Archive for October, 2012

Too much going on

Hi, all.

I have too much going on in my life right now to blog, and none of it is related to healing from child abuse. I’ll try to get back to it later in the week.

~ Faith

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This is my annual “got triggered by the Halloween store” blog entry. I guess I will keep writing it until my 11-year-old son is grown.

My son gets annoyed with me every year that I will not let him buy, or even try on, any costume with a black hood. No exceptions. Non-negotiable. Of course, in his 11-year-old mind, the black-hooded costumes are the scariest and “coolest,” and as an adolescent, he is looking for any way he can to prove that he is no longer a “little kid.”

He placed one hooded mask on his head briefly, and I felt a sharp pain across my head. His friend wanted to try one on, and just that knowledge sent more shooting pains through my head. I told the friend that my son would have to let her know how the costume looks because seeing children in black hooded robes makes me sick.

Last night, I have flashback nightmares. I reenacted one of my more heinous memories. I could feel and hear the same sensations I experienced when the event actually happened, and I jolted awake pouring sweat with my heart pounding. I eventually went back to sleep but continued having nightmares. I gave up at 4:30 a.m.

Photo credit: Microsoft

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This blog entry continues from here.

I was somewhat hurt but mostly angry about my grandmother deciding a week in advance that she was not going to see me while I was in my hometown specifically to see her. So, I decided to reframe the trip. My motivation to continue visiting my hometown every other year has specifically been to see my grandmother one more time. I am no longer going to do this.

I wanted to salvage the trip, so I decided to reframe its purpose – I decided this would be my “goodbye trip.” I decided to view this metropolitan city as if I was a tourist. I came up with a schedule for taking in the five most interesting sites for two 11-year-old ADHD children. We would drive in on Wed evening, take in two side-by-side sites on Thursday, one site on Fri, and two across-town sites on Saturday. I would be generous with the souvenirs for the kids, and we would collect pressed pennies all over the city.

From here, I invited friends and family to connect with us. Not one family member chose to connect. One cousin had surgery recently, which limited her availability, and the other had to work. Both are good reasons, but somehow my friends managed to squeeze in having dinners with us while family did not. (This comment excludes my sister. She spent Friday with momster and then half a day Saturday doing a tourist attraction with us before heading back home.)

Friends from high school did work us in. One did a tourist attraction with us and visited with us when we arrived. Another joined us for dinner on Thursday night. On Friday night, I got together with four high school friends (including the two who did other things with us) at one of their houses so the boys could run around and play while the adults visited. So, it turned out to be a worthwhile visit despite not seeing my grandmother.

I did all of these activities through the lens of saying goodbye. I no longer fit into my hometown. I don’t like the traffic, the driving (everything around there is 30 miles apart!), or the frenetic pace of life that my friends live. Yes, I lead a busy life, but I also have downtime. I do yoga and meditation, blog, Bible study, leisurely visits with friends, etc. In my hometown, there’s no time for this because they spend so many hours each day driving from point A to point B. I respect that other people might like this lifestyle (or perhaps are unaware of other ways to live), but it’s not for me.

I wrote this week’s blog entries right before packing up the car to travel home. I might write more as I process the trip, or I might just move on to other topics.

Photo credit: Microsoft

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PhotobucketThis blog entry continues from here.

As I stated in my last blog entry, I did not take it personally that my grandmother did not want to see me – by this, I mean that I know she didn’t think, “Ooh, it’s Faith coming. I don’t want to see her.” I know this is not a rejection of me as a person and that she is not intending to “punish” me or whatever.

Nevertheless, her cancellation pissed me off. I had prepaid $500 for a hotel to come in August, and I did the nonrefundable option to save money. I had to reschedule the trip because of my son breaking his foot in July, so while I could not get my money back, I could move it to a different weekend. This was the only weekend we could do without my son having to miss school. I gave everyone, including my grandmother, two months’ notice about the change.

If my grandmother had awakened the morning of our scheduled visit and needed to cancel because she wasn’t feeling well, I would understand. People in their nineties have good days and bad days, and I totally understand having to cancel because you are not feeling well. My issue is that she canceled a FULL WEEK IN ADVANCE because she did not feel like seeing anyone. Unless she was going into the hospital, had a current physical issue that the doctor said would not improve within a week, or had some other issue that she would know a week in advance would not clear up, I think this cancellation was rude.

My sister said that our grandmother does this to her a lot. My sister travels five hours by car for each visit, but she also combines it with a visit to momster, so the cancellations bother her less. I have decided that I will never again plan a visit specifically to see my grandmother. If I have another reason to visit my hometown, I will give her the opportunity for a visit, but I am not going to spend that kind of money again if she is going to be unreliable about actually seeing me. (According to my cousins, who live locally, this has become a recurring issue.)

While I know the cancellation was not personal to me – that it was about her and not me – I am finished with having relationships like this in my life. That dynamic describes my entire childhood. It was never about me. The people in my life (mostly family) jerked me around, but it wasn’t personal to me – it just affected me. It was always about them, and I was caught in the aftermath of their self-centered choices. The impact on my sister and me was never a factor, and that’s not OK.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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ShackThank you for your patience with taking last week off. I traveled with my ADHD child and his ADHD friend to my hometown. I had a lot to juggle before we left, and we were gone Wed through Sun – no extra time for blogging.

I have decided to cut down to blogging on three days a week (Mon, Wed, and Fri) in the hopes of staying more consistent. With my increased work responsibilities and continuing to manage my son’s special needs, I simply don’t have the time to cover both this blog and my professional blog five days a week, and I am not willing to give up either. So, I am going to cut down to three days a week for both in the hopes of staying much more consistent in my blogging. We’ll see how it goes!

I need to process my trip to my hometown. As of now, I plan for this to be my last visit. I am not saying “never, ever again” because I never know what the future may hold, but I viewed this trip as a “goodbye” visit. Today, I’ll start by sharing what led up to this one being a goodbye visit and then cover the trip later this week.

The main reason I continue to visit (typically once every two years) is that my grandmother (father’s mother) is in her nineties and not doing well. A trip every other year is about all I can handle emotionally because being in my hometown brings back so many memories of my abusive childhood. I don’t want to spend my time thinking about that any longer.

I gave my grandmother, other family (father’s side), and friends over two months’ notice of the trip, which I scheduled when my son had a four-day weekend off from school. We were supposed to come over the summer, but my son broke his foot, so we postponed the trip so we could do all of the physical activities we had planned on a healed foot.

One week before our visit, my grandmother told another relative to tell me that she was not up to seeing me. She did not mean this to be personal to me – she did not feel up to seeing anyone, including my sister who had also paid for a nonrefundable hotel stay solely for the purpose of seeing her. I’ll discuss my reaction on Wednesday.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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