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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 (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.


Applied Behavior Analysis, Open Adoption, Newsletter Editing, Ideas for New Writing Projects

For the sake of order (a quality which I often lack),  I will provide a list of topics at the beginning of this entry.  It may not be necessary, but at least, you will know which will interest you the most and it may even help to assist you in deciphering the information as you read.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis – A field in psychology in which behavior is understood as resulting from various causes and will always have an effect, similar to the laws of physics having predictable outcomes (although most people do not regard human behavior quite this precisely, there are noticeable patterns which may be observed and measured)
  • Open Adoption – The result of the hearing was termination of parental rights with a recommendation for continued contact between our son and ourselves.
  • Newsletter Editing – I am coagulating the information that has been submitted to me by members of our mental health community in my county.  It is a big job as I am finding out.
  • Ideas for New Writing Projects – I have various ideas for other children’s books: one is about turtles, another is a longer nonfiction account of my experiences.  I am playing with ideas.  The children’s book is more tangible of an idea for me.  I am also just slowly beginning to market my book.  I need to email someone at a local art gallery/used book shop.

That’s pretty much it.  My husband is over for the weekend.  I’m trying to learn to be a better cook.  I went to see the adoption social worker.  I need to get in touch with a program called Kinship Center (link is on the front page, sorry for not linking here, lazy).  They have a support group for people who have given up a child to be adopted.  It would help me probably to talk to others.  I don’t want to get overly involved since there’s a lot I’m actually doing right now.

The Applied Behavior Analysis is something I’ve considered in the past.  Someone mentioned it to me by way of a college recruiter.  I don’t know if I messed up by asking them to call another time or send an email.  I hope that is not too much of a problem.  I think it would be a good fit since that is what I do much of the time anyway.

Open adoption; I will not mess that up.  The family is very kind.  I hope I can support my husband to become more comfortable with them.  I don’t know how to do so in an effective and gentle way.

About the newsletter, I’m just in the assembling process.  It’s my first time working with Microsoft Publisher very much.  I may have used it for other projects, but maybe it was a long while ago.  I don’t know.

My writing ideas…. I have to get them down.  Maybe I will post my story that I told aloud to my husband today while at the bus stop.  It involved a turtle and he sees a rock.  The rock is not what it appears to be.  It’s a story for children, but I feel adults would enjoy it too.

I get to see my son along with my mother on the 27th.  I’m going to try to see what I can do about what’s happening with my husband and his contact with David, but I don’t know if it’s my problem.  I do feel it’s in David’s best interest to know his birth father.  I don’t want him to completely shun him.  So far, he seems to be distancing himself.

Publications and Prayer

My blog lay stagnant like fallen leaves upon a still, cold winter’s ground. It froze, but it is resuscitated. Life it has once again, hallelujah! I sound overdramatized, don’t I? It is no matter, really. No, it’s not. It’s not in the slightest.

My husband has been worried that I stay up late. I am fine. I am going through a night owl phase, and it will correct itself when it needs to do so. That is not a great concern. I am enjoying being up at night for the moment. That is not an issue that needs solving. I can control this. I am strong. I am a strong and capable woman, and I have all I need to succeed in life. I have not always believed so in the past, but now I know so. Now I am certain. I am no pushover. I am secure in my being for once in my life. It’s a very nice, wonderful, empowered feeling.

There is so much I can do with this feeling. There is so much I can do with this new sense of myself. One is that I have written a children’s book. I have yet to find a market for it. This will come with time. I tried to get the word out through my Facebook page. That was not successful, nor was Google+. I asked at a local gallery that also sells used books. The woman said they might be interested in a local author as well. She said they do have others. My mother said there is still one independent bookstore open in Pacific Grove. I will bring copies around with me to take to establishments in the near future. I just ordered copies recently, but they had errors. I need to order at least one more.

I tried to find writing jobs for short stories and poetry to submit to literary magazines. They did not respond at all. This was somewhat discouraging. I would have at least liked to feel dignified with a rejection letter. Alas, no word from either of them, and I’ve not tried any new ones. I can search around. Apparently, the market is different. All the publications are in online format, naturally. Many of the publications used to be strictly old fashioned printed ones, but no longer. Some have only existed as online “zines.” I would just like to have a chance. I find, however, that since I lack formal training, I am afraid I may not have the skill or style they would be searching for in particular. I cannot be sure.

I wrote one other story, not a children’s story, but it is only just over three pages in length. I do not know if I should post it up into my stories section on here. I will think about it and decide. I probably will end up doing it even though some of the publications will not accept previously published works, even if it’s just to a blog. I like having my writing out in view, though. I am just learning. I like feedback in a way even though I cringe at the idea of people saying what I write is inferior quality. I am very sensitive as most writers probably are about people reading their thoughts. Writing is so very personal.

I have been praying a lot in recent weeks. I was more for a while in particular. I don’t do it every night as I should, but I do it when I think about it. Often, I pray about my father, or I pray to God to keep my father company up in Heaven or wherever he is. I pray that there be an end to the suffering of the world, a thing probably many people would wish for, and I am sure I am not alone in this. I pray for relief from sickness for those I know and love as well as those I do not know from mental illness as well as other serious diseases. I pray for cures for things like cancer. I pray for cures for things like multiple sclerosis, too. My mother has multiple sclerosis. I pray for peace in my marriage, and I pray for an end to hardship within loving relationships. I pray for good in the world, and I pray for miracles, compassion, and love. I have also prayed about a friend of ours who recently died from a drug overdose. He committed armed robbery at a small local pharmacy, then promptly took the pills he stole in a bathroom at a restaurant two doors down, passed up, died that night of the overdose. He was just one year older than me, 30 years old. I pray for him to have peace. I am very spiritual and somewhat religious although I confess I do not know what it really means to be religious. I do not attend church because it is inconvenient for me to go since I have a lack of effective transportation. I wish I could go more often.

I am tired finally. My husband is here. I pray we reunite under one roof peacefully with love for one another for the rest of our lives. I love him so, and I don’t want to be angry at each other anymore. I want us to tolerate and learn to love each other’s little imperfections. I want to learn more compassion for him in times of need. I want to be more giving, more understanding, and I want to be less selfish. I have found I can be quite controlling, and I have my own anger problems that I am not proud of admitting.

Peace, love, good will toward all on this night so close to Christmas and in the time of year where others celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. I pray for all to find peace and love in this world that has been hurting for so long. Bless us, please, Lord. Amen.

Wilma, the Authoress

So that’s what I am now. I have accomplished something. I have given birth to a son, and also, I have given life to a story about a baby bear based on my baby human son. If this book finds any interest, I will probably make more. I would like to assemble it more professionally. Probably, I would actually purchase some real photo software to make the pictures the right size. I might even invest in the art class they have at Michel’s Arts and Crafts. It’s only $25 or something, but you have to buy an art set that is $50. I’ll do that next year if the first book is any kind of success.

I gave a proof copy to my mother. That’s a copy that has an error in the back cover. It’s not significant.

I hope people will like the book. Most importantly, if and when David sees it and whenever his adoptive family read it to him, I hope it tells him that I love him, have loved him, and always will love him. He will always be my special little baby even when he’s all grown up. He will always be my heart and soul, even when I am old and at the end of my life. He will always be my pride, even when he has outgrown his adoptive parents’ home. He will always be in my thoughts, even when he is far out of sight.

I hope I get to see my son someday as an older child or as a young man. I hope his father gets to see him as well. I want to hug him and tell him I’m proud of him someday. I want to hear him say he loves me if he can say that, and I want to be able to say that to him. I want to hear his reaction to the story that was about a baby based on him as a baby. I want to see what kind of person he grows up to be. I want to see what he does with his life. I want to know him as a person.

When David was first born, I said “children are a piece of your soul walking around outside you” or something to that effect. I still feel that. I feel like there is a piece of me cut off and it will forever exist in David. The only thing is that this piece may not anymore be me. It has become another person entirely. This other person shares features of me, and he has features of his father. Still, he is his own person. He is an individual like no other. Part of what hurts me is that he is so young. He will barely be talking when his adoptive parents leave with him to either Rhode Island or Virginia. I won’t know him past the age of two years old. I have accepted it as a fact, but I don’t have to completely like it. I have to accept it, but I don’t have to give up the thought that I wish events had transpired differently. I’m comfortable with the decision, but I know I will always miss my son. I know I will always think of him. I know I will always wonder how he is doing.

The adoptive parents have not posted any new pictures in a couple weeks. When there are not pictures, I get anxious. Maybe I am wrong to feel this way. After all, the important thing is that David is happy and safe, correct? Still, there is no substitute for the feeling of having one’s child in one’s own arms. There is no replacement for loving a child that one brought into this world. I have changed the world forever. I have given the world a new person. No matter where he is, he will be there partly because of me. I should be satisfied with this, yet I am not.

The story I wrote about bears is a story I wrote when I was very sad and did not know whether I would get my son back. I was staying in a crisis house right after being in the hospital. I was not completely rational, but in those moments, I can be at my most creative. I am creative at other times as well, but I can have bursts of creativity when I am in states that are clinically labelled “manic” by psychiatrists and other professionals. This means an overabundance of energy. It is not quite the same as being happy. It’s more like being frantic. Some people are violent, angry, especially sexual or prone to dangerous behavior during these phases. In my less elevated states, I am just more energetic. This might be called “hypo-manic.” Besides the clinical mumbo jumbo, I was missing my son. One of the staff members at the crisis house told me I should do something to make myself feel better about my situation. I decided to just draw and write. I ended up writing a story about a baby bear that in my mind was based on my son or my image of him as he would be if he could talk. I made it so that he had a sister bear with whom he was having most of the dialogue. When I saw David, finally, at my first visits, I would read the story to him. He liked it. I carried it around in my purse for a long time, but it got crumbled. The cover nearly fell off. I wanted a way to preserve it. I decided I did not just want an amateur job of printing from a print shop like Kinko’s. Someone had said I should really publish it. I decided to try. One good friend from high school told me about a free self-publishing website. Later on, I found a PBS article that directed me toward the one I eventually chose, which is owned by Amazon.

The book has been published as of yesterday. There was one back cover typo as I mentioned. The typo was there I put the word “whey” in a sentence instead of “why.” I decided to publish it finally without a second round of proof copies. I saw no other typos.

The book is 8.5″ by 8.5″ with my own illustrations. There is a picture of the main character, Baby bear asleep on the front cover. That was the first picture I drew for the book. I drew it at Omni Center, the peer drop-in where I volunteer. The rest of the cover is brown. The interior pages have a light blue background. The book is 28 pages including dedication and the last page, which is just a blank page.

My husband says he is proud of me, but he says I should still get a job. I have some projects in the works, one of which starts at the end of this month. I will write more about that topic in a later entry.

The Bears of the Wood – Published 11/11/11, Veterans Day 2011!

The Bears are in their Lares

Above you will find the link to the place to order my first ever published children’s book entitled The Bears of the Wood. It was published today after I received and approved the proof copies. It is 28 pages long with my own illustrations in oil pastel. The book is dedicated to my son, David Christopher. Anyone who knows me personally can receive a special introductory offer if they order the book directly from me. Otherwise, feel free to order from the CreateSpace website. The text of the book has been altered from the original first draft available for viewing in the “Stories” page of this blog. Alterations mainly consist of increased conciseness and the omission of the name “Savannah” as Sister bear’s name. She is simply called “sister”.

I ordered four proof copies to have extras on hand. My good friend (who is a veteran) is ordering one copy through the introductory offer partially because he feels less than comfortable ordering things online with his personal information. The other copies are to have as a reference, sentimental value and to share with family.

Christopher is on his way over here with a friend. The bus was running on a special schedule and he was having trouble getting over here. I’m going to help him pay $10. I made tofu scramble with vegetarian chorizo and veggie broth instead of oil. I’m going to put it over brown rice I’ve made, but I’m waiting until Christopher gets here to share it with him. I made lots of brown rice. I hope Christopher is able to chew adequately. He had oral surgery yesterday on three teeth. I hope he’s not too sore anymore.

Happy Veterans Day to all veterans and their families! Give my book a look! You’ll be glad you did!

Productive Day

Today was a day well-spent. I got up at about 8:30 with ideas for things to do with my life. I don’t have a timeline yet, but I think first thing is to get my budget in order, possibly allow myself to utilize my annuity while I have a lot of expenses, maybe have a systematic withdrawal until I have fewer of them. Once they start to subside and once I’ve paid off my prior bill to University of the Rockies, then I could start there again and work on my M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management. I’ve never been so interested in Marriage and Family Counseling. After the M.A., I would work toward my Psy.D in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University. All of it would be online work. I don’t have to travel or relocate for any of it.

Christopher has been with me all day. We went out to Chevy’s Fresh Mex and ate, then got some movies at Walmart. We ran into two friends at Walmart after which we came home and watched two of the movies.

I managed to get my book printer-ready and uploaded for publishing on a site called CreateSpace. It’s a free site for self-publishing. I was going to use, but I had trouble making the cover.

It’s daylight savings time.

Progress on my book, editing for Our Voices, and more Volunteering

I think I’ve almost if not completely finished the illustrations for my children’s book entitled The Bears of the Wood. I will not, of course, know for certain until I get a chance to upload everything, whether or not I will need a few more pictures or not. I’m not precise enough to know exactly how many I will need. This is my first time doing this, and I will say, I don’t really have a precise process. It’s just me doing it in a way that makes sense to me. I have no idea of the standard or the traditional way things are done. I’m just mostly doing this for David, my husband’s family (whether or not they ever really care) and my own feelings. If I sell books (which of course would be nice), that would be lovely.

I also went over to the peer center Our Voices today. I’ve been volunteering at Omni Center in Salinas since September. The administrator at Omni made me aware of an opportunity to edit for the newsletter at Our Voices as well. I went over and discussed this with the appropriate person at Our Voices. I got the formatting done for the first page. I feel like my next step is to get the word out at Omni, Shelter Cove/Sandy Shores, Our Voices and behavioral health (places that mental health consumers frequent) and let them know that we need people to write articles. As soon as I get a few articles, I can start adding them to the newsletter. I’m also going to have a section on the holidays from February until the next newsletter comes out. Another thing is to get out a community events calendar and create my own little calendar of events most likely at the back of the newsletter. It will all come together in time.

Meanwhile, I’ve been volunteering whenever I can at Omni. I will go in tomorrow. I could also figure out if I should go on Friday. I probably should go. The more time volunteering the better in my book. Even if they don’t need someone volunteering at the particular time, it’s always a help. Also, this Friday is the last Friday of the month, and they have the clothes closet open. Last month, when that happened, it was pretty busy. They will probably need help, so I should probably go.