Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kitty Has Been Found. Lets Rejoice!

In my last post I mentioned that Alice's favorite stuffed kitty was missing and that she was just so lost. So lost in fact that she used a plastic slotted spoon in its place (spooney). Luckily I got a call last night saying the kitty had been found. I think maybe he just wanted to take a little vacation and camped out at her friend's house. So we can call off the dogs, cancel the future psych visits over this trauma; my daughter's "security blanket" has been found!

Wouldn't it be nice if as an adult you could have a security blanket? Something you could just carry around to make you feel better and safe. It seems like such a simple idea but becomes so much more complex over time. Perhaps people turn their relationship into their security blanket. Sometimes they become so afraid of letting go of the blanket that they just retreat into a relationship out of a sense of false security. The thought of letting go is terrifying. What would we do out on our own without some protection? How could we possibly make it?

Fortunately, some people realize that security comes in different ways. Family members, friends, personal success (whether it be career or otherwise) and find that strength to go out and take a risk. And I'm not just talking about leaving a bad relationship, I'm talking about leaving a job to go back to school or start a new career, about joining a club or a group. Just allowing you to be yourself and engage in your own interests rather than hiding behind something safe.

I see this a lot with people who have lost someone to suicide or depression as well. People still feel like there is a stigma about this and never talk about what really happened. They hide behind this wall of fear or shame. My own family did this at one point. I had no idea my dad's brother committed suicide about 30 years ago. I was told he died of pneumonia. If I had known about the genetic history maybe I would have spoken to my family about my own depression. Maybe I could have noticed the symptoms in my own dad. Unfortunately I didn't see it because I didn't know it was there. Only after my dad died did we even see that he had a history of depression from the medical questions he filled out when he purchased his life insurance policy. Yet he wouldn't go to the doctor. After he died I started going to a therapist once a week. My mom kept asking if I felt better etc. after one or two visits. I tried to explain that it didn't work that way and I suggested she go see somebody. She asked if it went on your medical record and if anyone would see she was going to someone. She didn't want it "in her record". I think I stared at her in disbelief. I told her that the men in white coats don't come pick you up and take you away. And that more importantly dad was dead because he thought the same way.

Don't worry about everyone else. If you need help go get it! There are plenty of anonymous places to call if you really can't bear to talk to someone about it. But do your self a favor. Please get help if you need it. There is no security in hiding in a corner just because that's what you know. There is so much else to experience out there. Life is what you make it - not what it hands you. We may not all be dealt the same cards, but you can throw some back and get new ones!

Oh and if you have a little one with a "security blanket" and it drives you nuts, don't worry about it. Maybe limit it to the house or night-time, but let them be kids and let them feel safe. After all, you know that you really are their security blanket, and they will realize it soon enough.

"I guess I talk too much. My mom is mad at me... my grandma is mad at me... everyone is mad at me. Yesterday my grandma drank thirty-two cups of coffee. I shouldn't have said anything. I suggested that perhaps her drinking thirty-two cups of coffee was not unlike my need for a security blanket... She didn't like the comparison. "(17 Jan 63) - Linus Van Pelt

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day, Schmother's Day

Ah yes, the Monday after Mother's day is always the same. You go to work and exchange niceties with your co-workers. They of course ask "How was your Mother's Day?" And they expect the following answer:

"Oh it was wonderful! Full of flowers and gifts, my amazing, beautiful children were extra amazing. Yes, truly a day in paradise."

Yeah right. I have to say, for the first time I actually feel like a real mom. Like someone deserving a day celebrating my biological contributions to society, but I suppose the universe just did not agree. First I had to fight to even see my girls on Mother's Day. This is a move that I questioned later in the day. And while I realize that my girls are young and probably won't actually get the meaning of Mother's Day until they have children of their own, I was hoping they would at least behave. So of course they were nutcases. Certifiable kook-a-doodles. Sometimes I think that Sally really does have batteries in her ears that she turns off. This is at least what she tells me when people in the next town can hear me screaming her name while she completely ignores me at 10 feet away. Yup - selective hearing at its best. I was also blessed with the news that Alice forgot her favorite stuffed Kitty at a friends house, and it is now officially lost. I think Alice is officially lost, replacing her kittly with a long plastic slotted spoon (appropriately named spooney) that she takes everywhere including bed. Yup, she even tucks him (her? it?) in under a mini blanket. Yup. Fan-tas-tic.

And while I don't expect gifts or anything lavish I was disappointed. Disappointed in her dad that he isn't at least teaching the girls the importance of giving and making other people happy. I bought a birthday gift for him from the girls because I think its important that they realize that everyone has a birthday and that giving a gift is really sometimes just as exciting as getting one. I guess I should be happy he at least told them it was Mother's Day so they weren't completely oblivious.

Maybe it just reminded me of my first Mother's Day. I was about 6 months pregnant. I knew I was having a girl, and was very excited that I could be included in this holiday. I am sure I spoke about it and my mom sent me a cute mom-to-be card. Yes!! I am a mom to that baby squirming around inside of me. She could make it if she popped out now I thought. I could see the outline of her head and feet when she moved in my belly. Yup - I was a mom!! Unless you asked my then husband. When I asked if he got me a card as the day advanced he said - why? You're not a mom yet. Needless to say he should know better than mess with a huge hormonal ball of a pregnant woman. Yeah, I was mad. So I dragged him to the (plant and flower) nursery. I picked out two gnomes. I may have even paid for them. They were my gift dammit. I was getting something.

I asked for the gnomes back last week. I got a no. I didn't ask for them in the divorce - so nope, too bad, can't have 'em. I reminded him of that first Mother's Day. He didn't seem to care.

So this past Sunday while at the CVS I noticed they had gnomes on sale. I bought two. Put them in the yard. I found them oddly fitting and oddly comforting at the same time.

Then again, maybe Mother's Day stunk so bad because I realized that I will never be a mom again and that post tubal ligation syndrome is quite real. I think I could be the poster child. I never really thought I would grieve losing the ability to reproduce having two healthy children. I mean why be greedy? But I'm sad at the lost opportunity. Maybe that is why I had the biggest panic attack of my life that night. Maybe that's why I was having nightmares about my girls. Hmmm, its all starting to make sense now.

Yup, its all starting to make sense.

"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus