Thursday, December 31, 2015

365 days

So much can happen in the amount of time it takes for the earth to return to the same point around the sun.  So just for the craziness of it all, let's just take a very simplistic look at my year.

Engaged, sick, physically disabled, depressed, unemployable.-->moved to women's shelter, broke up with ex, enforced no contact, traveled across Canada--> healthy, physically strong, happy, employed and following my dreams.

Yep, that's pretty much it.  I kicked this year's ass. It was crazy and full of heartbreak, fear and uncertainty. I came out of it stronger than I've ever been.  I am truly looking forward to each day.  Each morning I wake up to legs that work, children cuddling around me and no one to answer to but myself.

I don't need to think of next year and what it will be like. I don't live in my future anymore because finally my present is a beautiful place to be.



New Years

Sometimes when I read some romantic meme on Facebook, I forget that I have chosen to be single this New Years.   Sometimes I miss... I was going to name all this stuff about cuddling and sharing experiences but I get all that from my kids and friends,when really, I miss sex.  I miss the connection, the oneness that enfolds myself and my lover.  That's what I miss.   But I do not want another relationship where the main thing that holds it together, despite many flaws, is sexual attraction. Not to say there weren't other good parts of the relationship, but I know now that I was having more make-up sex then I love you sex, and that was a problem.

I have called it being picky, but really, it is about feeling that I have not healed enough from my last relationship, so I'm scared of the next one. I do not want to invest years of my life into something unhealthy and damaging.  How fair would it be to my next partner, if I brought my damage with me? All my pain and fear?  I know what it's like to have to hold up someone who has not dealt with their own pain (this is a pattern in my relationships, I am totally Ms. fix it) it was draining to me and disempowering to my lovers as well.

So I read this meme about how there are 45 days until Valentines and I will probably not have anyone to kiss then either, and a little part of me said, hmmmm, maybe there will be someone to kiss.

I have hope, I have hope because I have been growing in leaps and bounds since my last relationship. I feel happier, more confident, healthier and free.  Who knows, I might just feel like I got all my shit together enough to put myself out there in the dating scene.

Or I may just stay home, order chinese and try not to slop it all over the Terry Pratchett novel I'll be reading on the couch.  Either way, win/win.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Spirit of Santa

Kids came back from their father's just beaming about their sleepover at their cousin's house.
"But one bad thing did happen..." They suddenly looked very unhappy. "Daddy told us there's no Santa and that we weren't getting gifts from him anymore.  We didn't get any on Christmas."
To put this into perspective, my son is 8, my daughter, who is 10, was on the cusp on non-believeing, I think next year she would have come to the conclusion herself, but still kept it from her brother.

I told them that yes, Santa did exist. Santa was the spirit that inhabited the men who would drop off gifts at their neighbour's door not wanting recognition, just wanting to spread joy.  Everyone of these bundled up men pulled in sleighs giving out gifts were Santa.  Soon more people were inspired by and eventually filled with Santa's spirit and wished to give gifts with nothing in return but the warm feeling of generosity.  Parents gave to children, neighbour's to eachother, the image of Santa changed and became more detailed and eventually became the jolly heavy man in a coat in all those books, movies and commercials.  I said we can keep the spirit of Santa alive in our Solstice practice.  We agreed excitedly to make and drop off gifts at people's homes with a Santa tag on it so that they would never know.

Then my son came into my room and we cuddled.  "You seemed sad about the Santa news, you want to talk about it?"
"Daddy told me at the dinner table infront of everybody." He said.
"How did that make you feel?"
"Like he didn't care if he embarrassed me."
"You felt embarrassed?"
"Yeah, he said it like it was obvious."
"So you're embarrassed you believed in Santa?"
"Yeah."
At this point I had to hold back both anger and tears, but I took a deep breath, held on to his shoulders looked him in the eye and said:
"Never be ashamed of believeing that wonderful magical things can happen.  You are just like me, we have big imaginations and we truly believe in good things and good people.  This is a great personality trait to have.  It makes us creative. It makes us kind.  This is part of what makes us awesome.  You understand?"  And he nodded, genuinely smiled and kissed me on the lips.


Monday, December 28, 2015

I think this is what forgiveness feels like



So I recieved some info about my ex's actions at the end of our relationship that left me feeling hurt and very angry.  I wrote so many blog posts and erased them.  I knew I wasn't working through my pain in my writing, I was building it up like a bonfire.  Believe it or not, there are many things that I leave out, details I do not share.  There is a line between sharing emotional growth through experience and exacting revenge. That line can be found in your emotions when you are writing. I never purposely post something I wrote in anger.  blogging was not working for me so I headed to Facebook and started a status.  I wrote and erased repeatedly. What am I suppose to be learning from this situation? I asked myself.  Because what I really wanted to do was expose his hurtful actions, But I knew that was an awful thing to do, then I thought: It's pain that is making me want to lash out like this.  Suddenly I knew exactly what lesson today had to bring and I wrote it as a status:

I'm beginning to see what emotional pain can cause people to do.  Those in severe pain will use whatever means necessary to escape it, even if it hurts the people they love.  Blame is often thought of as the cure for the horrible pain of guilt. Acceptance  and self forgiveness is the only long lasting relief.  May all of you in pain find solace.  May the incessant loneliness that haunts you be replaced with the knowledge that you are not alone.  May you see that you have an inherent goodness that cannot be blemished by any act. May you look into the sky and realize that you are the product of millions of years of serendipitous reactions and mutations, or to put it in simpler terms: a miracle.

Looking back on our whole relationship from this mindframe, it makes so much sense.  I no longer take on anything he did to us as a measure of our worth to him.  Every hurtful word, every manipulation it all came from pain.  Over time my reactions came from pain as well. Towards the end,  I began to come from a space of love for myself and my children, I didn't want pain/fear of pain to rule my decisions anymore. I can't imagine how horrible he must have felt knowing that we were willing to face the risk of homelessness and poverty rather than continue to live with him.  I still stand by all my decisions to enforce no contact, however, I think this is what forgiveness feels like.

Compassion, compassion was the real last lesson.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

the pen is mightier than the penis

I messaged a friend tonight.  I was all in a tizzy.  I wanted to be in a relationship again.  I wanted it a lot.  He talked me off the relationship edge.  God bless him.

The holidays will do that, make you want to hunker down with a certain special someone.  Which is fine if you have already met, dated and feel you have someone who suits you.  But to have this I want a relationship feeling with no particular person in mind let alone know well enough to commit to, well that is just plain dangerous.

This kind of desire can lead to the lowering of standards.  Which I have been working very hard to avoid.  But then I listened to myself.  What is it I am really desiring?  Passion.  I have been stumbling around trying to find that thing that really does it for me, that isn't a person.

It's been here all along, offering me solace.  Available at all hours of the night.  My writing.  Crisis averted.  No jumping into a commitment for me, no scanning the room for potential dates, nope.  Just me and whichever writing utensil is closest.

Thank you to my friend who put things into perspective for me.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Writing, Addiction and Joy

So I was out tonight enjoying a half pint and live music, but something else was calling me... I wanted to write.  I write while I'm out quite often.  But I wanted in my bedroom quiet time writing.  Like when I was a kid and I'd put on pink Floyd and just escape into my own world for hours.  I loved writing, I could create any world I wanted and step right into it.  It was beyond magical.  It was god-like.

Journaling has been a fantastic tool for self discovery and growth.  But maybe I am ready to move back into my fiction. Write everyday, I kept reading in books.  I believed it in theory, but here I am moving forward.  When I was 18 I thought I lost my ability to write stories for good.

I had a crystal meth addiction as a young adult. I wrote extensively high as a kite.  I often got great marks in my creative writing course as well.  Problem is this: drugs give to you creatively, don't let anyone tell you differently, but when you quit... They take.  They take what they gave and then they take everything else.  Any scrap of talent you had, gone. I gained my weight back, I caught up on my sleep after weeks of being awake, but no matter how hard I tried my plots fell flat, my characters lacked substance.  Your brain builds new synapsis when you repeatedly do a task while high, the problem is the synapsis that allowed you to complete those tasks sober, they whither and die.

Imagine quitting a drug and one of your main coping mechanisms (your art) is no longer there for you.  People wonder why musicians often return to their addictions, this is why.  Ever seen a newly sober musician struggle on stage, this is why.  To quit your drug can essentially mean quitting  your  career and letting go of what has defined you for years.

So after years of here and there writing in the form of lyrics and poems, I moved into journaling and now for the next stage, my fiction.

I never could have rediscovered my passion and talent without the insane amount of loss and pain I suffered at the beginning of this year.

Thank you all for being with me on this journey. Thank you all for your support.  I am living my joy again.  I am whole.

Friday, December 25, 2015

WARNING: TMI tongue in cheek. Read at Own Risk

Making a list of all the awesome things about being alone for a few days at Christmas.

1. Peeing with the bathroom door open.  Why? You ask, because I can.
2. Not having to turn my fan on high to hide the sound of my vibrator.
3. Singing at the top of my lungs. Everywhere.
4. Not having to put on clothes to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night also see #1
5. Eating what I want and not needing to set a good nutritional example for my children.  I ate pie for 3 out of my four meals today.
6. Dancing all around the house, sometimes like pee wee Herman
7. Game of thrones marathon where I'm not wondering if my face is as blank as I'm trying to make it be because I'm watching naked people have sex on tv while sitting next to my roommate.
8. No one reading over my shoulder while I write asking me: "What's a vibrator?"
9. Deciding to leave in 10 minutes and then actually leaving in 10 minutes.
10. Deciding to leave in 10 minutes, then not going anywhere at all.
11. Spending several minutes flexing my muscles infront of the big mirror at the bottom of the stairs.
12. Knowing I could have obnoxiously loud sex and not embarrass my roommate or wake my kids, not that I will, just that I could if I wanted to.

So Close

I'm so close to being ready to open up my heart again.
I can taste it in the back of my throat,
The readiness, not my heart.
My heart isn't in my throat anymore.
But what I want is on the tip of my tongue,
Trying to avoid the spot that tastes bitter.
The problem is I am a romantic
I see every opportunity as a sign
OPEN
I see every prolonged glance
As a connection
But a glance is more like a brush with something
Not a true connection
Or so my literal self tells me
I don't know exactly what I want
It's been so long since
There was such a selection
Since I ordered for myself a flavour never tasted
I imagine what each will taste like
As if my imagination will do it justice,
Or save me from another bad taste left in my mouth.


Christmas Not So alone

So, as described earlier, I have no kids or romantic partner I am spending today (the 25th of December if the date somehow is not working on the blog) with.  I am starting this blog by typing in the bathroom because I can.  Because no one is going to knock on the door while I'm in here.  I'm just going to bask in that for the next paragraph or so.

I tried to stay up late last night reading, but given that I was exhausted from a busy day at work and had two glasses of champagne in me, I was asleep by 11:30.  Then of course I couldn't sleep in past 8.  Which was fine, I spent an hour looking up my dreams on dream interpretation websites, just to confirm what I already knew.  Nothing like a dream interpretation ego boost to get you going in the morning.

My roommate headed out the door shortly after I got downstairs.  There was a combined gift from my good friend and a wise woman who helped me clear out my storage.  Pickled milk thistle (which I will be trying tonight) and an inspirational quote that so suits where I am in life.  I was looking for my headphones for my hike and I saw them... beautiful arm warmers from Willowfern.  And a note from my roommate saying:  in case you did not know....Arm warmers.  They were beautiful.  The colours were great.  I totally hesitated picking them up.  They didn't have my name on them... Are they really for me?  I wondered.  I was scared to pick them up.  What if they are really for someone else?  I left the room and did a few things then came back to look at them.  No one else lives here. I had to tell myself.  They are for you.  Then I got all teary.

Why did I hesitate?  Because I have not had close friends in half a decade.  No one aside from my children or occasionally Scott, left me gifts.  That's not to say my family never gives me gifts...just not little surprises.  I'm not used to so much kindness and giving in my life from friends.  For many
years I collected acquaintances.  I had a friend/business partner but we were both very busy women and tried to catch up the best we could on our way to teaching classes.  Another friend and I have drifted apart since my break-up, the truth is though, cultivating friendships was simply not something I had any energy left for.  Until a few months ago.

So on my way to my hike I stopped by my friend's for a visit, which turned into chatting for over an hour.  Then halfway down Hunters Bay Trail I turned around and started walking back.  Something said you need to head home. As soon as I came in  I checked my Facebook and saw that another friend was having a singalong at her place for those who don't have family with them this Christmas, so I thought,why not?  And headed over there just in time for it to start.

Some people are just so warm and welcoming they put you right at ease.  In fact I was so at ease (I think the glass or two of wine I drank may have had something to do with this) that I attempted The Immigrant Song  on Karaoke.    So much fun.  I am so grateful to them for putting out that invitation.

I left and unlocked my door to my empty quiet home and took a moment to listen to the ticking clock.
I called my dad and mom when I got home to wish them a merry Christmas.  It's going on 7pm and I have a glass of bubbly wine started and the big question on my mind is: Which book am I going to risk dropping in the bathtub tonight?  I'm thinking Game of Thrones.

I'm finishing off my dinner of cherry pie.  Kind of wishing that I was having sex tonight; I ovulated today so I know this is simply a hormonal thing that will pass and be followed by bloating and sore swollen boobs that will make me feel the opposite of sexy.  So there you have it, Christmas without family or a romantic partner need not be a horrible experience.  Put time and effort into friendships, into finding what gives you joy and watch as everyday can be fulfilling, even the ones our society puts such high expectations on.

Merry Christmas, may all my friends and family find their light within.






Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

I always felt that this song was such a let-down.  Here I am facing the very predicament as outlined in the song.   My children spend the 24th through 30th at their father's,  usually Scott was off work at that time and we would make plans to distract us from the silence of the house.  Obviously, this year, there will be no Scott and I am not working that week.   I agreed to work late into the 24th thinking that I had no other plans for Christmas, a couple of friends will be coming over for Christmas Eve dinner.  Which will be great.  My father called the other day to invite me to his place just outside of Toronto for the 25th, but that would mean leaving right after work, no dinner with friends and arriving in Toronto late Christmas Eve night...  Though I would love to spend the evening of the 25th with my mom, dad, Alice and my nephew, it seems like a stressful way to spend Christmas Eve.  There's something else too,  I think I'm meant to spend this time on my own.

I don't quite know how to explain it,  I'll try in a point form list sort of way (which I seem to be liking lately):
- Facing uncomfortable situations has always left me feeling stronger and wiser.
- One of the reasons we stay in relationships that are unhealthy is the fear of being alone,  well I want to look that fear in the eye until the illusion fades and I realize it never had eyes to begin with.
-I want the feeling of freedom, all by myself freedom.
-I want to catch up on reading.
-I want to create!
-I want to meditate on what I want for this year.
-I want to study for my G1
-I want to work on my fundraiser.
-I want to go out of town one night and hang out with a friend or two.
-I want to scrub a bathroom uninterrupted.

So, yes I may be spending the day of the 25th alone (one friend may be popping by that evening). But I'll be reading books, crocheting blankets, colouring, writing,  taking a long bath, sipping bubbly and practising yoga.   I may even go for a long hike with my earphones/muffs singing along to my iPad playlist.  I was feeling a little sorry for myself a few days ago, but that is because I forgot how blessed I am.  Christmas is about new life, new beginnings.  I have now set myself up to be able to do anything with my future.  My family knows I love them, I know they love me.  We will get together again, I know it.

So I'll be home for Christmas, I'll be at home in myself.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Time Flew By

Today was the first time I thought back to my relationship with my ex and truly felt it was A while ago, that realization of wow those 5 and a half years really flew by.   It really felt like a chunk of the past, something completely separate from my now.  Maybe the term I am looking for is compartmentalized.  It felt so freeing.  

I dreamt last night that I saw crazy waves in the ocean, (the images curtesy of lake Eerie Facebook photos I'm sure) they were watched from afar though.  I felt no fear of them.  I just let them be, I turned and let that ocean be exactly what it wanted to be as I walked away.  The waves would no longer overtake me, I was in no danger of drowning.  I can see now, that I am not responsible for my ex's choices, feelings or where he is in life right now.  I was feeling so much guilt, but then I realized, just like me, he made the choices he thought were best for him.  He is where he is because of his choices just like I am where I am because of mine.  We did not make these choices for eachother.  I can't believe how long it took me to step out of that mind frame.  But I am so glad I did.

I've come to realize that my guilt was the result of an overestimation of how much power I truly have over another's choices and actions...

I guess I was done learning lessons analyzing my past, now onto the lessons from analyzing my "now".

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Last Lesson

We were fighting in my dream, he knew he shouldn't be talking to me.  He knew he shouldn't be in my house.  I hit him with a book and it scratched his face.  I felt horrible and went to get something to help it heal.  Then I turned to him and said: can't we just be done?  And the utter emotional exhaustion I felt took over. The ceiling opened up and the sun was shining through.  It was almost noon and I wondered does this mean I'm only halfway done getting over him?  Or that this is my realization?  My subconscious is begging my brain to stop analyzing.  That I've figured out enough, I have learned every lesson I can and it's time to let go.

I saw some of his family members the other night, I barely felt any negativity, just an anxious twinge that went away as soon as it came. So the dreams from the night before were my old belief systems crashing down, then acceptance of love without fear, then the realization that nothing good is going to come out of more analyzation, there's no more to look into, it's all been examined, every lesson penned and absorbed.

Understanding something does not necessarily mean it won't cause you pain anymore.

That was the last lesson.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Illusions of Strength

Don't be a victim
I was told as a child that the strong stand up for themselves.
I was told as a child that the strong spoke up for themselves.
I was told as a child that the strong don't take shit from people.
You fight to be treated with respect.

So I stood up and faced him, I yelled back and told him I wouldn't take his shit.
Then I felt like I wasn't being a victim, because I fought back.

Everytime I did these things, I victimized myself. I co-created an unhealthy pattern in my relationship.  I allowed things to happen repeatedly under this illusion that as long as I stood up, spoke up and fought for respect, I was being strong.

I wish someone had taught me that standing up for yourself, actually meant standing up and walking away.  Because then the next two lessons would be unnecessary.  

I wish someone had told me that any respect that had to be "fought" for was not respect at all and therefore not worthy of the fight to begin with.

The fighters don't understand the walkers, but the walkers understand that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

9 Tips To Help You Avoid Sex When Healing From Heartbreak

So you may be in that gut-wrenching chest-ripping portion of the break-up, the first moment you realize it's truly over.  I'm not talking about your average break up.  I'm talking about years together, so-comfortable-with-each-other-you-pick-each-others-back-acne relationship termination.  You know rebound sex is a bad idea, you know a rebound relationship is an even worse idea and yet...

Perhaps part of you just needs to feel that closeness.  Maybe you feel sex with someone may make you feel sexy and wanted again.  Maybe you hope it will numb you even if just for a short period of time.  Perhaps your aim is to create jealousy in your ex. Maybe your ovary has just popped an egg into your Fallopian tube...whatever the reason for craving sex, part of you still knows, this is a bad idea.

Here's some tips on avoiding the post break-up sexathon that you'll probably regret later:

1. Don't go out.  Hide in your room.  Generally, sexual partners do not randomly appear at your front door offering themselves. (If you have a thing for delivery guys, you may also need to abstain from pizza and Chinese food). The draw back is that though a mourning period can be healing, too much time alone can be unhealthy.  Invite over a friend that you do not find sexy in the slightest.

2.Don't shave your legs before you go out.  (This will not work if you never shave your legs).  If the idea of scratching up a guy (or gal) with your Christmas tree like limbs turns you off, this may be that   little bit of a show stopper that you need.

3. Leave your room a disgusting mess when heading out to the bar.  Yep, mess up your bed, throw around your granny panties, find old food in the fridge and put it on plates, place it so it can be seen just peaking out from under your bed.  Imagine the look on the hottie's face when you bring him or her back to THAT, while s/he is chatting you up.

4. Imagine that everyone who offers to take you back to THEIR place is a psychotic murderer.  Generally going to a stranger's house the first night you meet them, is not the safest of choices anyways.

5.Erase ex lovers and old friends with benefits numbers from your phone.  If you mean anything to them, they'll get a hold of you in your not so vulnerable future and you can add them to your contacts then.  Same with Facebook.

6. Bring only a little cash if you are intending on going out to the bar, leave the debit and credit card at home.  The less drinking you do, the more able to remember that your legs aren't shaved and your room is a pigsty you will be.  Drink too much and all is lost.

7.Masturbate before you go out to situations in which you will meet potential sexual partners.  Be satisfied. (I can't help but think about Something about Mary as I type this) Never go to the grocery store hungry.

8. Make yourself look unavailable.  Unfortunately the ring finger doesn't seem to work anymore.  However if you are waiting for a friend while out, wearing headphones can discourage mister I'm-desperately-trying-to-make-eye-contact from approaching you.  Also I find music very healing to the broken heart so why not kill two birds with one stone?

9.  The most important and helpful thing I have found for myself is this one: Invest in your friendships.  Hang out with those who remind you of a different kind of loving fulfilment.  Have
dinner parties with them, go to the movies, have coffee, go shopping, start a book club or attend a stitch and bitch.  This friend should not be the fun loving Free spirit I love taking home a different guy every night sort of friend (not that there's anything wrong with that, it may just break down your resolve faster).

So there it is.  I'm going on Seven months rebound-sex free.  There was one close call where I thought maybe I'd like to make out with a guy, but thankfully it didn't happen.   So to any of my fellow highly sexual beings trying to abstain for the sake of fully healing your hearts.  Good luck and watch out for that plate of food sticking out from under your blissfully empty spacious bed.




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Small Luxuries

What I've wanted for Christmas for two years:  2 meters of super soft faux fur material.  I get it, we don't always get what we ask for.  We need to be thankful for what we do get, and I am.  But today, as I stared at the half price sale on the very gift I had been coveting for so long, I felt guilt.  Such a luxury,.  Should I spend the money?  I remembered my mother handing me cash and telling me to get myself something really nice for Christmas.  She had that "I mean it" look on her face.  So I did it.  Man, I have been looking forward to bedtime ever since.

I shall pour myself a cup of peppermint tea, light some candles, listen to music and cuddle up in my new silky soft throw and truly revel in how amazing life is that I can do this.  Eat, Pray, Love was a book I started when I left my ex, and though I have yet to finish it,  I loved how she really took time to nourish her senses, recognizing her self worth through this practise.  She deserved to feel good, she deserved to remind herself of all the good this material world had to offer.  I deserve that too.

So my friends who are also tentatively healing from heartbreak, do something luxurious for yourself. Eat your favourite dessert, buy those comfy pj's, slip on that sexy lingerie under your work clothes, choose the flavoured frothy coffee over your usual, double double.  Make plans that you look forward to.  Fall in love with your life again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Just Fine

Did a YouTube 10 minute body scan to recharge myself.  It started at the top of my head,  and moved it's way down.  When it moved to my chest, I took a moment to focus on my heart. It hurt, my heart really hurt.  But not with missing Scott. It was full of anxiety, shame, it needed reassurance.  So I imagined myself holding it.  I told it that I am sorry it is hurting.  I told it that I don't blame it for loving.  That is was good for it to love.  That I am proud of it for loving so deeply.  I'm not angry at it anymore, and I never should have been.

I missed focussing on the upper legs and a few other spots, however it think I focussed exactly where I needed to.

I loved wholly, I gave myself completely.  This is what my heart does, it is good at it.  I just need to find a chamber for myself in it, and I will be just fine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Joy of Toys

Today I was very mindful of my thoughts, I named them and let them go.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  I also did some silly fun things. When it was quiet and all my chores were done, I took down one of each of the big kid riding toys and rode them all over the store.  I tried to Ollie the spoon toy, but being as I could never ollie a skateboard either, I gave up.  My thighs, arms and core muscles loved the workout.  I'm telling you my fellow bite sized parents: get these toys for your kids, then put your kids to bed early so you can have a fun work out.  I also (accidentally) played dominoes with the lower shelf of the craft section...  

Playing is such an important part of mental and physical health.  How appropriate that I get a toy store job at a time in my life where I need light hearted play.


Monday, November 16, 2015

BEST SURPRISE EVER

I woke up and decided to start a ritual where I list in writing or typing things that I am grateful for.  One of which was that my snot was no longer dark green, which means I'm getting over this cold.  Other list items included my kiddos, getting a new job and friends who help me clear out my storage compartment.

Now filling my storage compartment, I was full of anxiety, fear, guilt and I rushed through it as quickly as possible.  I since have noticed that moving boxes or going through them had give me anxiety, flashing back to trying to pack the house while keeping it spotless, taking care of two kids, trying to figure out how to move boxes around with one arm that kept going limp and vertigo that sent me crashing into walls.  Eventually I gave up, emotionally it became too painful to keep packing my stuff,  there were often arguments with my ex after each packing session, so I figured I'd leave whatever was in the house in the house, if he wanted to pack it and get rid of it he would, if he wanted to pack it and give it to me he would.  Either way, being in that house packing up the last bits of my stuff was too hard to bear.  My mental health was more important than "things".

Flash forward to my roommate moving in, I had so many flashbacks to the anxiety of moving out of my house with Scott, that I hid in my room the majority of the time (I'm sure the fact I was 3 days from my period had something to do with that as well).

So this morning I centered myself.  I breathed deep, did a full body scan, and gave myself permission to feel anything I was going to feel without judgement.  It seemed to work.  Though I was a bit absent minded at first, I did very well.

Now, that said, my meditation is just a small part of this.  Mostly it was the support of the women around me that kept my spirit light.  Two awesome people, nonjudgmental, caring and strong were by my side.  We even took a side trip to see one friend's home.  Which was peaceful and inspiring.  Just what I needed.

I carried over 15 containers and boxes up a flight of twisted stairs.  The least weighing 10 pounds, some weighing 35-40 (I do love my books). I did it joyfully and told my body "I love you" repeatedly and laughed sat the ease of it.  We'll see who's laughing in the morning though.

I went through a few of these containers and one had quite the surprise.  Every year after Christmas Scott and I would go into Christmas Thyme and I would buy some of next year's gifts. I had forgotten this.  So, inside was a Christmas Thyme bag with 3 gifts for each of my kids in it.  I started to cry so hard, I actually fell on my knees and bawled right there on the kitchen floor.  Though we are so much happier living where we are without my ex, there's no denying that we have had to tighten our belts financially.  I was worried that this Solstice they would feel the loss of him more, like the visible decrease in gifts would make them feel sadness about leaving, that I alone could not provide the same joy as I could with him.   Now, with my spending budget, There will be close to the same amount of gifts as they have always had.  I didn't ruin Solstice by leaving.

So to add to my list of what I am grateful for, I am grateful for finding those gifts today.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thanks A lot

One of our family rituals was to sing "thanks a lot" before the kids went to sleep.  As I became increasingly ill, the kids came and sat on my bed to sing it and sometimes I would fall asleep before their bedtime and they would sing it with Scott.

Thanks a lot, is based on Raffi's song, but we'd make up our own lyrics about what we were thankful for that day.  On our journey to finding a home, that ritual all but disappeared.  But tonight, we started again and it was beautiful.  There was no hesitation anymore, the kids gratitude slipped easily from their lips with huge smiles on their faces.  Hugs were had while we sang it.

We have daily love rituals; snuggles in my bed in the morning, making dinner together, reading a chapter of a book at night, playing a game and now reintroducing "thanks a lot".  Part of recieveing love is learning how to give it again.  Though I loved my children during this entire process, it felt like we were just getting by for a while. I often felt like all my energy was used up teaching, feeding and cleaning up after them.  The extras, they were just a bonus if I could fit them in.  Now I see how necessary they are, these bonding moments that help to give you that boost, the boost that makes lice laundry not seem so daunting.  The bonding that allows you to respond with more compassion rather than reacting with frustration when they are not listening.

Here's to love rituals and the sense of warmth they provide.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Holy Shit

Getting back on track as we settle into our daily math classes.  Independent learning projects take on lives of their own.  Originally the kids were suppose to study their favourite natural disasters, show me on the globe where they are most likely to happen, explain to me what causes them, then write a fiction short story about someone in that natural disaster and include safety steps.  Jack asked if he could show me in a play instead.  I said "Okay, as long as you write out your play."  They spent an hour this afternoon creating props(Joon has agreed to be in the play as well).

I figured out my credit card issue yesterday, got a job today.  Part time so that I can still homeschool but save some money as well.  I found a friend to be creative with, I'm going to see one of my favourite artists play in December. I'm working on a new fundraiser. My friends are awesome, supportive people.

I'm doing it.  I am living how I want to live.   I think I may have pulled it off.  Holy shit.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Money Can't Buy This Kind of Happiness

So, this month, is always the toughest financially.  Because the Family Responsibility office takes my child support off every other pay check.  Three pay check months means my child support payments are delayed. One payment only this month and of course $50.00 in lice treatments.  So yeah, we are visiting the Food bank.  But, rent will be made,  the kids have winter jackets, boots, mitts and snow pants. I'm looking for part time work at the moment, we'll see what comes up.  

None the less, even with my tightened budget,  I am happy.  I feel loved, accepted and wanted. I  finally understand friendship.  For so long I had so few friends,  and I couldn't see them very often.  

I was feeling bad about not being able to afford all the activities the children wanted to be in.  I asked my kiddos, if they were still happy that we moved, even if we don't have as much money.  They both emphatically nodded "Yes."  
I was feeling a little sorry for myself a few days ago...then a friend asked on Facebook about chronic pain and how it affects emotions.  Then as I listed all of the horrible things I was feeling during my illness; the guilt of not being able to keep up with housework, the hopelessness of no diagnosis/treatment and the feeling of being a complete burden on my partner.  It reminded me of how far I have come emotionally, of how many days I cried while I ran my bath so my children couldn't hear me.

Yep, Money's tight.  There isn't someone warming my bed at night.  But I have laughter, and conversation.  I have understanding and support.  I love these people who are in my life,  they are kind and fun, I feel like they really want to be there, like they are not hanging out with me because of some sense of duty.  They could at any point leave my life, but they don't.  They send me messages of love and encouragement, they do not judge me.  

I don't know how I would have done this without them.  I feel incredibly blessed to have these people in my life.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Power of Forgiveness

I forgive myself.  I forgive myself for getting lost in the end.  I forgive myself for breaking. I forgive myself for becoming so angry and so frustrated that I acted completely out of character.  I forgive myself for everything I did to try to keep the peace, even if meant being dishonest.  I forgive myself for yelling back.  I forgive myself for being jealous and insecure when I was sick.  I forgive myself for using food as an anxiety coping technique.  I forgive myself for becoming financially dependent on someone else putting myself into a vulnerable position.  I forgive myself for not listening to my friend Danno, who saw this coming a mile away.

Guess what? Once you forgive yourself, no one can use guilt against you.  Yep, I wasn't perfect.  Yep, I lost my shit after a while. Yep, I set up a scenario that put me at risk for an unhealthy relationship.  Yep, I left. Yep, I set boundaries. Yep, I got better. Yep, I got support.  Yep, I'm able and looking for work again.

I love and forgive myself.  I'm beginning to realize most of my pain after we broke up wasn't about him, it was about the shame I felt for what I perceived was my part in it.

No more shame, no more guilt.  Jogging with my head held high tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I Had an Ultrasound, Congratulations are in Order.

Today I went for an ultrasound.  I've been having ripping sensations in my lower abdomen when I sneeze or cough lying down for years.  However, lately the bumps under my cesarean scar have become larger, so I thought I'd better get it checked out.  Could be built up scar tissue/adhesions, could be my intestines squeezing through a scar that is reopening.  Whatever, that is not the point of this post.  The point is I went to this ultrasound alone.

Big deal right?  Well yes, it is a big deal.  I had a horribly botched procedure done at the hospital, a few years ago. It re traumatized me.  I have been suffering from flashbacks and anxiety surrounding medical procedures ever since.   Scott took me to my procedures.  He would book time off work to be there to hold my hand.  Though we often fought soon after the procedures, during them he comforted me.

I hadn't even thought about my anxiety around procedures.  I was too busy setting up things with my kid's father to make sure they were taken care of, for that to cross my mind.  Then suddenly in the ultrasound waiting room it hit me.  The anxiety attack.  I began to gasp for air and then cry.  I put my head between my legs and focussed on slowing my breathing.  The tech called me in.  I stood up breathed deep, shook out my arms and wiped my tears.  When I got into the room, she said something to me.  I had no idea what it was.
"I'm having an anxiety attack right now." I told her through a very tight throat. "Just give me a moment."  Then I stood up tall gathered myself and said: "Okay, what do you need me to do?"

I often disassociate during medical procedures.  My body kind of freezes and I go somewhere else.  Personally this is my favourite coping technique, though it's not really in my control.  It's sort of like I'm not there, I'm not anywhere, then the tech talks to me and I'm on the bed again and time has passed.  I know she's trying to help, watching someone disassociate can't be easy.  But I'd rather just be gone.  When she pulls me back the fear is waiting for me.

Soon enough the ultrasound is over.  She leaves the room.  Then I burst into tears, bent over and gasping.  Then it is done.  I wipe my eyes and walk out, head held high.

I did it without him.  I did it without anyone.  Once during one of his visits with the kids after we split up, my ex told me I would never get better without him.  He yelled at me as I called the taxi to get us out of there: "You need me! Your putting your health at risk by not letting me help you!"

And though obviously, considering my near miraculous recovery following our break-up, I could and did get better without him, I always held this fear of freaking out during my tests and procedures.  Maybe I did need him for that still. How can I do this without him holding my hand?  I'll tell you how.  I just did it.  I freaked out a little, sucked it up, released my emotions right after, and walked out of diagnostic imaging like a Boss.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Believe.

I can believe now.

For a while, I simply couldn't see myself ever being in love again.  I could see fun relationships, a mutual respect and enjoyment.  But love? You can lose yourself in it.  You make allowances that you never would for someone else you weren't in love with.  You may trade your self respect for the adoration and affection of someone else.  Love is dangerous.  Love was the chemical bonding to help the species survive gone haywire.  Love was the excuse that I made to myself every time I went back.  Love was some fairytale built to keep women with men and men with women despite their obviously unhealthy relationships.  "But I love him/her," I have heard from the lips of continuously heartbroken and miserable friends.

Fuck Love.  I thought.  I armed myself against it.  I viewed it as suspect.  I saw love as something that I would be in constant struggle with: a man with a rope waiting just around the corner to strangle me until I became blind and breathless.

I have had only two relationships with confident "whole" men. By whole I mean they were happy both in and out of relationships, they could and would be single for long periods of time, they had no addictions, no poor lifestyle choices.

I was completely in love with one of them.  It was a good relationship.  Great communication and lots of fireworks. If it happened once before...

I believe that love with a whole person is possible for me.  A healthy relationship with love is possible for me.  In the future.

Right now however, is not a good time for anything serious.  It is a good time for coffee dates. It is a good time to remember how to socialize with people that I am not having sex with.  It's a good time to set my boundaries, and watch for those who do and do not respect them.  It is a good time for me to say "No." To myself.  Self control when it comes to sexual desire is not one of my strong suits.  This often gets me too attached too quickly and draws me into unhealthy relationships.  Mostly it's a good time for me to observe how "whole" I have become.

My last relationship I was warned, do not jump into another one right away.  But I'm in love, I thought.  This person and I were meant to be.  I was in love, but I was not whole.

I don't want to bring my insecurities from my last relationship into a new one.  I don't want to settle for anything less then total respect for one another. I know I still need time to figure everything out and heal, so that I don't simply find and use someone else to fill that hole. I know that I cannot leave an unhealthy relationship without needing serious self reflection time, to do so is to walk right back into another codependent partnership in which I base my happiness on someone else.  I am on this journey, who knows how long it will be before I can love again?  For the first time since the break up I believe that I can love again, and it won't mean giving up a part of myself to do it.



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ugly Girl In Photos Magically Becomes Beautiful

I was looking at the last of the family pictures on Facebook. The last ones with Scott.  I got rid of many of our lovey dovey photos because they hurt, they felt like a lie.  These photos I am tagged in, and that night I met a lovely woman and her husband and I actually had the guts to sing in front of others, so I left them alone. I remember looking at those photos when I was first tagged in them.  I thought about how bad I looked in them,  how heavy I had become, how could I possibly be attractive to my partner? I had such low self esteem.  Today I took a good look at them again and I was stunned by how pretty I looked.  How could I have ever thought I looked bad?   They are exactly the same photos, I even went through them several times to see if maybe I missed the "ugly" ones I had seen before.

I really didn't love myself back then.

I can see how body image issues can arise in dysfunctional families.  When your self worth drops, your brain will focus on your flaws; intellectual, emotional and physical.

But here I am, every morning brushing my teeth and noticing how blue/grey my eyes are and that I like my cheek bones.  I'm smiling at a reflection with little to no make up on.  I walk by a large mirror in my hallway and think, wow what a beautiful woman I've become.  I hope my daughter sees this.  I want her to see that beauty comes from within. It' doesn't come from having a good heart, it comes from knowing you have a good heart.  It's all about perception.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The heart of the house

Today I did my banking, paid my rent and went grocery shopping with my kids.  When we got home, I lit a candle in my kitchen, I asked the kids to play upstairs and I prepared our meal.  I chopped carrots and cucumbers and put them in containers for future snacks.  I cut cheese into cubes for easy eating.  I made broccoli soup, pasta and pea meal bacon (I prepared it like a roast in the oven).  My kids came downstairs, they sat at the table and chatted while I poured their soup.  I leaned down and pulled out the roasting pan and felt this warmth spread over me.  It felt like Christmas, it felt like family, it felt like home.  I felt amazing and whole. I began to cry, I was so overwhelmed by this feeling. For years stress and conflict surrounded the kitchen, surrounded food preparation and cleaning.  I forgot how satisfying cooking a meal for your family can be, how food can be translated into love.  My children understood, they saw my tears and my smile and My daughter said: "Happy Thanksgiving mommy, thank you for making us this meal."  We all knew it wasn't our thanksgiving, but she felt it too.  We cleaned up together and ate forgotten gelato for dessert.   Another piece of me healed today,  we healed together today as a family.  We are going to be alright.  We are going to be just fine.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

More friends

Running behind, looks like we'll be home late on the 8th.  Met a man who has been travelling for the last year through working for room and food.  Great for someone without kids, but until my kids can pitch in, not really an option for me, but cool idea none the less.

Two hour long conversation with Ben, who's wife is a midwife.  Touching onFrank Breech, writing epiphanies, being in-lone with yourself.   I have really been enjoying conversation and connections with males in which there is no possibility of a sexual relationship.  The conversation continues simply out of the enjoyment of itself, of sharing ideas and experiences. Why in most instances did I assume that the males to which I am speaking main reasons for continuing conversations with me is sexual interest?  Why can't I attribute it to the fact that they may really be enjoying the conversation?  Were these thoughts because I'm trying to protect myself from being hurt and feeling fooled?  Are they because I no longer feel that I am an interesting enough person to hold a conversation with, without the possibility of a sexual relationship building?  Perhaps a bit of both.  We'll see when I leave my train bubble, whether or not this assumption creeps back over me during my next few conversations with males who are not sexually available.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Peace

On the ferry back.  I like to torture myself with adventure and uncertainty said the man behind me.  There's still so much I want to see and do in this province.  Maybe next year we will plan a several stop trip.  It doesn't look like Edmonton Mall is in the cards this one.

The view of the mountain range is amazing.  How small everything will seem in Muskoka when I get back.  Also, how cold.  It hasn't been below 12 degrees while we have been outside during this entire trip.  I lost my jacket too.  Had to buy a new one, so I purchased a less sexy but warmer one for the trip home.

I woke up to an eerie fog surrounding the train. I never thought of fog as eerie before, but perhaps that's because I always knew what lay beyond it.  There were sandbanks that served as driftwood graveyards and a green river flowed around them.  Bald eagles perched on the grave markers watching the water for signs of life.  It was beautiful, the scene struck me with the same sense of awe as the mountains, and I couldn't tear my eyes away.  Factory ghost towns line this once prosperous section of the railway.  This trip has shown me the frailty of our economy, like watching dominos in slow motion, the warehouses in the process of being torn down, parking lots empty for all but two or three cars...each company along the line just one step behind the other,  our creeky old train serving as a death rattle along the way.  So many opportunities for green energy and renewable resources to breath life back into these rural communities, why isn't our government wooing these industries?  Where are these hemp farms?  Why couldn't that pulp processing plant get an economic grant to become a hemp processing plant?  Our next pm should ride this railway and get a play by play of every crumbling community along the way.  There is no work, their houses are worth nothing, these families are packing up their most precious possessions and moving to cities to get minimum wage jobs.

6 Bald eagles

Met a family travelling from China to Halifax, the father was from Canada originally.  They believed Canada was going down the tubes, that China, though communist was a better place to live.  They told me that there are no supports there, that there was no victim mentality.  I never really thought about Canada's victim mentality.  Our system seems to be built in a way to keep those on social assistance, on social assistance.  Only certain programs actually encourage and even allow a person to upgrade their skills in order to obtain more permanent or higher paying employment.  Personal growth is highly discouraged except in the case of a student looking to get a loan that is.

Looking out the window at the mountains, looking down at the river, forgetting that The train I am on is on a mountain itself.  Don't become so far obsessed  with looking out at other miraculous views, that you forget the miracle of what is right underfoot.

I love how the my whole world changes according to my soundtrack.  My mountainous surroundings suddenly became bad-ass as so whatcha want blasts into my ears, I love travelling with Simon and Garfunkle, the Lumineers, Shaky Graves... but beastie boys adds a whole other level.  I've been tempted to skip the love songs, because naturally my brain wants to associate with my last example of love.  I will not run, I tell myself.  I will let my memories flow through my mind, I will not judge them.

The trip home is timed in a way that is allowing us to see the landscape we slept through on the way here.

Adult conversation, children playing cards.  Mountains shifting, turning, growing.

Thinking about where to go when the kids go to their dad's.  A night in Kingston? Ottawa?  Should I ask someone to come on my adventure?  Would anyone I know be up for something like that?

Is this something I should be doing on my own?  Maybe.

They are blasting the roots of the mountains here...

The landscape inspires me to write, but when I do I miss the landscape.  What a cruel thing a muse can be. It's hard to type not looking down when you can't feel the keys descend under your finger tips.

The only red in the mountains are dead conifers.

I like to picture the jagged mountain tops to be collapsing stone castles.  Bucket list addition: see Britain's castles.

Wise ladies sing to me through my earphones: Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world... I was a long time coming and I'll be a longtime gone, you've got your whole life to do something and that's not very long.  So preoccupied with my emotional bullshit I forgot that I got a world to improve.  I forgot how powerful I was, I focused all of my healing energy on a small unit.  That is not my purpose.  I see that again.  I remember that shift happening, I remember the energy focusing into my womb, into my home, into my arms, into my lap, Into my breasts, into my hands, into my lullabies, into my bedtime stories, into my family no matter what that looked like at the time. I forgot how to expand joy, how to exhale joy, how to let it swirl off me like mist as I walk down the street.  I forgot how to ACCEPT joy, I forgot that I do not have to work for it, I do not have to look for it in good deeds, in beautiful landscapes, in lovers, in children, in friends, in ritual, in talismans, in adventure.  Joy is there, patiently waiting behind these things from which I catch glances, she waves cheerfully at me.  I kept putting conditions on my joy, I will feel Joy when I have done _________, I will feel joy when I stop _________, I will feel joy when I start __________.  There are no conditions on feeling Joy. None.  You are always worthy of joy, at all times, in all situations, joy is there, it is okay to feel it, it is okay to express it.  Joy is possible in loss, it is possible in fear, it is possible in anger, for these are passing emotions, a joy based in wonder and the miraculous existence of self: this is eternal, this cannot be tapped out, for as long as you exist your life is miraculous, period.  You are animated stardust capable of consciously and unconsciously affecting the world around you, an inexhaustible source of joy and wonder right there. I accept joy, fully, completely and unconditionally.

Missed a Facebook message from James Gray while in Jasper, seems like we just missed each other in our travels.  He just crossed into BC as we came upon Jasper.  I wonder if he saw our train?  Many of his songs were in my travel soundtrack.

Well how do you follow something like that?
 
The Baker, The Free Hug guy, The looks like Neisha  Coleman girl, friend met in Vancouver that I forget the name of.... Jig saw puzzles, food additives, self sufficiency, swans vs Canada geese, via can rail passes.  If you go out and do things you think are cool, you will meet other people who enjoy doing the same things.  Easy concept to say, cool concept to experience.  What a great group that jumped on in Saskatoon.  I love the train.

Things I learned about train travel:

You'd be amazed at how large your carry-on can be: if you think you might need it bring it in your carry on.
Bring blankets it's bloody cold at night.
Grocery shop whenever you can at the stops.
Breakfast is affordable, all other meals are best purchased at the super market then brought on board.
Say "hi" to everyone.
People who think they may never see you again will share very personal things with you and vice versa.
Train time is confusing when traveling east to west and west to east: tally mark smudges on your window maybe necessary.
Wifi and cellphones will not work for most of the trip.
Most stations are in the middle of nowhere and have nothing to offer in necessities, buy what you need while you can, do not put it off until the next stop.
Always have your camera ready.
Put down your camera.

Dilapidated farmhouses, fascinating and sad.  Tall barns with little houses on top. Coyotes, eagles, hawks.  I don't know why people refer to the prairies as boring... The sporadic glassy ponds are crystal blue and the foliage that encircle them complementary oranges and yellows.  Prairie sunsets, the word panoramic falls horribly short of the mark.  It's the imax of sunset enjoyment up here in the dome car.

Live music, I spotted the musician earlier today in conversation.  There needs to be a better term than musiciandar.  Guitardar?




Saturday, October 3, 2015

Recovery

So there are gaps in this blog, filled by randowm Facebook posts, and even more gaps left between them.  The most common questions I have been asked are: When did they diagnose you?  What sort of treatments are you on? What happened? You look great! Where's your cane?

Here's some answers:  they didn't diagnose me.  I'm on no treatments beyond an iron pill and magnesium pill every three days or so, in fact I am off all fibromyalgia meds.  What happened?  Well,  I began to feel better and be able to do more within three days of moving to the women's shelter.  My days between needing the wheelchair lengthened.  Within two weeks I didn't need my wheelchair at all.  I completely ended my relationship with my ex and within a week was cane free (looked back at the dates, a month after the split I was cane-free I stopped using my cane on a regular basis within a week of the relationship being completely over.  Then due to weak ankles from being inactive, I fell down steps and tore a ligament and had to use my cane again for 10 days. I was swimming during this time (an activity I could only dream of last Summer). I have only improved since.  I am hiking, running, jumping and climbing.  My hormones have evened out, my thyroid is shrinking back to a healthy size. The only relapses I have had have been directly related to stress involving my ex, for example: the day he texted me to tell me that my ex husband was willing to let him see the kids on his visitation days despite the kids and I requesting no contact... I lost the feeling in my right leg while texting him back, then had trouble with my gait for about an hour afterwards.  So what happened?  In my opinion, my relationship was causing me so much stress that my immune system couldn't cope.  My adrenal glands were constantly firing in a fight or flight response to my living situation that caused an imbalance in my thyroid activity, which in turn affected my hormones, which lead to heavy periods, which lead to low iron.  Emotionally, I did not feel safe expressing my feelings, I buried them until they expressed themselves in fibromyalgia-like pain, exhaustion and literal immobilization.  I believe that either  I cured myself by leaving my relationship, or the lowering of stress in my life by leaving that relationship gave me a reprieve from chronic fibromyalgia.  Finally, where is my cane?  It is back in Ontario, with my wheelchair. :)

Last Day on the Island

I belong on the ocean, walking in the surf, finding shells and hopping over jellies.  So many "we're hiring" signs... If the children were old enough to ride the train alone to visit their father perhaps...but not yet.  There are wave hazard signs here like we have burning signs.  There are tsunami evacuation route signs along the west coast of the island.  We weaved through valleys as mountains rose up around us.  Ocean on one side, freshwater rivers on the other.  There were a few spots that reminded me of Muskoka in the Summer, but never for long.

At the beach, I kept wondering if I would run into someone from my past, many people seemed to have one or two features in common with my friend Alan, I suppose though, you see what you want to see.  I imagined greeting him with a hug, but realized I was desiring something that was not in my reality, and my reality at the moment was freakin' awesome as is.

Tacofino.

Love songs made-up on the spot by my kiddos as they dance around me.  "I love you mommy, I love you mommy, you are awesomeness"

Sunsets on secluded lakes brimmed with jagged hills.

Avalanche discussions.  Road farts (rumble strips).

Longer rides home then there.  Sibling stories.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Piper's Lagoon; tide pools,baby crabs, slimy smooth rocks, jagged climbing paths and beautiful barnacle scarred drift wood. Little fingers collecting crabs in empty shells, squeals and giggles as they get loose and scuttle away. Little people holding grimy hands, dirt streaked faces, wet pant cuffs and pockets full of treasures.

Scrub Jays and Peaceful Ways

Scrub Jays.  Today I saw Scrub Jays (actually Steller's Jays scrub Jay being my childhood nick name for them) Since I was Jack's age, I would open my National Geographic North American wildlife book, open it to the "Jay" pages and read.  I would draw them incessantly, promising myself I would see all three.  I grew up around Blue Jays, my first Grey Jay I saw with Scott and the kids on a hike.  Today, in Nanaimo, I saw my first Scrub Jays.  Another bucket wish list checked.

Walked downtown Nanaimo, probably in the most round about way possible.  The snacks I packed were left behind by Jack, so saving money like I planned, is not happening.  We found Lois Lane, and ventured into a comic shop there.  That is where they spent Nana Hill's souvenir money :).  Waiting to eat is not going to stop the fact that I need to spend money on eating. We just got to a park that Jooniper has renamed the Awesomeness Park, and I'm totally hungry.  It's amazing how things can suddenly look up after getting a few carbs and protein into you.  We shared a single fish and chip basket.  Yep, I had fish.  I craved it, I was on the seaside and I needed quick protein.  It was great, and the perfect amount of fries.  My kids finished them and felt full.  All three of us fed for $11.00.  Not bad.

I held a sea star in my hand.  It was deep red with white speckles.  We counted them clinging to the rocks and docks.  A 3 inch jelly fish undulated by, the first live one we've seen so far.

The neighbours were arguing last night, it brought back many awful memories and moments I am not proud of.  Why did I stay and fight?  Why did I argue for hours to prove that my feelings were valid and important?  Why did I base my self worth on his opinion?  So many hours I spent trying to make up with him that I should have been spending with my children... I can't go back, so now is the time to model compassion and understanding for my children, to prove to them that their feelings are important.  We can live a peaceful life again.

My cousin is home today, I wonder what adventure we will embark on together?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Grieving: sometimes you should not just get back on the horse.

Been waking up with the rising sun (son), as they both seem to rise at the same time. There is always that time in the morning for me, where my eyes open and I realize where I am in my life; Scott is gone. I am in BC with the kids.  I am hoping that by the end of the trip, the "Scott is gone." Portion will no longer be my first thought.  It no longer causes that gut ripping feeling, but some of the memories that follow leave a vague sadness, which of course I try to chase off with "but look, now you can travel the way you always wanted to." and finally the overwhelming need for coffee and the inevitable question of "how am I going to find a coffee shop with wifi?"

The Ferry trip has been one of my favourite aspects so far.  Funny how with my motion sickness was one of the most dreaded aspects a few weeks ago.  Lesson: don't let a couple of bad experiences with boats stop you from getting on the next one, it could be one of the most beautiful experiences of your life... Well, well... I don't think I like where this metaphor is pointing.

At the end of a relationship, I always want to jump back on the horse.  I look for the positive, "Now I am free to meet new people, go on exciting dates (where someone will make me feel special and wanted, whispers a part of myself that I am desperately trying to block out) share things with new people, enjoy making out with someone new..."  I did go on a few dates.  However some deepened my connection as friends, some seemed to go nowhere and 3 with one man in particular made me feel feelings that scared me.  I realized I wanted more than he could give me at that time.  I tried to convince myself that it was just the physical aspect of a relationship that I was craving, that what I wanted was a type of relationship, that it wasn't specific to him.  I stopped seeing him and the need or want for regular dates and a sexual relationship vanished.  I've stopped dating altogether now.  I don't regret my decision to stop seeing him, in fact, now I am free to grieve without guilt.  Grieving an old partner or family while with a new one is cruel to everyone in that relationship.

Ah, boat metaphor, see where you have taken me? My daughter is awake and now it is time for me to focus on the now, with some serious cuddles.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The blood moon approaches.  Red eclipse Super moon and I am at a park with my babies.  I dreamt about this week's ago.  In my dream the moon blew to pieces, the ocean stopped moving and we all knew it was over.  Strangely enough, when it happened we were watching from a park.  This was the dream in which my male partner for once was not Scott, it was a man I haven't met yet.  Though it was the end of the world, the dream gave me hope.   When I had this dream I was probably subconsciously aware a lunar eclipse was coming, (flashing by on Facebook) but this scene I'm in at this park is creepy, it is so alike this dream.

I suppose I should be meditating, though writing is like a meditation of sorts for me.  Maybe if I hold some prayer beads in my hands... As always the kids are making friends and running around with eachother.  I really wish this thing could capture what I see.

Hastings and Main, so many tense and sad people.  So many people walking by as if nothing was out of order.  I understand that we have to accept what we cannot change (that does not mean that we should not try to end homelessness, but to accept that at that very moment you will not be able to
house and take care of every person on the street) but it is so hard to watch that hardening  take place.

The kids have been an amazing help with the transit system.  They are such good sports and navigators.  I really hope that this will help them gain confidence and a love of travel.

Said goodbye to Mike and Vancouver city.  Though there were some very cool aspects of Commercial Street and Stanley Park that I would like to explore further, it was just a bit too fast paced for me.

I took the Ferry to Nanaimo, and not even a hint of nausea.  I was wearing Sea bands and took Gravol but the water was calm and the ferry was so large, I'm not sure how much I needed either treatment.  I saw orcas from afar, and a panoramic view of the mountains, just breath taking.

My cousin's home is welcoming, I enjoyed making dinner with her while our kids played at the park together.  We sat at a table and ate dinner.  I have missed this.  Tomorrow we shall explore Nanaimo and look for haunted sites, which is one of my favourite ways to learn local history with the kids.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

The morning was a blur of sky trains and buses.  Quick showers, iPad reconnections Facebook reunions.  I couldn't settle.  Old fears emerged.  My brain played out negative scenarios while I planned escape routes.  My goodness I have work to do.  It's amazing how shy one can feel around someone they had known so intimately over a decade before.  Skype and Facebook messages over a month and a half, haven't made it easy for me to meet his eyes for long periods of time.  I feel like we are starting all over again, but my heart is so guarded.  I feel my chest muscles tighten like I'm crossing my arms in front of me.  This is not how I saw things playing out.  I keep thinking that this is weakness,  but one should not force open the bud of a young flower, but marvel in the beauty of it's pedals unfolding.

Random musings from the train....

Queen street poetry is found in basement bathrooms.  In the observation deck so to speak.  Listening to let go. Frau Frau.  Really put myself out there getting this pass.  It's going to be tight, but the opportunity to travel was great, and it was costing us money to stay in TO waiting.  Really I think that much of the anxiety I was feeling was from the idea that I didn't know what was going on.  At least I know we are getting back. Money is coming in on Thursday.  Not a lot but it will do.  KK lives simply so that should work well for us.  Today was a great day looking at old buildings with the kiddos.  They love paranormal tourism.  Silver Snail, Joonbug leading the way.  What a confident little person she is becoming.  Dear God, please don't let my nervousness and anxiety take that from her.  Travelling on my own has been so scary, used to be exhilarating.  Watching them is helping me, which is showing that my tension is not visible to them, at least some of the time.  Don't get me wrong I have been enjoying much of the trip...it's just letting go, letting go of being wrong, of being responsible to keep everyone happy to avoid disaster.  More healing I guess.

I had a dream that buildings were burning in the water, crumbling all around us.  I know that this represents my lack of resources.  I used to think my dreams would tell me the future.  Now I know better, it's my subconscious telling me what I am worried about.  I also put on a seatbelt in the dream and was travelling above it in a vehicle having fun.

I also dreamt I saw him last night, he was, as per usual, beautiful.  I asked myself if it would be okay just to sneak around the corner with him for sex, no talking, no making up, just sex.  As if that somehow was perfectly natural or normal.  But part of me said: "no, you'll reattach."  And I walked away.  One of those dreams where you are vaguely aware you are dreaming, I suppose.

I've been running for months.  Keeping busy with the kids, swimming and hiking.  Though the train is moving, I am for once, forced to stay still.  I didn't realize how much I was escaping my feelings via activity until right now.  What an unsettling feeling having to settle into your feelings.  I find my memories fighting each other, trying to "one-up" each other.  One sweet and amazing memory met with one exhausting and horrible one.  Like I'm trying to convince myself that leaving him was the right thing to do.  My body trumps it when I stand up and stretch and walk cane-free to the dining car.  My mind may have played tricks on me, but my body was my ever (painfully) honest friend.

We're just North of Sudbury, the trees are coniferous and the lakes are crystal blue in the contrast.  Islands mirrored, made into creviced faces. Heads tilted looking at me asking, "So whatcha gonna do now?"
"I'm going to sit still for once.  I'm going to let it all catch up to me."

I'm ready.  It's time. I will answer the question that has plagued me since I boarded last night:  "How did I get here?"

Tears of joy and sadness have already streamed down my face in this nearly empty dining car. Though I clearly established I have allergies with my insistent sneezing last night.  Maybe it will be attributed to that, maybe not.  Perhaps there will be another who is also escaping, escape on this Iron beast.  The iron beast decides my time...

I haven't travelled without another adult in just over 10 years... I like sharing things with my children as they have great creative imaginations, but there's something to be said about sharing with a like minded adult.

When travelling through a tunnel of trees, every break opening into lakes and creeks feels like god smiling, then you enter another tunnel and marvel at the closeness to the trees, the darkness enfolding.  There's an excitement and ambiance.  I think we thrive a bit in the dark, it is the spice
life, perhaps we cuddle a bit closer, or if alone, we learn to generate our own warmth and light.  Amazing how the scenery currently matches my struggle.  Maybe by the prairies I will feel nothing but warmth and light...or maybe just vulnerable and exposed. Lol, ever the optimist.  Can writers ever truly be optimists? Or are our imaginations simply too active to explore just one side of the future's coin?  A multifaceted die...exploring every possible outcome, the more outrageous and melodramatic the better.  I remember as a tween, my writing was literally an escape into a world that I wished I lived in.

Now I use it to understand reality or a least my emotional response to reality.

Kids are making friends, playing cards and video games.  I too am making friends, Dave who is working on his PHD in sound engineering program designing.  And a girl originally from Sydney Australia.  I have yet to catch her name.  She's getting off in Manitoba.

We are still.  I feel anxious.  I feel a bit weepy. This is okay.  This is not suppose to be easy.  You love him, or at least the him before the concussion.  Before the blaming, before he made you feel like a burden, before he blamed his abusive behaviour on having to take care of you in your illness.  Grief is natural.  I never took time to feel grief before.  It's not killing me, but it does suck the joy out of some moments.  I don't want the kids to see me cry, they saw enough of that while I was with him.

Compassion is so hard in this situation. So instead I will work on compassion for myself.

Dear me,

You tried your hardest, you offered many times for him to make plans or see friends, he chose not to.
 You went to hotels to give him space and time without you, it did not help.  You were scared and deeply hurt by the things he yelled at you, you left to save what was left of yourself and your children.  You tried to work it out with that space he said he wanted, but he only got worse.  You ended the relationship, but he still wanted the benefits of a father, however, his temper scared the children and his inability to accept healthy boundaries created conflict.  It was like being in a relationship with him, but without the benefits of affection.  So for the sake of your emotional and physical health you asked for no contact.  I'm sorry this happened to you.  You must feel very sad and confused.  You must be very lonely after so many years of partnership.  Your heart must be breaking.  I love you.  You are awesome and one day you will be over this. I love you, you are awesome and one day you will be over this. I love you, you are awesome and one day you will be over this.

For so long coniferous trees dominated the landscape and nothing could be seen beyond them. We seemed to be a top of a plateau, no hills just the sudden end of trees to either side.  Same beyond as behind,  how fitting. Then slowly poplars and birches peeked out like some kind of metaphor I have yet to come up with.. Then hills and valleys, bogs turned to lakes, yellows ad oranges took their fare share of the spectrum.  Two musicians began playing you are my moonshine, like you are my sunshine but in a minor key.  Then down to the river to pray in the minor key an I got to harmonize. My heart is singing.
Winnipeg has a cute market, yummy bakeries.  Got a few snacks, some local apples.  Allergies kicked in big time.  Absolutely no pharmacy or grocery store within 20 min walking distance.  That was a wee bit frustrating, but the spiced smoked Gouda made it seem all better.  They described this wee hamlet of Rivers as having hills and valleys.  In contrast I suppose, but to me they are bumps and gullies.  Joon pointed out what looked like giant cows.  They may have have been oxen... I feel it now, the space doing it's good work.  No already shared memories. In this flat land I looked forward to being able to see for miles in either direction, unfortunately it is really foggy, so this effect is lost on me.  In Winnipeg we saw the largest ducks ever, I haven't quite expelled the meat eater in me, as the first thing I thought was whether or not it would fit in my roasting pan once plucked.

Man-made ponds and straight lines of trees,
rows and divets where we brought the land to her knees.
She's blond and trimmed, bent to please.
We feed on her, rake her skin with our nails,
Force feeding her chemical cocktails
We feed her our leftovers and expect her to thrive...

The Valley came later, with a twisted serpent-like river, reminding me of the Big East.  Either side of the valley completely straight and level, making it easy to imagine the glacier gouging it out so many years ago.  Swans glided in ponds.   Then there were the otherworldly potash mines that Jooniper called the "Australia in Manitoba".  We entered Saskatchewan shortly afterwards, the valley turned south and the hills smoothed out.  There is such a joy that rises in me when I think of how now I can say I have been to Saskatchewan,  though our stops will not be numerous. For years I have been planning this trip, but it never seemed convenient or affordable.  Now it is neither, but now is when I get to do it.  I remember my trip to North Carolina as a child, I remember the ocean, the lush trees, the amazing old plantation houses.  What will my children remember from this I wonder?

September  25th

We are in Alberta, past Edmonton, the hills roll and crash.  I believe the calmness of the prairies slipped past us in the cover of dark.  The forest re I da me of certain parts of Quebec...new growth, the breeze is minimal yet the askin leaves shimmer like the coins of a belly dancer's wrap.  My allergies are being a pain, but another passenger gave me some Benadryl and for this I am truly thankful.  The incessant sneezing has stopped.  I'm not good at getting or retaining names, however we had great conversation.  He was so friendly to everyone.  I still have those walls up.  Dave is still
the only one I have spoken to on a regular basis, and he has work to do, and I spend a fair amount of time on the iPad and with my kids.  I probably do not come across as approachable, or looking for company.

Looking out the window my eyes are drawn to the bits of red that speckle the landscape.  There was this fear that I would miss the fall colours, that by travelling North I would speed autumn right past.  According to "Benadryl" guy, maples will appear on the way west.  It is rainy, but sunshine comes from underneath in an choir of sunbursts between clouds of deep coniferous green.

We're now at the point where the hills are bordering on being classified as mountains.  Jooniper is bouncing in her seat asking if each new point would be considered a mountain yet.  "Wow, this is the biggest one I've EVER seen!"  Repeated over and over again.  Milestone reached. Mountain goat spotted. Music playing :The Lumineers, flowers in your hair and James Gray's lottery, Shakey Graves, hard wired.  Jooniper is giving a play by play of each hill, lake, river and bridge.  Henry House is where we are right now.  Elk seen. Mount Robson seen, Benadryl guy has a name now: Johnny.

Lisa is a woman in her 60's with MS.  She walks with a cane, and is full of joy. She says what she thinks, so it's a good thing she has such a warm heart.  She's fulfilling a wish that she has put off since the 1980's.  Her travelling companion, Norma, is 63 and hiked the entire Grand Canyon just a couple years ago after surviving breast cancer.  These women lift each other up, they congratulate each other, they compliment each other, they laugh with each other.  I can see myself finding a travelling companion like this too one day.  She blesses me in the name of God when I tell her of my miraculous recovery.  Lisa says "God bless you." and the lord sits up quickly, takes a look down and does the sign of the cross.  Such is the power of Lisa's heart and voice.

My children have made friends on the train, so I do not see them much.  I thought I would be their sole entertainment...but not so much.  Which is just as well, as I'm beginning to think these allergies are not allergies, and I need to rest-up.





Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Three Days Until The Adventure Begins

I bounce between a feeling of pure excitement and that of anxiety... I really dislike bus stations, waiting in lines etc.  Since travelling strapped into a seat for hours and hours was a normal part of my childhood, the bus travel feels just fine.  My children have always been great travellers as well.  However, living in a small town for the last 10 years (already?) has re-sensitized me to the big city bustle.  I will need to remember to breath, and see the anxiety as excitement.  After all it's not an adventure if there isn't an element of challenge and risk (even if that risk is simply not being able to find the bus terminal right away).

As part of our home education, my little bug and buddy will be blogging their experiences on here as well.

Bug: I'll never forget these awesome experiences. I'm  looking forward to traveling with my family and seeing new places.

Buddy: I want to go to Stanley park.  I want to run around and play tag.  Fun is what I am.


I'm trying to leave the house tidy for the tenant moving in the day we leave for our trip. It has been a challenge, there will be the inevitable fridge clean-out and remaining fruit and veggie dinners.  Garbage cans with food emptied and searching the kids room for that one bowl that seems to have gone missing...again.  Normally this would feel like a chore, but not now.  Every step is a reminder of how much closer we are to our adventure.  Thank you to everyone who has given us support As we step into this journey.  More pictures and posts to come!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Saving My Life by Being Reckless and Impulsive

For years I felt trapped.  If you are an adventurer at heart, when choosing to be in a relationship, you must find someone who shares your lack of fear trying new things and a love of meeting new people. I have always fallen in love easily, as I generally see every human being as beautiful.  However time has taught me that being in love with someone does not mean you will thrive as an individual in a relationship with them.  I will still love many people, but in order for them to be in my life on a regular basis, I must feel that we are able to compliment each other's passions.  My illness pointed this out to me, in a brutal, but necessary, way.

I had taken for granted that I could plan grandiose road trips whenever I wanted.  That getting in a car  and travelling across the country was just a matter of saving a couple hundred dollars and a trip to the Bulk Barn.  Then my debilitating illness hit, and soon the idea of sitting still for hours at a time was a pipe dream.  My migraines could last for days, days of me being in bed vomiting.  My hips would seize if I was still for too long, my legs would give out if I was on them for longer than 20 minutes at a time.  My oh so easy dream of travel with my kids, the one that I always put off as: I can always do it next year... Well it was taken from me.  I remember crying so hard when I thought that my travelling days were over.  I felt as if my body had aged 50 years in 1 and now my dreams and passions would never be realized.  My children would not see the world with me, I wouldn't be able to share one of my most cherished life activities with the people I cherished most.

Well, my symptoms are rapidly disappearing and never again will I put off travel.  I am broke, but checks are in the mail.  Soon, I will be able to support myself without the use of a credit card.  Part of me is yelling: Don't do it!  Think of the interest!  The guilt ridden part of me keeps showing me images of the checks my parents wrote for me when I moved into the shelter and needed first and last months rent to get out.  However, flashing back to that moment in bed sobbing fully accepting my limitations, fully accepting that a part of my life had been taken from me and I would never get it back. That is what has me going to the greyhound site and whipping out my credit card.  Life can be taken from you in many ways very suddenly.  I had forgotten that, most of the joy I found in life many years ago was from that very knowledge.

So, I am getting on that Greyhound bus in September with kids in tow and a bag of snacks from the Bulk Barn and out those bus windows, the kids and I will, for the first time, see mountains in real life.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Of Shelters and Shame

Staying at a woman's shelter is nothing to be ashamed of...so why was I so ashamed?  I was so scared of anyone finding out I was there.  I thought people would think I was weak.  Little did I know then, that it was actually a sign of strength.  I was scared it would get back to my ex's family and they would harass me.  I was petrified I would lose all of our mutual friends if they found out.  I was worried about how it would affect my ex's reputation...

Moving to the Woman's shelter was the best thing I ever did for myself and my kids.  The second night we lay in that room together my daughter spread out on the bed and said "Mommy, I call this place the relaxing place." And so she did for the next two weeks we spent there.  

I had access to 24 hour counselling,  which I used quite often at night after my kids had gone to sleep.  I was listened to, my feelings were validated.  I was not crazy, yes, I belonged there.  After 3 days I noticed a knot in me unravel; it was a knot I didn't even know I had.  Three days had gone by without a single conflict with anyone.  I began to walk with my feet flat on the ground, my shoulders loosened.  I realized that people live like this all the time, I could live like this all the time.  I stopped snapping at my kids, we were able to communicate wonderfully because I was no longer on edge all the time.  We read stories together at night,  we had conversations about their feelings.  They were happier there then at our old home, though, they would miss their friends down the street.  They were fine with never moving back, they eagerly joined in apartment hunting on kijiji.

The shelter really gave me a sense of support and empowerment.  All the resources I needed were at my fingertips.  The groups where we met other women leaving various types of abusive relationships were inspiring. We learned emotional coping techniques that I continue using to this day.

Mostly, though what the shelter did for me was give me a chance to step out of a world that I didn't even realize I felt trapped in and view a huge open horizon.  I could do things; could go back to 
school, start a business.  I could rent rooms across Ontario.  I was an amazing strong woman, we all were.  Not only was I going to be okay.  I was going to thrive, my kids and I were going to heal and start a grand adventure.

I remember a casual comment made by one of the workers as she dumped out a coffee pot of unknown age and said, "Life is too short for bad coffee."
Yes. Yes it is.  It's also too short to stay in any relationship in which you do not feel safe, loved or cherished.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Frustration

Over a year has passed since I initially became sick.  No diagnosis yet. I am sleeping 12-14 hours a day to get maybe 4 hours of activity which includes a lot of sitting down, walking with a cane or shopping in my wheelchair.  I noticed that I had a sliver that turned into a freckle on my finger tip, Nurse Practitioner told me to make an appointment if it got bigger, then I noticed when I removed my nail polish that the same splinter like marks are under one of my nails.  So I looked it up on google.  Now before anyone *eye rolls*. Let me assure you that as a medical advocate, I know the difference between reliable and unreliable web resources, I also own medical textbooks with which I cross reference my Internet findings.  The markings are identical to splinter hemorrhagesas sign of severe cardiovascular disease, unless you have received trauma to that area recently, which I have not.  Now, had I not been experiencing extreme fatigue, tremors, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, among many other symptoms for over a year I simply would have shrugged it off, however taking into account that I have no diagnosis and we have not investigated my cardiovascular system as a possible culprit, I decided that it would be important to show these markings to my Nurse practitioner as quickly as possible.

This is what happened:  I didn't get her, I got a student. Who promptly told me my red rash was not a concern.  "What red rash?" I asked him.  I pointed to the "slivers" under my nail, which I had already told him was my concern.  "We look for infection, or strange growth, these are fine." he told me in a very patronizing way.  He gave me the same neuro exam I get every time, listens to me breath a briefly listens to my heart, asks about my chest pains. I explain them to him.  He takes my blood pressure and says it is good (this is important to note for later). Here's the deal, we are both bias.  I am bias in that I have been dealing with the medical system for 8 years as both patient and patient
advocate.  I have watched many a Dr and nurse overlook things out of being too busy, too
inexperienced, too arrogant or all three.  I have watched life threatening complications arise from these mistakes, the good nurses and doctors recognize explain and apologize for their oversights.  Some lack the ability to realize that there was
an oversight, or the strength of character to admit it.  This student has dealt with patients who no doubt have freaked themselves out by going to numerous healthboards and other unreliable sources of information, he wants to help people with real health problems not waste time on ones prediagnosed by Wikipedia.  I knew this by his patronizing manner.  I would not be an active participant in this medical appointment, he would push on me what he thought, he would report to my nurse Practioner how the slivers were fine as they did not look cancerous or infected.  So it went, the stress question, then the stress comment, the anxiety questions, I assure him, I know what anxiety is, I have had anxiety.  I'm not suffering from an anxiety disorder right now.  "But your symptoms can be caused by anxiety."  He insists "I want you to have a psych consult." He tells me.  Then he wants to up my fibromyalgia meds which are mild anti
depressants.  "No." I tell him. "I get really sick when you guys up or change my meds, cymbal ta is working on my pain right now with very little to no side effects.  I am not upping it."  Then he
assures me in a once again patronizing tone.  "There is always an adjustment period when starting new meds."  This is when I began to get angry. "I dropped 2 dress sizes in a week last time. I'm already sick, I'm not doing that again." "Your choice" he tells me shaking his head.  This student is talking down to me, ignoring my observations of my emotional/mental state and he doesn't even understand the use of basic body language and it's effect on communication between caregiver and patient.  He left to talk to the nurse and I started to cry, out of pure frustration.  I don't want to be sick I am sick of being sick.  I'm missing out on important things with my children. This is the first non-vague symptom I get, and I can't even tell him what I think it is or why because all it will do is reinforce his diagnosis of general anxiety disorder.  He came back with a questionaire for GeneralAnxiety Disorder,  which is like 9 questions.  Really?!? That's all it takes to diagnose GAD?  Plus the questionnaire leaves no room for disease symptoms, as if the only reason I could be possibly
be irritable would be anxiety, not the fact that my legs are sore and I am unexplainably exhausted, not hiding to stay in bed but actually diagnosed by my sleep specialist as truly fatigued.  Then he wants
to put me on a larazapan type anti anxiety med.  "It makes me lethargic." I told him. "I spend too much time in bed as is. I'm not taking those."
"But it will help with your anxiety."
*face palm*
Finally he asked me what I am worried about.  I explained that my symptoms are worse, that I need a wheelchair to grocery shop because I get so tired, dizzy and my knees give out.  I'm worried that there is something wrong with my heart, with the way my blood moves, I'm worried that I am sick and we are not looking at all the possibilities and I am missing out on time with my family.  I don't want to be sick.  I want to get better. Then we went back over how tired I am, Scott mentioned my iron was low, then the student said he would put together some blood work to look at that, he left, spoke with my nurse Practioner and had ordered an ECG, a mobile ECG for a few days a cbc, a test
for diabetes and a few others.  I agreed to the psych consult to prove once and for all I do not have an anxiety disorder, so that we can move on to my real diagnosis. An hour and a half, that is how long that took.

He was so sure that I had anxiety he overlooked the proof that I do not have it:  My blood pressure was normal. Let's take a look at this situation from the view of a caregiver who has read my notes.  History of sexual and physical abuse by men in positions of authority.  Trauma caused by male doctor cutting into genitals without pharmaceutical pain relief, a preference to female caregivers.  She arrives to see that instead of her nurse she has  a male she barely knows,  he is examining her,  touching her  and her  blood pressure is fine.  Her heart rate is fine.  Someone who is suffering from GAD with my background would have a rush of epinephrine in a situation like that, her bp and heart
rate would jump considerably, as cymbalta is not a beta blocker.  While I was putting on my boots my
nurse practitioner came out, part of me wanted to show her my finger nail and talk to her about it, but not her part of me thought; What's the point? Here's what I learned, if they are going to treat me like I'm  crazy anyways, I might as well just tell them what think it is right away rather than waste so
much time.