Thursday, December 17, 2009

More of the Update

After Payton and I came home from the hospital, I was on blood pressure medicine to control my blood pressure. The doctor said it would take about four to six weeks for it to return to normal and then I'd be able to get off of the medicine. In the meantime, I had to buy a blood pressure cuff to take my blood pressure several times a day and then call it in to the doctor's office. I also had my staples removed from my incision - it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. One of the worst things that I experienced was the muscle spasms around my incision. Wow! They really hurt!

One day my blood pressure dropped - the bottom number was 52 - I was very lightheaded, felt faint, and couldn't think "right". I called the doctor's office (the alternative number - it was Sunday). They told me to go to the ER, which I did (EG drove me). So then they basically said that my blood pressure was trying to return to normal and the blood pressure medicine had made it drop. But since it was still not stabilized (it would get high) I had to take the medicine, just here and there and half of the dosage. Eventually I didn't have to take it at all, which was great! I hated that medicine. I didn't like how sleepy it made me.

My mom had stayed for two weeks and went home on the day I had to go to the ER. Things quickly got back to normal. Even though I wasn't supposed to lift anything heavy, like Karlee, I had to do it because I was alone during the day with the kids. Sometimes I would really hurt. Other times I was ok.

Thanksgiving came and went - I made a cajun turkey! It was really good. Karlee started sleeping through the night again - with all the commotion she had been waking up at night crying but as soon as my mom went back home and Ashley went back home after being here for Thanksgiving break, Karlee was back on track.

Payton would get up every two hours at night to eat. Now she is going for almost the whole night without getting up, although last night she woke up twice (our routine had changed yesterday, and I think that's why). She likes to sleep in her swing. It lays nearly flat and rocks side to side. We asked the doctor about it and he said while it won't hurt her, we shouldn't let her get used to it. But we need the sleep! Hahaha! So we let her sleep in it at night, though she does occasionally sleep in the cradle and does sleep in the bassinet downstairs during the day.

Payton got to meet Santa Clause for the first time! Karlee loved it too. We had their pictures taken where E.G. works, then we had a family picture taken too. We have been shopping here and there for Karlee's birthday and Christmas. We are all set for Christmas, which is a relief. All of Karlee's birthday gifts are wrapped and ready; all we have to do is pick up her birthday cake and order a pizza tomorrow. I can't believe she'll be two!

Well, that's it for now. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More About Payton's Birth

During the stay in the hospital, I let the nurses have the baby at night. EG stayed with me in the hospital in the evenings, at night, and part of the morning. My mom stayed with Karlee and then she'd come to visit with me during the day while EG was with Karlee.

Because of the H1N1 virus, only grandparents and the father were allowed to visit in the hospital. Siblings were not allowed to visit at all. I missed Karlee so much. But because she is a daddy's girl, I didn't think she'd miss me. I tried to talk to her on the phone but she wasn't really having that.

My c-section wasn't too bad, but they had this tube coming out of my belly to help drain fluids. It fell out a couple of times and they had to replace it. Gross! It had a little bulb on the end of it that they had to empty the fluids out of it every few hours. It just tucked into my underwear. I had staples to hold the incision together. They really didn't bother me. My hips were still hurting but not as bad. I still needed help getting dressed and cleaned up. Getting in and out of bed was hard. I felt overwhelmed at the hospital. I had to have a few more ultrasounds to make sure things were draining and I wasn't bleeding to much internally. I had to have my blood pressure taken all the time and they put me on blood pressure medicine that made me SO tired. I had a few epidsodes of really high blood pressure that they made me stay in bed. They put these things on my legs to help keep circulation going to ward off blood clots. The breastfeeding people kept coming in and then there was this one nurse ("The Breastfeeding Nazi", as EG called her) who INSISTED that I do things her way and right this second. I felt like I was going crazy. As soon as I would go to take a bite of food, they'd bring the baby in and insist that I try to feed her at the breast when I had ok'd the bottle. Then I'd have to have a test done. Then they needed to change the bulb. Then I had to take this medicine. Then I would get sick. Then they'd say, "Why haven't you eaten?! You need to eat!" And it was like, "Well, if you'd let me I would!" EG was getting mad. He was telling them that I needed to eat. Then someone else would come in - the doctor, the chaplain, another nurse to see how I was (there were nurses that stopped in that weren't my nurses - they had just seen how sick I was and wanted to see how I was doing). Don't get me wrong - I appreciated all of this - it just seemed like they all would come in at the wrong time. I was either trying to breastfeed or trying to eat!

So if my blood pressure wasn't going to respond to the medicine and level out (it was still bouncing up and down), I'd have to stay. They weren't going to take my staples out while I was in the hospital either. They also wanted to make sure that I wouldn't need any more blood transfusions - I had had four units of blood altogether. Finally my blood pressure somewhat stabilized and I was allowed to come home!

We got Payton all ready, who was just as perfect as can be. I was so excited to go home and see Karlee. I wondered what she'd be like with her new sister. After a few hours they finally had all the paperwork ready and we could go home!

We came home (we only live about 5 minutes away) and I asked EG to stay out in the car with Payton just so I could have the first few minutes alone with Karlee. She ran to the door and yelled, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" I about cried! First, she always calls me "Mum" and never "Mommy", and I'd never gotten a greeting like that before. She wanted picked up immediately but since I couldn't pick her up, I had my mom pick her up so I could sort of hug her and hold her too.

EG came in and Karlee looked at the baby. We let her "hold" the baby with help. She pointed out the baby's nose, eyes, mouth, head, hands, toes, etc. Then she was done.

Karlee looked so big to me! Just being away from her for a week seemed like an eternity, and she looked different.

Payton was very lethargic for about two weeks, but the doctor said she was doing great. She had her first appointment a few days later. She left the hospital weighing 7 lbs, 1 oz (she had lost 9 oz in the hospital, which is what newborns do). She had gained 4 oz back in a few days.

More to come...Payton is up!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Month Late Update

Well, the last time I wrote I was still pregnant at 36 weeks. Five days after that post, I had my baby girl via emergency c-section.

Where do I begin? Well, that Thursday (November 5), I had an appointment at the OB's office. Earlier that day, I had an appointment to get a flu shot with Karlee. We went and came back home to wait until it was time to go to the OB. Well, all day I hadn't been feeling well. Then I started getting vision problems (like weird colorful streamers in my vision and black spots). I generally felt like crap. I thought it might be due partly to the flu shot. I started to get a headache. I knew that my blood pressure would probably be high and I'd get sent to Labor and Delivery just to be sent home after it went down again. I couldn't do that because I had Karlee with me and I didn't want to call EG at work because it was only him and his boss scheduled at work that day. So I called up the OB's office to cancel my appointment but asked to talk to a nurse. The nurse insisted that I come there, because of my blood pressure. She in fact asked that I come earlier than my appointment, which was at 3. So I called EG's sister Carol up and asked her if she could watch Karlee at the last minute. I had to drive the whole way out there (at least 15 minutes one way). Carol took one look at me and said, "They need to take that baby."

I went to the OB and they said that I was 1 cm dialated and 75% effaced. They saw how high my blood pressure was. The bottom number was 110, I remember. Three different people came in to check it to confirm it. Then the midwife came back in and said, "Well, you're very swollen, feeling sick, and your blood pressure is very high. You also have protein in your urine. You are going to have to have this baby, that's the only way to correct this." So I said, "Ok, well, how soon?" She said, "Well, I'm going to send you to labor and delivery and I'm pretty sure you won't be leaving this hospital without a baby." I said, "How sure?" She said, "99.9% sure." So I got really nervous and she said that she was going to call L&D to let them know that I was coming down. They did not let me go on my own and had a nurse go with me (they never did that before). I didn't understand the severity of the situation quite yet. I thought they just sent her with me so I wouldn't change my mind and leave. Once we got to L&D, two nurses stood on each side of me and led me to a room until they got my real room ready.

I called EG up and told him about the situation and he left work to go home and get things ready for me. Of course, I had not packed my suitcase yet because I thought I had three weeks to go! I was actually going to do it that weekend. Anyway, he got Karlee some things around too and took it out to Carol's and then came up to the hospital. I called my mom and let her know what was going on too.

The midwife came back and started me on an IV. They said they were going to start things in the morning to get labor started at about 6 am. I think they started Pitocin that night but I don't remember much because I was pretty sick. I know that I was very nauseated and did throw up. The next morning, along with Pitocin, they gave me magnesium sulfate in my IV. I thought this was to bring my blood pressure down. Later I found out it was to prevent a convulsion from happening. I was so sick from that! I was vomiting bile. They also gave me something that sounded like Silver something. It was supposed to bring my blood pressure down.

Soon it was like a conference in my room. A doctor, a midwife, and several nurses and the anesthesiologist came into my room. They told me that the Pitocin wasn't working, my blood pressure was not coming down, and the risk of me continuing on like this versus delivering the baby early was just not a question, they had to take the baby. I had to have a c-section. The anesthesiologist told me that he was hoping that I could be awake for the delivery of the baby, but we'd have to wait and see. They also did not know if EG was going to be allowed in the OR or not. The doctors left, and two nurses began prepping me for surgery. They told EG to put scrubs on and before I knew it, I was put in the OR and given a spinal block. EG had to stay out in the hallway and they'd let him know if he could come in or not when they were ready.

I was still so sick. I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt like I could barely breathe. I wondered (honestly) if I was dying. I just wanted to see my baby. The anesthesiologist kept talking to me and telling me to breathe. They let EG in. I told the anesthesiologist that I was going to throw up. He told me to turn my head and vomit in the basin next to my head. I did. It was all bile. So gross! The doctors were doing the surgery at this point. I couldn't feel much. I kept trying to breathe. It seemed like forever. I didn't think I was going to make it. A nurse said, "You're going to feel a lot of pressure on your chest. We have to push down on it to get the baby out." She pushed and I felt like I'd never get my breath back. I got sick again. Then they told EG to look over the cloth thing they had between us and them so I couldn't watch the surgery. He stood up and then they told me I was going to feel some tugging, which I did. They said, "It's a girl!" and I heard her start to scream. They paused near us so I could get a glimpse of her and then they took her to the table next to us and told EG to come over and cut the rest of the cord. She was screaming away. They said, "Wow, she's a big baby! 7 pounds and 10 ounces!" She was 19.5 inches long and was born at 10:59 a.m. She had a head circumference of 14. Then she started choking and I kinda felt horrified for a minute, but they suctioned her out a few more times and cleaned her up a little. They put a hat on her and had me kiss her head. EG held her and I focused on trying to get through everything. Then all of the sudden, they took the baby away and made EG leave. I got sick a few more times but it was mostly gagging.

Then they transferred me to another bed and to a room next to the OR. Two nurses were working on me - I was bleeding a lot (more than usual) and they kept having to move me back and forth to clean me up and they were pressing on my belly too. The spinal block wore off. OH WOW! I was in so much pain! They were moving me so much and I had that pelvic symphisis disorder - I thought my hips were going to break. I begged them to let me have a little time to prepare before they moved me but they wouldn't. Then the pitocin kicked in! Labor pains after I already had the baby!! Oh my...I begged them for something. They had to wait for some reason - maybe in case I had to go back into surgery. They called an ultrasound tech in to see why I was bleeding so badly. I have never felt so much pain in my life. They finally gave me a morphine shot, but it wore off quickly and they couldn't give me another shot for an hour. EG finally showed up sometime during the day. I was so dry - I hadn't had anything to drink since the day before and they allowed me some ice chips, then some water (and they yelled at me for drinking it too fast but I was SO thirsty). The cramps kept coming but would feel better if EG put counterpressure on them (it was like back labor). Wow oh wow, my pelvis was on fire! The bleeding finally slowed down. I asked if I could see my baby and they brought her in after awhile.

Eventually they put me in another room where I could be monitored with nurses that were working with only me. They loaded me up on heavy narcotics. I remember thinking one thing but saying something totally different. It was hard to see and hard to focus. I don't remember much of that night or a big part of the next day. They gave me two units of blood because I had been anemic and lost a lot of blood. I couldn't do much other than hold the baby for short amounts of time, and then I'd basically pass out. My mom and brother came to visit. I don't remember much else that day.

Eventually they moved me to the main wing when I started to get a little better. They ended up giving me two more units of blood because the first two were not enough. I spent about a week in the hospital.

Payton Layne was absolutely gorgeous. She was very lethargic for a long time because of the medicine that they had given me that transfered to her before the c-section. She was a little jaundiced, but otherwise very healthy. I wish I could have bonded with her a little earlier, but because I had been so sick I had not been able to see her much at all those first few days. She looked very little - not like a 7 pound 10 ounce baby - everyone said she looked like a preemie. She was even wearing preemie diapers. Her head was so perfectly round and soft. She had hair but not as thick as Karlee's, or as dark. She was perfect.

The doctor told me that I could have died - things were very serious. It was a good thing that I decided to go in to the OB that day instead of cancelling out like I had planned!

More to come...Payton needs fed!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

36 Weeks and Counting Down...

Well, as the title reads, I'm 36 weeks pregnant plus a few days! Payton Layne is getting big. At our last ultrasound, she weighed 6 pounds and 4 ounces. Of course, this is an estimate. But we did get to see her chubby little cheeks and HAIR! Yes, she has hair...just like Karlee did when she was born. She might even have more.

I have to admit, I am miserable. Every time I have a doctor's appointment I get sent to Labor and Delivery to be monitored. It seems that my blood pressure is too high. They suspect pre-ecclampsia (I did a 24 hour urine test that came back high with protein), but they also found out that I have severe anemia. It is causing tachycardia - or making my heart work overtime. My resting pulse is around 136 - 144. They told me that if I should happen to go into labor now, I'd most likely need a blood transfusion. So I am now on meds to correct this, but apparently it takes a few weeks to build up your blood cells. The medicine makes me sick on top of being sick. I am still very swollen and my feet feel so bruised! I have a cold, making it hard to breathe. The anemia makes it hard to breathe as well - my body isn't getting the oxygen from the red blood cells that it needs (which is a reason that my heart has to work so hard). Plus there is Payton, who sometimes likes to push up into my lungs!

My pelvis is still giving me lots of trouble. Payton's added weight makes it extremely hard to walk let alone stand for a period of time. I am mostly immobile. I don't go anywhere except to the doctors and once in awhile I get cabin fever and try to make it out in the store but always end up regretting it. Just standing to do the dishes is horrible - I end up leaning over the sink and trying to put my weight onto the side of the counter. Carrying Karlee is almost out of the question. It's a good thing that she can climb up the stairs and walk down holding my hand. EG has been giving her baths for me and I only lift her to either put her in or take her out of a carseat (when I have to take her with me to my appointments), to put her on her changing table, or to put her in her crib.

I am having a hard time getting up from a sitting position and a really difficult time getting in and out of bed. Now EG has to help me put my pants on most of the time and he always does my socks and shoes. Hahaha! I feel so helpless sometimes. The one day I waited to take a shower after he left for work and I could not get my pants on!! I was just too sore to lift my legs and couldn't manuever my feet through my pants. I ended up wearing a nightgown until he came home. I hardly ever wear socks. My feet swell so badly that my shoes hardly fit, let alone my socks.

I don't know how I can possibly get any bigger! I feel different - I think Payton has shifted her position or something. There is a LOT of pressure now and I feel all of her movements - some of which can be very painful. I can't wait until she's here - for obvious reasons and just to finally have her here. I have lots of stronger contractions now and am constantly questioning whether the day has finally come or not! But I have four weeks to go - she could come anytime between now and then.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering and Celebrating

September 11th - wow...hard to believe that 8 years have passed. Everyone is remembering where they were that day. I was at home (living with my parents) getting ready for work. I caught a glimpse of something on TV when I was in my parents' bedroom talking to my mom through her bathroom door, but I didn't really pay attention. Then when I went through the livingroom my dad was watching TV. I thought it was a movie. I asked him what movie it was and he told me that all this was really happening. Then the second plane hit...I drove to work listening to all the chaos on the radio and when I got to work I listened to it some more. It was eerily quiet at work. Not a lot of customers. I was worried about my boyfriend, MA, because he was in the military and by this point they were talking about terrorists and everything else. I remember looking out the windows and not seeing any planes - then there were a few that went by. I was terrified! My boss told me that it was highly unlikely that terrorists would target the pizza shop in Clymer, but hey, that hijacked plane (Flight 93) crashed not too far from where we were.

When I got home I remember watching people jumping from the buildings. I had to go outside. I cried. I felt so bad for all those people looking for their loved ones and waiting for planes that would never land. A girl that used to work with me that I hadn't talked to in awhile called me that night to ask how things were going - she wanted to know if I had heard anything - MA's dad was a bigwig in the military. I guess she thought I might have known something, but I didn't.

So today on Facebook a woman asked me to watch something on YouTube about 9/11 being an inside job...I don't know if it was, but I said I'd watch later and let her know what I thought. I don't think any of us will really ever know what really happened that day, other than a lot of innocent lives were lost.

Anyway, I am 29 weeks pregnant today! Only 11 weeks to go! I had a doctor's appointment and the baby's heartbeat sounds excellent and she is very active. She is much more active than I remember Karlee being. Karlee rolled a lot. This baby likes to kick! Last night I could feel what might have been a leg very was creepy but very cool at the same time. I am very happy to have made it this far. She is my little miracle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy September!

Wow, I can't believe it's September already! September, October, NOVEMBER!!! Wow, this little one will be here before I can get my mind wrapped around it. It's still hard to believe. She lets me know that she's in there...I see the proof as nothing fits and my belly is getting huge...but it's still hard to imagine having another baby! I think I'm more afraid of going through the labor again than actually having the baby with me. Haha! If you have ever heard someone say that you forget all about the labor once you have your baby, then they must have had a decent experience! I STILL remember the labor with Karlee. It is what totally freaks me out about what's to come in the next few months. I hope this time around it is a lot easier.

We still haven't picked a name out for this little one. I think Isabella is probably pretty permanent, but EG doesn't like it as a first name. He keeps bringing up "Catalina". I think of French dressing when I hear that! So that can't be her name. Nadia is okay...I just haven't settled on it. I have always liked Amelia, Emma, Elizabeth, etc., but many people have those names already or are naming their babies one of those names. Ashley's middle name is Elizabeth. As much as I'd love this baby to be Amelia, I don't think it's going to happen. I want to name her something different...she is special to me so I guess I want her name to be very special too. Landynn isn't bad...I just wanted our son to be Landon. I love "K" names but again, there's Karlee and Kelly/Kelita the cat. They sound too similar. When we yell at the cat Karlee cries because she thinks we're yelling at her! There's still a little time left to decide, I suppose.

If everything goes according to plan, I am going to do a little shopping today and tomorrow. Today I'm going to get Karlee a few clothes for the fall and/or winter. Tomorrow I am going to get some much needed new clothes for myself. Tomorrow EG has the day off, so it will be easier for me to shop. I can't try clothes on when it's just me and Karlee, and I hate to buy anything at this point without trying it on first. I love to shop! It's not often that I get to do it, so I'm going to enjoy it!

I am meeting up with some friends this Labor Day weekend that I have not seen in years, so I'm pretty excited about that! I'm sure they will be shocked at my massive weight gain. Ha! Sure I am pregnant, but I am also very heavy. They have not seen me since before my first pregnancy, so I'm sure I look about 100 pounds heavier. No joke! I am pretty self-conscious too. But hey, I'm sure they may have changed a little too. Probably not as much as me, but whatever. Maybe they'll be too happy to see me to notice anything else! Hahaha! I'll just tell myself that, anyway!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Sort of Therapy: Part Six

Ok, well, let's's been awhile...

I left off with my series in therapy about BY. BY, as it turns out, was not the father of his ex-wife's baby. That was one thing that he told me that really was true.

We seemed to drift through life together. I honestly don't remember a lot about it. He eventually proposed to me and I accepted. He had picked out a ring for me and surprised me with it one night after he got home from work. It was in December - he told me that he couldn't wait until Christmas to give it to me. We were always broke. He had a hard time holding down jobs it seemed. But we would get by - barely, but we did.

I remember that we eventually landed in Brookville. He got a good paying job that he supposedly liked. I liked being away from his insane family. His mom would call all of the time, several times a day. One time she called and asked to speak to BY (it was like clockwork - he would come home from work and the phone would ring a few minutes later). He was upstairs taking a shower so I asked her if I could take a message. She said, "Well, how long will he be?"
I was kinda ticked and so I yelled up the stairs (so she could hear), "B-, your mother is calling AGAIN. She wants to know when you'll be done from the shower!" Then his mom said, "Oh, no, we're losing our boy...she's taking him away from us!" Like, total drama!! I just hung up. She was nutty. So was his dad.

One time he was working so I decided I would go visit them. I got bombarded with questions. Did I want to see a picture of his ex-wife? Did I want to see pictures of his ex-girlfriends? Did I know that his ex did this and that? It was humiliating. I didn't want to hear about how beautiful his wedding was or how much they loved his one girlfriend. Why would they do that to me? But they did. They even had his first marriage license hanging up on the wall until I had a fit about it and BY took it down and asked his parents what their problem was. As always, his mom would cry and tell him how much they missed him...what if something happened and she needed him?

Another time during Thanksgiving, we told them that we'd spend the day there and then we were going out to my parents' house to visit them in the evening. While we were at his parents' house, his mom disappeared into the kitchen. I decided to get up and see if she needed help. I went in and she was laying on the floor. I said her name and she didn't respond, so I yelled for her husband. He ran in and lifted her head off the floor (she was laying on her side - how did she fall that neatly??) and slapped her. I said, "Call an ambulance!" He said, "No! She's just not breathing. She must have passed out." I'm thinking, Just not breathing? What?! BY told me to just stand back. He didn't seem that phased. So his mom "woke up" and started crying. BY and his dad took her out to the car and his dad ordered us to meet them out at the hospital. So instead of going to my parents' house, we spent the evening at the hospital where they could not find anything wrong with her. Go figure. I voiced my suspicions to BY about it and he said it wasn't the first time that she pulled something like that. It was beyond ridiculous.

I figured that if we stayed out of Punxsutawney, we'd be ok. We just had to get away from his parents. While we were in Brookville, we got married at the courthouse. We decided not to invite anyone. We didn't want his parents ruining it by comparing it to his other marriage or making rude comments and we didn't invite my parents because we didn't want to invite one side and not the other. I didn't change my last name because I did not feel that great about it. My parents and his parents both pushed us to get married. The night before I told him that I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it. He basically told me that if I didn't, there was the door! I felt like I had no place left to go.

Eventually, things started to not add up. He'd say he was at one place but wasn't. I caught him in several lies. I didn't know what to believe. We moved (again) to a smaller apartment and one night he just left. He left me with no car, no money, nothing. I found a note in our mailbox, of all places. He said he had to get away to think. I was miserable. I called my parents and eventually went away with my best friend. I would call the apartment and leave messages for him. He came back and got was hell for me. I didn't know if he was coming or going. Then he demanded that I come home, so I had my best friend drive me back. He wasn't there. He didn't show. So my aunt offered to help me look for him one day, and I found the car (MY car) in front of his parents' house. I burst right in, did not knock, and said to his dad, "Where is he?" He didn't say anything so I went upstairs to his old bedroom, and there he was, sleeping. I started crying and asked him why he was doing this, what did I do...he said he wanted to come back and we left together.

To make a long story short, we got back together but a few months later he drove me to work and never picked me up. He had seemed fine. We talked about what we were going to do that evening. He told me he loved me and to have a great day. When I got off of work, I found out that he left the car outside. I thought he got us another car because that's what he was supposed to be doing that day. I went home but he wasn't there. I didn't check the closets. I didn't notice anything unusual. Maybe I didn't want to. I drove to his parents' house and they said they had not seen him. I called the dealership where he was supposed to have gone. They hadn't seen him all day. I said, "Well, maybe he left me a note in the car and I just didn't see it." So I went back out and checked the glove compartment. I found his wedding ring. I went back to their house and when I got onto the front porch, I heard his dad saying to his mom, "You should have told her the truth!" I went running in and said, "Tell me WHAT?!" She said that he had been there earlier and asked her not to tell me. That he didn't want to hurt me. I was so mad!! I called my parents and they just happened to be in Punxsy shopping - they said they'd be right there. My mom came in and asked his mom why she was lying for him. She didn't give a great answer. She had none. So I left...with more questions than answers. I went home and saw that he had taken a lot of clothes with him and most of the guitars (including one of mine that I bought).

I was so upset. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong...then I found out when the landlord came and demanded the rent. I thought that BY had been paying it. He hadn't. That's a big part of why he left. The bills started coming in. I changed the lock on the house and he would call me crying at 4 a.m. many times, saying that he loved me but he wanted to die, he's no good, etc. I would tell him to let me help him but then he didn't want my help. He would call me in the middle of the night telling me to come get him, and I would drive out to town to get him and either he wouldn't be there or would flip out saying to just leave him alone. It was terrible. I never knew what was going on.

Then one day I decided to get angry. I was sick of being there for him and he never cared about me. He never once asked me how I was. He never offered to help me. It was always about him. His mom would call me and cry to me about how she didn't know what was going on with him...blah blah blah. She knew enough to let him bring some other girl to live with them for awhile not too long after we had split up! But she failed to tell me that. I found this out later and when I confronted her with it she didn't have much to say. Neither did BY when he was telling me that he wanted to get back together with me. He seemed shocked that I knew. I told him to quit lying about everything and to just leave me alone. He started to slack off with the phone calls and things then.

We had been wanting to have a baby for some time. It never happened. BY had cancer at one time and I asked him if the treatments had made him sterile. He said that they did testing and he was ok. He told me that at his next appointment he would ask again. He returned home and said that the doctor said everything should be ok. BY mentioned that I had problems before with my cycle and endometriosis. Then I thought it was my fault. I went to the doctor and they told me that we'd both need to undergo testing. I told them that my husband did (because I assumed he had) and they suggested that I see a specialist. At that time, I did not have the money for it. I felt horrible. His parents would constantly ask us when they were going to get a grandchild. I told his mom many times that I felt like I wasn't giving him the family that he wanted. She told me that it would happen "someday". In the meantime, BY would get all excited when my period would be late and then we'd go through the same crap again when it would show up. He once even bought a cute little onesie for the baby that he "knew we'd have someday". It just made me feel even worse. Then one night, after he had left, he called me and blurted out that he couldn't have kids. He knew he couldn't. The doctor had suggested that he freeze some of his sperm before he had the treatments because he was certain that he wouldn't be able to after the treatments. He didn't freeze anything. He then told me that he never wanted kids anyway. I couldn't speak. I just hung up. When I confronted his mom about it later, she said, "Well, you have to look at it from B-'s point of view..." She's just as sick as he is.

It was painful. I didn't know who he was. I thought things were ok. It was like living in the twilight zone. This is a VERY brief version: again, I don't remember some of it (it's like I blocked it out) and other things are just too exhausting even to address. I was so embarrassed...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feeling Better

I am feeling better than I was. I am hoping that I broke my cycle of crappy days.

I saw my doctor's P.A. yesterday and got some medicine to help me with my pregnancy rhinitis. It seems to be helping. At least I can breathe! I managed to scrub most of the bottom floor of my house (vacuuming, mopping, dusting, washing down some of Karlee's things, some laundry, etc) as soon as I got up, so I'm doing ok.

I'm ready for bed again. Ha! It's only a little after 11:30 a.m.

Well...that's my update for now. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am a bit sad today. I don't really understand why. Could be hormones.

Today I asked EG if he would cancel band practice and reschedule for another night. He didn't say anything and started walking up the stairs. I said, "Did I say something wrong?" and he didn't answer me. So when he came back down, I asked him why he didn't answer me. He said he didn't hear me. And I started crying. I said I thought I made him mad. I was really embarrassed because Ashley was here, but I couldn't help it.

All day I have felt pretty down. Quite a few times EG asked me if I was ok and I almost started crying. I teared up a lot. I feel a lot like I did before when I was depressed - lonely. I don't know why. It's the same as before. I hope I'm not getting back into that situation again. I just feel sort of...lost. But lonely is a definite part of that. Isolated maybe.

When I start out like this, I almost want to say, "I miss..." but I don't know what I'm missing. It's something. Sometimes I think it's home. But then I feel like "home" isn't where it once was. I don't know where "home" is. It should be here. "Home" is a memory. My parents now live in a house that I never lived in. They live in a town that I never lived in. Even when they did live where I used to live with them, my room was gone after I moved out. It wasn't "home" then either. So the physical stuff isn't what I miss. I think it was just a moment in time, maybe.

I sometimes don't know what I'm doing. Almost like I have no direction. Or I'm without purpose. That may or may not be true, but it's just how I feel. I know how this cycle goes. When I hit the bottom, I will feel like I wish I could just disappear. Drive. Keep driving. Disappear, even from myself. That's not possible. But it's how I feel. I hate feeling this way.

So what do we have here? Lonely. Sad. Homesick for a place that doesn't exist. A longing for...nothingness. Sleep. Disappearing.

I hope that this is all hormones and it goes away quickly. I will do my best to keep it in check. I'm under some stress, and I'm sure that this is probably my breaking point. My body's release, since I was never good at knowing how to handle stress. I don't know. It's got to get better. I can't let it get worse. I just feel myself falling. This hasn't happened for a good while. I was hoping I had gotten past it.

Does depression ever go away? Or is it always lurking in the background?

Friday, August 14, 2009

All About the Baby

Yesterday I had an OB appointment. First we had the ultrasound and then the checkup. They normally don't do ultrasounds this often, but they wanted to see if the placenta had "migrated" (gross sounding, I know - but that's really the term they used) up and off of my cervix.

Now, as horrible as this may sound, the only part about placenta previa (and it was partial, at that) that was bothering me was the pelvic rest part and not being able to use dryer sheets and the like. But I followed the rules because, of course, I love my little baby and didn't want her to show up too early because I was being selfish about my own wants. But I figured that I was used to it at this point, and I am not opposed to a C-section (I think I rather prefer one - I am terrified to go through the vaginal birth again!). So I wasn't really feeling one way or the other about it.

Well, EG and Karlee came with me so they could see the little one too, not that Karlee really gets it, but it was nice to have her there. Let me start off by saying that our ultrasound tech is awesome! She always chats with EG and seems to remember us and like us. There, they don't do 3D/4D ultrasounds unless it is medically necessary or if you pay for it in advance, and then it's just for fun. We were hoping to do that later (you aren't supposed to schedule one until you're at least 28 weeks along - I'm 25 weeks). So I wasn't expecting anything like that anyway. The baby has been developing nicely and they can check the placenta with regular ultrasound (usually they use the internal ultrasound thing to see that part). So she lubed my belly up and measured all the baby's parts, then took the time to show us different parts (and her girl parts - she was like, "Oh yeah, that's definitely a girl!"), and we watched the baby squirm around. The baby is head down now, by the way. EG was asking some questions about the baby and she said, "Well, this isn't really for the baby, it's just to see if the placenta has been pulled away from the cervix or not." But she still printed out a few pictures for us of the baby anyway. Then she said, "I just want to see something..." and pulled up the 3D/4D thing. We were so surprised! Of course, the little one had BOTH of her arms in an X shape up over her face at that point. I got a glimpse of her eye, cheeks, and chin. Just a little of her mouth. The tech tried a few times to see if she would move her arms, but she wouldn't (the little stinker!). So then she tried to show me the baby's feet, but she said the baby has to be just in the right position and she wasn't in the greatest position at that point. But we thought it was awesome that she took the time to show us.

When Karlee was going to be born, their 3D/4D equipment was new and they hadn't really used it yet. So she "practiced" on Karlee and we got some awesome photos of her - all for free! She must like us or something! :)

So anyway, the real reason we were there, like I said, was about the placenta. It did move off of the cervix. Though it is still low lying, the midwife said that I could have a vaginal birth at this point. I still have to have it checked because it is so low (it's only by a centimeter or two that it's off of the cervix, and they'd be happier if it moved away more), so that means at least one more ultrasound in four weeks! :) I don't mind that at all. It's insane - I have that appointment and then I have to start coming every TWO weeks! Time is flying by.

Some things that were cute about the ultrasound - the baby has biceps! We got a good shot of those. She also likes to suck on her hand, which was really cute. She really stretches her legs out too. She's been doing that a lot for the past few ultrasounds. Her profile is the cutest! She has a cute little button nose. Her mouth looks like it could look like Karlee's. She looks chubby to me too.

After the ultrasound, my checkup with the midwife went well. I was complaining about how much my pelvis hurts - sometimes EG has to help me get up the stairs or get into bed. She said that I'll just have to hang in there - my bones are softening and my pelvis is spreading, so sometimes it can be quite painful. I know I didn't have this problem with Karlee. It really hurts to lift my legs or seperate them sometimes. I've checked online and saw that there was actually a name (something syndrome) for it, but again, there isn't much you can do. The midwife told me to maybe get a belly support and that might help. I think it might. Anyway, the baby's heartrate is about 150 and she kicked the midwife so hard that the midwife laughed and said she felt that! EG has yet to feel her - she just clams up when he tries to feel her move! She was making all sorts of noises with that doppler - moving and kicking along with her heartrate.

We are really contemplating a name - Nadia Isabella or Nadja Isabella (we haven't decided whether we want it to be extra Russian sounding or not). I make no guarantees with this name - there are other ones that we like too, but EG seems very satisfied with Nadia/Nadja (Isabella is a compromise - I love it but he's not the most fond of it). So we'll see...

Monday, August 10, 2009


EG's family had a reunion last Saturday. It was nice, just his sisters and his brother and their kids (and their kids). EG was feeling a lot better so we went for a couple of hours.

All the new babies were there. They are all sweet little boys. They lined them up on the floor and took pictures. I couldn't help but to think that my other baby would have been there with them. But it was nice to feel my baby moving all the while...she is a nice little reminder of the great things to come.

She is a silly little goose already. She will jump around in there and kick - but as soon as EG puts his hand on my belly to feel her, she freezes! Sometimes she'll stop kicking so hard and kick at his hand very lightly and he can't feel her. She's definitely a night baby. That's when she's the most active. Yesterday evening there was a nice storm and she jumped at the sound of the thunder! Then later EG laughed suddenly and she jumped. It's so cool how they can interact with the world around them and not even be "here". I love it!

As I had said, EG is doing better. It took him quite a few days to recover, and last night he was complaining of a tight feeling in his stomach (I think it was bloating). Plus he had not eaten a lot in the past few days and yesterday he ate a lot. He went back to work today. I'm happy to see him up and around. I hate it when he's sick. It freaks me out!

I'll be adding to my "A Sort of Therapy" series. I just have to be in the mood to do it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's Been Going On

EG got really sick and had to go to the ER last night. He spent almost all morning there. I won't get into details other than he is bleeding from the inside, but he is very sick. I'm very worried about him. They sent him home without really checking him out...they told him that if things don't get better to come back. He is still sick (though probably not in as much pain - though he has bouts of extreme pain). He is hardly ever sick, and this has never happened before. I was crying last night because I could not go with him (he didn't want me to wake up Karlee and I understand). I was just so worried, and I still am. He doesn't look good. I called him off of work for tomorrow and if he's still having the same problems I think I'm going to make him go back to the ER.

EG never sees a doctor regularly. I think he feels that he is pretty healthy, that doctors are expensive, so what's the point? And since he hasn't seen a doctor in years, once he actually tried to get in this past spring (for chest pain), they gave him a July appointment that had to be rescheduled to October. Basically, they told him if he was having problems to go to the ER. Ha! Like that helped. The ER doctor told him to call his family doctor for a follow up.


The baby is getting bigger. She had slowed down in her movements which freaked me out. I had really horrible cramping and slight spotting last week so I called my OB. They told me to go to Labor & Delivery. EG came home from work early so I could go. I was having mild contractions, but the baby was doing ok. They couldn't check me vaginally because of the placenta previa. They started me on an IV because my urine was really bad looking (she said it looked like iced tea - gross, I know) and was full of ketones. So then they gave me antibiotics through the IV as well. She thinks that I was not eating enough or drinking enough. That can also cause the cramping, and would explain why the baby had slowed its movements. I just had not felt all that well and didn't take anything to drink or eat all day. I know, stupid, but it's hard to remember to drink something when you don't feel thirsty. I've had that problem almost all of my life, which is why I've had kidney stones, more UTIs and kidney problems than I can count. Amazingly, I didn't have a urinary infection, though she said that I was close to it.

So I have been trying to do better about these things. Today, because of EG and being so tired and such, I didn't drink or eat as much as I should have. My feet are really swollen. So I will make up for it tomorrow and I'm trying to drink a lot right now.

In better news...

The baby is big enough for me to see her kicking -she makes my belly jump. I love it. She was very active yesterday. My belly was like a punching bag. I just wish she would kick for EG. It seems like he's sleeping or at work when she's her most active. When I tell him to put his hand on my belly, she stops! I noticed that he likes to feel my belly a lot more than before - or it might be that I let him more than I did before. I like it - I wish I wouldn't have been so self-conscious before. It's a great bonding moment for all of us.

Well, I need to get off of here and chill out. If anyone is reading this, please say a little prayer for EG. Thank you!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Sort of Therapy: Part Five

I had been working at a pizza place in Clymer for a few years. I made some good friends there. I learned a lot about myself. My boss was JR, a guy in his 40s. He was very outgoing and fun, for the most part. He only hired women/girls and instructed us to throw the men's applications out. He did not trust guys. He would party right along with the rest of us and often supplied the alcohol, even if he wasn't going to be there. He was married to a nice woman, had two small children, and his elderly parents helped him to run the business. During the day, there was a woman that worked there who was in her mid-twenties, SM. JR depended on SM for EVERYTHING. She held the business together, it seemed. So when SM had to move on (she finished college), JR changed drastically. He was under a lot of stress. Before long, I found myself in SM's former position - doing schedules, sometimes closing or opening, helping with the ordering of supplies, menu changes and prices, etc. A lot of the newer girls relied on me if they weren't sure of how to do something. I trained a lot of people and even did interviews when JR didn't want to or couldn't. I also took his dad to chemo appointments when JR could not, picked JR up when he was out drinking too much, and watched his son here and there. I did some personal errands for him too.

I found myself finally working dayshift (everyone wanted it but there were only two spots for it). I thought I deserved it for being his "go-to" girl. At that time, I was thinking of my future and knowing that I could not work for a pizza shop all of my life. I found out that I was the highest paid person there, but it was not by much (I'm talking a matter of cents). I felt like I was being taken advantage of. I put in a lot of overtime and was there anytime he needed me to be. Then a girl was returning from work after having a baby, and JR was going to put me back on nightshift. That threw me. I was really not expecting it. So I decided to get another job and stop messing around. I wrote him a really nice letter thanking him for everything he'd done, how much I'd learned and how I loved the job, but that I needed a new experience. I even told him that I'd continue working there until he could find a replacement for me.

First, let me explain something: JR was known for not being able to seperate business from personal things. A lot of other girls would need to quit and break down crying asking him not to be mad at them. I was the same - that's why I decided to go with a letter. He had a reputation of giving a bad recommendation if someone left when he didn't think that they should. That was all I needed.

Anyway, after he got the letter, he stopped speaking to me for weeks. He barely said a word to me, and only if he had to. One weekend he put me on nightshift with no explanation. I went to work. It was really busy. I don't remember everything but I do remember that he just suddenly flipped out on me in front of a lot of people - co-workers and customers, about me writing him that letter. He said that we weren't in "high school passing notes" anymore and if I had something to say to say it to his face. He didn't need me, and his business did not depend on me. I didn't say anything. I know I was tempted to punch him in the face, but I stood there with my hands clenched behind my back and let him scream in my face. I didn't cry. He went on and on for at least 5 minutes while customers were just a few feet away. So he finally stopped and went over to the other side of the kitchen (it was open - the customers could see everything because there was just a counter seperating them from the kitchen). The phone was ringing. Everyone was trying to get back to work. I put on my coat and grabbed my keys...I was standing there thinking, "Should I just walk out? Say something? Just let it go?" One of the customers looked at me and shook her head, like she pitied me. I grabbed the phone that was ringing, took one last order, and said goodbye to the girls. I walked out.

I had asked JR for a loan and he had been taking it out of my pay every week. He yelled at me that he wanted the balance in full on Monday or he'd take me to court. I didn't say anything. We had a verbal agreement and that was that. I knew I owed him the money and intended to pay him back. In the letter I had addressed this and asked him to please speak to me about it so we could work the rest of the money I owed out. He chose not to.

JR was friends with the magistrate. I had often picked him up, too drunk to drive, at the magistrate's house. I knew that he'd sue me if I didn't pay right away. But I didn't have it - not within two days. And he knew that.

So Monday came and went, and I had no money, obviously. I got a job in no time but it took me a month to officially get in (three interviews, a test, several clearances and a drug test along with training over an hour away). JR called my house and yelled at me about the money. He said, "When are you going to pay me?" I said, "As soon as I get my first paycheck." He said, "Not good enough. Why aren't you paying anything at all?" I told him, "You said not to bother you unless I had the money in full. I don't have it." I then asked him not to call me and harrass me anymore, that I would get the money to him when I had it. He said, "Then your ass is going to court." I made a point of repeating everything he said with my parents in the room. JR never liked that. It always ticked him off.

So about two weeks after I had quit, I got notice that I was being sued in court. My parents were so mad at JR. JR was purposely doing this because I had quit. I heard from a girl still working there that his wife had not known about the loan and was freaking out over it too. So my parents gave me the money and I took it down to the pizza place. One of the girls that I had worked with since forever snubbed me. I was not surprised. JR came to the front and counted the money. He said, "This isn't enough." I said, "That's how much I owed you." He said, "Not with court costs." I just stared at him. I told him I'd be right back. I went out to the car (my dad had driven me down) and told my dad. My dad was furious. He wanted to go in there and give JR a piece of his mind. I just asked him if he had the rest of the money (it was something ridiculous, like a $15 filing fee), and my dad gave it to me. I went back in and gave it to him. I asked him for a receipt. He wrote it out, and when I looked at it I handed it back and asked him to please write, "Paid in Full" on it. He did, and I wished him a Merry Christmas. He didn't say anything and I left.

A year or two later, my parents saw him and his family at the hospital. He had the nerve to pretend like nothing had ever happened and asked my mom how she was. She said, "Fine" and proceeded to walk right past him. They will not order from the pizza shop anymore, even though I hear he doesn't own it anymore.

On all of my applications, when it is asked if they can contact my employers, I say "Yes" but then when interviewed I explain my former boss's feelings towards me in the most professional way possible.

I still have dreams about that place! I often dream that JR is mad at me or that I forgot to go to work...something along those lines.

In the meantime I had gotten a job working with people who lived with physical and mental disabilities. It was the night shift. I was supposed to hang out, clean, and check on them (there were three gentlemen) during the night. It wasn't a terrible job, but I was on my own and had difficulty getting them all out in the middle of the night firedrill in under two minutes.

I had met a man named BY during this time. BY was from Punxsutawney and I was working in Indiana (about 40 minutes away). He seemed like a sweet guy. I knew he was living with his parents and was under the impression that he worked for his uncle. He seemed like a sweet, quiet guy. Before I had been dating someone that moved to Philadelphia. The distance was too much. It was nice to see someone that lived a little closer. I was still speaking to MA during this time, but that was it. I didn't see him. He'd call me once in awhile.

BY was persistent. After our first date, I wanted to just go slow. I wasn't in a hurry to jump into anything. BY called me a lot. He wanted to see me the very next day after our first date. We went to a fire tower out in the woods and hung out, just getting to know each other. On other dates I paid for a lot of things. I had a decent paying job and didn't think about it, I guess. His parents seemed nice enough. A little on the strange side, but nice. Before I really realized it, we were inseperable. I would end up driving all the way to Punxsutawney after a really long shift (12 to 16 hours), sleep at his place, get around, hang out with him, and be off to work that same night. It got very tedious and I found myself falling asleep while driving. He thought we should just get an apartment together. I was never home and was always with him anyway. So we went looking for an apartment.

My mom was not happy. She did not want me moving in with a guy. She thought we should be married first. I opted to take my aunt's advice. She said you never really know someone until you live with them, so I should just find out before doing something as serious as getting married.

We found an apartment in Punxsutawney. It was on the third floor of this old Victorian house (it was basically the attic). But it was ours! We got a cat that we weren't supposed to have (my Kelita!) and things changed. First he convinced me to quit my job. He told me that he'd make enough money to support us both by doing odd jobs for his uncle. I didn't need to drive all those miles to work doing something I wasn't too happy doing. He would take care of everything. He just wanted me to stay at home and take care of the apartment and him. So I stupidly did. I fell for everything he said. He couldn't afford to take care of everything on his own. We found ourselves living without a lot of things and barely making the rent. He had to get a job stocking at the local supermarket. His "job" with his uncle wasn't working out. I think he really didn't have a job - he just said he did.

So we soon found ourselves having to move. I believed everything he told me. He took care of the bills. One night we were visiting his parents, and I heard his mom ask him if he had heard from "Holly". He said he hadn't and didn't seem to want to talk about it. She said, "You need to talk to her. Are you sure it isn't yours?" I had tried not to pay attention to that, but when she said that, I was all ears. He said, "Yes, it's not mine. I told you that!" He walked away from her. She followed. She said, "But how do you know?" He said, "Because I wasn't with her then!" And then I had to say something. I asked what was going on. His mom said, "His ex is having a baby and we don't know who is the father." BY said, "It's probably her boyfriends! I wasn't with her!" And then his mom insisted that he get a DNA test. I was pretty shaken, to say the least. We went up to his old bedroom to talk and his mom followed. I asked him why she cared so much. His mom said, "Well it is his wife!" I was floored. "WHAT?" I asked. He said, "We're not together. I am just waiting to get enough money to get divorced. We haven't been together in a long time!" I started crying and asking him why he didn't tell me. He said he didn't want to lose me. She didn't matter. They hadn't been together and that wasn't his baby. I told him to take me to my parents house. In the driveway, at my parents, he told me that it was a big deal. I flipped out yelling at him. Not a big deal?! Wow. So my dad came out and told me to stop my yelling, that everyone could hear me. I went into the house and my mom told me that I shouldn't treat him like that (she didn't know about the "marriage" yet).

He called me and convinced me that it wasn't as bad as it sounded. He loved me and I was everything to him. She left him for another guy and they were having a baby together. It wasn't his. I believed him, just like for the next two years I'd believe anything he said...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Sort of Therapy: Part Four

I have been writing a lot but I feel the need for all of this to come out...

Anyway, MB told me that I needed to stay away from him and perhaps take the other girl's advice and call the police. I was afraid. I didn't want to. She reminded me of his past and having heard that he was bi-polar and would not take medicine for it. I thought he might possibly be schizophrenic.

So I drove back to my parents' place, shaking all the way. I was so tired. I felt like I was having an out of body experience or something. I didn't know what I would say to my parents. I got home and my mom was in the living room. She could tell something was wrong right away. I just started shaking and crying and was so scared. I told her the majority of it. She told me to stay away from him and that I should call the police. I just wanted to sleep.

I think I did sleep for awhile and then called some abuse hotline later that night. They basically told me to get a restraining order against him. Of course, I didn't, and then I figured that I should just stay away from him altogether. And I did for awhile.

People always want to know why abused people go back to their abusers. I don't know! I guess you hope for change, or that they'll see what they're doing and stop. Some people are afraid to leave. Some people are afraid to accept the truth.

So MA bought his own house eventually. Though our relationship was weird, to say the least, I still very much cared for him and just wanted him to be okay. I thought that I was the only one that sort of understood him (hahaha - yeah, right!). I would go to his house and hang out every now and again. He seemed somewhat ok. He had patched things up with one of the guys from that night and the guy was living there with him and renting a room during school. He was also hanging out with some guys from high school that he was good friends with from before.

Around this time I rented a small house by myself right in town for a few months in the summer. I wanted to be in town and it was pretty cheap. The guy that owned it was friends with MA's dad. So anyway, a girl from work (MP) asked me if I wanted to go to a frat party with her and her friends. I said yeah, they could all come over to my place and get ready and we'd go. If they wanted to stay at my house that night, they could. The other two girls were going to go back to their dorms, and MP was going to spend the night at my place, we decided. Well, MA had asked me what I was doing that night, and I told him I had plans to go to a party with MP and her friends. While we were all getting ready at my place, MA and his friend (MC - a guy we had gone to high school with) came over. They would not leave. MA told me that they wanted to go too. I was mad. I told him that he wasn't invited. So he told me he'd just follow me. So they came with us in the end. I tried to distance myself from MA at the party. One frat guy had been talking to me (very briefly - I can't even remember about what). MA got extremely pissed. He ordered me outside and was yelling at me, then said he was going back inside to "fix" that guy. Of course, he ruined the whole thing - we hadn't even been there for an hour. We all got in the car and MA came running out from behind the frat house saying that he just messed that guy up. We left and took MA and MC back to MA's place. MP had this shocked look on her face the whole time. I was so mad. I can't even remember what I said to MA when we got back to his place, but I started walking back to the car after they got out. MA flew into a rage, ran back at me, pushed me up against the car and was screaming in my face. MC tried to pull him off of me but MA just kept coming back. MP was screaming at him too and got me into the car. I was so upset. We were afraid all night that MA would come to my house, but he didn't. MC later told me over the phone that he never saw MA act like that unless he was around me.

So MP went to work and told everyone how bad things were between MA and me. I had told them some things, but I don't think they knew how bad things really got until then. Some of them all got together and wrote me a letter telling me that I had to get away from him before I ended up dead.

I think after that I distanced myself from him. I moved out of the little house and back in with my parents. I didn't speak to him for awhile. Then one day MB called me to tell me that MA had been in a fight and had nearly died. Apparently, the friend that was living with him got into a fight with MA over something really ridiculous, like keeping the kitchen clean or something. MA grabbed a gun and threatened his friend with it. The friend grabbed an axe and stuck it into MA's head. The friend called 911 and got the hell out of there. MA had lost a lot of blood and was taken to the hospital. It was said that he would not make it through the night. His last rites were read to him. But he pulled through. She thought I might want to know that.

So you'd think with something that horrific it would be life changing. I thought he might finally "wake up" and settle down. I went to seem him. I was really scared at first. By this time he was at home again. The axe missed his brain by a hair, I guess. He had a nasty looking mark with stitches going up near the center of his head, just starting below the hair line. His eyes were swollen and black and blue. His whole face was puffy. I didn't know what to say. He said, "I asked for you at the hospital." I told him that I didn't know and was sorry I was not there. I asked him about the incident but he didn't have much to say other than if he saw his old friend again he'd kill him. So much for change.

He did seem to mellow out a little bit then. It wasn't for long though. During the mellow time he had the audacity to ask me to have a baby with him! I was mortified. I could not think of anything more stupid that I could get myself into. I told him how unstable our relationship was just a ridiculous idea. We did not last much longer after that. Then he eventually threatened the remaining friends he had with a gun...they all ditched him and that was really the last I knew of him. He would call me here and there to see how things were going. He always tried to get me to come back. But I had finally come to my senses.

In the meantime, I had changed jobs. My next post will be all about that.

A Sort of Therapy: Part Three

The transition from junior high to senior high went smoothly. I had two groups of friends - the more "defiant" ones (MB was a part of this) and the goody two shoes (Boo was a part of this). I wasn't exactly defiant. The worst thing I ever did at that point (and it was stupid) was have a drawing put on my wrist. There was a guy in school who was drawing marijuana plants on everyone in pen, and I was asked if I wanted one. Ha! I got one. It was the last day of school. I even remember what I was wearing - a tank top. No sleeves. I got home and my mom saw it and freaked. I told her I'd wash it off, that it was no big deal, but I got grounded for it anyway. Haha! I think it's kinda funny now...they never really discussed drugs with me, and when they saw that they didn't ask me if I was smoking it or anything. There just was no discussion. There never was. If I tried to explain or talk, then I was "talking back". I would just get into more trouble. That I could never learn. I always tried to defend myself. My brother, S, would just keep quiet and let it blow over.

My parents bought a lot of land in a different school district and moved there (across the road from my mom's parents). It was a different school district. I was very upset - I had finally made some great friends, was actually not loathing school, and now I was going to have to move with basically just a little over one more year of school left. While they moved, I stayed with a girl (AC) and her parents. They had money! There was my dingy little Ford Escort sitting in their driveway with their Lincolns and European sports car. They never complained and always welcomed me - I even had my own room to stay in. I never wanted to leave! They were right in town and I felt a sense of freedom I never had before. At this point, I was hanging out with AC and MB a lot. There were a few other people too, but they were my main best friends. I still talked with Boo a lot too, but I felt that sometimes I couldn't be honest with her. I didn't want her to criticize me. She didn't like a lot of the friends that I had, I don't think.

While in town, I spent a lot of time at my parents' friends' house too. I always referred to them as my aunt and uncle - Aunt S and Uncle B, though when I spoke to them directly I dropped the "Aunt" and "Uncle" formalities. I loved being there because I felt like I could be myself. Uncle B was really quiet. He had been friends with my dad since forever. They looked alike too. Aunt S was awesome - she liked the same music I liked. She had an open mind. I knew that if I told her something that she wouldn't repeat it or would respect my point of view. She always gave me a new way of looking at things too. I used to wish that they would adopt me! Haha!

After my parents were settled in, I moved in with my dad's mom (Grandma C) so I wouldn't have to go to a different school. Grandma C didn't live far from Aunt S and Uncle B. I didn't live there very long. My parents gave me a curfew that I followed, yet Grandma would lock me out of the house by 8 or 9 p.m. I would bang on the door and even yell at her bedroom window, but she would not let me in. I had to stay at Uncle B and Aunt S's a couple of times. Even when my dad asked her to give me a key, she would then lock the screen door. She just didn't like me being out. She thought I should stay at home with her all the time. Grandma C only watched certain channels (mostly PBS or the country station) and didn't say much to me. When my parents asked her why she kept locking me out of the house, she stopped speaking to me. Then my dad said that I was to pack my stuff - I was crying and didn't understand what I had done. I didn't want to go to a different school my senior year. I remember my mom coming into help me get my stuff and I was sobbing. She hugged me and said, "Don't worry, we'll work something out." I felt a little better then - I knew that I hadn't done something wrong, I guess. I think my dad was more mad at my Grandma C. She used to do that to him too, I guess.

By that time I had a boyfriend, MA,- my first serious one. He was different, to say the very least. MB warned me about him, but I didn't quite see what she was talking about just yet. She knew him a lot better than I did at first. He also did not live far from town and I loved the convenience of seeing him a lot. I will get to him in a little bit...

So anyway, I moved back in with my parents. They decided that I would drive to school. It would take me about 25 minutes to get to school without any hangups or anything. To help out with gas, I decided to get a job in a small town near them. At first my parents told me that they didn't want me to work if it was going to impact my grades. But I wanted to do it. So I applied at a pizza place and got the job one summer when I was 17. That too, was a life changing experience. The girls there were very pretty, popular (in their respective schools), and really were involved in living life to its fullest! I was still sort of shy. I entered the job with glasses and braces. I remember two of the girls telling me later that they thought I was a "total dork". Ha! Before too long I got to know them all pretty well and was invited to some of their parties. Any parties I had been to before was nothing like I was about to experience. I wasn't going to be very innocent too much longer! I started dyeing my hair, waxing my eyebrows, buying stylish clothes and wearing more makeup. I wore colored contacts that made my eyes very blue looking. I wouldn't be able to do much about the braces yet at that point. I also went tanning - I was so white and the girls convinced me to do it. I even started buying underwear from Victoria Secret online (we didn't have a nearby store). But the parties - there was always alcohol. I didn't like beer, to say the least. But I would try to drink as much as the rest of them. I got to know their guy friends, and developed a crush or two.

I still had my boyfriend, MA, though. He had also quickly evolved from a "bad" looking kid into this extremely handsome preppy guy. He did that on his own, but I think a part of him did it for me. He developed a lot of popular friends in the senior high. I still felt sort of intimidated, to say the very least. He was extremely sweet the first year that we were together, but he didn't like my work friends. He viewed anyone that didn't go to our school (a rich school) to be unworthy or something. He came from a broken home. He hadn't spoken to his mother or his little brother in years and refused to. He lived with his dad in a beautiful huge home out in the woods out of town. He did drink a lot and smoke a lot, and his dad supplied the money and the goods for him. It seemed like his dad was a little scared of him. I never really got that until later.

I did not spend a lot of time at home at this point. I was working, going to school when my senior year started again, and then I was hanging out with friends and going to parties on the weekends as much as possible. My parents didn't ask many questions. They had met my boyfriend and liked him at first. I was nervous - his family was so well-to-do and when he met my parents I was afraid he wouldn't want to be with me anymore! But he didn't say much then, so it was okay at that point. They didn't allow me to spend the night at his house (because it "didn't look good") but the rules had become a lot more flexible my senior year. After all, I was working all the time AND keeping good grades. My mom later told me that she didn't ask many questions because she "didn't want to know".

The option to quit work faded away. I was soon expected to buy everything - right down to toilet paper - for myself. They then started yelling at me about not offering to help pay the bills. That was stressful. I didn't make that much money, but I did get a lot of credit cards that I payed on. I was paying for my own medical bills too. I had gotten a kidney stone right before I started my job and was paying a hospital bill that my insurance didn't totally cover. It's not like I was out there blowing all of my money on clothes and such. But when I didn't offer to pay for a portion of the electric bill or something, my parents would get mad and start a fight about it. I was paying for my car insurance and gas bills at this time too.

My relationship with MA started to turn bad and abusive after the first year. He would flip out over the smallest things. He had successfully isolated me from a lot of my school friends. I felt like I was no one without him, and he had told me as much several times. I wasn't any good, but he was still with me. I didn't get that. I was sad, paranoid, and really stressed out. I hid it at first, then I started to share some things with the girls that I worked with and MB. MB told me that she had tried to tell me about him before but I wouldn't listen. She told me what she knew about his past history. Her mom was friends with his mom and then I knew why he hated MB so much - she knew too much. He was always telling me that she was "trash" or worse and that I should ditch her. I couldn't do that. She was the only one that I really trusted (I could tell her ANYTHING) and I knew would not lie to me. I started to think that MA was cheating on me. He denied most of it and told me that it was all in my head. There was one particular girl that was a year younger than us that seemed suspicious. He loved the attention from her and she openly snubbed me. It became this stupid battle my senior year...very immature. I tried to do as much as I could to make her life a little harder and she tried to do the same to me. I'm sure MA sat back and enjoyed it all.

To make a long story shorter, MA and I had an on again, off again relationship. We seemed to hate each other but couldn't stand to be without each other. I dated other guys but always stayed connected to MA. By this time, my parents had enough of MA and forbid me to see him anymore. I lied and still saw him. I think they knew better, but felt that as long as I was still dating other people, there was hope that I'd ditch him.

Funny thing: When I dated a lot and hung out with friends all the time, my parents would tell me that "this is not a damn hotel where you can come and go as you please". But when I stopped doing all that, they told me that I had to "get a life". Haha!

When I graduated high school, my parents pretty much let go of any restrictions I had. My dad said that I was 18 now and they had raised me the best they could. I could make my own mistakes now but I had to deal with the consequences. So with this new found freedom I lived it up! I probably went overboard with it at first. I partied with friends from high school and I partied with the people I worked with. I dated a lot of different guys. Some of them were a little more serious than others, but again, I'd always drift back to MA it seemed.

I did not go to college at the same time that most of my friends did. I continued to work and stayed in touch with friends from high school. I used to go to parties with my friends at work and then end up staying with friends from high school in their college apartments. I had a lot of fun, avoided trouble and had near misses with trouble! But I stayed away from "home" a lot. I was hardly ever there. I know that my mom had a break down during this point. I didn't know a lot about it because again, I wasn't really there.

Sometime during all of this, an incident occured with MA. A big, scary incident. One of the scariest and craziest moments of my entire life. MA had made new friends in college and one night he asked me to come party with them. They went to a house in town (not MA's) and we all drank and played cards. It was a lot of fun. MA got super drunk. He locked his keys in his truck. I had taken a seperate car and was not drunk, though I had drank a little. I didn't like beer so I had barely had any at all. MA was extremely agitated that he could not get into his truck. His friends and I tried to tell him that it didn't matter anyway - he shouldn't drive. I told him that I'd take him back to his dad's house if he would just let me and we'd get his keys (I figured that by the time we got there I could distract him and he'd pass right out). But he wasn't going to go with me. He contemplated smashing the window in his truck but then decided he'd walk the whole way home by walking up this one street which eventually took one out by the woods. He was then going to cut the whole way through the woods and somehow make it home. I was scared for his safety. Again, he was very drunk. It was very late at night and I didn't want him to get into trouble for underage drinking or anything else. I was afraid something might happen to him in the woods. So I followed him up the road trying to convince him to just let me give him a ride. We had gotten a good ways from the house (it was on another street by this point and way out of sight). MA got agitated with me for following him. He turned around and punched me right in the nose! I was lucky that I had tried to move and it was not a full blown contact. It made my nose bleed, but it could have been much worse. I panicked. I called his friend back at the house on my cell phone and told them they needed to come get him. I was crying a lot. They tried to get me to describe where we were, but they were not from town and it was hard trying to get them to the spot where we were. I kept walking after him (I don't know why). The guys hung up to come find us. MA turned around and tried to convince me that he didn't hit me. This was nothing new to me - he had many times flipped out and then told me that I imagined it or something else that made it my fault. So by this time we were up by my Aunt S and Uncle B's house. I thought of going there but it was so late and I didn't want to wake them up or freak them out. Right before their house and their neighbor's house was a telephone pole. Out of nowhere, I kid you not, this car comes plowing up the road and brushes my hip. I distinctly remember my hair being blown into my face. The car slammed right into the telephone pole. The guy in the car seemed momentarily knocked out. MA approached the car screaming at him, "You tried to kill my girlfriend! Get out of the fucking car! You just tried to kill my girlfriend!" I was in shock. The guy in the car seemed to come to. MA tried opening the door to get the guy out. The guy was trying to start his car. MA was still screaming and then tried to break the guy's window. Somehow the car started and the guy went down the road with his car falling apart and MA trying to chase him down. I was shaking so bad. People from across the road came out of their house and MA came back to get me. We walked over to the people and they were calling 911. MA was trying to convince them to leave us out of it, just to report that the guy had crashed and left. They saw me crying and shaking with blood on my nose and probably figured that this had happened from the accident. They told me to sit down and MA was pulling on my arm and yelling at me to come with him. He told the people that we'd both had too much to drink and didn't want to get into any trouble. Then we left. He made me run with him through back yards...I remember that much. It was so dark. I just kept saying "Oh my God, oh my God" over and over again. I felt like I was hyperventilating. So we made it out to a street and MA thought it was safe to move to the sidewalk again. We were headed back to our cars. One of his friends was still on the lookout for us and had ditched the rest of the crew that was searching for us in a car to see if he could find us in a different direction. He approached us and immediately pushed MA back. He started yelling, "Did you hit her?" Of course, there I am, a total wreck - I was just in shock from everything. MA wouldn't say anything. His friend looked at me and said, "Did he hit you?!" I said, "Yes..." and then started crying all over again. His friend punched MA in the face. MA didn't have much time to prepare for it, but MA probably had enough to drink that the punch didn't really seem to phase him at first. He was carrying a knife and pulled it out and swung at his friend. The friend turned around and began running (he was a bigger dude and MA was very athletic and in shape). MA chased him. I didn't know what to do. I felt like my legs were made of Jello. I yelled at MA to stop but they turned the corner and I couldn't see them any longer in the dark. I could hear his friend yelling. Then there was silence. So I found my way back to MA's friends' house, and saw five HUGE guys holding MA down in the front yard. MA was spewing nonsense things. Weird things. It was almost like he was possessed. He was talking about God and just really strange things. MA was not very tall or big (athletic and muscular, but still not anywhere near as big as the guys trying to hold him down). It was like he was full of superhuman strength. Some guy across the street yelled that he was going to call the cops if things didn't settle down. I went over to him and tried to calm him down but he was just going crazy. I pleaded with him. I said, "I need you right now, please, please, just pull it together and let's go..." One girl from the party screamed at him, "Can't you see what you've done to her, you bastard! Help her!" The guy he chased with a knife was unharmed. He told me that they were all going to go in and lock MA out of the house - if I wanted to stay I could. I just could not leave MA there like that. They let him go and ran into the house. He seemed rabid or something. He jumped up and ran after them but they beat him to the house. I was so scared. I was out there with him alone. He was beating on the door and screaming at them that he was going to kill them. The neighbor yelled that he was going to call the cops. MA looked up and yelled at me to get in my car. So we got in the car. He didn't say much. I drove him home. He was breathing very heavy and had this insane look on his face.

I got him to his dad's house and he went into the garage. His dad was not home. I can't remember if he went out of town on a business trip, but I remember his dad was not home. The garage was empty. It was attached to the house. Again, this house was out in the middle of the woods. The closest neighbor was not close at all. It was so dark. I got out of the car to make sure he could get in the house, I remember. He told me to come into the garage. I asked him to turn on the light. He didn't respond, but I could kind of make out his shadow in the corner. I started to panic. I yelled, "M-, turn on the light now!" He flipped on the light. He was holding a rifle. Just standing there, staring me down. I froze. I told him to put the gun down. He didn't say anything, but just kept staring at me. I said, "I just want to help you. Come on, you need to put the gun away." He told me to go in the house. I said, "Not until you put the gun away." I was incredibly afraid to turn my back on him. He put the gun down and held the door open. I told him to go in first but he would not move. So I went inside. I was trying to avoid any other confrontation. He came inside but didn't have the gun. I felt much better but was so tense. He didn't say a word but went upstairs. I thought he was going to his room. I waited. I didn't know what to do. I was really afraid for myself, but I was also afraid for him and his friends. I didn't want to leave without knowing what he was going to do next. I felt that at least I could warn his friends if he decided to do something stupid. So I went upstairs. His bedroom light was on, the door was closed. I said his name at the door, but he didn't say anything. I opened the door and went in. I didn't see him. He had his own bathroom connected to his room. I thought maybe he was in there. I sat down on the bed and waited. He came into the room from the main door and had a bottle of water in his hand. He threw it on me - my natural reaction was to recoil and jump back. I said, "Stop! What was that for?!" He gave me the weirdest look and said, "You shied away from holy water." I was shocked. I could not make sense of any of this. It seemed like a really bad dream. (MA had gotten "holy" water when he had made a trip to Italy the year before. He was very proud of his Catholic faith. I was not Catholic. He had made a big deal about this several times before.) I told him to stop acting this way and to lay down. He just stood there. I know it was a bold move, but I felt that I had nothing much to lose. I got up and took the bottle from his hand and set it on his headboard, then I tried to get him to lay down. He did. He was mumbling something about God and other things, but I thought he was going to pass out. I got up and turned the light off. I was still hesitant to leave, though I wanted to get the hell out of there. MA asked me to come over to him, he wanted to say something. I went over and he asked me to sit down. I did, and when I put my hand on the bed he grabbed my wrist tightly. I felt like my insides were going to explode, I was so tense. He had a light on his headboard and I reached up and turned it on. I'm glad I did. He had one of those big Rambo knives pointed right at me. I grabbed it - he did not fight me - and he let me go. I got up and sat in a chair opposite his bed. I held onto that knife and stared at him all the rest of the night. I did not sleep at all. He went to sleep quickly. I was so afraid to leave. Then in the morning, I thought after he had slept off the alcohol, he would be better. That wasn't so. He talked just as crazy as he did the night before but in an oddly calm way. He told me that he was going to go get his truck and his stuff. They would have to give him the stuff he left in the house. And then when they let him in, he'd kill them all. I said that I didn't think they'd let him in after last night. And he said then even if it took weeks, and he had to "apologize" to them, he would get close to them and then kill them. He was so crazy (and knowing his prior actions and reactions to things) that I believed him. I told him I had to leave to get ready for work and I'd talk to him later. He just laughed.

I was so freaked out. I called his friends and told them not to let him in, just to put his stuff outside on his truck. I told them everything he said. The one girl that was there that night worked for a battered women's shelter, and she thought that I should talk to someone there or file a police complaint. I then stopped at MB's apartment to tell her about it. I didn't know what to do...

I will write more on this later (I am exhausted!).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Sort of Therapy: Part Two

Ok, so those are just the bad things that I remembered about my younger years! My parents were just doing what they thought was right with us. We were very well-mannered children. My parents taught us to be nice and not cause trouble. My mom used to read to us. She taught me how to write before I ever got to kindergarden. She would always pick me up something special when I was really sick. I remember she was going to the store one night and asked me if I wanted anything (I was about six or seven). I think she meant food wise - like popscicles or something that I would keep down. I said, "A Barbie doll!" And lo and behold, when she came back, there was my Barbie doll with her. My dad did baby me when I was sick too.

One weird thing about memories - I remember the strangest things. My mom used to get these debilitating migraines that were more like strokes in appearance. Needless to say, she'd be in bed for days, unable to take care of us or even herself. My dad would take over then. I remember him washing my hair at the sink. I loved that! He was very gentle and careful - my mom was more business and scrubbed my head. Ha! With my dad it was like getting a scalp massage. I remember my dad trying to scare us when we were watching scary movies (which was fun) and homemade nacho cheese dip that we could eat for supper!

Every two years we'd get a new bicycle for Christmas. We were still always surprised to find that bike by the Christmas tree. When we got older, those bikes became cars. We always had things to occupy us - stereos, toys, you name it. We did not go without. The only thing that my parents ever "skimped" on were clothes. I wore a lot of hand-me-downs and stuff that really wasn't for my age. I got made fun of in school for that! Brand names were also a thing that we had to buy ourselves once we were old enough to buy it.

As I got older, I became more defiant. My dad got hurt at work and retired early, and he was not used to being at home all the time with not much to do. To make matters worse, he had back surgery and the doctor put him on Prozac afterwards. The Prozac had a bad effect on him. At first we didn't know what was wrong. He became was a scary time. He was not himself. He would fly into raging fits. I hated being at home. I tried not to be as much as possible. Occasionally I would find myself yelling back at him after he spoke to my mom a certain way. My mom finally convinced him to see a doctor and they found out that the Prozac was having an adverse effect on him. Once he was off of it for awhile, he got better.

I had to grow up quickly. My parents were both ill, and there were always health problems. They were very strict. I wasn't allowed to go to the movies and never went until I was about 13 years old. I wasn't allowed to go to people's houses were there might be boys. I wasn't allowed to have a "boyfriend" when I was a young teenager. I didn't have friends over very often because my mom wanted a three day notice to scrub the house top to bottom (even though she scrubbed it top to bottom every day). We had moved by this point. My parents bought a brand new double wide that was beautiful - it did not look like a double wide at all. It had a deck out front with sliding glass doors and bay windows. My mom kept it looking like a show house. There were sweeper marks going one particular way in the light blue carpet that they had done the house in (they replaced the original). We had to make sure we didn't make too many footprints in the carpet (no lie!), or my mom would get upset. I remember her yelling at me because people were coming over and I had to walk on the area rug they had as not to make prints in the light blue carpet.

My dad and my mom both did not discuss sex or anything personal in front of us. When my mom got around to discussing "the facts of life" with me, we were alone and my mom was whispering to me about periods and whatnot! Ha! She was obviously very uncomfortable. My dad NEVER said anything to me about anything like that. Back then, I'd have been mortified if my mom would have ever mentioned anything about buying pads in front of him.

By the time I was allowed to drive, my parents both taught me but my dad ended up doing most of the teaching. My mom was too jumpy and made driving quite a challenge. One time they both rode in the car with me while I was learning and they both told me two different ways of doing things, then started arguing - at that point I pulled over and said I didn't care if I never drove again - I would never drive with them both in the car at the same time!

Even after they payed for me to go to Driver's Ed in the summer and I got my license, my mom wouldn't let me drive on my own. I had my brother's old car since I was 15. I would sit in it and occasionally they let me drive it going about 10 mph by myself just around the small trailer park (equipped with speed bumps) and back. Finally they decided that I would be good enough on my own. Their main reasons for getting me a car was so that I wouldn't have to ride with anyone else or ride with my teenage friends. I wasn't to drive any of my friends either.

My brother got away with a lot more than me. When I would bring this up, my mom would say, "Because he's a boy and you're a girl". However, I didn't do as much work as he did. My parents NEVER made me mow the lawn or expect me to get a job early on. I had to help clean the house now and again and do the dishes. That was pretty much it. My brother, S, did lots of outside work and got a job mowing lawns. He had to pay for the upkeep and gas on his car along with the insurance when he got one. I didn't at first. My parents took care of all that. My parents partly did that because I did really well in school. S didn't. We were definitely treated differently growing up.

I had a very small group of friends throughout elementary school and most of junior high. At least in the junior high I didn't get picked on as much. Every year someone thought I was "new". I was just very quiet. Then in ninth grade, I met a girl (MB) who got me to open up a little. We had a class together. One day I was walking to my locker and she yelled at me to wait up. MB said, "I don't want you to think I'm weird or anything, but you seem really nice. We should hang out sometime." I was quite taken aback by this. No one really took a great interest in me before! And now here is this girl, who seems like she has it all together, and she wants to hang out with me? Wow. If I had to classify her, which I really couldn't, she was a cross between a goth/skater/almost hippy. Hahaha! I started hanging out with her. She was very trustworthy. She brought up topics that I had often thought about but never could say easily. I came out of my shell a little, met more people, and felt like I finally belonged somewhere...

More on this later (motherhood calls)...

A Sort of Therapy: Part One

I have been trying to use this blog as a sort of therapy, I think. Writing has always helped me sort out my thoughts and express whatever I feel I need to, but I don't always fall back on it. EG thinks that I should write at least an hour a day! Ha! It seems like a lot but when I write passionately, time flies by. I guess it's not a ridiculous idea like I first thought. But that in no way means that I'm going to commit to that.

A little background on my mental history - I love how shady that sounds - I suffer from what has been diagnosed as "major depression". Many, many people suffer from this. I don't know what the majority of people think of it - either they think that it's not a big deal or that it's not taken seriously enough. I believe some of my problem is biological in nature and inherited, and my circumstances greatly affect this too.

Looking back, I'm sure I suffered from it long before I recognized that anything was "wrong". I was brought up to disguise my feelings - all I knew was really anger. Everything made me mad. That is how I guess I dealt with things. That seemed to be how my parents expressed their own emotions as well. We were not by any means a very lovey dovey family. I was the most affectionate of any of us, and my mom still doesn't know where I "got" that. Ha! Both she and my dad were raised in somewhat unaffectionate homes as well.

Before I go any further with this - I want to make something very clear. I do not want to censor myself with this - if you "know" me and are directly involved in my life and don't like some of the things that I say, that is ok, but I don't want to hear about it. I am entitled to my feelings, just like you are, and this is MY blog. These are MY thoughts. I am not going to write things down to make you feel better about yourself. This is for ME. So if you are a family member, friend, whoever - and you feel what I write is shocking, scandolous, or wrong and want to go tell the rest of the family or whatever, go ahead, but it does not change anything. These are the things that I saw, what I recall, and it is not meant to hurt, embarrass, or anything else that you might find "wrong"; it is meant to help me. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Ok, with that said, when I was younger, I didn't perceive anything as wrong or different with my family. That's how it was, and that's how I was raised. My mom stayed at home with us for the most part, and my dad worked ALL the time. I didn't see him that often. When I did, we were to be quiet, because he was tired from working and needed peace and quiet. I didn't feel that he was that approachable, partly because of what my mom had warned us about (to be quiet and to leave him alone) and partly because he was never really that talkative or involved with us (to clarify for those that don't know me all too well - my brother is six years older than me. I was the "baby").

Up until I started school at age 5, I was only really exposed to family and some of the people that my dad worked with. I was with my mom all day and never went to a daycare. I never went to preschool. I didn't have a babysitter. The only time I was with someone else was when I stayed with my Grandma (my mom's mother) or with an aunt who had cousins that I played with. My parents both drank (my dad more so than my mom - she only seemed to be a social drinker) and my dad was a heavy smoker. I was ill a lot. I do believe a part of it was because of the smoking (I had multiple ear infections and had respiratory problems). My parents would have parties and invite their close friends over (usually people that my dad worked with). My dad would get pretty drunk and would pass out with a smile on his face. He was never a violent drunk. He always seemed his happiest then. He would dance with me and laugh at all my comments. He always seemed the most approachable when he was around his friends too. My mom would admittedly get annoyed at his drunken state.

We by no means had a lot of money. I know that we lived in a few rented homes but my dad bought us a trailer home to live in when I was about 4 years old. I remember the first time I saw was used and I remember seeing the living room first and there was a mattress laying against the wall because the owner was moving out. We lived in it in a small trailer park. My parents, were both very clean people. Our house always looked nice and our cars were always kept decent. My dad put a lot of money into various cars that we had. It was like a hobby to him. My mom was into Home Interior decorating and ordered from Avon all the time. We always had nice Christmases. My mom always wore really nice clothes (dress suits). She was always complimented on how nice she looked. But we never went on family vacations or outings. We did go out to eat a lot...every weekend I think.

When I started school, I was extremely shy. I had never really been around other kids other than my cousins. I became exposed to a variety of kids, races, different family dynamics. I met my best friend, who lived in a nice house about a mile down the road from where I lived (I will call her Boo). Her family was a lot like mine. Her parents worked all the time and were not overly affectionate people. She had a younger sister that was very close in age to her. I spent a lot of time with her at their house when I was allowed, I recall.

I think I led an otherwise "normal" childhood. My brother and I were not overly close, probably because of the age difference. He teased me a lot! My dad stopped drinking and smoking altogether when I was about eight years old, I think it was for mainly health reasons. He didn't hang out with his old friends as much but still worked as hard as ever. My mom tried to work the opposite shift as my dad for awhile, but it wasn't very long until she got hurt at work and couldn't work anymore.

My parents fought a lot about finances. I remember accusations being flung (I won't get into detail and I won't say who they came from and who they wear directed at). Sometimes they would try to involve me - they would ask me who said what and if the other one was wrong or did they say this or blah blah blah. If I picked my dad's "side", my mom wouldn't speak to me for awhile. If I picked my mom's side, I felt like I was pushing my dad (who I wasn't close to anyway but adored) even further away. My brother was old enough by this point to leave the house and go hang out with friends. He could escape. I couldn't. I do remember thinking that my mom started a lot of the fights and I hated that. I wished she would just not say anything. You could always tell if it was going to be one of those days. She would get angry over very little and before you knew it, it went from point A to point M in rapid succession, if you know what I mean. It just got all out of proportion. Even when my brother or I would get into trouble (and nothing serious, we were pretty good kids), my mom would get angry and then tell us to wait until Dad got home. She would steam and then make an even bigger deal about it to my Dad, and then he was tired from working all day and yelled at us...then my mom would add more fuel to the fire when things started to cool off just to get us into trouble all over again. Now I know that she suffered from depression too but never knew what was wrong with herself. She was a perfectionist in every sense of the word - and she would easily freak out over the littlest thing.

I think all of this made me really anxious. I was always a little on the tense side. Jumpy, I guess would be a better word. I did really well in school and life went on. Occasionally there would be my mom's threat to leave, I would panic and beg her not to go. She might leave for a drive or my dad might, but they always stayed together. It was an all too common cycle. I didn't know if this was normal or not, and there was no one to ask. I just hated the arguments...and I see now that I learned a lot of my behavior from these incidents.

Other things that I was raised to believe even though they may be wrong - as my parents were not really affectionate, and they had been raised by parents who were the same way, I was only allowed to do things until a certain age. Let me explain: it was no longer acceptable to call my parents "Mommy" or "Daddy" by the time I was a certain age. I'm not sure when this age was, but I'm thinking that it was by the time I entered the third grade. I had to call them "Mom" and "Dad". My dad used and mom used to have pet names for me, which promptly stopped around this time, save for a few of them. I wasn't supposed to hold my dad's hand any more, and I wasn't supposed to "hang" on them. That left residual effects on me, I suppose. When I hear someone call their dad "Daddy" and they are my age, or even a teenager, I feel disgusted, like it is all wrong. I felt the same way when I saw someone holding their teenage daughters hand. Maybe there are limits to things, and maybe there aren't - my view was clouded by parents that thought these things had "dirty" connotations to them and I guess I feel uncomfortable with that too - even though it is probably all in innocense.

This is getting so long! I will write more later...