I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

Archive for November, 2014

A late giving of Thanks

I have fallen off the NaBloPoMo wagon this weekend. I hate to make excuses, but my wi-fi has not been working well and I have a sick chicken. But it was a good holiday. And I’m thankful for more things than I could possibly name. But I’ll try to highlight a few, in no particular order.

My husband, who provides for all of us, who puts up with more than he should have to, who mostly gives me whatever I want (even when it’s a third dog or illegal chickens), who cleaned the house with the kids over the past few days, and who makes all my stuff work.

My kids, who are my greatest blessings. Yes, they have their struggles, but they’re with me and they’re healthy.

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All the pets. My life wouldn’t be the same without them. I honestly don’t know how anyone lives without a dog in their life.

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My friends, who make me get out of my own head and out of my house once in awhile. I’m especially grateful for the girls who have known me for longer than I care to admit and who never think of me as “Mrs. Sea”.

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(so many pics I could have put here, ultimately went with one where I looked good too)

I’m grateful that all the things I complain about regularly are just first world problems and not real problems. Yes slow wi-fi and never-ending laundry are annoying. And I wish my boots were warmer and my gloves insulated. But I have a sturdy roof over my head, running water and electricity, a full fridge, and more clothes than one person needs. I am fortunate and I’m thankful, even when I’m yelling at the computer or have chilly fingers.

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Never ending laundry

I’m grateful for my health. I do whine about it more often then I should, but ultimately I’m lucky that everything that’s ever gone wrong has been more annoying and uncomfortable than actually dangerous. And the one time there was something dangerous I was too young and dumb to realize it. I’m lucky my body has put up with me so well for so long 🙂

I’m thankful for every person who stops by to read my little entries, you keep me going and make me want to try harder to be interesting and entertaining.
Tomorrow is Christmas tree decorating at our house, so I’m off to bed. But here’s a funny little story before I go: my husband’s mom told us to get Cards Against Humanity for his 89 year old grandmother. For those of you who have played, I don’t need to explain why this is a bad idea. For those of you who haven’t, a picture:

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Late night

It’s 2AM and I’m in bed and I realized I didn’t write anything today. It kinda got away from me I guess. I took Alex to his psychiatrist appointment and it was so nice to finally work with a person who gets me! She’s been my psychiatrist for almost 15 years, so she knows all about Alex, and knows that I understand autism, and that I really work hard at understanding psych meds and how they work. She doesn’t feel the need to explain everything to me all the time. Such a relief! And she works with other developmentally disabled adults, so she gets that piece of the puzzle too. And she’s IN TOWN! Finally no more 3 hour trips to Sioux Falls! Such a relief to have that burden gone. There’s just no way to make that convenient. I’m very happy with this arrangement. It’s nice to have something going right for Alex for a change. Yay!
And I’m not hosting a large Thanksgiving! Just our family! So I can stay in pajamas all day, and try new things. This year I’m doing a Turkey breast in the slow cooker. I hope it’s good. I know it will be moist, I just worry that it will cross the line to mushy, but I think it will be ok. I do mashed potatoes in the slow cooker too (I have two), very easy way to get them done without much effort.
I’m thankful for a lot of things this year,but I’m tired, so I’ll tell you about them tomorrow.
Missouri is still on my mind today, as my sister in Jefferson City worries about her husband getting called out for the national guard (so far he’s stayed at home in Jeff. issuing body armour and other tactical gear) and a march on the governor’s mansion is planned. Hopefully all will be peaceful and they’ll have a normal Thanksgiving with my parents. Found these lyrics today. So sad, but so telling!
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/billie+holiday/strange+fruit_20017859.html

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Cranky old lady

I’m having trouble finding any focus today.
The day started with a call from my daughter’s teacher. Apparently she attempted to forge my signature on a behavior slip yesterday rather than show it to me. My signature is illegible, but still distinctly mine so her teacher caught her. And then she talked back to him again. I don’t know what’s gotten into her, but I am NOT happy. She’s also been tardy 18 times this year which is ridiculous as we live right by her school. I’m pretty sure the problem with that is the neighbors: they live next door but they don’t walk. I have no idea why, the parking in front of our school is riduculous. It’s actually faster to walk, but the girls next door don’t so she doesn’t want to either. Drives me crazy. I don’t know what’s up with the behavior. I know she doesn’t really like her teacher, and that none of her friends are in her class, but she’s never been rude or disrespectful before. I think I will check in with the pediatrician about her medication, but she shouldn’t really need an increase yet. It’s a bit disturbing. But she got herself grounded all weekend, so maybe that will help change her tune. I hate to admit it, but I’m kind of annoyed with my neighbor about this one too. Audrey was supposed to have a different teacher this year, but my neighbor requested her and requested that Audrey not be in her daughter’s class (my neighbor shouldn’t piss off her friends if she doesn’t want me to know things) so we got moved to our current teacher at the last minute. And really it’s fine, she’s learning and her grades are good, she’s just bored. I’m not excusing her behavior at all, I just wonder if we’d be in this situation with a more dynamic teacher. But my neighbor complains A LOT, so when she asks for something, she usually gets it. Thankfully they aren’t in dance this year, so at least that’s fun to go to again.  I wonder when I became this person who gets caught up in neighborhood drama? It’s certainly not what I intended for myself. Another thing that makes me wonder if that’s why I’ve become so reclusive? Because the whole “mama drama” (as my other neighbor puts it) thing really isn’t me so I just hide in my house.

I did go out last night, with our friend from out of town and his wife. My husband and another couple went too. It was mostly fun. It was definitely nice to see our friend who I haven’t seen in person since 2004 I think. He was just leaving for his graduate program then, now he has his PhD and does something with computers that no one else understands, and of course makes a ton of money. I always said that he would be the one person we knew that would get rich, so that’s fun. We were reminded of our friend that we lost back in 2008 to suicide, and of our friend who moved and has basically cut himself off from the rest of us, which is sad too. But the reminiscing was nice, and the catching up was fun. I sort of wish my one friend had stayed home though. She just doesn’t know when to not talk! or when to let conversations be about someone else. And she’s a mental health professional!!! Our friendship is one of those that worked very well when I was younger and partied a lot, and was fine from a distance too, but now that she lives here again I kind of question how much we really have in common still. But maybe that’s just me too. I am a bit of a cranky old lady.
Tomorrow is my son’s first appointment with his new psychiatrist, who is also my psychiatrist. I’m glad for the change, but I wish the appointment wasn’t in the morning!

Compassion is painful. That’s how you know it’s working.

I heart the bloggess

The Bloggess

I’m sad about last night for a lot of reasons.  And if you are human, and allow yourself to be so, then you probably are too.  Maybe it’s the verdict that upset you, or the destruction afterwards, or the long and difficult path that has led us here and has shown us we have so much further to go before we get to the place where we want to be…a place where kindness and compassion and vulnerability are the things which can be lauded and seen and encouraged and felt.  Or maybe, like me, you’re upset about all of those things and you feel too defeated to want to care anymore.

But if you’re like me, you can’t switch those emotions off.  It’s so much easier to turn those feelings of vulnerability and hurt into a shield of rage.  Rage feels powerful and strong.  It feels good.  And rage is important.  But…

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It’s a nice place to visit

I don’t know if I have the words to say what I want to say right now. I don’t know if I ever will. Missouri is my home, it’s where I grew up and it’s where my family still is. They aren’t in St. Louis, thank goodness. My church headquarters is in St. Louis. There’s a joke about St. Louis being Mecca if you’re an LC-MS Lutheran (which is probably insensitive, now that I think about it). It is painful to watch a place I call home explode again. But I don’t know that I would call it unexpected. Missouri is a segregated state. It’s cities were built with black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods “safe” distances apart on purpose. De-segregating Kansas City schools was a topic that was making local news when I was a kid in the ’80’s. I grew up less than an hour from Kansas City and there were no black people in our town for most of my life. And most people thought the N-word was a perfectly acceptable term. There is a lot of rural Missouri that is still like that, and I would guess that urban Missouri isn’t as removed from that kind of thinking as they would like to believe. Maybe I’m wrong, I know there are exceptions. My parents are an exception. My dad was born in 1929. He remembers black people using seperate entrances to homes and stores, but he also made African American students feel welcome on his college campus and in our home, and was encouraging about a Black man I dated. My mother was one of the first white people to attend a historically black university in Jefferson City. Not everyone who grows up there grows up intolerant and afraid. But a lot of people do (part of me is wanting to unfriend my cousin on Facebook right now) so it’s not a huge surprise to find out statistics like these: http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing
Of course people are angry. I would guess that they have been angry for generations. How long can people feel left out, in a place that is supposed to be their home, before they say “enough”? Before they rise up in anger?  Missouri has been this way a long time. St. Louis is an old city, one that proudly flew the Confederate flag. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back there. I’m sad to see business owners hurt, and innocent people frightened. I’m sad for this family who lost their son and didn’t get any answers. I’m sad that another generation will grow up not trusting the police to “protect and serve”. I hope very much that all of the sadness in Missouri right now will eventually lead to some real change. I’m not sad that I no longer live there.

Blech

I have a lot on my mind today, but my stomach really hurts so I think it will have to wait until tomorrow to find it’s way to the page. I think I have PMS. It happens once in awhile, because I still have the one ovary, but it always kind of sneaks up on me. I regret not having the other ovary removed. It’s had a cyst on it twice that we know of, and they hurt. And I still have insomnia and hot flashes too, so I don’t know that I gained much by keeping it to avoid menopause. But I’m stuck with it for the time being, so I’ll try to suck it up.

I actually agreed to go somewhere tomorrow night. Out to dinner with a friend of ours that is in town for the holiday this week. So far I actually want to go even though another couple is going as well (and one of them is my friend who has asked about Thanksgiving repeatedly even though she knows I don’t want to host). I don’t know if I’ll still want to go tomorrow, but right now I’m actually looking forward to it which is a nice change of pace for me.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6145156?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046&ir=Women
I came across this in my news feed today and it’s so spot on. Someone has said all of those things to me, because mental illness doesn’t look like other illnesses. And sometimes I wonder if that’s why I’ve withdrawn so much in the last year. I don’t want to be told to try harder, or that nothing is really wrong with me because I look fine. I don’t want to have to explain myself. I’m not unwilling to share about my bipolar disorder if people are interested but I don’t think I should have to justify it either.

Anyway, going to put my yucky stomach to bed.

To The PTA Moms at My Son’s School

I am not really writing my own post today, because I am tired and itchy and my stomach hurts. (I’m allowed a whiny day once in a while.) I stumbled on this post today and I really enjoyed it. I can’t even imagine how challenging her situation must be. I know so little about transgender people, and gender identity struggles that I have no idea if I’m using the terms correctly. But this mom has done what all of us moms do when our kids are faced with challenges: she’s educated herself and worked hard to make her child as happy and successful as possible. I’m impressed she even bothered with PTA, because I never did with Alex. PTA activities aren’t designed with Special Needs kids in mind, and I’m uncomfortable being noticed and/or stared at if my kid is struggling. So I just wrote PTA off. Audrey of course thinks I should be more involved at her school, but there’s a part of me that thinks why should PTA have things to offer for one child but not the other? So I don’t attend carnival or movie night, and I don’t volunteer for health fair or picture day. Maybe I’m just stuck up? Then I remember that my son’s high school has a “special ed hallway” where his classroom, the resource room, the behavior disorder room, and the fundamentals classes are held, and I don’t feel to guilty.
Anyway, enjoy this mom’s rebuttal to other PTA and school parents. I know I did.

Raising My Rainbow

Last week I published a blog post about things said during a PTA meeting I attended at my youngest son’s school. I wanted to shine a light on the homophobic, transphobic, insensitive, hateful and hurtful things that some moms said during the meeting and show that as far as we have come in LGBTQ acceptance and equality, there is still much work to be done. And sometimes that work needs to be done in heavy doses at places much closer to home than we’d like.

Almost immediately, PTA moms from our school started commenting, messaging and reacting viscerally on social media.

As they did, I stared at the PTA tagline: Every child, One voice. I’m not convinced that our PTA as a whole cares about every child and some of the voices I heard that night are not voices I want speaking on behalf of my child. That being said…

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