Posted in Thoughts

pain

I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to start using a cane. Or maybe a crutch.

Let me start from the beginning.

This weekend was originally going to be relaxing. Get a few things done around the house, maybe a quick shopping trip to look at some new work clothes (which I need desperately). Then I found out that the kiddo had called her grandma and wanted her grandma to take her and a friend to a local science museum, lovingly called “the Little Zoo” when she was younger. Kiddo had found out that her friend had never been, which she found astonishing since it was such a big part of her childhood.

I was miffed at first, for several reasons. For one thing, I had already made tentative plans with the grandma in question (my mother) to do the aforementioned shopping, and to also go over to her house to re-dye my hair, as the roots are coming in and I am starting to look a bit skunk-like. Also, I was a bit upset that plans were being made and changed all around me, and no one had bothered to tell me. At all. When I mentioned this to my mother, her answer was, “She would have asked you to take her, but you always say no.”

Okay. A few things.

First off, the kiddo hardly ever talks to me of her own accord unless she needs me to buy something for her. This is because I am always the bad guy. The one who gets on her case about school work, who bugs her about having dishes in her room. And yes, I probably would have said no about taking her to the Little Zoo, but I had a good reason. My chronic pain issue (that is probably fibromyalgia, although it was never officially diagnosed and won’t be now that I can’t go to the doctor) had been bothering me for most of the week. That’s why I was hoping for a relaxing weekend, where I could limp around in peace and quiet and hopefully be better before the next week started. And I would have been fine if she wanted to go, I said that I couldn’t, and then she went to her grandma, but that’s never the way it happens. I’m not sure how she thinks that I will always say no when I’m never even asked.

And yes, my mother is probably reading this right now. She knows how I feel.

I ended up going with the kiddo, her friend, and my mom to the Little Zoo, mostly out of guilt. It was a beautiful day, the first sunny day we’ve had in a long time, so it would have been a great trip if it hadn’t been for the pain. I was already limping when we got there, but walking a couple of miles on top of that certainly didn’t help. My flare ups are usually centered around my hips and lower back, but I’ve been having issues with my knees and my right foot recently as well. Basically, I feel like a very old woman stuck in a 40 year old body. That is part of what makes this so frustrating. I’m only 40. I shouldn’t be having issues like this yet.

I also hate all the doctors and studies that say that exercise is supposed to help this. Okay. I got exercise. I feel 100% worse and still hurt two days later. And now I am at my super professional job trying to pretend that I feel great, because nothing less is tolerated, when all I want to do is lay down and cry.

It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, and I hate it.

So the cane thing. Sometimes, because of the pain in different parts of the body (it’s not always consistent where it wants to give me grief), I am sometimes not only having a hard time walking, but having a hard time keeping my balance on top of that. I do wonder if people would think I was being silly if I got one, or if I was being ostentatious or overly dramatic. I know I shouldn’t worry about that, but I do, especially at work.

I did have fun though, even if I will be paying for it for several more days. Here’s a picture of a meerkat. Because the Little Zoo has meerkats and they are adorable.

meerkat

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Posted in Uncategorized

down

My general Internet persona is usually pretty cheerful, or at least, that’s how I try to present myself. I don’t usually post much on Facebook, even less on Twitter, and my main blog here is usually just me gushing about the books I love. It’s easy to be upbeat when talking about something you enjoy. Until I started this particular blog, I didn’t have a place where I could really be myself, not caring about how I was perceived, just laying down my life issues as they come. I don’t think anyone reads this anyway.

I’m really down right now. Part of it is seasonal depression. I don’t mind the winter too much, but when it is so cold and cloudy like it has been the past few days, it is physically draining. Which, of course, makes everything else harder to deal with. Couple that with just getting through the anniversary of my father’s death, and it’s just a sucky, sucky time of year. I know it will pass and that I’m probably through the worst of it, but still.

I’m also really, really worried about my kid. She is having a very tough time at school right now. Her grades have always been low, and I try not to put pressure on her (she has inherited my depression and anxiety yay), but she is dangerously close to not passing this year, which means she would be stuck for another year in the middle school that she hates instead of moving on to high school with her friends. It’s more than just teenage laziness. Something else is going on in there, something that she has less control over. She just doesn’t understand what she is being taught. I don’t know why. The next step, I think, is having her tested for learning disabilities, which I have been hesitant to do because I don’t necessarily want that label to stick with her the rest of her life, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t even know what that all entails. We’ve tried everything else. I’ve tried to help. She’s stayed after school with teachers to try and get help. We’ve had professional tutors hired to help. She sees two different therapists outside of school, not to mention the school counselor that has been trying to help us, and nothing seems to improve. Short of doing her work myself (which I admit, I have done a few times just to get teachers off her back and give her something to turn in), I don’t know what else to do. For her, school is nothing but a constant reprimand about how much of a failure she is, and doesn’t do anything to encourage the areas where she shines. It’s really frustrating.

When I get really overwhelmed, I isolate myself. It’s hard to talk about it with my loved ones because I blame myself for a lot of it and feel like they probably do too, even if they don’t want to say it out loud. It’s very hard to talk to my husband about this because I feel like there is no way possible he could relate. His son has always excelled in school, except for one moment in sixth grade where he just stopped doing work for some reason. He had to follow a very strict schedule to catch back up, but he was able to do the work easily enough. Even then, it was his mom who really took control of that situation, not my husband. She was the one who dealt with the school, dealt with the teachers, made the schedule and made sure it was enforced. Now, my stepson is excited about school, signing up for honors and AP classes with gusto. I know I shouldn’t compare the two kids – they are VERY different and have had very different upbringings – but it’s hard not to. I know my daughter does. She has told me that she is the screw up of the family, while my stepson is the good kid. I hate that she feels that way, but I can totally see where she gets that from. Just another issue that I don’t know how to handle.

Isolation. It’s comforting, in a way. Dealing with people can be overwhelming and stressful, even if they are people you know and like, but it also brings with it guilt. I used to be heavily involved in the local theater community, performing in several shows. I would always go see my friends in their productions, even if it was far away. One weekend, my mom and I went to see four shows in three different cities. This past month, I have missed seeing my friends in two different shows because the thought of being in that crowd, surrounded by people, even people I care about, sounds so exhausting. Despite that, I still see pictures of the friends I used to hang out with and wish I could be there with them. I feel so damn lonely, even living in a house full of people. I want more than anything to be able to lose myself in a show, to be on a stage performing and feeling that energy from the cast and crew. I can’t justify the time commitment, with all my daughter’s issues, and I can’t justify the physical pain I would be in because of my health issues. The last show I did right before Christmas nearly killed me. Before that, I hadn’t done a show since February 2018. It’s really hard having to give up the one thing in your life that made you feel good about yourself.

And even with all of this, I feel horrible about complaining. My problems are so much smaller compared to most people, but it’s really hard to see it that way when you are stuck in a vicious cycle of stress. I am grateful that my current job isn’t anywhere near as bad as the last one was. I have more time to breathe, plus I work with some awesome ladies. One less thing to worry about.

Anyway, I should probably stop this meandering ramble and get back to trying to be productive. If anyone does read this, thank you for listening.

Posted in Thoughts

school

My daughter and I are very different in many ways, and unfortunately for her, also quite the same. She has been having trouble at school for a while now. Her grades are in the toilet and she doesn’t want to keep up with anything. Even when I have tried to help her with homework (at times literally telling her the answers and having her write it down, just to get it finished and turned in), I still get met with open hostility towards it.

This is completely foreign to me. When I was in school, I was a raging perfectionist, often to my own detriment. Just giving up was never an option for my psyche. I don’t quite know how to handle this, but if she’s not careful, she will not pass this year. We’ve had enough issues with her school’s administration – staying there for an extra year would be disastrous, especially given her emotional state.

We’ve tried after school tutoring with her teachers, professional tutoring services, and nothing seems to work. She has been seen by psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as her primary doctors. Nothing seems to help.

I’m not necessarily looking for suggestions or advice (although I would welcome it at this point). I’m mostly just screaming into the void so that I can be as calm as possible at home.

Posted in Thoughts

loss

Warning for discussion of depression and suicide.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My daughter is learning a valuable lesson right now.

We found out last week that one of her friends committed suicide.  This was a young girl, not sure of her exact age, but she was in the 8th grade class at school. I’m guessing she was either 13 or 14. While she wasn’t a super close friend, this was someone who had been in my daughter’s art class for the past few years and they had fun joking around together a lot. My daughter is also very sensitive, very empathetic, so this is hitting her very hard.

It’s tough to watch. This is one of those situations as a parent where you wish you could take away their pain and suffering, but there really isn’t anything you can do to help, except let them know that you love them. We went to the funeral this weekend and, while it was very sad, it was also very uplifting seeing these young people come together and support each other. Lots of hugs. Lots of tears. But that’s healthy. That’s the way it should be when you lose someone.

This is the first time my daughter has ever lost someone she was close to.

There were some family members that have passed, but she was still a baby and doesn’t remember anything about them. This will be the first one that she remembers losing. This will stick with her for at least most, if not all, of her life. She has spent the past week staring at her phone, looking at pictures and videos of her friend, smiling and looking happy. No one saw this coming.

My daughter has had her own issues with depression and anxiety, including suicidal thoughts. The school knows this and has worked with her as much as they can, although they can only do so much with the resources they have. She has been going to two different counselors for a few years now, which has helped quite a bit, but there are still underlying thoughts and emotions that she has a difficult time controlling. I think part of why I have been having a hard time with this (including being in tears for two straight days, even though I have never met this particular friend) is because I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if this were my kid. It’s terrifying.

What I am hoping is that, as tragic as this has been, that it has also shown my daughter how something like this affects everyone around them. She will understand why I get so worried and scared when she goes through a bad phase. Part of me hates that I am taking a tragedy that belongs to another person, another family, and making it about us, but I think that is human nature. It’s how we process things. And really, it’s all we can do. Whatever pain brought this young girl to do this, I hope that she is at peace now. All we can do is remember her and learn from her experience.

 

 

Posted in Tarot

Message from the Universe: Reading for 1/12/19

Another Saturday, a more indepth spread. This time, I am using another basic four card spread called “Message from the Universe,” which can be found in the Shadowscapes book.

I didn’t have a specific intention with this one. Just want to know what the universe has to say to me.

Cards are arranged as follows:

4

3

2

1

ace of swordsCard #1: Ace of Swords. This card is haunting me lately! This is the third time it has shown up, so it must really have something to say to me. This position represents the body – how you care for it, honor it (or not).  This card represents beginnings and cutting away obstructions. I think I had mentioned previously that I had been trying a new diet and fitness program. I really fell off the wagon the end of last week. I had a lot of mental and emotional stress, and that just made everything worse about trying to keep with any sort of fitness. I think this card is now telling me that it is a new day, and next week is a new week, and I can always begin again. Get through the obstacles in my path and go.

judgmentCard #2: Judgment. Such a beautiful card! I absolutely love this. This position represents the heart – how you protect it, how you share your love with others, and emotions. This card is as it says (a judgment) but doing so as to bring a renewal, the “freshness of a new dawn.” In the heart position, I don’t think it has to do with how I love others, other than perhaps I need to show it more, but also how I show love to myself. I generally hate my self and definitely don’t treat myself right.

queen of pentaclesCard #3: Queen of Pentacles. The position of this card reflects the mind – the way you see and think about the world or the way you approach problems. I wish I approached problems like a Queen! She looks so wise and serene. I definitely don’t approach anything quite like that. This card represents a generousity and warmth of spirit, security in your position in life. It also has aspects of creative energy. I need to pour these aspects into my current mental state.

Seven of SwordsCard #4: Seven of Swords. The position of this card is directed at the spirit. The message from the universe directed towards it. Sort of an overall message to sum up the reading. I have had this card before as well. It represents a shirking of responsibility. Trying to elude what you need to do. Breeding pessimism. I think I was starting to give up on a lot of things this past week, especially towards the end of the week. I think this card is chiding me just a bit. This entire reading is telling me to get back to work, treat myself better, forgive myself, and don’t fall into despair. Pick yourself back up. Get back in the saddle. Pick your metaphor.

So that’s what I’ll do.

Posted in Tarot

Tarot Draw of the Day: 1/11/19

Today’s Daily Draw: Ace of Swords

ace of swordsThis is the first time this has happened. I pulled the same card as yesterday. And I did shuffle the deck several time and drew a card from the middle somewhere.

So let’s see. Taking into consideration events that happened yesterday (nothing major, but every day has something), it does seem like this is a time of new beginnings in my life. We had a meeting at work discussing how this is the best team they have ever had and they are ready to discuss making some changes and improvements to certain procedures. It really makes me feel like I am part of something there, which is nice. It does feel good to have a work family again, where everyone really does care about each other and wants everyone to pull together and succeed.

Still really tired, but the weekend is almost here. Plus, we might get some winter weather this weekend, so there is a chance I won’t be at work on Monday. More time to rest.

Posted in Tarot

Tarot Draw of the Day: 1/10/19

Today’s Daily Draw: Ace of Swords

ace of swordsWhat a powerful card! I love the swans and the butterflies, and the hilt and pommel of the sword is absolutely gorgeous. There has been a theme so far in my readings about trying to find your confidence and power, and this seems to go right along with that. I have been really struggling lately, especially with feeling overwhelmed and tired from the moment I get up in the morning. Not a good feeling at all. Cards like this make me want to continue to fight, make me feel like the fight is worth fighting.

Still can’t wait for that weekend though.

The artists’ interpretation is about beginnings, something that is beginning now. A funny card, since I had started all my New Year’s goals almost two weeks ago, but maybe it means not to get discouraged, because one can always begin AGAIN. There is strength, but there is also the purpose of swords – to cut away things. To “clear the obstructions that hide the truth.” That’s what I need to do. Cut through these doubts and fears and such so that they don’t hinder me any longer.