Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hard but not hopeless

Well, I'm doing so much better today. Justin and I went to smash plates yesterday, which felt good to let out some of the sadness and anger...but I think it was much more cathartic for me to write the post I did yesterday. So thank you for listening.

I don't know what to call what happened to me yesterday other than a crisis. I know we lost Z over two months ago but the last several weeks I felt things bubbling up inside of me. It would be a little twinge here and there, nothing significant. I just rationalized it and then moved on. Or so I thought.

Two days ago the bubbling turned into something bigger. I literally felt a shift happen that was prompted by a photo. It was a powerful shift. I went from having compassion for Z's biological family and sadness for all involved in this horrible situation to suddenly feeling anger, betrayal, and a deep, deep sadness. I imagine my new feelings were what our families and friends have been feeling for us all along.

These new feelings sat with me for two days, hour by hour getting worse and worse. Yesterday morning, before I wrote yesterday's blog post, was the most scared I've ever been. There has never been a point so dark in my life where I could not see things getting better. So I called a crisis hotline to talk to someone who I knew would not just spew out platitudes. I just needed to hear from someone that it will get better; which thankfully, I heard.

After I got off the phone, I decided to write; something I have not done for years. What came out was yesterday's post...written while crying and angry. I honestly did not feel better until I hit the "publish" button. I think because I have not wanted to share the how badly I've felt, it was a release to put it out there and let everyone know that I am not okay. I am broken and battered and tired all the while still being angry and sad and emotionally raw.

Today is still hard however it is not hopeless. And for that, I am grateful.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Failed adoption after a 5 month placement.

Quick back story to this post:

My husband and I adopted a newborn baby girl in November. We had her in our care from the time she was three days old until she was nearly 5 months old.

The birth-mother lied to us about who the birth-father was. She had her boyfriend sign adoption papers as the birth-father  knowing that there was a possibility that it was someone else’s child. Well, the real birth-father found out. Through two months of drama and DNA testing the second guy is the birth-father  The birth-father would not sign the adoption papers and was not open to an open adoption. Our daughter was removed from our home at the beginning of April.

Not only is our daughter leaving us but we are left to worry about her daily care without knowing how she is doing.

On top of that, I've had two miscarriages in the past year, the latest one just a couple of weeks ago.


Things don’t hit me right away in a crisis. It takes time for me to process things and get to a point where I can’t rationalize it anymore and actually start to feel feelings. Up until now I’ve been kind of numb to what has happened.

I’ve been putting on a brave face because I know that the people around me want me to feel better. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone, so I’ve kept a lot of this to myself. Because I’m now in a part of my process of actually feeling now, I’m doing worse; much worse than when we initially lost Z.

It’s so bad that I actually called a Crisis hotline today just so I could talk to someone who I did not have to censor myself in front of. I’m aware that seeing loved ones or friends in so much pain is painful, so I’ve been sugar coating how I’ve been doing.

The pain is so bad and it’s hard for me to see the light at the end of what seems to be a never ending tunnel of darkness. And I feel like if I don’t let out how I’m feeling, I’m going to keep internalizing it and things are going to get worse for me.

I feel like since it’s been 2 months that everyone around me and Justin are moving on and in doing so, it feels like everyone is expecting us to do so as well. But I can tell you that I have not healed very much, probably because I've been numb the past two months.

The problem is that I don’t know what anyone can do for me or what I’m expecting anyone to do.

So this is the part where I get brave. I’m going to write out all of my fears, wants, reasons why I’m angry. I'm going to publish them on my blog. Then I’m going to write all of these on plates and glasses from the thrift store and I’m going to smash the hell of them while yelling and screaming and crying the whole time. I’m not going to worry about what anyone else thinks.

I want to be honest and tell you what I’m afraid of:
I’m afraid of seeing family happy with a grandchild/niece/nephew, etc. that isn’t Z.

I’m afraid my reaction will be seen as selfish.

I’m afraid of never being able to get out of this pain I’m in.

I’m afraid that I’m going to be bitter and angry for the rest of my life. That losing Z is going make me jaded and I’m not going to be the person I want to be in life because I’m too busy being bitter and angry.

I’m afraid that everyone around me doesn't care that I feel like I’m so very vulnerable and raw right now.

I’m afraid that no one will care that I’m upset.

I’m afraid that everyone around me will see my vulnerability as a weakness instead of a strength.

I’m afraid that my life is going to be meaningless if I don’t have a baby.

I’m afraid that I will only be happy with identifying myself as a mother now.

I’m afraid that even though my marriage is solid, that Justin and I are not going to be able to look at each other without seeing pain.

Things I want:
I want to be happy for everyone else who has a baby or gets pregnant.

I want to understand why we had a baby ripped from my arms.

I want to know why I have to suffer through two miscarriages in the past year and have my child taken away.

I want to know why the moment that I open myself up to a baby that I experience the loss of her.

I want to know why I have to learn the lesson of loss over and over again.

I want to stop being tired of feeling pain.

I want to know when I will start feeling joy again.

I want to be a better person on the other side of all of this pain, so at least there will be a reason for it.

I want to have a child.

Things I’m angry about:
I’m angry that life isn't fair.

I’m angry that God allowed Z to be taken away from me.

I’m angry that I have to go through this process of healing.

I’m angry that there is something that is causing me so much anger.

I’m angry that people are moving on and being happy with their lives when I’m stuck here, being swallowed up by pain.

I’m angry that Z’s birth-father was so set on taking her away.

I’m angry that there is going to be no closure for me with Z…that I’m ALWAYS going to have to wonder how she is going.

I’m angry that Z is not going to know who we are.

I’m angry that I may never again know the love of a baby.

I’m angry that I have now become a person who wants to have a child instead of having the attitude of “I can have a happy life with or without a baby.”

I’m angry that my father never got to meet Z.

I’m angry that we may lose the money we paid for the adoption that did not go through.

I’m angry that I've had two miscarriages in the past year.

I’m angry that Z’s birth mother lied about who the birth father was.

I’m angry that Z is being raised by the woman who gave her up.

I’m angry that Z doesn't really exist anymore…she is someone else’s child with a different name.

I’m angry that our adoption agency didn't know that this was going to happen.

I’m angry that I was not prepared for this possibility.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Europe, Pantyliners and Pashminas

Justin and I had a nice long vacation in Europe several months ago. Never having been on a three week vacation before, I did a lot of research on how and what to pack. I looked on travel websites for tips. I decided that since we were staying in an apartment with access to washer that I would only take one weeks worth of clothes. I picked neutral colors for most of my outfits. I brought a skirt, several pairs of slacks, one pair of shorts all either black, white or khaki in color. The shirts I brought were mostly neutral but some that were colorful. I then did something I consider quite ingenious: I bought 6 different cashmere-like pashminas (long, wide scarfs) in different colors to add some color to my neutral outfits. Having those pashminas came in handy. Not only did they add color to my outfits but I was able to achieve different looks throughout our three week vacation, so I looked like I had 3 weeks of outfits in all of my pictures. The pashiminas area great because they are big enough to wear as a long scarf, bundle around your neck when it gets cold at night and wrap around you like a shall. I will always pack that way for long trips.

I needed to also figure out my shoe situation for our trip. I wanted something comfortable yet stylish and I did not want to pack 6 pairs of shoes. With the airline restrictions on luggage weight, I needed to bring as few things as possible so I figured I would bring two pairs of shoes. The first pair would be a pair of open toed sandals with a little heel so I could dress those up. I never wore them. Not once. It was a waste of space. Let me show you what I did wear the whole time:

These are Aetrex Helen Stretch Mary Janes. I bought them from a locally owned store in Reno called If The Shoe Fits. The owner calls this shoe "The Euro Walker." It was the PERFECT shoe. I it was dressy enough to wear with the skirt I bought and comfortable enough to wear everyday. My only compliant was about the velcro straps. I wore the these shoes with nylons at times and  the Velcro caught on the the nylon and snagged them. Not too shabby.

About a week before we left on our trip, I was wearing the shoe to break them in (not that they needed it). Since I never owned a pair of Mary Janes before, I was confused if I should wear them with socks or not. I decided to take my question to the people, the people I am friends with on my Facebook page. The consensus was to wear them with no socks or with nylons. One of my friends suggested that if I wear them sans socks I should put pantyliners inside the shoes to help wick away any moisture. Uhhh, can you say BRILLIANT?

I had already found a couple of other uses for pantyliners throughout the years. But using them in shoes was awesome...and it works. Really works. The other uses that I have for pantyliners are (1) Spray a bit of perfume on them and put them in drawers or other hidden places around the house for an easy way to keep those areas smelling nice. You can keep the back of them on or peel it off and stick it to shelf. (Caution, be careful what you stick it to as it may peel off paint. And try explaining that one to your spouse. "Uh, honey...we need to repaint this shelf because I stuck a pantyliner to it.") (2) Use them as if they were cotton. For example, I have cut them into thirds and used them to remove nail polish or put astringent as party of my morning routine.

The alternate uses for pantyliners started me thinking about what other people use in their house in a pinch, or just other tips they have figured out. Because of that, I am now on a mission to get tips from other people on what secretes they know that I do not.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Camping Part 2

It was around 3pm when the pugs finally calmed down and Justin was able to start cooking lunch. I was feeling a lot better about camping by this point. I think it may have had to do with the beer, music and snacks.

By this point, we were in a little bay all alone, just the two of us and 3 barking pugs. We put the pugs in the tent trailer, set them up on the beds so they can watch us, and went down to the lake. We were able to swim alone for a couple of hours. It was very peaceful and relaxing. THIS is what camping is all about. I get it now. After our swim and a bit more relaxing, Justin started getting the fire ready and the BBQ started. I nearly had my mind made up about camping, I loved it.

Then this happened....

Before we went in the lake, I had put sunscreen on but did not realize that it was expired. 2 years ago it still wouldn't have been safe for use. So I had basically put almost nothing on my pale, white skin. For 2 hours in the sun. Awesome. After 35 years, you'd think I would be keenly aware of making sure that I was slathered in working sunscreen. You'd think that, wouldn't you? 

After our fun times in the lake, I started to not feel so good. I think the sunburn started to make me feel a little queasy. Queasy enough that I wanted to go lay down. After a few minutes my tummy started to talk to me, telling me that I am going to need to find a toilet. I gritted my teeth and told my stomach that there was no way in hell I am going to use the pump toilet that Justin brought. I reminded my stomach that we had made a deal to hold it until the next day when we got back home. Apparently, my stomach did not sign that agreement so all bets were off at that point. Mental note: get all agreements with body parts in writing, signed by a public notary with a binding contract to submit to arbitration should either one of us not keep our part of the bargain.

You guys, I had no choice but to use the pump toilet that Justin brought. I had to use it in the tent trailer...next to our beds and in the kitchen. Though, the alternative would have been much worse, I guess. I know I'm sounding like a whiny baby and there are so many other people who do this on a daily basis or just plain go to the bathroom in a hole in the ground. I get it. But let me refer you the section of yesterday's post where I say that I prefer my comfort zone. Bottom line (no pun intended) I had to go to the bathroom in the toilet. #2. Ugh!!! It was not as bad as I thought, but then again at the end of the trip, I was not the one who had to empty out the tank.

Once I started feeling a bit better, the pugs and I relaxed a little in the tent trailer. I had all three pugs on my bed. Then I think one of the pugs thought they were the in that nursery rhyme, 10 in a Bed, because before I knew it, there was one two on my bed. PugZilla fell out of the tent trailer. He came back around to the front door of the tent trailer singing:

"There were ten in a bed and the little one said 
"Roll over, roll over" 
So they all rolled over and one fell out ."

I think Olive was jealous that PugZilla was the one to sing the song because not more than 10 minutes later on the opposite bed, she fell out. She knocked over the beer that I had and spilled it all over herself.  She smelled like a booze-hound the rest of the camping trip. Both pugs are fine but I think that solidified their thinking that camping was not meant for them. If they could talk, they would tell Justin and I to, "Go have a good weekend by yourselves...really, we are ok at home alone. No, we won't throw big parties with our friends. We will even do the dishes for you if you don't take us with you."

As the evening wore on we sat by the fire. I thought for a fleeting moment to bring a sweatshirt but decided that it was way to warm out. You'd think that after 35 years of living on the earth, I would grab that damned sweatshirt in certain anticipation of being cold. I certainly needed one by this point. But I shivered through while roasting marshmallows, which was awesome. I didn't think that such small sugary puffs of deliciousness could change my mind about camping, but really, it totally did.

The lake paired with the beer, snacks, relaxing, marshmallows and Justin will get me to camp again. I have 4 more times to see if I like it. Right now, I'm split right down the middle and  unsure if all of the preparation is worth it or not.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Camping Part 1

Justin and I have a tent trailer. We bought this tent trailer for $50 about 6 years ago. Justin made that happen. There was a guy on Craigslist that needed a laptop. We had just been given a laptop through a friend because the screen did not work. Justin was able to have it fixed for $50. So he traded the laptop for the tent trailer. It's a decent tent trailer. It is from the 1970s and it shows. But the guy who traded it to us had reupholstered the inside. So all in all, it's not terrible.

When Justin brought home the tent trailer we had many discussions of how I do not think I would like camping. I don't like being dirty. I don't like the idea of going to the bathroom anywhere other than a bathroom with a toilet that flushes. I voiced all of my concerns and in an effort to step out of my comfort zone, I told Justin that I would go camping a total of 5 times. I wanted enough time camping to be able to make a decision.

I went on my first real camping trip this past weekend. Justin, I and our three pugs went to Pyramid Lake, about a 45 minute drive from Fernley.

I did not realize how much work camping is. I understand now the reason why people go camping for more than one night. One night of camping was probably not the best idea I've ever had. I just wasn't able to commit to a longer period of time because I didn't want to go to the bathroom in a non-bathroom environment. I figured if it was just one night I could probably hold it until I got home.

I woke up at 7am on Saturday morning to start packing and preparing the food. We kept it simple but it still took a while to bag up what we needed. PugZilla got out of bed with me and stood in the kitchen while I chopped up fruit. He is a fruit whore. He loves it so much. He can tell when we pull out a piece of fruit from the refrigerator. He has a 7th sense for it. That and ice cubes. It's his "fruit and ice cube" sense. All pugs have that, right?

It took PugZilla and I an hour or so to get everything ready. By that time, Justin was up and started getting other things ready that we would need, like toilet paper. He did not know that I wasn't planning on going to the bathroom until I got back home, so I let him pack it...you know, just in case.

It took 2 hours of packing and getting things ready before we could leave. And another 2 hours to drive to the lake and pick out a camp site. And another hour and a half to get the tent trailer opened and unpacked and bedding ready, etc, etc, etc. The working part of it seemed to never stop. 

Finally, during a particularly stressful few minutes during the set up I asked Justin for us to take a break and take the pugs down to the lake. We parked about 100 yards from the shore up on a little hill. We started walking down the hill and all three pugs started to follow. Once we were about half way down the hill, Martini (aka Miss Priss) decided that it was too much for her, she climbed back up the hill and under a set of rocks. Justin had to go back up and carry her down to the lake. After we put the dogs into the water for a little bit and cooled them off it was time to go back to the trailer and start cooking lunch. Olive and Martini decided that they wouldn't walk back up, so we had to carry them. We decided at that point that they are not camping  pugs. As Justin's Mom said, they are house-pugs.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Time to celebrate

It's funny. Justin and I stopped blogging around the same time last year. I couldn't think of a good reason why we both stopped until I had the urge again to blog this morning and Justin actually did blog...we are both finally feeling liberated.

We are one of those couples who bought a house at the height of the market and were in an adjustable mortgage. We wanted to pay the money we owe, we didn't want a hand out, we just didn't want to be paying 10.99% on our mortgage, nor could we afford to...who in the world could?

We had been trying to get help for over a year by the time we stopped blogging. Last July our mortgage company put us on a "trial remodification" which means we were to make a smaller payment on a trial basis until they can confirm all of the paperwork we submitted and maybe get us into a fixed rate. So we held our breath and waited with crossed fingers.

Well, we were suppose to do that for 3 months. The 3 months turned into 5 months. And by the end of the 5 months, we should have had an answer. We didn't have an answer for another 5 months, until yesterday. In total, we have been asking for help for about 2 years.

So after 2 years of dealing with our mortgage company, trying get help with our super sucky adjustable mortgage, we finally have it settled. And we have both breathed a sigh of relief. Because at any point in this process our mortgage company could have said for any number of reasons, that we didn't quailfy and return us to our adjustable mortgage.

We still want to kill our mortgage broker, who lied to our mortgage company and told them that this was a 2nd house for us (we had never owned a home before), which caused us to have a higher rate loan in the first place. Then lied to us and told us we had a fixed rate but "we will have you refinance in a couple of years to get a better rate," not knowing that it was a fixed rate for 2 years then turned into an adjustable. We do take responsibility since we were the ones who signed our paperwork. Now we know to not trust anyone, not even the title company who rushed us through the signing of our paperwork. We are now aware. Thank God for that.

My heart goes out to all of the home owners that are in the same place as we have been. The worry and stress is unbearable. Justin and I stopped putting work into our house because we were not sure how long we would be there. We were living in a temporary home, that is how we needed to see it, just in case. It's not a fun place to be.

Now it is time to celebrate. Celebrate because we are now in a very reasonable fixed rate for the next 25 years. Celebrate because our house is now our home. Celebrate because our home will not be taken away from us. Celebrate because we are spending so much less each month on our mortgage payment. Celebrate for those who have helped us through the past two years, financially and emotionally. It is NOW time to CELEBRATE!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Facebook Farming

Oh Facebook Farming...
How you woo me into your clutches
Into a complete time sink
Leaving me no time to blog in the mornings
Because I'm too busy plowing and harvesting
Even on my friend's farms I am overly consumed
With watering their plants and earning coins.

Soon it will end, as soon as I reach the next level
I have told myself that same thing
For the past 26 levels...just one more
As soon as I can get the river, I'm done with you,

I need my time back to blog, Facebook Farming
I need my time back.