My Soul Music

I have never tried to write my blog while listening to music before. I thought I would give it a try. I am listening to In Blue by The Corrs. I love this CD. It helps to put me in a better mood when the thick fog of funk rolls in. I have the sound turned down a bit so I can process my thoughts. It is true that you never forget a good lesson learned. I used to sing, listen to music in high school to help me prep for tests. Feels like home, who knew? I switched to my go to gal…Streisand. Her music gives me something no other music has ever given me, the ability to believe in myself.

Lately, ok maybe that is a bad reference for time. I have not been getting along with myself for a few years now. This rift in my being has caused me turmoil and self-loathing. One would think that I would have learned to set myself free from that bullshit already. I think I have finally realized it is part of the mystery I call me. I lost faith in myself. I got lost on my journey. I am in the deep woods surrounded by mosquitoes and other wild life with no FECKING idea how to get back to the main road… except, I know the way. I have been unwilling to “fix” my course. Listen, I was in the middle of a first class pity party. I had balloons and snacks and more snacks and more snacks, well I think you get the idea. Eventually it was time to crawl down from my perch in the tress and rejoin the world around me.

I choose my life. Every crappy, wonderful, screwed up minute. I want to be healthy. One of my mother’s last wishes for me was to be well. She knew she was fading and her time was drawing to a close. She gave me one of her best Junie hugs. “I love you, Trish. I know you will take care of Daddy but I worry you won’t look after you. Don’t become me. I can’t walk. I struggle for breath. Someone has to help me with every small thing. Do you want to end up like me? unable to live like you want?” I brushed it off at the time. Mom being dramatic with all the trappings. She died three months later. I started WWs March 3, 2007. My mom passed away June 11.2007. In that short time I lost 50 pounds. I continued to lose for her, for me until I left behind 145 pounds. Hold your applause. Yes, I lost all that weight and then I walked away.

Funny thing about grief after awhile your mind softens the sharp edges so you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, I chose to move in the wrong direction. I had my reasons; ill conceived most of them. Shortly after my Mom’s passing I began taking care of my Dad. In the beginning he only needed gentle reminders and help with his shopping. I was on course. I managed to lose 145 pounds. I was 6 pounds short of reaching lifetime goal at WWs when my Dad had a cardio-vascular accident that changed our lives. He nearly died on me. I was thrust into full time caregiver with part time hours. Where was my rock? Suddenly I felt so useless and small. Dad got better physically but his dementia…well, that is an ongoing adventure = (

I coped the only way an addict knows how. I FELL off the wagon. No, that’s a lie. I JUMPED. It has taken eight years to regain most of the weight I lost. I didn’t want to deal with all the sadness, disappointment and loneliness that comes from taking care of an ailing loved one. There is no one to blame. It is what it is. I allowed myself to fall short on purpose, fulfilling my own doom theory. Well guess what? Screw that shit. I have things I want to do. Things I need to fix. Adventures to take. People to love. I accept I will always have to fight my need to “fix” my problems with food. Food is the worst friend, ever. I can’t live without her. She won’t change so I need to learn to give her space so my soul can have peace.

Tears for Mom

MuthaAs I sit here typing this I am crying. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I need her; grumpy old woman that she was. She made me laugh. June 9th is my Mom’s birthday. This woman drove me crazy. I suppose it was her right seeing she birthed me into this world. There were days I hated her. I misunderstood her. I was ashamed of her. Perhaps those days can be written off as growing pains, maybe not.  I like to think that she helped me become all the wonderful things that make me Trish. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and no I don’t mean the Clint Eastwood movie.

My mother was truly one of a kind, thank gawd. She was a tormented soul. She struggled with mental illness the whole of her life. She still managed to raise three daughters. My father loved her with every fiber of his being. He still does. Over the years I learned to accept the kind of love she knew how to give. It was hard growing up with a damaged parent but it made me strong. It taught me to be kind. It taught me to look at problems from all sides. It taught me how to duck when food and dishes would get thrown = ) I miss her.

Happy Birthday you old bat!
Love Shotzie

My Get Up and Go…

…has got up and went. I lived through the “winter that wouldn’t end” most of us in New England feel that way, I think. We are supposed to have four seasons on this coast. Spring is now relegated to a three week period of mostly cloudy, rainy, snotty days. And then just like biting into a ripe lemon SURPRISE! BOOM! summer explosion. I went from wearing a parka to shorts in a span of one week. And people say God doesn’t have a sense of humor. My allergies are kickin’ my ass three ways to Sunday. If it isn’t itching, it’s weeping or burning, my eyes silly, my eyes. I have a tickle that a cough can’t cure, and I must have blown my way through two BIG boxes of tissues. ENOUGH ALREADY! Kill me or move on. I am tired of feeling like a half step off. I take a little pill {allergy type not recreational type =) }to give me a little break. It gives me that feeling like my head is at the end of a string threatening to float away.

A feeling I hate…like I am not tied to anything I can hold onto. Those little pills give me some relief from my allergy symptoms but why is it that sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease?

The real question is; how do I get my groove back? Naps make me feel like I am an old Old OLD lady. Reading or relaxing for any amount of time right after work, especially if I am sitting on the sofa makes me nap, which makes me feel like an old lady,which I hate. Vicious circle, Yes? So I am stuck in this holding pattern waiting for? something, anything like maybe a nap?

Light It UP

She moves along the hall trying to feel her way to safety. A vague light shimmers in the near distance. It is hard to stay focused but she knows if she can get closer to where the light shines she will almost be out. Her breaths are rapid from fear. She can feel her heart beat against her chest. She hasn’t felt this type of fear, well since the last time it almost killed her.  Panic and you die. Keep your head in the game. THINK. She keeps repeating the mantra she taught herself so long ago. She forces herself to slow her forward progress and draw deep slow breaths into her lungs. You are ok. YOU are OK. You ARE oK. She is closer now. Is it the light of hope? That one feeling deep in your soul that tells you will survive.

I know I will be ok. I am always ok, it’s part of what makes me the hot mess I am = ) I don’t know why I feel the need to speak up perhaps it is because no one ever spoke up for me. I have a deep need to be heard. I know I talk to much. Sometimes I go to far and hurtful things escape my lips. Never corner a cat. I strike out and say hurtful things when I feel threatened. Problem is once the words let fly you can’t get them back or make them less painful to the recipient.

I wanted to be so much more than I allow myself to be. Give me wings and I’ll learn to fly; turns out I am afraid of heights 🙂 who knew? What happens to someone like me who found her bravery by defending the innocence of someone she loved? I am only fearless when I need to protect someone I love. My bravery? a false front I put on like a mask no on can see around. As people we only allow ourselves the love we think we deserve. I wish I grew up knowing what I was worth. I settle for less but I deserve more.

Scraps From the Past

The project of the week is SCRAPBOOKING or as I like to call it cementing your past. The problem? it makes me cry. It hurts to look through years of photos of Mom and Pops. Grandparents I never met. Loved ones long gone and missed. Somehow this adventure is supposed to be healthy for my Pops. Make him a collage of things past. I just wonder who’s going to pick up my pieces? the ones that fall away from my heart and have broken all over again? I have photos of my kid sister that I won’t share as if somehow by keeping them only for myself; she lives. Odd I know but it is all I have left of her. I am taking part in this scrap booking project because my Dad needs whatever connections he is capable of making to be made. I will put on a brave face for the man who has given me so much.

Question is, what are you willing to do for someone you love?

That Good Bad Girl,Maleficent

I never imagined I would live to this age. I guess part of the blessings of youth is that young people don’t dwell on anything but the present. When’s the next party? the next test? When I used to dream about my future it was always about love. Being in love, finding someone to love, finding someone who would “get” me. I foolishly thought someday my prince would come and that I too would get to live a Disney heroine type of life. Yeah, right. Don’t get me wrong I love my hubby. He loves me but no matter how much I wish it; he is no Prince Charming and I, am no Cinderella. I have always been more of a Maleficent kind of gal. Troubled, misunderstood, longing for that one elusive thing I already have.

I have been at the same job for thirty years. WOW, right? No risk Trish that’s what they should call me. Fear sucks. I am afraid to do something else so I do nothing. I would love to write a book but lack of self belief keeps me from fulfilling a dream. I always thought anger was the most powerful emotional doorstop that a person has to struggle through but that is not the truth. Fear is worse. Fear is an ugly purse you keep in case of an emergency. There are many types of fear. My deepest fear? total failure, loss of everything I think is important to my well being. Each of us carries a bit of fear for various reasons. Some carry fear as a reminder of a past event. How they survived kept in the back of their minds ever ready to present itself like a cigarette incased in glass for a nick of time rescue. Or fear that keeps people just out of range, no attachments necessary, safer that way. Fear is the only emotional state that has its own categories based on levels of irrational thoughts and behaviors. PHOBIAS everyone has them, few like to claim them.

Fear is the hardest thing to push through. Taking action means facing that fear no matter the outcome. I have lived with fear in one form or another since I was a little girl. I was too young once upon a time to realize that my mother had serious mental illness. She is the one who introduced me to fear. She scarred me. I never felt safe in her presence. I never knew what she was capable of doing. She always made sure to remind me in a painful way if I forgot and allowed myself to get to comfortable around her. One misstep and POW. My mother would come at you guns blaring on a mission to make you pay for some transgression real or imagined. I am a grown up now or some semblance there of and yet I have the hardest time when I am fearful, waiting…for the shoe to drop.

Empathy?

When I sit down at my laptop to write it is often to compose myself, to take a breath in before I dissolve into tears. I know I am not the only person in the world in pain. I just choose to share mine. I guess that makes me a little different but I have been odd duck out my whole life so it comes easier for me to bear my soul to strangers. I never try to pretend to have the answers for feelings. I hate to know that people I care about in and around my life are feeling distress or sadness. We are all on our own journeys even though we travel the same path. We all experience loss. I can not keep anyone from knowing it. I wish I could keep you from sadness but your pain is not mine to shoulder. I can only hold your hand, wipe our tears and hope that tomorrow will shine brighter for us all. I don’t think I have ever said thank you to those of you that take the time to read my posts. I am grateful and your feedback has been amazing.

I am just one voice in the night trying to hold on until morning. EVERDAY

What Was I Thinking

really? I try to go see Dad everyday. I am his link to his world. The life he once lived in, loved in, laughed in. I can tell you with all honesty it is the toughest part of my day. I hate to cry. I hate feeling open and vulnerable. Yesterday was hard for me. I had my afternoon coffee fix and prepped a bag to bring to Pops. I kissed my hubby and off I went. Dad was not in a good place. The nurse on duty pulled me aside to inform me that Dad had been grumpy and short (my Mom was grumpy and short but I think she meant Dad was out of sorts ?)

Pops contacted a cold from one of the other patients who likes to kiss the boys and make them cry. There is nothing I can really do about those behaviors so I let Pops be. The nurse I spoke with assured me Dad had been getting cold meds and seemed to be getting better except for his demeanor. She asked me if I had any ideas as to why Pops suddenly seemed angry. I am not sure how much any of you really understand dementia. A person who lives with dementia has their own sense of reality and most likely you are not invited so you have to learn to watch for the signs. Any time my Dad is in pain or has a fever he gets angry, really angry. I informed the nurse that Pops has a history of bladder/urinary problems and infections and sometimes that is enough to send him to Anger Land.

I feel like the outsider now. If pops were home I would have simply called his Dr. and scheduled a urinalysis and a meet and greet to check his vitals. Doctor appointments change when your loved one lives in a nursing home. Someone on staff calls a nurse. The nurse does a quick assessment and then decides whether or not to contact the Dr. or nurse practitioner. Tests were ordered for Dad. I think he is having a urinary tract infection or a flair up with his rheumatoid arthritis.

I left Pops shortly after his supper. I left distracted, angry, scared and plain SAD. I jumped into my Jeep and blindly drove away. Away. Far away. I was nearly into West Boylston before I realized I had no idea where I was going or why I was going. I can’t outrun my Pops’ decline. It is what it is. In my face, part of my life everyday. It sucks. It wears me down and leaves me feeling lonely and vulnerable unable to fix what has gone so wrong.

 

Cloud Surfer

On any lazy afternoon sun beating down I would find a reason to run from the house out to the backyard to the path that led to Big Rock. Big Rock had a flat ledge you could walk out onto. If you were careful and the sun had been out long enough you might just find the right spot to place your jacket to cloud surf and day dream. The rock warm from the sun and the sky so vibrant blue it hurt your eyes. I loved running to that rock when I needed to feel free.  It’s funny how the world seems magical when you are seven. Everything is possible. You can be a princess or a model or a mad scientist. Your parents arms around you make you feel safe and protected and you know in your heart they will always be a shout away.

I would trade everything I have if I could feel like again. Carefree, wrapped in a blanket of naïve. Not knowing the road of life gets rough. To believe that if I want something enough anything is possible. I want to look skyward, cloud surf and dream.

If

IF. Who knew a tiny word could cause such big problems?  Life is fluid just like quicksand. Both look and feel like solid ground but sometimes the slightest wrong move gives you that sinking feeling. I have been stuck for a very long time afraid to make a wrong move. What IF I fail? What IF I don’t ? What IF truth be told I have come to believe that I don’t have it in me? What IF I am trying desperately to change the unchangeable? You know what I am talking about. You can’t change a tiger’s stripes or a leopard’s spots. I started writing a blog to help me help myself. I toyed with the idea of having followers but never really put much faith into that notion. Now I have followers. You make me nervous. Yes, you out there just beyond my senses. What if I don’t write often enough? will you leave? What if I run out of things to fight with myself over? what then? What if I just crawl back outside of my own head, follow my instincts and just let my thoughts take me where they may? Why not? It has worked well for me so far. I am writing this for me after all. I just let you peer over my shoulder to check my grammar. =)