Welcome To St. Croix, As If

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted (Photo credit:

Dear VERY KIND, RICH PERSON,

Is it May yet? I know, I’m daydreaming. I know it isn’t May, its dull, depressing, December and I know pretty much everyone is on vacation except for me and my family. I am grateful for what I have, truly. However, I am a tiny bit envious of all who are vacationing in warm climates while my chronic, painful bones tighten up. In my mind I am trying to conjure up some images that A) might torture me for months or B) give me the impetus to get through the ugly, soggy mushy yet cold winter. Either way, it’s something to do.

I just want to talk. I don’t believe in miracles, trust me, like I didn’t really believe I would win the lottery but it’s fun to think about so here we go: It’s only December and just because we had one day, sorry, two days with 20 more seconds of light it doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate and dance barefoot in the grass with flowers entwined in our hair. It’s twenty bogus seconds, that’s it. But, we take what we are given, no, there are no hot dogs on the grill or s’mores from the barbecue just quite yet. Get inside, it’s freezing.

We eat tomatoes that look and taste like wax, they are not even orange-red but some pale combination of yellow and green and plastic, utterly tasteless. The fresh fruit that we long for in the summer has whittled down to apples, oranges, a few mangy grapes, drooping from their spines as if they were just begging to be put out of their misery. Do these grapes really look like they have the will to live? No, poor things, just put them in the back and don’t let us witness their slow, disintegrating death, it’s just too sad.

The sky, again, is white and black, sometimes blended into gray. I’m staring into my yellow pillow that I bought to conjure up what I remember as sun but it doesn’t do the trick. “Surround yourselves with things you love” is not always easy. I love the ocean and sand and seashells but even my globe filled with delightful seashells and sand does not make me feel like I am on vacation in St. Croix, or any of The Virgin Islands, Mexico, or anyplace warm. I’m woefully stuck in reality.

Most people are away for this long holiday break to places I’ve never heard of much less been to. Families with a lot of money book places far in advance so they have vacations to look forward to, I envy them. I rationalize my thinking: if this was my norm, flying somewhere every break, would I take it for granted? I admit, I wouldn’t mind finding out.

In my mind, I’m vacationing in St. Croix, or Jamaica, Hawaii or Australia. These old weary bones that ache constantly would just have to settle in for the long flight and suffer, knowing that in the end, I would see skies a beautiful shade of blue, silky, soft sand and walking on the water’s edge. My only goal is to worship and enjoy the natural elements of life. Given the chance, my family and I can be packed in ten minutes and we thank you so very much.

English: St Croix

English: St Croix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FWF: Kellie Elmore

Sad Little Girl

Sad Little Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

everything i could never tell you

I’m sorry, baby girl, I was barely a teen then, I didn’t know there was a name for what your mama had. I just knew she closed herself in her bedroom, turned the lights off and had me babysit you every afternoon. She hid under the covers because she was really sad and all you could hear from her bedroom was her sobbing. I kept the television on to try to protect you from the sounds.

You know, back then, it didn’t even have a name, just crazy. Your mama was chronically depressed and it is like every other illness but years ago it was shameful. Thank God, now, people know more and there are medications and no shame involved.

When I would walk up one flight of dusty, gray stairs, your smile would brighten your entire face like sunshine and your cheeks would turn rosy pink as soon as you saw me. Your mama would scream sometimes, but she couldn’t control herself. Oh, I know you pity yourself but I’m sure it was not easy for her, she was very sad every minute of every day. Yes, it WAS hard for you but you are a grown-up now, can you now think about what it was like for her?

What I remember most, for some funny reason, is that she used to make two pale chicken legs in the toaster oven. Oil or butter turning into bubbles on those nasty looking legs. You must have eaten them after I left but I kept thinking “where was the rice and the salad?” Was there bread and butter to eat?  I could picture you and your mama eating one sickly yellow chicken leg each and you drinking your glass of milk.

Your mom never let you have candy so with my babysitting money I would hold your hand and take you into the candy store and let you pick out a chocolate bar and tell you it was our secret. I didn’t care about lying to your mom, she wouldn’t even have noticed. I just wanted you to have a little happiness in your life, I wanted you to be able to be a kid for a short time, anyway. Your eyes would glisten like stars on a dark night, with happiness and excitement, you were lit up like electricity in a lamp.

I met you for lunch once when we were both adults, I didn’t know you anymore. You hated your parents,  you hated everything, nothing but hate and coldness inside you. This was way before your older sister became sick too and I adored her as well. I know you were wonderful to her, you did everything for her and everyone knew that, there was the goodness in you.That sweet little girl came back to be her sister’s angel, but when she died, it died too.

We didn’t know about the funeral, no one told us. As soon as we found out we raced to your mom’s apartment where your cold, icy, blue eyes looked through us. I wanted to hug you, but you didn’t let anyone close enough to even say we were sorry. Why? You were blaming us for something we had no control over but you were the queen of control, right?

You built a wall around you of law books and court rooms and tennis-playing friends. I hope you are happy now. But, I wanted to say something that I never could say before: I missed my sweet baby for a long time. The little girl you were, the innocent, happy child that would race to sit on my lap.What happened to her? My one question is “do you even remember her, that sweet sunny child, you were?” Because if not, that would be a damn shame. A damn shame.

Did I Say There Was HOPE For Fibromyalgia? WRONG.

Flower alone

Flower alone (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

9/13/13

Earth to me. Earth to me. Calling all hallucinogenic hopefuls down to reality please. Yes, I know, I was one of them. Me, optimistic, me. Funny, quirky, stupid, friggin  me. What the hell did I know? DId you believe me? I believed me. I really did until I woke up in reality which was just recently. I used to think of the world as a good place but that stopped a long, long time ago, probably with September 11th. That shook me up and the world still keeps shaking me up and not with good things. I know, I’m a late bloomer and gullible as all heck. There will always be two different “Me’s.” Before and after.

I’m jaded, Jaded and faded and disillusioned. Know what my mother’s advice was to me? “Lower your expectations, “I did. No rah-rah speech from her which is not exactly her style to begin with. My dad used to be Mr. Educational Talk when he was alive, think positive, be optimistic, you can do it if you THINK you can do it. He gave “pep” talks to anyone who would listen and yes he believed it and I tried to believe it too, tried to change. But, at the end of his life he was terribly sick and depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed or listen to his favorite Viennese waltzes that had delighted him all of his life. He was a shadow of himself, a shell of a man, it went so quickly and so slowly at the same time. It’s hard to remember when he was last really happy, I have a photo of his birthday, I treasure that photograph. The birthday candles were lit, he was beaming with joy, but it was many years before his death.

I’ve gone to the dark side. Plain and simple. Life is about love and love is about abandonment. Gone. Hello, I am here. I love you. I now will leave you. Good-bye. You are born alone and you die alone. You should pretty much plan to be alone a lot in your lifetime because no one loves you like your mother or father does, or your spouse/partner. You love your kids more than anything, they are your heart and soul, the true essence of your being but it is not reciprocal. It can’t be. Their children will be the lights of their eyes, you need to stand back and make room for the next generation. You may still be in the picture but not upfront, from now on you are in the background and that is where you will stay, forever.

Remember that post I wrote on feeling blessedly numb and peaceful? Yes, that’s gone, it left as fast as it came. Had to do with children and my dead father and abandonment issues.  Just saying the word in my head brings tears to my eyes. Good old abandonment, am I the only nut job that has this umbrella issue? I would bet not. Life is scary sometimes, it’s the truth.

Many limitations from chronic illnesses: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, I can not walk a straight line, my balance is worse than ever, my stamina is non-existent. I need to go into the city for an appointment to see my rheumatologist and I don’t have the strength to get there. Taking the train and a cab seems impossible, hiring a car service is ridiculously expensive and I can’t afford that. So, I keep postponing it which is the worst thing I can do.

I have to suck up my pride and ask my best friend for help, she’s already offered but I am not good at asking for things. I rather help than ask for help. So, today I have to promise myself that I will ask her for a ride to the city, pay for everything and appreciate that I have a friend I can ask albeit begrudgingly. I know I won’t get better, if anything I’m getting worse.

photo credit:@doug88888

written words copyrighted

Figuring It Out. ALONE.

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Part 2: Figuring it Out: By Myself

Why didn’t I just sit down and listen to myself? Really listen and take my advice and go away for a few days to have some alone time? I didn’t have a second this summer when there wasn’t someone around me. Without a doubt, the high point of my summer was spending time with my daughter in Fort Lauderdale,  Florida for five nights, just the two of us. That was amazing and I would do it again, in a hot second, because not only did I want to go but my 18-year-old daughter wanted to come with me. For the first time.

I need my space, have always needed my space so I can breathe. Like a fish needs water, that is how essential my alone time is to me. That’s why I’ve been depressed, I knew it was something simple, something tangible but it was far beyond my reach at the time to understand. Yet, it was right in front of my face. It was just so black, I couldn’t see it.

During this summer, hostile weather and all, I was housebound with Fibromyalgia and Depression, not a win-win combination. For the first time in six weeks I feel so much better, I’m smiling at the computer and a smile feels better than a sack full of jewels. I’ve always needed my alone time and I had none. Not one minute. There was no balance in my Libra life, no balance at all.

I drove myself crazy with questions and speculation deepening my depression because I couldn’t figure out why the cause of my depression. I have never been a depressed person. Anxious yes, depressed, no. I had researched meditation, chakra, astrological practices etc. and what I really needed to do was sit still and listen to myself like I did tonight. Finally. I can breathe again, slowly.  I am yawning with relief and self-satisfaction. Next time, before I run myself around in circles I should just listen to my gut feelings and act on it and not back away because it feels too hard to do or too expensive. It’s worth every single penny and then some. I feel clean and light.

I couldn’t sleep when I wanted to sleep the most. I couldn’t concentrate because I forgot everything the very same second : the cause: Fibro fog (Fibromyalgia Fog: short-term memory loss. I had no appetite and could only eat the smallest of portions. My mind felt cluttered but if you asked me with what I couldn’t tell you one single thing. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Nothing felt right, nothing was right, I simply was not myself and I was out of balance. I tried to find my center but tried to find it on the outside and not on the inside where it belonged.

It took some time but when I finally figured out WHAT was making me depressed and the feelings beyond that, it was a gift I welcomed. I felt so disheartened not being able to figure it out by myself because that is one of my strengths and yet it was right in front of me. I just couldn’t see it in the dark.

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When The Walls Start Crumbling Down…

Part One. Just A Hint

I have locked myself into my bedroom. I have slithered under my blankets, my naked body on the silky smooth white sheets and under the blue down blanket. My daughter has left in a huff, my son is incommunicado, my husband is at work and I feel misunderstood and sad. I can’t keep  going on like this for much longer.

Dinosaur Wall

Dinosaur Wall (Photo credit: www78)

I can’t blame the weather, it’s cool and bright, the sun sparkles in the sky but I don’t appreciate it as I should, however, I am aware of it. I guess that’s a good sign. All I intend to do is leave everyone on the outside, including my dog, and close my eyes in denial of those feelings that have surfaced for the last six or eight weeks. Can depression be caught by another person?

My husband had been and now he is jolly, swallowing a pill and accepting his fate, his work schedule, his horrible commute. Why can’t I catch up with him?  I was so strong and supportive for him, why can’t he be half as supportive and strong for me? Maybe it was a shock to my system to see him so vulnerable and distant, for me to be strong for him, to see him with no affect sitting in his black chair listlessly. He watched a lot of baseball, switching channels, . I felt left out but he was leaving everybody out yet the facade of him with outsiders was an Academy Award performance. He excels with that but he could not do that with me, I knew better.

Little did I know that he would pop back up like a jack in a box soon after and that I would still be lying on my side like a struck injured animal left on the side of the road, energy-less, suffering. I’m a mother but no one needs me to mother them. I can’t fully be an empty nester because the children come back for school holidays, for a place to stay, to bring their friends. Yes, of course they know everything better, I did that too, many years ago.  They don’t need us now, they have become more distant and I, as usual, feel it more deeply, I am super-sensitive, it is in my genetic make-up. What have I been called, an Empath Intuitive or is it the other way around? I take it more personally as hard as I try not to do that. It I’m sorry but that is who I am.

I want to run away. By myself, someplace far and exotic and new. I want to have an adventure, a solo vacation from all the problems of the world and the people in it. I enjoy nothing these days. Nothing but this keyboard and my eyelids closing.I slow down, I swim, alone, float on my back, kick the water hard with my legs, try to tire myself out, drag myself out I head to the sauna, I am alone, I stay to the point of not being able to breathe. I felt nothing but heat and that felt good. I push the door open and welcome the cold, fresh air on my face and body with a hint of a smile.

For me, it’s a beginning. Very small but while I am tentative, even a glimpse of hope feels a tiny bit better than before. I’ll take it.

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all photographs are property of the owners/photographers.

These Things, These Days

Tide Pool 003

Tide Pool 003 (Photo credit: Sunburned Surveyor)

A penny flipped mid-air,  the sound of dripping water from an old rusty pipe, white pistachio ice cream in an orange, ceramic bowl. Many, many things will happen during the day, most won’t leave an impression, but some will, things you may have not even have noticed consciously. What have you remembered in the corners of your mind?  The pop of very dark, red blood on my ankle after I cut myself, fixing the sink without asking for my husband’s help and my subsequent satisfaction, the texture and exquisite taste of lemon cheesecake swirling on my tongue.

Still not feeling happy but not feeling as depressed, it may take a while. Being on this plateau is fine with me, I am not complaining. I am trying to place the world in different compartments.  There are parts of myself I do not like, I need to own these. I am less patient than I used to be, I am unkind when pushed straight up against a brick wall, lately, I get angry more easily, sadder too; I am most definitely, flawed.

Relationships, each one, are so hard. Our age must be a part of it. We are the aging boomers.Is it our age? . Not so much peace, love and rock n’ roll anymore. Who has the time, the money, the stress free life? There are no relationship that are easy, they all need work and nurturing.  Just what is the right ratio? You only know when you have bumped up against it. Things hurt me more than most but that is something I can’t change, people have called me an Empath Intuitive, for what that is worth. I need to know more about this. Anyone?

I try to let things roll off my back but they get stuck. I am too sensitive, yes I know. I’m sorry. When people show coldness it feels like stabbing to me. Whoever said “karma is a bitch” first is so deadly right but that is how we learn, isn’t it? The lessons we need to learn usually come from within us.

I feel my mood slipping away, as if I were once again, caught in a tide pool of waves crashing around me. For all the majestic beauty of the ocean it can also be terrifying, disturbing and very dark. When I was a teenager I wandered away for a very long time, stayed away for hours, longer than I ever had, hoping that someone would miss me. Many hours later, I came back  waiting for the howls of relief that I had returned and the shrieks of “where have you been, young lady?” but no one had even noticed that I had gone.

Where is my energy, (not just because I have Fibromyalgia but even before the diagnosis?  Where was my fight, my determination, my drive? I feel like I’m a 33 record in a 45 playing world. (ask your parents!)

My red-brown dog, Lexi, lies against my legs, her show of affection, I still miss my first dog, Callie. You don’t forget love. You can’t, it’s impossible, If only it was that easy. Love lies in your memory and your heart, it reminds you of what you have done wrong and what you have done right. It shows us all that we are fallible and vulnerable. Live your life, but stop and tell the important people you love that YOU LOVE them. Now, before it’s too late while riding the ups and downs of life. I’ve always hated roller coasters. In life, we have no choice but to hold on tight.

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The Moment A Tear Falls

DISTRESS

DISTRESS (Photo credit: Davi Ozolin)

Blue. Medium Blue, not Light Blue. Medium to Dark Blue. Not Black, Definitely Not Black. That’s what I was, for some time, I wasn’t happy. I started looking for answers to why I was so blue, but I couldn’t move, couldn’t think; I was trapped within myself. There had been anger and tension in my extended family and I looked everywhere to find answers; I was depressed, you don’t need a reason for depression. It is, it just happens, you feel sad, alone and it is also contagious. My husband has been depressed for several months, my rock, my person to lean on, it shook me up, not that I knew it when it was happening. I was searching for something, anything, anywhere but in essence, I had forgotten an important thing. I had forgotten about me.

I wanted to run, hide, have people help me through these feelings that I didn’t like, depression, feeling blue, blah and everything that comes with it. Little things just added to my depression. “I was quite surprised when I dragged myself in to see my therapist and she asked if there was anything I was looking forward to?” I literally looked at her as if SHE was crazy. I had nothing to look forward to, but she could tell that by just glancing at my face.

Now, since the fog has lifted a bit, I can try to look forward to another day on this earth though when you are severely depressed that is not an option. You can’t. Aside from Fibromyalgia, an Auto-Immune disorder and some physical pain I don’t have a disease that is life threatening (well, not yet.) I  should have been thankful for that but you can’t see it that way; It just doesn’t fit into the pattern. You just want to lie still in bed, under the  blankets.

I stopped searching for all things outside my life and one day I felt a cloud gently lift, literally by inches, I pictured as a venetian blind being pulled up slowly and just a bit. I didn’t want to get excited but I noticed it and that itself felt good. Cautiously, I waited until the next day and the next and I was feeling a little better. I had stopped reaching outside and started looking within, when I started to cry, really cry and get angry I thought that it was a good sign. Who said “Depression is anger towards inward?” A bunch of psychiatrists including Freud and in my case, I have to admit, I agree.

If you haven’t been through (even a mini) depression you really can’t relate, I was let in, however, to a world I had never seen and it scared me half to death. My empathy for people with depression is stronger, I had never been depressed before. I saw a part of your pain, a glimpse really and I don’t want to go back.

Venetian blind, detail

Venetian blind, detail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all photos used are property of the owners.

Heat Wave

Sad and worried old woman

Sad and worried old woman (Photo credit: SalFalko)

Sitting on my bed, logy, tired but I can’t sleep, nauseous but I can’t eat, I force myself to drink ice water.  I make attempts to go out just to leave the house for a few minutes but all it does is make me appreciate my air conditioning at home. I don’t do anything worthwhile at home, I’m certainly not baking, cooking, turning on the oven or otherwise doing anything useful. I have done my laundry but it is cool in the basement and that is my incentive.

I don’t care about anything, am I depressed? Sure, a little. The other side is am I happy? Heck, no. Still, there are no strong feelings anywhere inside me, good or bad, I lack affect and interest. I can’t even blame my Fibromyalgia or my auto-immune illness (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) on this, sure they make me tired but I don’t think they make me blue. The fact that my husband has been down, lacking energy, and very tired has not helped, I am worried about him. I’m sure we feed off each other but I know I will feel a little better if he is alright physically. Men have a hard time admitting their feelings, trust me, he is no different. I just think I am more persistent and as my children call me a “touchy- feely person.”

Books, my passion, pile up and remain unread. This is unheard of for me. I am not afraid, I am not anxious, I am not in a deep depression or a feeling high. I’m just sitting, on my bed, pecking at the computers keys, like a woodpecker on a tree or a house, repetitive, sometimes annoying, it’s just a thing they do, over and over again in the background, like me.

Shhh! Putting The Past To Bed

B.F. and Teddy

B.F. and Teddy (Photo credit: Treehugger)

I’ve had enough of my down, depressing mood, my attitude needs to be adjusted. Now. I felt lonely and sad for a few weeks and yes, I did have reasons. It started with the husband. Let me tell you, women friends, I’ve been married for almost twenty-five years it’s no walk in the park. Contrary to what my single friends think, being married is hard work, it’s not just holding hands and looking lovingly into each others eyes anymore, that was then, this is now.

We know that every marriage goes through phases, blah, blah, blah and that it is normal, it’s hard to go through one of those rough patches when your husband doesn’t “get it” and frankly you know, deep down inside, he never will. Let’s be honest, after 24 and a half years he is not going to suddenly turn into the romantic, powerful guy you picture. He just isn’t. But, he may well be your best friend and companion and if you are sad, lonely and feel betrayed by the family you were born into, he’s got your back. He and your children are your family.

He’s the father of your children (the ones that are practically grown-up now) he was the one that said comically “assume the position” when he offered to give me the infertility shots every night at the same time so I wouldn’t have to do it myself. He dried all my tears, he stood up for me when people were mean to me, and yes, he can get nasty but so can I. We’re getting older TOGETHER, at least we have each other to discuss our fears, our anxieties, we have each other to love. I need to remind myself more and more of the wonderful things I DO have, I’m lucky to have a husband like him, he really is my best friend. I am also blessed with amazing kids, both of them, each one so different, such good, smart, warm and witty young adults.  I hope that they will think I’ve been a good mother, that’s truly important to me.

I didn’t have the most nurturing mother but she still loved me and worried about me, way too much. My father was very supportive and loving but he had his bad side too, who doesn’t? My sister, well, I wouldn’t choose her to be my best friend, we have exact opposite personalities but when we do get along, it’s great and we can talk for hours. It’s nice to have someone who shares my history if not my utter love for the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one of my all time favorite movies!!! Honestly I think it is one of the greatest movies of all times and she walked out of it. She hated one of my favorite movies. Now we do the opposite of each other, if she loves something I will stay away and vice versa.

I am leaving the past in the past. Forever. I won’t worry about the future, since I have no control over it and I will try to stay in the present, one minute at a time. Appreciate the good things in life, the small moments I can capture in the blink of an eye, a pretty bird with a beautiful song, a bright yellow flower, a cup of coffee with swirling milk. I want to start reading fun books not my depressing ones, and laugh more. Life is too short and way too unpredictable. It can change in a single breath. Please join me and try to enjoy your good times too. Seek them out, you will find them and before long, they will find you.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)