altarflame: (deluge)
feel free to click here for a weeks old entry I forgot about )

(and/)Or, find out how not long after that entry I felt pretty triggered (haha, how ironic).
That led to some serious two steps forward, one step back personal struggles (challenges? INSURMOUNTABLE BARRIERS I'VE SINCE BEEN CHINKING AWAY AT ONE CRUMB AT A TIME?!) with polyamory, as polyamory in general - even in it's infancy - has a way of highlighting every single thing you didn't know you were avoiding dealing with at once. I'm very fortunate to be so deep in a bond that allows for sharing everything patiently, even when that involves stop and starts, and backtracking... Even if we never acted on any of this we know each other so much better, now, and I feel so much closer to him. Paradoxical, I guess, but getting to the "why" underneath every scared and sad feeling is something that's taking us places we might never have gone otherwise. I feel like I'm going to understand life differently and have a different attitude as I get older, because I'm tackling this deep shit inside of me that I've never looked straight at or felt so directly and consciously, before...
I am also pleased to report I can once again take an IQ test without any sense of personal tragedy.

Here are some pics of me and Elise around our neighborhood one weeknight, and some others from a tour G and I took of R.F. Orchids last weekend.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TL;DR - I am on a general broad upswing that involves some hard times and is not a simple curve. I travel this path with a bunch of other people who are also all on varying and irregular (usually) upward slopes. I feel good about life, and also get tired.

I will probably make a way shorter update soon, about apps I'm using and things I've recently cooked. Take heart, if this is just too damned long and convoluted and TMI.
altarflame: (deluge)
Last Wednesday night, Aaron didn't get home from dance until 9, when Jamaii's mom dropped him off here. He had to be back at 8, the next morning. At around 10pm, tired and irritable from our AC being broken for part of the day, I was sweating and reading The Prisoner of Azkaban to Isaac when Aaron came into Isaac's room in a panic. "Mom, I NEED a Disney costume by tomorrow!" he interrupted. "She assigned me to Peter Pan since I didn't come with one ready today!"

The day before had been the first time I'd ever heard this costume thing mentioned. I had told him then to dig through the dress up chest and put something together, and instead he ran around confused and then seemed to forget all about it. Now it was an emergency.

"No way, Aaron."
"Moooom I'm out of the opening on Friday if I don't have a costume!"
"How does she expect you to get a costume? You left the studio at 8:30 tonight and have to be back at 8 in the morning. When are you supposed to get a costume?"
"She doesn't care!"
"She can bite me, it isn't going to happen."

And then do you know what he said? DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID? The one freakin' thing in the whole world that could move me at that uncomfortably warm, sleepy, late point, knowing I had to be up before 7 Thursday.

He said, "Tomorrow is my birthday!"

Dammit.

So off I went, to Walmart that I try to boycott altogether, searching every section for all these components (big men's dark green polo, bright green tights, felt and yarn...) Just after midnight, I was crocheting a belt and sewing a hat.

When I did get up, far too early, he was thrilled and told me I was awesome. I'd made him a (bleary eyed) birthday breakfast and gotten him spicy sweet chili doritos to take in his lunch (all time favorite).

Off we went, to pick up Jamaii and go to dance. Then, Ananda, Elise and I had an hour to kill before Girl Scout camp started, and I'd promised Ananda's guitar teacher - who I very nearly sued for harrassment, and I'm only half kidding - that Annie would complete her last assignment last week and be done with the course. Of course Annie's crushing social/phone anxiety kicked in and I had to pep talk and then ultimatum her before she consented to use the guitar we'd brought in the trunk, and the laptop I had in the backseat. Finally she sat, logged in to wifi, while Elise and I watched her from inside Panera so nobody else could HEAR HER (God Forbid). Then she came in and I congratulated her with a chai tea latte and a fruit tart, while she was in the bizarrely hyper, almost manic high that always follows overcoming anxiety, for her.

I skipped my classes that day in favor of shopping for Aaron's birthday dinner, baking his cake and making his frosting, being home (along with Grant, who wasn't leaving) when he arrived rather than hours later, and taking a damned nap. He ended up having tomato tart and sushi. I thought it could be related to how long it had been since I'd had gluten, but others agreed that the carrot cake was the best cake I've made in years. It was...insanely awesome. Just perfect. And enormous. I mean, 9 eggs and a dozen carrots sort of enormous. I went up to 1.5 times the recipe I generally use to bake us 4 dozen cupcakes, for a single round layer cake in my widest spring form pans.

His presents (all requested):
-quad skates, to skate with Annie and possibly ref derby
-a hot pink morph suit
-a 14" beach ball, for a paper mache project
-more stupid overpriced Iniji or whatever toe socks to go under his Vibrams
-light up disco glasses

Anyway. Aaron is 12 :p I am very proud of him, and think he had a good day.

This week, nobody has anything to go to, and I am glad. I had classes and counseling today, and we're hosting a 4th of July party on Thursday evening, but that's it. It's glorious.




In counseling, this evening, I was doing emdr about my mother. EMDR is chronological and believe you me I was irritated as all hell to have this man, after our initial interviews and my first homework assignment, say that we had to start with my mom. I've been talking about my mom in counseling since I was 16. Gah. It is not what I was going to him for. And he's right, blah blah blah.

So I'm there holding these alternately buzzy things in my hands with my eyes shut, thinking about my mom, and then he'd turn them off and I'd talk about what I'd thought and then we'd start over, again and again. That's basically the gist of how EMDR sessions go, although they require some set up info for prompts and minor guidance here and there, and you do some assessments before and after each session.

Twice, today, while I was holding these things, I got SO DIZZY. Room spinning vertigo like I was drunk or...I don't even know. I could even make it reverse direction to make it feel like my brain fluid was all spinning the other way. No nausea or anything, but very distracting and intense like my skull was just slipping by continuously. I would open my eyes to anchor myself here and there, but then it would start again as soon as I shut my eyes. It felt like some kind of crap related to the alternately buzzing hand things, and/or the alternately stimulated halves of my brain.

The session was ok overall, he told me something challenging I probably really needed to hear. As I was paying my deductible, I mentioned the dizziness off handedly and told him that had happened twice before during EMDR in 2008.

He immediately said people have phantom symptoms all the time based on unconscious triggering of memories that involved feeling those symptoms. Stomach aches during a tv show, whatever.

Well. I definitely spent months using every afternoon as "spinning time," following my parents' divorce. I ended up at an ENT at one point who told my mother it seemed I'd destroyed my equilibrium by fucking up my vestibular system permanently. <---Note, that ENT was a quack who later tried to cauterize the insides of my nostrils for bleeding from the sinus cavity. Just sayin'.

But I spun and spun and spun, that year. Retrospectively, as a parent, I do not understand why my mother or one of my grandparents didn't come out of the house and say, "Tina, you've been spinning for THREE HOURS, what is going on? Let's talk." This is very similar to how it baffles me, now, that nobody ever KNOCKED ON MY BEDROOM DOOR and pulled me out, in later years. Just.

The point is, yeah, I spun, and yeah, we were talking about that same time period today, although I never consciously thought of the spinning. I'm also about 98% sure that when that dizziness happened in 2008 EMDR, it was when we were talking about my parents splitting up.

I have two thought processes about this that kinda run in tandem:

1.) I do wish my body didn't feel the need to hold onto every fucking thing, along with my brain. I wonder if I can let it all go, or only the mental part, or what.

2.) I am more skeptical than I have ever been in my life, but also more eager to be shown real magic than I have probably ever been. It felt like my therapist had tricks up his sleeve, today. Illusions to pull out and impress me.

Another one: Francine Shapiro, the (somewhat controversial) inventor of EMDR, had a book come out in the last year, that he has in his office partially because she thanks him in her Acknowledgements, since he allowed her to use a bunch of his work in the early chapters. Including some of his success cases involving victims of 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina.

It made him seem like a very accomplished magician, and reminded me of the Wizard of Oz.




I have a lot of pictures to upload, and I may even do it soon, but I'd like to note that this website makes uploading pictures a phenomenal pain in the ass - they have to be resized in PSP or something and then uploaded to a separate host site of your own, and then linked - and so I end up doing it on tumblr, where I can just use my phone to basically copy and paste from my gallery, way more often. My tumblr does have a "personal posts only" link that is easily clicked if you ever want to see original content of mine without the reblogged tumblr stuff all mixed in - it's here: http://altarflame.tumblr.com/tagged/personal I don't usually do a lot of long text posts there like I do here (and I am somewhat more likely to be uncensored/controversial, there, although it's not more or less honest...) It's not taking the place of my lj. It is just easier sometimes to do short things on the fly, on tumblr.

Since I've done a lot more "personal" tumblr-ing recently than I generally do, I thought I would link some of it individually for the interested. There is:

-This one about my obsession with, and endless parade of, white flowers at all stages of life.

-A little story about ordering chickens, and me talking about how I loved our buff orpington, Belina.

-A video about an overgrown section of our yard that we have sacrificed to dozens of butterflies as well as a a picture of how it looks from in our tv room window, where we watch the caterpillars building and hatching from chrysalises.

-Something short about our ridiculous Florida weather.

-Gardening with Elise (our lettuce has gone mad, and the chickens keep eating our chard)

-Some pictures of Annie's new hair, as modeled over the weekend from another city, where she skated in her first derby bouts.

-A couple of different posts about the joy of having new books to read for the first time.

-And one ridiculous shot of Aaron in one of his many get-ups.




I've been really enjoying the downtime of laying low and staying home much more than I have in awhile. Washing massive piles of dishes and putting away mountains of laundry like it isn't torture, even. It's one of those very homey times when our bathrooms are stocked with folded stacks of rags by the sinks, and everyone has their own socks sorted into their bedrooms, rather than just having "the sock basket" available to dig through (our usual system). I hot glued a fairy's wing back on, sewed a stuffed animal that was losing it's spikes and scotch taped several books, over the weekend. They had all waited for me to repair them for a long time. I've hosted Laura and her kids for dinner, greeted everyone with oatmeal and coffee as they woke up, and read to people in the afternoons AND at night. One day, I had an entire to-do list of plant related tasks (prunings, repottings, watering, etc) and relished it every minute.

There has been more Summer Oldies Pandora station and less Dresden Dolls, playing.

I remember when this feeling was just how I felt about life staying home as a mother and sometimes I even toy with the idea that it can last forever without any sort of supervision or maintenance, now. But I know the truth is that this is not then, and I need to leave and come back to enjoy it, these days. I need to do pre-emptive things like go to counseling, classes and my writing time BEFORE I find myself struggling to not just go in my room and lock the door. I am one of the people I have to take care of.

It is what it is, and I'm grateful for a whole lot.
altarflame: (Default)
My sister told me late last night that she was having some pretty major marital problems. I was really, really stressed on her behalf.

I woke up this morning and my period was just outdoing itself. It was 3.5 days in, and yet I had to mop the bathroom after going in there. Real insanity, I am talking about puddles of blood, and tracking footprints... I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for next week, and I feel so nervous and shook up about it - I mean it was like somebody had been stabbed to death in my bathroom, on the day when it's normally tapering off to spotting. There's definitely no chance of miscarriage, either - I've always known right away, like within days, when I've been pregnant, and G and I are not taking any chances. It's just...weirdly floodlike.

And my mother. Well. *sigh* I've been on some kind of adrenaline high for the past 5 hours, thinking about how to deal with this situation with her. I had a long conversation with my dad and while he didn't have any real useful advice, it was helpful to just talk to him.


It's been raining for hours. I broke my diet and ate a bunch tonight. It was healthy food (leftover chicken and brussels sprouts and brocoli) in more-reasonable-than-I'd-normally-do amounts, but it was still against the rules. I've already forgiven myself because I needed fuel for emotional turmoil and extended consciousness...I have faith I can be back on the wagon tomorrow. Which is a pretty big step in the right direction.



I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

What I want more than anything is just to work on my knitting in peace, and methodically clean my house while talking with and getting help from my children. I'm currently knitting this simple sundress for Elise, but in a more purplish fuschia color, with a dark pink trim...

I have a pretty major idea that my day will not go down that way, though - partially because Ananda has ballet and musical theater tomorrow, and partially because there is some major mama drama I have to see through tomorrow. My little sister and brother are counting on me to take care of it. My mom will be leaning on me to take care of it. I am worried about her. Worried like, this could be really bad. I'm sorry to be so cryptic. But it's all I can do right now.


I have tried to comfort myself by spending an obscene amount of money on advance birthday presents for Jake and Grant and early Christmas presents for everyone. The new Homestead Kohl's, Target, online ordering. It works, sort of, a little. Mostly it just reminds me to try to hoarde money wherever I can as the economy nosedives.

My devotional journal is better for comfort. I finally got it back out for the first time in months today. I wish I could just go live at church. Ah, camp, how sweet you sound to me now that I'm grown. I think I will need Mass and protestant worship on Sunday. Maybe I can start going to early Mass on weekdays. It really helps me, tremendously so.

Actually all of a sudden God seems like the very simple, very obvious answer to all of my problems. And everyone elses'. Funny how that always sneaks up and surprises me...again.
altarflame: (Default)
I had the most incredible week with Dama. [livejournal.com profile] mommydama. And her girls. Even though a violent vomiting virus (henceforth known as V-3) passed through 8 of the 11 people in the house. Even though we got rained out of the Everglades. It's just SO PRICELESS when you find one of those rare people you can talk with for hours and hours day after day and it never seems to get old, it's just as natural as breathing.

I am going to make a big post about this, and it will have a million pictures, but first I have to complain, because MY LIFE HAS GONE TO SHIT SINCE THEY LEFT.

Ok, that is a slight dramatization. Slight.

-Some of my negativity stems from the inevitable: it's anticlimactic to have your husband off, your kids amused by other children and a friend around 24/7 and then have everyone leave and husband go back to work. It's also a given when you do very little cleaning for a solid week - featuring houseguests and major illness - that you will have a whole lot to do afterwards.

-Some of it is coincidental, i.e., the day she left I happened to start my period, which has done it's usual insane hemmorage flood thing where I have to run to the bathroom every hour and still change my clothes 3 times a day, ever since.

-And the rest (the vast majority, really) is my mother. And my brother. And it's too complicated (and personal in that "my family reads my lj" way) to even get into here.

BAH!! Bah on the five hours I spent getting up to Step 20 out of 39 in assembling the accursed desk I bought, bah on finding a big dented hole in the brand new drywall in the office, bah on it being 97 degrees outside in the evening in September.

And bah on Target for replacing all the fans with space heaters because that stuff is "seasonal" and they are a national chain, despite the local climate.


In order to salvage my piece of mind when I come back and read this post later, here are some good points:
-I'm doing great with my new eating plan and have already lost 9 pounds
-Ananda acted like I was killing her with my suggestions of Wendy's on the way to the counselor, today, and was really happy and raved the whole way after we stopped at Publix instead - she tore up a big raw veggie platter with apple slices and fat free caramel dip for "dessert"
-the counseling sessions are also a great thing for her
-and G is not only working out really well, but today when I broached the topic she said she'd be totally cool with staying here for a weekend while Grant and I went away for our anniversary in April. *I'm* still not totally sure I'm cool with that, but it's a long way away and so far she is really great with them. Elise is the only one that needs to warm up a little more before that sort of time frame. I am so psyched when I think of going up to the Westin with JUST Grant and swimming and watching movies in our room and going to a restaurant and all that sort of thing, just he and I. Our last anniversary was Isaac's appendectomy
-Elise is constantly hugging me and patting my chest saying "Mama" with a big smug smile like she has me, and I am all hers.
-I am also really looking forward to his birthday, Jake's birthday, my birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving, in that order.

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