Saturday, October 29, 2011

Been awhile since I've posted

I have had so much going on lately! I gave my first college presentation since 2003. Man, I sure was nervous. It was in a 400 level class and I've really been struggling with the material in it. I worked for over eight hours on the powerpoint and material. I was given a 27 page social experiment from a pysch journal that I had to present and answer a bunch of scholarly questions about. Normally, I am good at this type of thing but I psyched myself out so bad. I doubted my abilities left and right, about had a panic attack. Got to class and of course he did it alphabetically by last name so I had to go first!! I was very nervous. BUT I got a 100% on it! All 50 points! (The class is only 400 points so Ill take it!)I had written out the questions on the slides and the answers to each so that I wouldn't forget anything. He said I was his first and only 100% in five years. He wrote on my evaluation that I was "organized, professional and well spoken" how about that? He also told the rest of the class they had big shoes to follow. I was shocked! Guess I am not as dumb as I thought. I also took the math placement test, sure I was going to fail it. I am horrible at math. I can do day to day math pretty well, calculate percentages etc, but academic math not so much. I was worried because testing into below a 100 level college math class would mean TWO semesters of math. But, again, I doubted my ability and tested into college stats. I scored really high on the college algebra section! I was quite shocked. Also, met with my academic counselor and found out next December I graduate. I will have two bachelor degrees then and of course my original associates. I am very excited about it!

Next week is midterms- I have five! EEEK! I am stressing over them. Mainly because I have horrible test anxiety. My first time around in school I ended getting to take my tests proctored verbally because I was failing the written ones, I really doubt myself. Say the answer is A, and I know the answer is A, I will talk myself out of A and choose C. I have to really try hard not to do that next week.

I met with my counselor for the third time this week. I really like her. We are working on coping and communication techniques, addressing my PTSD and she put in a referral to meet with a psychiatrist. We both are considering a temporary medication right now, she said its not ok to be as depressed and anxious as I have been. Neither of us think I need a long term medication but rather a short term helper while we figure everything out.

I also did a family photo shoot for a friend. I think I got some ok photos for them, she seemed to really like them.

I have still be writing my column for the newspaper.

I have also been taking my camera a lot more places. I really love photography. Let me rephrase, I really love taking pictures of things I find beauty in and then sharing that beauty with other people. I tend to be a nature photographer. I really enjoy nature and our surroundings. Here are a few of my recent photos. I am thinking about perhaps selling some of them on greeting cards and prints for houses. I keep getting asked for them, I just dont think I am professional enough to really do it, but it might make for a fun hobby.

Click on the images to see them blown up :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Revise, rewrite, rewind.

When I blog I am writing my emotions and heart. I was asked why I don’t blog more- is it because I don’t have anything to say or because I am afraid people won’t like what I have to say?

I will be honest some days it is the latter.

When I blog I write, fast and furious. When I am done writing I post it. I don’t reread, revise or edit it. After it has been posted for a few days I may go back and correct some glaring spelling or grammar mistakes. But, if I were to do that when I write it I would edit everything out. I want my blogs to be honest and raw. I second-guess myself a lot and I don’t want rereading in the heat of emotion to change my words.

Yes, some people think I should write, wait a few days, and then post. I have been doing that some and guess what? None of those blogs get posted! I am afraid of judgment. So, for me, its best to write, post and then reread later.

So, if you see a lot of errors know that is why. I didn’t proof read.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raised Up

I am a writer. I have been writing as long as I can remember. Books, as previously discussed, saved my life. It was reading and escaping into stories that kept me going as a child. Stories of the orphan train, which later inspired me to try out for the lead in the play, which I was offered and indeed played out, stories about the boxcar children and other orphans, that made me laugh and made me cry. I began writing and remember winning an elementary school short story contest in first grade. I actually got in trouble in fifth grade for writing. Some kids talked too much in class (ok I was guilty of that as well), some passed notes, but I wrote too much. Instead of doing my math problems or science I was writing stories. Short, long, journaling, and poetry. My notebooks were filled to the brim with writing.

I love writing. It is a great outlet for when you have had bad days. It is a way to concrete memories into the cement of history. Writing for thousands of years has been the one preservation of human kind. Writing on caves, on scrolls, in books and now the electronic age. The written word has progressed far and wide, but it has never been silenced. Journals, like that of Anne Franks, have outlived the person, although her spirit through her words, as long as read, will never die.

Perhaps the reason I like to write is because at the end of the day it is something that is mine, something that cannot be taken away from me. Some people say that I am an ok writer. I think my writing ability came from my love of reading.

A professor of mine told me that I must have been raised right recently in class. I didn’t correct him. How do I explain that I raised myself? My first several foster homes were at best negligent at worst abusive. Then a group home. Then a home where I was an indentured servant raising other peoples children.

I began to think about things. Who did raise me? Where did my values come from? Some from the variety of churches and religious organizations I belonged to. But more, I believe from the books I read.

No one understands why I call the moose at the zoo Morris or why I ask him if he wants gumdrops. All too often I recall the books of my childhood when others have long since forgotten them.

I read books that had value to them. Meaning. Morals. The stories I read didn’t depict orphans doing drugs, killing, raping or committing crimes. They were stories about the heart and soul, about family, about overcoming obstacles. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, from the “Boxcar Children” kept me company while they lived in a boxcar in the forest. The stories gave me hope when the children are rescued by their loving grandfather who gives them a good home. The family values that are taught in “the Little House on the Prairie”, teaching hard work and good old fun. Anne Frank had an unbreakable spirit during a broken time of terror.

Growing up with Margret in “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” It was my first taste of the brilliance that is Judy Blume, but far from my last. “A Wrinkle In Time” saved me from a screaming foster mother as I buried my head under the blankets and read myself into foreign lands and adventure. An escape from my life as I longed to be Meg. The beauty of “The Secret Garden” inspired me to read it time and time again.

I never quite understood why I loved my copy of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” that I bought for a dime at a garage sale when I was eight. But it was one of the most worn books in my collection. My Amelia Bedelia collection made me giggle on the way to visit my parents in prison. My love for animals inspired me to read “The Incredible Journey” before the movie was made. I learned about civil rights movements and the holocaust is books like “The Devils Arithmetic”, “Number of the Stars”, “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

I remember reading “The Giver” by Lois Lowry in one night. As a child I had finished the entire Babysitters Club series. I read “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, “Catherine, Called Birdy”, “The Things They Carried”, “The Golden Compass”, before I ever started Junior High. My junior high years were filled with the classics thanks to a teacher who guided me in the right direction. “Little Women”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Jane Eyre”, “Through the Looking Glass”, “Great Expectations”, “The Scarlet Letter”, “The Call of the Wild”, “Black Beauty” the list goes on and on. I read every single one of Shakespeare’s collections. Then I started on poets.

I checked out twenty-five books for the road trip from Illinois to Florida one summer, I was about twelve. I read them all before we arrived in Florida, and all were teen or adult books. I read seven of the “Left Behind” series in three days Christmas of 2000.

Reading was my salvation. All the Friday nights I was home alone, I had company in my books. When I was being screamed at from behind the door, or shaking wondering when I would get to eat again, when I was fighting to not cry myself to sleep, I would reach for a book to comfort me.

I learned about life from the books I read. How to treat other people with kindness, love and compassion. How to forgive. I learned that families are important when I didn’t have a family. I learned about love when there was no love in my life. I learned about people who had struggled and became larger than life. I learned about hope, lighting dark times and victory when none was in sight. I learned how important words are.

Right now the words in books have once again become my friends, my hope, and my escape from the daily pain and depression I am feeling. I hate my life but I don't hate theirs. So I am back to escaping into books. Once again books are what has become my savior.

Maybe, maybe I like to write because someday I hope my words can touch someone the way the authors of my childhood touched me.

And when I go to bed tonight I will snuggle with my very own twenty plus year old version of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just another day.

I haven’t blogged in awhile because I’ve been “off” lately. Something is definitely not right, physically. I’ve been having a lot of circulation problems, pure exhaustion and eyesight issues, dizziness, off balance etc. Just yesterday I fell twice, cut four of my fingers while cooking, and both my feet were asleep for a large part of the day. I need to make an appointment with the doc.

My fertility appointment was this week and it was a giant let down to me. Mainly because, without even reviewing my records he goes straight to pressing for IVF. Except, unlike most of the corporations he cant guarantee results. In fact he wants to take a dozen eggs and sperm, pair them, remove a cell at three days (make sure it’s a healthy baby and it’s a boy), and insert them one at a time back inside of me and if I miscarry do this four more times. It would take four times to say that it was actually my body rejecting and not the baby. Of course, he is the head of a fertility clinic that mainly does IVF, of course insurance doesn’t pay for any of this, and of course he doesn’t even think it will work but thinks it will give us an answer. That is if I miscarry four times we could then try a surrogate. But, I would have to go through that process up to four times, lose a dozen or more eggs, make a tray full of embryos to experiment on and pay tens of thousands of dollars that instead could go towards a healthy baby that we adopted. I was disgusted with him. It was immediately lets try IVF. The other IVF specialist we have spoken to have adamantly said I was not a good candidate. I felt like I was talking to a used car salesmen instead of a doctor. He didn’t want to discuss finding an answer, or doing medication, or giving me advice on how to naturally conceive, all he wanted to do was go back to IVF. And he referred to pregnancy as “the process” and the baby as “fetus or conception material” Not once did he say the word baby, pregnancy, etc. Everything was scientific, calculated and so cold. He did an exam and ruled out PCOS and Endo but the exam also allowed him to see if my lining and uterus was shaped well to handle IVF. Seriously, without even bothering to read over my charts or anything he has made the expert decision that the best thing for us is to give him thousands of dollars.

IF we ever do IVF I will not use him. I will use the company a friend used or another doctor, the ones who guarantee a baby. Because they actually want you to be able to have a child at the end, not just give them money. I really was disappointed in him. I will have another appointment with him in a couple weeks with my husband this time, but really if he has the same discussion we just had Im done. He didn’t seem at all interested in finding the problem. He kept saying, “lets think outside the box and look at IVF” for every time I asked a question. I asked a girlfriend who used him if she had the same experience and she said no, he helped them with medication. However, she had less miscarriages and hadn’t tried the medication. We tried it once, in the middle of an already failing pregnancy, not in the beginning when your supposed to. It was such a frustrating appointment. My OB did give me another name of a fertility specialist she really likes. So Im going to get a second appointment if my next one is like this one.

We also found out my husbands sister is pregnant. When we told his dad we were pregnant his response, “Again?!” with this tone… but of course her news was his best birthday present. Yeah, be happy for the couple that the male hadn’t worked for years, is addicted to doing marijuana alllll the time, has admittedly lived off the government and confessed that living off the government got them more money then working did, thus the reason she quit her job. In fairness, we haven’t talked to them in over a year, because of the crappy way they treated us, she couldn’t bother to email or write her brother while he was in a war zone, not even a facebook message, either deployment, but could ask me to try to search for a photo that I took years ago. Heres your brother, life on the line, fighting for his country, and you cant take two seconds of your time to shoot him a damn email, or leave a comment on his page, or send him a note, but you can harass me over a photo? Yes. Family values run strong in that line. She had done nothing but manipulate and use us when we were living physically within a driving distance, so needless to say I wasn’t happy. My sister is also pregnant, again. She also lives off the state. Its an interesting place to be in when your siblings can have babies, who do drugs, live in horrible conditions, live off welfare, medical insurance paid for by my tax money, eat their food by my tax money, and overall aren’t nice people but yet when you try and try you end up in disappointment after disappointment. It really sucks.

In addition I have been having a really really hard time lately. I mean, horrific. My counselor said Im depressed, you think? I hate my life. HATE my life. And I hate living. Every single day. I make sure I don’t hang out with people and when I do its far and few between because I don’t want to bring anyone down. Plus everyone knows I talk too much. Im annoying. Im negative. Im self centered. Blah. It doesn’t matter how hard I try people still find ways to either talk shit about me, spread horrible lies (the recent ones are pretty damn hilarious. If your going to hate me hate me for something I did, or have balls to talk to me to my face. I have NEVER in my life blackmailed anyone/anything and if you think I did you apparently don’t know the FACTS of what really happened. Of course not, it would all be third person now wouldn’t it.) and the feeling of being left out is well… Let us not talk about the classless and immature behavior of making sure people know they weren’t included. It is not even high school at that point, its fucking elementary school. Im having a party and your not invited, nananana. Really? How old are we?! Classy people don’t invite people, or follow up on invitations around others that were not invited. Yeah, never said (a majority) of military spouses are classy did we?

To say I am depressed is an understatement. Thank goodness for school. If it wasn’t for the thirty hours a week I am sitting in a class room learning about crime, politics, and defining people’s behaviors and actions I would seriously be wasting away in my bed. It is that much of a chore to get up and going. I am enjoying the fact that all but one of my classes are discussion based: tons of homework and projects, but discussion led. That gives me some human interaction where I don’t have to try to be social.

The gist of the matter is don’t feel like Im ignoring you. I don’t know how to put it, Im ignoring myself. I would rather not put myself out there to be spit on, stomped upon and discarded. So, don’t take it personally. I barely talk to my husband. One night of socializing drains my energy for weeks. Plus every time I sit there and think about everything that went wrong and how I did this this and this wrong, and how even though I tried to engage x, y, or z into conversation they obviously didn’t want to talk or were bored by me.

Im tired of putting myself out there. Actually truth be told Im just plain tired. Tired of waking up, tired of living, tired of day after day of torture. I am tired. No matter what I do it is never good enough, no matter how I act or what I say its twisted and turned. Im fed up of all of it. I just wish I could throw in the towel, but in life, its not that easy. You cant just write your resignation letter and be done. So, Ill keep getting up in the morning, doing what I do, and go to bed at night until my days are done. Pretty much that’s all I can do. I really really really hate my life.

And yes you can say Im bitching but what am I doing to change it? Give me a fucking break. Ive done everything possible to change it, including counseling, school, work, exercise, putting myself out there, being honest and real with people, changing my views and looking at things in a positive light. Guess what? Doesn’t fucking work, nothing does. So don’t tell me to quit bitching. You are welcome to have my life at anytime. When you realize you do not have a single place on earth you feel physically and emotionally safe, not a single one, when you realize you don’t have a single person who honest to God loves you and wouldn’t quickly move on and replace you, when you know your broken and the physical aspects everyone else enjoys cant happen, when you come to the point where every goal, every plan you had you know can never hit fruition, when the only thing in life that you have ever ever wanted, a family, is denied you, when you realize that you’re a horrible human being unworthy of being loved you just live. One day at a time. Because that’s all you can do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am writing from my phone, Im in bed and too lazy to go get my laptop. All I can hear right now are voices. Voices some mine some others. They are ringing loud and clear in my head.

"You are so ugly."
"Look how fat you are."
"You will never belong."
"You are incapable of ever being loved."
"I wish I had never met you."
"I wish I had never adopted you."
"She was a waste of time and space."
"Why don't you just kill yourself."
"I wish you had died and Jen had lived."
"You don't matter."
"Why are you still here?"
"Your not invited."
"God your stupid."
"No one wants you here. Go home. Oh they don't want you either."
"What's wrong with you?"
"Can't you do anything right?"

It could go on and on. Some nights all I really want is to spare those people unfortunate enough to be in my life from me. Breaking friendships, relationships just to be alone so they aren't stuck being near me. There are nights where I wish I had never made the promise to never take my own life. Well, there are more of those nights then not. I feel like a living walking freak of nature and laws of the universe. Like I know I shouldn't be alive. Hell I've died before. I feel cursed and I feel unlovable. I just really wish I didn't feel as alone as I do and as different. Socially orphaned, physically incapable of the things others have and do.

When you've been abandoned and abused your left to wonder what's next for me. Why am I still here. Then you find a meaning and its taken away and so is the next and the next you start to stop believing in hopes or dreams, you stop reaching for the future. Because it becomes a waiting game for what trial and pain will be next. The pain and the hits keep coming.

Depression is like an emotional cancer that hits remission over and over.
hell what do I know Im not even sure they'll say Im depressed this time either.

All I know is Im tired of life. I see no hope in the future. No matter how I try it never works out. I try to make things better I make them worse. I don't know why I try anymore. I hate myself, my life and its no surprise everyone else hates me as well. I know I was born being hated. Even my own mother tried killing me, the one person who was supposed to love and protect me couldn't stand the sight of me. Why would anyone else. Its hard when people convince themselves of it, until they wake up one day and recognize what I've said all along. You don't love me, you never did.

Voices keeping me awake tonight. Haunting my soul.

Makes me wonder why I was even born. Gods social experiment on how much pain a person can feel before their pushed off a ledge? Im not even sure I believe a God exists.

Cold, dark, damp earth hugging the remains of the physical shell that once a soul was housed in. Is that death? and if so why does that sound better than this alternative?

Im going to try to sleep, try to not let the voices or nightmares haunt my dreams.tomorrow is a new day,tomorrow I get to shell out a lot of money to pay someone to actually listen to me. Not that anything I say matters.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Don’t Underestimate an Elephant

Elephants are my favorite animals; cemented by the fact that every time I learn more about them I like them more. My husband and I spent today at the Denver Zoo. The zookeeper’s large animal show was crate training of elephants. The zoo has built a multimillion-dollar new exhibit where the two elephants will be moving to. In order to move them they are going to have to put them inside of a crate, tethered, using a crane lift and transport them.

The keepers showed us how they are training them, much like I did our German Shepherds, to learn to like and use their crates. In fact one of the elephants reminded me of my female with her behavior over and over.

Why do I like elephants so much? For one thing they are very much under appreciated. It is the lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and bears that get the most attention at zoos. Elephants are smart, loyal and strong.

Elephants in the wild are found in small family groups led by a matriarchal female. The families are made up of several generations and often have several other family groups near by. When elephants meet up at watering holes they are very affectionate to the other elephants. When an orphaned elephant is found, another lactating or multiple lactating females adopt the baby; they don’t leave it to die. Elephants are attentive and good mothers keeping their young with them for years, and then often the younger elephants stay within the same gamily group.

Elephants are very social. They often caress, touch and interlock tusks.

Elephants, unlike many pack animals, do not leave the weak or old behind. In fact it has been observed that a mother elephant, after her daughter died, tried for hours to lift her back onto her feet and back to life. No, elephants gather around the weak and the old, they protect them and keep them safe.

Elephants are ridiculously strong. They can carry trees and crush human’s bones beneath their feet yet they walk on their toes like ballerinas. Elephants are the largest animals on earth currently. Elephants can live to be 80 years old. They are gentle, committed, loyal, and have strong communication skills.

Are you sold yet? When I look at elephants I see a magnificent animal. I don’t see a fat animal; I don’t see an ugly animal. What I see is an underestimated, unappreciated beautifully magnificent animal. That is exactly why they are my favorite of all animals.

There are many people walking around this world right now who insides do not match their outsides. Who might not realize their own strengths or their own inner powers? Sometimes, I wonder if I am not the elephant in the group. Not the lion, tiger, bear, giraffe, or monkey. Not the prettiest or the most flashy, but sometimes strength is not recognized until it is no longer contained but unleashed.