Monday, July 16, 2018

i need help...

did mom just kick us out?
do we ever get to go back? 

these are not the words i want my kids to think, but these are the questions they asked each other just the other night.

i should back up a few months to tell y'all how this started.  

this picture was taken a few days before i kicked my kids out of my house.  i'm the one in the middle.  this is how most people know me; a happy, smiling, engaged and dedicated mother, friend, sibling and daughter.  i hold a full time job.  i'm your typical soccer mom.  i have wonderful supportive friends and family.  although i'm a single mom raising two teens, in general my life is pretty awesome.

the past three months i've been living in my own private escalating misery.

three months ago i went to my lady doctor because things in my body were changing.  lucky me, i've started "the change" at 42.  after some diagnostic tests to make sure there wasn't any other reason for my symptoms and some discussion about options, we decided to try a mild birth control pill to balance my body.  the good news is that the birth control pill relieved all of my symptoms; the bad news i do not tolerate synthetic hormones.

twelve days in, i had my very first panic attack.  it was mother's day, i was at my dad's house with family.  i could feel something happening, but having never experienced a panic attack before i wasn't sure what was happening.  my chest was tight, i was pacing all over my dad's house, i was opening and closing my hands into a fist repeatedly, an overwhelming sensation of distress was washing over me.  the waterworks started, i started hyperventilating and the only solution that made sense to me was to leave.  so i grabbed my keys, walked out of my dad's house and left.  i didn't say goodbye to anyone including my children, i just left and drove away.  when i finally stopped driving i text my dad to tell him where i was and asked him to bring my children home.  

i emailed my doctor the next day to explain what happened.  i was told my panic attack was not a normal reaction to the medicine.  the doctor asked that i continue taking the medicine and let my body adjust with the hope that things will level out.  this made sense to me; i've introduced something new to my body.  i should clarify that i rarely take anything; i've never smoked anything, i'm not a regular drinker, i rarely drink soda, i don't take pain relievers unless i'm really in pain.  so the concept of introducing a foreign chemical into my body, having an adverse reaction to it and giving my body time to adjust made perfect sense.  so i continued taking it. 

for the most part i was functioning just fine.  came to work everyday and was productive, kept up with my housework and daily duties of being a mother, kept in contact with my friends and family, and actively participating in my relationship with my boyfriend.  what nobody realized, except for my kids, was that i was falling apart almost daily.  i did the things i knew to do when i'm feeling overwhelmed: engage in activities that are just for me, write lists about things that are going well, change my focus to the positive, indulge in treats that i don't usually partake in.  unfortunately none of these things were working and my emotions were starting to spin out of control.

i started making irrational emotionally charged decisions, i was crying, the ugly sobbing cry, almost daily in my bed at night, i was feeling edgy and irritable daily, i wasn't sleeping well, and every little thing was setting me off.  i would flip out on my kids and yell at them for the most ridiculous things. i broke up with my boyfriend out of the blue, demanding my stuff back, showing up at his work and leaving his things.  i miss him, it wasn't at all what i wanted, but that is where we are at.  i yelled at an employee in my building.  i am not a confrontational person in general, but i flew off the handle at him over the HVAC system.  it was very unprofessional and again completely irrational, but i couldn't control myself.  in that moment i felt totally justified. 

i thought my daughter had gone missing when i couldn't a hold of her at work.  so i drove in a panic to her work; sobbing, gasping for air, calling her repeatedly and of course imagining the worst.  i got there and she was still working, just working later than usual.  i waited in the parking lot for her sobbing.  she looked at me like i had lost my mind and to be honest that is exactly how i felt.  i didn't know what i was going to do if her car was there in an empty parking and she wasn't. who was i going to call?  where was i going to start to looking?  the idea terrified me to the core.

which brings me to the beginning of this post.  nothing major happened with my kids, but i was agitated, angry and extremely emotional.  i tried to express myself rationally, but i was ramping up, i could feel the emotions building and yet i couldn't control it.  i yelled at them to get out of my house, slammed the door in their faces and locked it.  i walked to my room sobbing, sat on my bed rocking back and forth, hyperventilating and muttering "i need help. i need help. i need help."  what had i just done?  i didn't want them to leave, in fact i absolutely hate it when they are gone, i simply couldn't deal.

i felt like i was losing my mind.  i couldn't see solutions to the problems that i was facing without an explosion. i was feeling so distraught by the end of the day i would cry myself into a fitful sleep, only to wake up the next day already feeling anxious and edgy.  with all the recent media attention regarding suicides, there seems to be a common phrase "just ask for help."  in theory this does seem like a really easy thing to do, yet it is a remarkably difficult.  i didn't want anyone, not even my closest of friends or family to see me in that state, but i also didn't want to continue feeling like i was completely alone.  all i really wanted was for someone to scoop me up, hold me and tell me it was going to be okay.  the problem is that i was so ashamed i had isolated myself, so nobody knew i was struggling.

i've stopped taking the medicine.  my symptoms are quickly coming back, which i will gladly take.  i'm still ridiculously emotional, crying daily but the level of constant anxiety is starting to ease. i'm sleeping a little better, but not soundly.  shame is a powerful emotion, i'm still upset with how i've handled myself and the decisions i've made.  i treated people i love poorly and unfairly.  all i can do is say i'm sorry and pray for forgiveness.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

seeing stars...

do you ever have something happen to you and you want to be asked about it?  you know have someone say, "hey flo how did your day start?"  okay i know that isn't a normal question to ask someone, but man i wish somebody would have asked me that this morning.  i went so far as to ask myself the question when i got to my best friend's house for coffee, just so i could tell what happened to me.

a little background info before we continue.  i live in a two story house.  upstairs is my kid's bedrooms and the one bathroom with a shower.  every morning i have to trek upstairs to take a shower.  my kids both sleep with their doors closed and for some unknown reason my daughter likes to shut the bathroom door when she leaves.  so the top of my stairs is generally pitch black, but i've been making this trek for the past six years so i don't necessarily need a light to navigate it.  and before you read this whole thing and then say "why doesn't that lame-o turn on the hall light?"  i would, but the switch at the top of the stairs doesn't work for some reason so instead of leaving the lights on, i choose to go without a light.

so here we go, it is five something in the morning and i'm trekking up the steps to take my shower.  i get to the top of the stairs without incident.  turn left towards the bathroom.  i take one step and promptly trip over a pile of clothes left in the middle of the hall.  in my attempt to catch myself i slammed my face against the closed door to the bathroom.  i yelled Mother of God, while a ring of stars was circling my head.  the whole scene was straight out of a cartoon.

i got the door open.  turned on some lights.  furiously kicked the pile of clothes out of the way. then inspected my face to make sure i wasn't going to end up with bruising.  i had a nice red mark on my temple, but nothing serious. then took my shower like nothing happened.

sometimes i think my kids set me up for bathroom fails, but they seem completely unaware that they have terrible bathroom etiquette.

i have one of those shower heads that unhooks from the wall so you can spray your tub down.  side note, this comes in really handy when you are scrubbing the tub.  it sure beats filling up a cup and splashing it around the walls (how i used to do it when i was a kid).  one morning, after my daughter had used the shower, i pull the curtain back, turn on the water, lift up the lever to turn on the shower and proceeded to get blasted in the face from the shower head.  apparently when my daughter replaced the shower head she didn't adjust where the spray would land.

my son is a repeat towel thief.  he rarely remembers to bring the wadded up towel from his floor into the bathroom, which means he just grabs mine.  this used to be a huge deal when we only had four towels, but i bought twelve towels with my Kohl's cash this holiday season.

both my kids pile their clothes behind the door.  often times i go to walk in the bathroom and i run into the door because it doesn't open all the way.  this typically results in me grabbing the pile of clothes and throwing it into the room it should be in.

not sure if you are noticing the trend here, but my children have the worst bathroom etiquette known to mankind.  all the tantrums, tossing wet towels on them when they are sleeping, launching a stream of clothes in their rooms hasn't changed a thing.  they continue to sabotage one of my favorite parts of the day, taking a shower.  to my children's future spouses, i have two words...i'm sorry. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

no hair heather...

no hair heather. this is how my cousin has always referred to me.  i was born with a fuzzy mop of really thin, really fine, wavy hair.  my mom always kept it short because it was super fuzzy and just matted into a wad on the back of my head.  as i got older i went through a few hairstyles, but nothing ever past my shoulders.  why?  well my hair simply doesn't grow past my shoulders.  that may sound fishy, far fetched, or completely unbelievable, but i promise my hair doesn't get past my shoulders.

i have dreamed of having long, full gorgeous hair.  just like my sisters.  i have always been jealous of my sister's hair.  she has thick hair, it is a beautiful shade of brown, and it was always, always long when we were growing up.  my mom would put her hair in beautiful braids, or cute pig tails while i had a boy haircut.

i can remember several times in my youth being mistaken for a boy.  one in particular really left it's mark.  i was in minnesota visiting family.  my cousins and i were at a fast food restaurant, everyone had ordered but me and the order taker looked at me and said, "and what do you want little boy?"  i made a big deal about being a girl right there at the counter.

for the past several years my hair has looked exactly the same: shoulder length, sometimes a little lighter from the help of highlights, sometimes rocking some bangs, but mostly just the same old hang to the sides, straight, thin fine hair.  i decided for my fortieth that i was going to have long hair.

here are my before pictures

and here are my after pictures

don't mind my ridiculous faces, somehow i always end up with crazy eyes.

so far i am in love, love, love with my new hair.  i may need to get a handheld fan so my hair is always blowing, but that might look a little weird.  i am all thumbs with a curling iron and this much hair, but i'm sure i will get the hang of it soon.  my new hair is also very heavy, i wasn't expecting that, but just like donning a giant diamond on my hand, i will get used to the weight of my new hair.  hopefully i will be able to follow the brochure of maintenance and care that i was sent home with, because i want to get the most wear out of my new locks. 

an hour and half at the salon and having to take ibuprofen to be able to sleep the first night; who cares i have long hair!  a life long dream has finally been fulfilled.  forty is looking better every day!

Monday, March 28, 2016

everyone i know is a liar...

everyone i know is a liar.  liar in the best way imaginable, but liars nonetheless. i am not sure how they managed to keep their loose lips sealed shut, but somehow they did and it was the best surprise ever.  the master minds behind this extravagant web of lies would be my ever so clever stepmom, sam, and my two really good friends bethy and heath.  between the three of them, they managed to create, coordinate, and pull off one of the greatest surprises.  before i get to the actual event, i should tell you how they got me there, because it is kinda comical.

it all started with a text on monday, march 21st from sam, "your dad and i are going to sound to summit brewery for dinner and beer, do you want to join us?" first off it was a bit odd that my stepmom would invite me to dinner, usually those invites came from my dad.  i was thinking how nice, i would love to join them.  i don't get a whole lot of one on one time with my parents, so dinner and a beer sounded awesome.  i had one small problem.  i had a tentative date planned for saturday.  so i text back, "i love this idea, thank you so much for the invite.  i have tentative plans (a date) for saturday, i will know later in the week for sure."  sam must've been sweating balls, but she replied, "okay let me know."

wednesday, march 23rd rolls around and i finally know my plans for the weekend. so i text sam, "i for sure have a date on saturday, but what time are you and dad going to the brewery?"  in my head i was thinking maybe i can fit everything in (last soccer game for ash, date in the afternoon, dinner with dad and sam).  sam said, "6:30.  why don't you invite your date?"  i was like, wth?  i just met this guy, we've been on two dates and she thinks i should bring him to meet the folks?! she must be losing her mind!  i tell sam i will ask and let her know.  again sam must've been sweating balls.

thursday, march 24th today is the day i have to ask.  mr. saturday date and i are walking into the restaurant to grab a bite to eat and i say, "i have to ask you something..." i know that phrase, just like we need to talk are some of the worst phrases known to mankind to in the relationship world, but i was running out of time to map out my saturday.  so here's this man i've been out with twice (on the third date) and i casually say, "my dad and stepmom have invited us to join them on saturday for dinner and a beer at a brewery in snohomish.  do you want to go?"  i was holding my breath waiting for an answer.  i figured it could go one of two ways, "yeah sure" or "are you nuts, we just met and you want me to meet your parents?!"  mr. saturday date, looked at me for a minute (felt like 30 minutes) and said, "sure let's do it."  i text sam to say we were in for saturday.  i can only imagine the wave of relief that washed over her.

friday, march 25th i'm on my 5am walk with bethy telling her all about my weird plans for saturday. she asked me what i was going to do between the time of ash's game and meeting up with dad and sam and i tell her i don't really know, maybe go see the tulips.  beth to her credit didn't panic at all, but i learned later that i had just put another monkey wrench into the master plan.  beth could think of two scenarios that would ruin the surprise; we would either show up hours early and just hang out because there wasn't anything else to do or we would go to the tulips have such a good time and not make it to the brewery at all.  as you can see i'm a difficult gal to surprise.

saturday, march 26th, better known as bring the man you've only known a week to dinner with the folks day, has finally arrived.  i meet up with him at 3ish, he jumped in my car and we take off on an adventure.  oh i forgot to mention this, he is fairly new to the area, so i decided to drive because it is just easier.  anyway, i didn't really know where i wanted to go, but i knew the tulips in skagit valley were just starting to open.  it is pretty spectacular to see acres and acres of blooming flowers, even for a dude, so off we went.  the tulips weren't quite open enough to spend any considerable amount of time there so we decided to get a beer.

here's a life lesson that i will now live by 
use the bathroom when it is available.  

it is time to leave, we get back in my rig and start the 32 mile drive back.  i still needed to change my clothes and get to the brewery on time, it was going to be tight, but i thought we could get there no problem.  25 miles in and that sensation came over me.  you know that sensation that says, "get to a bathroom now!"  i was at capacity and desperately needed a restroom, but we had just passed the rest stop and i wasn't going to make it to my house.  i started squirming all over in my seat.  in case you are wondering it is really, really hard to drive when you feel like you are going to wet yourself.  i looked over at my date (remember this is the fourth time i've been in the same space as this person) and i say, "just so you know, i might pee right here in the car."  it is a good thing eyes are secured inyour head, because his would've popped out if they weren't.  he had a look of disbelief on his face and said, "i'm not sure a warning makes it any better."  sweet jesus please, please let me make it to a bathroom.

i make it to a bathroom, barely, quickly change my outfit and spruce up my make up a bit and we are back in the car racing to get to the brewery on time.  everyone who knows me, knows that being late is one of my biggest pet peeves.  i do everything in my powers to get places on time, but we were running late, about 10 minutes to be exact.  on the way there, there was a little bit of chit chat about my parents and what could be expected.  little did either of us know, we were both being bombarded.

i walked through the door, two weeks before my actual birthday, and there before me was almost all of my closest friends and family.  i was seriously dumbfounded. i had absolutely no idea that this was in the works.  the range of emotions was overwhelming and all of a sudden i was in the midst of the ugly cry.  i really just couldn't believe that all of these people, most of them i had just seen that week, were all gathered for my birthday.

for a brief moment i completely forgot about mr. saturday date, but then i remembered him and i felt so bad.  i was sure i wasn't ever going to see him again and i would be sending in my email to brooke and jubal's second date update to plead my case.  i learned that sam went to great lengths trying to find my date to warn him of what he was walking into and possibly give him the opportunity to bail. she joined people finder, called people out of the phone book and even joined the dating site i met him on with no luck.  he never got the heads up, but he was a total trooper and we are still talking.

so there you go, a 40th birthday party to write home about.  i had the best time.  i am so extremely grateful to all the wonderful liars i have in life.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

just the highlights...

we are officially into a new year.  2016!  i can't even believe it.  i remember being a kid and a year that started with a "2" sounded like a lifetime away.  yet here we are fifteen solid years into the 2's.  unreal.  so this is a big year for me.  in the year 2016 i will leave my 30's and enter the 40's (gulp) and i will officially have two teenagers (double gulp).

i was recently talking with a good friend who asked the ever dreaded question, "how are you?"  i despise that question, because there really isn't a good answer. am i where i want to be in life? no. do i know how to fix that?  not really.  am i happy?  mostly.  do i know how to fix that?  not really.  do you see where i'm going?  we talked a little about resolutions, something neither of us wholeheartedly partake in, and shared what our goals are for the year.  i call them goals, because a resolution sounds like instant failure, but goals is something to work towards.

in previous years my not-resolution-resolutions have been to simplify, to be more spontaneous, to drink more water, and to be less plugged in.  this year, i told my friend, my goal was to do things for me.  said friend asked, "what does that mean?"  to be honest i have no idea, but i am focusing on doing things that are geared just for me, that reduce my stress level, and things that feed my soul.

like previous years, i don't see this being a prolific blogging year.  just highlights of the best things i am doing for me.  obviously not all i'm doing for me, some of that stuff is not appropriate for public eyes, but the G - PG rated happenings of 2016. my crystal ball shows some really cool stuff for 2016: concerts, a long time wish come true, more red lipstick, and definitely some new adventures. stay tuned.

Monday, January 4, 2016

new stud...

recent text conversation:

me: i want to get my ear pierced again
friend: ooh, lets do it.

well i did it.  

went to pretty funky placed called robot piercing and tattoo in good ol' portland.

see that cute robot?
thankfully my favorite girls were with me.  i made them come in the room with me.  i almost chickened out.  my nerves were getting to me as we waited. 

my piercer, anna, said it will take about three seconds and you will feel some pressure and warmth. 

pressure and warmth...uh
 she started saying a bunch of other instructions and i had to stop her.  although i was trying to listen, i couldn't hear a word she was saying. i was really questioning whether i really wanted to go through with it.  so anna says, "when i tell you to breathe, take a deep breath in"

my last look of fear before we get started
anna told me to take a deep breath.  i did as i was told, i'm really good at following directions, and she pushed.  i immediately said, "HOLY SHIT!" loudly.  then exhaled, just as i was instructed.  see i'm good at following directions.  

there's anna
anna did her thing then told me i could sit up.  it may have lasted a little longer than three seconds and i don't remember any warmth, but surprisingly enough the pain didn't hurt too long.  even now it doesn't hurt too bad.  

see it?  
i now have my tragus pierced, i had to have my friend tell them what i wanted done.  i will wear this silver ball stud for a couple of months and then switch out it out for a diamond-like one to match the other diamonds in my ear. 

to celebrate my new piercing, we tried a new venue called the fireside and i had my first ever moscow mule.  verdict, not only pretty to look at but really delicious. 

copper mugs are the best

  a new stud to start off 2016. 
another successful trip to portland in the books.
more memories made with two of my favorite girls.

Monday, October 5, 2015

long time, no write...


i've been on a writing hiatus, not sure if two months counts as a hiatus, but it feels like much longer.  i haven't written anything.  no journaling of any kind.  no love notes.  no hate mail.  hardly any facebooking.  i must admit that i miss it.  i miss the creativity. i miss the clearing of my head.  i miss the outlet.  i miss sharing.  it's funny how the very reasons i wanted to take a break are the very things i am missing in my life.

so what the heck have i been doing the past couple of months?

marathon update...i didn't do it.  gasp!  i really did give it a good go, but my body wasn't having any part of it. training was going well until about mile 10.  yeah i know, not even half way, but let me explain.  first off you should know i come to the table with the cards stacked against me; my hips naturally rotate out while my knees naturally rotate in.  this natural deformity in my lower half puts a ton of strain on my joints.  twice, i have had custom orthotics and somehow i have lost both rights, or maybe it is lefts, in any case i have two of the same foot.  with that said, training was going well and then one day my luck ran out.  everything was going great, my knees weren't bothering me, my breathing was fabulous, my butt wasn't jiggling as much as usual, the sun was out, i was making good time and flo was happy.  i was on my way back (i had done an out and back instead of a loop run) flat pavement, no rocks, no twisting and my right hip started hurting, a sharp pain in the socket.  i slowed down a bit and the pain started migrating down my leg.  i slowed down even more.  i slowed down so much i sat down on the pavement and started stretching.  i ended up hobbling off the trail to my car.  by the end of the night i wasn't able to put any pressure on my leg without yelping in pain.  my children had a really hard time keeping a straight face, but i was in serious pain.  i ended up going to the doc, where i got an answer that i wasn't really buying, but went with it.  long story short, i tried running again a couple of weeks later and was still having major problems.  at this point my ankles were killing me, felt like my bones were grinding each other.  my knees were protesting with every stride.  my right hip was screaming at me to stop.  i was loaded up on a regimen of pain relievers and ice.  i realized i had to make a decision; my choices were ruin my internal organs with pain relievers and hopefully be able to walk with a cane after the race or throwing away my ambitions of running an organized race and be able to walk without the use of a cane.  i chose to walk without a cane.  i'm only 39, i would like a few more years of parading around in ridiculous heels.  i haven't completely given up my desire to run a marathon, i will definitely give it another go, however next time i will train at a much slower pace, work my way up to 26 miles and then go for a run one day.

dating...during my writing hiatus i was seeing someone.  it was oddly strange to not share the details of my romantic life, but in the same sense it was nice to have that entanglement just between us.  with every entanglement i learn something about myself.  what did i learn recently?  i am very set in my ways.  since the beginning of my single journey i have feared this very thing.  i have often wondered if i will become so set in my ways that i will have a hard time entertaining doing things differently. i now know that yes i will have a hard time entertaining doing things differently.  some would call this stubbornness, but i would like to put a positive spin on it and call it being comfortable in my skin and knowing what i like.  so there you have it yet another misadventure in dating, but i haven't given up hope.  thankfully my girlfriends and their better halves don't mind having me as their token single friend.

home life...i recently had my home broken in to.  this is a very unsettling thing to have happen.  if this has happened to you, you will get it, if not maybe i can shed some light on it.  i had come home from a weekend with the girls.  my front door was locked, just as i had left it.  i walked in and everything was just as i had left it, or so i thought.  i went to plug in my phone, which i typically connect to my macbook to charge.  so i walked over to the end table where my macbook lives and it wasn't there. hmmm...  i looked at the other table where my tablet lives and that wasn't there either.  i looked around the house and didn't see anything else out of place.  i called my kids thinking they had been by over the weekend and moved things around or took them over to their dad's house, but they hadn't been there.  at this point the only thing i noticed missing was the electronics.  my mindset was "eh not a huge deal nobody was hurt and my house wasn't ransacked, it is just stuff". so i went out to dinner, but while i was at dinner i thought maybe i should check my jewelry.  when i got home, i immediately checked my jewelry and sure enough it was all gone: my wedding ring, my grandma's jewelry, and all the other valuable jewelry i owned.  now i was upset, those items are things i can't replace and they held sentimental value.  i was up all night, i couldn't sleep a wink and i totally freaked myself out.  it was super windy out that night and my front door rattled with every gust and the motion light kept coming on in the back.  i sat on my couch looking from door to door like i was watching a tennis match.  i called the authorities the next morning, gave my statement and have been waiting ever since.  so far nothing has been recovered.  the few days after the break in, i was really freaked out.  it was so unsettling because it didn't appear that anyone had been there, so i kept wondering what else they had touched.  did they get in my bed? i washed my sheets. did they look in my delicates drawer?  i washed all that stuff too.  at this point, life is back to normal minus some jewelry and computers.  we are locked up a little tighter and i have successfully locked myself out a few times, but hey that just means so nobody else can get in either.

outside of those major things, life is pretty good;  kids are back in school, soccer season is in full swing, and my life is comfortably structured and scheduled.  i've been cooking a lot, getting in a little exercise, playing a lot of words with friends, reading, and making memories with my kids, family and friends.  hopefully life is just as happy and cozy in your neck of the woods.