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Category Archives: Christopher

Can I find it in my heart to have acceptance of things I wish were different? And is it true then that I really wish them different after all?


Mindfulness

Mindfulness (Photo credit: Cathdew)

I used to be a part of a group at the other mental health office — DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy.  It’s a type of cognitive behavioral therapy intended to stop people from doing self destructive things.  I’m thinking maybe it’s time to get back to it.  There’s a major emphasis on acceptance and being mindful.  These are things I desperately lack.  I lacked mindfulness when I tripped over a bottle and fractured my ankle.  I lack acceptance of the basic facts about my mental health — the treatment, the best way to work with it, the need to accept the limitations inherent.  I lack acceptance often of my baby’s adoption.  It feels unjust although it is very possibly the right thing.  I lack acceptance of some of my own strengths, which causes me to throw away some of the possibilities of achievement inherent in them.

It’s time to reclaim myself again.  I’ve allowed myself to languish too long.  It’s true I’ve needed to recover from my fall.  The fall was a symptom, though.  The way I’ve been acting, I know I’ve been manic or hypomanic recently.  I know Chris hasn’t labeled it as such, but it is blatant to anyone who would pay attention.

I think it’s just been in the past two weeks.

I have a doctor’s appointment this coming week, I believe.  I’ll confirm it.  I’ll make sure I can go.  And I’ll ask the questions necessary. . . set up transportation or see if I’m able to get on the bus safely.

I’m going to be venturing out on my own just down the street with my crutch for the first time since I fell.  I had been nervous because I didn’t want to fall again.  I kind of stayed home.  I think, actually, perhaps I may have made only one other trip.  I forget if I did or not.  I know I’ve gone down to the store with Chris a couple times.  This weekend, he helped me get to the DMV.  He also helped me around the house.

My mood was elevated, and I was overly angry at times.  I was just lecturing.  I’ve also been really serious and intense.  I think these are symptoms, maybe irritability.  I would have to verify, but I really think so.

Anyway, I’ll do what I have to do this week.

My house is stocked with healthy food because a church friend, who’s also the minister’s wife, gave me a ride over to the store again.  She’s really sweet.  They’re moving because her husband didn’t seem to find his true passion with this congregation.  I guess sometimes that’s just how it is.

I’d like to get to church for a little while before they leave.  I’d like to move up in my independence, maybe drive myself there.  I need to find some kind of efficient way to get over there.  I’ll work it out.  I feel it’s an important part of my life.

Next month, April, is a big month in my life always.  It used to be the end of the year was somehow significant because my birthday was in Christmas time and because my grandfather’s was just around Thanksgiving.  The whole season was packed more than anything.  Now April is my wedding anniversary (10th), my father’s birthday — God rest his soul (5th), and my son’s birthday (24th).  Last year, on my father’s birthday, my son was taken out of my custody.  That was the last day that I cared for my son in my own home.

Is it tragic?  I could say it’s part of what I had a feeling would happen for some time before it did happen.  I just had an intuition that this was not going to be an easy road, that there would be roadblocks, and probably it would not go smoothly.

When I found out I would be pregnant, I was asked whether I wanted to keep the baby, put him up for adoption or — terminate.  I knew for a fact I would not terminate him; that much was certain.  I’m pro-choice in general, but I knew I would not kill my own.  I remember lying on the hospital bed where I was when I found out.  I just stayed in bed and got up to walk around, drink chamomile tea a bit.  I don’t remember if they removed all my meds or not.  All I know is that I accepted it.  I accepted the plan that I felt was not completely my own but that had been a choice I made one way or another.

I am so glad I accepted that.  I am so, so glad.  I would never have had any part of this road change other than maybe the fact that David had to go through so much medical strife when he was first born, in the first six months of life.  I would always have chosen to give birth, to raise him if I could, and if it was not workable, if he was not getting what he could from me — I knew I would have to let go and let him have the life he deserves, the best life possible.  This is what I’ve always known deep down, and this is why I made that initial choice.

Now I know.  I know I made the right decision, and I know that everything is for the best.  It’s amazing to say that at long last.  I just know everything will be fine.  And I’m grateful, so very much.

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Fracturization (As the Crutches Turn)


MetroPCS billboard, $40 Unlimited talk, text, web.

MetroPCS billboard, $40 Unlimited talk, text, web. (Photo credit: JC0598)

365 Day 69 Genetic Testing

365 Day 69 Genetic Testing (Photo credit: lornagrl) - Someone's hand after genetic testing

I have a good friend who is a deacon at a church called Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.  He kind of acts in a fatherly capacity and has ever since I started to have my life more intertwined with county mental health treatment.  I first started to talk to him before my life became controlled by the courts (conservatorship).  He continued to be a grounding source of wisdom during the time when I was institutionalized, later when I was at a board and care facility, and finally when I came back to the Monterey area to begin with the transitional housing community at which I met my husband almost five years ago.  He has stayed the course as a true friend, offering advice, frequent kind gestures, and support in general.  He helped me yesterday when I had to go to the orthopedic doctor to get my ankle examined and a wrap to stabilize it.

He also tried to take me grocery shopping, but I did not have my ID to make the check.  My credit union was not open.  I needed to activate my new card, but I could not that day.  As a result, I have not been able to pay my Metro PCS pre-paid phone bill.  I have to activate the card in person.  I e-mailed my friend, but he does not always check his e-mail.  I also e-mailed another friend who is wife of the minister at the church where I personally would attend.  Frustration.

My husband said he would come over this week and help me do some things, help me to get some food, maybe with showering (you know, hand me the towel, maybe help pull me out of the bathtub since I don’t have a seat for the shower, clean up).  He might not be able to come tomorrow because his mother is insistent that we get this genetic test for David.  I told my husband to tell her that I currently can’t afford it.  I am trying to get insurance to cover the test.  He told me she was upset at me for not being able to pay for it.  I tried to call the hospital before my phone was disconnected.  I left a message.  I was going to find out precisely how much the test costs and if they think the insurance I am currently applying for would cover that.  I can’t call now except using an online phone.  I’ve used Gmail, but I don’t know if it does long distance calls.  San Francisco is long distance to me.

Tired of frustration and stress, people not being understanding, tired I really am.  I told my mother that I think my mother-in-law does not really care one way or the other if I am well.  She (my mother) pointed out how Patricia (mother-in-law) sure enjoyed being around David.  I answered that she may enjoy that, but she really doesn’t seem to care at all about my interests.  Honestly, inside, I feel she wouldn’t care if I fell off this great Earth.  I’m sure that’s a terrible thing to say, but I get that impression.  I stayed with her for a couple months while my husband was going through some troubles, and she wasn’t very understanding when I was depressed while my marriage was in trouble and I had to stay away from my own home with the baby.  She didn’t seem very compassionate.  She wouldn’t even drive me to the doctor, only stay with the baby.  It seemed as if my own needs always came last.  I’m not sure if that is the way most in-laws are.  I don’t know, not having much experience.  I don’t know if I’m perceiving things differently.  I’m no expert, but I can only say how I feel.

I don’t know how long I have to just stay home while I wait for my ankle to be somewhat better.  I don’t know what the indication would be that I could do things on my own.  The doctor gave a six to eight week projected recovery period.  That timeline falls outside the anticipated date for my son’s birthday party.  I’m sure I could ask in three weeks when I go to see the orthopedic again.

Good grief, Charlie Brown.

 

Two Pluses and One minus Equals One Plus, Which Puts Me Ahead of My Game


Rainbow over Monterey

Rainbow over Monterey (Photo credit: JamesMoberg)

English: The Monterey Institute of Internation...

Image via Wikipedia

Seal of the Monterey Institute of Internationa...

Image via Wikipedia - Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)

I don’t really like that title, but I could think of none better.

Sometimes the old adage goes, “One step forward and two steps back.”  Sometimes not.

Last Friday, I lost my personal items on the bus.  I may have posted about this or I may not.  Either way, I lost the following in my purse which was beautiful and had a nice rainbow glitter design on the front with a zipper and was the kind that could be worn cross body style because it had a nice long strap.  It was dark blue, and I think I bought it while I was in my undergraduate years.  I lost the following:  One pink small-size eco-friendly moleskin (certain type of journal/writing book) made with 100% post-consumer materials — this said it would be recoverable only I didn’t have the foresight to actually register it at the website like they suggested, one wallet with two debit/credit cards (credit union and major bank), two or three checkbooks, a bunch of receipts, some cash, my set of keys (with apartment keys & mailbox keys), random lip balms, maybe some lotion, and I’m sure other stuff I’m not thinking about.

This week has been partially about backtracking.  My credit union knows me even though I only just started with them this year.  They were kind enough to allow me to withdraw cash although I do not have my ID (oh, yes, that must be one of the things I forgot to list!).  I had to get back to spare key I had given my husband to get in on his own.  He no longer can do so.  I’m waiting for my friend who works with the management of my apartment complex to call today so that I can get into my mailbox and get my mail to include my beginning-of-the-month check that I receive from a certain fund.  I will go over and remind her gently after lunch.  I may just hang out with her in the office for a while.  I’ve called the post office at both the distribution center and the regular post office where I would receive the keys.  I left a message, but I will have to call again after lunch as well.  I’ll hope I can go on Monday.  I’ve been so busy lately running around to other parts of town to visit my son on Tuesday, before that visit my husband, also go to see an Episcopal-Lutheran priest yesterday with him (although I am of neither denomination; I am Unitarian Universalist).  I haven’t even had time to go and volunteer this week.

I’m supposed to make a list of activities that I will be doing with the peer center in Monterey called Our Voices.  It’s another center run by peers mainly in Interim, Inc.  The link to that organization is provided, of course.  I haven’t done this yet, but I will today.

The other thing I did (bigger) is that I contacted Monterey Institute of International Studies online this morning and requested information about their program where a person can get a Bachelor of Arts in International Policy and a Master of Arts in another field within three years total (for both programs).  I decided I would find out about various language programs.  I’m interested probably in the Translation and Interpretation program although I started out looking into the programs where one would teach a foreign language or maybe English as a Second Language.  The admissions person said they would have a particular person talk to me about that all next week, someone who advises based on all the language-oriented programs.  This venture is really exciting to me because up until now, I was looking and looking and never had found a calling.  I’m approaching a resolution to the search that I’ve been having for about two years.  I will be proud to be on a road.

My husband and I talk of moving to Monterey or Marina, which is closer to the Peninsula where I live.  I’m in a more landlocked part of our area.  It’s somewhat safer on the peninsula and more pleasant overall.  The atmosphere is different, and it could be much more comfortable.

We’re going to be attending this Episcopal-Lutheran church every other week.  Christopher did not like the idea of every week.  I guess he feels he needs some Sundays to stay at home or relax.  I recommended that we could still be in touch with the reverend regardless.

I would love to live in the part of Monterey near the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).  It’s the downtown area where there is close access to all kinds of shops, activities, some friends who live near there, and there is Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both close by.  Plus, this would be closer to both of our respective mothers.  It would make life much simpler and more peaceful, I believe.

Christopher has started to volunteer with a non-profit organization called Loaves, Fishes, and Computers.  Their mission primarily is to sell refurbished computer systems at a very low cost to create a greater access to these resources.  It’s great experience, and I’m impressed with him for doing this because he has never really volunteered before.  He has always wanted to get into a job with computers (currently is a landscaper for Interim, but he wants to expand away from this to his greater interest in computers and technology).  He does not have formal training but is very knowledgeable with figuring things out and is very personable when he is relaxed.  When he’s experiencing anxiety, he can be contentious, but more of the time he is fine.

I see if we take things easy, allow the time of transition to pass and look forward to the days when, as the priest says, our son can make a choice about having a relationship with us in future years, focus on the present without looking backward to create depression or too much into the future to create anxiety…. If this all can be achieved, then we will be on a healing and wonderful path.  This is my goal, my prayer, and it is my wish.

Letter I wrote to a Rabbi at a Local Temple


I have often wondered about Jewish traditions since my mother’s side is Jewish although by an interesting turn of events her parents decided to join the Unitarian Universalist community when my mother was young. My grandmother felt she had a religious experience that led her to explore other ways, and my grandfather was staunchly atheist. This created a mixture of beliefs, but I still think of our family as having “Jewish roots.” The only part of our family that still practices the traditions is my aunt’s family in Oregon and my mother’s cousin in the Bay Area. I have little knowledge personally although I have attended Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel Valley in the past.

In addition to my spiritual journey or maybe as a part of, my husband and I as well as our family at large are undergoing a transition whereby our first and only child — our son, David, nearly two years old — is in a process of most likely being adopted by a family who were selected for us. We have had a long road, best not explained in writing. I am somewhat at a loss about how to go about accepting the change. I start to believe I have done so but then my mind gets to churning or someone suggests there might be options I haven’t thought of pursuing, and then I get wound up in that all over again. I guess I have not decided if there is any response appropriate or possible other than to simply allow this to happen. My nature would be not to allow it to happen. My inclination on the other hand is to do what is best for my son although I do not have proof that this cours of action actually is the best. I have only the word of some social workers and psychologists (things I can explain later), but I do not know in my heart that this is right for my son. I cannot see the future, and I cannot see how he is doing other than through word-of-mouth. I can only trust others, and this is hard for me like you wouldn’t imagine.

I have written a short children’s story that I am making available through Amazon and shortly through some local channels such as Steinbeck Center (perhaps), gallery/bookshops, Bookshop Santa Cruz, and whatever else.

My husband and I are simultaneously trying to make sense of our marriage since we had to separate due to instabiliy. We are always unsure what the best solution is and hesitant to make changes. We still have regular contact but we reside separately since he is in a special kind of housing. I would allow him to explain.

I have invited my husband to attend a service soon but would want to know how late the services usually go since we travel everywhere by bus. If there are other events we could know about or times when we could talke to the Rabbi, please make me aware of them.

Thank you.

Wilma

Spilled Soup/Loss of Wisdom/Other Feelings of Loss


Tonight I made a simple soup:  Cabbage, fresh tomato, red potato, onion powder, vegetable broth, water, no added salt.  Unfortunately, my unwarranted pride over this mixture went just before the proverbial fall.  I was holding the large, white, plastic dollar store bowl in a way that I thought would allow the hot contents to be viewed through my webcam by my husband.  I tried to restart the laptop, but it was too late.  Instead of the usual screen that would precede the Windows 7 logo, it was a lime green, then it would not start at all.  I may have taken out accident insurance on this one.  We shall see when Christopher goes with me to Best Buy.  Right now, I am just updating from an app for WordPress from my phone.

In other events, I had my top wisdom teeth out on Monday.  The top right is still sore, and I am limited in food.  I had not had many fresh vegetables since then, so maybe this was why I got so excited abouted cabbage/potato/tomato soup.

Today was the first real visit of the new year with our son.  It was also the last one for my mother and Christopher.  There had been some time just before the parental rights hearing but not substantial. 

I can feel Christopher’s sadness when I talk to him.  He feels his son will never want to know him as he gets older.  I hope his feelings do not cause an unintentional wall possibly built by Christopher himself.  I am not sure my place — if any — in their relationship.  I just always hope and pray for the best as always.

Some Things Just Are Not Important


Sometimes my husband and I quarrel over the silliest trifles.  Gameboys, brunches, bread, dinners, and these become names, and the names become volcanoes of venom that would probably end it all if we weren’t the small amount of careful that we are.  We walk a fine line between love and hate.  But we never hate each other.  We always love each other, but maybe it’s what we define as being love that changes our perception of one another.

This goes back to something the minister’s wife told me, recommended to me at one point: A group, kind of therapy but in someone’s private house, kind of a workshop, involving restructuring one’s expectations including what we want versus what is necessary.

For example, I might think it is necessary in my definition of love that my husband leaves here every time he goes away with a kiss and a very long goodbye.  I might think it necessary that he does little things for me around the house.  I might think it also necessary that when we get home from a day together that he would want to spend even more time together.  But no, maybe he just wants to spend his time with his Gameboy, and that’s all right.  He can do that.  I need to respect that.  There’s nothing wrong with him playing a game and me writing or working or watching a movie or reading.  Neither is better.  I don’t need to judge our time together.

I don’t need to be so dramatic.  Drama sucks, and I need to be mindful of its effect on people.  I have a tendency to be melodramatic even if I don’t admit it.  That can affect our relationship.  It can make it harder for me to accept situations in our lives.

Simple.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be more simple.  I think I’m going to take some time out after doing chores today and working out to write some more about my resolutions.  Also, I’ll let my thoughts out about my son.  I can’t bottle them up, but I don’t need to talk about them every waking moment with Chris.  Balance.

At Least I’ve Got Some Wisdom? …. And maybe that’s enough to see me through


That’s what my mother told me when I told her I had to get my right upper wisdom tooth out.  It turns out that it’s going to be the one on the left as well.  I’ve already had both lower ones out when I was 18, so that’s bye bye to the wisdom teeth.  After that, the oral surgeon will check that the one next to the right wisdom tooth did not have its root surface eroded by the pushing of the wisdom tooth.

My husband and I have been discussing the pros and cons of moving back together, or rather, him moving in with me.

We are now coming to the conclusion that it is true what Katherine Hepburn said about men and women living next door (see quote below for details).  You think I’m joking?  Really, I’m serious.  If you visit Wikipedia, it will tell you that in the U.K. around 10% of couples and in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. up to 9% of couples participate in a non-traditional relationship arrangement sometimes deemed Living Apart Together (L.A.T.).  The wiki article was not specific, but it seemed this arrangement could take a number of forms including married couples, although that was not explicitly discussed.

There are specific pros to this that others may not anticipate.  Christopher could get Section 8 housing (in the same complex as me), be  able to spend time with me when we both have time to spend, we could have our homes the way we like them while still being able to be in the same space a lot of the time, we could share meals together without doing so every time.  Christopher could have me cook for him if he likes or eat the meals he likes to eat on his own.  He could have his mother over without me there.

Naturally, I am not comparing myself to Katherine Hepburn.  I am only relating to the quotation, of course.  In this instance, it seems to fit as a concept nicely.  I’ve always been resistant to unusual circumstances, but you know, that still doesn’t ever have seemed to have stopped them from catching up with me.

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.  Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.  ~Katherine Hepburn