Talking to EldestDaughter last night, I was… well, the only word to describe my state of mind at the time – is “elated”.

Considering the surroundings she’s in right now, court-forced treatment (because of a technicality, and a vindictive state’s attorney who has awful professional ethics), my ED has been going through some serious navel-gazing.

And she’s come to some realizations that I’ve been hoping for YEARS that she’d find for herself.

And, as awful as it sounds, maybe this treatment that she was forced into… won’t be the worst thing in the world for her.  Maybe this is exactly what she needed, at exactly the right time.  I just wish the circumstances surrounding it hadn’t had to happen the way they did.

I know, this all sounds so murky and round-a-bout.

I’m trying to protect ED’s privacy here.

Needless to say, the circumstances that got ED where she is now, where she has to be for a little while yet, have fallen behind the strides and gains ED has gotten from the people she’s surrounded by now.

Last night, after talking to her, and finding out all that she’s come to see – with both eyes open – and the complete shock that enlightened epiphany most often brings – I wanted to cry with relief.

It’s been a long road, and I just hope that ED can see it all the way through.  It’ll be so much healthier for her in the long run, and she’ll be so much happier at the end of this journey – if she just sees it to its conclusion.

Opening your eyes to who you really are – seeing it reflected in other people, through their own eyes – is not always easy.  It’s often painful, confusing, and can cause anxiety, anger, and depression.  But it can also spur you into making changes for yourself.

Because I’ve often said that you can never change another person.  And no one can ever make you change yourself.

You have to choose, for yourself, to make changes because you want them.  It’s the only way that the changes work, it’s the only way that they’ll ever stick, and it’s the only way to do it without resentment and recrimination.  Because it’s all you.

ED has been surrounded by people who have it worse than her, people with problems that she can’t imagine having to shoulder through.  But, through listening to them talk, and through hearing about some of the things in their lives that closely mirror her own… she’s finding that she now understands so much more about herself, and why she does some of the stupid things that she does.  And she’s gaining the tools necessary to not only forgive herself, but to forgive others for their past mistakes – so she can let go of all the old resentments that have been eating away at her for all these years. 

Once she can reach that point?  Everyone who has a problem with her will have to deal with their issues on their own, she won’t feel guilty for them anymore, and she can simply choose to walk away from the negativity, instead of trying to fix everyone else and make everyone else feel better by giving up pieces of herself.

We talked about how one of the people in her group was talking about being a “people pleaser”, always trying to make everyone else happy, they emptied themselves out of emotion, energy, etc.  And when they had given everything they had, and there was nothing left, they had to “fill” that gap with something else, to take away the pain.

And ED realized that she’s been doing that with her Paternal Gene Donor for most of her life.  Trying to please him has repeatedly “emptied” her out.  Trying to “fix” others has repeatedly drained her dry of energy and will.  And once empty, she grew resentful.  Resentful that it was never enough, could never make those others happy.  So she would try to fill the void within herself with what she and I have taken to calling “dangerous fun”.  Those things that sound like so much fun, and friends will try to convince you are just “the best time ever”, but are dangerous to you, to others, and are almost always illegal.

And the one thing that ED realized that really made me want to cry?  That she is stronger than she ever thought.  She will make it through this, she will be better for it, and she will know that she can walk through fire – on her own if necessary – but that she also has a strong, loving, and unconditional support system waiting for her if she needs us.

I think my baby’s finally growing up, for real.

Thank you, Goddess, for letting me be a part of this, and for helping my little girl get through this time.

Pull the Trigger

Everyone has an event, a person, a habit or a pet peeve… that just pulls their trigger.

The “emotional volcano” trigger.

It’s that one thing that just crosses every line you have drawn in your head, that sends you over the edge, and down into the abyss.  Reason takes a hike, and emotion takes over, leaving you flailing and usually, struggling just to keep breathing while the world seems to crumble around you.

For me, I’ve got a couple of things that trigger emotional overload.  One major event being one I wrote about a while ago, that happened when I was a young teenager.  Anytime this gets brought up, referenced to, or triggered in my memory… I lose some of my rationality, and revert to a more basic, almost animalistic, id state.  Fight or flight takes over, and reason goes by the wayside.  I lash out or shut down, depending on where I am, and who I’m with at the time.  But it’s not about the thinking part, the reasonable part of my brain.  It’s about the lost, scared, betrayed child inside, wanting repayment, validation, and revenge.

Talking to EldestDaughter last night, I told her something that I realized about her a while ago.  Even though she knows that she has made her choices on her own, good and bad both, and neither one of us blames her Paternal Gene Donor for her behaviors…

I know that a lot of the reasons why she does what she does, is because she’s been looking for his affection, attention, and acceptance all her life.

And has never gotten any of it without strings. 

There has never been the “unconditional” terminology attached to his feelings toward my daughters.  They always have to do things his way, or he pulls his affections back and holds them for ransom.  And in fact, in talking to ED, I learned that his other children, the ones that live with him, have to toe the line too, or they lose his approval and his affection, too.

And so, I told ED… that her PGD is her trigger.   Every time something happens between the 2 of them, or something that even reminds her of him… she falls off the wagon, emotionally. 

Sometimes, she’ll do something stupid… and while she knows that he’s not to blame for her choosing to do these things, it is a bonus to get his attention.  Even if it’s negative – at least he’s paying attention to her.  He sees her, even when it’s because he’s mad, and flies off the handle, he’s acknowledging her.  And she gets some of what she searches so hard for.  His attention.

I told her too, that until she gets her real feelings out in the open about her dad, with someone who can help her figure out just why it triggers her behaviors, she’s not going to be able to change the stupid habits.  She’s working on it now, and has been talking to a counselor about just this very thing.

But it’s a process, and probably going to be a long one. 

Especially because the PGD doesn’t believe in therapy.  Calls it “psychobabble”, and claims it’s never done anyone any good, ever.  That ED will never be able to change her behavior, even if she’s in therapy for the rest of her life.

Because… he claims, people never change.

And yet – when I met him, he was a drug-using, long-haired, hard-drinking band boy.

Now?  He’s a Bible-thumping, alcoholic, hypocritical, power-hungry, arrogant…

Not that I’m bitter at all…

I’ve always tried to keep my personal opinions about the PGD to myself in front of my daughters.  Growing up, I wanted them to make up their own minds about what kind of relationship they wanted to have with him.  I tried to keep any criticism of him out of the conversations, even when he did things that made me want to scream (like “forgetting” YoungerDaughter’s birthday for 3 years in a row).

For years, I told the girls to “make up their own minds”, and kept things from them both that might color their opinion of him.  I didn’t want to influence their relationship with him, because 1)  I knew that their relationship with him was between them, not me and them; and 2)  I knew that he’d hang himself, given time, and enough rope.  He didn’t disappoint.

Yeah, his history of crap behaviors over the years is yet another trigger for me, as you can tell.

ED is doing her best, having opened up a lot more in the last few months, and especially in the last week, than she has in a long time – if ever.  She’s starting to recognize that when she spins off into wild and stupid behavior, there’s usually something behind it that starts the whole thing to begin with.

The Trigger.

And once she identifies that moment… that one thing that set her off in the first place, she can choose to not follow through with the old behaviors.  She can choose something healthier for herself, and step away from the thing that caused the problem.

And that’s one of the keys to therapy. 

It’s not about the therapist filling your head with psychobabble.

It’s about the therapist giving you a safe head-space to open up, spill all the beans out in the open, and find the answer for yourself.

And then, you can choose – eyes open – what you want to do about it.

Pull the trigger?  Or lay down the gun and go off in a different direction?

Your choice.


Thoughtful moment:  It doesn’t matter what they say, it doesn’t matter what they do, or how old they are,

 when my children fall down, I want to pick them up.




We’ve got more drama going on at the house, again. 

It’s not the end of the world, but it is stressful and serious, and not really something I’m ready to make public now, if ever.

Suffice to say, that parenting never stops.  There will always be times when your child needs you, either to physically be there to help, or just emotionally to support.

And it’s hard to watch your babies, no matter their age, go through things that are so painful they make your chest hurt.  You want to step in, help out, fix it, make it go away, make it stop hurting.

But you can’t.  Not always.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is hug them, tell them you love them, and that you’re there if they want to talk.

But you still want to pick them up, snuggle them like when they were little, rock them and let them cry if they need to, and soothe away the tears when they’re over.

No matter what other people say when they tell you “It’s just never going to end with this child, is it?  You really need to just tell them to grow up and let them hit rock bottom once.” 

It doesn’t work like that for me.

Yeah, I might get pissed at the things they do, sometimes.  I might yell and be angry at their actions.  But I still love them, and will never simply “abandon them to their fate”.

I can’t just leave my child, crying, hurting, curled up in a ball on the floor.  I don’t care how old they get. 

I. Will. Be. There. For. Them.

That’s the kind of mom I am. 




Thoughtful moment:  Common courtesy is now an oxymoron.

It amazes me that people just don’t use manners like they used to.

Gods, that makes me sound old.

Common, everyday occurrences, like passing someone in a crowded room, or hallway, used to garner you an “Excuse me”, and you’d say the same back.  Not so much anymore. 

A sneeze was always a “Bless you”, to which the proper reply was “Thank you.”  (People used to believe that a sneeze was an opening through which the devil could steal your soul, hence, the “bless you” kept him at bay, saving your soul from damnation – something you kinda wanted to thank someone for, I guess!) 

Please, thank you, excuse me, pardon me, may I… all these seem to have fallen by the wayside in a good portion of our interactions with others.  I see it every day in my office.

My children are pretty good about using manners.  I trained them from the time they could talk, that they needed to be courteous.  Being courteous often got them things that they wanted, when being discourteous would only get them sent to their rooms.  It paid off to be using the manners. 

So, how do you get people to use their manners?  I’ve tried a couple of different ways.

*I’ve tried the “So sweet she’d rot your teeth” routine.  It only works at certain times on certain people.  And I can’t keep it up for long.  My brain starts to sizzle and hurt from over-straining the “Pollyanna” routine.

If you do that too long, your face sticks that way FOR-EVER!

 *I’ve tried the “overly loud sigh and passive-aggressively point out how much you love courteous people” routine.  For the truly rude – it goes completely over their heads.  They just don’t think it applies to them – But yeah, everyone else is a total jerk, right?

*I’ve tried to “rise above it” and just be myself, using the manners, and going on about my business, no matter how rude the other person is.  It – really depends on who this is, and how rude they’ve been.  There are some lines in the sand for me, that I won’t let others cross without comment.  I have to say something before I walk off. 

I wish… and I know it’s probably a futile one, that people would start using the polite mannerisms again.  When did it become acceptable to be this way?  When did people stop caring about others, and become societal sociopaths?


Excuse me, I need a nap.  My brain hurts.  Thanks for playing.  And be kind – the next person you hold a door for, could be a serial killer who hates rude people…


Yeah, I know there was no post for “Eighteen”.  I’m skipping that because of the blackout for opposition to SOPA/PIPA.

Straight to today.

Life has changed so much in the past year, it’s barely comprehensible to me that I could have had so much occur in so short a period of time.

I mean – really.

The beginning of the year of 2011 saw me in a failing marriage, struggling to figure out where I was going, if it was going to be salvageable.  With 2 kids still at home, and 1 semi-grown up, having issues and troubles of her own, it was a festival of drama, trauma, stress and pain.

A couple of months later, saw me divorced, living as a single mom again, and dealing with my EldestDaughter telling me she was pregnant at 20…. just like I had gotten pregnant for the first time at 20…. just like my mother had gotten pregnant for the first time – at 20.  History really does repeat itself, hunh?

The summer saw a multitude of things happen, as my city flooded for months on end, many lives were irrevocably changed forever.  My own life was changed already by the divorce, but I also started dating again.  Friends, family, co-workers, all have at some point come up to me and told me that I’ve changed immensely.  I’ve lost weight, starting to feel healthier again; I smile much more often, and I generally just seem “lighter” emotionally, physically, all around, really.

And the end of the year saw changes as well, as I started getting some of my own independence back.  Regaining a portion of who I was “before” I let myself get swept away by my ex’s overwhelming attitudes and personality.

And the beginning of 2012 has seen a continuance of that.  Little by little, I’m feeling stronger, more sure of myself and the solidity of the footing underneath me.  I have started putting my foot down more and more in my own, and my family’s, defense.  I’m figuring out more of What I want, Where I want to go with my life, and Who I choose to have surrounding me as I travel this path.

My children are, right now, all back in the roost.  And while it’s nice having them all close, I know too, that I’m going to have to schedule times where I get to be alone.  I still need that “me time” that so many people talk about.  Time to decompress and recharge my emotional batteries.  It may be that I actually go off somewhere, by myself, or I may choose to spend it with someone special.  Me time doesn’t always have to be “Me Have To Be All Alone” time.  It’s just a chosen escape from the constant flow of emotional demands…

My thoughtful moment of the day:  You can cram a lot of life into 12 short months.  After all, it only takes 9 months to make a new one.

Storm on the Horizon ~ Or ~ Apocalypse Soon

There’s a storm a’brewin’ on the horizon.

And I’ve been watching it for the last 5 months.

As it grows, gains strength, and swells, I can imagine the impact of this upcoming storm… the damage that could be left behind, and the estimated length of time and power needed to clean up afterwards.

I’m not sure is there’s a way to get around the storm.

I know I can’t fly under it… I’ve been through too many storms similar, and ended up drenched, scorched, and generally miserable… to do that again.

I can’t fly over it, pretending it’s not there.  It’s too large for that.

The only solution that I can see, is to prepare in advance, get plenty of water-proof coverings to keep down the waterworks, and just go through it.

Let me get to  heart of the matter, so you can understand where I’m coming from, and where this is all headed.

When EldestDaughter found out she was pregnant, her boyfriend and she decided that they were going to have the baby, and get married next summer.

ED’s Boyfriend’s mother thought differently. 

She wanted ED to have an abortion. 

She hounded, threatened, and cajoled, until I came unglued, and threatened to report her to her place of work (she’s a nurse) for harassment of my daughter. 

She also tried to get ED to take anti-depressants, citing the fact that since her child was bi-polar, that obviously she knew the symptoms, and she was positive that ED was also either bi-polar or chronically depressed.

Neither of which is true.

This woman has repeatedly threatened my child, albeit, my grown child, with vicious words and seriously disparaging remarks.

At Thanksgiving dinner, (which my mother invited the woman to) she made a comment about being “So thankful for the new baby that’s on the way”…. made me want to simultaneously slap her in the head and throw up at the hypocrisy.

Neither of which I did.  I kept my mouth shut.  (I know, I know, freaking miracle, right??)

Now, I’m planning a baby shower for ED.

And this woman has been going insane, wanting to “help” plan the thing, trying to force me to “hurry up and get it set up already!”

I’m having a really rough time simply reconciling the fact that this woman thinks that she’s automatically invited into my home for my daughter’s baby shower.

I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this.

If I’m simply going to :

A)  Tell her off now, and end up having issues with not just her, but with the Future Son-in-Law for a Loooooong time…

B) Wait until the baby shower, and at the first sign of her opening her mouth – put her in a choke-hold and haul her ashes to the curb….

or C)  Just lie back and let everyone do whatever the hell they want??

Yeah…. it’s not going to be option C…..

My mom told me the other night just to “let it be, there’s nothing you can do, anyway.”


This is going to be in my home.  I am not just going to let this woman continue to steam-roller over everyone, myself, my daughter, or anyone else who comes to my home, just because she can’t control herself and get along.

I’m still conflicted on exactly how I’m going to handle this…. but I know one thing…

I can handle the storm when it hits.

Can she?



I knew talking about something that was going so well was going to jinx it…

I just want to stomp my feet and say “Toldyouso! Toldyouso!” to myself.  Fricknfrack.

This little experiment of mine is almost to its half-way point, and I’m wondering how it’s going…

Went back and re-read some of my own posts for this month.

I started off well, positive and looking for something soft and sparkly about my day that would make me go all “puppy eyes” and say “AWWWW”….

Then, it seems that there was a downward slope in there somewhere…

Not too bad, a little mild ranting, some questions – albeit, thoughtful, mindful questions about the nature of the beast we all are as humans.

Like the question that’s mulling around in my brain ever since last night, and my daughters’ reversion to toddler-mentality status.  Yep.  daughters.  Both of them.

I’ve stated that EldestDaughter & FutureSonInLaw are now staying with us during the week, since the FSIL (future son-in-law) is now working out of this area, and she has to drive him up here at the beginning of the week.  It’s rather pointless and expensive for her to make the 75 mile trip 4 times a week to drop him off and pick him up, so she just stays.  (ED was laid off from her job a month ago when the business she worked for closed its doors)

All was going well until last night.

And I don’t understand it… well… I sorta do, but I don’t like it.

ED has been sniping at YD off and on, and it’s been mostly just our normal, sarcastic, light remarks up until now.  Last night it got borderline mean.  And I had to step in and cut her off.  YD was asking a simple question, nothing ornery, to clarify something she didn’t quite hear ED say.  And ED snapped at her. 


I so badly wanted to just go off, and tell ED to “Go to her room and cool off till she could behave”.

But she’s not a little kid anymore, and it’s not quite that simple.

Hands clasped in love - or trying to crush each other?

Also, I know for a fact that YD does do some of her things… just to get under ED’s skin.

Sibling love…. ain’t it grand?

I know that I have a love/hate relationship with my brother.  It’s the original catalyst that actually brought me to blogging.  I used to do things – ornery things like messing up his room – just to get a rise out of him (he was a neat freak).  He used to do things like hang my underwear from the ceiling fan while his friends sat in the living room, causing me to chase him up the stairs with a rolling pin and punch him in the mouth… while he had a mouth full of braces… (yup, turned the inside of his lip into hamburger)

I try really hard not to let the old past rear up in the present when I have to share space and time with him now, at family functions.  (Notice I said “have to share”?  Point in fact)

But if we have to be together for any length of time past an hour, usually, we end up sniping at each other like the old days.  (Ahhh, nostalgia)

And so now, I am dealing with this sibling rivalry, love/hate relationship once again – just from the outside in the position of mediator/referee/judge-jury-and-executioner.

Thoughtful moment:  Emotional Buttons can be more easily pushed by those who install them… So how do you get your children to disable the triggering mechanism from the explosives?  Something to ponder…


The Scene:  Sitting in the livingroom last night, watching random tv with the girls after OnlySon and FutureSonInLaw had gone to bed.

It was quiet, calm, everyone was winding down, and YoungerDaughter was getting ready to go to bed, having me french braid her 40-foot-long hair before she retired. 

Suddenly, EldestDaughter starts twitching and pressing her fist into her stomach.

“Ok – OW.”  Stretching and twisting a little, she worked to find a more comfortable position… but it wasn’t working.  LittleBuddha, the grandson-to-be, was pushing and shoving things around, making his presence painfully obvious.

Of course, I jumped out of my seat and crouched down next to the couch, shoving ED’s hands out of the way so I could feel the kicks and pushes myself, grinning like crazy.

Silence.  No movement. 

“Yeah,” ED grinned at me, “He does this.  He’ll be all kicking me and head-butting, and as soon as someone else wants to feel, he hides – the little smartaleck.”  (Wonder where he gets that from??)

Just then, he started to move and shake again.

YoungerDaughter came over and put her hand in place of one of mine.

Silence from within…

“Aww,” YD complained.  How come I don’t get to feel it?”  But then she looked up and said “Of course, if I do feel it, I’ll probably squeal like a little girl..”

Then the world moved in miniature.  Head-butting, kicking, possibly some happenin’ dance moves…

LittleBuddha got busy.

“Oh, sure, now he’s just showing off!”  ED complained, as he bounced around, knocking her internal organs aside.

Thoughtful moment:  I really am glad I am in the place I hold in my life.  I am 41 years old, a mother of 3, and soon to be a grandma of 1.  I don’t want any more kids, I’m happy with the ones I’ve got.  I’ll be happy to be “Gramma” when the time arrives.  I’m in a good place right now, even when the times are rough.  I’ve got a golden ticket, and it’s only a matter of time before I get to the all the sweet things in life.  It’s all good, and right now… I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Ok… so if I could win the lottery… I wouldn’t complain…


An Apple a Day Doesn’t Stop the Bills


Gotta rant.

YoungerDaughter came home yesterday after school, bringing the mail into the house with her.

Doctor bill?

What the heck for?

Last time any of us was at the doctor’s office was YoungerDaughter and I stopped in to have a form signed by a physician for her trip to Spain, explaining how she treats her own migraines, and doesn’t require physician intervention.

Just getting a form signed…

When we finished the appointment, I went out to the main desk to ask how much the bill would be, and did they need me to put something on down on it, since we don’t have regular insurance, but a “secondary” policy… that wouldn’t cover this type of visit anyway?

“No, we’ll just bill you” was the response I got… odd, since usually they require a $50 co-pay on office visits at the time you go in… But… ok *shrug*

That was in November.  We didn’t hear anything in December, so I thought maybe the doc’s office had simply decided to write off the visit as non-billed, since all we wanted was a signature, anyway.  Stupid.

Got the bill yesterday.  A month and a half after service.

$95.00 for an autograph seems like a bit much, don’tcha think?



PT Conferences – Or- Why Teaching Children Spanish is Bad

Yesterday, I had my nose rubbed in the fact that YoungerDaughter is going to be leaving me soon. 

Parent-Teacher conferences. 

I normally don’t go to these for YD, because the conversations are always the same, teacher to teacher, year to year:

“Your daughter is a joy to have in class.”

“YoungerDaughter is very bright and is a great kid.”

“YoungerDaughter has 100% in class.”

“She’s respectful, on-task, imaginative, funny, smart, always knows the answers, is always on time, and is My favorite student EV-ERRR.”

Ok, so that last bit was maybe a little exaggeration… but not by much!  I know just how smart YD is, how funny, how imaginative, and how much she loves being “Teacher’s Pet”.  And it’s not about being the “Pet”, it’s about getting along well with the teacher, because she honestly wants to be liked, and has a deep need for doing well in class.  She pushes herself far harder than any of her teachers do, honestly, and I’ve had them tell me that.  I’ve had to rein her in a couple of times in the past couple years, force her to go to bed when the homework piled up too high, and she worried about getting it all done.  But there comes a point where you have to sleep, and worry about it tomorrow, get a teacher’s help, something – or you crash and burn.

Anyway, So, I went last night, knowing that this is the last year for it, and we had some paperwork to sign off on for her upcoming Spanish club trip overseas, for heaven’ssake!  Yeah, YD is headed for Spain, next summer, after graduation.


I’m not ready for my little girl, my baby daughter, my YD, to be going away to college, just yet, much less flying halfway around the world, and over a whole ocean!

But, I suppose I don’t have much choice at this point.  Her dad is helping her pay for the trip, and most of the paperwork is in order.  We still need to get her a passport, and some medical paperwork done, but that’s about it.

And meeting with the teachers in charge of the trip, last night, including one of the ladies who will be accompanying the kids to this foreign country, *sob*, I was torn between shaking her hand, begging on my knees not to take my baby so far away, and smashing her face, so she wouldn’t want my genetically dangerous child along on her trip overseas.

I shook her hand, and pouted through the rest of the interview.

I know, I know, you have to let them grow up, it’s a great learning experience, you want your children to have experiences and opportunities you never had… BLAH, frickity blah.

Whatever.  I’ll be in my corner…. sulking and listening to flamenco music.

If YD comes home in one of these, I'm blaming the school system!

I should never have let her take Spanish.

Stupid bi-lingual opportunities.