Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moving Day!

Alright, friends. I'm moving to Word Press so this is my final post here. Please send me an email vegas710 at gmail dot com if you'd like to continue reading. I know that's a pain but I'm hoping it will make some things easier for me.
See you there!
UPDATE: I continued this blog at Playa Minded

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Question For You

My inlaws have offered to take my children for a week or so. I'm reluctant to be away from them but as my therapy progresses I'm finding it may be necessary. If I have nothing to do I fear I'll fall into deeper depression without my girls here. So I'm wondering, what the hell would you do, at your house, with no children and no work?

Monday, June 07, 2010


The Christian God makes no sense to me. He used to be angry and vengeful and then he had his Son brutally murdered and now it's hunky-dory? Someone told me recently about how she realized that we read into things in the Bible. For instance, it doesn't say that a sacrifice was required *by God* from Cain and Abel. I guess I take that further and combine it with the strong sense I have that the Bible was written by men. I'm not sure I believe much of the Old Testament. So why did Jesus use the Old Testament to present Himself? He had to choose a people who needed a Messiah and who might listen so He chose the Jews. He proceeded to teach them how to live. If I read the words of Jesus alone, I believe the things He said, the parts I understand anyway. But would the Jews have believed if He hadn't gone to the cross? Reading the Old Testament it sounds like they would not have believed if He hadn't been a literal sacrifice.
So what does that mean for me? For all of us? I don't know. The best I can come up with is to live the way He lived and the way He taught us to live. If that happens to coincide with the way Muhammad or Gandhi taught us to live then good. If it coincides with what you believe about how we treat each other regardless of religion or belief in a Higher Power then good.
That's as far as I've come. I don't know where this is taking me.
We rearranged our room yesterday to accommodate my new night stand. As I sorted through books I set a small Message version of the Bible on top of my new night table. Will I open it? I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Coping Mechanisms-I haz dem

I guess if I had good coping skills I wouldn't be medicated. Who knows. But I have plenty of bad coping mechanisms. Self-injury, drinking, smoking, drugs if I could get ahold of them, binge eating (if only I could figure out how to purge), and SPENDING. While I was in college, Jt and I broke up for about a year. I racked up thousands in credit card debt just buying crap. I mean, clothes? I don't like buying clothes! Lucky for us, my spending binges include bargain hunting.
So I just came off a little Amazon bender. I got a night table (I really did need one), a fitness ball (recommended by my physical therapist), a great book I'd been eying for the kids (did you know that "eying" was spelled that way? looks weird to me), a new crock pot (I wanted to give mine to Flipper), these kick-ass Keens, my first ever pair:

There was also the graphic novel for The Vampire Lestat and then these arrived today:

The next seasons of Angel and Buffy in graphic novel form!

And the Piez De Resistance:

If we are facebook friends you know that I've been watching this episode of Buffy almost obsessively (hey! another coping mechanism!). This is the soundtrack. The girls and I listened to it already and Elliet and I read along in the lyrics.
Thus ends this period of bingey-type spending.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Confessional

Bless me readers for I have sinned. I'm smoking again. I only smoke at night so as to avoid the children. Of course, they are smarter than me and figured it out. Still, I'll only smoke outside at night so that they don't get anything secondhand from my clothes. I did this last time I crashed as well and found it relatively easy to quit after about three months. Kenai was a baby during that time so I would smoke during her nap and then shower and change my clothes! I'm embarrassed to be doing this and was hoping if I only did it after dark my neighbors wouldn't see but I believe they have so I'm outed anyway.

Leave your confession here, it's good for your soul.

**Added: check out the counter in the sidebar. And then go throw up. Ugh**

Monday, May 24, 2010

Things I've Learned

I've learned that it is SO much easier to make the bed when you have a gorgeous new duvet.

I've learned that Trader Joe's Maple Leaf Cookies should have a sin tax.

I've learned that I prefer talking with people who can at least TRY to see both sides.

I've learned that women are AMAZING. I don't understand how we ended up a patriarchal society.

I've learned that spider bites can lead to infections.

I've learned that many people don't care about the fourteenth amendment.

I've learned that homeschooling is kinda cool.

I've learned that beer is goooood.

Wait, no, I already knew that.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Friends! and! Presents!

I have a group of women who I like to chat with online. We've built some real relationships and sometimes I don't know what I would do without them. They've been there to support me, even in the middle of the night when I was in crisis mode. I've had the pleasure of meeting some of them in real life and I count them as real friends. For Mother's Day we had a secret gift exchange. I love giving and getting presents so this was great fun for me! I sent my friend a necklace from Etsy seller, LycheeKiss. She's got some other gorgeous pieces and very reasonable prices! Here is my friend Elisa wearing the necklace.

The gift I received was a little late because of a seller issue but the anticipation was fun! I also received a necklace from Etsy, this one from the seller, birdzNbeez. I LOVE it.

It's a beautifully etched locket with four flowers in different
shades of green and a lovely little silver bird.

A sweet little added touch is the heart at the clasp.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hey Beautiful

Where you been all my life?
I don't remember if this beauty came from Aldi or from my dad. It didn't bloom at all for a year or two but it currently has three blossoms!

Monday, May 17, 2010

More on Spiritual Homelessness

So. Still haven't attended a new church. I'm not sure I need one right now. When I decide to go I am going to try a "God is Still Speaking" UCC nearby and then a local UU. We'll see.
As for now? I believe nothing, I disbelieve nothing. But I feel like I cannot believe in the traditional God of the Bible. So where does that leave me? He's not gonna come here and speak to me no matter how hard I pray so I'm thinking, Deism. Or maybe Agnosticism. I kinda like that better since there's no faith required.
When I look for "proof" of God, I find NOTHING. I see life and I am amazed. But I am more amazed when I think it was species evolving than when I think that something created it to perform that way. Today I explained to Elliet how flowers reproduce. It's amazing! But it's amazing with or without God!
I can't find a reason to believe right now. In anything.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

'Night Johnboy

I don't want to live here anymore. It's not the new Price Hill as one of my friends said but it is quickly becoming the new College Hill. The crime mostly sticks to the main streets. But I don't feel as safe as I did when we first moved here. Tonight I sat on my porch and talked to imaginary ghosts. The man who attacked me? He didn't stand a chance against my husband and neighbor who were inside, packing heat. Of course we don't have guns but it still felt good to act like we did.
I want to live where I can raise some laying hens, a goat for milk (and CHEESE), maybe even a sweet milking cow. I want the girls to know dirt and earthworms and box turtles. We don't even have bats here. Just squirrels and birds and the occasional rabbit.
I want to live somewhere else. With a town where everybody knows who everybody else is, no one gets lost there. There aren't pedophiles or rapists on every other street. I won't go as far as to say I want to be like the Pioneer Woman but I sure do envy her life. Her kids know what hay smells like and what calves need to drink and even what Rocky Mountain Oysters look like.
I didn't think I'd ever be here but I am where my mother always was, wishing we lived the Waltons' life.

How are YOU?

Well, I'm doing a smidge better. I haven't cut myself in three nights now but I did peel off a scab tonight. Then I drove to Kroger for cigarettes. I guess it feels like the lesser of evils right now.
See, what's happening is I'm supposed to be reading my journals from the last time I went through this. What did I learn? What is something that triggered me that we haven't figured out just yet? But I am so terrified to do that. If I read tonight? What will tomorrow be like? Today was hard enough what with being sleep deprived and probably hungover.
I don't know how to do this. I wish there was a right way to do this while you have small children. I want to get past this before they get too effected by my illness but I am afraid to go through this while I am in charge of their well-being.

I don't want to know what I'm dying to know.

Friday, May 07, 2010

I'm Tired **Updated**

I'm so tired. I'm tired right now. I'm tired all day. I'm tired all the time.
But I can't go to bed. If I went to bed right now I would read a bit or play a game on the iphone and I would fall asleep. So why don't I go? I'm tired (did I mention that?) and I don't want to be tired tomorrow, I've got a lot to do! But I find ways to stay up. For a few weeks it was drinking until I passed out. The last few nights I drink but not much. My stomach can't stand the thought of gin or vodka. Of course, that brings back the other compulsive behaviors. Eating being the main one. When I was drinking hard I was losing weight. Why the fuck can't I just go lay down?
I usually take Benedryl, that actually put me to sleep by 2 last night. My psychiatrist gave me Ambien and it did nothing at all. Isn't there something that can numb me for just a little while?

Shortly after writing this I took some benedryl and went to bed. First night in weeks that there was no cutting, second night in a row that I was not drunk. Maybe I'm getting Abilified.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lest You Think I'm Not Grateful

What say we take a break from the deep, dark, ugly, macabre, despair that is my's a post about the many things I'm loving right now.

Today we went for a picnic! It was a last minute idea
since we were already picking Kenai up from her field trip.

There were strawberries

There was a visit with my internet turned real life friend
and her awesome kids. I LOVED hanging out at her house.
She's awesome and normal and lovely and cool.

Not to mention she has the cutest kids EVER

Then there's this little one, my latest charge.
At barely 6 months she can hold herself in a sitting
position without help, at least for a little while!
She's already got teeth and she's rocking on her hands and knees!

She's the sweetest baby ever.

Then there's this new guy. Mr. Birdie Fantastico.
Yes, that's his real name!

He's starting to like me a little bit and that makes me so happy.

Then there was this. A real highlight.
Over the Rhine at Canal Street Tavern.
With new songs even! It was beautiful.

Elliet brought me this note the other day, she had
transcribed it for Kenai:
"From Kenai. To Mommy. Dear Mommy, I am so sorry.
Do you want to know why? Because I wrote on my arm.
I forgot I was not supposed to.
Please, please, pretty please forgive me.
After I wrote on my arm I knew I wasn't supposed to.
Love, Kenai"

If they made all their confessions this way they'd never get in trouble!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why I'm Drinking

Tonight, Jt tried to stay up with me to prevent me from drinking too much and from cutting myself. The problem is, these are symptoms of something bigger and more evil than the blood he sees. The pain is huge, overwhelming. When he tried to stay up with me and we talked it out...I bawled my eyes out for like an hour. This is exactly what I'm avoiding with the drinking and the cutting. Jedd doesn't understand, I don't know how he could, but he's trying. But tonight he made it worse. I cried and I felt shame and that intensified my need to cut.
I wish I could explain this. Not only to you but to myself. I don't get it. I'm frustrated and angry. Is it possible that something happened when I was TWO FREAKING YEARS OLD fucked me over forever? Jt says it won't be forever. He thinks this is it. I'm gonna go through this and then I'm gonna find the end. There will be no more cycle. There will be an end.
It's hard for me to believe because I've been through this so many times. I'm so sorry that Jt has to go through this, it's not fair to him. My kids know that something's up but for the most part I try and make their days normal.
In fact, I stay "normal" all day and then as soon as they go to bed, I drink way too much and then I cut myself more. It used to be about the scars but now it's about the blood. One day I'll be okay. Maybe this is it. Maye this is the therapist that will help me get where I need to go in order to heal. Maybe. I hope.
I love my life. I love Emily, I love Jason, I LLLOOOOOVVVE Jedd, I love Flipper, I loooooooovvve my girls, I love my little doggy and I love my birdy. I love my friends, IRL and on the internets.
One day I will be able to love these things without the caveat of my past hanging over me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Once More, With Feeling *trigger warning: cutting*

So. Per the homeschooling post we're doing awesome! But.
But I'm not so well. As in not-so-well.
I went back on meds and day five everything was suddenly "shiny new world, huzzah!" and then about 6 weeks later I crashed even harder than before the meds. I need to be honest here. I'm drinking to excess every night. Taking a mixture of pills as well. And cutting myself. There is a gash on my arm that I re-open most nights.
I finally got in to see my psychiatrist and he upped my meds and gave me a therapist referral. I saw the therapist and she way rocks. She's young, younger than me, and pretty and normal. My counselors have always been the kind who wear trousers and eat lots of canned food. She was incredibly supportive and she gave me hope like I haven't had in years. She gave me hope that maybe we'll find the truth and I'll heal and maybe this stuff will go away. Maybe one day there won't be a cycle, there will be an end.
I'll spare you the photos of my arm this time. You're welcome.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding Our Feet

Getting Started
So, the homeschooling got off to a bit of a rocky start. We had a couple of good days and then a solid week of awful plaguey puking death germ. One after another we all went down. Then my mom came over to help us pick up the pieces (read: do the dishes and wash more sheets) and the next day SHE got it. It was baaaaaad. So no homeschooling that week. But the funny thing is that Elliet's not behind! No "five packets of eight pages each to do *if we can* so she gets caught up". Nope, we just pick up where we left off. It's a beautiful thing. Sometimes I drive past her old school and I can't believe the relief I feel at not having to drive there. Even greater, the relief that Elliet isn't sitting there doing those eight page packets every day.

I found this journal at Target that she uses almost every day. Each sheet is blank on top and then lined (for early writing) on the bottom half.

(picture stolen from Mead)
When we read through the book about the White House and the Obama family she used the notebook to write down words she didn't understand. We used the list of words to learn how to use the dictionary and then reviewed the words for vocabulary. She also drew a picture each day to illustrate something she learned. She loves art and I love being able to incorporate it into her learning experience! As we progressed in the book and had already uncovered most of the new vocabulary, Elliet started writing about what she learned instead of writing words. She wrote about why it would be cool to live in the White House and drew a picture of herself bowling. She drew a picture of Bo the dog and wrote about how he likes to play with people's feet. She's reading about Clara Barton now, she reads two or three pages and then we talk about what she read. We are going through ABeka Math, I'm still undecided about this curriculum but it's pretty nice. I LOVE the Primary Language Lessons book.

(These images stolen from Amazon)

She uses her journal to do a lesson each day. I usually break them in half though because they are written for 2nd grade and up. The lessons are rather quaint and the grammar is very traditional. I like this, I think that much of today's curriculum is "dumbed down", particularly in the language arts.

Our "Schedule"
My favorite part of this whole thing is our schedule, and I use that term very loosely. We get up in the morning and do breakfast, no yelling, no rushing, no packing. The girls get dressed and usually go play outside for a while. I use that time to do the dishes, play with Ziva and check-in online. The girls are in and out, I may take Ziva and go out with them for a while, fill the bird feeders, somewhere in there the kids have a snack.
Lunch rolls around and the kids eat and then Kenai and Ziva go for naps. During naptime, Elliet and I do her school work. This usually lasts two to three hours with a few breaks mixed in. When she starts to feel overwhelmed she can go outside for a while. On rainy days she likes to play the Wii or watch a movie.
When everybody is up from naps there's another snack followed by something pretty similar to our morning. Sometimes there is schoolwork to be finished, sometimes Kenai wants to do a page from her pre-K writing books. Sometimes we go to the library or the grocery store. I think I could do this forever but our plans are totally up in the air and will be based on what each child needs each school year. Kenai will be in Kindergarten this fall at the same co-op that Elliet attended. I really love the teacher and I think it is important for Kenai to get out and be around other kids in a structured setting.
This is what is working for us right now, who knows what the future holds!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More Hipstamatic Photos

This looks like it belongs in one of my mother's old photo albums



Monday, April 05, 2010


Really loving this Hipstamatic iPhone app.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Like a YEAR in Blog Years

So, two months ago I won a blog contest from Parking At Home. I wanted to blog about it but I was waiting for a photo and now, because this is the Internets, it feels like it's been for-E-VER since I purposed to write this post. Better late than never I hope.
Parking At Home does a little crocheting. Well, okay, she does a lot of really awesome crocheting and probably tons of other stuff. She did a giveaway in January to get us all through the winter funk and I was a winner! My idea was for a hat for my sister, Erin. Erin has a small head and does not have the ability to right a scarf or pull her hat down over her ears. I remembered that my mom was looking for a hat with ear flaps that wasn't too babyish so I asked Parking if she could make something that came down over the ears and went down into a scarf. Less than a month later (it might have been like two weeks) this arrived on my porch!
I kow Erin looks like she hates it. And you. And the boat you sailed in on. But really, she's just very cranky lately from the massive pain that she lives with every day. It actually works very well for her and I am VERY impressed with the quality of this hat. I am also grateful to Parking At Home for taking on this little challenge!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jumping In

This Monday I will begin homeschooling my oldest. She's in first grade and while her school isn't bad, I started feeling like it just wasn't best for her. I have the freedom to do this so why not? What's funny is how excited I am to begin! I had her math curriculum already because I had planned on doing a little bit over the summer. I ordered her a science text and one for history and I can't wait to see them. Especially science, I really enjoy life science. I also ordered a language arts book and these really cool flashcards that I saw on The Pioneer Woman's homeschool blog. They teach the Greek and Latin roots of the English language, very cool.
However, my language stuff still hasn't shipped from Amazon (come on, Amazon, there's a Buffy dvd set in there too!) and the science book is on backorder so they are waiting to ship that and the history book.
Have no fear! I stopped by the Scholastic fair at Elliet's former school yesterday and picked up a book on the Obama family and the White House and a book on Clara Barton. She will do these for history and language arts. She'll read the books and then we will work on the vocabulary we find there (inauguration, society, government) and she will practice her writing skills with a paper about each book. For science this week we are looking through a book about whales and dolphins.

I never though I would homeschool. I was homschooled for most of my education and I always thought I didn't like it. What I came to realize was that while I enjoyed it, I always thought I was missing out on something greater. This was partly due to my own self-centeredness and well, probably just that. I hope to avoid this by always giving Elliet the choice. I'm assuming she will go back to public school in another year or two but I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the meantime.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Part 2 of The Falling Shoes

Previously, on Falling Shoes:
"On my way home from school a day or two later I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. On my way out I popped into the police sub-station to ask for that recite. The officer there was a younger black woman and she was very nice. She called someone who explained to her how to write the recite. We chatted a little while I waited. When she was done she called her sergeant to clear everything. When the conversation ended, she hung up the phone slowly, an almost guilty look on her face. "My sergeant says you have to be processed" I have no idea what this means. "You have to be arrested"

She was sitting at a desk that was pushed against a wall, I sat next to the desk on a chair facing her. I just stared, not comprehending. Be arrested? What does that mean? She said someone would come to take me downtown and is there someone I can call to pick me up at the justice center? I probably wouldn't even be booked, it's just a formality. Call someone to have them pick you up downtown. I called my boyfriend, he was working. I called my sister, I asked her to pick me up downtown, that everything would be fine. We sat there, just waiting. I asked if I could go to the bathroom. She seemed hesitant but took me anyway. She was nice and it was clear she felt awful about the whole thing.

The other officer arrived, a young white guy. He was nice enough but business-like in his demeanor. In the office, he put my hands behind my back and put the handcuffs on. We walked out to his car. We walked out through my neighborhood grocery store to his car. I felt shame. I knew people would think I had been shoplifting. It was humiliating.

The drive lasted forever. It was dead quiet, just the muffled announcements from his radio. It was incredibly uncomfortable. The backseat is a molded plastic bench. When you catch the scent of the previous passengers, the plastic is a relief, at least that urine/alcohol smell is in the floor and not soaking into your clothes. But plastic is hard and when you are leaning against your cuffed hands, the metal digs in. I watched out the window, the same things I saw everyday driving to school. We passed the Camp Washington salt dome and Union Center. We entered downtown Cincinnati, the Omni flag above us, abandoned, heavily tagged buildings next to us. I saw them all but they looked different. Like I was seeing them from an airplane.

When we arrived at the justice center we went in through a back entrance. The officer looked at me kindly and asked if the cuffs were hurting me. "No, I'm fine" I mumbled and smiled at him to prove how fine I was. He had me stand by a wall. He said that he was sure I wouldn't have to go through booking. "We'll just process you and you can get a ride home. It'll be okay." He smiled at me now and I knew that my nonchalance was not fooling him. I continued with it anyway as it was for my own benefit, I needed to feel strong. He walked over to a desk.

He came back over a few minutes later and I knew things weren't going to get better. He had the same look as the policewoman back at Kroger had when she hung up the phone. It was pity. Not the ugly kind but the kind that wished this was not out of his hands. He said, "I'm sorry but they said you have to be booked." I don't know what this means. What does this mean? My sister is on her way to pick me up. I can't call her to tell her something has changed. But if I could, what would I even say? I don't know what this means. I just remember breathing at this point. I don't know what else to do. I am taken over to the desk. Here, a man takes all my things and carefully observes and records everything in my possession. He laughs when he comes across my Bible College ID. I'm not amused but I laugh anyway, a shy giggle that I know older men like when they joke this way. This way that is supposed to humiliate you under the guise of humor. This is nothing new, Desk Guy.

I am escorted by a woman over to a changing area. I'm to remove my bra, my hair clip and my shoelaces. I give them to her. We come out and we are back in this room with the desk. It's a busy room. I am taken over to one side of the room where a few officers are standing, one is a tall man, he's not Cincinnati police, I think he might be Highway Patrol or maybe just a guard. He reminds me of an officer I knew when I worked downtown. This officer I knew was a bike cop and he was the most blatantly racist person I had met. Some black children were looking in the window at us once and he said, "Hey little monkeys, want some peanuts?" He was nice to us but he was not a good person. That is what I thought of this tall officer, staring at me. The woman who had escorted me to the changing room now instructed me to remove any jewelry or piercings. I had to cut off a thread anklet and take out six earrings. Then my tongue ring. Then I remembered my navel ring. I lifted my shirt and said, "I'm not sure I can get it out." The woman said, "I'm sure he'll be happy to do it for you" indicating the tall officer. "Oh, I'm sure, uh...I'll do it." I mumbled. And I did.
Then I was told to sit, I could use the phone for a local call. I left my sister a message, I didn't know if she would get it and I didn't know what she would do anyway. I didn't know what she could do.

When I sit, there is a woman, older than me, maybe 35 or 40. She has overprocessed blond hair with dark roots and she wants to talk. She wants to complain about how she's being treated like an axe murderer for passing some bad checks. She's thrilled that we are in for the same thing. I sense that she wants the security of the two of us sticking together. After all, we obviously don't belong here. But I don't want a partner, especially not a chatty one. I know who we are in here with and I want to be quiet. I do not want to align myself with anyone.

I am taken back to a small room to have my picture and fingerprints taken. The guys back here are pretty friendly. They take my photo and then my regular, inked fingerprints. Then one guy presses each of my fingers on a very small, electronic pad. They will go to the FBI. I am escorted to a holding cell. Blond lady is in there too but I stand across the room from her and look away.

The holding cell is cement, painted grey. I guess the grey of the cement wasn't quite depressing enough so they had to paint it. Nothing can be moved, the seats are cement, molded to the walls. Over a molded cement half-wall there is a steel toilet. The wall is so short that you can still be seen if you are sitting. The toilet is full of god knows what and no one is going to use it. The axe murderer woman and I are the only white women in this cell of at least 25. I practice the few street skills I've learned working in Price Hill. I don't look at anyone but I don't look down either.

I'm drawn to a young girl in a bright pink top. She looks tired, haggard even, but couldn't be more than 18. She reminds me of my friend's younger sister, street, but in a way that suggests she doesn't belong. I am summoned by a female officer. I don't know why. I don't know anything. I am escorted to a desk at the end of the hall where a bored woman takes my information without ever looking at me. She tells me it's late so I will be arraigned tomorrow. I ask her what this means. "It means you go before a judge in the morning." I ask her about bail, I tell her my sister is coming for me. She doesn't know anything. I go back to the holding cell. I comfort myself with thoughts of my sister being nearby. I know she is the one person I want right now. If anyone can get me out it's her.

Now we are all moved into the main population. I don't like this. It feels like maybe I'll be spending the night. We walk down hallways, lots of them, it takes a while. We get into an elevator. The female guard escorting us is gruff and I know my smile will not work on her. We go through more grey hallways and arrive at a door. Inside is a large room with tables and a tv. There are women sitting around, braiding hair, playing cards. The walls are lined with cell doors. Not iron bars, just doors with small windows in them. There is a second floor with more doors. We are each told a number, when the door opens we are to walk straight to the room with that number and close the door. I do as I'm told.

I walk into the cell. It's small, cement block, painted a dull beige color. There is a metal bed frame attached to the wall with a thin plastic mat on it. There is a toilet. It is placed so that if I were to sit on it I would be looking straight out the small window in my door. Within plain view of the guards. I will not use it. I sit. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. I know my sister is out there, I know she will fight for me. I look out the window. It is maybe 8 inches high and 18 inches long. I just rest myself against the wall and watch outside for what feels like hours. It's dark. There's nothing going on. I'm looking over Reading Road, a stretch I don't usually drive. There is a dragon painted on a building. There are neon signs in the storefronts that advertise BAIL BONDS. It is a sleeping city and it is depressing.

I think maybe I should lay down. I've been in here for a while, maybe I should sleep. But I know I can't. I have to pee. Like, I REALLY have to pee now. I look at the toilet and I look at the window and I convince myself that it doesn't matter. I hover over the toilet. I'm not usually a hoverer but desperate times and all. I look out the little window in my door the whole time. Will I jump up if someone looks in? I don't know why I'm watching.

I stand at my door for a while, I look out at the women who are in here who will be here for a while. They seem nice. They braid each others' hair. One of them knows one of the girls who came in with me and she lays outside her door and they talk. She looks sad. These women are tough, they are real, they care for each other.

Eventually, when I'm not looking, a guard opens my door and tells me to come out. We walk back down those long hallways, go back down the elevator, walk back down the long hallways. I ask her what is going on, "I guess someone posted your bail." I feel such a huge relief. I am placed in another, identical holding cell. Only this time there is a man sitting on the bench across from me. It seems wrong to me but the guard closes the door, this one made of iron bars. We sit in silence and I watch the guards encased in glass. A male guard comes to get me and is startled to see me sitting with a man. He can't believe I was put into a male holding cell. He's not happy and he says so, but not to me.

I have to wait some more. I go to a window where I'm given my things minus what little money I had on me, they keep that. I go out to a small waiting room where I see my sister and her friend. I've never felt so happy. She is there, I knew she would be. We step outside and light our cigarettes and the rain feels just right. We walk to her car and she tells me how she threatened the man at the desk. She had paid my bail and then waited another four hours for me to be released. She went to the man every 15 minutes demanding to know where I was and why I had not been released yet. THIS is why you need an Emily in your life.

I'm out. We go home.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

One More Time With Feeling

Well, here we are again. If you've been around for a while, you know this is not my first tango with mental illness. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, even Bipolar 2 for a little while. It comes and goes. Ebb and flow. Nevermind that the medical community knows very little about what causes these things...medication! Huzzah!
I hope to be back on top in a few weeks but it will likely take longer than that. So expect posting to be even lighter than usual. I can't promise I won't post pictures of my self-injuries this time but hey, fingers crossed!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spiritually Homeless

During our girls weekend my cousin and I had a conversation about religion. Specifically it was about a desire to believe something, and to teach our children something, tempered by a distaste for Christian culture and a belief that people can be good even without God telling them to be good. Christianity is my home. It's where I started and it is to this church that I return when I am struggling. But I don't feel at home there anymore. When I go there looking for answers I don't like what I find. I believe in some of the basic tenants of the faith but I cannot feel at home within the four walls of the church. If I'm honest, I know that my beliefs would disqualify me as a Christian in the eyes of most Christians. This leaves me feeling lost, like I have no home. I'd like to believe that my need for a spiritual home is a social construct, not necessarily something I need but something I've been told I need, but that's not true. I know that I need something that binds me to other people. I am considering the Quakers as a next stop on this road. Who knows, maybe one day I'll come home and it will feel like home again.

But this leaves me with the question of teaching our children. I want my girls to have a church experience and I want them to feel like they are part of something big, something outside of mommy and daddy that unites them to other people and to God. There will be things they learn that we don't agree with but I'm not much afraid that we can't just address those things at home. Right now it's easy, church is singing and puppets and Love. As they get older it may be more difficult. I hope that I can trust the values we teach here at home to influence what the children believe more than what they learn at a church program.
Elliet gave me hope this week when she came home from her mid-week church program:

E: They told us that God knew all our names before we were born.
St: Oh, that's cool
E: Yeah, I don't really believe that.
St: Oh really?
E: Well, yeah, I mean, you didn't even name me until I was born so that doesn't make any sense!

I don't recall ever once questioning what I was being taught as a child. She's a smart one!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paltry Postings

So I'm supposed to come up with seven things you don't know about me because this lovely lady tagged me as a Kreativ Blogger and I would hate to disappoint my newest blog-friend. The problem with this is that I think you already know everything there is to know about me. I'm open to a fault. I've decided to aim for things that maybe a few of you don't know and hope the rest of you don't get bored.

I got my fourth tattoo this weekend. It's a phoenix rising from the flames of my Burning Man tattoo. I like it very much even though it hurts and it's all crusty. And here's a photo because Michele likes illustrations and I like showing off my tattoos.

You probably already know that I am overweight. I started gaining weight about nine years ago and really started packing it on in the last year or two. So what you may not know is that I'm now like, Biggest Loser fat. This week I've been eating a very strict diet to help me break the habit of overeating. Very little or no sugar, low-carb, no alcohol, no diet coke. I'm seeing great progress so that should help me stick with it. Having been addicted to both food and cigarettes I can tell you with certainty that you CAN be addicted to overeating and the craving is just as bad.

A few of you might not know that I was homeschooled as a kid. In part it was fantastic but it was also a little bit of crazy. I love homeschooling and I'm strongly considering it for my girls but we were homeschooled because the public schools might have taught us things like "evolution is part of science" or "condoms can prevent pregnancy" or even "being kind to other people is a good idea no matter what god you worship." So yeah, our homeschooling was tainted by our religious practices.

Remember Monica's closet on Friends? That's my basement. I am appropriately ashamed.

I went parasailing for my 17th birthday, skydiving for my 18th and at 21 I did the sky flyer at King's Island. HIGHLY recommend all three.

Deep down inside I believe that one day I will have to go to Romania to work with their orphans. I think this is what people mean by a "calling." I saw a video about Romanian orphans when I was 18. We were at a small youth function at church and I had to leave the sanctuary because I was sobbing.

I can't drive stick. No good reason, just never needed to learn.

So, there you have it! I am giving this award to these fine (but fewer than seven) bloggers:

Swistle at Swistle
Suzanne at List Lust Lost
Christie at Calling Occupants
Melynda at Your Wild Child

Kreativ Blogger Award Rules
1. Thank the person giving the award (Thank you, Michele!)
2. Copy the award to your blog (it's in my sidebar)
3. Place a link to their blog
4. Name 7 things people don't know about you
5. Nominate 7 bloggers
6. Place a link to those bloggers
7. Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the award

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Homenum Revelio!

I had a bit of vodka an anxiety attack yesterday after the baby's allergy testing. I already knew she was allergic to eggs so why the freak-out? Well, there was this, and there was three hours in the exam room, a shot in each thigh, and the doctor telling me she was at risk for anaphylaxis but not really at risk of dying from it so no need for an epi-pen. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that last part. She's also doing the whole freak-out-over-nothing-80-thousand-times-a-day-until-Mommy-thinks-you-hate-her thing. That didn't help.

I've also not been sleeping well. I wake up a few times each night absolutely terrified. While I'm still asleep I pound on Jedd or give him a good hard kick so that he gets up to check the house before I've caught my breath enough to tell him it's just...not a dream, really...I guess it's just my crazy. My heart pounds so hard I'm afraid it will explode. The adrenaline coursing through my body makes certain I won't fall back to sleep for a good long while. This really can't be healthy.

Saturday night Kenai was not given a snack at church because the teacher wasn't sure about her allergies. When I came to pick her up she was sitting at the table with her friends, terribly sad, the only one without a little cup of pretzels.

This morning before we went into the school Kenai said, "Mommy? When my teacher says, 'criss-cross applesauce'? I can't do that" Cue heartbreak.

The first hit in this TKO was last week in a parent meeting for her preschool class. The parents gather with the teacher, all of us in tiny chairs, to talk about the upcoming semester. One parent, we'll call her Ignorant, starts pitching a mini fit about following rules. She says that if the rule is that children sit, legs crossed, on their carpet squares then that is what they should do. The teacher explains that some kids aren't able to sit "criss cross applesauce" and different kids have different abilities and we really just want them engaged during circle time. Enter anxiety attack #1 of 2010. She meant Kenai. My baby can't sit cross legged like the other children. Heart pounding now, I hear Ignorant say "No! If it's a rule then they should just do it! We are the authoritarians!" Oh crap. Other parents are speaking up, "we don't want to turn it into a power struggle" "some kids can't really sit still for very long" I have to go, Kenai has to be at therapy in a half hour. I can't get into this. What the hell is her issue?! We just got done talking to the grandmother of another student about her options for diagnosis and IEP through the district. Ignorant just refuses to believe that some four year olds don't have the same abilities as her daughter. Thankfully, the teacher is kinda awesome and she sent home a letter yesterday letting parents know that we meet each child where he is and any discipline issues will be handled by her in a manner designed to show grace. Today, Ignorant was in charge of snacks. She brought popcorn with nuts in it. Kenai and her friend are both allergic to nuts and Ignorant KNOWS THIS. How about we just change her name to Bitch now, hmm?

So I've felt mostly sad all week. Which is why I haven't finished writing my story for you. I know you are DYING to find out what happens next but I don't have it in me to dredge up the old hurts while the new ones are still fresh. But it's coming. I also need to write this thing for Yummy Mommy who tagged me and put a little bit of awesome into this terrible day.

In the meantime, it's Official Delurker Day! It's a thing that someone invented. I guess it's a blog-thing that a blogger invented. Then Greeblemonkey made a creepy neat little graphic and now it's the thing to do on January 14th, 2010. So show me your stuff, are you here? Speak up!

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Decade of Falling Shoes- part 1

2009 was the year of recovery for us. This last decade has been RIDICULOUS but 2009 treated us well and we learned how to relax a bit.

The Decade
In the year 2000 (you can sing that a la Conan if you want, I did) I was living with my sister. That year we moved six times. 6. SIX TIMES, in one year. We were in one place for about 6 months while my dog, Kaiko had to stay with other people. She was already an anxious dog so this was not good for her. As soon as we could, we were going to find a place where we could have both dogs. Emily found this great remodeled apartment in Covington, Kentucky. It was beautiful and even came equipped with a washer and dryer. The day we moved in I brought my dog home. One of the great things about this place was that it had central air, we hadn't had that since we left home! It stopped working on this day, the first Saturday of July. So we opened all the windows.

That night I stayed up late to unpack. I felt so good about this house. The beautiful tile in the kitchen, the stacked washer and dryer that came with it. No more laundromats! I went to bed at 3am, around 4 I heard some rustling out in the laundry room. I was certain Kaiko was out there getting into things so I stumbled out of bed to go find her. As I got to the laundry room a man stood up. He had just come in through the high window and landed on some plastic garbage bags. It took me a second to register that I didn't know him and then I yelled. "GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" I thought he would leave. I mean, he got caught, wouldn't he run away? He didn't and before I knew it he had ahold of me. I started fighting and he put a really old, probably very dull steak knife against my arm. So I relaxed, I told him, "it's cool, it's cool" He said, "get your purse" but he wouldn't let go of me. He had a stench so strong, his breath on my neck, that his smell is more present with me today than his face. I know now that it's the smell of an addict. Old smoke, body odor, the stringent smell of alcohol seeping from his pores... desperation. I kept saying, "I'll go get it, it's back there" but he wasn't letting me go. Then he started backing us up into the laundry room. I was suddenly aware that I was only wearing a t-shirt and underwear and I started fighting against him again. Then something changed. He let go and he backed up, just a step. He said, "get your dog"

Sure enough, Kaiko had finally wandered out of the room where she'd been asleep the whole time. She was a big dog, about 75#. Rottweiler, lab and chow as far as I could tell. The hair on her neck and back was standing up and there was a low growl coming from deep in her throat. I saw my opportunity and took it. I slammed the laundry door on the intruder and ran. To my room. Where there was no phone. I'm proud of everything I did this night except this part. My cell phone wasn't working and instead of running to Emily's room, I ran to mine. Then, instead of letting Kaiko come in with me (she ran too) I closed the door on her. I felt safer with her guarding my door from that side but later, when I see evidence of her fear, I am ashamed.

On my way to the bedroom I yelled to Emily, "CALL 911! THERE'S A MAN IN THE HOUSE WITH A KNIFE!" Panic and grammar don't mix. She wasn't really awake so she poked her head out of her bedroom door and said, "Huh?" I stuck my head out and yelled it again. Then I sat in my room. Listening. I heard someone running; slapping feet across the parking lot outside my window. Within seconds I also heard Kaiko lay down against my door, relaxed. Still, I couldn't be sure. I was terrified that he had gone to Emily's room but I was too scared to look. I finally got up my courage and ran to her room.

She was sitting on her bed talking to the 911 dispatcher. When she called she got the wrong city and had to be transferred. Minutes later someone was banging on her bedroom door. We screamed, "the police are on their way!" It was the police. They had entered the open front door and were searching through the house. An officer checked the bedroom and told us to stay put while they looked around. Once they determined that he had gone, we all moved out to the kitchen. The kitchen suddenly felt very small and the police officers all seemed very large and very warm. Like grizzly bears walking around in polyester. I heard an officer on his radio, "theeee suspect may have manure around the bottom of his pants." Kaiko had been so frightened that she had shit all over the kitchen.

We didn't notice anything missing but another officer came in with a tube of chapstick he had found on the ground outside. As soon as I saw it I looked over to where my workbag had been and it was gone. It had been on a shelf right by my room which meant the man had run across the kitchen for it, this is probably what scared Kaiko. He had then run through the living room and out the front door.

I told the police that he had run through the parking lot but they insisted that he had probably gone back the other way, toward the projects. They said our cute little apartment was right between the projects and the main street for drugs and prostitution. With a parking lot that was the obvious cut-through. It was a crime of opportunity with our windows standing open.

The police brought me outside to look at a man who was sitting in the back of a squad car. They had seen him "acting suspicious" earlier in the night and they really wanted him to be The Guy. I glanced at him through the flashing lights and I nodded, "yes, that's him" I went back inside with an officer who asked how certain I was. I said, "not at all" He said I had to be sure. He wanted me to look again and I was so afraid to go back out and see that man and be seen by him, I almost said it was him just so I wouldn't have to go. That poor guy had not been anywhere near me that night. He looked up at me through the smudged window of the cruiser and he was crying. He was crying for his mama. He was bigger than the man who attacked me and he had a grill that outshone the flashing lights. I knew for sure this was not The Guy.

As the police were getting ready to leave, one officer asked us how long we had been living there. When we told him we had moved in that very day he said, "You have four days to back out of your lease without repercussions. Pack your shit and GET OUT."

Once the police were gone we sat outside on the front step, both of us afraid to go back inside. Jt was out of town. Emily couldn't reach her boyfriend so she called his crackhead cousin who came right over. Tony was great, he was lots of energy and a hefty dose of "nothing can happen to you while I'm here" Eventually we went to Jt's house because everyone there was out of town.

We called the apartment manager and they were shocked. SHOCKED! that this had happened. *insert giant eye roll* They said they would let us out of our lease but we needed to get our things out immediately. It was a matter of four days before we found a place to store our things. The rental agency kept our entire deposit as a "storage fee" for those four days. We moved our things into a house owned by someone Emily worked with. The house was disgusting. I'm not even kidding, it was BAD. Jt was back in town and he and I had bought all kinds of plug-ins and candles and roach traps but we walked in that first night and the roaches scurried and the smell was so bad that I sat down and cried. He said we could come back to their place until we found something. Emily got us into the dorms at my alma mater for a very low fee. So we gathered our trashbags full of clothes and we lived there for a couple of weeks while our other belongings sat at the casa de cucarachas absorbing the rott-pee that soaked the carpets. Know what's scary? Living in an empty dormitory when you've just been traumatized. It feels very much like a horror movie waiting to happen.

The intruder had only taken my work bag so I thought the joke was on him. The bag was mostly filled with teddy grahams from our field trip to a Red's game. But my checkbook was in there. The bank advised me to close the account and we could deal with any outstanding checks. I guess the joke was on me.

We found a great house and were all settled in by the first of August. The first week I spent my nights sitting up at the kitchen table where I had a view of both the front and back doors. I slowly moved into my room. I would wake up sitting on the floor having spent the night looking through a crack in the door I kept barred with a dresser. I took baby steps and eventually was able to relax in the new place. But it wasn't over.

In September I was accepted for a job as a home health aid. I had to go downtown for a police check. The police said I had an outstanding warrant for an unpaid check. They said all I needed to do was find a police officer ad ask for a recite. He would write a ticket and I could go to court to take care of everything.

On my way home from school a day or two later I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. On my way out I popped into the police sub-station to ask for that recite. The officer there was a younger black woman and she was very nice. She called someone who explained to her how to write the recite. We chatted a little while I waited. When she was done she called her sergeant to clear everything. When the conversation ended, she hung up the phone slowly, an almost guilty look on her face. "My sergeant says you have to be processed" I have no idea what this means. "You have to be arrested"

To Be Continued...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Blaspheming for Fun

We passed this billboard tonight. It says "I miss hearing you say 'Merry Christmas' -Jesus"

Jt: Jesus can be such a NAG.

St: It's only been like SIX DAYS! Geez.

Jt: Everybody gets ONE birthday, Jesus. Get over it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Year-End Clearance

Doing this long-ass year-in-review survey from Sundry again this year. I'd enjoy this more if Blogger made cut and paste posting easier.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I used a trainer and stuck to a committed workout schedule. It only lasted about 8 weeks but it was a big accomplishment for me.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't do resolutions. If I did I would say that I will eat better and start exercising again. It's not a resolution. It just sounds like one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not super close. One cousin, one cousin's girlfriend and my sister's friend.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
I'm gonna go ahead and use last year's answer here, "Hahahahahahahahaha...ha"

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Confidence and, as usual, discipline.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched in your memory and why?
January 20. Watching Barack Obama, a black man with a funny name, getting sworn in as president let us feel like maybe things can change.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Working out.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting the ankle injury kill my fitness run.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I fell down the front steps holding Ziva. To keep her safe I had to take the fall on my right ankle. I ended up with a nasty burn/abrasion and a sprain. But the new bone growth I can feel suggests it was actually fractured or severely bruised. This was last July but it's still sore!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Well, technically Jt bought my iPhone and my KitchenAid so the best thing *I* bought is the down comforter from Ikea.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband. Honestly. For Valentine's Day he surprised me with a night at a nice hotel, BY MYSELF. All. Alone. Mother's Day was the iPhone, Christmas was the KitchenAid. He also got up almost every single night with the baby. He just decided he was going to do nights and then he did. He worked his tail off at his job even when he was unhappy and that brought us a new measure of financial security.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The TeaBaggers, Town Hall Screamers and the 9-12 um...demonstrators. Seriously.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To the usual places. House, cars, debt, medical, food. The new one this year was the Y membership. Expensive and worth it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching the California Supreme Court hearings on Prop 8 was equal parts exciting and frustrating. Seeing the crowd gathered for the decision and then watching them protest it was amazing.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
All the Above - Maino ft. T-Pain
It's really, really cheesy but this was my workout song. When I'm not with a trainer, not in a spin class, just on a machine by myself I find it really helpful to harness old pain and use it to push out some anger. This drives me to work harder.
"Tell me what do you see when you're looking at me. On a mission to be what I'm destined to be. I done been through the pain and the sorrow, the struggle is nothing but love. I'm a soldier, a rider and yeah, a survivor and all the above"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-happier or sadder? About the same
-thinner of fatter? Fatter
-richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Active recreation with the girls. More time at the pool, more time hiking.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spending money on pointless things like fast food.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Morning here with the kids, then all of us in Dayton for the day, finished by seeing Sherlock Holmes, just me and Jt.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
If I did, it was with my iPhone so we're just gonna skim right over this question, yes?

22. What was your favorite tv program?
We discovered Battlestar Galactica and I like it but I picked back up with The Wire and SEASON FOUR O.M.G.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Not really, I don't like to use the word hate when I'm talking about people. I'm pretty sure that I dislike Glenn Beck even more than I did last year.

24. What was the best book you read?
I haven't finished In Defense of Food but I really like it so far. I LOVE the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs (starts with Moon Called). Her Alpha and Omega series is good as well.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hands down K'naan. No question. My new friend at Kick Me posted about him and it was the first I'd heard of him.
This is my favorite song but I'm partial to hearing Swahili and I also have a little bitty crush on Mos Def. If you aren't sure after this song, look up Wavin' Flag.

26. What did you want and get?
My couch

27. What did you want and not get?
A kid-free weekend. I'm not really ready to leave Ziva for that long though.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked Star Trek. Precious was exactly what you'd expect and it was amazing. Totally lost my shit seeing The Hangover in the theater but it wasn't quite the same on DVD.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 32 and once again, my sister really came through. We got pedicures and manicures while we had wine and Godiva chocolate then she took me out to Brio's for dinner.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If we had made more of a dent in out debt and if I had really stuck to the better eating.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Still rockin' the sweatpants. My fashion concept is that there are two set fat girl styles, I don't like either of them and they don't make anything else.

32. What kept you sane?
The internet and my friends who live there.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
There's that word again. I did not used to like David Boreanaz but I had a dream that changed everything.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Is there anyone who won't say healthcare here?

35. Who did you miss?
I need to see my sisters more often and I really miss my nephew. I did spend some time missing my sisters-in-law as well but that's been remedied for now.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Susan Campbell at the blog Dating Jesus (also the title of her book) and all the regular commenters there.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Without discipline you are just treading water.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Etcetera, whatever, I guess all I really mean is we're gonna be alright. Yeah, we're gonna be alright. You can close your eyes tonight. 'Cause we're gonna be alright."
Etcetera, Whatever - Over the Rhine
This year afforded us some time to learn how to relax instead of always waiting for the next terrible thing.

On a side note, according to some Facebook app I use the word "really" second most often of all the words. But really, you probably already knew that.