Daily Archives: February 16, 2016

10 Things No One Told You About Divorce



1. Sometimes you eat like a scavenging member of the Donner Party, dragging a carrot through a tub of expired hummus, eating bran cereal (or the kids' Lucky Charms) by the fistful straight from the box, spooning peanut butter, the main protein source, onto your tongue, and shaking chocolate chips from the bag for dessert. You do all of this standing by the sink in the dark because you don't believe it's worth the effort to cook sustaining, delicious food just for yourself. People begin tell you that since the divorce, you've gone feral.
2. You start walking around the house in shabby underwear (when you don't have the kids), and notice your white panties are gray. So you shuck them off, and your tired bra, too, and look down at the body that you agonized over for all those married years. You doubted that you were enough and his affair seemed to confirm this. But standing naked now, with just yourself to please, you suddenly realize: "I am effing beautiful."
3. If you change your married name back to your unmarried name, your younger name, your name before all of the collective joy and pain, you cry the first time that you sign a check or bill, having to invent a new signature on the spot. That signature might even resemble your childhood signature: a loopy, hesitant inscription of your name on the world. Resist dotting your "i" with a heart.
4. If you have children, they worry about you. They say, "You should try to find someone! Go online! We just want you to be happy like Dad is with X." You might want to say something disparaging about their father and the girlfriend. Don't. Your children love you and their father with their wide and forgiving hearts. Instead, pull them close, kiss each cheek, and say, "I have you. I don't need a man to make me happy." Which is true, but also a tiny lie.
5. If you venture into online dating, know that perfect strangers will ask you to describe your calves and teeth, as if you are up at the cattle auction; couples will ask you to couple with them; voyeurs will want to watch you with younger partners; and younger partners will woo you with their staying power, intuiting, too, your mid-life desperation (the ex is already engaged to the other woman). Delete these messages. Or not. Trudge around the house in your gray underwear or have an exhilarating fling.
6. You spend a lot of time inspecting the gray roots when you blow-dry your hair, wondering how you got to be this old and alone. When you towel off after showering, you'll notice the gray hair below that simultaneously sprouted with the divorce decree. Dye the top? Dye the top and bottom? Surely someone else will come along so grooming is essential. Your secret fear? No one is coming along again. Except for the crazy stalker guy from Match.com.
7. Because your ex was usually in the driver's seat, he generally set the radio station, the temperature, and the level of road rage. You are now Danica Patrick. Turn up Taylor Swift, blast the heat, and instead of shouting invectives at other drivers, encourage the kids to join you in a sing-a-long to "Bad Blood." They won't actually sing-a-long, and slump in their seats when you pump the brake, pretending to have bad-ass hydraulics. But they will see that you can be happy alone and with them.
8. You realize all the pee on the toilet was not, in fact, your ex's, but is due to your son's bad aim. You feel guilty over all the times you stepped on wet tiles and sat on the wet toilet seat, damning your ex to outhouse hell. You feel guilty for all the arguments, for going to bed angry, for holding your ground long after it mattered. However, guilt aside, in the next co-parenting email exchange, you need to tell your ex to work on your son's toilet etiquette.
9. You are not be prepared for the vast ocean of your king-sized bed. At night, even though you have an extra ten feet of space, space you coveted when you were married (you were pushed to the edge of the bed by your husband, the dog, and often, your son), you still sleep on a narrow sliver. In fact, you don't disturb his side but pile your dirty yoga pants in an approximation of his body, like filling in the empty space of a body's outline at a crime scene. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you pat the lumpy, reassuring pile as if he is there.
10. Sometimes, it feels like the end of your life. Your therapist nods ambiguously. "I hear you," he says. You're not sure he does. Later, when you are at your friends' house for dinner, the husband-friend tells you that he thinks you are amazing, and that you have come so far and with such grace, and that you are loved by so many. His eyes get wet as he says this. Divorce might feel like the wages of love's failure, but love still waits to catch you off guard.

10 Things No One Told You About Divorce



1. Sometimes you eat like a scavenging member of the Donner Party, dragging a carrot through a tub of expired hummus, eating bran cereal (or the kids' Lucky Charms) by the fistful straight from the box, spooning peanut butter, the main protein source, onto your tongue, and shaking chocolate chips from the bag for dessert. You do all of this standing by the sink in the dark because you don't believe it's worth the effort to cook sustaining, delicious food just for yourself. People begin tell you that since the divorce, you've gone feral.
2. You start walking around the house in shabby underwear (when you don't have the kids), and notice your white panties are gray. So you shuck them off, and your tired bra, too, and look down at the body that you agonized over for all those married years. You doubted that you were enough and his affair seemed to confirm this. But standing naked now, with just yourself to please, you suddenly realize: "I am effing beautiful."
3. If you change your married name back to your unmarried name, your younger name, your name before all of the collective joy and pain, you cry the first time that you sign a check or bill, having to invent a new signature on the spot. That signature might even resemble your childhood signature: a loopy, hesitant inscription of your name on the world. Resist dotting your "i" with a heart.
4. If you have children, they worry about you. They say, "You should try to find someone! Go online! We just want you to be happy like Dad is with X." You might want to say something disparaging about their father and the girlfriend. Don't. Your children love you and their father with their wide and forgiving hearts. Instead, pull them close, kiss each cheek, and say, "I have you. I don't need a man to make me happy." Which is true, but also a tiny lie.
5. If you venture into online dating, know that perfect strangers will ask you to describe your calves and teeth, as if you are up at the cattle auction; couples will ask you to couple with them; voyeurs will want to watch you with younger partners; and younger partners will woo you with their staying power, intuiting, too, your mid-life desperation (the ex is already engaged to the other woman). Delete these messages. Or not. Trudge around the house in your gray underwear or have an exhilarating fling.
6. You spend a lot of time inspecting the gray roots when you blow-dry your hair, wondering how you got to be this old and alone. When you towel off after showering, you'll notice the gray hair below that simultaneously sprouted with the divorce decree. Dye the top? Dye the top and bottom? Surely someone else will come along so grooming is essential. Your secret fear? No one is coming along again. Except for the crazy stalker guy from Match.com.
7. Because your ex was usually in the driver's seat, he generally set the radio station, the temperature, and the level of road rage. You are now Danica Patrick. Turn up Taylor Swift, blast the heat, and instead of shouting invectives at other drivers, encourage the kids to join you in a sing-a-long to "Bad Blood." They won't actually sing-a-long, and slump in their seats when you pump the brake, pretending to have bad-ass hydraulics. But they will see that you can be happy alone and with them.
8. You realize all the pee on the toilet was not, in fact, your ex's, but is due to your son's bad aim. You feel guilty over all the times you stepped on wet tiles and sat on the wet toilet seat, damning your ex to outhouse hell. You feel guilty for all the arguments, for going to bed angry, for holding your ground long after it mattered. However, guilt aside, in the next co-parenting email exchange, you need to tell your ex to work on your son's toilet etiquette.
9. You are not be prepared for the vast ocean of your king-sized bed. At night, even though you have an extra ten feet of space, space you coveted when you were married (you were pushed to the edge of the bed by your husband, the dog, and often, your son), you still sleep on a narrow sliver. In fact, you don't disturb his side but pile your dirty yoga pants in an approximation of his body, like filling in the empty space of a body's outline at a crime scene. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you pat the lumpy, reassuring pile as if he is there.
10. Sometimes, it feels like the end of your life. Your therapist nods ambiguously. "I hear you," he says. You're not sure he does. Later, when you are at your friends' house for dinner, the husband-friend tells you that he thinks you are amazing, and that you have come so far and with such grace, and that you are loved by so many. His eyes get wet as he says this. Divorce might feel like the wages of love's failure, but love still waits to catch you off guard.

10 Things No One Told You About Divorce



1. Sometimes you eat like a scavenging member of the Donner Party, dragging a carrot through a tub of expired hummus, eating bran cereal (or the kids' Lucky Charms) by the fistful straight from the box, spooning peanut butter, the main protein source, onto your tongue, and shaking chocolate chips from the bag for dessert. You do all of this standing by the sink in the dark because you don't believe it's worth the effort to cook sustaining, delicious food just for yourself. People begin tell you that since the divorce, you've gone feral.
2. You start walking around the house in shabby underwear (when you don't have the kids), and notice your white panties are gray. So you shuck them off, and your tired bra, too, and look down at the body that you agonized over for all those married years. You doubted that you were enough and his affair seemed to confirm this. But standing naked now, with just yourself to please, you suddenly realize: "I am effing beautiful."
3. If you change your married name back to your unmarried name, your younger name, your name before all of the collective joy and pain, you cry the first time that you sign a check or bill, having to invent a new signature on the spot. That signature might even resemble your childhood signature: a loopy, hesitant inscription of your name on the world. Resist dotting your "i" with a heart.
4. If you have children, they worry about you. They say, "You should try to find someone! Go online! We just want you to be happy like Dad is with X." You might want to say something disparaging about their father and the girlfriend. Don't. Your children love you and their father with their wide and forgiving hearts. Instead, pull them close, kiss each cheek, and say, "I have you. I don't need a man to make me happy." Which is true, but also a tiny lie.
5. If you venture into online dating, know that perfect strangers will ask you to describe your calves and teeth, as if you are up at the cattle auction; couples will ask you to couple with them; voyeurs will want to watch you with younger partners; and younger partners will woo you with their staying power, intuiting, too, your mid-life desperation (the ex is already engaged to the other woman). Delete these messages. Or not. Trudge around the house in your gray underwear or have an exhilarating fling.
6. You spend a lot of time inspecting the gray roots when you blow-dry your hair, wondering how you got to be this old and alone. When you towel off after showering, you'll notice the gray hair below that simultaneously sprouted with the divorce decree. Dye the top? Dye the top and bottom? Surely someone else will come along so grooming is essential. Your secret fear? No one is coming along again. Except for the crazy stalker guy from Match.com.
7. Because your ex was usually in the driver's seat, he generally set the radio station, the temperature, and the level of road rage. You are now Danica Patrick. Turn up Taylor Swift, blast the heat, and instead of shouting invectives at other drivers, encourage the kids to join you in a sing-a-long to "Bad Blood." They won't actually sing-a-long, and slump in their seats when you pump the brake, pretending to have bad-ass hydraulics. But they will see that you can be happy alone and with them.
8. You realize all the pee on the toilet was not, in fact, your ex's, but is due to your son's bad aim. You feel guilty over all the times you stepped on wet tiles and sat on the wet toilet seat, damning your ex to outhouse hell. You feel guilty for all the arguments, for going to bed angry, for holding your ground long after it mattered. However, guilt aside, in the next co-parenting email exchange, you need to tell your ex to work on your son's toilet etiquette.
9. You are not be prepared for the vast ocean of your king-sized bed. At night, even though you have an extra ten feet of space, space you coveted when you were married (you were pushed to the edge of the bed by your husband, the dog, and often, your son), you still sleep on a narrow sliver. In fact, you don't disturb his side but pile your dirty yoga pants in an approximation of his body, like filling in the empty space of a body's outline at a crime scene. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you pat the lumpy, reassuring pile as if he is there.
10. Sometimes, it feels like the end of your life. Your therapist nods ambiguously. "I hear you," he says. You're not sure he does. Later, when you are at your friends' house for dinner, the husband-friend tells you that he thinks you are amazing, and that you have come so far and with such grace, and that you are loved by so many. His eyes get wet as he says this. Divorce might feel like the wages of love's failure, but love still waits to catch you off guard.

Day from Hell

 Recently my mother slammed the door on her speech therapist. She refused nursing care for herself and blocked nurses from seeing my father. Her behavior has caused both of them to be discharged as patients from home health services. No more home nursing visits, physical therapy or speech therapy. 

My parents reside in a board and care near my home where they are fed and cared for by caregivers. They still are seen by an internist with expertise in treating seniors. They take their medications. And, I have requested that a psychiatrist see my mother. 

I erred by having internists and general practitioners medicate me for depression, delaying the proper diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder type II.

Back to the story about my mom… When I visited, my mom restrained me and blocked me from leaving their room. My husband felt compassion for my parents and questioned whether they received adequate care (they do). (He supports me now and tries not to offer opinions or “fixes.”) I ended up feeling so out of control and overwhelmed that I posted this to Facebook:

I really need a friend right now. Feeling alone, isolated, misunderstood, on my own, unsupported, inadequate.

I received just what I needed – love and support. Here are responses I posted:

Today I heard that my mom’s home health care providers were discharging her as a patient because she refuses service and slammed the door in their faces. I’m working so hard to help and feel so helpless. Hard to just let it be.

I’m stressed out caring for my parents and for my son. Got to me. Just broke down. Feeling better but the weight of my responsibilities remains. Must let go.

Thank you, friends! Greatly appreciate all the support. My feeling isolated passed. You all helped. Spoke to my dear neighbor. In the midst of family crisis. Will be ongoing for a while. Stress can weigh too much and wear me down at times. Sometimes I throw up my arms and cry for help. Thanks for answering my cry.

All the love is loud and clear. The mood has passed. The stressors and triggers remain. Have to let go of what I cannot control.


Filed under: About Mental Health, Acceptance, Dementia, Family, Mental Illness Tagged: care-taking, caregiver, caregiving, letting go, Sandwich Generation, senior care, Stress

We can all get hurt, we can also hurt other people so: 9 Things to Do When Someone Has Hurt You

Such great points and advice! We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt someone else, even if it was inadvertently. Following these 9 steps will help us, it may even help bring the “fight” to an end. Peace and harmony, isn’t that what we all want? Yes!

IMG_4835

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-relationships/201602/9-things-do-when-someone-has-hurt-you?utm_source=FacebookPost&utm_medium=FBPost&utm_campaign=FBPost

Being able to put your past abuse into perspective doesn’t mean you will be immune from being hurt in the present. If you are around people for very long, you will end up hurt by someone.

Your past patterns of dealing with being hurt are not those you want to continue. So here are some steps you can take to deal with new situations. They will help you develop some new techniques and keep you from reacting to new hurts in old ways.

1. Recognize the offense for what it is.

Is it intentional? Is it unintentional? Is it a misunderstanding? Listen to what your heart tells you about what happened. Usually your gut reaction is a good indicator of what you really think. However, listen to the truth behind that reaction to make sure it’s not an old one coming up from your past. Choose to respond intentionally instead of reactinginstinctively.

2. Resist the tendency to defend your position. 

If you determine that you need to confront the person who has hurt you, offer only your point of view about the incident. It is amazing how many confrontations you can diffuse by removing defensiveness and hostility. When you stick to what you are feeling, you give the other person permission to explain his or her point of view. Then together you can come to a consensus, hopefully resulting in mutual forgiveness.

3. Give up the need to be right. 

This can be an unfortunate leftover of past abuse and can escalate a bad situation into a worse one. Other people are entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. When differences of opinions arise, it does not necessarily dictate that one person is right and the other is wrong. You may simply disagree.

4. Recognize and apologize for anything you may have done to contribute to the situation. 

Make certain, however, that it is a legitimate wrong or oversight and not false guilt brought on by past situations. However, don’t assume that past abuse gives you a pass on your own responsibility for your actions. Treating someone badly and then blaming it on something in your past does nothing in the present to help the other person, who is not to blame for your past abuse.

5. Respond, don’t react. 

This will require you to pause long enough to take the opportunity to think and evaluate. Sometimes, just waiting will add needed perspective. By responding and not just reacting, you exert control over your behavior. Past emotional abuse may have caused you to develop some pretty sensitive buttons that others can inadvertently push withoutunderstanding the consequences. Learning this skill will help you respond appropriately, giving your responses greater power and meaning for others.

6. Adopt an attitude of bridge-building as opposed to attacking or retreating. 

A conciliatory attitude is much easier for everyone to deal with than a hostile, defensive one. Practice maintaining an attitude of love and acceptance. This doesn’t mean youagree with the person who has hurt you or with what he or she has done. Rather, you have chosen to respond in a certain, predetermined way. When you present your concerns with a door open to reconciliation, you should find yourself pleased at how often the other person will opt to walk through.

7. Realize that you may be the target of someone’s anger but not the source of it.

You may find yourself in the unenviable position of being the proverbial straw that broke someone else’s back. Take responsibility only for your part, and avoid falling into the trap of accepting false guilt from others.

8. Create personal limits.

This is part of reclaiming your personal power. You have the right to define what your limits are—and insist that they be respected.

9. Realize that even if someone has hurt you, that need not take away your personalhappiness

Remember, you are in charge of your attitude and response. You can get over it and go on. If the hurt was unintentional, ask yourself, “Why am I magnifying it by holding on to it?” If the hurt was intentional and forgiven, ask yourself, “If the person has asked for my forgiveness and moved on, why am I still stuck in the pain?” If the hurt was intentional and unforgiven, tell yourself, “I choose to forgive the pain the person caused me so I can move past it.” Then reassert yourself and determine to be happy. That’s a choice you should reserve for yourself.


Facebook, Unfriending & Havoc Created: Part 1

Originally posted on Grief Happens:
On Friday, I read a post on my friend Dyane’s blog that reminded me of a life-altering experience my friend, Tara, had several years ago. I do a lot of thinking about social media — the connections, behaviors I see, the benefits, the drawbacks. I ponder how I prefer using…

Why was I such a Wuss?

Cleese

“… I was bitten by a rabbit.  Or rather, I was nibbled by a rabbit, but because I was such a weedy, namby-pamby little pansy, I reacted as though I’d lost a limb.  It was the sheer unfairness of it all that so upset me.  One minute, I was saying, “Hello, Mr. Bunny!” and smiling at its sweet little face and funny floppy ears.  The next, the fucker savaged me.  It seemed so gratuitous.  What, I asked myself, had I done to the rabbit to deserve this psychotic response?

The more pertinent question, though, is: why was I such a wuss?  And the obvious answer is that it’s because I was the only child of older, over-protective parents.  I have a memory (No. 3) to support this.  I’m now about three and am in the Red Crow Inn, the hub and beating heart of Brent Knoll.  Somehow I bang my hand, and just before I burst into tears, I hold it up to my father and howl, “Daddy, look!  I’ve hurt my precious thumb!”

This, to my astonishment, gets a big laugh.  Is my thumb not precious, I wonder?  Dad certainly thinks it is.  When the occasion demands, he always says, “Oh, you’ve hurt your precious _______ [fill in applicable body part].”

I hesitate to criticise Dad, because what sanity I have I owe to his loving kindness.  But there’s no doubt that he did pamper me, and such early coddling was one of the reasons I embarked on a wussy lifestyle.”

John Cleese, from his laugh-out-loud and tender memoir, So, Anyway…

a bipolar disorder linkdump.

It was fair to call it depression. She felt like shit, all the time. If that was depression, she had it. It must have been contagious. She’d caught it from the world. Lev Grossman – The Magician’s Land (Just a note about the quote – the Magicians trilogy has some interesting mental illness angles woven … Continue reading a bipolar disorder linkdump.

a bipolar disorder linkdump.

It was fair to call it depression. She felt like shit, all the time. If that was depression, she had it. It must have been contagious. She’d caught it from the world. Lev Grossman – The Magician’s Land (Just a note about the quote – the Magicians trilogy has some interesting mental illness angles woven … Continue reading a bipolar disorder linkdump.

a bipolar disorder linkdump.

It was fair to call it depression. She felt like shit, all the time. If that was depression, she had it. It must have been contagious. She’d caught it from the world. Lev Grossman – The Magician’s Land (Just a note about the quote – the Magicians trilogy has some interesting mental illness angles woven … Continue reading a bipolar disorder linkdump.