Archive for September, 2010

ZOMG.

September 30, 2010

I only found out that the ‘z’ was for added emphasis about a week ago, so this is my first usage of it.

And ZOMG!!!!!!

Didymos, my wrap company of choice is releasing a new version of an old wrap called pfau. Due to being fucking poor and the secondhand versions of these wraps selling for more money than my glasses cost (!), I do not own one. I have petted one, once, and then put Coco on my back.

It is the wrap to end all wraps. It devours your wrap and shits it out before breakfast.

And they are rereleasing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At ordinary wrap prices!!!!!

I want one (or 25, in every size and colour). One of my weight loss goals is strengthening my core enough to wear Snort and Coco again….but probably only one at a time. Plus, baby #3 needs a wrap. We also plan to foster infants and toddlers, and you know those little darlings will be all wrapped up and kept close to us.

So, here: http://www.didymos.de/html/pfauliste.htm

Are you rich?? Or are you just moderately well off and want to donate to the partial cost? My rich friends, I’d like a petrol 7. Or the red. No, the petrol. Or, the red????

Seriously, rich people, hook my ass up. You will be ensuring the lessening of attachment disorders for future babies in foster care. You will be giving me a reason to be pregnant again. Come on.

No, I am not joking.

Celebrate who you are. Right here, right now.

September 29, 2010

When I was in high school, I had a terrific/awful crush on my best friend’s brother, Iceman. He was younger than us by a year. I don’t know what it was – it could have been simple proximity.

I grew up out in the country. I never had a friend live within walking distance of me. My friend and her brother Iceman came into my life at the start of my first or second year of high school. At four miles away from me, down twisting dirt roads, they were my first friends that lived within a reasonable distance since I was about 4.

I practically lived at their house. Their dad had died just before I met them; Iceman was pretty monumentally fucked up from this. He was a very angry young man, outwardly at least. He was also sweet, and funny, and…y’know…I wanted to make out with him. Badly.

One night we did. That’s another story for another day, but eh. It was okay, nothing much better than that. Things moved on, we stayed friends, and those few kisses were filed in my memory under ‘high school – boys – kisses.’

In high school, I was able to find some level of confidence. I think this came in large part from my experiences at summer camp, but regardless. I went from a child with no friends to a teenager with a close circle of very tight friends and a wider circle of awesome acquaintances. I spent most of my high school years dating a boy with lovely, soft curly hair.

And when we broke up? Why, I sort of thought no one would ever want to date me. I was friends with a lot of guys – the geeky ones (always the cutest, I thought, and still do!). And come major dances, I just had a sinking feeling that no one would ask me.

Fast forward.

About two years ago, out of nowhere Iceman looked me up online and got in touch. The format? A late night, and probably very drunken, email. He said he had always had the hots for me, that even now when he masturbates (please, remember he was drunk!!) he thinks of me. That he thinks of me when he sits in front of burning fires. That he thinks of me when he plays cards. That he thinks of me.

Well, let’s blow past the awkwardness of the whole masturbation thing.

The point is: right now, someone probably thinks you are great. It doesn’t matter if you are single or not, someone out there probably is attracted to your mind or personality or body….or maybe all three.

I spent a lot of time thinking no one could ever find me attractive. In a bizarre way, that one inappropriate email from a long lost friend brought something to my attention: at that time when I was so self conscious and thought a boy as popular and hot (!) as he was would never be interested in me. Turns out he was. The whole time.

Whether a boy like him and a girl like me would have been able to date – and be happy – is certainly a debatable point, the fact that all these years of my life I felt like the amazing person everyone liked as a friend and no one liked as anything more were complete bullshit. There’s a reason I was (am) a serial monogamist.  As it turns out, I’ve never been single for very long….and even with that, I never realised that people might want me.

Right now, someone out there – online, in your grocery store, at your kid’s playgroup – someone is looking at you and thinking you are pretty terrific. Do yourself a favour and don’t let your bullshit worries and insecurities trip you up.

Bittersweet. (I want to raise strong children, strong adults. And then hope I am strong enough when they move away from me into their own lives.)

September 28, 2010

I live about 3,500 miles away from my mother. My sister lives about 3,500 miles away from our mother, too – but in the opposite direction of me.

My mother is devastated that we both have moved so far away from what will always be her home. She keeps saying that if she had known we’d do this, she would have had a third child and kept that one chained in the basement.

I think we seem further away to my mother, because we’re in a different country, because there is an ocean between us, because it is not drivable. Sure, she probably wouldn’t choose to drive to visit my sister – but it could be done.

She said to me, ‘How will you feel if Snort and Coconut want to move away? Maybe they will move here to be with me.’

This makes me uncomfortable.

How would I feel if they struck off on their own paths, exploring the world, taking chances, doing Great Big Things like moving across the world for love? I would feel happy for them. I would feel sad for me.

I was just changing Snort’s poopy diaper. Because he’s wearing socks, his feet slip on the plastic changing mat. He looks like an ice skating penguin who has lost his way. He leans into me, puts his arms around my neck. He babbles in my ear, he peers out the window, he lets loose with wild and contented shrieks.

I lean my face against his soft hair, breathe in, think about how one day he won’t have poopy nappies. I won’t be able to hold him this way, he won’t always be within touching distance. This makes me cry, my eyes filling with easy tears as I murmur, ‘Oh, I love you.’ As I kiss him, as I memorize the feeling of two little arms around my neck.

One day he won’t be so small.

But maybe he’ll still need to lean on me, when he loses his balance, and I will always be there for him to lean on, to embrace, to be embraced by.

Who will I lean on when Snort and Coconut grow up? Why, TMD. And she’ll lean on me, because somehow life is so much sweeter with these little babies in it – and one day we’ll watch them with their babies….

and this makes me happy and sad.

Just for now.

September 27, 2010

And there you lie, a little boy with his blankie. On your side, butt pushed out, head so far back that it just about touches your spine. You are mostly unmoving, but now and then you half wake. You move the fabric of your blankie through your fingers, finding some mysterious sweet spot to curl your fingers in before pushing everything into your mouth.

You look so big, and so little.

Your feet are pressed against my hip, but only a few minutes ago one stripey sock was pressed against your sister’s head and she……..

Here you are, a little girl on my lap. Head in the crook of my left arm. Your bunny and blankie are on your lap, almost as if they are curled and warm and napping on you.

Little one, your nose is covered in black smudges from your cold, the curls behind your ear are riotous, your head is tilted and your face, your beautiful face, leans towards me.

You look so big, and so little.

Little boy, I know when you wake up you will smile, smile so widely around the muslin that will still be dangling from your lips. And when she sees you, when your sister sees you, she will lean towards you with her whole being.

Little girl, you will lie next to your brother, you will crawl over your brother, you will stick your fingers in his mouth and you will both laugh.

You are my babies. You are your own people.

I love you, I love you even as you sleep, even as two little (big, growing) mouths exhale in odd rhythms, sometimes matching, sometimes not. As he stirs and a foot is propped on my shoulder. As she opens her eyes, points at me, and falls back asleep.

One day you will be too big to sleep on this couch together. I am glad that day is not today. Just for this minute, as I feel his odd angles, marvel at his movements…just for now, while the weight of her on my lap reminds me of a time when you were both on my lap, held in my stretched and itching belly.

You look so little, you look so big.

My heart is so little, but my love is so big.

Week one weigh in.

September 26, 2010

The last time I went to the seaside, I was in a wheelchair (and out of it, when a downhill slope collided with sand):

I brought crutches along, but in fact I sat in that wheelchair all day, or on the sand. I missed going through a sand sculpture exhibit. I couldn’t walk to the water with Snort or Coconut in my arms. I was unable to order my own ice cream, or move under my own power (as every wheelchair I’ve had has required someone to push me).

I couldn’t decide where to sit. When to move. I was unable to interact as much with the babies as I would have liked.

Hear me now:

The next time I go to the seaside, I will be on my own two legs. I will be walking.

I started my enthusiastic journey to lose weight by Christmas last Thursday. Here I am one pound heavier than I was on that day (and please, please, please forgive the skintight outfit. I kind of thought it might be a good way to show all my lumps, bumps, and curves – and I’d wear it every major weight loss picture, so that good comparisons could be made):

Photobucket

15 stone 11

The above is taken at 17 pounds lost.

These last few days have gone well. I have walked every. single. day.

And here I am today, at 20 pounds lost:

15 stone 8

Photobucket

That’s right, I’ve lost 2 wonderful pounds since last Thursday. I know because I have so much weight to lose, and I’ve suddenly really upped my exercise, the weight will fly this first week. When I did WW a few years back, I lost 8 pounds in the first week. My goal is really more like 1-2 pounds per week.

But still. I am doing awesome. I have surrounded myself with people – those of you who are joining me in this journey by reading my words (and maybe blogging about your OWN journey!), supporting me on twitter, etc. I also have linked MyFitnessPal to my Facebook profile, so every pound lost or exercise done is posted. (I’m ‘writermama’ on MFP, feel free to friend me.)

So, basically, everyone I ever knew in any incarnation knows I am trying to lose weight. I’ve even started an online support group via Facebook (please let me know if you are interested….but it’s not anonymous, so you would need to be someone I have actually chatted with via comments or email!).

The more eyes on me, the less likely I am to give up. I also like having a 12 week time frame.

On my walk this afternoon – when did it become winter? – I saw a weird sight. Two slightly panicked people, a blue van, and an old man in his motorized wheelchair. He’d been coming back from the store and the batteries had run out. He was stranded in the cold, drizzling rain – he had no family, no spare battery, and no mobile. We called the police and made sure someone would stay with him until the police came.

It seemed like a big wake up call to me.

I don’t want to be that person who is stuck. At the mercy of others.

I want to lose weight for them:

I gained this weight so that Coconut and Snort could emerge with as good a chance as possible. I gained this weight so they would have healthy birth weights and be more likely to go full term.

I gained this weight for my babies, and I will lose this weight for my babies.

You can take my word on this, but I know I still need support. Every time I get a comment, a tweet, a facebook ‘like’ I feel a little more loved and encouraged and held. I can do this, but not on my own.

Every week as I write about my weight loss journey, I will link to it on my ‘Sunday Slim Down page.’ You can go there for quick links to my weekly entries and pictures, as well as seeing the overall drop in my weight.

The borderline between professional and personal. Pun intended.

September 25, 2010

Please note: No offense is intended to anyone in the mental health community – whether that is a person with mental health issues or their workers, or someone affected by a family member – from this post. It is based solely on my own professional and personal experiences. I fully recognise I am generalizing by appearing to paint all people with a specific mental health issue with the same brush, and that is not my intent.

The thing about being a counsellor is that the skills never leave you, even when you spend most of your time hanging out in your lounge reading ‘Can You Moo, Too?’ over and over and over and…

I don’t mean to suggest that skills aren’t honed by experience, and that I’d be able to just waltz right in the consulting room and see five people a day after having such a long break. But the things I have learned, in my training and in experience with clients, stick with me.

Like, let’s take my dad’s primary mental health issue: Borderline Personality Disorder. This is like the personality disorder. Billed as ‘untreatable’ in some circles, and certainly it is very hard to work with people with BPD. It often comes hand in hand with other issues, such as alcohol or drug dependency. BPD itself also often means that clients are also self-harming, impulsive, etc etc.

But the main reason why we were warned off BPD so many times? It’s the problems with forming attachments and relationships. People with BPD can be really, really exhausting to work with. Even very experienced counsellors/psychotherapists might have their own personal rule of only having one BPD person on their caseload at any one time.

Its difficult to explain why to someone who hasn’t worked  – or lived – with these people. Maybe you can just take my word for it?

The other major thing that can come along with BPD is a tendency to see things in black and white, which is why these people (ie: my father) can have difficulties with relationships. For example, it is either all loved up and perfect …or a huge, festering shit roast party in hell. There is no in between.

Your girlfriend does something that you see as abandoning you? Well, obviously that’s a shit relationship and you hate her and you don’t fucking need her….but if she leaves me that will be so horrible i can’t be alone please please i need you and will kill myself if you leave…..but i fucking hate you. Etc etc.

Sometimes in counselling circles there is talk about a ‘parallel process.’ This means, in very simplistic terms, if your client is obsessed about money, you may become obsessed about money as you talk to your supervisor. Or in more easy terms – your client is fucking in love with the colour blue, so you are weirdly fixated on the colour blue….in supervision or with this client. And if you’re not good at sectioning things off in your head, the blue thing may leak a bit into your personal life.

And god help us if you already had a preexisting problem with blue, because working with this client will force you to reexamine your own blue-related issues. To question if your reactions to what they are saying are truly about the client, or yourself.

With BPD, I had some issues. Having experienced massive trauma as a child and young adult in relation to this disorder, among other things, I developed a curious ability to bear deep pain in my clients. This has worked to my advantage, mostly, though my old therapist and a past supervisor suggested I would always need to make sure I was taking care of myself – because I could bear to hear my client’s deeply traumatic shit meant I would hear it. People sense if you can deal with these things, I think, and consequently I dealt with a lot of people who wanted to go very deep.

This was a blessing, I think, derived from my childhood.

On the flip side, I seem to draw clients with (usually undiagnosed) BPD to me like a moth to a flame. On my counselling training, a pat phrase we heard a lot was ‘You get the clients you need.’ I agree with this….to a point.

BPD is very, very difficult to diagnose. It is not my place as a counsellor to diagnose. However, in one counselling placement alone, I had three major cases of clients with BPD walk through my consulting doors. None were coming to therapy about this as an issue – they were coming for other issues.  One particular person had not disclosed the issue during their initial assessment, and the therapist did not ‘catch’ it.

Oh, no, leave that to Super Existere, the counsellor with antennae 8 miles long for people with attachment issues.

The thing is, working with this person – even for the brief period I did – left me totally fucked up. I was going blank after sessions, unable to remember stuff. And the gut feeling I had in sessions? Very familiar. I was so upset by this person….who outwardly was certainly charming, intelligent, and someone I liked (I hate to put people in boxes, but again, this is ‘typical’ of BPD)….that I was reeling.

My supervisor said she felt I was in real danger. I sort of laughed. I said this could probably be explained away by my past history, especially taking into account that I grew up with a primary attachment figure who had BPD. I dutifully spoke to my manager at the placement, though. She did a bit of digging, and it turns out that this client had in fact been diagnosed with BPD by their psychiatrist (many of my clients also had psychiatrists), and…they had lost control in previous counselling sessions and their counsellor was at grave risk. Needless to say, I stopped my work with this client.

Because sometimes being a good counsellor means knowing when you are in above your head.

I don’t know how I got into a lecture on the mechanics of counselling, and this is feeling long, so cheers to you if you’ve read this far.

The whole point of this entry was for me to say that I tend to go all ‘parallel process-y’ on this blog in relation to my dad, only talking about the bad stuff. In real life, I am what psychotherapists call ‘integrated’….meaning I’m good at finding the middle ground, seeing things more realistically. It’s a good way to be, but it makes the necessary ‘black and white’ things difficult for me.

There were good things about my dad. I feel like I want to write about them, as part of a mourning or grieving process.

But actually, maybe I just needed to come here and say: I was a really good counsellor. But in counselling, I made a conscious decision to take a break from people with severe mental health issues (like BPD, for instance) and work with people who had more ‘ordinary’ problems – though often quite traumatic and extreme (because, again, I draw hardcore cases to me), but sometimes blessedly mundane.

I felt I was more helpful to people without severe mental health issues – maybe because the MH client group is prone to not turning up to appointments, etc etc – but also because I was making a choice to take care of me.

If I could do that professionally, maybe I can do it personally.

More than you may have wanted to know.

September 24, 2010

And now for something completely different.

Anyone reading for any length of time knows that I have struggled with whether to ‘maintain’ my ‘relationship’ with my father. I debated putting ‘father’ in quotes, but we’ll leave it for now. A couple of weeks ago a friend who reads this blog emailed me to ask what he had done, why our relationship was so screwed up, etc. She/he also said that they were trying to decide on the whole moving forward or calling it quits thing.

Since I’ve started blogging about this issue, I have been amazed and saddened by the number of people who have seriously screwed up relationships with their parents. I look at my own children and hope  that we never face any of these issues.

Fine, my kids might be embarrassed by me in front of their friends in another 10 or 15 years. Sure, they’ll want to roll their eyes at the way I do things. That’s all normal, that doesn’t bother me.

What is abnormal – though ‘normal’ to me – is that my father didn’t acknowledge my birthday. That doesn’t bother me so much (though that fact that it doesn’t bother me bothers me, if you get my drift), but what sickens me is that he didn’t so much as drop a card in the mail for Snort and Coconut’s first birthday.

Mixed with the horror of how anyone could not actively love my children is a relief. I want him out.

When my sister was a baby and I was about six, my mom tried to leave him. He put a loaded gun in his mouth – in front of me – and said he’d kill himself if she left. I have no memory of this.

I do remember the cruel mind games, the screaming, the hitting. I remember what the sound of my mother being pushed down the stairs is like. I remember the alcoholism, I remember him leaving us to live with other women. I remember how it feels to catch your father in the act of cheating. Somehow I think these are things I will not forget, though I know of other instances like the one with the gun – my mind cannot, or will not, recall them.

I told my friend about a few of these things, and a couple of nights after writing the brief email, I had a hellacious nightmare. He was chasing me, like a murderer in a horror flick, and I knew he meant me great harm. Worst, he’d been holding Coco by the head, and I grabbed her and ran seconds before he snapped her neck.

I won’t go into detail here. Much like the abuse that was my every day experience in childhood, those things don’t serve a purpose in this entry.

All bad dreams aside, all instances of recalling things beyond imagination aside, I can say my true nightmare is picking up the ringing phone one day and hearing my father’s voice. We’ve only recently stopped screening calls, but I rarely answer the phone.

My advice to my friend? One, follow your gut. Two, no decision is irreversible.

I wish mine were.

The day after the day before. You know, today.

September 23, 2010

So…………….all y’all want to lose weight with me. And a freakish number of you want to lose 60 pounds. Fine. Let’s do it. I like Nastasha’s suggestion of a deadline. So how ’bout we all see how much we can lose between now and Christmas?

I know all the ‘oh, but we gain weight in the holiday season’ shit. Believe me. But better to lose and regain a bit than just gain, amiright?

Who is in?

As of this morning, I am 18 pounds down from my highest weight. I clock in here. Of course, I just ate like three pizzadillas for lunch so may gain a pound from the last hour’s partaking!

I like the idea of weighing in every Sunday, which was my old Weight Watchers day, but know I probably won’t be able to write about it here till Mondays. So…you guys can do the same on your blogs if you have them and leave a link in your comments? Or you can just comment here and that way we all keep up with each other?

Whoever loses the most by Christmas gets a lifetime supply of candy canes. Oh, not healthy? Um, I guess whoever loses the most can wrap their naked body in a big red bow and stand in front of the mirror.

I don’t actually know if I am ready for this, if I’m totally honest. But I am always better at inspiring others than motivating myself….so if I keep pushing for all you people who wrote in my comments, maybe you can keep on pushing for me, too.

Good luck to us all.

And anyone can join in. Anytime. Seriously.

18 pounds down. 60 to go.


I need to lean.

September 22, 2010

I eat to punish myself.

It feels that way lately. Not just cause I’m tired, or lonely, or hungry, or bored. Not because I’m stressed.

Because I feel angry at myself, and I’m not sure why. Because I want to sabotage myself.

I think I am afraid of success. Not just in this one area, but in many. But if you look at the way I am dealing with my recovery/weight loss, it certainly follows all my patterns.

I know I have it within me to lose this weight. I’m pretty certain that if I lost this weight, my pain levels would drop down, down, down. My life would be a lot easier. Now, I’m not trying to say curvy girls aren’t hot or happy. Just that this curvy mama is walking slower, creaking in agony, lumbering and sweating. Mama no likey.

But to stop myself from succeeding, I eat. And think mean thoughts at myself while I do it.

I lost 60 pounds before. See? Here’s a semi-obnoxious picture of when I was doing Weight Watchers:

Still not a skinny minnie, but about 7,000 pounds lighter than I had been. Oh, okay, you caught me. This is 60 pounds lighter than I had been. I was so amazingly sure of my almost-being-ordinary-ness that I dared to wear a bikini on our honeymoon:

I don’t need to be the thinnest person in the room. Hell, I don’t want that.  I like curves.

But what I do want? I want to lose all this excess baggage – physical and emotional – that is holding me back from being as active as my children need me to be.

When I lost 60 pounds last time, I did it primarily through modifying my eating habits. I did not exercise any more than I was already doing in daily life – which was essentially just a bucketload of walking for work, and living in the hilliest fucking place on earth.

This time I don’t think modifying my food is necessarily going to be The Way Forward. I think activity will have to play more of a part. We simply don’t have time to plan out neat meal menus for a week at a time, to organize everything precisely. I don’t have the money to attend Weight Watchers. I’m not in therapy this time.

I need your help. I need people to keep me going. Somehow I just don’t think I can do it all alone. I think that’s where part of my self-anger comes from, from being lonely and sort of trapped in a hell of my own making.

But it was worth it. I gained 60 pounds in pregnancy (after gaining a bit post-WW and a bit more during IVF) because it was important. Because weight gain, especially in the first 24 weeks, in a multiples pregnancy is clinically shown to be linked to positive outcomes like healthy birth weights.

Lots of things are worth it at the time. Survival skills we learned to make it through childhood, for instance. But a lot of these things that used to be helpful? As we grow up, they become hurtful. Obstacles.

That is what my weight has become.

I do not regret my lovely, softer stomach. My lovely stretch marks. I do not regret my gigantic boobs. Those are things that I accomplished, that my children helped me accomplish, and I do not wish them away.

I know when (if) (when) I lose this weight, my twin skin will really kick in. Somehow, I don’t care too much about that.

I want to feel freer, lighter. I want to be able to walk without the awkward cowboy shuffle that SPD/PGP causes on bad days.

I want more good days than bad. I don’t know how you can help, but I know I need help. Will you be there?

A laugh a day keeps the grim reality of life away.

September 21, 2010

We get our groceries delivered every Monday night; there is no time for in store shopping, and this makes for a more pleasant stocking up experience. Plus, there are little treats.

Stickers on shit – every now and then you get melon from a different country, a different sort of pear. Oh, the unexpected joy in mundane surprises.

On Tuesday mornings our kitchen looks like a fucking fruit stall, we have so much of it delivered. This morning I was looking around, decided what to have with our breakfast, when my gaze honed in on a little ribbon tied around the plums.

‘Firm eating variety.’

You might as well have put a little ribbon on there saying, ‘Something is genetically fucked up, and these plums will never ripen and get soft.’

—-

This isn’t funny, is it. When I thought of it this morning while squeezing a plum, it almost made me laugh out loud. But then, I totally accept that I have had less sleep than you, and that even when totally caught up on sleep shit like this would still make me laugh.

As a child, the first joke I remember learning (and loving!) was: ‘What did the big chimney say to the little chimney? You’re too young to smoke!’

Bet that’s got you rolling in the aisles.


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