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Slowly Healing

While my immune system is slowly healing, I’m working on healing the shadows I’ve carried in my memories for so many years. Once I had my breakthrough that I blogged about last time, I decided to figure out what I needed in order to heal my immediate depressive issues, and now I am slowly opening the doors in the shadows to let each memory come out for me to deal with.

I wish I could say it’s been easy. Some parts have been incredibly empowering and others are just pieces that I needed to acknowledge in order to put them in the past, like memories of things my abusive ex did. I also had to let go of my own guilt and lay it at my ex’s feet, which I have to continually remind myself to do, after feeling guilty for everything that happened for 20 years now.

A few things with my healing have been some surprising needs that I have figured out, in order to move on. I realized that we needed to name the children and my awesome friend even helped me come up with a name for the adoption, since I am mourning the loss of the child that could have been and not the child that was placed with us. I also realized that I needed some type of small ceremony with our inner circle; one to publicly acknowledge and name each child for the first time, and to have that fellowship of grief and closure. Pinterest came to the rescue and I found the perfect idea to alter slightly to fit our needs. Following is the picture and explanation, since it is so much better with the wording.

Instead of the exact theme I am going to do a layer of colored glitter for each child. The jar I’ve been hoarding for years just because it’s cute finally has a purpose. It has a little spoon on the side and I will spoon out a little of each color as we acknowledge that child, and then we will spread the glitter. I’m still working with L to iron out the details and help me make this happen, but I haven’t been this sure of something being right for me for a long time.

Another step to empowerment is another tattoo. L and I have little matching tattoos on our ring fingers instead of wedding bands, and I was shocked I even did that. *laugh* Now I’m jumping in with both feet because it’s a tattoo that makes me feel incredible and I haven’t even had the consultation yet! One spot that has the least Fibro pain is my inner arm, so I am getting a half sleeve on my inner arm, from my elbow to my wrist. I trolled artist profiles and found someone that makes incredible collage type works of art, and I’m really hoping to get mine done by her. I decided I want to have a reminder to look at whenever it’s a hard day or I’m feeling down on myself, so it’ll have a variety of symbolism that I’m leave to her artistic mind to figure out how to put them together. I’ve always associated myself with Wednesday Addams, since I tend to be as anti-perky as her, and admittedly pretty morbid. In honor, and to make myself grin, I want a bottle of poison. For those of you that don’t have the movies memorized (I admit to not being fully caught up on the original television series, but the movies were part of my youth and I found a teen character I could identify with *grin*), anyway, in one of the movies Wednesday is seen drinking from a bottle of poison, which amuses the tarnation out of me for some reason. It’s also a great way to then give a reason to having a spoon included, to represent being a Spoonie. A random spoon would be weirder than even I am going for with this. *laugh* An apostrophe will also be included, probably close to a set of books, due to the symbolism.

One little symbol says all of that; a reminder through depression and even a great reminder that although our teen adoption path did not work out for us, we have other paths to walk in our journey and other choices. It also reminds me of how many tough times I have all ready had and the strong woman that I am today for surviving it all. One apostrophe says so many things to me and it can stay private or I can raise awareness for depression when asked to explain. As you can tell, I love hidden meanings and am over the moon that these are pieces of my new someday artwork.

I also want to somehow incorporate Phantom’s mask, along with books, since I need to wave my nerd flag at least a bit. *laugh* I kind of envision books at my wrist that open up and bits of my personality are flying up from the pages, in a watercolor or sepia surrounded area. I’d love to incorporate a quote or two that I love, but as L pointed out quite correctly the other day, I’d probably need to do that on the other arm, because I’m probably running out of room with all of my ideas. *grin*

So, it’s a little bit of a bittersweet post, but encouraging, that’s for sure! I’m quite impressed with my progress, for figuring out what I need in order to complete healing for each item, and even going into my mind’s shadows to face an item at a time. For the first time, regardless of what I’ve ever gone through, I actually feel brave. Just like the apostrophe means, I have a lot more of my story to live and write. One step at a time. 🙂

The Clearing

On St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago L and I started our journey side by side down the path of adoption. At first the path was a little rocky and felt like it would take forever. Once we completed our classes, were certified to become parents, and our house passed inspection (not to mention that it was move-in ready), we took our first steps into the forest that the path took us along.

My arms were full with two binders of information about adoption and girls around the US that were available for adoption, and a mind full of random parenting traumatized children facts, while I edged my way through the darkening forest behind him; his automatic tendency to protect me. The ground grew thick with slick moss and spindly tree limbs pulled at us as we kept going. Surely God would reward us for continuing along this horrible path.

So many times I’d think I saw the light for us, but was wrong, and L would have to hold me until the tears passed and try to caution me from letting my heart get involved while we were still in the forest. But I was in love with the idea of finally getting to be a mother, so a bit of my heart broke every time that light was just a trick of the forest.

Finally a very kind woman joined us and helped lead us out of the last bit of the woods, and my heart soared. We made it through the forest, we started the walk with distance between us but had grown closer throughout, and now we could enjoy the sunshine of the clearing, while we awaited our reward for working so hard and diligently. For my loving so much despite the pain.

For a few weeks it was absolutely incredible. There was a young lady to learn about, to take care of, and to work every day to make her know that she was loved and valuable. She said “I love you” and even called me “Mom”, yet I had to keep from sharing the highs and lows with the world. Until the papers would be signed at official placement, the edges of the clearing filled with shadows of all of the secrets about her that, by law, we were supposed to keep. The shadows of secrets became so thick it was hard to see beyond the clearing anymore, especially after the woman left and most of the time it was just the girl and I. One day I finally looked clearly into her eyes and saw Evil. I had narrowly escaped murder before and knew that look well, and knew deep down that my life of dreams, work, and family was about to collapse.

With the help of a friend who understood that Evil, I was able to tell L that I was scared and he immediately stopped the proceedings. I spent the next three months sitting in that clearing, shadow secrets and trees pulling at me, the sky as dark as ink nearly all of the time. L would come and hold me close, but no one can hold you close enough or be there for long when you live in Depression.

An illness contracted from being around the child, coupled with my weak immune system, left me on bed rest for well over a month, and left me in that shadowy world to think and mourn. (I just saw my world’s-best-doctor who is now treating it and my immune system is no longer under attack! Yay! I may actually get off bed rest soon!) Although I still don’t see a light and don’t know where the path from this place is quite yet, it’s not quite as dark now that I’ve been forced to face my fears and forced to mourn.

We never received the blessings that I expected, but in some ways we came away with different ones. 15 years after our vows and I love him more than I ever did before, plus we went through such horrible times that I’ve never felt closer to someone. I learned that it doesn’t take a child to make us a family – we have four fur babies and another one planned to adopt once the youngest two are out of their terrible twos, and we finally made our house a home. Together we make a family.

I also learned a very painful lesson about myself while being forced to face it all. I never truly mourned miscarrying my daughter from my first tango with Evil and was so caught up in the idea of a pre-teen or teen girl because I wanted to share those moments with her that I never got to share with Sierra. I never got to get a dress and her hair done for a formal dance, never got to take one of those holiday card family photos, or even got to plan out a themed birthday party. I missed those special moments that parents often take for granted. But I was just substituting another for the daughter and her moments that I missed out on. That was a hard pill to swallow and an extremely hard failing to admit to, especially putting it out there in the public. If it helps one person in their journey though, I’m thankful I had the strength to write it.

I felt such sorrow for that child with so many secrets and such pain, that I truly wanted to help that young lady. I was in love with being her mother though, not with her. If she didn’t have the other issues, I know I would have grown to love her, but now I don’t know how much would have been for her alone versus a stand-in for Sierra. I also can now see just how much she was manipulating me with the “I love you” and “Mom”, as well, which I would never have realized. As disappointed as I am in myself for motives I was unaware of, I know realistically that we both had severe failings in our motivations.

In those long hours in the darkness I also realized that I have never mourned the other two children that I lost because of my ex. I didn’t carry them as long and, in a way, it was just easier to not recognize that they had been a part of that horrible phase of my life. I had shoved that pain and knowledge deep into the shadows of my mind, and had done quite the job of keeping that corner sealed off. It’s ironic that it now hurts that I hadn’t mourned or allowed myself to think about them. One was my Angel while two were secrets that my mind tried to hide, because it hurt so much. Yet again I caught sight of that tarnished silver armor when I brought the subject up to L and he said they were just as special, just as much Angels, as Sierra, so I should memorialize them too. They deserved just as much, even if I didn’t get to carry them as long. Forget the roses and poetry for me; this is the type of gift a partner can give that can truly change and improve your life. I have a whole shelf and binders of poetry, but have never read something as touching as what he said that day.

I know I’ll be in the dark clearing for a while longer, but I have Faith that I’ll see the path out once I’m ready. It is sad and hurts that we went through such a long and difficult journey to get to this point, but I’m learning to be thankful. I don’t know that I could have ever realized that it’s us together that all ready makes our family, and I don’t know that I would have ever felt peace in that without this pain. There may (and that’s one mighty big may) be a fork in the road in the future, but I’m not in such a rush to get there now. I have a lot of myself to learn about that I had suppressed, I still need to get over the PTSD and horrific nightmares about my ex that Kiddo triggered, and I want to enjoy this time with L. I never expected to have such a loving and close relationship; we were Blessed after all, just not as we expected. Although part of me would still love to be a mother, I’m very thankful that God has better vision than I do.

🙂

If You Are Depressed

On what is considered the happiest holiday of the year, a lot of people struggle with depression and even suicidal ideation. Instead of the happy holidays posts you’re probably more used to seeing, I am attaching a link to a sermon about depression.

If you know me well, you know that I have Faith, but I don’t associate myself with a specific religion, and am really open-minded. The perfect words and message can come from any religion right when you need it, in my opinion. I got really lucky and one of my incredible friends shared this sermon with me, which I asked if I could share here, just in case anyone out there needs to hear this message right now, too.

Again, I am not affiliated with this religion and honestly don’t listen to sermons often, but the message about depression is so incredible that I hope it also helps someone out there in internet-land too. Apparently I seriously suck at embedding the video itself, so please click here to get directed to the sermon page with the video. *smile* And please do not hesitate to privately contact me if you need a depression/ideation “buddy”. Having them myself has literally saved my life.

Just in case you need it, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 (US) and at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Before you act on your thoughts, please reach out. And please do not let this make you feel guilty or like you are a bad person for these feelings/thoughts. It tore me apart for a spell until my friend provided the link to the sermon. You are still a good person, no matter what your mind says right now.

— Georgia

Extra note:

Also, thank you to the incredible friends and family that have been so supportive through this rocky time. I forget to log in to different medias and am so bad at timely responses, but your support means the world to me and I am sincerely thankfully for you. Y’all make me as warm and fuzzy feeling as my plush onesies that I practically live in right now. *grin*

For Other “Should-Be Mothers”

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I spent a long time tonight sitting outside, staring at the stars,  A long time praying with the trees whispering, the wind whipping strands of hair into my tears.  The candle had blown out long before the tears came.

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I prayed, I gave it my all, and I fell in love.  I fell in love with a girl’s quirks, dreams, potential, and learned ways to meet her needs.  I didn’t go into this knowing that my heart could get hurt so deeply before even meeting the child in person.  Every mishap, every delay, and every probing question answered wasn’t enough for us to get chosen.  We requested to proceed to the next step and her foster parents decided to adopt her.  I’m thankful that she is blessed with her home and family.  So thankful that another child has the chance to be loved.  I grieve because I lost the chance at the future I had dreamed of with her in it.  

 

I don’t think I can use this as an opportunity to improve how I handle disappointment or to better myself in some way.  I’m not disappointed.  I’m grieving.  In yet another attempt at becoming a mother I lost the chance.  Just like the miscarriages and failures.  I lost part of my hope and heart.  At times I wish I could protect my heart, but then I don’t think I would be the right person to have started this journey.  There are other inquiries out, one inquiry turned over to another child’s case worker now for consideration, but I’m going to be sad.  I’m mourning the loss of the dreams of special moments that might have been shared, the chance to hold my daughter in my hands.  Most likely the next one will be the same and probably somewhere along the path we’ll get a little further and get rejected in preference of other parent(s), too.  And just like when the stick had only one pink line or the ultrasound was empty, I’ll grieve for that lost hope, the lost dream. As one woman said in a forum thread many years back, “I really hate that phrase [about birth mother’s knowing the right parent] along with ‘the right baby finds the right family at the right time…’ That falls in line (for me) with ‘Everything happens for a reason’ ‘It was meant to be’ etc… The reason I hate those phrases? Because for those families for whom it doesn’t work out, you feel even more like some type of cosmic failure. Even the “universe” felt you were unfit to be parents…”

 

The other stages have been so incredibly hard all ready, but somehow it felt like although we missed out on the previous chances, we would get picked quickly.  I have no explanation for why it seemed like this part would be the easier part.  I didn’t expect so much emotion during this phase either.  And I didn’t expect to find empathy from a group of women, all strangers even among themselves,  who understood the frustration and grief, along with this sense of failure.  All rational women.  All women trying to figure out how to hold our shattered hearts together enough to try again.  All women who delete multiple versions of what they share (I’m on five right now).   I didn’t know that I could feel like I’m failing at this and would never have imagined that I’d learn from strangers that I’m allowed to, and need to, mourn those possibilities.  We all fell in love with someone we didn’t know and had our hearts broken a bit.  And we’re all scared of being vulnerable yet again.

 

We don’t pour our hearts out for pity; we do it to keep one another strong enough to try again and so that the right message can be found when this happens to another should-be mother.  You will try again.  You will set a date to reevaluate if you have enough hope and strength left to continue.  You will be misunderstood by those that can’t empathize with your loss.  Very few will understand your grief, but don’t let that stop you from grieving.  Just like each chapter in the pre-home study, there’s another page after this.  Scream at the stars, cry in the dark, get down on your knees and pray for probably the eightieth time just this week if that’s what you need.  But allow yourself to grieve.  The tears will dry on the paper and when you’re ready, turn the page. 

Bless Yore Beautiful Hide, Wherever You May Be

First off, I want to say that I’m really sorry for the silence for the past few months. I’ve gotten caught up on all of the blogs that I follow, but not my own. I think that shows I just needed a little time away, I think. I also think it’s about time to give you the details, clear the cobwebs, and get back into the groove. 🙂

I’m sick. I try not to talk much about it except to those I’m close to, since it’s not exactly a cheerful topic and I pray every day to have a good impact, but I want to always be honest on this blog. I have a disabling case of Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Costochondritis, Chronic Insomnia, a compromised immune system, and a laundry list of other little things that get in the way sometimes. I went into this year with high hopes that I’d start getting better. Maybe not a full remission, but at least a bit better, since I didn’t think it could get much worse. Yeah, I deserve a total “Gibbs smack” to the back of the head for that thought. *grin* Between injuries, new symptoms, doctors altering my meds all of the stinking time, and some withdrawals from meds that just didn’t work well with my complicated system, I had a hard time. Sometimes I struggle with depression. It’s hard to always be happy when it can be a huge challenge just to get out of bed. I mean at ALL, not just the ole usual I don’t want to get out of bed this morning thing, either. Sometimes it’s as hard to get out of bed as a workout at the gym. It’s hard to believe, but that’s one of the truths that every Fibro sufferer will usually hide from you. We try to smile so you don’t see how broken we’ve become, we say “about the same” or “not too bad” if you ask how we are because we know most don’t want to hear the depressing truth that we seldom have good days when we’re in a relapse, and we try not to let you see us wince from the pain when you playfully nudge us or slap our shoulder during a joke. We want to be normal; we want to be loved and liked still. Most friends and acquaintances drift away because they think we’re just always going to blow them off or we don’t bother to participate in the friendship. Most of the time we desperately wish we could handle being hugged or that someone would go ahead and give us a hug anyway, because the pain is ALWAYS worth it. With all of that turmoil it’s easy to lose sight of who you are and what your dreams are. When every day requires adjustments just to do the basics, we don’t know that we can have dreams anymore, sometimes. Our dream can become having more than one good day a month and our world gets so wrapped up in the hardships that we can’t always see the shore when our ship starts to sink. Anyone with a chronic illness has these moments and sometimes those moments last a very long time.

Added to the muck I felt like I really let myself down with my business. When we got our taxes done Georgia’s Bath Products was officially downsized to a hobby instead of a business. I was too sick to be able to do the events and push sales, so I never met the standard needed in the allotted time. I’d all ready lost a full time job and ended my first business in the couple of years before this, so getting downgraded hit me a little harder than it normally would have. I lost my inspiration, my interest, and my way.

Thankfully something wonderful has happened in the past two months to help me start shaking this all off and work toward finding the new me. My newly single mom moved from an hour away to about eight houses away. When my days are so bad that I’m too sick to take care of my dog or get up off of the couch, she’s here for me. She cooks for the big guy and I when it gets hard and not only helps clean my house, but she even helped (well, really she taught me how) to make/install a shelf so I could organize some stuff. It may seem weird that I make attaching brackets to a board and screwing them into the wall sound like a huge thing, but when you can’t manage your own household anymore those little things make the sun feel a hundred times more glorious upon your face, and you can’t help but grin for days. Plus, she needs me. She accepts my limitations better than I do usually, but still wants me around, and visits me at home because she understands that it’s kind of an ordeal just to leave the house sometimes. No matter how dark the alleys in my mind got, how lost I became, she held my hand and said she needed me because I’m still the bright spot in her life. Hearing that when I did was a true blessing that has been helping me face each day.

So, now that I feel more naked than if I’d streaked at the World Cup, we can all look forward to the fun stuff.

During my time off I was on Pinterest quite a bit. (Hi, my name is Georgia, and I’m addicted to Pinterest…) Feel free to explore my quite diverse collection of boards by looking for the pinner Georgia’s Bath Products. You get a really good feel there for how eccentric I truly am. *grin* I’ve done some Pinterest pin reviews on the blog previously, but dude…for a while I really did have a problem. lol I also read a bunch of books that were completely and thoroughly fun. Raunchy historical romps, steampunk sci fi, paranormal romances, and Whodunits filled my hours, and it was glorious. *pushes glasses up my nose with a grin* I also spent a lot of time in the virtual world of Second Life. I learned some of the basics of building, mentored some newbies, and became a crazy cat lady in that life too. *laugh* I also got totally into learning and watching about cosplay (a bucket list item I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to check off, but it’s high on my list now *grin*) and came up with some awesome strategies (yep, I dare to say something so cocky) for my mom’s move. I got to utilize my love of lists and spreadsheets for the irritating process of moving. I rock sometimes. *cracking up*

Expect to start seeing my posts showing up in your inbox or feed a lot more frequently now. There will be some posts featuring interviews with one of my friends full of recipes, handy little tips, and some of the neatest decorating ideas. You’ll see my first attempt at spray painting something (shows what a goody two shoes I was as a youth, I guess lol) when I soon try to turn my ugly cane into a work of pink glitter art. I’m going to be working at trying to make a part of my mom’s office into a crafting section, so expect some fun info about that (most likely inspired by Pinterest, I’ll be honest *grin*). Who knows what other oddness I might get myself into, too. I all ready binge watched the second season of Hemlock Grove, so now I can focus on new activities. There probably won’t be a lot about the bath and body products until it’s closer to Fall, so if you don’t stick around, I understand. I hope you do, though, and maybe we can find some fun stuff to share with each other. Maybe if you’re also struggling with something in private this will help you to not feel so alone, too. I’m closing with a quote from the author that wasn’t afraid to confide about those dark thoughts, Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

 

(To give credit where it’s due, the post’s title is actually a song [and a bit of lyric] from the 1954 musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  That song has been stuck in my head for a week now, and I thought it’d make a good title for the first post of my return.)

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