Weary Wings

Friday, May 28, 2010

Less depressing than the last...

Ok, enough of all the heavy hearted creepy stuff, let's get on to Friday night. Around here that means good food and maybe some wine. I love to cook and it's even more fun when James joins in. I usually spend the week brainstorming about what concoction I can come up with for Friday night.

It often involves pizza. I make homemade pizza dough and love to try new things on it. A recent favorite is chicken bruschetta pizza. It's so amazing. I almost want to make it every Friday but that would grow old quickly. It's homemade dough, with chicken, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion and lots of cheese. We found that putting lots of tomatoes on it also helps get around a pizza that is sometimes dry with no sauce. I also, generally drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the dough for flavor and to keep it moist.

Tonight we tried a new one. I saw Rachel Ray make a recipe for linguine with sausage, grape tomatoes and arugula. It looked delicious and I even wrote in down for the menu tonight til it occurred to me that most everything that tastes good with pasts, tastes even better on pizza.

I made some alterations. We went for spicy Italian sausage, grape tomatoes, spinach and lots of cheese. So far, the first one was good. Way better than decent. I did make some alterations, and, of course, add cheese, to the second version and am now waiting for it to come out of the oven. I did cook some onion with the sausage and sprinkled some chopped fresh garlic onto the HEAVILY oiled dough. All this with a bright Pino Noir and it's a perfect Friday evening.

I must remember to save a glass to drink on the porch. That is one of my favorite things to do. Drink wine on the porch.

Anyhow, here's to hoping everyone had a Friday meal as amazing as mine was. Love to you all.


"The wind is moving through the trees and ushering you, to better places found, feasting at Your table I am overwhelmed, and I lift my glass and drink to Love that never gave up..."- Robbie Seay Band

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Crazy Stuff

I insisted from the beginning that this blog would include those pieces of my life that are, well, less normal than other. Whatever that means. I started the blog in place of a journal that my therapist recommended. I guess the idea of possibly having someone else read (hear) me was appealing so I started the blog.

So far I have kept most entries pretty normal. Just the facts and some random stories from my life. It hasn't been purposeful. I just wasn't really in the mood to write anything more revealing. And, as you'll see, mood happens to be a huge factor in my life.

Early on I did reveal that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I was diagnosed about a year ago and have been medicated since then. What that means is that I have a hard time regulating my emotions particularly the negative ones. I believe that I would have gone undiagnosed had I not gotten pregnant and quit working to stay home with Ephram. I entered into a period of depression like none I had ever known and could not find my way out of it. Add to that a relatively young marriage between two people who are not good at conflict and a perfect storm of sorts revealed the depths of my emotional state.

I always knew that I had trouble dealing with negative emotions. I knew that I experienced rejection in an intense way. I just attributed all that to certain people in my life. I felt that if I removed these people, or at least changed the nature of the relationship, I would remedy the problem. In part, I was right. Limiting close connections, and thus, opportunities for relational disappointments, I did experience a period of time in my life that was relatively stable for a few years. During this time I went to college and made the move from California to Texas, which was a good move for my family.

I did, however, find that I was extremely harsh with my kids. That bothered me but I justified my responses to them by telling myself that it was hard to be a single mom of two boys. I would insist that I needed to be tough on them because they didn't have a dad around to do that. I do remember once talking with a counselor about it and she told me the same things. She completely reinforced the excuses I was already making to myself. Deep down I knew there was more to it but hoped that feeling would go away.

Getting married was probably a catalyst for cracking the damn so to speak. James, my husband, is a great guy. He has loved me well over the last few years, in spite of myself. But, when things became hard between us, I was totally unprepared to find myself the same emotional wreck I was when I was 20. Like I said, I thought my emotional problems were the fault of others in my life. Having married someone who was completely different from men in my past, I never imagined he would incite the same behaviors from before. Only this time, it got worse. I was utterly hopeless that my life would ever change because I had made all of these external changes and not a single thing had changed internally. I was still a mess.

I would find myself locked in the bathroom weeping uncontrollably for long periods of time. I would not allow James to sleep when I felt we had something that needed to be resolved. The problem was, I needed to have this ambiguous feeling of resolution that never came. No matter what he did or said, it didn't feel resolved.

Then there was the boredom. Borderlines often experience an intense feeling of emptiness. It shows up without warning and so far, I have not found a cure for it other than going to sleep. Since I began taking the medication the feeling comes less often than it used to but it still comes. I have had to learn to communicate what's going on to James because I found that these were times when I was likely to pick a fight. Strangely, feeling like an emotional basket case is better than this emptiness. It's hard to describe but I once sat down and wrote out how I was feeling shortly after one of those moments. Here is what I wrote...

...I don't remember being told that some days, I would want to drive away. Not like for a drive or even a drink, but to get in the car (van, UGH!) and pull away from the house and just drive. And never look back. I remember thinking this clearly one night while I was making dinner. James had been gone for a few nights in a row and was on his way home. He tended to be in a good mood on the evenings he was headed home and liked to talk. Seemed like it always came when I was at the worst hour of my day. Around five o'clock, trying to make dinner, figure out which teen needed a ride where, and pacify a cranky toddler. And as much as I wanted to be the woman he dreamed of on those afternoons, I often couldn't.

Just as I got things settled enough to start prepping dinner, he called. I tried to be a good listener, tried to be interested but I couldn't even hear what he had to say. All I could think is, 'I just want to drive away. Why can't I just drive away?' So I said it. I said,"Do you ever just want to drive away?"

I could tell by the change in his voice that I'd hurt him. I hadn't meant to but I hadn't thought it out either.

"Like, what do you mean? Like go for a drive. Get out of the house? Do you need me to stay with the kids so you can do that when I get home?"

"No. I didn't mean that."

"What then?"

"Do you ever just want to drive away? Never look back, drive til you stop and start over somewhere all alone?"

"I don't think so." I could tell he was afraid to tell me that he never just wanted to leave for good. I could tell he was worried.

So was I...

It's lonely to feel that way. And lonely to figure out that what you're feeling is not normal to those around you. That afternoon I realized something was very wrong but, still, couldn't bring myself to be totally honest about it.

It was around this period of time that James finally called our therapist after a particularly bad night. I had started some self injury behaviors that really scared him. His phone call to her led to my being evaluated for medication. Taking it has been a relief on many levels. I am grateful for the scientists who study the human brain and could find that there were some chemicals that I was probably short on. We have experienced lots of change since the medication.

One change that has not been so welcome, though, has been the numbing of my emotions. I know that sounds crazy since that is exactly what needed to happen on many levels but I had come to know that heightened sense of emotionality as normal. I was passionate about my faith, my kids, issues that I felt strongly about. I had this intensity in everything I did that was often met with positive feedback. To have that side of me erased was hard. I realize that that same intensity is what was destroying my relationships and truly, my life. Nevertheless I missed it.

Missing it is what led to this blog. My therapist recommended that I begin to journal about how I felt, or, rather, didn't feel anymore. It was funny because before the meds, nobody ever had to suggest a thing like journaling. It was just something I did. My emotions poured freely out of me onto paper in the form of prose and poetry. However, once I began the meds, that intense need to emote was diminished so I never did. I would even complain that I couldn't write anymore. I wondered if that was true.

Back when I was teaching high school I had my students journal everyday. They would sometinmes say that they had nothing to write about and I would tell them, "just write." And they would. I decided to take my own advice and just write. I was going to journal whether I felt like it or not.

The blog decision came later but it makes perfect sense for a borderline like myself. Those with BPD often complain of not feeling heard or understood. So, writing a blog that could be ready by anyone who found it helped meet that need. I have a few friends who may read it from time to time as well, I don't know how often because I don't ask. Just believing that someone is reading it is enough.

So, if you hung in there for this ridiculously long post. Thank you. Thank you for reading and if anything I wrote is something you can relate to, great. I hope it helped.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I got a job!

Some of you know that I recently decided to go back to work after four years of being at home with Ephram. My plan was to jump right back into teaching only, now, in a public school rather than private as I was teaching before. Private school doesn't pay nearly as much and, frankly, it wouldn't be worth it otherwise.

I set out to take my state test, which I passed. This was necessary in order to be granted "probationary certification" so that I could be hired. I planned to enter an alternative certification program that allowed me to finish the process and work as a teacher at the same time. Sounds good, right?

Not so fast. This year there are many experienced, certified teachers out of work, looking for a job. Suddenly my private school experience didn't gain me any leverage up against those coming out of a public school classroom. I began to realize that I might not get a job teaching this year and started looking at other positions, mainly sales.

In the meantime I noticed that a friend of mine posted a need for someone to do office work at her legal office. I responded that I would be interested and we set up a time to meet together. I went to her office and we chatted about the number of hours per week and pay rates and what not. We also discussed that it might turn into something more full time later. The situation sounded mutually beneficial to both of us and we agreed I would start Tuesday June 8th.

I am so excited. First of all the woman I will be working with is someone I really respect and enjoy being around. We worked together in some networking situations and it went well. I think it will be a good fit. The other thing is that I have always been interested in law. In fact, when I first moved to the Houston area I briefly
considered going to law school. Needless to say, this opportunity was a really good match.

Here is the crazy part. (I told you this blog would be crazy sometimes.) Anyhow, a week or so ago I got a message through Facebook from my older sister. I hadn't seen or heard from her in 20 or so years. We have the same father but different mothers. Reconnecting has been fun and we are learning about each other as we go, trying to catch up after all these years.

Back to the crazy part. She studied English Literature in college, has always thought of getting her credential to teach but presently works in a law office. Oh yeah, that's the part I left out, I taught high school English. Isn't that weird. It's like one of those shows where siblings are reunited and they have lived somewhat parallel lives. I found it interesting to say the least.

More on all this another time. Glad to have this chance to go back to work and use some of my skills again. Should be fun.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today has been a wonderful day. I don't feel that way often so I figured I should share it. I have an awful lot of negative that I am prone to share so I might as well try to balance it with some positive. Or maybe even practice focusing on the positive.

Back to today, it was wonderful. For the past few months I have been working part time at a preschool. This in addition to watching two children whom I have cared for for the last two and a half years. Well, Monday was the last day of preschool and the next couple of weeks will be my last with C and L. It's bittersweet because I have been able to stay at home with Ephram, he's had built in playmates and I really have attached myself to these two kiddos. No matter, the time has come for me to re-enter the world of full time work and this phase of life will come to an end.

Anyhow, having all that in mind, I have set out to enjoy these last days with all the kids here. So, today, we did just that. They get here in the morning and usually we watch some kids shows in the living room for a while. Today, we all piled onto the couches and watched together while I sipped my coffee for the better of an hour and a half.

They played for a while after that as I cleaned up the kitchen and made everyone's lunch. Two Nutella sandwiches and one jelly sammy, hole the peanut butter please. after they ate we put our shoes on and headed out for a quick trip to the bank. Everyone was excited thought because I had promised them we would go swimming when we returned.

And swim we did! I took all three kids down to the pool at our complex and we hung out there for about and hour and a half soaking up chlorine and vitamin d. It was lovely. The two older ones, Ephram and C, are fairly sturdy in the water with their floaties on. L gets nervous so mostly he clung to me. We paddled around and threw water toys at each other. It was fun.

Once we were nearly shriveled to death we headed back to the apartment. It was hot outside so coming into the air conditioned entry way was wonderful. We all got into our dry clothes, had a snack and two of the three fell asleep. Bonus! While they slept C watched something on Netflix and I worked on my bible study. It really was a perfect summer day. I even did a little laundry and it didn't seem like work at all.

Something else I am really excited about is starting in June at my church. We are connected to the Acts 29 network of churches and so we are now adopting a cool thing they do at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, which is like home base to Acts 29. Anyhow, they have a recovery program of sorts called Redemption Groups. I have been involved wtih Celebrate Recovery for a while and so I figured this was similar and went to the initial meeting to learn more about it.

To say that it is a recovery program is really a disservice because truly, it's not. The materials to go with the program are based on the premise that we are all worshipers and all of our problems have something to do with worship or idolatry. It is a very structured program but they way the groups are run really allow for the Holy Spirit to move and make the changes that God already wants to make. I am excited because although I love my step group at Celebrate Recovery, sometimes I feel like the emphasis is on how I can change rather than on the miraculous changes I believe God wants to do in me.

Not coincidentally I am also working on the "Believing God" bible study by Beth Moore. I am working on the section of homework that is titled "I Am Who God Says I Am." I so need to believe that. I want to be a living example of the redemptive work Christ can do not only in the heart, but IN MY MIND! I heard Beth Moore say once that of all the miracles she has seen God perform the greatest one has been the one he performed on her mind. Doesn't that excite you? I am believing God for that. For a miraculous transformation by the renewing of my mind. Amen.

So, here's to some more lazy summer days with all these kids. Here's to finding a job, sooner rather than later. Here's to Redemption Groups and Celebrate Recovery and all Jesus centered programs to promote healing in people. And here's to a great day. I needed one. Now I will go pour some of it out on James so he can have a great day too.

Much love!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My introduction to Kurt Vonnegut

I started tutoring again. That's good news. Sort of. The scheduling is hectic and although it pays well hourly, I generally don't work as many hours as I might need to for the pay to make much of a difference.

Anyhow, I am reading Slaughterhouse Five with a student I am working with. He needs someone to discuss the book with him as he prepares for a school project around the text. It's a huge stretch for me because I tend to stick to self-help books and girly novels that make me feel good about life and love. This is not that kind of book. Not even a little.

I am hanging in there though. It's actually an entertaining read but that might be part of the problem. My heightened emotions can mean that "entertaining" is defined in a variety of ways. This book is currently entertaining my sullen and depressed side. I don't generally need help with that. Although, since I started taking the meds, I have complained that my emotions have become somewhat blunted so maybe I should look for literature of this sort. Something to stretch my emotions blunted by medication because my emotions were out of control. Sheesh.

In other news, I am currently looking for a job. Not just part time tutoring and such but, instead, a real job. Something that will pay me for the 4 years I poured into earning a degree. It's been so long I almost feel like it doesn't count. Like somehow I missed the opportunity to use it. Let's hope not.

Oh yeah, just found out that a friend is moving a couple of states away. Feeling pretty raw about that. It's happened a lot over the last couple of years. So much so that I am starting to really shy away from making new friends. I need some to stick around. At least one.

Okay, I am done pouting about that for now. Time to get back to reading the book that is scratching at my blunted emotions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ephram's Birthday Weekend

I meant to blog Friday night. That's progress, you know, meaning to blog. Anyhow, James got me a room by myself for Mother's Day last Friday night. He brought me dinner, I brought a movie and some books.

The first thing I did was turn the TV on. Isn't that always the first thing? I started to flip through the channels and suddenly realized I could waste my entire night alone zoned out watching TV or I could actually do the things I say I never have time to do. Like read. So, I turned the TV off and opened my books.

At some point I decided to get online and write some on my blog. I turned on my laptop and waited for it to load so I could tap into the wireless network. Uh oh, no wireless. Yep, that's right, in a room less than a year old there was no wireless. Talk about crazy. So, anyhow, I never did get to the blog that night.

The next morning I came home to help James finish getting ready for Ephram's birthday party. Seemed so odd as I generally consider that type of thing mostly my job but he took charge and readied the apartment, baked the cupcakes and took care of the kids so I could have my night away. It was an amazing blessing.

We had six kids total for the swim party. I think this was the the first time Ephram really understood what it meant to have a birthday. He enjoyed every minute of it. We had planned to spend Mother's Day with some friends who also came to his party and they ended up forgetting his gift. When we arrived at their house on Sunday they gave him his gift and, thus, birthday weekend continued.

Today is his actual birthday so we brought some frosted animal cookies to school for snack and his friends all sang to him there. We, of course, also made him a special dinner tonight and he got another birthday balloon. At this point, as far as Ephram is concerned, birthdays last for at least a week. I guess when you're four they kind of do.

Most of all, the weekend was fun. I did have a little bit of an emotional meltdown last night but it was minimal compared to what it could have been. Definitely an improvement. Let's hope I can keep that up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The trouble with blogging...

The trouble with blogging is that you never know who is going to read it. Ideally, as a blogger, you'd think I want readers. And I do. In fact when this thing gets in motion I think it will be a very important blog to maybe even a handful of people.

Why? Well, I plan to write about my experiences with borderline personality disorder and sometimes, more specifically, how my medication has helped but has also changed a part of me that I kind of miss. But, more on all that later.

For now, the issue is who will be reading this. Let's face it, sometimes a completely anonymous place to expose ourselves is attractive. I would censor a lot less of what I said if I were certain that nobody I knew would ever read it. At least not anyone who might be upset or slighted by what they read.

So, let's just say upfront that sometimes my perspective is skewed. Sometimes I can be self-centered in how I might recollect certain events. Sometimes I can be unfair in how I interpret the way people react to me. The truth is, I am not easy to live with. I do know that but, this blog is about how I feel. I know that my feelings are no gospel to be lived by but I need a place to express them nonetheless. This is that place.

If you recognize yourself in any posts, forgive me in advance if I do not represent you fairly. I thank you for that and for your love and support for me. Thanks again for reading and know that I love you all.