Category Archives: Talking

Why I Blog and A Question

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One of the reasons I stopped blogging a few months ago was because I was so caught up in numbers.  Worrying about my stats daily.  Am I being boring?  What are my readers thinking?  Between that and Little Hope angry that I called her Hope, it just became too much.

Today I have thought about what drives me to write.  Mainly to get the thoughts out to calm me.  Others is to connect with others.  I hope my words do reach others, and somehow help them.  Even it is helps them, helps YOU not feel so alone.

Originally I had hoped to make money blogging, but I know my blog is not going to ever make money.  It is not about a money-making topic that brings people in droves.  Maybe down the road when I am farther along in my journey, I will visit that idea again.  Right now I want to focus on quality posts about my life.

This is the life I am living.  This blog is much more than a blog to me, it is my online journal.  I am going to treat it as such.  I hope as I do you do not get bored reading.  Gratefully, some days are boring.  I long for those days.  Days that I can say, “Today I cleaned house and cooked dinner.”  Of course I will go into more details, and talk more about what I am feeling.

I do have a QUESTION. Before my hiatus when I blogged at the bottom in visual mode it offered suggestions on blogs that I could pingback to, blogs that had similar subject matter.  I do not see this anymore.  Is there something that I need to activate to get that back or what?  I do not remember what it is called.  I would love to have that option again.  I think it was a great way to network in our blogging community.  If you know what it is or how I can get it back PLEASE let me know.  Thanks!

I hope you all have a wonderful night! -Hope

What’s In A Name

What is in a name? Those words keep coming to mind today.

When I started this blog I specifically chose the nome de plume Hope. Hope according to Webster means:

: the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true

: the chance that something good will happen

: someone or something that may be able to provide help : someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping

Each of these meanings encapsulated what and who I wanted to be on my blog and who I want to come out on the other side of this journey. As an adult, I recognize that I use that name to write behind, and it is a symbolic representation of who I am. Something I am learning in therapy about my alter that it so hard to grasp, is she processes things like a child.

Have you ever jokingly called a child by another name? It might be cute a time or two, but children get pretty defiant about their names. That is their identity. These last few days as I have thought about this child, and in essence tried to mother her and understand her, I look towards the children that I have worked with through the years as my mentors.

I remember one child that I had the hardest time remembering her name, and then once I remembered it, learning to spell it was a completely new endeavor. Each time I would forget her name her face would sink, I felt horrible. Same when I spelled it incorrectly. Her expression showed that she did not feel as important as the other children or even forgotten. Which was not the case, gratefully I corrected my problem and she smiles alot now.

So what is in a name? My name is Shanna. My name means God is gracious. When put on a scale Hope and Shanna, the meanings are very similiar. I know that I CAN do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I am Shanna. I will always be Shanna. I have always been Shanna, except for the first six weeks when I was Nicki, but my Daddy decided I was Shanna. He was right, I AM SHANNA.

Little Shanna his hurt and angry that I do not use our name on a regular basis on this blog. I did not understand why until I realized that is her identity. She is already so afraid of being alone and forgotten. I will never let her be alone and forgotten again, but I am still going to go by Hope. I might occassionally name drop, Shanna, just to remind her, but I am the adult, and I need to do what is best for us.

It’s My Life

It is hard to say whether or not I should consider my last few weeks as eventful. Most of my days have been spent in my room with my blankets pulled up to my nose while I watch a Glee Marathon now I am on to Party of Five. I had brief breaks from the shows to watch movies, and a couple of days of doctor appointments, I vetured down to my parents a couple of times, and then I attempted to cook supper for my husband maybe three times. I also went to church on Sunday, but ended up coming home.

My life has become very sheltered. The last couple of days I have found words to describe how I feel. You see people in abusive relationships. They become imprisioned and cut off from their support system by their abuser. That is what I feel like “Little Hope” is trying to do to me. I do not know if she thinks that is her way of protecting me or manipulating me. I really feel like her wanting to kill me is her feeling like she has been the one that has protected us for all these years, and if I go away she will still be here strong, and I will not be hurting. Death through the eyes of a child is like it plays out on a cartoon, you come right back. I do not know if she realizes that we or she would not come right back. I do not know. I can only guess what she is thinking and feeling, and go by the memories and feelings that I have after she has manifested herself. Sometimes I am present with her as an imprisoned bystander and others I have very little memory to no memory that she took over.

Our minds are facinating and terrifying things. Though this Little One is me, because of her defiance, I do not feel any connection to her. When I think back to me as a child, that is not how I was.

Earlier this week my young cousin told her Mom that her teacher had gotten angry threw her folder, scattering papers everywhere, and then told the child that it was her fault to clean it up. When confronted the teacher lied infront of the Principal and then my little cousin was given a lecture about lying. Gratefully her peers came forward and backed her story and she has now been transferred out of that class.

My cousin’s courage gave me the courage to seek out my abusive teacher. It scares me that she is still a teacher, but I also know people can change. I first wrote her to verify that it was indeed her. It was and she remembered me. My anxiety shot through the roof when the last words she wrote were “Good to hear from a former student.”

She had no idea what I was about to write. Being the person I am and truly hoping she has changed, I wrote in the sandwhich method that I learned in management training years ago. Good BAD Good. Meaning good news and nice, bad news and harsh, good news and nice again.

I based the good news and nice on the few things she told me in her first email, and then I reminded her exactly who I was. I detailed the things she did to me and how they made me feel, then and now. I also let her know that I spoke to others in my class and without prompting they had the same memories. They also have their own stories to tell. I let her know that I was giving voice to the child that did not have one back then.

I let her know some of the good things that have happened in my life and that we share the love of working with those that have special needs. She changed from regular ed and is now a special needs teacher. I also commended her for getting out of teaching for a while to raise her boys. My Mother was a stay at home mom, and it was so important to me. I know not everyone can.

There were several things that I mentioned. I tried to express that I was not coming down on the person she is today, but in hopes of forgiving her I needed to let her know what it had done to me. I need to heal.

Sadly, I have not heard back from her. No apology, no excuses, no nothing. Now, it worries me that she still teaches. In my heart of hearts, I really thought as an mature adult, realizing what her actions had done, she would have apologized. I have now drafted a letter to her Principal, but have not hit send. I know her Principal well. I am waiting, in the hopes she is just processing the information. I know I should not expect and apology, I just hoped.

After writing the letter to her I spoke outloud, letting “Little Hope” know that I have taken care of it. She can become one with me and know that she will not be forgotten, but I will take care of us. I do not know if she heard me or not. She seems to listen in on my other conversations.

Yesterday when my husband and I where having lunch together, we were talking about teachers. I do not remember exactly what he said. I excused myself to to restroom. While in there she fought so hard to manifest, I knew I needed to get back out to my husband. I do not know what set her off. I do not know if she got full control or not, I was fighting so hard for her not to. I have not asked my husband, I remember seeing fear in his eyes. He kept saying we could go, but I remember telling him no that I needed him to get his dessert. I felt like she was trying to control that situation, she did not want him to be able to have his dessert, he has been waiting for that for a while. She knew I would feel awful if it was my fault that he did not have it. I do not remember him eating it or leaving.

Today is Saturday. I have family coming in. I am praying for a good day with no suprise guests.

I Feel Like I Could Sleep For Days

Therapy work is exhausting. Healing, but it truly wipes me out. I dig down deep and cry from the depths of my soul. I have been blessed with an amazing therapist who encourages me and helps me through the abyss. She points out the brightness and makes sure before our session is over that I am in a healthier place.

This evening a missionary couple that once served in my hometown is coming to visit my home church. It is a quick surprise visit. When the hubs gets home, we will go up there say hello, run by CVS to pick up our new scripts, then hopefully come home and crash.

I really want to fall asleep early in his arms tonight.

My Voice, My Blog, Me Screaming, My Boundaries

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This is my therapy blog. I write to get things out. My therapist reads it occasionally also. Part of my healing journey is to share experiences with others out there that may be experiencing similiar situations also to get feedback from those in the same boat.

Boundaries. I have talked about them alot. Talking and creating them are two separate things. Two of the largest stressers in my life have been two people that I love. I have offered myself unconditionally to nurture for the last eight years of my life. I tried being a loving stepmom. I tried being a friend and confidant. I have been a referee and a buffer. To them however, I am only a punching bag, a scape goat, and cause of all problems great and small. They are both adults now, the attitudes which I hoped would improve with age have only become more toxic towards me.

I no longer accept that roles they assign to me. I cannot accept them for my mental health nor for the health of my marriage. Boundaries now set.

My heart broke as I responded to the last toxic text today with “no more” and an explaination but my heart will heal, hopefully they will too. Healing whatever causes them to be so bitter and cruel towards me, I want them to be sucessful and honorable women, realizing their hopes and dreams.

I will not stand in the way of any relationship my husband desires to have with his daughters. I just will no longer force a relationship or try to heal or bandaid any misunderstandings they may have. It is not healthy for me. Too many tears have been shed for naught. Too many emotional bruises and scars. Enough is enough.

My energy must be focused on other things, like becoming whole again. Focusing on the positive things in my life.

Muscle Cars and Mashed Potatoes

Last night went great. Both my husband and I admittedly nervously anticipated seeing his pal, like any reunion, but after the first practical joke the ice was broke.

We asked the front desk clerk, a super nice lady, to call him and tell him someone was messing with his car. He bound out of his room like Clark Kent changes into Superman, though he did not take time to tie his shoes.

We sat at Ole Times until they kicked us out, literally. Several times before we actually went and made a trip to the buffet the waitress staff checked our ticket to make sure we had ordered buffet because we had sat for so long just drinking our sodas and talking.

Or in my case, listening. I heard more about cars and muscle cars last night than any woman needs to know. Yes, I do live in the South, and yes, I like Nascar, but not because I know what is under the hoods. I will leave that to my very brilliant and and capable husband. Thankfully the coversation was laced last night with humor, and other times I just tried to follow. Humoring them with a “wow” and “really” and “uh-uh” as their body cues and voices prompted me.

Let me see if I can get this right for muscle car lovers out there. He has a blacked out, Mustang 500GT Shelby Cobra with many customizations. I heard alot of blahblahblahblahblah last night. but they were happy, and that was what was important. The hubs needs his buddy. He has had one other friend and his wife visit since we were married. His daughters when we could get them to come, that was only the first couple of years, and that is it. He says that the blood running through his veins is now Southern purged of I suppose.

The phone, roads, and planes go both ways. I am glad that this buddy made the effort to connect with him and see him, it means so much to both of us. I will put up with muscle car talk for that.

Days of Therapy Zap Me

I am always completely exhausted the days of therapy. I came home,need to put groceries up, but they still sit in the floor. My eyes are heavy. Yes, this week it is more than normal because lack of sleep with little man, but still….

The hubs’ best bud AKA partner in crime from childhood is in the area, I hope that tomorrow is the night. I do not have anything to squeeze out in the entertaining or energy department, nor is the Sanford and Sons Villa ready for visitors. This is somewhat of a surprise, “sometime this summer or fall” visit.

Fun couple though. I just prefer being vertical with my eyes open and not snoring. I am sure I am much more pleasant company then also.

I suppose convincing them of the lack of decent accommodations locally will keep them in the Savannah Area tonight. Give me time to rest, I hope, and clean…AKA…rearrange junk and get up dog hair, not to mention move mine and Enos bed from the living room, and dusk. Probably causing a migraine. Tomorrow I have an 8:50 lab appointment, then free the rest of the day.

I have convinced myself, now to convince the rest of the gang. Wish me luck!

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Way To Win A Client

I was undecided about putting this in the trauma category or not, I decided not to, though I was surely traumatized by the event and vowed never to wear a wrap skirt again.

Let me take you back to a time that I was much thinner and much more confident. I was the assistant customer service manager for a national call center and turnkey facility for large computer companies such as Novell, Microsoft, and other fortune 500 companies.

This particular day we had a potential client touring our facility. I was asked to give the presentation for the customer service department, which included introducing our teams, and showing the monthly statistics and explaining them our procedures.

The statistics were displayed on a board across from the fish tank. The fish tank was where those who were actively taking calls were sitting. Those representative that were not actively taking calls had cubicles outside of the tank. I do not recall who the client was now, but I remember it was a critical client for us to get. I had put hours of work into making the presentation look professional. Management was extremely impressed.

As the potential client group came through I was so nervous. They were all young to middle-aged men. I showed them around, explaining the way calls rolled and escalated, insuring that we did not drop any calls. The presentation was going great. We walked to the presentation board so I could show the statistics of dropped calls, customer satisfaction surveys, etc. When I reached up the button on my wrap skirt decided it did not like being buttoned anymore. Down my thick khaki skirt fell. I caught it at my calves. What a day NOT to have a slip on. I jumped behind one of the partitions, buttoned my skirt, put a paper clip over it QUICKLY (so it would not decide to come out again) and continued the presentation in front of all of these men.

We won the contract. I was often teased that it was because I was willing to show some leg. Not long after that I was promoted to account management for one of our largest clients.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

 

Daily Prompt: I Don’t Wanna, But I Know Need To

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

Earlier this year my Internist and I sat having lengthy a conversation about my anxiety and depression. Both had gone of for years and years, and I have been through so many medications requiring to change them about every two years. He said in his wisdom that I needed to go to someone specialized in mental health and to get counseling.

My heart and my mind immediately went…EEEEERRRRRKKKKK!!! (That would be the sound effect of brakes stopping racing tires on the pavement.) My voice however said, “My husband goes to Dr. X, a psychiatrist and I will see if I can get in to see him.” My doctor had another psychiatrist that he had referred patients to in the past, if I could not get into Dr. X. I will always remember his words, “Choosing your mental health doctor needs to be a personal decision.” I did not quite understand the full impact and emotion behind that until later in my journey.

For the life of me I do not remember if it was that day or a week or several weeks before I made an appointment with Dr. X, nonetheless, I did. I cried on the way to the appointment, realizing that I needed it but still sad that I had to go. Even thought about cancelling, after all I had asthmatic bronchitis and was coughing constantly. I would not be able to talk, yes, that would be my excuse. I knew if I cancelled, though, I would not reschedule.

I had sat in his office a couple of times before with my husband, this time was different. I was the one under the microscope and being mentally interrogated. He started throwing possible diagnosis at me. MS, ADD, Asbergers, PTSD, Major Depression, and Anxiety. Woah, what are you talking about Doc? My mind raced. He sent me for a gallon of lab work, which was good. I needed several of them for my other doctor too. Before I left he said “I want you to make and appointment to meet with this therapist, she does EMDR.” I will never forget his words either, “I really feel she can help you.”

So off I went to call the therapist, she was able to see me that day. You often hear the cliché today is the first day of the rest of your life. Well, that day truly was, and not in a good way.

You can read about that experience here.

That is one call I wish I had never made, truth be known, I wish I could rewind the clock and see another psychiatrist. I think it is a bad idea for spouses to see the same psychiatrist, especially when one or the other is really close with the psychiatrist. My husband has been in with Dr. X for two years now. I am not saying Dr. X is not a good doctor, he has helped my husband, but I think because of the friendship he has with my husband it is hard for him to be objective about me, or at least that is how I feel. Trust is key in a mental health doctor patient relationship, as in any doctor patient relationship.

When I started going to the EMDR therapist Dr. X said he would “hover” over my care and see me every three months. He never changed my mental medications, but wanted to remove me from the medications for my other health problems, or rather wanted my other doctors to remove me from them. When things went so horribly wrong with EMDR, I felt betrayed by the EMDR therapist and Dr. X for recommending her so highly when she clearly was not going by EMDR protocol. My husband still goes to both, so as my internist puts it, mental health is an individual choice. I really think Dr. X is a genuinely nice person, and am so grateful for what he has done to help my husband.

I have now found the right therapist for me. She talks to and with me. When I explain how I am feeling she makes sure she understands she heard what I meant and felt behind my words. I appreciate that. I have an appointment to see a new psychiatrist soon. She is highly recommended by my therapist.

I am learning so much about myself in therapy. Just this week, right before session ended I recognized something pivotal. Anytime anything negative happens in my life, I do not just live that negative event. I relive every negative event. That is why I get so, so upset and so,so down and discouraged feeling like there is nothing good in the world. I guess misery loves company, so does my own misery, it brings its own memories. She mentioned this is a symptom of PTSD and grief.

A light bulb just went on in my head as I typed that. My Mother mentions that I get very very angry lately. I do not realize how intensely angry I get because I am trying so hard not to let my emotions take control of me. I wonder if this too could be part of that same picture. For example last Friday being denied by disability, I knew I was intensely sad, but I do not recall anger. Mother recalls anger. Do all of my suppressed emotions bubble over at once without me realizing it? Over something relatively small in the scheme of things, I knew I would be denied the first time. I became so depressed by the belittling terminology used in the letter.

I am learning that though I feel weak, in the same breath I am very strong. I have dealt with many trials in my life, and continue to do so every day. I am a fighter. Some moments I think that fight is gone, but it is clearly still there. I am a survivor.

I am learning and relearning talents that I would not have if I had been brought to this low point in my life. I once loved to write, and I promised I would write to help people. One day I stopped. I thought I lost the talent.

Blogging is not the same as the poetry that I once wrote, but is writing. I am grateful for the outlet. Also my new joy, I would say my one real joy is photography. I am grateful that I am learning to take pictures and see things differently. Something that is interesting to me, is that things that are normally ugly, can be absolutely gorgeous when taken with macro.

I think that is what I am learning through therapy. Take a closer look at yourself, study yourself, get to know yourself, and love yourself. One day, those things that are you think hideous, will be blessings and beautiful. Other people already see that beauty and hold that love for you close until you are ready to accept it, one day I will be ready.

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