Monday, October 29, 2007

My life

Wow…now that Jenna gave me a shout out I feel like I have to write something incredibly inspiring or thought provoking. This is not easy for me. While at times I can be delightfully witty and charming, a good portion of my life is spent in the whirring of thoughts that spin through my brain. I have opinions on just about everything and while that can be a good thing, it can also be confusing. I think my life was more destined to be a UN ambassador because I am one of those annoying people that can usually see both sides of an argument, with the exception of my arguments with BigD, because then I am right and he is always wrong. In looking back over my life so far I am sometimes amazed at the amount of struggles I have overcome. If I were to watch a lifetime movie of my life I would walk away thinking that it was a fabrication of a writers imagination. There are so many things that just seemed insurmountable at the time and yet, here I am, alive and kicking to tell you about these events. I just don’t know where to start. My early years were spent in a very violent home. I was adored by my mother but she had her own struggles. My father was a very abusive alcoholic and when he was around nothing was stable. There are 3 times that I know I should have died because of him. Actually his feelings toward me were rather indifferent. I was more of a pawn in the game he played in terrorizing my mom. When I was 5 mom decided that she couldn’t take it any more and divorced. This was not an easy thing for a woman in a small, very Catholic, town (think seminary school, Catholic university, large mother house (this is where the nuns lived), and just about everything Catholic you can imagine. My grandmother went to mass every morning at 5 am her entire life. Even after they took her keys away, she used the one she had hidden to drive herself. As you can imagine a divorce was a scandal then (the early 1960’s) in that town. One of the reasons that I refer to myself as a "recovering Catholic" is because of the way the church handled the abuse my mom was suffering. At one visit with her priest, asking for help, with a broken arm, a body covered with bruises and a heart broken, she was told "this is your cross to bear" by her church counsel. She walked away, helpless. The defining moment that caused mom to divorce was the time that my father had beaten her and I was in the house. I walked into the kitchen and saw my mother, lying on the floor, there was blood, and my father standing over her. I remember it as though it happened this morning. At that moment, she wasn’t afraid of what people thought any longer, her only thought was to protect me from such horrible sights in the future. After word got around that she was divorcing, people told her they couldn’t believe she had stayed married so long. If she had known she had their support, she may have divorced him earlier. In those days, domestic violence was not talked about. It was kept behind closed doors and nobody interfered, though they knew what was going on. I often wonder what course my life would have taken had someone reached out to my mom years before. But then again, I probably wouldn’t have been born so life apparently worked out the way it was destined. There are stories of abuse, kidnapping, and terror all in my little girl life. If any of the things that happened were to happen to a child today, the father would be in jail. I have too many memories to put into one post but the most vivid were the times he took me for a court ordered weekly dinner visit and we would end up 150 miles from home, at his families house, where he would dump me on cousins and aunts that wanted nothing to do with me, and would disappear to the local pub. I never felt welcome in his family’s home. I was always left to sit by myself and wait for him to return. To a child, those hours were like years. On one of the most memorable visits, I was to be returned home by 8 pm and that was when we were well into our drive to upstate New York. Finally at midnight, on our way home, my father decided he needed another one for the road. We stopped at an obscure bowling alley somewhere between where we were and my home. I was ordered to sit and wait till dear dad came out of the bar for me. I had finally had enough and mustered up all my courage to go to the phone and try to call my mom. This was back in the day where you could call the operator and tell her who you wanted to talk to and she could place the call and would wait on the line till your call was answered. When my mom answered, I told her I wanted to come home, I was crying, and now as an adult, I can only imagine the terror she was feeling. She asked me if there were any women near me and told me to go get one. I found a lady changing her shoes ready to leave and she came to the phone and spoke with my mom. I couldn’t really understand what they were talking about but just then my father appeared from the bar and grabbed the phone from the kind lady. There were very angry words exchanged and the ride home was terrifying. My father was drunk, the roads were winding and very dark and he was very angry. Later I found out that was the night that my mom decided that she would never let me leave with my father again. She called the court the next day and his visitations were stopped. I honestly think the saddest part of the whole story is that my father was a very handsome, incredibly intelligent man that built and lost several businesses because of alcohol. Well…I have no idea where that all came from this morning but there you have it. A small snippet of my life’s beginnings and I managed to survive and thrive even with all the ghosts in my past. There are more stories that I will post off and on but for now, I have to return to work.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A tidy dozen things about me

Well I guess I freaked out some blogger friends because I was a bit surprised about the lack of comments on my last post. Anyway...I have decided to further alienate you by telling you a bit about myself. I have always been a bit jealous when I see other bloggers getting tagged for things. I feel like the last kid picked for the cool team in gym class. Since nobody has asked, here are a few tidbits about what make me ....well... me. 1) I am a worrier. I worry about things that I have absolutely no control over so it really is a waste of time but I can't stop it. 2) I talk to my animals like they understand what I am saying...because they do. 3) When I am watching TV I don't always look at the actors in the scene. If there is a crowd scene or city street background I am scanning the sights instead of automatically looking at the actors speaking. 4) I hate walking on wet grass with bare feet. Actually I hate stepping in ANYTHING wet (except the shower of course). 5) I never drank coffee till I was 47. One day I was driving with S1 and we stopped at McDonalds and he got a cappuccino. It smelled so good I tried it and loved it. Now I am a drinker of Hill's Bros. French Vanilla/Fat Free cappuccino at least once a day, sometimes twice. 6) I don't drink the coffee when I first wake up. I have to drink a cold drink first thing, even when it is cold outside. It is either Peach Sna@@ple or Lipt@n green tea, citrus flavor. 7) The little inserted cards in magazines drive me crazy. When I get a magazine I go through and rip them out. 8) When I was a kid I was certain that I wanted 13 kids. Yeah I was crazy. 9) I also thought that if I accidentally swallowed a watermelon seed I would grow a watermelon in my stomach (see, I even worried when I was a kid) 10) As an adult I have realized that I had ADD as a kid. I completely zoned out in school and I wonder what my grades would have been like had ADD meds been around back then. ( I NEVER opened a book or did any homework in high school and managed C's but I will NOT EVER admit this to my kids). 11) It really pisses me off when people identify my kids when saying something stupid like "she has 3 kids, one is adopted" WTF...they are ALL my kids you asses. 12) I wish blogging had been around when I was younger. I wouldn't have felt so isolated when we were going through the IVF crap or adoption wait. Well...there are a dozen things about me. I will stop now, leaving you begging for more.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One childs story

This post is the one that I have gone back and forth about posting. The post itself it written by a fellow student in S1 college lit class. The assignment was to get to know something interesting about your subject and then write a paper. S1 opened up about his medical struggle and honestly I was floored. I have not changed anything below except everywhere the student placed S1's name, I have replaced it with ++++ to protect his identity. The reason I have hesitated about posting S1's condition is because there are many of you that read this that are in the midst of TTC or adopting and honestly, I didn't want this to freak you out. Even though this condition has NOTHING to do with either, I didn't want to add fear to your already strained worried minds. This post will also show you why I feel so incredibly guilty at times for not knowing something was wrong sooner. We really thought S1 was imagining. He is frighteningly brilliant, extremely witty, very artistic, and has a very old soul. From the time he was very very young he has had the soul of someone that should have lived long ago. He has always far surpassed his peers on so many levels that at times he had trouble making friends. He would get frustrated if the kids weren't playing fair or if someone couldn't remember the rules. He is also a killer at Mon*ply. Nobody has ever beaten him..ever. So ---with all that said, here is S1's story as told by a fellow student in a writing assignment. (I will also add a little addendum at the end). ++++ seems like a normal kid. Well, aside from telling people he loves them and to meet them in his room after class. That’s a little creepy. Besides that though, he is a typical college kid. Goes to class, parties on the weekends, has a job. But people do not know about the battle he waged with his mind when he was a kid. One that haunted him for years until it almost beat him, had him pinned up against the wall with nowhere to go. To tell this heroic tale, I need to take you back to when ++++was seven years old. That’s when it all started.In the movie “The Sixth Sense”, Halle Joel Osmet saw things that no one else could see. Dead people. Everywhere he went. This is what ++++went through. Whenever he would go to bed at night, people came into his room. They would walk around, act crazy and belligerent, and scare little ++++. The problem was, these people weren’t real. No one else could see them because they were in ++++head. It started out as a few people just walking around aimlessly in ++++room, but every night more and more people started showing up. They had twisted faces, evil sneers, and eventually they would try to attack ++++. One night, one of these “people” hit ++++in the face. This was one of the reasons that ++++slept in his parent’s room until he was twelve. His parents just thought that he was having nightmares, bad dreams. They didn’t realize the extent of the problem. When ++++would tell them about the people, they would tell him that it was all in his head, he was imagining it. It was in his head, but they didn’t think or know that he had an actually medical condition. ++++wouldn’t find this out for years, but he was bi-polar. The years passed, and ++++learned to live with his condition. He would sleep in the day, watch TV. at night to avoid his “friends.” Once he got the hang of it he thought that it wasn’t that bad. He thought he had it under control. He made a routine of sleeping after school, doing his work at night, and eventually he never saw the people and could sleep at night without being disturbed by his own mind. That was until they came out of hiding and into the daylight. ++++was now a sophomore in high school. It had been almost ten years since he first saw the people in his room. He had just gotten his driver’s license, and was heading home from work on the highway. He was a cautious driver. Keeping his distance from the car ahead of him, following the posted speed limit, checking his mirrors. He was looking in his rearview mirror when he saw them. The twisted faces. The people were following him and they were gaining on him fast. ++++couldn’t believe it. He thought he had gotten over them, thought he had beat them, would never see them again. He was wrong. The people were coming up fast so ++++put the pedal to the metal and started zooming down the highway. The once cautious driver was weaving in and out of lanes at one hundred thirty five miles an hour. The people still kept up. When he made it home, he turned around, expecting a confrontation with the people. But they were gone, nowhere to be found. ++++was confused, frustrated, scared that they would come back. He knew that if he didn’t do anything about this, maybe he’d be safe for now, but one day the people would come back. It could have been that day; it could have been 10 years down the road. ++++didn’t want to live in fear, never knowing where the people would show up. So he told his parent the full extent of these “nightmares” and they took him to the doctor. He was diagnosed with being bi-polar, and was prescribed medicine. Now the people are dead, and ++++can live his life without having to look over his shoulder. Well...there you have it. I just wanted to clarify one thing. One physician also suggested that instead of bipolar this may be a variant of autism. With all the talk in the news lately regarding the increasing evidence of Autism in our children, I have been doing alot of reading and personally I am leaning more toward one of the Autism spectrum disorders than I am bipolar disorder but in any case S1 is my son and I love him more than life itself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A kid with a sense of humor that makes me old

This is just another little tidbit that adds to the wrinkles in my face and the rate at which I am aging. All the boys are usually fairly up front with me (not so much with BigD--cause, well, he carries a gun:) and there are times they will tell me things and say..."hey mom, don't tell dad". Shit. If they only knew how that puts me in an awkward position but I would rather they keep telling me things so I have to weigh my knowledge of their errors and decide which ones are "tell worthy" (similar to sponge worthy for you Seinfeld fans). Yesterday S2 was telling me a story about something he did. It was a year ago. (I said they tell me, I DIDN'T say it was instant). I have decided not to share it with BigD but the entire internet world..well, thats ok. Last year S2 had alot of trouble in school. He has some ADD issues but hates the way the meds make him feel so I don't force him to take them (my decision folks...yell at someone else). There are times when he takes them but he isn't consistent. Anyway, he had one class last year that was a real bear for him. The dreaded chemistry. (a bit of history was the only class I ever failed) Sooo he is a bit like old mom in this area. Well he knew that things were snowballing into an F and a period of being grounded, no driving, no friends and heaven forbid no eleventh finger known as the beloved cell phone. S2 is a good looking kid, fun, loves to laugh and fortunately doesn't really know that he could get away with A LOT more than he does. People love him. Women love him. Bosses love him. Teachers love him. He lights up a room when he walks in, the only problem is sometimes that light is blinding to his common sense. When walking into his dreaded chemistry class last year, he saw there was a sub teacher that day and his little wheels started turning. He politely said good morning like a good boy, but he said it with a perfect British accent. It took him only an instant to decide that he was going to be British that day. This poor teacher spent the entire class thinking S2 was an exchange student and the thing that kills me...not one kid in that class blew his cover!! He even told the sub that he was excused from the scheduled exam that day because his class over in London was a bit behind. She then sent him to a desk in the back to listen to his Ipod. For those of you wondering..he never did take that test and this could explain why his final grade was horrible. Fortunately he didn't need that class as a grad requirement having taken all his sciences already but it sure didn't help his GPA. There are days when I just want to strangle him ~then there are days when I really wish I could hang out with him because he makes me laugh so hard.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Hi All...I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for all your nice really is funny how people that I only know from blogworld can make me feel better.

S1 is fine. He had a very eye opening experience and at this point swears that it won't happen again. He was very humilated and humbled by his behavior and the consequences that followed. Lets hope he still feels that way 6 months from now.

We did find out a few more details than we originally knew (from people that witnessed the event) and it involved large amounts of vomit, nakedness (after an attempt at a sobering up shower-towels were lost between the bathroom and dorm room and a female security personnel got an eye full..S1 is mortified :) His blood alcohol content was higher than we originally heard and wasn't even drawn till he had been done drinking for 3 hours..UGH. He still doesn't remember much, friends have been filling in the details and each detail that is added is like salt in a wound to him so I have hopes that he got this out of his system early in his college days and can now concentrate on getting a great education so he can become very well employed and set me up in a great retirement!

I have always been very open and honest with my boys...I just hope he never asks me if I ever did that in college...sometimes a mom has to lie ;)

I also just had to post this photo..this dog really has it made. What you can't tell in the photo is that the cat is kneading his back..the darn dog was getting a massage and this whole thing lasted at least 10 minutes...whoever said dogs and cats are enemies, has never been to our house..(OH, and yes I know this cat is massively obese, so don't scold me. We have NO idea why he is so fat, he doesn't eat any more than our other normal sized one!)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

parenting is forever

This may be a long post, and it may ramble a bit, but I have to say what is going on in my heart and head this morning. It is one of those feelings where you feel if you don't get it out, you just might explode. Early this morning, around 1:40 am, our phone rang. That by itself is heart stopping when all of your children are not at home tucked safely into bed. BigD answered and quickly sat up and started talking in his "professional" voice. There is nothing worse than only being able to hear one side of a phone conversation and hearing the words, "unconscious", "ambulance", "hospital" coming out of your husband. His voice that is usually incredibly strong, became a higher pitch, and took on a very worried tone. After a series of questions BigD was asking the person on the other side of the line, I was able to piece together that Son #1 was taken from his dorm where he was found lying in the hall, in his pajamas, confused, disoriented, unaware of who he was or what was wrong. One of his floor mates called for help and the campus police and ambulance were dispatched. The caller was the campus police officer and he told BigD that he didn't think son was drinking that it seemed more like a medical problem-hence the transport to the ER. Husband and son #2 (who woke up when he heard me scrambling for an insurance card and SSN for the ER) took off for the hospital near the college which is about 45 minutes from here. (the only reason I didn't go was that BigD knows his way around all things police and ER related so I knew he could get all the important info and the fact that son#3 was blissfully sleeping and waking him would serve no purpose so I stayed home). Let me tell you, until BigD called about an hour later, I was a series of emotions from terrified, to nauseated from the adrenaline. When BigD called he said son 1 was talking and seemed to be somewhat oriented. On the medical end his blood sugar was very low and they were concerned about that. I had spoken with son1 around 9 pm when he was eating a steak sandwich with double meat (ahhh-campus restaurant food) and seemed fine. There is something about S1 that I have never really posted about because so many of my blog buddies are adopting and I didn't want our story to frighten them away from the most wonderful time in their lives. S1 has a medical condition that ironically didn't show up till he was older and I am so glad that it didn't. Honestly as a potential adoptive mom, had they told me my child would have this disorder, I would have been terrified and I am sure it would have changed the way that I parented him...but as they say, ignorance is bliss so we knew nothing until later..the same as MANY birth parents so I am not "blaming" anything on the fact that S1 is adopted..he is our son, just like the other difference. Anyway--S1 takes a couple of medications to keep him on a constant level so to speak and my guess was that he probably wasn't taking the medication. Then the bombshell. BigD called about 3 am to inform me that son was shit faced drunk. He was able to SOMEHOW not give any indication of intoxication. Even the seasoned police officer was clueless. S1 had a blood alcohol level of .231 (HUGE). He is a scrawny 140 pound kid and it is amazing that he wasn't in serious condition. He confessed to BigD that after he talked to me he went with a group from his evening class and they all celebrated their good grades with a fruity punch that 'someone' made. No idea who made it or what was in it. I have a friend that has talked to her daughter about roofies etc being placed in drinks...I never gave a thought to tell son not to drink anything that wasn't his. (Before you yell at me, I HAVE told him not to drink at all but I am not stupid and I was no angel in college...though he doesn't know that). I am so torn this morning. I am angry, sad, confused, disappointed, worried and the worst feeling of all is that somehow I feel like I let my son down. In my next post, I am going to post a journal entry that a classmate wrote about son1. It was an assignment that had them interviewing each other about something that changed their lives....son1 doesn't know that I read these entries but since they are to publish it in a blog type format, I have access and have been blown away by some of his entries. This particular entry will explain to you why I feel like I have let him down. I just hope he knows how much of my world revolves around my love for him. Nobody ever said parenting was so damn hard...or if they did, I didn't listen.