Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The counseling appointment went well on Thursday. She gave me a lot to think about. I've also been trying to write some things for Jake's counselor but have sort of hit a brick wall on all accounts. I'm afraid I'm getting sick again. Not as bad as before but still not great none the less. I've been to the restroom three times today. Now see... why do I do that. Of course that is too much information, you don't care. Yet I feel compelled to SHARE... must limit my sharing!! :-)
Anyhow, I've put Zack's 6 month pictures and our family pictures up on his website. The link is over there to your right. If you don't have the user name and password e-mail me and I will give it to you. (Provided you aren't a crazy person that is. :-)
I also have a video up there of him rolling. He has now decided that rolling is a really fun past time and he no longer stays where I put him. No wonder I'm not getting anything done... I'm too busy chasing after the amazing rolling baby!!
Anyhow, I promise I will be back with some more "interesting" reading later this week.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
September 13th. That is not one, not two, not even three or four but SEVEN weeks away!! SEVEN WEEKS!! If I was suicidal I'd be dead by then!! You would think that they would leave a few open minutes every week to meet with new clients. At least evaluate them for need before you make them wait seven weeks to come back.
On top of that, she tells me that this first appointment is just an evaluation to see if I'm depressed and how I'm dealing with the stress of everything.
How I'm dealing??
I can tell you right now how I'm dealing with the stress of everything...
Not very God Damn Well!!
There's a reason I need someone to talk to!!
Beyond the phychiatrist appointment she also told me that none of the counselors on my list from the insurance company were people that they had really had any interactions with so they were leaving it up to me to just pick one and make my own appointment.
Just Pick Someone??
As if I have ANY idea who these people are. So I picked up the list. No one lists any specialties, most of them are just names and numbers. So I got out the phone book thinking there would be yellow page ads saying what they specialize in, etc. No such luck. 99% of the people in the yellow pages are just names and phone numbers. Some of them have degree letters behind their name LFMT, etc. but those letters mean NOTHING to me!!
So my question is... how the hell do you go about picking a counselor?? I feel like I am very much falling through the cracks of a system which is designed to help people in need but is failing miserably at it's job.
Right after Jake left I went from a two income family to a one income family. I was STRUGGLING!! So I turned to the system. I figured there had to be SOMETHING out there to help people like me. I couldn't be the only one in this boat. A lot of people recommended I go to DHS so that is what I did.
I filled out a stack of paperwork that all stated if your bills are more than your income than you may qualify for this type of aid. I wasn't poor but I had fallen on unexpected circumstances. Then this happened and I quickly realized that I make too much money for anyone to help me but not enough money to pay my bills.
I was stuck at the crossroads where a lot of people in my situation probably would have had to sell their house or file bankruptcy. Luckily I have family support. But I know not everyone does. Yet there is no state agency, no private foundation, NOTHING set up to help people who are in similar situations.
And I feel very much the same way about this counseling thing. I feel like there is a crack in the system and I'm falling through it. I have expressed a desire to get help yet there is no one there to point me in the right direction. There is no registry that says these counselors specialize in this and these take insurance and these are private pay. There is just a phone book with a lot of names and numbers in it and a lot of people who are hurting and have no idea where to turn.
How do I know who is going to know about addiction from a list of names and numbers? I don't. So I could call someone and get a counselor that specializes in children who have been abused. I don't need a counselor who specializes in that. I need one that specializes in addiction.
I need one that will take my insurance....
But I also need one that knows at least a little something about the problems that I am having. So, to find that person I have to look in the phonebook, pick a name, call them up, leave a message (like I said most of them are just a one man/woman show), tell them what I'm looking for, and wait for a call back.
Then when I FINALLY do find someone who SAYS they know something about addiction I have no recommendation. So I don't know if they are any good or not. Therefore, I have to go to them, give them my insurance information, tell them my little story, have a session or two with them and see if they are a quack or not. If they are then I have to start the whole process over again.
Let me clue you in on a little something. Asking someone who had a hard enough time reaching out for help in the first place to start calling people in the hopes of finding a counselor who can help them is almost a guaranteed way for them to just refuse to go get help.
Luckily I did have a name. My old doctor had given me the name of a lady and while she isn't on my insurance list I did call them and figure out that I can still go to her. So I called her and I have an appointment for 3:00 today.
At least it is a starting point. And one day, when I win the lottery I'm going to start a foundation that helps people who go from two income families to one income families. I want to help them restructure their finances or downsize their household or pay bills while the other person is away. And I want to help them find counseling to deal with the stress of going from a two income household to a one income household and also the stress of bringing the second person back into the household when/if that is going to happen.
Because for God's Sake people... I can NOT be the only person who has gone through this!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Here's the story. On the 10th I sort of kind of had a little break down. Ok... I lost my shit entirely... are you happy now?? Anyhow, my doctor is no longer practicing and the counselor I used to go to is no longer in the phone book and the phone number has been disconnected. (All the crazies drove her away too....) So I e-mailed my previous doctor to ask her for a recommendation as I wanted to go to a counselor with at least a little knowledge of addictions.
She gave me the name of two people but also suggested I go to see a doctor in her former practice because with a referral from him I may be able to get in sooner or to a specific counselor who might not be taking patients unless they are referred.
So I make an appointment with him on Thursday. Zack had an appointment at 1:00 so I figured I would go to his and then to mine at 2:00. His appointment, however, took longer than I planned so it was 2:15 before I got to the doctors office and they wanted me to reschedule. No problem. I wasn't jumping in front of a bus yet so I rescheduled for Tuesday, the 17th.
On Tuesday I saw the doctor. I don't like him as well as my previous doctor, but he will do for what I need him for. He gave me the name of a counselor and told me the nurse would make me an appointment. So I waited.
She came in and told me that she was going to call and I could wait in the waiting room. 20 minutes later she decided that she would just call me with the appointment that day or on Wednesday at the latest. So Tuesday came and went... no call.
Wednesday was the day of the flu and so the phone didn't ring and amazingly enough I never even noticed!! Then Thursday when I was feeling a little better I noticed. So I called the doctor's office and left a message. No one called me back.
Friday I called and talked to the nurse. She told me she wasn't the regular nurse but she didn't see any notes in my chart about it. So, she recommended that if I was not ready to jump off a bridge perhaps it would be best for me to wait until Monday to speak with the regular nurse.
So we have now made it to yesterday. Yesterday I call and leave ANOTHER message. Then I have a slight mental breakdown complete with crying at my desk and foot stomping and a general feeling of just wanting to go home, crawl into bed and not get out.
The nurse finally calls back at 1:00. She lists off a couple of people who are not on the list I have from my insurance provider so I agree to fax her the list and she says she will call, make me the appointment and call me back that afternoon. So I wait. And then I wait. Did I mention to you that I waited?? I did... ok... just checking.
At 4:15 I had not heard anything so I called back. She was on the phone so I left another message for her to call me. No one called. This morning I waited. No one called. So at 10:45 I called back and talk to the secretary. The same one I have been calling for over a week who also happens to thing it is F-ing ridiculous that it is taking this long.
The nurse was in a room with a patient. She took my name and number and now I'm doing what....
wait for it...
wait for it....
I'm still F-ing WAITING!!! That bus is looking better and better!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Boy was I wrong!!
Jess got it a week and a half ago, Jake got it on Sunday and yesterday morning at 3:30 it hit me like a mack truck!!
I'm still at home today. I'm no longer throwing up but I've still been to the bathroom several times today. At least the fever is gone and I have MADE it off the couch. That's a start right??
Hopefully I'll be back later this week!!
Monday, July 16, 2007
He weighed 8 lbs 2.4 oz and was 21 3/4 inches long.
The first report I got said he was 20 inches but I think maybe they remeasured him.
Congratulations Molly, Marshall and Jackson!! I'm sure Jamison will be a wonderful addition to your little family!!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Hope you decided on a name for him!!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
People often wonder why battered women stay with their abusers. They look at it from the outside and they say why doesn’t she just run? I think it is much the same for people who stay with addicts, because let’s face it; they are not really pleasant people either. Now while I can’t speak for everyone I can speak for myself. I tend to do it quite often and quite loudly. This is why this whole situation has seemed so strange to me.
Why didn’t I just speak out? Tell someone what was going on and let them help me. The answer is two fold. (Or possibly three or four…) When you are in a situation with someone who is abusing you or themselves it really is a day to day event. You have really good days and really bad days. Unfortunately for someone in my position something gets lost in translation so to speak.
Somehow the good days overshadow the bad days. By like 100 fold. When Jake would go out and use or he would become angry and violent I would believe him when he would tell me that was the last time. I would believe him when he told me the pipe I found was old or that he was just out with his friends and not getting high. I believed him because I HAD to believe him. And even when I knew it was stupid to continue to do so I did it anyway.
There is a lot of fear and shame in a person's life when they are living like this. I would believe him when he would say something to me so I didn't tell anyone about it because if I had said to my mom or to my friends, I think Jake is using drugs they would have told me to leave him and that was not what I wanted at that moment. I had convinced myself that it was the last time and so why "rock the boat" so to speak by involving others.
Then when he would fail again, and he always did, I just felt stupid. I didn't feel like I could tell anyone after the fact because really, the more you put up with the more idiotic you feel. I would look back on it and think "you knew what he was doing, why do you put up with it?"
So, knowing that I had made a stupid choice I kept it to myself. Hell, I already knew it was stupid; I didn’t need anyone else pointing it out to me. Half the time most of his friend already knew he was lying to me and that was enough of people rubbing it in my face. They all knew when he cheated on me back in 2000. They were all there and they all looked at me when I would come over to their house and not ONE of them said anything. Talk about feeling like and idiot!!
On top of feeling stupid there is also fear. I think, like me, a lot of people who stay are afraid to leave. Sometimes they don't know how they will pay their bills on their own or where they will live. Sometimes the abuser convinces them that they will be harmed if they leave or that they will be worthless. And sometimes, like me they are just scared to be alone and scared of life without this person. Jake is not a bad person. He just has a bad addiction. That is what I kept holding on to. That he could be a good person and what if I left and then he got better and I missed it?
Because let’s face it. People who stay with addicts or abusive people (or in my case both) are not stupid. I was VERY aware of what was going on and that it was not how I should have lived my life. If I would have been naive I wouldn’t have hid it from everyone. I didn’t tell them because I knew.
However, with that said I was somewhat powerless to do anything about it. I could look back on every incident and say that was awful, I don’t ever want to do that again. I could promise myself that next time I would leave. Next time I won’t call if he disappears. Next time I’ll file the divorce papers. But somehow it never happened.
There is some power that an “abuser” has over the other person. Something that I can’t quite explain. I was never the quiet meek woman. I fought back with Jake. I told him my feelings and I tried very hard to get my point across. I never just let him walk all over me without a fight, but in the end, I did let him walk all over me.
In my book I describe it as somewhat like a drug. Getting my fix of Jake. We would get in a huge argument and he would peel out of the driveway. Usually to go get wasted. I would know where he was going but somehow would be mad enough at him that I didn’t care. Then after about 30 minutes I would start to panic a little. Than 30 minutes later I would begin to call.
It was always the same. He would either not answer… making me really panic more or he would answer and he would make me false promises. It didn’t matter what he said, all I needed to get my “fix” was the sound of his voice. Now I know to most of you this sounds pretty stupid. Hell to me it sounds pretty stupid and I’m writing it but it is the truth as best I know it.
Some part of my emotional being “needed” Jake and so while my logical side said that I didn’t, over and over again, it was in direct conflict with my emotional side. And somehow, over the past 10 years and against my better judgment most of the time my emotional side won out.
I guess in a way that is sort of where I am stuck at now. My logical side has made the choice to stay with Jake. To give him this one opportunity to be a part of my life and his son’s life full time. It was not a decision I came to lightly but it was a decision that ultimately I decided on.
Now my heart, the part of me that Jake has always held in the palm of his hand, supports this decision fully. It is the rest of my emotional side that is struggling. The part of me that is SOO very angry with him for the things that he has done and the things that he has put me through.
A lot of my friends and family members are angry at him for this too and most of them only know about 1/4 of the whole story. And part of that is because of fear. I have not wanted to tell them everything because I don't want to hear that there is no hope for us or that I need to run as fast as I can in the other direction. I want to be able to get over this struggle. I want to stop having the nightmares and the flashbacks.
I want to stop flinching every time I see someone in the back of a police car or every time I hear sirens. I want to stop checking to see who the driver is every time I pass a jeep just to make sure it's not Jake headed somewhere he shouldn't be. I want this all to go away and I can't make it do that.
Hence the breakdown as of late. I am hoping that talking with someone will help me to make myself one whole instead of two halves. I have been in conflict, my logical side with my emotional side for the better part of ten years and I need to fix that.
There’s a new song out and there is one line which I really like. The rest of the song doesn’t really apply to me… but the line I like is…
I hope you know,
I hope you know,
That this has nothing to do with you,
Myself and I
We got some straightening out to do
That is how I feel right now. I need to get myself straight and discover who I am as a whole person before Jake enters back into my life. I have to figure out how to stop being haunted by what happened and move on. And if I can’t stop the nightmares and allow him to be in my life than I have to learn how to let go. All of this I hope the counselor can help me with.
For now, Jake is gone. It is just me and Zack making due the best that we can and I need to get myself fixed up so that I can be the best mother to him. With or without Jake.
It's taken me three and a half months to come to this place and I'm sure it will take me several more to come through it. However, driving home the other day I realized something. There was a song on and it just hit me…
“Though you’re still with me… I’ve been alone all along.”
I was afraid to be alone so I let him stay but he was never really here to begin with. That's a start… I'm sure the rest will come with time.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I did, however, feel quite bad for the lady on the phone. My old doctor had given me specific instructions to ask for a certain receptionist and to tell her that I needed to see this other doctor this week. The first available opening was Thursday. As far as I'm concerned Thursday is fine but she seemed uncertain. Is Thursday soon enough? Are you sure? As if she thought if I didn't see the doctor right away I might walk out in front of a bus or something.
Now I may very well walk out in front of a bus but I assure you it would be purely unintentional. The bus stop is in front of my building and Burger King is across the street. In my sleep deprived state I may in fact stumble into traffic trying to reach the holy grail that is Burger King but I'm counting on the fact that the buses have to stop there so hopefully they wouldn't hit me with a force that was too significant!!
So there you have it. I'm relieved to have come to this place and I'm ready to begin talking to someone else. Until this point my stance was that Jake and I have to work on issues and he is not here so why talk to someone. I now know that there are SEVERAL things that I need to come to terms with and work on before he comes back.
And so it begins......
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Since I'm breastfeeding and since I am usually extremely opposed to any medicines of any kind I do not think that there will be anti-depressants involved in this meeting (not that I might not need them).
I think right now, more than anything, I just need to talk with someone and get their suggestions. I met with Jake and his counselor this weekend and I think that is what started all of this. (Damn you counselor people and your get in touch with your feelings crap!!) :-)
Actually, I really enjoyed meeting with her and I REALLY think she is good for Jake. She is a former addict so she knows his tricks and is able to call him out when he tries to lie or avoid a topic. And really, liking her so much is what is causing all of this. (Again... damn you likable counselor lady!!)
For the first time in ten years (yes you read that right... TEN years) I feel like someone is going to look after Jake. I really don't feel like I have to worry about him or be his advocate any more and unfortunately that has opened up a whole other Pandora's box of feelings. Things that I have not been able to deal with because I have been too busy dealing with Jake.
A little background, when Jake lived at home I thought that his parents would look out for him. After all, my parents did me and so I just thought that is what parents did. I was wrong. They let me down far too many times. He would go out and get drunk or do drugs with the wrong people and they would ground him. He would piss and moan and they would give in and let him do whatever.
I learned pretty quickly that just because he was going to be with them did not mean he was safe. They let him drink before he was of age under the premise that they would rather he drink at home. His dad dismissed his smoking of pot, even when it became a regular occurrence, because pot is no worse than alcohol. (His dad still has big problems with both but that is not my story to tell, it would take much more than one post!!)
So basically when I thought I could count on his parents to tell me where he was or what he was up to they let me down. His dad, mostly, was willing to lie for him and did on more than one occasion. So, I became the one that looked out for Jake. I had to make sure he got to work on time and came home after work, etc. When he got in trouble I had to hound him to get to his classes and pay his fines because they weren't going to do it.
When he got into the system it was a lot of the same. The outpatient drug treatment programs that the courts sent him to were a joke. He only stopped doing drugs long enough to pass any drug tests he had to. As soon as that was over he went right back. Hell, half the time he would attend those outpatient programs high.
Then we had him committed and I thought FINALLY something will get done. And sure, I sleep better at night than I ever have but still I didn't feel like things were getting done to help him with his addiction. When he was in Broadlawns there was NO treatment. He was just being held. He was sober but if they would have released him into the world he would have gone right back down the same path.
Then he was transferred to that half ass MECCA program and I thought to my self, there they will teach him something. HA!! That was a joke. The whole program was a joke and then he got kicked out. And again I was his advocate. I found the long term program he is in, I called every day, twice a day, until they processed his paperwork. I called all the people with the state to make sure he could get his court order transferred to there and to make sure he would get there on the appointed date.
And then he went. And I thought this is it. Finally. But nothing changed. There were still issues that I didn't feel were being addressed and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I would ask Jake about certain things and he would tell me that he was talking to someone about them or doing a group or whatever. But his attitude remained the same at certain times and I couldn't help but feel like it was an act.
Then this weekend happened. I was finally able to talk to his counselor and tell her what I thought the issues with Jake were and hear what she wanted to do to help him get better. And then she said these words to me, "You worry about yourself and your son. We will take care of Jake." And you know what, I believed her.
For 10 years anyone who has told me they would take care of Jake has given up or has done a half-ass job of it and chalked it up to him being able to do the rest. They have never stepped it up in a way that I felt was acceptable and really helped Jake to change and to become a man. I think this woman will do that.
So now, there is nothing left to worry about on the Jake front and it is all me. Suddenly everything that has happened is rushing back to me in a flood of memories that are far to painful to deal with all at once. I started writing a book about it about three years ago. Any time something would happen between the two of us I would write it down.
Now I've decided to comprise it all into an actual book and try to maybe sell it or publish it here, who knows. But the point is I'm trying to get it done. It's not going well. Last night I took my computer home to work on it and after Zack was in bed I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to begin reading over all of that stuff again.
Some of it is just too real and too raw and so that is where the counselor comes in. There is the logical part of me and then there is the emotional part of me and they are NOT on the same page right now. I have made decisions for my life and now I have to figure out how to get my emotional side there so that I am not haunted by flashbacks when Jake gets home. I have to deal with a lot of things and let them go so that I can start over.
And that is a task that seems harder than anything I've ever had to do before.
At home it is much of the same. My house is presentable but by no means as clean as I would like it. The counters are once again getting cluttered and it makes me angry to look at but I just don't seem to have the motivation to change it.
All around me life seems to be going on as normal and yet somehow I'm just stuck. I'm going through the motions but I'm not sure I'm making any progress. Jake has been gone for three and a half months now.
This weekend he will be returning to our home. He will only be here for two days (on a pass so we can have a meeting with DHS) but still the prospect of two days makes me uneasy. I'm not worried that we will fight, I'm not worried that he will use, I'm not even worried that he will not want to return to the treatment facility, I'm not really sure what I'm worried about.
Deep down there is just a part of me that has not yet been able to heal. And dealing with him, on what has now become MY territory, brings back all kinds of memories. Even now as I am writing this my breaths become shallow and it feels like someone is pressing on my chest with a 100 lb weight. I have to remind myself to just breath.
Every week someone asks me "how is Jake doing?" "how are you doing?" My answer is always the same.
Would anyone understand if I answered how I really feel?
**I promise that at some point in the near future I will expand on this. However, today, at this moment this is all I'm capable of.**
Friday, July 06, 2007
When I had my son everyone told me there would come a day when I would no longer be completely entranced by him. A day when I would want others to hold him just to give me a break or want him to be able to play on his own. I was assured that the new baby "thing" would quickly wear off and I would get tired of holding him 24/7.
So my question to all of you mom's out there is when?
I don't want to sound like a super mom or anything. Believe me, I have my moments during the day, like last night when he slept while I made my dinner but woke up right as I was getting ready to eat. I too have those moments where I just want him to stay asleep for 10 minutes longer or play quietly or whatever.
But really, for the most part, if I didn't have housework to do I would pretty much be content to hold him 24/7 or play with him 24/7. There are evenings when he falls asleep while having his bottle and I will just hold him and rock and watch him sleep for 10, 15, sometimes 20 minutes.
On Tuesday my friend Jess came over and she helped me by feeding Zack while I had a meeting with the DHS worker. A part of my heart was ripped out as she was feeding him. That is our routine. I feed him, he get a bath and then I rock him while he has his bottle and goes to sleep. I let her do it... but it ached the whole time. I just wanted to run across the room and swoop him into my arms. It's not that I thought she did it wrong or anything like that. It's really a feeling I can't describe very well. But it's a feeling that was there just the same.
When he was 8 - 12 weeks old and was so sick with Bronchilitus I got into the habit of having him sleep in my bed. When he would cough and start to choke I was right there to prop him up and make sure he was ok. While the illness did go away the sleeping with me continued until he was 4 months or so. Those first few nights that I moved him to his crib there was a part of me that was just longing for him to wake up and cry so I could run in there, scoop him up and bring him back in with me. Just so I would know he was safe.
Even now, now that I know he and I both sleep better in separate places, I still check on him several times after he goes to bed and before I do. Just to make sure he is doing alright. Is he too hot, is he too cold, is his binkie close enough that he can find it if he needs it??
I continually worry about him and if I could I would probably have him in a little pack n' play right next to me at work. There are days that I will get off early to go home and accomplish something and all I can think of on the way home is how I just want to RUN to daycare and get him. But I don't. I know that if I have to mow the lawn he is having more fun at daycare than he would be sitting under a tree at our house.
Next week, in 6 short days (six days people... I think I might cry) my baby will be six months old. And after six months I love him more and want to hold him more than I did right after he was born. If someone would pay me to gaze adoringly at him and kiss his neck and tickle his belly I think I could make a fortune.
So really, am I alone here? Is this something that people just don't talk about because you are supposed to "get over it" already? Am I more attached to him because I'm a single mom right now so I don't have to share my attention between him and my husband in the evenings?? Or am I just... let's say it all together now... you're just weird!! Yeah... I thought so...
Monday, July 02, 2007
In my entire 27 years of life I have NEVER owned a toaster oven. I was talking with my mom on Wednesday night about something I was cooking for myself and she just mentioned that for a single serving size wouldn't it be nice to have a toaster oven to heat it in instead of having to heat up the entire oven.
Then we both sat there and pondered that because neither of us has ever had a toaster oven.
So, she decided that I get to be the guinea pig and try it out and if I like it she may get one for her self. The first thing I noticed was that there is a picture of a chicken on the side of the box. A CHICKEN people!!
I can rotisserie a chicken in my handy dandy new toaster oven. You have NO idea how happy that makes me. (Sonya... where are my chickens already??) If I would not have been SOO starving I would have packed Zack back up into the car and gone to the store and bought a chicken to rotisserie.
However, since on that particular day I skipped lunch I had NO intention of waiting for chicken to cook. So I used my other handy dandy kitchen appliance instead.
LOVE this thing too...
So my most important question to you all.... exactly how long does it take to cook a chicken?? (Can you tell I LOVE me some chicken??) Oh and also, what other nifty items can I cook in this handy dandy new toaster oven of mine??