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A bit of clarification from last blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I realize from some of the comments (and thank you all for them) that I really glossed over the reasons why those particular actions steps are such a challenge for me.
Yes, I'm cussedly independent. I will not ask for help unless there is absolutely no other alternative. I will wear myself to the bone to do something myself if I think I can do it. And my motivation and drive are pretty solid without a second person involved.

But there's another side to it, and it's really the side I feel I need to address somehow. The best term I have for it is an emotional detachment. It's not particularly new, as I look back over my life I see it in many places. In fact, toward the end of my walk tonight I remembered something my siblings and I used to talk about a little - how our dad was there, involved in our upbringing, and yet somehow not really THERE.

It's not the kind of detachment or disconnection you hear about a psychopath having. I'm actually quite empathic about other's suffering, want to fix everyone's lives. I certainly swing through the full range of emotions freely. Nor am I particularly shy or introverted in the sense of being withdrawn from people.

I ~am~ very solitude-oriented, an introvert in the sense that I recharge my batteries by getting away from people. Walking alone at night, looking up at the starry sky and the silence and emptiness - that's my ideal.

What it is ... well, start with my mother. She passed away a couple years ago from a brain tumor. They found it too late, gave her 3-6 months expectation. I talked to her on the phone once or twice before she passed, but always had reasons I couldn't get a ride up to visit. I didn't even make it to the funeral and while I occasionally think of her and remember little things with a smile, I didn't and don't grieve as I see others do.

She was my mother. I loved her as such in a loose way. But many years before I had to emotionally distance myself from her as she was married to an alcoholic-addict and was heavily playing guilt trips on me and others. By the time she passed, they were divorced and she had remarried her third husband - but it didn't change our relationship.

Now, if it was just her and just based on the ex-4th husband, that would be the end of that. But it's not. I'm so emotionally detached that right now I could count on one hand the number of people I'd really rage and mourn if something happened to them. My three children and my best friend.

What some have mentioned about my ability to self-analyze ... sure, I do that plenty. In fact, I lean toward over-analyzing things, have a learned habit of making a decision and going with it because otherwise I'd still be trying to analyze and decide. And somewhere, somehow, I feel like my emotional side is lost while my analyzing side runs everything.

Last time I cried over something other than my own pure frustration and stress in a situation was when Princess Di was killed in the crash. I'm not a big follower of celebs. She wasn't important to me in any way. But that was not too long after my last big fight with my ex and acceptance that our marriage would not work, it was done. So I could let myself cry over someone's death since I wouldn't cry over the death of the marriage. The time before that? When I was flipped out emotional on birth control pills and pregnant (double hormone whammy, but the pills made me a basket case anyway).

The big non-weight, non-health issue I'm slowly trying to address is that - trying to find that emotional side of me and bring it back into balance.

Soooooo, the reason I'm making such a stink on myself about not wanting to do that step isn't because I feel everything on the SparkPeople site is gospel. (I definitely disagree with things, and I use only what I find to be true either through more research or trying it and verifying it.)

It is because I'm not just looking at it and saying "No, this action step doesn't fit me." I'm outright trying to shove it away, ignore it, fight it, do anything but consider it.

=P Kind of a funny thing, but I find that my strongest opinions are the ones that I don't feel any need to defend. If I feel challenged on an opinion and want to rise up and prove it right, that is when I pull it out and look at it more closely. An instinct, if you will, that deep down I know something in my opinion isn't quite solidly believed by me.

Same idea here. It's one thing for me to say "I don't visualize; I think in spacial ways and descriptive terms". With that, I simply converted "see yourself thin" into "feel yourself thin". But when I say "I don't wanna!" and can't rightly say why having a SparkBuddy or new friend is bad, something hidden isn't right. And that's what I need to eventually bring to light.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLOSSOM2344 12/14/2011 12:31PM

    I think you're on track for positive change. I grew up in a family that was not particularly emotional or demonstrative of affection. I held back from others for years. I still prefer a certain degree of solitude, but I've learned to make more effort to let people in to my life, to connect, to share. For me, letting those walls down was a major part of getting ready to lose weight.

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_JODI404 12/14/2011 1:31AM

    emoticon I hope you can bring it to the light in due time.

Those inner instincts are so valuable.

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She's cussedly independent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trying to move along in Stage 3 now that I've accepted my "vision" of what I'm doing this for ... and immediately I run into another snag. O_o Honestly, at the rate I'm going, I feel like I'm playing my daughter's game of opposite day and just being contrary.

What's got me stumped now?

"It's okay to ask for help."

Long-story short, I've been independent since I took my first steps. It shows in my baby-book pictures, it shows in the stories my mom used to tell of me, it shows in my memories as a kid. I've always been social, friendly, and happier off doing things alone. I could honestly be a hermit in a log cabin and be completely satisfied with life.

I have one absolute 100% best friend. He's very special to me. I trust him implicitly. Yet in the years I've known him now, I think I've only ever vented twice, and even then I didn't ask for help - I just needed someone to spill to. Before I knew him well and trusted him, I usually wrote it in journals, then tore up or burned the pages. Once it was out of my system, I was working to figure out a solution.

I'm loving the community here, but I do sometimes feel I am deliberately skipping over the surface. I friend everyone who adds me as a friend, I read statuses and blogs and comment regularly. I really want to help every person I read about and sorrow for those who disappear. (Yes, I notice when people drop away, even with 70-something people friended right now.)

But (of course there's a but) it's such a large community that I can be very involved without being dependent on another individual or having someone else be dependent on me. And that last comes back to my being cussedly independent. I could do the Spark Buddy thing, but I know I won't really ask much (if anything) of that person ... while I'm very prone to giving too much.

In addition, I don't seem to have the same challenges as many others. I'm not a binge eater. I'm not an emotional eater. I don't eat just because I'm bored. I don't eat when I'm nervous. I'm not a party-goer nor do I have family events to worry about. Other than eating out with my kids or on my own, eating within my calorie limits is absurdly easy. Nor do I run into any difficulty getting myself out the door to walk or pushing myself in speed, form, or distance. I'm coming up on three months without a day missed on tracking, walking, drinking water, etc.

Which again points to me not needing much, and a buddy being more likely to be depending on me. I just fought for an empty nest so I don't have two adult children depending on me.

Soooooo, the action steps:

- 1 - Pick 2 of your nutrition and fitness goals and do them with another person.

I want to just pick this whole step apart with reasons I won't do it. My goals are solo, independent minded. I don't want to rely on some other person to do them too. Can I just count every other person who gets 8 glasses of water? *SIGH* Seriously, I do not want to do this. I don't want to pick "another person" and involve them in my personal journey. I can't even explain well why I hate the thought so much.

I've spent over a week forcing myself back to that page and trying to figure out some "easy" way I can just do some petty thing and call it done.

Moving on for now ...

- 2 - Check out the SparkPage search feature and try to match up with a buddy online

(( I'm cranky apparently - removed a rant here about the outdated instructions and outdated article that made this step harder to do than it should have been, which only fed my not wanting to do it. ))

After a good bit of hunting and aforementioned cranky, I found COMMUNITY > SPARK PAGES had a basic search, and searching something led to the advanced search that was being described.

I did a couple of half-hearted searches. One got a single result, someone with minimal information to go by, but at least one Spark Team that makes me uncomfortable. The other got seven results, but only if I didn't make them be local - and that's when I discovered I had no easy way to tell who was active without going to each page and poking around.


Then something clicks. I'm soooooo resistant to this step, I'm going to find reasons (EXCUSES) why no one fits. GAH!

I feel like it's a perfectly fine reason. It's like my #1 list item for a Mr. Right someday - he must not smoke, preferably has never even tried and has no interest in trying. Yes, I flat-out lose interest in a guy the moment he takes a puff. I don't care if he's a Greek God, a billionaire, and dotes on me. Cig = NO!

And yet ...

Moving on for now.

- 3 - Join a SparkTeam and post 5 messages in your Team forum or on the Message Boards this week.

Long since a habit. Hey! At least I've got one out of three easily done. I've joined several teams and try to be active in most of them. Four of them I post almost daily and huddle as well. One I'm co-leader of and trying to do my best for the Team.


Relief. I'm not completely contrary and impossible.

*looks back up at number 1 and number 2 and SIGHS*

Oddly enough, I have a feeling that forcing myself to do those steps is more important to a non-weight, non-fitness goal. As I say on my Spark Page, I bulked up to hide from relationships. I don't just mean a Mr. Right dating relationship. I mean all relationships. Other than my kids (the 2 I raised) and my best friend, I don't do close relationships. And that's a story for another blog, I think.

I need to do this step. I really do. I hate it. I don't want to. It has nothing to do with my weight-loss or fitness journey at all. And yet, I will find a way to do it.

In the meantime, as I crack down on this, I will move on to the next step. This isn't stopping me from working out, eating well, losing weight, gaining strength - and that shouldn't be held back over my emotional issues around inter-personal relationships.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OUTATTHEBEACH 12/13/2011 9:31PM

    I really agree with a lot you said...I think it has to do a lot with why my picture is still a puppet and not a real picture of myself. I totally "get" what you are talking about. The fact that you are identifying your obstacles and calling them out tells me you will probably find a way to tackle them:) emoticon

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LIVINGFREE19 12/13/2011 5:11PM

    You have identified everything you need to do and I think you are doing so well. keep it up.
emoticon emoticon

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TMCLEOD4 12/13/2011 11:41AM

    I skipped these steps and, when I got to level 4, I went back down to level 2 and started over. I'm at these steps again. I'm just like you!! I'm doing this for me and don't feel like I need anyone to talk to if/when I slip.
I've done the buddy weight loss thing before. When your buddy loses interest, it's 100 times harder to keep going. It's so easy to say "if you're not walking/exercising today, neither am I."
I'm moving on to level 4 without doing these steps. I've decided they aren't for me.

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_JODI404 12/13/2011 11:11AM

    OK - I do not like this phrase b/c I love me some kitties too much.... but there is so to say more than one way to skin a cat!

I have all respect and admiration and love for all things Spark! However, it is possible that not every step will fit every person. If you are not making excuses to avoid discomfort and true growth... then maybe these steps will just not benefit you. Or.. maybe they will and you need some time to lean into them. If you were to find a Sparkbuddy, I would think someone that is also not very needy either would be a good choice. How do you find that ~~ I'm not sure. Maybe via your teams vs. a random selection.

I really admire your tenacity to keep going at these steps, as much as you may not like some of it! "If we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone."

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MISSG180 12/13/2011 8:25AM

    Good luck on overcoming your obstacles. You've made the first step my recognizing that they are YOUR obstacles and not something imposed on you from without.

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BEVSMOSS 12/13/2011 3:01AM

    I've been working on my independent tendencies in the last year. It's a stretch. I think it's good I realize I need to do it... even though it's soooo uncomfortable. I'm trying to figure out the whole basis of my reluctance and some of it might be fear of rejection... not sure.

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More walking, pics, and odd thought on Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2011

I knew I wanted to get out there and try to take some pictures of Christmas lights tonight. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about how far I'd be walking. Some three miles later (I only recorded 2.9-ish, but there was uncounted street crossing, going up a little block and back, etc.) I got home and checked out what I got. Here's a couple and then a link to my Google+ posted album.

So, the odd thought (thoughts) on Christmas ...

Start with this. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. While they are Christian, one key thing of note is that they do not celebrate any common religious holidays. A big reason for that is how much of the ritual / tradition is not actually Bible-based. (They do hold an annual Memorial - the night Jesus spent with his 12 apostles, breaking the bread and passing the wine, telling them to keep doing this in remembrance of him. As he directly instructed his followers to do this, it is the one thing Jehovah's Witnesses do.)

Now, when I moved out at 18, I left that behind. One of the first things I remember doing was getting myself a belated birthday present - a carousel horse music box.

Over the years, I've been very off and on about doing stuff for holidays. I loved being involved in an adopt-a-family thing with one employer many years ago. I've usually joined in with company gift-giving things. And for my kiddos when they were smaller, I even did the tree and lights, but on a very reduced level since we spent more time at my mother-in-law's. (As Latinos and Catholics, the EX and family did do quite a bit.) But by the time they were about ten, I'd pulled out of being involved and just tended to get them presents - with them along to pick them out.

Now, in spite of my own lack of interest or following of the religious side of the holiday, it honestly boggles me how often those who are professed Christians leave that out. Someone had linked in their blog a song about "Where's the line for Jesus?" And it's really a valid question for those who allegedly are celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday.

Bringing me now full circle to all the pictures I took tonight. There were a lot more houses I didn't shoot or pictures that didn't come out well enough to post. However, in three full miles of walking, there were two nativity scenes and one statue of the Virgin Mary with lights and decorations around. The rest? Had Santa, elves, snowmen, trees, candy canes, peppermints, lights galore, wreaths, pine cones, and so on.

And this is a city and a neighborhood with many Latinos (Mexican and more), Vietnamese, Chinese, Portuguese, and so on. This is a neighborhood in which there are many many denominations of Christian churches. My daughter sings in the youth choir maybe 6 blocks from one point of my walk, and that church alone has at least four separate masses weekly. I pass several churches on my walks even.

It may mean very little to me except as a commercial event that gives me an excuse to be generous to those in need, but I'm almost shocked at how completely commercialized it has become otherwise, with the majority of the focus on things from either "pagan" origins (trees, wreaths, lights, etc) or non-religious tradition (Santa, reindeer, elves, snowmen).

On a similar note, I think I've only seen one place that says "Merry Christmas". Most that had any words said either "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings". While I personally will tend to wish people a great "Holiday Season and New Year", it just seems like someone decorating their own home should be able to refer to the holiday they're decorating for.

Just an odd little bit of thinking there, from the perspective of someone "outside".

== Editing because I decided to add the one nativity scene here ... since it just boggles me. That is inflated the same way those jumpy castles for kid's birthday's are. ==

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OUTATTHEBEACH 12/13/2011 2:42AM

    As a christian, I am highly frustrated by how accepted Santa and all that stuff is, but anything that actually has to do with Christ's birth being celebrated is not accepted. I find it bizarre that my son can go to school and celebrate every last holiday at this time of the year, Hannukah, Kawanza...but he isn't allowed to reference it or celebrate it at school at all. I am not one for shoving what I believe on others at all, but I do wonder why it is ok for him to sit in class with decorations for someone else's religion, but he can't have his own because it "offends" people. Also, I am appalled by how commercialized Christmas has much so that now, it seems, even many who profess to celebrate Christmas for religious reasons seem to lose sight of the real reason for the season. I saw a shoe ad on Sunday and it said, "Merry Kickmas". Wow. Embarrassing (and not very creative either).
Sorry to go on a soap box....I did enjoy your colorful pictures and thought it was wonderful that you'd take such a long walk on a cold night. Good for you!!

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LIVINGFREE19 12/12/2011 2:58PM

    I like your pictures!
I also believe in saying Merry Christmas or Happy New Year or Happy Valentines Day or whatever the holiday is. Happy Holidays is so generic although I do use it sometimes when I am not really thinking about it.
To write Xmas also means you are crossing out Christ which is totally wrong, in my book. I never do that.
People do what they do but these are my beliefs!

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BLUE42DOWN 12/12/2011 12:31PM

    I should probably clarify how I mean "pagan" - as it, perhaps, isn't the correct term. It was meant as a reference to added rituals, ones that weren't part of the original celebration. Given the viewpoint as a Jehovah's Witness that many Christian churches have veered far away from the actual teachings of the Bible and that the vast majority of traditions are not things directed by Jehovah God for his believers to do, but by church leadership.

The example of the Christmas tree - it first shows up in Germany associated with Christmas, outside the churches or guild halls with candies on them for children. However, there is record prior of an established tradition (not identified as Christian) - quoting this from the Wikipedia article on Christmas tree:

"... of setting up a decorated spruce at the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”."

I actually agree on saying Happy Holidays or some variation when speaking with someone else. Then again, I don't take offense if I am wished a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. My curiosity had to do more with this being someone's home, their expression of themselves for the holiday, and that even with Christmas lights and decorations, the more general "Happy Holidays" was used.

It could very well be that those who do go in more for the fuller Christian meaning and less for the flashy lights are not obvious. There certainly were plenty of homes in which a tree could be seen through the window, but otherwise didn't go all out in decorations. (I know I've been tempted a couple of times to get a small tree for my room, but then feel silly given I have no "reason" to get one.)

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TMCLEOD4 12/12/2011 12:25PM

    I'm an atheist. I like the "Holiday" decorations people put up but really dislike the commercialization of Christmas. It would be so nice if everyone decided to scale back their spending during this time of year. Less gifts, less expensive gifts, less decorating, etc.

More focus on family and loved ones would be ideal. Spending quality time with people you love should be what the holidays are all about.

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BLOSSOM2344 12/12/2011 10:32AM

    Maybe the ones who decorate aren't as religious as you think, and the ones who are, don't feel compelled to brag about it. I too am an outsider -an atheist, but I still enjoy the whole Christmas-y thing, carols, trees, lights and all. I don't decorate much, but that's 'cause there's no electrical outlets on the outside of my house!

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ELUNAMAKATA 12/12/2011 10:27AM

    That link wasn't a good as it sounded to begin with, it touches parts of the German traditions, but not about the Christmas tree and how the "Christ Child" became Kris Kringle...ect.

But yes, Americanized = Commercialized! ;-)

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ELUNAMAKATA 12/12/2011 10:24AM

    Some of the traditions that you listed as pagan are German Christian tradtions, that were Americanized.

evergreen is supposed to represent everlasting life for the wreaths and garlands and such.

I agree that Christmas as become way too commercialized and my husband goes crazy with decorating and such.

We still do Saint Nicholas day with the children and try to work on the advent calendar (I didn't have an advent wreath this year). This year we are teaching them the German traditions of Jeramy's family but next year we are practicing our usual Christmas but teaching them about Hanukkah as well.

We want them to understand what we observe, but also what other people observe as well.

As far as the Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays, I usually go with Happy Holidays simply because my friends list is so varied, that I do not know who celebrates what.

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Weights from storage, pumpkin pie, and lotsa walking

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today started off lazy, with sleeping in and lounging in bed even after I was awake. I was a little bummed, in fact, that I'd slept right through as late as I did. I had initially thought to be up just before dawn for the chance to see a "super-sized" lunar eclipse. (Super-sized because from our vantage on the west U.S. the eclipse would occur with the moon down by the horizon, where it tends to look huge.)

Ultimately, though, I did have to get up and moving. Not because there were any chores demanding my attention, but because I'd feel REALLY lazy if I only left my room to use the restroom or eat.

At that point I remembered my goal to get my weights out of storage to add a little to my strength training. (These aren't barbell weights. They are small wrist and ankle pieces with velcro straps, two smaller at 1.5 pounds each and two bigger at 2.5 pounds each.)

I also realized that I needed something to transfer data from the tower to the laptop - and since the store to get computer stuff is a half block from storage, I decided that was a plan.

I was hungry, too, having only eaten breakfast and snacks - and have had a hankering for pumpkin pie for over a month now. (Didn't get any at Thanksgiving since I don't do anything special that day.) Looked up Denny's, which I knew had a slice of pie, decided a steak would be nice even if not exceptional, and noted down my nutrition ranges. Looked up how far it was from Denny's to walk home and decided that would be a nice end to the trip.

Then off I went with this plan to go to storage, get weights, go to store, get flash drive, go to Denny's, eat, walk home.

... walking to the gate at storage, it suddenly clicks in my brain that I'm going to have to carry the weights the entire time. I convince myself that won't be a big deal. I wasn't exactly sure of how much they weighed, but even if they had been 5 pounds apiece, I wouldn't be "carrying" any more than I was on my body back in Sept.

Then digging into the box at storage, I discovered I had my hockey skates in the same box. That wasn't one of my fitness goals, but it has been a goal since I moved. SJ Sharks practice ice has public sessions and it's not too horribly far from me (40ish minutes by bus/walk). Also in the same box were older sneakers of mine - ones in decent enough condition to donate now that I have the running shoes.

So I left storage with a bigger load than planned.

Computer stores. Any geeks know that going for just one or two things ... isn't always successful. I walked out with a flash drive, some blank disks, canned air for cleaning dust out of my tower, and a new mouse pad for work. And all my stuff from storage.

Uh, no, this isn't going to work. I ended up going home first, dropping all that off, then back out to eat. Pumpkin pie was yum, though definitely not the best I've had. Steak was cheap, good to have. I got broccoli and was surprised how much here was. I got red-skinned potatoes and was a little disappointed they were cut up and fried rather than baked whole, but they were tasty.

I was rather pleased with myself for being on the high end of calories but not over - right on target. The 2.9 mile walk was enjoyable; cold at first, but I find about the time I'm through a mile, I'm comfortably warm. Came through a very busy downtown but avoided most of the Christmas in the Park / carnival crowd. Only minus is I mostly walked main streets which are businesses, so didn't get to see much in the way of decorated houses - but I'm thinking of doing a neighborhood crawl tomorrow evening to see whether I can get any respectable pictures.


And speaking of lots of walking, week 2 of my virtual walk to Edmonton, AB is done. I have traveled 16.21 miles further. I left Calaveras Reservoir behind, but remained on Calaveras Road for a large portion of the walk. This took me through Sunol Valley Regional Park. Some gorgeous scenery there, which can be seen here:

Toward the end of this week's walking, I entered the city of Pleasanton. I remember going up there as a teenager to the Alameda County Fairgrounds to show rabbits (our family raised and bred French Lops, Angoras, and a few other varieties).

I'm not quite there, but I'm heading east through Pleasanton specifically to get a look at the Shadow Cliffs Park area. It used to be a gravel quarry, but is now a park with a lake, waterslide, picnicking, as well as numerous smaller lakes and ponds. At only about 3.5 miles from where I reached this week, I'll be passing through there on Monday or Tuesday.

Beyond that ... I'm trying to decide whether to take the common road which will take me to the Lake Tahoe and Reno, NV area or aim more north first and find the less traveled roads.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUE42DOWN 12/11/2011 5:05PM

    (( Sent this as a Spark Mail too, but answering here too in case others wonder. ))

The way a virtual walk works is that you pick where you're starting and where you're going. Then you apply the miles you walk daily or weekly to that distance.

I'm doing two at the moment. One is from my house to my best friends - San Jose, CA to Edmonton, AB. The other is a team challenge from Rosemary to Nowhere Else (in Tasmania, Australia) picked for being a doable monthly distance for me.

I use Google Maps to plot out my route, sometimes deliberately taking a smaller road or detouring a little to check out scenic points. I have a Google account, so I saved the map and add a new line each day plotting how far I've gone. (There's a thread on the "Where are YOU walking to?" team on how to do it.)

I've seen teams for things like "walking to the moon" as well. Basically it is a way of adding a purpose to the walks over a longer term that is pretty fun in the sense of all the places I'm checking out along the way.

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MOM2BSA 12/11/2011 3:45PM

    Can you explain your virtual walk?

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_JODI404 12/11/2011 12:27PM

    I love how your lifestyle incorporates so much walking!
Awesome! emoticon emoticon

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ORGANIC811LFRV 12/11/2011 5:36AM

    What a great day you had. Thanks for sharing.

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Yes, I do have a temper sometimes

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advance warning - this is almost purely rant.

I do have a temper. I just don't often express it toward others and it usually blows over quite easily.

The thing that got me riled up last night ...

EX meets with DDa for lunch yesterday. EX tells DDa that he's getting back into the AA program. He told her that he'd been doing fine for months, but back when one or another upset occurred between them, he had "just one drink" because he thought she hated him. And since that, as most any alcoholic will, he has fallen off the wagon. Ending off with apologizing for being too into the booze these last few.

Why am I spitting mad? I could care less about him and his drinking. It was that one little line in there ... "because he thought she hated him". HOW DARE HE?! It makes me livid that he makes her feel any sort of guilt for his bad choices, his inability to admit to the extent of his own problems. He apologizes, but makes it her fault that it happened?

Now, yes, there's a piece of me in there still bearing a long grudge over his cheating and the reasons that all had to do with my failures in some way. I'm long since over him, but still hauling baggage that says I'm replaceable, that I won't ever be the one and only special person to someone. Trust someone who could be a potential life partner to be honest true to me? I'm not sure how or when I'll crack that mindset. I manage it with my kiddos and my best friend, but there's this line in the sand that says anything romantic or sexual changes the rules.

Anyway, this goes well beyond any resentment I might have for old wounds. This is a vicious guilt-trip on my daughter that I can't easily combat. I did tell my daughter that an alcoholic literally can't have "just one drink". It's an addiction and it never goes away. Having gone to AA, he knows that and HE made the choice to get that drink no matter what he claims was the reason.

The guilt, however ... she can't fight it easily because she has been and does question her feelings about him. I don't think she'd ever say she hates him, but the love she expresses for him is, in her words, the kind a kid has for their parent no matter what - not because they've earned it, but because they gave you life and were there.

She and her brother have been through a lot with him this past decade. She actually witnessed some of the domestic violence against his last gf while living with them. (I know about it because she came to my house freaked out after seeing one fight, and having to overhear others, and I had to listen and calm her.)

They lost at least half of their clothing, books, toys, etc. because he got an eviction notice to the point where they lock you out of your apt and clear it out when it's not paid in time. At the time, they were split living with him and me - going to whichever house they chose that day. From that point until recently, they lived almost entirely with me.

When the most recent bit about using the SS# came up, her two mixed reactions were that she would never speak to him again if a specific thing was true ... and a guilt that she wanted it to be so she could have him out of her life.

I may not consider myself particularly maternal, but I definitely feel like I go mama bear about something like this. Funny, because I don't have any issue with her being out late or choosing to spend the night at a friend's without calling. I'm not hyper-protective by a long shot. But when people attack emotionally, I rage.

It's not just her papa, either. One friend pulled the depression, kill myself line on her. They're still friends, sort of, but I was furious at the girl and still can't like her much. It wasn't her having issues I had trouble with. It was the guilt trip and manipulation.

I think, ultimately, what my raging comes down to is my inability to fight. If anyone were to physically threaten her, she might be smaller, but she's fierce and a fighter - and should she need help, physically, I'd be there without question. However, emotionally, there's nothing I can do to fight what hurts. All I can do is be there to talk to and hug.

She's WAAAAAAAY more touchie-feelie than I have ever been. I'm an independent loner. So being willing to let her hug and snuggle is important. I know that. I'm glad I can be that for her.

I get angry because I know that comforting after the fact does not prevent another hurt from the same source. I rage at my impotence.

So, yes, I do have a temper sometimes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLOSSOM2344 12/11/2011 10:02AM

    you sound like a great Mom, being the safe haven for your kids when life is stormy. No one gets through life without piling up some baggage; I think the trick is recognizing what's your own and not picking up the ones that really belong to someone else. It may be frustrating, but I'm sure she appreciates knowing you have her back. emoticon

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OUTATTHEBEACH 12/11/2011 1:58AM

    I think in this situation, feeling the rage is normal for a mama bear. A father should never tell a child they are having a drink because they think the child hates them. As a child, I watched my parents go through very similar issues and I can say that I loved having my mom there to hug me and just listen. The fact that she was always there let me know that I always have somewhere to go to when I needed to. I think it is important for the child to hear it is not their fault that the parent is drinking. It seems obvious that this is true, but children, even teen children don't have the benefit of living life out enough yet to realize that it really isn't there fault. I'm glad you are there for her. Comforting after the fact is VERY important:)

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TXCROCHETQUEEN 12/10/2011 7:35PM

    I can SOOO relate... I have an ex that though he's not an alcoholic... he does have issues(I think he is un-diagnosed bi-polar)... He is CONSTANTLY laying a guilt trip on our son... NOTHING is ever HIS fault... someone else is ALWAYS to blame...

I had FULL custody of our son for the 1st 14 years of his life... but last year DS decided he wanted to live with his Dad to "get to know him" since he had been in his life VERY little... My ex liked to come in once or twice a year for about a week and "play" Daddy... Anyway, at the age of 14 there was NOTHING I could legally do to stop my ds from moving in with his Dad(who is living with his parents)... But my ex decided that IF ds was going to live with him then I should be paying child support(which I was fine with).... So my ex took me to court to have the papers changed to give HIM the full custody...

Only after living with his Dad for a while ds saw what he was really like and decided to come back to me because as he put it "I can't take all the highs and lows Dad is always on"...

SO, yesterday we went BACK to court and had the custody arranged so that we have EQUAL custody and NO child support(He RARELY paid it anyway)... This way ds can go back and forth as he chooses or NOT...

My ex had the nerve to tell me that he was all for us having "joint custody" with ds spending a week with me and then a week with him... But that he expected ME to PAY him child-support... I explained that NO court would go for that... That if we have EQUAL time then there will be NO child-support for either of us... He said "You think what you want, but YOU will be paying ME child-support regardless"... I couldn't help but laugh out loud at that... Course he got mad and hung up on me... Didn't hurt my feelings any...

And of course the judge ruled that we will have EQUAL joint custody with NO child-support for either of us... And that INFURIATED my ex...

BUT after the hearing my ex had the GALL to chew ds up one side and down the other, BLAMING him for having to be out the $$$ to go back to court! AND he told ds that from now on IF he wanted to come spend time with him, ds would HAVE to give him a couple day's notice first so that he could check his schedule to make sure he could "fit" him into it... I'm like REALLY!?! Your son has to make a reservation to spend time with his own FATHER!?! He made it out like this whole thing was ds FAULT! DS just wants to be able to have a relationship with his Dad!!!! My ex CHOSE to take me back to court... NOT because he wanted custody of his son.... BUT because he wanted out from under the child-support!

I now expect him to DISAPPEAR in the VERY near future...

Sorry to RANT on your blog... this is just a soar subject for me...

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/10/2011 6:54PM

    So sorry your baby had to to through that. It is SO not fair for her father to make her shoulder his guilt. emoticon

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MASSINO 12/10/2011 6:42PM

    everyone has a temper and you do have alot of baggage. (been there- my X is an alchoholic too) I hope your daughter is going to Alanon. It is a good program. try not to let your X get to you. Hope you have someonr to talk to too.

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