Friday, April 30, 2010

Baseball season begins again!

I love late spring.  One of our favorite things to do this time of year is park our butts on cold hard bleachers twice a week and watch Christian's little league games.  We bring snacks, we buy snacks, we take our turn selling snacks in the concession booth but mostly we get loud and rowdy cheering for our boys.  This will be Christian's 3rd year playing and Jacksen is looking forward to being able to join in a couple years.

Go Bulldogs!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So for some reason last night I spent too much time on the internet looking at photos and reading stories of survivors of the death camps.

And as I was looking at the pictures I paid extra attention to the faces of the parents of the many children in the photos. The children looked as children do, a bit afraid but confident. Children have this sense that their parents will protect them, will take care of them. In looking at the photos of these children I feel a sense of peace, these children had no idea what was happening to them until it was far too late. By the time they realized something bad was going on the gas was in their lungs and they were losing consciousness. But the parents, although for the most part they didn't exactly know their fate, they had a good idea that either way, it wouldn't be good.

As they stepped, fell, or were shoved off the train cars at the unloading docks and sorted into a group that would either be the workers (mostly the men and young women) and those who would instantly die (older women and children) they had to know that whatever their fate, it would be difficult. There was no peace. Many of these people had come from "ghetto's", places where people lived sometimes hundreds to a building the size of an outhouse or an underground hole. They weren't, for the most part, taken from the lovely upper-middle class houses they once knew, their lives had been painful and hard for quite some time.

Looking at pictures of the "sorted" as they stood in lines, or huddled in groups I had the same response as most people. Those poor people.

What would it have been like as a mother to have your child ripped from your arms, knowing in your heart of hearts you would never see him again?

What would it be like for a father to tell his children to jump from a moving train in hopes of a chance, to see them shot to death as they fell to the ground?

What would it have been like watching your child starve to death, or sweat from typhoid in front of your eyes?

What would it have been like to walk carrying your cooing infant into the gas chamber?

I thought of my children, all of them. And I couldn't fathom it. And then looking through the pictures on various sites I caught the eye of a mother as she looked at the camera with her child in her frail arms and I realized.....

I HAVE done it. I have handed my child over to strangers unknowing if they would be able to help, or ultimately hurt him because doing so was they only chance he had.

I have set my newborn down on a bed and watched them cart him off to the operating room where they would stop his heart.

I have watched my child waste away because he was so fluid overloaded his tissues couldn't even take a tiny bit of parenteral nutrition.

I have wiped the sweat from my son's brow as he struggled desperately to live, smoothed the creases in his forehead from the pain that stayed long after he fell into a drug induced sleep, rubbed the dents out of his edematous back where the soft lambs fur blanket he slept on pushed into him.

And I have walked away from my son, knowing it would be the last time I would ever see him.

I'm not any different than those mothers in those photos that my heart bleeds for, the difference is? I had to live to feel the pain it caused. And although I have no trouble acknowledging and validating their pain I haven't allowed myself to validate my own.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's my name again?

So my teenage daughter thinks it's hilarious that my ring tone is tik-tok by k$sha (yeah, I even put the dollar sign, I'm THAT cool) and that my most comfy outfit consists of some kick ass looking jeans, a tank and an Aeropostale tiny tee with my blue Aero hoodie, with flip flops. I'm just very fortunate that I'm not a size zero like she is or she'd probably steal my clothes.

This blog post has nothing to do with that.

This post comes from the realization that I am SO glad I'm blogging again. I feel so good getting my thoughts into print and so liberated that I can just open this page, put my fingers to the keyboard and type whatever it is flies out of them. I finally have a place where I can be me, uncensored. ME, the girl who even at 33 loves Aeropostale and Vanity, who even when she's crying her eyes out can dig deep and find the humor in absolutely anything, and I do mean anything. ME, the chick who had some bad shit happen to her and is finally standing up and saying "NO, I'm not ok". JUST ME. That girl that I use to know so long ago, whoever she is.

I like her. And I like it here.

Monday, April 26, 2010


So, some things do make me immensely happy. Like my family, my kids, photography, and my Mac. If you ever have the opportunity to spend an afternoon playing with photo booth on a mac computer with your kids you'll never laugh so much in your life, I promise. Here's a few from some of mine and Nate's photo shoots!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tears and fears

So today I am sitting at home on a rainy afternoon watching Harry Potter movies. For some reason since the miscarriage I have been very dizzy and thanks to some wonderful co-workers was able to take last night and tonight off work, good thing since I probably shouldn't be driving with the world spinning at random times.

Anyway. Someone asked me if I've ever thought of medication for the depression. I have used medication before actually. I was on Prozac for a while which did really well for me until one day I realized something both amusing and startling, an intended effect of the drug I'm sure but one that made me realize it's limitations.

I was unable to cry.

In a situation where a normal person would have shed tears I was unable to do so. I was unable to feel anything with a deep enough feeling to actually show emotion. While this allowed me to take some control back when I felt like I had lost it, it was not a good long term solution to my depression and so I went off the medication and regained my ability to feel and to cry and process.

I need to feel. Even though it was 4 years ago that my son died I still do need to feel that loss. Because it's not going anywhere. Even if I were able to stuff it deep down in a place where I didn't have to see it, it would still be there waiting for me to deal with it. Ignoring it isn't going to make it go away and it's not going to help me get through it. So I choose not to medicate.

I do have an appointment set up with a Psychologist in June to discuss some of these things and discuss my options. Mostly my anxiety is what is difficult to get a handle on and what I think I need the most help with. I think that when I'm feeling the most depressed it is actually a side effect sometimes of the anxiety, the anxiety makes me unable to sleep, eat, or focus and that makes everything else in my life slide until it gets overwhelming.

At this point I think I would be willing to medicate for anxiety if the doctor presented that as an option. If only for a break until I can regroup maybe.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Let me out of the box!

A friend messaged me on Facebook after reading the last couple blog posts. I can always count on her to be right there and honest and she asked me if I was afraid of people in the community judging me, you know looking at me with the sad clown face. Being the poor depressed mom with all those kids.

The truth is. Yes. I am. I remember when Alex died and shortly after attending one of the kids' concerts and feeling like every eye in the entire gym was on me saying "Oh there's the woman whose baby died". Of course none of those people would do the right thing, which would have been to walk up to me and say something, they simply stared like I had somehow grown an extra head and was now something of a novelty.

Now maybe that will happen again. And you know I guess it's ok. It's ok because I need people to know the real me. I need to know the real me. I'm not perfect, and neither are you. We all have skeletons in our closet, I'm letting mine out and it's LIBERATING!

As you might have noticed I took a bit of a haitus from the bloggy world.  I wasn't sure this blog was serving it's purpose anymore, it's purpose being letting me be honest with myself.  In fact, I know it wasn't.  So I took a break, took some time to think about what my writing does for me and what my live might show someone else.  And in re-inventing this blog I did some looking around on the internet. I read about depression, I read about motherhood. I read about lose and love and I read about failure and I read about honesty.

I found a quote that said "The definition of honesty is being what it seems". How simple is that? Being what it seems. It seems so simplistic and real and innocent.

It's hard to be honest with yourself. It's even harder to make yourself accountable for the truth to other people. To put your vulnerable self out there to be scrutinized but everyone you know, and some you don't. It's a scary prospect.

The truth is that as long as I can remember I have struggled with depression. If I had to make an unofficial guess I'd say my mother and my sister also deal with it. And I see it taking my daughter too. And that's why I realized it's time to be honest. For me. For them. For her. It's time to be what I seem. To stop pretending.

The fear takes over. You see, it doesn't matter if you are depressed because someone just died or if you are full on hearing voices and think you are Allah. Mental illness is mental illness. People see mental illness as weakness. Weakness is failure. Failure is bad.

You see. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that someone who knows my children will read my words and tease them, I'm afraid that some people will finally see the real me and not like what they see.

But you know what? Living with depression and fear and anxiety and loss doesn't define me. It does play a large part in who I am and sometimes it has a front in center voice in the things I do. But it doesn't make me a bad mother. It doesn't make me incapable. It doesn't make me ungrateful. And it doesn't make me unfixable. It is something that will always be with me, like it or not. But it's time to start being honest with it, being honest with myself and strip the fear and the facade away so I can be the one in control.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The title to the following, when it was saved on my computer was "Private". It was actually typing in that name that made me realize the problem with it. I knew enough to know I needed to write. Writing has always been an outlet for me. But I've always kept the REAL stuff I write private. My blog sometimes brushed the edges of my true feelings but it was mostly a mask, and when it wasn't a mask it was simply a manifestation of my problem in a different way. I would stand up on my soapbox and take a stance and be proactive and loud about issues because it was easy to do that. Not that I didn't believe in those issues, I still do, but really I was ranting and raving because I was unable to say hey, I'm mad, I'm hurting, and right now I need to yell.

Anyway, the following is something I wrote and because I never intended to share it with anyone I realize how honest it is. This post is the one I always plan to look back on with this blog when I feel like I am covering, when I feel like I am censoring. Because I NEED to be real here. This blog won't be all sadness and pain, because my life most definitely isn't all sadness and pain. But it does need to be real, and this post is going to keep me real. I hope.

~~I need an outlet. I don’t really feel like there’s anyone in my life I can be 100% honest with. I have to keep it together for one reason or another in front of every person I know. I have friends that judge me even when they don’t think they do, Craig hurts as badly as I do and I fear if I started to tumble I’d just take him right along with me. So I have to wake up every morning and pretend nothing is wrong day after day and carry the weight of my burden. Cry tears in private and put ice on my face trying to hide the evidence. The truth is, if anyone had any idea on a daily basis just how close I am to a mental break they would shit. There are days I have to fight with everything I have not to let my head go there because I’m afraid that one time when I actually let it happen, let the pain and the fear and the sadness come out uninhibited……. It won’t stop.

I feel like I’ve had so much taken from me and I don’t know why. Then I look at it from the other light like I know I’m suppose to and know that I am blessed. But does being blessed and grateful for what I have mean that I can’t mourn what I don’t? Is that why I feel like I’m failing if I acknowledge the pain? Because if I am honest with my losses and my pain and my fears I think somehow that means I don’t appreciate the wonderful things I do have? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I fear that someone else will be taken away from me and I will regret allowing myself a minute away from being grateful for them.

I feel so trapped by my pain and my fears and my feelings of failure. Even as I type this and the tears I’m trying desperately to quash stream down my face I’m afraid Craig will wake up and see me crying. I hate it when he sees me cry. I know he wants to help but I can’t open up to him.

It’s just not fair! I wanted this baby, and the one before, and Alex. And I know we don’t always get what we want but my god for most people they want to win the lottery and don’t. me? My children die. WTF? I don’t think I ask for too much. I’m content living paycheck to paycheck. I’m happy with my older cars and my old house that needs constant TLC. I’m not asking for a million dollars or a house on a mountain or wishing impossible things. All I want is for the people I love to be alive and healthy and to be given the wisdom to be able to figure out how to do what’s right for them. Is that too much to ask?

I’m afraid to admit this, really, openly because people assume everytime someone is depressed they are suicidal. I’m not suicidal, the last thing I want is to be away from my family, they are the only thing that brings happiness to my life. I’m the opposite of suicidal. But sometimes it does seem like a nice reprieve to just be able to sleep through the sadness. Sometimes I wish I could somehow be so far under the pain that it couldn’t touch me. When I passed out the day I started bleeding, for a split second I had that feeling as I went down seemingly in slow motion. The feeling that I was unable to care for those few seconds. I was unable to feel fear or pain or anything. And I liked it.

I wanted that baby god damnit. And I don’t care if it was my 8th or my 1st or my 15th it was just as wanted as any of my other children. Knowing he or she was in there made me happy. Made me feel hopeful and joy and excitement. To me having kids isn’t about some status quo, it’s not that it’s what a couple does when they are married. It’s not some 2.2 standard that society imposes. Everyone of my children brings me more joy than I have ever been able to get anywhere else in my life and doubt I ever would be able to. But at the same time every one of them have the ability to destroy me. I give a piece of myself to each baby unconditionally, and sometimes they leave and take it with them. Some might think that it would be wise to stop giving those pieces away, because it’s destroying me little by little. But for me, that immense joy of a new person in my life , a perfect little person created by me and my husband, the moments with your children that literally suck your breath from your chest and you wonder how you would have ever been able to survive without this person in your world, those moments are so important to me that I am willing to put that piece of myself on the ledge that is the question of life and see if it will stay with me or teeter off the edge, gone. And maybe that’s how I’m slowly destroying myself.

Maybe someday I will succeed. Maybe someday I will give all of my pieces away and all of them will be gone and I will find the numbness I felt in the moments before losing consciousness. Maybe then loving them so won’t hurt anymore.

You were real

Seven days ago I found out I was pregnant. After two years of maybe we're trying maybe we're not I was pregnant. I sent Craig a picture of the positive test in a text message while he was at work, with the words DO NOT TELL ANYONE attached to the message. You see, 2 years ago, almost to the day I also found out I was pregnant. We lost that baby at 10 weeks.

For someone like me, miscarriage is a direct failure. I try so hard to be capable, to be ABLE. And when my body blatently defies me in the worst way possible I see it as a fault. To tell everyone that I had lost the baby to me was as embarassing and disturbing as if I were telling people I had forgotten my child at the mall.

I immediately called my midwife's office and asked for the 7-8 week ultrasound I was promised if there would happen to be a next time. I kept trying to tell myself it couldn't possibly happen again. Who has a problem with miscarriage after 7 uneventful pregnancies? I ignored the logic that it might be the same person who after 7 pregnancies suddenly finds herself not pregnant after "kind of" trying for 2 years. I tried to ignore the line on the 2nd test I took a day later which was 2 shades lighter than the first.

2 days ago my fears were confirmed again. I went to the bathroom and saw the slightest tinge of blood. And I promptly passed out cold in the pile of dirty laundry in the bathroom. My kids found out I was pregnant because an ambulance had to come for their mother.

And I have sat here, pretty much alone with this aside from a couple of people I have felt safe talking about it with. Because I felt like I failed again. I failed at the one thing I was ever good at, babies. And if I am not good at the one thing I was ever good at, what does that mean?

And you know, I now feel guilt for keeping it a secret. That baby was alive. And it deserved to be acknowledged. And I loved it and I wish it could have stayed and I wish the one before it could have too, and I wish Alex was still here. And I wish I could be a mom of 9 like I should be right now. And to wish that ISN'T being ungrateful for what I have even though my mind tries to tell me it is. To wish that is to acknowledge that I did nothing to deserve this. This isn't failure and it's not my fault.

What it is

We have all heard of depression. We picture people (usually women) sitting in bed with a box of tissues sobbing. But what we don't think of is the woman laughing in line at the grocery store. She's depressed too. We also don't look at the mom lovingly pushing her son on the playground swing. She's depressed too. And the guy in the next cubicle at work with the pictures of his happy family on his desk? Yep, he may be depressed too.

Are these people masking? Are they in denial? Maybe.

For me, it's complicated as I'm sure it is for so many. Most people think depression and suicidal thoughts/tendencies go hand in hand. I can honestly say that through my entire life battling depression I have not once been suicidal. Not even when the good doctor looked at my True/False answers on some confusing questionairre and demanded I be committed to suicide watch in high school. Not even when I was seeing hallucinations in the throes of post partum depression and threatened to take a bottle of pills if my husband left me alone. Not even when my son died. Not even then.

There have been many times I prayed to be comfortably numb. I prayed for the ability to just not care for once, to not feel the pain or the fear or the sadness for once. But I've never been suicidal. Quite the contrary, I have such extreme anxiety I sometimes can't stand it. My old therapist called it PTSD, from what only a hypnotic regression session would say. I never did have that session. The anxiety is overwhelming most of the time. As I type this I am seeing my husband and youngest son out the picture window cleaning out the car out of the corner of my eye, and it's all I can do to push the visual of him getting hit by a car out of my mind. Realistically I KNOW he's within arms reach of his father, who would give his life to protect him. But that gives me little relief from the fear.

My battle with depression is a mixture of tears and joy, of smiles and sobs. It isn't just the times when I cry or fear or avoid or mask or stand on my soap box, it's also the times when I love and laugh and play and feel the warmth of things that make me happy. It is a journey to finding me, one that I am going to force myself now to walk honestly.