Daughters

Recently, I have been watching my daughter and how she reacts to my husband.  Actually, it’s more of a reaction to my husband and me.  It doesn’t matter what she’s doing or where she’s at, but as soon as I am anywhere near my husband, she’s right there, wiggling her little way between us.  She is quite cute about it, but each time it happens I just cock my head to one side and squint, usually uttering, “Huh.”  I will say she is quite diplomatic about it because after receiving affection from her dad, she turns to me, hugs me around the knees and says, “I love you too, Mommy.” 

I know this is a completely normal phase, but I don’t know if there is a particular way I should be reacting.  My husband, poor man, can’t resist her.  And because he spends a good deal of time away from home, he just eats it up and gives into her with a smile.  I know it makes him feel good.  It doesn’t make me feel bad, just wondering if I’m helping or hurting her little psyche.

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A Saying or Two

“Time flies when you’re having fun.”  Well, time certainly is flying, but I wouldn’t say there’s a whole lot of fun going on.  I mean, things aren’t bad – just busy.  Some days I don’t feel like I can catch my breath.  First grade homework – sorry “funwork” – is going to kill me.  I graduated from college and teach junior high special education but first grade spelling words and sight words are pushing me one step closer to the edge. 

“Every woman has one friend who is crazy and one who is a slut and if she doesn’t have one of each, then she is one of them.”  This saying didn’t come from a very reliable source, but I do wonder.  I think I attract both.  Maybe I’m noticing this because a) I’ve been in therapy and b) I feel better about myself.  I have one friend in particular who needs some serious help.  I’ve talked about her before, but things are just weird now.  She is finally in a steady relationship and I think he’s good for her and her kids.  I don’t like him personally – but I don’t have to live with him.  Anyway, she finally admitted that they live together and then, a couple of weeks ago, she springs on me that she is pregnant.  WHAT!?!?!?!?  Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but as a junior high teacher, I feel like we really need to be more responsible than “oops”.  Well, then she left work last Thursday because she was cramping.  When I talked to her, she said her doctor told her to go home and not get out of bed over the weekend.  She didn’t do it.  She spent the whole weekend running around.  I just don’t get it.  Why won’t she take care of herself?  She told me she was happy about this.  I just don’t have the patience for her drama.

Okay, I need to go to bed.  My early morning workouts are requiring a much earlier bedtime than I have ben accustomed to.

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What Goes Around…

I have always believed that what goes around comes around.  But there are days when I wish things would come around a little quicker.  I had started this school year with a renewed outlook.  As my last post showed, I was really seeing things in a new way.  Then the nasty, bitter, back-stabbing witches I work with swooped in and are doing their best to make me miserable.  There’s no point in giving the details, but let’s just say they are getting so bold as to badmouth me in the same room where one of my good friends sat.  I volunteered to help on a committee and these women have taken upon themselves to make sure I’m not the one chosen.  I was quite upset yesterday but as I tossed and turned last night, I realized that the only one upset over this was me.  They were probably sleeping peacefully while I was angry and hurt.  Well, I’m over it.  They can live their miserable lives and I don’t have to give in to them and their pettiness.  I will go on and do my job and not think about them.

Out of all of this, I did have something good happen.  I made a bond a little stronger.  There is a woman that I work with that I have always been friendly with and we like each other.  Well, she really went to bat for me and then she gave me a huge compliment.  This is a coworker that I really admire because she is very positive and always upbeat.  We really connected and today she made sure to stop in my room first thing and ask how I was doing.  It meant a lot to me.

On another note, I had to stop seeing Frank.  My insurance will not pay for anymore sessions and my husband and I can’t afford it on our own.  Frank was so kind.  He actually agreed to see me a final time and didn’t charge me.  We spent the time going over things that I can do on my own to keep progressing.  He gave me the number of some places I could get some free counseling.  He did tell me that if I had a crisis, to call him and he would see me without charging me.  I told Frank I thought I would be fine and he just smiled and nodded.  I’m a little more scared about not seeing Frank than I thought I would be.  I will say that this episode at work yesterday didn’t put me in downward spiral like it would have a year ago.  I feel stronger.  I feel…more confident.

For the first time that I can recall in my life, I can say that I feel good about myself, even though things around me aren’t so good.  I think Frank would be proud.

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The Turning Tide

Have you ever been in a place where your inner world is changing and you actually feel it as if it is in slow motion?  I’m actually watching it happen, just like I watch a movie.  And I am still okay.

There are a few things to explain first.  I talked to Frank about the end of my friendship.  He did point out that as I was telling him about it, I was quite detached.  On what seems like another topic (but I promise it is connected) we have recently been talking quite a bit about my life leading up to the rape.  He found it interesting to know that when I was young, I cried often.  It seemed that I was always crying – tears of fear, anger, joy – it didn’t matter.  I cried a lot.  However, that is not the case anymore.  I very rarely cry.  Frank and I have talked about this as a type of protection, particularly since my crying as a young adult revolved around trying to control my anger and the pain of being teased.  Anyway, after I told him about the ending of this friendship, he asked me to close my eyes and put myself in the situation again, listening to my friend tell me we could no longer continue our friendship.  He then asked me to change the scenario to include me telling my friend how I felt about it (which I did not do at the time).  As I started to talk, I could feel myself getting choked up so I stopped.  He gently asked me to continue.  I did, but kept stopping.  Finally, he told me very softly that it was okay to cry.  And I did.  The tears just came and came and came.  I was quite embarrassed and kept apologizing.  He reassured me that there was nothing to apologize for and that I was doing something very natural – grieving.  Afterwards, I felt much better.  We finished up with him asking me to not hold back tears.  He wants me to allow them to flow, in private if necessary.

Second, I am continuing to lose weight.  So far I have lost 28 pounds and I worked out 4 mornings this week.  In my running program, I am now at the point where the balance has tipped and I am running more than I am walking.  My energy level is up and I feel like doing things.  And I think my feeling better is positively affecting my marriage – we are getting along better than ever.

For the first time in…well, longer than I can remember, I can say my life is good.  And now I am tearing up because I can’t believe this is my life!  I look forward to each day and I feel like I can handle just about anything that may come my way.  I’ve started looking at getting my master’s degree in special education as well as becoming a nationally certified teacher.  I also would like to get my administrative certificate.  I can hardly believe I’m saying these things!  Yesterday morning as I drove to work, I listened to the song “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble.  It summed up my life right now.

**I need to add that I did talk to Frank about this new feeling.  He was happy for me but cautioned that I needed to be grounded in reality and realize that there are going to be tough times.  He said to enjoy this euphoric time, but don’t be surprised when I hit a road bump.

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A Death

She knew, looking into his eyes, that it was over.  He was saying the words, but she didn’t need to hear them to know he was severing their friendship – possibly forever.  She had opened her soul to him.  Sharing with him her life, her desires, her fears had come naturally.  Their friendship had always felt natural.  Now it all felt worthless.  She felt worthless.  The panic began to rise and she felt the need to run.  The mask of understanding was securely on her face but wouldn’t last long.  Finally, she walked from the room.  As she crossed the threshold, she had never felt more alone.  There was no one to talk to.  No one to ease her pain.  No other soul would understand their connection or the pain – not her husband or her other friends.  Her heart was choking and she didn’t know how to stop it.

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Weight

Well, my weight loss is actually coming along.  I have lost 23 pounds.  And I’m running again.  When I was in high school, I was on the track team.  At the time, I was fairly lazy and allowed my friends to influence me – which meant doing as little as possible.  Anyway, I did enjoy running at one time.  My goal is to run Race for the Cure in May, which is a 5K.  I did some research and a good friend of mine who actually runs marathons gave me a website called Couch-to-5K.  I’m only on the second week, but I feel really good.  I can’t believe how much energy I have! 

I am watching what I eat.  I’m actually keeping a food journal of everything I eat and it has really helped me evaluate what I put into my mouth.  I’ve started making much better choices.  Someone gave me the advice to never be hungry and never be stuffed.  So I’m also learning to listen to my body and when it’s actually hungry and when it’s actually full.

I can’t believe how much better I feel!

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A Vacation

I went on a vacation last week.  I traveled to northern Wisconsin with my mom and kids to see my youngest brother.  While being on a lake with beautiful weather is close to my idea of heaven, this vacation was not as relaxing as I had hoped it would be.

My mother takes anti-deperessants and has for a number of years.  Well, she didn’t take them for several days while we were up there.  It became quite uncomfortable.  I felt like I was taking care of another child who was having a meltdown.  I didn’t know what was wrong until she said something about forgetting to take her medicine.  I made sure she took it then.

And I was also reminded of why I am happy that my brother lives 8 hours away.  He is probably one of the most helpful people I know and I hear people rave about him all the time.  Well, he is also a pompous ass.  He spent the week lecturing me on how I spend money, how I raise my children, and what a failure I am as a wife.  Oh yeah, and he likes to tell me that I’m not a real teacher since I teach special ed.  Let me tell you, it almost put me over the edge.  At one point, my 3 year old daughter was throwing a temper tantrum and he actually said, “Your her mom, make her stop.”  I looked at him and replied, “That’s like trying to stop a tornado.”  He criticized the amount of money I was spending and kept asking me why I didn’t take better care of my husband (in his mind this means I should have dinner on the table when he gets home from work, all of his clothes clean and pressed, and the house spotless).  Anyway, my mother’s response to all of his comments was to tell me no fighting.  I finally figured out a few things after all these years.  My parents have always told my other brother and I to just ignore him.  They never told him to stop or leave us alone and so he has grown up thinking he can do and say whatever he wants when it comes to his siblings.  And now that he lives so far away, my parents rarely see him and so they don’t want to make him mad.  The other thing I realized was that my other brother and I have grown up and developed an adult relationship over the past several years.  We still have our disagreements, but we deal with them in a fairly adult manner.  My youngest brother, however, is a different story.  I was away at college when he was in high school and by the time I came home, he moved 8 hours away to go to college.  He still relates to me as if I’m in high school and he’s in junior high.  My other brother feels the same way and while he was around more than I was, it’s like the relationship has never moved beyond that of high schoolers.  I don’t know how we’re going to change things.  Oh well, I don’t have to see him again for another year or so.

All in all, I enjoyed the week because I love lakes and cabins.

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