that's as far back as I can remember. And I never got it.

I got flowers. I got chocolates. I even got a spa gift certificate one year... But never that kitten.

This year, we adopted Duchess Poofyhuntershire, and she was to come home on Valentine's Day. I had already written off the day as gifted.

So this afternoon, while I went to the vet to pick up the newest member of our family, Hubby drove around town and picked up a dozen yellow roses (he always gives me yellow because of my Texan heritage), a heart-shaped box of chocolates...

...and a stuffed kitten with a Hubby-curled red ribbon tied around its neck.

He really is the best husband ever. <3

Good Things

C got her brand new wheelchair yesterday afternoon, and today she took it for a test spin around the kitchen: She figured out how to do this all on her own.

I'm just about to go pick up the new kitty from the vet. I can't wait!

In fact, I don't have to wait any longer, so I WON'T wait! :D

Friday, February 10, 2012

What A Great Day!

Today was one of those rare days when I truly get to sleep in as late as I want. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way, because my phone rang at the much-too-early 10:30 and woke me up. How rude! ;)

I had some work to get done today (in fact, at 9pm, I still have a few minutes' worth left to finish), but that's no big deal. It's mindless work, done at my home computer, while sipping Starbucks and listening to music if I feel like it. I don't mind working a few hours a day, especially when I think about the paycheck I'll be getting at the end of the month! ;)

I left the house three times today. The first trip out was to go sell an amp that I haven't been using, so I started the day out by clearing a large item out of my house and getting a handful of cash in exchange. Nice!

The second outing was a total surprise, out-of-the-blue, last-minute trip for something WONDERFUL: We adopted a kitty! I was trying to look up whether it's legal to own potbelly pigs within city limits here (in furtherance of a drawn-out IM joke with a friend about what to give Hubby for Valentine's Day), and I stumbled across the local animal shelter's website with a listing of adoptable pets. I only checked the cats to see if our missing cats happened to be on there, but instead, I found this beautiful little guy, only a few months older than the kitten. I linked his profile to Hubby, who responded by saying he preferred this other (female) cat. I agreed that she was quite lovely, and he pointed out that there were only 30 minutes until the shelter closed for the day, so I'd better get going! Hubby's not the impulsive type, but I guess he sensed that the house has felt a little bit empty since our two adult cats disappeared... In any event, once I had the go-ahead from him, I immediately packed up C, jumped in the car, and drove to the shelter to meet this lovely cat face-to-face! She was just THE sweetest cat I have ever met, she took to C right away, and she seemed like she'd be a perfect fit for our home.... So I signed the papers!

The only downside to the adoption is that she hasn't been spayed yet, and the shelter won't release an animal until it's been altered, so I called up our vet and made a surgery appointment. They're going to spay her on Tuesday, so the shelter will drop her off to be boarded overnight at the vet Monday night, and, once she's recovered from surgery Tuesday afternoon, I get to bring her home!

Because Hubby picked her out, and because my rule has always been female dogs and male cats only, I let him name her. Lady Gretchen Jameson McFluffington, 3rd Duchess Poofyhuntershire. Yeah, I married a strange one. ;) He actually chose Florence, but I vetoed that in favor of Gretchen. The vet said her name was too long for the file, so they're simply calling her Lady Gretchen and ignoring her title of nobility. That's okay, I think we can forgive them for that!

Lady Gretchen Jameson McFluffington, 3rd Duchess Poofyhuntershire.

The third venture out of the house today was to have a rare, delightful dinner out with Hubby and C. We rarely go out because C tends to get overly vocal at the dinner table, and we don't have a sitter, so when Hubby offers it up, I grab at it with both hands!

The highlight of the day was absolutely adopting Duchess Poofyhuntershire, but that wasn't the only bright moment in my day. I also received the copy of the Extended Protective Order in the mail--documentation that my abuser cannot come near me or C for an entire year (after which point, I suspect he'll be in prison for his pending felony charges). Although it's been official for two days, it was really reassuring to get the paperwork in the mail. I feel like framing it and putting it up on the wall!

Yet ANOTHER positive thing happened today (I know, it seems impossible for this much good to occur in a single day!) when I contacted the Disabiliy Resource Center at my university. As it turns out, my mental health diagnoses qualify me for disability services and accommodations. Things like untimed tests, or taking tests in a room without classmates, things to help ease stress about assignments and exams... All of these are good things that I have struggled all my life without, but am finally self-aware enough to ask for assistance with. Maybe the next time I'm too depressed to go to class for three weeks, I'll get some leeway instead of a D in my dance class! ;) It will be nice to have my disabilities documented and respected for what they are.

OH, and I got the call today that C's custom wheelchair is ready and can be picked up Monday! WOOHOO!!

On that note, I'm going to finish up my work for the night and wrap up this wonderful day with some television in bed. I get to sleep in again tomorrow... Here's hoping the rest of the day is as great as today was!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This morning, I had a very productive meeting with my academic advisor. She also happens to be the Early Childhood Special Education head at my university, so she teaches all of my core classes. I've come to love her very much. :)

I had emailed her during our class break two Saturdays ago, asking to meet with her to review which requirements remained in my Master's Degree Program and what would need to be completed before I could begin my teaching practicum requirements (student teaching at a local school and working with Nevada Early Intervention Services, providing services from kiddos 0-3 years old). When I walked into her office this morning, she had made up a chart for me that showed all of the courses I had completed with grades and terms in which they were completed, along with all of the courses I have remaining and when I would need to take those in order to graduate as soon as possible. As it turns out, I will be finishing my Master's Program next summer!

I actually have fewer required courses each semester than I would opt to take in order to graduate next summer, but, because of when certain courses are offered, I can't speed up the clock any on my completion date. So, in the mean time, I'm going to be taking coursework toward a SECOND specialized teaching license! In addition to my license in Early Childhood Special Education, I'm going to earn a license in Autism. This will not only better prepare me for the children I'm likely to encounter in my classroom over the course of my career, but it also means more direct education in an area where I am truly passionate, greater "hireability" because I'll have more expertise and training to bring to the table, and it opens the door for me to earn my doctorate degree in either Early Childhood Special Education -OR- in Autism, both of which strongly appeal to me at this stage of the game.

I'm completely psyched to have a set date on when I'll complete my Master's, a scheduled plan to follow in order to meet the requirements as soon as possible, and that my advisor was so helpful and prepared when I came in this morning, that all I had to do to complete my academic plan was give her a few preferences on which courses I'd like to take as my electives and select the faculty members who will sit on my Master's Committee to review my final works and sign off on my degree.

I'm in an incredibly happy place right now. My academic future is all planned out, my marriage is better than it's ever been, my child is happy and healthy, I've been clocking more hours than usual this month so my paycheck will be bigger, and I got a free copy of the Portal video game this afternoon. Life is GOOD.

Seamus, our ever-growing kitten. I like this picture because his eyes are fully open and you can clearly see his well-camouflaged stripes. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

At Last, Peace

I have suffered in silence for a month now, biting my tongue, afraid that anything I said might be somehow twisted and used against me. At last, I can speak freely.

This morning, I had a court date. A month ago, I had to take out my second Temporary Protective Order against a man I used to trust who became emotionally and sexually abusive. The first TPO was for stalking and the abuse, and the second was for harassment when he posted a brazenly defamatory profile about me on a website. As many of you read, I started carrying pepper spray with me to feel more protected. I was afraid every time someone knocked at my door.

For a month, I have dreaded the court date. I was terrified of what lies he might tell about me, how seeing him might affect my emotional strength and fortitude, and whether or not I had the guts to stand up to him in front of a judge and insist that yes, I needed the Protective Order extended a year so that I could feel safe again.

This morning, when I got to the court house, I scanned the parking lot, terrified of seeing his car. I didn't spot it anywhere. I walked inside and checked in with the court clerk, and there was no sign of him in the hallway. They sent me upstairs to wait with the Domestic Abuse Advocates, who would be representing me in court, and he wasn't up there, either. My spirits began to lift.

When they called me into the court room, I was overjoyed. He wasn't there! As I waited for the case before mine to conclude, I couldn't quite breathe easily, afraid he might saunter in at any moment, but he never did. When I was called up to speak to the judge, he wasn't there to defend himself against an extension.

The judge called it a "no-brainer," and said that he would gladly extend the protective order. He encouraged me emphatically to call the police if my abuser did anything at all to violate the order. He also told me that this person had been in jail for a felony criminal charge most of the duration of the TPO and was out on bail now, but that he's wearing a GPS tracker, so any violation of the restraining order will be well documented and supported by GPS data. This was very reassuring for me, knowing that they'd have evidence of it if he came by my house or by my daughter's school, and knowing that he can't skip out on bail, which he told me before his arrest he intended to do.

Because of the gravity of my sworn claims against him, and because he wasn't there to argue the motion, the TPO was extended for a full year. For the first time in months, I can breathe easily. I can't even begin to describe how much SAFER I feel, how much more comfortable in my own home. I celebrated the victory by taking a drive out to Lake Tahoe to snap some photographs and breathe in the fresh air. I feel like a new woman.

Cave Rock State Park, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. February 8, 2012

In much lighter news, I got some blue-tinted cosmetic contact lenses, so I currently have blonde hair and blue eyes. For a brown/hazel gal, it's quite the novel change! I got some green lenses, too, but right now, I'm having too much fun with the blonde/blue combination. It feels like I'm wearing someone else's skin! Talk about feeling like a new woman... ;)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pent Up

My therapist asked me why I don't use my blog to unload some of my emotions. You see, they've been tumultuous and overwhelming for weeks, but I've held them in so long that I can't cry and release them. They've manifested as a large ball of tension in my chest that makes breathing difficult and painful. The good news is that nothing's boiling over; I'm not having erratic outbursts or inappropriate emotional displays... I'm simply... not emoting. When I damn well should be. So he suggested that I use my blog to talk about what I'm feeling... And he's right, I should. I never intended to censor myself on here (well, that's not entirely true; it is my aim to have this be a blog that parents don't have to worry about their kids stumbling across, so I try not to get too graphic or vulgar). I wanted this to be a place where other people who are experiencing some of what I'm experiencing can go to find solace and comfort in the knowledge that they're not alone in their emotions. By necessity, that means writing about all of these emotions... But I can't. Not just yet. I have to hold them in just a little bit longer, until the time is right. Soon, I will be able to open up again and let loose with the floodgates. I feel fairly certain I will be able to cry again soon. So soon I can almost reach out and touch it... ...Just not quite yet.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This week was the first week of classes for the spring semester. I have two hybrid classes that meet Saturdays and online, and one class that meets entirely online. I will spend a total of 5 days on campus this semester, but those will be long (9a-4p) days of intense informational overloading. I will spend, on average, 20-35 hours per week on my computer working on school assignments or reading online information. That's in addition to about 10 hours a week of reading textbooks. Just in case you didn't think being a grad student was a full-time gig, heh. All of that's in addition to 15 hrs/wk of work for my job, and the countless, 'round-the-clock hours spent being a full-time Mom.

Yeah, I'm a busy gal when school's in full swing!

I was originally enrolled to begin classes the summer of 2010, but then I joined up with a local band and realized that one of the gigs on the band calendar directly conflicted with one of my mandatory Saturday classes, and I chose at the time to be in a band rather than be a student.

They say hindsight is 20-20, and now, looking back, I certainly wish I had chosen school over the band. I'd be finishing up this semester or next instead of just now getting to the meat of my Master's program. I'd have spared myself a lot of emotional pain and trauma if I'd gone the student route instead of the rock star route... But, then again, I'd have missed out on a lot of fun times and life-altering experiences. There's nothing quite like pouring your heart out to a roomful of strangers through song or having your name up on a casino marquis as the weekend's main attraction. If I had gone to school when I originally planned instead of trying my hand at the band business, I'd have never known what I was missing. I might have spent the rest of my life wondering... Now, I can say with certainty that I gave it a shot, and it wasn't for me.

Some people are suited for a life on the road, living paycheck to paycheck, feeding on the applause from the crowd and the free meal vouchers given as payment, but I'm much happier being rooted down, spending time with my family, and having a predictable day-to-day routine. I like that I wake up at the same time every day to put C on the bus, then I have each morning's routine, then I greet her bus again at noon. I like having due dates for school assignments, books to read on a predetermined schedule, and regular work to churn out for a paycheck. I LOVE sleeping in my own bed every night instead of shuffling from one hotel room to the next. One important thing to note, however, is that I didn't fully appreciate all of these things until I spent just over a year living an entirely different sort of life. I had to try out both to know without a doubt where I belong. I'm glad I can be so certain now.

This post is titled Perspective, but it's not just about perspective on my career path or the last year and a half. It's also about the perspective I'm given from my classes.

I'm studying to be an Early Childhood Special Educator. That means I'm being educated and trained on any number of disabilities and high-risk situations faced by children from birth through 8 years old. I'm also being educated on how children in this age range typically develop, when not affected by high-risk situations or disabilities. It's all very eye-opening, particularly in regards to my own life.

Having a child with disabilities and complex medical situations can be a real downer sometimes. It's easy to focus on how each day is more challenging or more expensive than it would have been if your child had been lucky enough to be born "typical." It's also easy to trick yourself into thinking you know all there is to know about life with disabilities.

One of the most important things I have learned from my graduate coursework is that I only know one tiny perspective. I know MY situation, but my situation differs greatly from that of every other parent out there, whether their child has any disabilities or medical challenges or not. I will never know what it's like to be the parent of a child with autism, no matter how much I study to better understand it. I will never know what it's like to be the parent of a toddler who is typically developing and going through the "terrible twos," because that wasn't my reality. I will never know what it's like to have a child with a life-threatening condition and live in constant fear that each moment could be the last. (Of course, I say I'll never know these things, but I plan on having one or two more children in the next few years, so maybe I'll get a glimpse into one of those other lives... You never know what life will bring!) I never thought I had all the answers to parenting or to parenting a child with special needs, but my classes are a constant reminder that I really don't even come close to knowing it all. They're a constant reminder that things could have been a lot better, they could have been a lot worse, or they could have just been completely different. My experiences, my challenges, my joys, and my overall perspectives... They're so tiny and isolated and unique. They are mine and mine alone, and they can't be compared to those of anyone else. It's so easy to close your mind to all the other lives around you, all the other ideas and perspectives... But I am fortunate to have regular and eye-opening reminders that my perspective is only one of millions. It's nice to be kept in check, forced to keep an open mind, and constantly challenged to try and see the world through another's eyes.

It's awfully nice to have perspective.

Friday, January 27, 2012

People Love Drama

There's this person I knew, and he did a bad thing. He got in trouble for it, and he faces jail time for it, and that should be the end of it.

But it isn't.

There was a mention of it in the paper. Brief, but to the point. Suddenly, it was public news. Now, given the nature of the bad thing, I'm not at all surprised that it was considered newsworthy, as arrests for much more mundane things are posted as newsworthy material. But THAT should have been the end of it.

But it wasn't.

Upon discovering this particular news item, some unknown number of individuals took it upon themselves to spread the word of this bad thing and the ensuing arrest. They posted about it on this person's work-related facebook account, on craigslist, and I don't even know where else. They called him names. They ruined his reputation, and perhaps even his career.

To those people, even though they'll never see this post, I'd like to say: SHAME ON YOU. A person screwed up. A person has an illness. A person got in trouble. Let it be! Why add to their misery by attacking them on every possible front? I noticed that none of the public "dings" I saw were signed--what, you're man enough to call someone out for screwing up, but not man enough to stand behind the things you say about him?

Now, I have my own personal issues with the person who screwed up. I feel I have been wronged by him in the past, but, while I've wanted all traces of him removed from my life, I didn't want anything like this to happen to him. I didn't want his private matters to be made public, nor did I want to see his way of making a living threatened. His reputation was crucial for keeping him in work, and I don't know now if he's able to work at all. I don't know if anybody's standing by him as he struggles through his shame... And, no matter how much he may have hurt me in the past, I don't think anyone deserves to walk that path alone.

I had told myself that I had forgiven him for what he'd done to me, even while I'm still struggling in therapy to recover from it... But I guess I didn't know for sure whether I truly forgave him until I saw the remnants of what appears to have been a mighty internet blitz attack. If I didn't forgive him, I couldn't wish better for him than that. I couldn't hope the way I do that someone is by his side right now, helping him along. If I didn't forgive him, I'd be rejoicing in his public shame and suffering instead of hurting for him the way I do now.

What can I say? The public loves its drama... But I guess I don't. I really did wish better for him.

School Days

The spring semester is in full swing now. By which I mean my online class has met once, and neither of my Saturday/online hybrid classes have met yet. But they will, and soon! ;)

There's something very comforting to me about school. I've always felt at home in the classroom, at ease with my nose in a book, calm and collected while taking tests and writing papers. In a world of chaos and anxiety, school has always been a safe haven for me.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder while I was in my third year of undergrad. At the time, I couldn't fully comprehend the meaning of the diagnosis or the impacts it would have on my life. All I understood was that someone was telling me I was sick, that I'd always be sick, that there was no cure, that I'd have to rely on prescription pills for the rest of my life, and that I could barely get out of bed to go to the classes I so deeply valued. I knew there was a stigma about bipolar disorder; I myself had participated in mocking a dormmate's struggle with the disease. Oh, poetic justice! If only everyone who mocked others for their disabilities would then themselves be struck with the very same maladies, if only so they could learn some compassion and understanding!

Now that I am older and have been living with my diagnosis for several years, things like going to class are much easier. I am capable of doing the things that I want to be doing because I am properly medicated, and I can pay full attention in class and perform well on scholastic endeavors. I am greatly enjoying grad school, both because I am back in the comfort of the classroom, and because the subject matter--special education--is so dear to my heart.

When I go to class, I learn both how to educate future students and how to better care for my own daughter. I study techniques for assisting families of children with disabilities, and, in doing so, learn more about my own family dynamic and how I cope with the daily struggles of raising a child with disabilities. I see how many services my family needs, and I take pride and comfort in knowing I will soon be able to share those services with other families in our situation. It's very rewarding, on several levels.

School is a safe world. It's a world where your teachers' only job is to help you succeed, and your hard work and merit determine how you will be judged. Illness isn't a factor. The fact that you could barely manage a trip to the grocery store doesn't matter. All that matters is what happens inside the safety of that classroom. I realize, of course, that not everyone has a similar outlook on education. For some people, the classroom is the scariest place on earth... For me, however, it's an oasis. It's sacred. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have had to pursue my educational goals.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Loaner Chair

Yesterday, I got a call from C's PT saying that they had prepared a loaner wheelchair for us to use until the new custom chair comes in. It's the same model and was previously used by a little girl with a latex allergy, so everything on it is latex-free (yay!). A representative from MedTech had to come down and fit the chair with a new seat cushion, new lap belt, and a new chest harness, but now it's essentially the same thing as the chair we ordered. C rode home on the bus in her new (temporary) chair yesterday, and sources say that she loved being able to look out the window and watch everything go by. I also found out yesterday that our insurance has approved C's new chair and all the customizations, and it will be ready in the next 2-3 weeks, meaning we'll have it in time for our next flight to Austin next month! I'm super excited. The only thing we need now is to hire someone to build a wheelchair ramp so I don't have to lift C over the two steps up to our front door every day!

In other news, my PTSD has kicked into overdrive the past few days. Knowing that there's a pending court hearing to extend my Order of Protection for a full year has me thinking more and reliving more. It's uncomfortable, but I'm pushing through. My weekly therapy sessions help, as do my body's survival instincts, such as not being able to cry because it makes me feel more vulnerable. I'm afraid I may come off to hubby as a little bit of an ice queen right now because I can't seem to let my guard down, but he's very understanding and knowledgeable about PTSD, so he gets it. I don't know what I'd do without him.

I understand that several senators decided to oppose SOPA after yesterday's internet-wide protest of the pending legislation, including several of the original sponsors. I hope more follow suit, because internet censorship is not what the world needs. It's dangerous and flat-out wrong, and I am hoping for the best.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA!

Today, I will not be participating in Twitter, blogging activities, or social networking sites in protest of SOPA and PIPA. Wikipedia has information about these destructive pieces of legislation if you're unfamiliar.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Going Home

My parents are great, and it's hard for me living half a country away from them. I hated not having my mom around during the pregnancy and not having my parents at the hospital the night C was born. I hated that, while I was singing with the band, they were only able to make a trip out to see me perform once. I hate being too far away for a weekend trip every now and again.

Fortunately for me, I have parents who are willing to fly C and me halfway across the country to visit when I tell them I'm homesick! :)

I have a day off of school in February and no Saturday class the weekend before, so I thought it would be nice to fly down to Austin for a week-long stay. Yes, I was just there for two weeks and got back exactly two weeks ago today... But I'm potentially flying in a friend for Spring Break, so this would be my only chance to visit between now and summer break, and frankly, I don't like being away from Mommy and Daddy for that long. So I'm going to visit!

Going home is always interesting. My mom borders on hoarding, so I never go home without a bag full of new things to bring back with me. There are only a few people in Austin that I feel compelled to see when I visit, and several others who I see every third or fourth visit, so there can be as much or as little socialization in a visit as I would like. My parents are always willing to babysit so I can have dinner out with friends, which is not a luxury we have here.

Then there's the comfort of sleeping in my old room, where I used to use AIM to chat with my then-friend-now-husband, where I daydreamed about the future, where the biggest problems I ever had to face were acne and getting grounded from the phone. Lying in bed in that room, staring at that oh-so-familiar ceiling, gazing out the windows onto my old street... It's like going back to a simpler time, long before I had to struggle with juggling medications, PTSD, or the trials of parenting a child with special needs. I feel somehow freer there, more at ease, like Mom and Dad will take care of anything that comes up, and I'm safe under their protective bubble of a roof.

I love going home, even if it's only for a week at a time, and even if it only happens a couple of times a year. I feel very fortunate that my life is blessed with the opportunity and the means to make the trip as often as I do. So yes, I've only been back for two weeks... But I'm happy that I have less than a month to wait before I'll be back there, in the safe haven of my parents' house, reconnecting with my innocence and youth.