Can I have some?

welcome to my blog.

a place to post. a place to eat oreos. a place to vent. a place to heal.

i started this blog so i could use a different outlet besides munching on fattening oreos. as if that has done any good... *mind wanders to oreo package in the house...*

then i realized that oreos can be semi symbolic. if you are are that crazy about oreos that is. which... i am.

eating oreos is therapeutic for me. when i am struggling or when i need a pick me up. they have chocolate. and sugar. both of which help lift my mood. not to mention that i eat them soaked with milk, which is my miracle drink.

i post my posts to not only get stuff out. there may be people who read my blog who have been in the same kind of situations as i have. i hope reading them and knowing that others have gone through things like i have, will be to you what eating oreos does to me.

and yes. i didn't capitalize anything in here. i just felt like it. deal with it.

munch up.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Corporeal Illusion

I wrote this once, or rather wrote an early version of this, and then kept tweaking it until it turned into this. But it's pretty much summing up how I'm feeling right now.

Corporeal Illusion

Laughter rises to the heavens,   
luring your spirit back through the
veil of death.
Insubstantial as gossamer,
tangible as flesh.

Sorrow enchants my eyes.
Your back bridges the height gap
as I walk behind your brothers,
my sons.

I reach out to grab you,
hold you,
keep you from leaving.
And then—

You disappear again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Effect of Loss

This may be a bit of a rambled post because I'm not sure how to organize my thoughts. But if you're not used to that by now, I don't know when you will be.

Snort's arrival filled up our already bursting house, so we ended up moving. It's been almost a month, so most of the important things have been taken out of boxes. But lots of things are still packed up. I just can't get the motivation to unpack things because, well, it was a lot of rush and stress and a multitude of other things to get the stuff packed up in the first place. Add on the worry and responsibilities and all the other things that went into selling--and buying--houses was ... well it was a bit much. Still recovering. Eventually I'll get there but for now, I'm resting. Plus it's hard to convince myself to unpack things when there is general clutter and mess from just us living here in the first place. Garbage is hanging out everywhere, why would I want to add to the clutter by taking more things out of boxes?

That's all just preliminary stuff. Mainly I want to talk about Snort. I read my previous post so I'm going to try and not repeat things too much.

To say it simply, it's been... different... this having another baby in the family thing. Once upon a time when I couldn't get a baby to calm down, I would say things like "It's okay, it's okay, you're not gonna die." It only took me a few times saying that to Snort before I realized that I couldn't really promise that. Rapper has reacted interestingly when I would hesitate saying that. He said that it's kinda sad. Which I guess it kind of is. My new catchphrase (if you can call it that) is, "A crying baby is an alive baby, and I'm okay with that." Earlier today while Snort was sleeping, Bug said, "The baby's dead!" I responded instantly, "Not a good joke." Then you could see the light bulb turn on in his head, and there was kind of an awkward silence in the room after that.

In general, it's just been different. Yes, there are those few times when I peek over just to check and see if Snort is breathing while he's sleeping. But it's more than that, and I'm not sure I can explain it well enough (have I mentioned how frustrating that is for me?).

Rapper and I are more relaxed with Snort. With our other three boys, whenever they made the slightest upset sound or right when they started crying, we would put all our efforts into calming them down. It was really stressful. With Snort, he starts crying, and I may check to make sure nothing is wrong, but then let him sort it out on his own. Unless I know for sure that he's hungry or needs a diaper change or whatever. I'm sure this is a normal thing for most parents. I know for a fact that there are those memes or videos or whatever of how parents parent a first child vs a third or fourth. It takes us silly adults a long time to realize just how tough babies are. If they can survive new parents, they can survive anything.

It's also different because I seem to cherish Snort more. Maybe I cherished the other ones just as much and memories have disappeared, but there are times when I just hold him and stare. I may have taken more pictures when Bug was this age, and maybe I still cherished him just as much. But there's just something to interacting without a screen between us.

I'm noticing the little things. Times when he seems to want to be sitting up, even though he doesn't quite have complete control of his neck yet. I notice that he recently found his hands and his tongue. He spits his tongue out a lot. I hope I can get a picture of that. I did get a picture of his pout which is absolutely adorable! So excited I got that captured. Even though I have two other (living) boys, it's almost like it's just me and Snort. Because Bug and Goof Ball are at school all day. It's almost like having a first child again, but I'm older and wiser now, so I can relax and let Snort do his thing rather than worry about... well, everything. I used to have when milestones should show up (first time rolling over, sitting, crawling, etc...) memorized and stressed over it. But even though I'm encouraging him to strengthen his neck/back muscles and get him to roll over, I'm not worried that he might be behind. We got him a play mat thing with arches that connect to the corners and dangle toys. Always wanted to get one of those for my kids. He doesn't seem much interested in toys yet. He's almost there. He (accidentally) transferred a ball from one hand to the other today. You know those mesh-like looking balls with all the circles? Easier for little fingers that don't know what they're doing yet to grab onto.

I'm not gonna say I cherish every moment. I'm still a selfish person, after all, and there are times that are just hard because I'd rather do almost anything else than feed the baby or change another diaper. But, as sad as it may be to say it... I'm loving him, adoring him, studying him, as if I'm going to lose him. I really don't remember much about Little Angel, and that saddens me. Granted, I only had him for a week less than two months. But I've had Snort for about three and a half, and I imagine I may remember more about Snort if he were to die than I do about Little Angel.

As backward as it may seem, loss makes us more aware and grateful for what we have, and makes us better appreciate the little things.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rainbow Baby

Friends and family should know by now that I have a new little one. After he (yes another he - and he snorts a LOT so we shall call him Snort) was born I learned of the term "rainbow baby." For those who don't know what that means, I guess it's the name for babies born after infant loss. "Rainbow" because I guess the whole idea that rainbows come after a storm. Hope after loss. Whether that's miscarriage or infant death, the term still applies. With that knowledge, I've now had two rainbow babies.

I don't really remember feeling too anxious when Goof Ball was born and the subsequent year of his life (when SIDS finally loses its hold on little ones). I may have been, but nothing stands out so much that I remember it. I don't really know why I wasn't anxious. One would think I'd be so anxious that I would worry about having another baby at all considering he was the baby right after Little Angel died.

But this post isn't really about that. It's about my second rainbow baby - Snort. First off, I wasn't prepared for Snort's birth at all. He came three weeks early. Which is still within the healthy range for babies to be born, but super early for me. After three births, all of them within a week of the due date, I just didn't expect for my doctor to tell me to take it easy (aka, no more Shorinji Kempo) on my 37 week appointment and to come back the next day to get my cervix checked again. Snort was born on that "next day." And even though his gestational age was 37 weeks and 1 day, he was 8 lbs and 13 oz. Thank goodness he came early, I say. And when I say I wasn't prepared for him to come, I mean we had to go to the store between my cervix check appointment (9:00 am) and when we went into the hospital (noon - thankfully the doctor let me have a smallish meal before we went in) to get a car seat, because we hadn't even had that yet. Thankfully I had the warning from my 37 week appointment to have time to pack my bag, because that hadn't even been done yet. I just simply wasn't ready. I expected him to be closer to his due date like his brothers had been.

Second off, I haven't really been too nervous about him. Occasionally when he's sleeping, I'll look over and check to see if he's still breathing, but I haven't been anxious about it. It's like it's on my mind, but not something that I'm so worried about that I've really been stressing about it.

However, a few days ago I had my first real panic attack with Snort. One morning I woke up without having woken the whole night except for the times when I woke up only to roll over. I checked the clock and saw that it was around 7:30. I realized that we had wanted to wake up somewhat early so Pro Boxer (we shall now change his name to Rapper - because of a job change - but still at the same place) could get yard and garage stuff done before it got too hot. The second thing I realized was that Snort hadn't woken up the whole night. I had just finished waking Rapper up and was looking at him when my eyes grew wide and I jumped out of bed and rushed to where Snort slept. He was fine (and is still fine), but in those few seconds, he was dead to me. I went back to the bedroom and with a little laugh (strange how that's often the reaction to the sudden release of extreme stress) said, "Well, he's alive."

Rapper looked at me like I was crazy. It was only then that he told me that Snort had woken up in the middle of the night and Rapper had gotten up and fed him and went back in bed. Normally I notice when Rapper leaves the room, but that time I hadn't woken up once. Never noticed he wasn't in bed, or that he closed the door, or crawled back in bed.

Despite the full night's sleep, that day was pretty rough for me. Partially because of the emotional drama I had in the beginning of the day, and party because it was a very full day of cleaning and other various busy things. Thankfully I finished the day off making cookies with good friends, and that helped lift my mood. I've since reverted to my occasional checking on Snort while he sleeps, without the emotional drain. I'm grateful that I was able to have another rainbow baby, and I hope that I'll continue to be blessed to have him in my life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dear World,

I'm weary.

I'm tired of the hate. I'm tired of the backbiting. I'm tired of the slamming. I'm tired of the murders and shootings. I'm just ... I'm done.

First off, it is possible to get along with someone even if you don't agree with them. Shocker.

Example: I'm a member of a very good writer's group. We get together to eat dinner after meetings. During said dinners, our subjects can range from politics to whether or not anime music is similar to 80's American music. Didn't know that was a subject up for debate? Well it was at one of our gatherings. To get to my point, no matter how "hot" a subject is (politics, for example), and how varied our opinions are, we still all get along. Even if one of our numbers is a Drumpf supporter and one is an avid HilClint supporter. I still like them, and they both still get along. I may not agree with their opinions, but that's just the thing. They are opinions. And opinions aren't fact. And they are as varied as there are sands of the sea - because that's how many people there are on this large earth, or who have lived, or who will live. Heck, I even get along with the avid Star Wars fan and the avid Star Trek fan (and they get along with each other as well). Astonishing.

I think it's even more strange that such a situation is abnormal in this world today.

Second, to quote Dr. Suess: "A person's a person, no matter how small." And I may add - no matter who they love, no matter their skin color, no matter their gender, no matter their nationality, no matter who they worship, no matter if they use a chair to move from place to place, no matter if they are hearing or not, no matter if they express themselves differently than you... no matter.... well anything really. A person's a person. Period. And being a person gives them worth. Being a person, no matter how different from you they are, demands respect.

Third, people have taken a liking to blaming mothers for, oh all sorts of things. But particularly when a tragic accident happens--like a child getting into a zoo enclosure, or a toddler getting run over by a car when the mom quickly stepped inside for something--they blame the mother for not being attentive enough. The thing about accidents are that they are accidental. Mothers of tragic accidents are just as human as you are, and the thing about humans are - we aren't perfect. We can't be everywhere at the same time, and there are times, yes, when accidents happen when we happen to be absent for even a second. Stop the hate and blaming. Start the love and compassion. Those mothers will blame themselves for the rest of their lives - trust me, I know.

There are enough critics and haters in the world. What we need is more love, more acceptance, more open-mindedness. That's how you be the change that we so desperately need. Be the love. Teach your kids to love. Everyone. Love is the only way to change things around.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Join me on a journey

On account of the lack of comments, that I don't post nearly as often as I used to, and the fact that personal blogs have kind of lost popularity, I'm not really sure who checks on this anymore. But I have been going back through my posts during the last three or four years as research for one of my pieces I've been working on, and thought that I should share my thoughts on here for those of you who have read those depressing posts when they clearly showed my emotional roller coaster. Some of the posts being so depressing that you may have worried for my life.

The reason why I needed to go back and read those posts is simple. I have changed so much from the person I was then that I couldn't even imagine how I felt back then. Which is very very good news. I couldn't remember situations, feelings, there was no memory of what my daily life was like, or of my emotional state. Trying to remember was like trying to walk through a cloud of darkness. That's all those years were to me. So in an attempt to talk about that part of my life in this piece I'm working on, I went back to my blog to see what it really was to be Shay during that time of my life.

I've come out of that research to say, my outlook on life has changed greatly. So much that I'm astonished. I still have rough days. But they aren't nearly as crippling as they were back then. Nor as long lasting. I hesitate to say this--because the healing journey has been a roller coaster by necessity, and I never truly knew if it was over or not, and never wanted to get my hopes up--but I believe that I have healed. From both of my life traumas. That doesn't mean that forgiveness has happened. I still have a huge pile of hatred and anger towards the ones who hurt me that I need to deal with. But from the time that my bubble popped about four years ago, and I stopped hiding from the dark emotions that the abuse gave me, I have been able to heal from the pain. I can stand family functions without feeling like I have to recover from it afterward. And though the hesitation is there regarding saying that I've "healed" from losing Little Angel, I think it's less that I've healed, and more that I've come to an acceptance that it's happened. Sadness will probably always be there, but the pain isn't nearly as fierce or as crippling.

The journey I've been on has been a very long one. At least twenty years. Nearly my whole life. Sometime in the last few years or so, I stopped relying on anything spiritual to help me. Partially because of my issues I mentioned in the posts during that time (not trusting God or that I was important enough to him, etc...), and partially because I was tired. I was tired of sometimes gaining the help that I needed, and other times feeling abandoned. I gained a lot of help simply from having amazing friends that I trusted. People that I didn't feel the need to pretend for. Or hide my feelings from. I've always felt like I could be myself around them, and they wouldn't judge me or tell me to act a certain way. I've also gained a lot of help from my martial arts class, which I have mentioned a few times on here. There I found a second place where I didn't have to pretend for anyone. Those two things gave me the chance I needed to simply be myself. And the more I was myself, the less I wanted to put a mask on for the sake of others. I grew, and not necessarily changed, but allowed myself to simply be, no strings attached.

It's been years since the darkness of night has terrified me to the point where I felt I couldn't move. Years since Pro Boxer's touch made me freeze in terror. There are still scars. Occasionally I'll have a small setback. But not to the point where I have a panic attack. Not to the point where I hate myself from the fear of disappointing Pro Boxer because I pushed him away again.

I still don't know what to think. I don't know how much of this healing has been me and the choices I've made or how much of it has been from God or some other spiritual thing. I'm not sure I'll ever know until the end. And almost, I'm not sure it matters that much. The fact of the matter is that I have come a great way, and I am grateful for whatever help I've been given. I'm still not sure where I sit on spiritual matters. Church gives me anxiety. Even thinking about going to church gives me anxiety. It makes my heart pound, and my muscles weak, and I feel out of breath and light headed. I don't know when I'll come to some sort of conclusion with that. I'm just going at my own pace right now. I do the things I want to do. Sometimes that means going to church, sometimes it doesn't. I've gone at my own pace this whole healing journey, and I've had such great success, I figure I'll keep up with that pace for now.

At the end of the day, I've grown a lot. I've moved from self-loathing to self-accepting. I've gone from being depressed nearly every day for months--years--on end, to enjoying my life. I'm in a much better place, and I wanted to let you all know that. I may not be where you want me to be, but I'm still on this journey, and I intend to continue improving and becoming a better person.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Social Butterfly

Since my last post, I've been wondering how to proceed. Because I don't want to worry you, my friendly readers, but at the same time, I don't know what to talk about other than my boring life or self-image issues. Because they are a nearly a daily battle for me to fight these days.

And I think I've figured something out. Something that I didn't quite know how to express years ago when I was in a similar situation. I am a very social person. I don't do well being alone. And though yes, I have kids (one of them is nearing 10.... yikes!) to talk to and be with, it isn't quite the same as having someone who will actually listen to me. When you talk to a kid, you are never quite sure if they are listening or processing or caring about what you are saying. Sure there are those rare bonding times when things seem to just fit together and you snuggle for a little or something, and there is a connection - but you can't control those. You can't get them to come when you need them most. That feeling, that "this person doesn't care what I'm saying right now" kind of feeling makes me feel oh so lonely. Hence the rising depression going on here. I rely on social things to help get me through the hard days.

I hunger for social interactions so fiercely that the small moments I have Pro Boxer around, I babble about nonsensical stuff - just fluff, really - just to have someone to talk to. And as a result of that, I find that I don't talk to him about the things I really need to talk to him about, and just fill the silence with inconsequential things.

I stalk Bacefook, but it doesn't have the kind of social stuff I'm needing (ironically enough). And I think it gives me even more anxiety than I already have while I'm sitting at my computer waiting for a notification, then feeling unfulfilled when it's a game invite or someone commenting on someone else's post after I had - not really talking to me. I don't know if I'd say I'm addicted to Bacefook - but rather I'm addicted to social interaction, and I'm searching for it in every aspect of my life that I can.

I remember how I used to talk about how I ramble on here a lot. I think that was a result of all of this. I want to talk and express myself without any limitations. What can I say? I like talking about myself and sharing my thoughts (doesn't every body?). In larger groups, I have a hard time doing that at all, because I tend to get talked over. So smaller groups or one on one usually are my favorite functions. Which is why - when I write emails or letters, or even post on my blog, when I have no one to interrupt me but myself - I go crazy and write all the things, talk about all the things, because I have no one holding me back or stopping my rambling.

And I think - this is what I need. This freedom to express myself. I have grown up in a cage. My parents meant well, I'm sure. But it was a cage nonetheless. By limiting me from talking about certain things, they likely meant to protect me, but really, it simply grew this need I have to be able to express myself without walls. That is why my good friends are so precious to me. Because I can talk to them about anything and everything, and they won't go away. I do fear, sometimes, that I'll become too reliant, or too needy, and they'll leave me. Despite being a social butterfly, I'm also quite shy. Meeting new people - trying to find that new really good friend is terrifying. Likely because of that similar fear - the fear of being left alone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

All the things

Oh boy. Where to start? Okay well... I guess I'll just plunge in.

First off, last month I completely forgot about my attempt at trying to be more active on here, in fact, I believe I even completely forgot that I even have a blog. So there's that. But considering everything that I've gone through in the past two or three weeks, I guess it makes sense.

Pro Boxer's schedule has changed. That, I believe, is the first most important (and very stressful) change. He is now working 12s. His assigned schedule is three 12s in a row. In perspective, it seems rather nice. I never get to see him for three days in a week, but then I get him, free of charge, for four. However, things haven't really been that great. In the three (four?) weeks that they've been doing this, they've been behind with their cheese production and hence, he has had to work four 12s in a row instead. I'm not even going to go into how much strain this puts on him (mostly because I don't really know - he doesn't complain much... or at all), but it's been driving me to insanity. His shift happens to go right through my social activities, and being the social person I am... His work has never really much cared about my schedule, but now they are declaring war on my sanity.

So there's that.

In preparation for this change in schedule, Pro Boxer and I have been working on saving up money to buy a second car, so at least I wouldn't have to leech rides off of my friends for my social things. But life threw another curve ball. We were visiting Pro Boxer's parents one weekend, and I was going to a writers conference. On the way back to their house one evening, our car flipped out. Even though I was still in drive, it was like the car switched to neutral and revved. Over and over. Even going into the red 6-7 (or whatever number - the red ones) rpms. And even though I was no longer pushing on the gas. So here I was on the freeway, needing to accelerate, but doing the opposite, yet my car was flipping out and I had no power to accelerate with. Let me tell you, that was stress x 100. I'm not going to go into all of everything (or this would be a very long post indeed), but suffice it to say, there was no accident, I wasn't injured at all, and I got back to in-law's house safely. But the car..... well, we got that checked the next day. On top of two minor things (that would be around a $500 fix), the guy told us that our transmission was going out. Considering this car has over 200k miles on it, and has engine problems anyway... yeah.

So. We spent all of our savings, as well as a couple thousand from Pro Boxer's dad (thank you!!) to buy a new (used) car. And of course, this was buying a replacement car. Not a second one. Granted, it was a great find, perfect timing and all that... except the fact that our other car died and we were basically desperate.

All of this combined together... The past week or so I have been reverting to the depressed wreck I was, oh, not so many years ago. I told Pro Boxer yesterday that I realized that this new schedule of his really isn't good for my health. And it isn't. When he has to leave again, I just want to curl into a ball and disappear. Some days I do that. And when I actually allow the depression to fully take hold on me, it takes me nearly half of the next day to come out of it and actually get anything done - including feeding myself. But of course, it's still hovering over me even then. And it's not even the more difficult time it takes to get to my social functions. During the week, I feel like I see Pro Boxer as much (as little?) as I did when I was going to school. Kiss goodbye, kiss goodnight... that's about it. And this time, I don't have the socialness that probably was almost the only thing sustaining me during my college years. At least not to the degree I had back then. I've found myself in a new stage of life, and I somehow need to find a way to get back to the happy person I was a month ago. I really liked that person. These days it's getting harder and harder to convince myself that I'm not a horrible person when everything I do (or don't do) makes me feel that way - thanks to the depression.

Quite the change in posts, but we've had quite the lifestyle change. This isn't the first time that Pro Boxer's shift changed, and it likely won't be the last, but the previous shift had been constant for over four years, and I had gotten quite used to seeing him at certain times. Having his help with house cleaning at certain times, etc... Now everything's changed again, and I just have to adapt ... again. In the mean time, I also have to find a way to get out of this rut without having my way, because apparently that's never going to happen with his current job.


Well anyway, consider yourself updated. I'll try and not forget about you again too soon.