spiraling down

it’s like things couldn’t get any worse. and then they did. unimaginable. the comfort and safety i once felt in having home was taken away from me, twice more. once, by an irresponsible roommate who failed to mention all the facts. second, by my alcoholic mother who i have abandoned all hope for.

in the past thirty six days:

  • i’ve moved my family five times (tomorrow being the fifth, and i’d like to think final)
  • i cried when i had to tell my daughter “good bye”. it was the hardest two weeks of my life.
  • i stood out in the rain, not sure which direction i should go.
  • i spent 7 days in a hospital. reassessing all that was good. all that is bad.
  • i’ve slept in seven different beds. only one of them being my own.

and then i rejoined reality. faced up to the things i knew i needed to do. the boundaries i had to break. people gave me hugs, patted my back. i listened to the stories of addicts, how they survived their disease. i went a week without speaking to my baby, seven days. consecutively. all those disturbing thoughts resurfaced. and then i spoke to Father Ambrose. {he says, “establish yourself”}. visited by my Pastor {he says, “things are bad, but you aren’t at your worst”}. Saturday morning hours ticked away. and then she came home to me.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

we are running away together, so to speak.

tomorrow, Monday, we are going to be leaving l.a. county and moving to ventura. it makes my insides feel like jelly when i think about it. the moving around is very unsettling. i crave stability. routine. a reason to make me wake up every morning and fight this brain disease. i trudge through the day, taking the medications that they really don’t know much about. i eat out of necessity, i try to make sure the kids get to eat first. so when i make that move, i have this painfully hopeful expectation that things will get better. i know that they could get worse, i’ve seen them get worse. but my outlook is a brighter blue than the dreary gray area in which i live. i will have a bedroom. Scout will sleep with me, filling the empty space between us. she has a better chance at getting an invaluable education. she will see more green around her. most importantly, she won’t be around the people who hurt her.

i have plenty of goals, to do’s, if you will:

  • buy our own bed
  • open my Etsy shop
  • get part time work in a veterinary office or dog grooming salon
  • finish reading “the lady of the rivers
  • finish knitting Frippery (with obligatory shots of cuteness all around)
  • maintain budget with tax refund. commit. be serious. make it work.
  • try the best to fit in somewhere else. starting over.

starting over. that’s pretty heavy. but that’s what i’m doing. i’m not even going that far (maybe 20 miles away). but far enough that i have a new chance. my dreams of walking into class tomorrow morning have, once again, been upset. there will not be any college courses this semester. but i took the initiative: i filed for the most recent financial aid paperwork. i applied for admission in a college close to where i’ll be living. i’ve already researched veterinary assistant job openings. i’m polishing my resume, long forgotten for nearly ten years. i’m making bigger decisions. i’m choosing not to live in my anxiety. i just don’t have the stomach for it. literally. i have to move on. i have to forget certain incidents that have occurred the past seven months. i am just learning this thing called forgiveness. i have to learn that giving up is not an option. thinking of what my actions could have done to my daughter, they frighten me. she is six. i hope that she will grow up and forget this. i pray to Jesus, just let her have a chance. i want her to have the chance that i didn’t choose to take.

tomorrow. it seems so far away.

a lot to learn

for one tumultuous year:

falling in love, three times. having my heart broken, three times.

being homeless for almost three months. two apartments, two motels.

losing my car in the middle of the night due to late registration.

having my life threatened by my 14 year old son.

giving up school.

they all come with lessons, don’t they? they must! musn’t they?

i’ve learned that no matter how much i think i know a person, i don’t know every cell. every atom. every intention. i admit, being single sucks. more times than not, i daydream of what was. not what could be. so i know i’m not quite ready for the relationship i’ve always wanted. maybe one day i’ll learn to be at peace with that and be able to move on.

i’ve learned that i need to be responsible. i turned my head a number of times, when i wanted to feel things less. deal with things less. i just wanted to forget and this person was able to give that to me, even if only for a little while. my anxiety has lessened a little bit. i don’t need to take the Klonopin very often, though i do still carry the prescription with me wherever i go. i’ve learned that i need to feel a little more. and deal with things that make me afraid. i’m in the process of moving out, again. for the umpteenth time in three months. i have a fairly good chance (cross myself) of renting an apartment on the other side of the valley. i won’t know for a few days.

i’ve learned i don’t really need a car. i’ve never had much use of them. i’m bad with maintenance. i tend to drive them to the ground in most instances. of course, waking up at 12 a.m. to someone saying “hey, someone towed your car” probably wasn’t the best top-o-the-morning to endure, but i’ve gotten used to those long bus rides with three dozen stops getting me from here-to-there. i actually don’t mind. it’s got me walking more (which means i’m losing weight in the process). i enjoy the longer rides when i can crack open a book and get lost into a story. (currently, “the kingmaker’s daughter” by Philippa Gregory). and economically, well i’m no longer spending $20 every three days on gas. i don’t even have to spend $20 for the entire month.

i’ve learned that i will have to choose my battles. he is fourteen now. Asperger’s syndrome. therapy resistant. ADD. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Depressive Disorder. won’t comply with medication instructions. truant from school for two months. he finally crossed the line and i had him hospitalized. he now has his second fifty one fifty on his juvenile record. a few days later he was picked up by the police at 2 a.m. i’ve been told by social workers that at this point he’s gonna need probation, to hopefully, sort him out. i admit, it hasn’t gotten easier. it isn’t the least bit pleasant. i do not trust my son. and sometimes, at night, i hold my daughter a littler closer because i worry that she’s going to suffer something from all of this. i hope that if she learns anything from what she’s been through, i hope that she learns to be strong.

i’ve learned to re evaluate what i want to do with myself. i kept forcing myself to go back and just get it done with, but it wasn’t what i wanted to do. for months i’ve gone back to my original path, in animal sciences. i’m re-taking two courses that i had to do a medical drop out for. i’m also taking an animal care taking class, with lab, and Biology, with lab. it’s approximately 11 units. 9 hours of labs out of the class room. but i’ve made a point to gather all the information i need to be ready on the first day of class. i know what books to purchase. i know what my schedule is and will keep to it. soon i’ll learn everything else i need to know. in the meantime, i’m going to try to enjoy my 34 days of freedom before school actually begins. i will be giving up my afternoons, putting someone else in charge of Scout three afternoons a week.

i’ve surrendered so much these past 365 days. i’m hopeful that the next 365 will provide for better days. and hopefully in each one of the, i will have learned something.

grateful

* my financial aid appeal was approved. i will be receiving a grant and loans to cover my expenses for the Spring 2012 semester.

* hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.

* Christmas shopping was actually pretty fun. still need to work on wrapping gifts when the kids go to bed tonight.

* a successful destash to help pay the deposit on an apartment we hope to be approved for back in Santa Clarita. {i found a one bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood as our old apartment for less rent than what i pay now. i applied for the apartment on tuesday and am waiting to hear back if we’ve been approved. right now they are working on Shawn’s proof of income. we should know, hopefully, on Monday.}

* madelintosh tosh merino light in “well water” for a new sweater.

* volunteer opportunities through our church all of December.

* popcorn, white fudge covered pretzels, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, and the first six “Harry Potter” movies on DVD on a cold, windy Saturday night.

* taking Scout to visit Santa Claus and getting a new animal for her Build a Bear collection. then getting an email the next day forĀ  a free animal. so now getting two animals for the collection, a black teddy bear named “Snow” and a black puppy dog named “Santa”.

summer

summer is for throwing water balloons at your big brother. summer is for hauling mom’s queen size bed into the living room because it really is too hot to sleep in the bedroom these days. summer is for starting a new novel. summer is for homemade fruit smoothies that melt too fast. summer is for sewing a gift for a friend. sewing is for slumber parties in the living room. summer is for eating more salads. summer is for watching movies. summer is for sleeping in and staying up late.

Busy Work

That’s what a lot of my life has been consisting of since Friday. Busy work. I have some good news and I have some bad news as well.

I’ll start with the bad and then work my way up. As many of you know I’ve had a lot of emotional problems in my life. Unfortunately it seems like some of the problems have been genetically transferred to Jem and he suffers from ADD and another condition called ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder, it’s considered a mood disorder). The past few months Jem’s behavior has escalated from bad to worse. There have been empty threats at sending him to military school (I’m not in a financial position) or having the police arrest him for the things he’s been doing (mainly, he’s been physical towards Scout and he is 100 lbs. larger and 9 years older). Friday was not a good day for him and it exploded out of control around 5:00. Long story short the sheriffs picked him up and transferred him to a children’s psychiatric facility so that they could monitor his medications and confirm his diagnosis. I’ve met with another therapist (this will be the third that’s made this comment) that believes that Jem might have a mild case of autism. It shows with his social development and relationships. While it scares me, that word, it brings me some relief because maybe that is what’s really wrong and we’ve been treating him for the wrong malady. I don’t really know. I do know that I want Jem to get the help he needs because he obviously doesn’t want it from me. And I now that as often as I ask for “peace and quiet”, when he asks me what I want, I’d much prefer to be arguing with him than for him to be so far away and me feeling helpless.

The good news is that Shawn and I have been communicating a little more. We had a little bit of a problem with him not calling when he said he would which causes a lot of anxiety for me. But yesterday he came over in the afternoon and we had a wonderful time watching TV and “The Warriors” on DVD. I grilled some sirloin steaks and corn and for dessert we had chocolate shakes from Jack in the Box (I hadĀ  a buy one, get one coupon). He spent the night and I ended up waking up right before he left for work, it was like old times. I’m hoping the more that we work on our relationship the sooner he will realize that he wants to be home permanently.

In the meantime I’ve spent a lot of time using my sewing machine. Maybe it’s because I don’t normally have a lot of chances at it. Yesterday I got busy making a Barbie doll for Scout using the new Wee Wonderfuls: 24 New Dolls to Sew and Love.

{ Barbie }

Made using 100% wool felt and Michael Miller cotton prints.

Eyes and mouth are both hand embroidered.

I modified the dress, instead of hand sewing gathering stitches I decided to make a casing and add some elastic. It has the same effect. I also omitted the collar for the dress. The next one will have a more “professional” outfit. Yes, there will be another one. Barbie needs friends, you know?

All That Matters

Spring break is almost over.

The weather can’t decide between windy and warm or cloudy and cold.

We have been spending more time eating out for dinner. It gives us more time to enjoy the Spring afternoons.

I take naps earlier in the morning so Scout and I can spend the afternoon making chalk art on the walkway. Sometimes we just color with whatever medium is closest to us.

I took off a little too much time from the gym. I feel bad about that.

I studied quite a bit of my Western Civilization book. Not so much studying of Poli Sci or Women’s Studies.

I finished reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

I started an herb garden and planted some very pretty Gerbera daisies.

I’ve been feuling my unhealthy stash obsession.

And fabric obsession.

Loss For Words

The past couple of days I’ve been at a loss for words. I’ve been waking up with these hideous headaches and absolutely no motivation to do anything. Of course, the dishes get washed and the laundry gets folded. But for the most part the wonderful wet rain has gotten me in a lazy mood.

It takes a little bit longer to wake up in the morning. I lay in bed, under cover, and listen to the drip, drip, drip of the rain as it hits the puddles outside our bedroom window.

I find that my afternoons have been filled with warming up in an oversized blanket and laying around the couch. I’ve even been known to fall asleep with Scout laying in my arms. Her light snoring is like a metronome. Spellbinding. Rythmic.

In the evenings I tend to come to life. It’s dinner time and the household is on edge. What will it be tonight? Chicken Parmigiano Strips with Spaghetti. Brown Butter and Balsamic Tortellini. Or maybe some Navy Bean Soup. It all depends.

And then for no known reason I’m off to bed at 8:30. I get back under cover and flick on the table lamp and I begin reading. Right now it’s Daphne. I slowly fall asleep thinking of Morgan and Luna, characters in a short story that I’ve been formulating.

Next thing I know it’s morning all over again.

But with this laziness comes a bit of a hidden depression. Maybe because the rain inhibits me from getting all the things done that I need to do. Like walk Rogue. She’s completely and utterly afraid of falling water. Or getting to the library to pick up some books for Scout (we read two to three at nap time and I’d completely ran out for three days straight). Or even getting to the grocery store because I completely forgot to buy some flat parsley.

Whatever it is I believe Shawn saw through it. So he treated me to a drive in the rain and I small shopping spree at the not so local LYS.

I’d decided to get some yarn for the Cedar Leaf Shawlette that I fell in love with. I mean, look at those little leaves!

{Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend}

I’d also perused the shop to see if there was anything I could do about substituting yarn for the Sabbatical Cardigan in this issue of Twist Collective. I didn’t quite find what I was looking for so I’m going to keep searching until I find the most perfect yarn for this gorgeous sweater. So instead, I decided on just one more skein of SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock because…well, because. I also snuck in a copy of the new KnitScene and the new Debbie Bliss Magazine because…well, again, because.

{SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in Mist}

And just to prove to you that I haven’t been completely lazy, I have been using my sewing machine.

You’ll just have to wait to see what this is all about.

Til then: Stay Dry and Stay Warm.