Morning pain and the snuggles that make it worth it

Holy smokes was I ever tired by the end of the day yesterday.  I got out on time though, got the boy from the sitter, made dinner (a real-ish dinner that required actual-ish cooking!) and then propped my eyelids open so I didn’t leave Colt to fend for himself again.  And, by ‘fend for himself’ I really mean sneak off to his room to watch Youtube videos that are far too mature for his age and reasoning skills.  There’s nothing that makes me feel like a worse mom than when I wake after an hours slumber to hear:

“Holy fuck you stupid piece of shit fucking video fucking game!  GRaaaaaaaaaaaaH!  OHMYGOD OHMYGOD THAT JUST SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF MEeeeeee!”

Colt is absolutely fascinated with these kids (ahem, adults) who play video games on line although I can’t see why.  All they seem to do is scream and swear.  If you don’t know of this phenomenon Google search ‘pewdiepie”.  Honestly, it kind of scares me that people can make a living this way…but I guess I’m not ten years old so not likely to get it.

Anyway.  I ended up just standing in front of the fireplace after dinner, afraid to lie down, and nodded and bobbed my head while Colt played with the Wii and his transformers in the living room.  I cracked and texted Dayne a few times, pleading for an estimated arrival time, as he was working late again.  He hates to do this because no matter how hard he tries to be accurate, he’s always wrong and arrives much later than intended which doesn’t sit well with the person he’s promised an arrival time to…aka..me.  lol  By 8, Colt was exhausted anyway so I got him in the shower, dried him off (because he was missing his dad and needed a lil extra pampering and love) and tucked him into bed with his snack of fresh strawberries and milk.  Dayne showed up about 20 minutes later, much to Colt’s surprise and joy, and by the time he came back downstairs I was out for the night.  I don’t even think I was lying down before I was asleep…my body just followed the plan and carried me there.

I woke up a few hours later with a screaming pain in my arm/back/shoulder/neck region and spent the rest of the night flipping and flopping around, trying to get back to sleep around it.  I feel like a nerve is being squashed in my neck as a very sharp pain shoots down the right side of my body when I even think about turning my head to the right.  Huh.  Maybe it’s a heart attack.  I wonder if they’d let me go home if it was…..likely not.  They’d just wheel the equipment into my office and prop me up so I could get payroll in.  (haha…hmm.  I’m not sure that’s so funny).  It’s getting worse as the day goes on.  It’s my right arm, of course.  Thankfully, my office has been ergonomically set up so there’s not a lot of strain being put on my body.  I have a physio appointment this morning so I’ll ask my therapist about how to fix this. It wasn’t my exercise that did this so maybe there’s an easy out for once.

Now for some happy.  Since Dayne and I changed our schedules for him to drop Colt off in the morning and me to pick him up at night (actually, I was doing both before) our entire morning routine is different.  We get up at the same time and I jump in the shower while he starts my car for me and gets Colt’s lunch ready.  When I get out I get ready and wake Colt up by creeping into his bed and snuggling him awake.  It has nothing to do with him, really, I just love cuddling him more than anything in the entire world lol.  He tolerates it because he knows how much I love it and it does put him in a slightly better mood.  The other day, Colt asked me why things had changed.

“You know mom, I love it when you cuddle me in the mornings but I wonder why dad doesn’t do it anymore?”

The swell of sadness on his little face just about broke my heart in two.  I explained why things were different and asked him if he’d like me to send his dad up to wake him with a hug the next morning.

“No, it’s okay mom.  I love your hugs too.”  Was his reply.

This morning, Dayne and I were both out of the shower when it came time to wake our boy and I relayed the story to him (the look of sadness on HIS face was equally heartbreaking) so, we woke him up together today, Dayne snuggled into his back, me flopped across them both, squeezing Colt in the middle.  He didn’t even open his eyes but the smile on his face….pure magic.

“You guys are so important to me.  Thank you for the double-hug!” he mumbled, still smiling.

We tried to get up but he refused to let go so we laid there for another five minutes or so, soaking it in.  No matter how stressful or uncomfortable life gets I will always be able to close my eyes and remember that feeling of love and connection.  Even as I cringe in pain from my stupid arm/neck, I’m smiling and remembering my boys, all of us tangled together and warm, all of us soaking in the love.

Aaaaand peace.  Thank you for this, Dayne and Colt.  You guys are very best reason to be that I’ve ever known.

Exhaustion (and surviving)

I went home last night and slept for hours and hours.  Dayne was late coming home (has been working out of town these last few weeks) and I was ready…had dinners for Colt ready to go in the fridge (for once).  I didn’t force feed him the moment we got home because he chose a banana for snack (what a good kid) and then wasn’t hungry enough to eat even though I was worried that I’d fall asleep and leave him starving.  Colt isn’t the sort who makes a fuss over the way he’s feeling…ever.  Hunger motivates him, of course, but not the way you might expect. He feels it but has a very well developed way of ignoring it (ahem.  Wonder where he got that trait from).  Even as a baby, he didn’t complain about things like dirty diapers.  He could be soaking wet and dragging a soggy diaper around, falling off his butt it was so full, and never, once, did he ever ask to be changed.  It just didn’t matter to him.  Same goes with hunger.  He can be starving hungry and won’t mention it until offered food.  So…this makes me rather paranoid at times and nights like last night come up.  I was worried he’d not wake me and it would suddenly be midnight when I snapped awake to find him playing on his iPad, unbathed, unfed and wide awake.  :/  Anyway…I managed to stay up until 630, got Colt some pizza and salad and that was about me.  I did get Dayne on the phone to make sure he’d be home in time to get Colt in the shower but that was all I could do before I crashed.

I’ve been fighting this sort of exhaustion for a long time now.  It seemed to get better for a while and I was functioning well for about four months before it crept back up on me.  It’s an overpowering feeling of fatigue; my eyes close and my vision blurs; I can feel myself losing consciousness as I battle the exhaustion and try to force my eyes to stay open.  If I close them, even for a moment, I tumble frighteningly quickly into sleep.  Last night, for example, I wasn’t even lying down when I crashed.  I woke when Dayne came home but that was only because I was keeping myself from really going out for Colt until his dad was home to take care of him.

I always have a reason for the periods of exhaustion when they happen so it’s just recently that I’ve started to connect the dots.  I have had these episodes in childhood (I thought I was just too stressed out with my family and was hiding in sleep), in my teens (I was homeless and starving and thought it was the lack of energy from the food I wasn’t able to eat), in my 20’s (I was working a job that started at 5:30 am and I figured that my body just couldn’t handle getting up that early) and then several incidents in my 30’s (I started anti-psychotics which sedated me then narcotic pain killers, then muscle relaxers).  It’s always been a different excuse.  I’m thinking I need to get that sleep study done sooner than I originally thought….I wonder if all this isn’t connected more to the sleep issues than anything else.  It seems obvious, I know, but it just never connected in my head before now.  I decided to google search my symptoms last weekend and they are rather close to narcolepsy, however, the episodes don’t usually come and go with that disorder.  I do experience moments of sleep paralysis and very brief cataplexic seizures…but those only happen when I’m asleep.  The most striking similarity is the sleep stage skipping and a very thin line between awake and REM cycles.  I can, easily, slip into dreams (REM sleep) and can often actually track the progression, still knowing I’m awake but seeing and experiencing my dream at the same time.

Maybe I’m half-narcoleptic, half physically aging before my time.  Menopause and wicked arthritis through my spine before I even hit 40.  That said, not feeling like I’ve just been shot in the neck with an tranquilizer dart would make everything else a lot easier to cope with now, wouldn’t it?  The most hilarious bit though, is that if this has anything to do with being narcoleptic, there’s no freaking treatment for it anyway!  ha HA!  Good one!  Another untreatable issue in my life is just what I wanted.  *sigh*  Ah well.  It’s all just a theory at this point anyway.  I did read that many narcoleptics find life much more manageable when they are able to take a nap in the afternoon.  I wonder how my bitchy boss would like that one.  lmao!!!!  I might just suggest it just to see her face.

So.  Today I’m very, very tired.  The ‘about to drop off into sleep’ feeling is nipping at the back of my eyeballs already and it’s only 9am.  I’m so far behind at work and the bitchy boss is back from vacation (super bitchy too…it’s as if she went away for a week and came back worse).

Bah.  On with it Grainne.  Hope everyone has a decent day today.  Time to vanish into my piles of paperwork….

Foggy Monday

It was a nice weekend.  It flew by but Dayne and I had a chance to reconnect a little and Colt got to rest.  I got out to see some lovely music and spent time with a woman I am confident I can call a friend.  Colt got some swimming in at the YMCA and most of the housework got done.  There are dishes in the sink and laundry is still piled by the washer but at least it didn’t get neglected for sleep, but for more engaging, productive things.  I can’t complain about that, now, can I? (Ha!  I could likely complain about anything, given the time and motivation).

Dreams were exhausting last night and I’m left with that same foggy need to complete something I can’t identify.  It’s so annoying, that.  I would just finish it if I could remember what it was…even just telling myself the story of how the task finished would settle something inside of me but I can’t seem to nail it down.  Too tired.  Too Monday, I think, is the problem.

I feel so isolated.  It’s odd….not stressful or painful, just very separate from the rest of the world.  I feel like you could walk right up and hug me and I’d only be able to see the touch, not quite feel it.  Again, it’s that partial dream state fog I can’t shake.  It’s as if I’m sitting just two inches to the left of my body, almost connecting….almost.  Close enough to feel the energy flow like static between me and myself but not so close as to unite or solidify in any way.  Strange.  My pain is a bit higher than usual today so that’s kind of grounding me back where I should be but every chance my body gets, it starts to lift and drift away.  I wish I could sleep.  I maybe just didn’t get enough sleep last night.  I don’t really know.

Well, time to get some work done.  I have a very busy day and week ahead of me.  Hopefully I can stay focused until it’s time to sleep again.  I’ll go down by dinner time tonight to see if that helps.  I kind of want a few extra hours with my girl (in dreams) anyway.  Last night I was there many times…so many I can still smell the woods at the far end of my breath when I inhale.  If I am completely lost to the moment, I can hear the birds singing in the tree tops while the wind blows softly through.  I wonder if this is the place I’ll go when I die.  It’s a bit locked to me now but maybe when I move from this world, that one will fully open up for me and all the scary things will be beaten and gone.  Maybe the whole place will be mine to explore forever.  It feels safer and more fulfilling than here at this point.  Huh.  Interesting fantasy there Grainne.  Longing to live in nightmares. I’m glad I’m not feeling much today.

The choir

I did it. I went to the choir performance with my colleague from work. :) it was fun, not too long, done very professionally and the singers were great. Was a nice way to spend a few hours.

My friend dropped me off at the ymca where I’ve met up with Dayne and Colton. They’re going to have a swim while I chill out in the lobby. I thought I’d be able to get a coffee or something here but the snack place is closed for the night. So. I’ll sit and wait for them to be done. My back is hurting me from the crappy seating in the music hall but I will most certainly live.

Interesting. My work friend was telling me all about her niece who is “severely depressed”. She told me how sad it all was and relayed a tale of how she called her up and they went to the movies together. My friend said she was so touched that her niece accepted the invitation because it was so far outside her normal comfort zone. Ha. This woman hasn’t the inkling that I might understand all that more than a normal, functioning adult. That got me thinking; I’m not really in a terrible dark place inside my head anymore and although a lot of my happiness is for show while I’m at work, it’s not hiding a deep pit of depression anymore. That’s kinda cool. Also, I didn’t have a twitch of anxiety in the concert hall and there were at least 1500 folks in there with me. Of course I’m having chest pains now which may be an after effect but overall, still fine. Also kinda cool.

I have several blog friends who are having significantly harder times than normal in their lives and I’m so wanting to help them through. I don’t know how though; I don’t understand the rules. I know that constantly telling someone I care about them is unhelpful and probably pushes them even farther away than they were, but I feel quite helpless. I’m worried I’m trying to force them to be my friends and in the new light I’ve been looking at my life in, that is a bad thing that won’t help either of us in the end. I guess I should just sit and wait for them to say they need me. Who does that though? Asks for someone to listen. :( The only person I could do that with is dead now and I can’t ask her for anything anymore. (Fuck Sara I miss you so damn much).

I will just quietly support them I suppose. What else can I really do? These people don’t think of me as friends anyway. I’m some voice in their phone that tries to keep them going when I can. Probably all backwards anyway. Everything else I do usually is.

So I did it. I went out to do something just for me with someone I quite like being around. It was hilarious, the reaction I got from Dayne and Colt though.

Colt: “UH mom? Where are you going?”

“To a orchestra and choir concert love, why?”

“Well, when will you be back? Who are you going with? Where is it? At your work?” (Work is the only place I go without him, ever.)

“I’m going with my friend from work, it is close to where I work but not the same place, and it will only be a couple of hours, sweetheart.” I answered.

“So you’re going to a concert with a choir with your friend?” He sounded incredulous. “But…why?”

Lol. Is it obvious I do nothing and go nowhere? Anyway. I went and here we all. Everyone visibly relaxed when they saw me waiting for them on the front steps of the Y.

“Okay mom. Now that we’re all back together again, dad and I are going swimming. See you in an hour!”

And here I sit.

I just turned to watch them in the pool for a second and they’re having such fun. Pretty decent Sunday, I think.

A post full of wonderful

(I can’t get paragraphs in.  Grrr…please excuse the poor readability of this post)
I am having a strange morning so far.  It’s not quite 8 am and I’m just starting work.  I have a nasty nerve pinch in my shoulder (or spine – pain is likely just being referred elsewhere) thanks to physio yesterday.  He did a particular movement with my neck that he did last week.  It flared me up big time but by the next day I felt pretty darn good.  He’s tried it again to see if the same thing happens and, so far, it’s about the same only less painful than last week.  He did take my headache from a 5/10 to a 2/10 (which is basically not even a headache to me anymore).  So that’s kind of great.  Will see how this weekend goes.  I’ve scheduled myself an outing with a work colleague that I’m kind of wary about but it’s to see a symphony orchestra and choir …. I mean, it’s not like I won’t like it.  I LOVE live music performances and used to go all the time.  I have always had music in my life…I was a music major in high school and college…I just stopped indulging when things turned dark.  Anyway, the idea is sound and the company will be great.  It feels like a good move.
Ever since last week when a blog friend shared a moment with me, one she had that opened her eyes about people and her relationships with them, I’ve been reeling.  It was such a simple thing….she realized that she was pursuing relationships with people who didn’t return the feeling and, on top of that, she realized that she didn’t even really like one of them.  I read the comment, smiled, related and then it whomped me right in the face.  Holy shit….that’s me exactly!  Mike…for example.  I do care about him but what I was trying to create with him was so, very different from what he was trying to create with me, we were missing the mark by a mile.  The reality of it isn’t very pleasant but, it’s a sound theory and I can’t shake it now.  I spent an enormous amount of time trying to love people who didn’t love me back and I wondered where I was going so wrong.  (Sorry, I’m repeating myself here….I’m processing the feelings still…)
So.  Point.  I feel different.  I feel like something has lifted from my shoulders and now I am much more free to be the person I used to be without all the shame and guilt…all the failure.  I was setting myself up to fail every single time yet I felt blindsided by it.  How was that not obvious to me from the start?  How did I not see that in years of therapy?  My therapist even told me this…I thought I understood it but I was wrong…I didn’t understand it at all.  Now that I do I can feel myself changing by the minute.
 I’ve not only decided to indulge in music (which is a part of my soul that has been missing for years), I’ve also re-joined a writers guild that I used to belong to.  They just had a little poetry contest for new work that they will be printing in their monthly newsletter (usually contains 30-50 pieces of writing that is at a publishable stage.  If a story, you have to have it down to third edit to enter).  I submitted a quick poem I wrote a couple years ago and won a spot on page 5.  I’m pretty excited about that.  I’ve also rejoined a writers website through the university affiliated with the hospital I work for feedback and refresher lessons.  I get access to the English department resources and have a set number of hours I can consult a prof or post-grad student.  I was thinking I’d use this support to really get into writing again which is another fuel for my heart.  :)
And then photography.  I’ve just had a phone upgrade and the camera on my new phone is easily comparable to the pics I get with my DSLR camera.  That one’s just a hobby but it makes me happy, capturing such beauty and then sharing it with others.
 Last up on my new path to happiness (lol…how corny does that sound?!) is tattoos.  I know there won’t be a ton of supporters on this one but I so love ink.  I am well decorated with almost my entire back covered, three on my legs and one on my ankle and foot.  I’m going back in April to get a bit more done on the ankle piece and maybe a small piece on my wrist (that will be the first easily visible tat I’ll have but since I’ll not be going back into a highly professional role I’m totally okay with it.  I used to work with the Board of Directors here and ink/piercings were not a good fit, but now?  I can wear jeans if I want….in fact, right now I have black denim pants, my brown suede winter boots, a black tank top and a short sleeved cardigan on.  Ahhhh Friday.  The wrist piece is small and very meaningful to me.  I’m looking forward to getting it done.  Plus, I’ll get to see my living angel, Tiffany.  (For those of you who are new to my blog, Tiff is the friend I’ve had in my life longer than anyone.  She literally picked me up off the streets when I was 17 and moved me into her place, fed me, gave me her old clothes, helped me get a job….she saved my life and it changed me in the best of ways.  She’s also my tattoo artist!).  I started a facebook account to connect with the tattoo community.  I hate facebook and rarely use it aside from a collection place for old work colleagues to stay in loose contact with, but this one is different.  I’m actually connecting with some amazing artists around the world and it’s a fun time waster.  I’m enjoying it this time, more than I expected.
So there’s a post full of happiness right there.  I can top it off with the amazing hug Colt gave me this morning before I left for work.  I wake him just before I leave in the morning while Dayne is in the shower by crawling into his bed with him and snuggling him awake.  He quite hates it some mornings and twitches away from me when I kiss him or whisper in his ear but he tries hard to let me love on him…lol…he knows how much I love it.  This morning, however, Colt took full advantage of my willingness to cuddle and grabbed an extra ten minutes sleep by curling up in my arms and mumbling:
“Hey mom?  Will I always be your baby, no matter how big I grow?”
lolol…oh hell yes!  I told him I would love him and hug him and need him forever.  I told him he was the best kid in the entire world and that I was so lucky to be his mom.  I said I was so proud of him and how hard he has been trying at school.  The swearing is minimal now, he’s stopped threatening students and teachers, he’s trying to do his work without complaint and there’s been zero physical aggression since returning from Christmas break.  He is treating his friends with more respect and kindness and is starting to reflect the best parts of himself off others.  It’s nothing sort of astounding to watch and I’m not sure if it’s a permanent change or just a transition but wow….it’s healed something inside me….quelled a desperate fear that my son was going to lose his way before he even turned 11.  I feel like I can let that particular fear go, at least, and the space it left behind is just filling up with love.  How wonderful is that?

Body Issues

Hmm. So here’s an issue. If you don’t want to hear about my sex life feel free to give this post a miss.

As most of you know (because I complain on here a heck of a lot) I have gained a fair amount of weight in the last couple of years. I used to weigh 100 lbs…occasionally pushing it to 110, and I could eat anything in any quantity at any time without altering that at all. I could go days with no food and then binge on an entire pizza (easily) and all was back in balance. I DO understand that this is youth and that our bodies just do these things better when they are younger, so not to worry, I’m not completely clueless here. Anyway.. I got pregnant, gained a freaking ton of weight, lost it after Colt was born and was back to normal on the outside, but inside the postpartum depression and cptsd rolled together to form a perfect storm in my brain and I suddenly found myself needing medication to stay afloat. The meds changed my body and the weight gain started….and here I am, nearly a decade later, and a few months ago I weighed as much as I did when I was nine months pregnant. It was horrifying and felt so uncomfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. (….well, uncomfortable with the outward appearance anyway). So I did what I could do, tried to control things as best I could. It was harder than I ever let on.

One time, I wrote about how I felt here and a woman I had grown to respect and care about got offended by (or just flat out disagreed with) my thoughts. She was someone who always read my blog, often commented helpful, supportive little things. I thought of her as a blog-friend and we shared a bit over email as well as between our blogs. I asked her what had happened after she stopped reading and engaging with me and she just said she was too busy to constantly comment on everyone’s blogs. I had been following her since she started and her audience grew quickly. I thought (for some stupid reason) that she, of all people, would be understanding and patient with me. I mean, she was bipolar, had physical health concerns, was a normal, struggling, functioning human being … it floored me that she just walked away because I mentioned how I felt about my chubbier self. It HURT. I told myself it shouldn’t, that I was being way oversensitive and that I needed to accept that some people would not agree with me but it only meant that and not that they suddenly hated me for my thoughts. But…she never came back. I was just stunned. I figured out how to let it go but the echo of it wouldn’t leave me. Maybe she suddenly just stopped liking me. That happens sometimes right? I wish she would have said something though….I’m left with the impression that she ditched me because I said I didn’t feel good about how I look anymore.

And…this stupid turning 40 deal is really eating at me. It’s bothering me that it bothers me! Age is just a number…it means nothing! Yet….I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about the things I haven’t done or didn’t accomplish. I’m worried that Dayne will pack up and leave me and no one will ever want me again. I took some photos on the weekend and my god I looked so old. I can see lines and gray hairs, the tiredness in my eyes….I’m so exhausted that it’s making me look suddenly older than my years. The pain is dragging it out of me too. It didn’t help this weekend that I tried hard to look good…to entice Dayne into a bit of fun. Not only did he not make a move, he barely touched me all weekend. I don’t think he wants me anymore. I’m not sure if it’s just burn out because we’ve been together for so long or if it’s just that the offer is now always on the table from my perspective so now it’s not as enticing. ? It’s like we switched sides. Now I’m always looking for some action and he’s always ready to sleep or complain of a headache. Haha…it just struck me that this is what happens at this age…women peak sexually and men recede a bit from their “I’ll fuck anything at any time” mentality from their younger years. Maybe that’s all it is.

So…to wrap up this weird, disjointed post, I am just not feeling so great about how I look. I’m going to try to do something about that…I want to be wanted all the time again. Maybe if I flatten my tummy and tone up my legs and arms I will feel better. I do love the boobs that came with the weight so I want to keep those as much as I can. I think I’ll shoot for 130. That sounds possible and not too unhealthy doesn’t it? Really, I just want to feel beautiful again. It was such a nice failsafe to have in my life. Even when I was absolutely alone in the world, I still felt like a decent version of myself.

Back to dreams in my head…that girl in the woods. I did visit her last night but she wasn’t home. I walked around her empty house, outside and inside both, running my fingertips along the surfaces, committing them to physical memory using every sense I was able to capture them with. I touched the wood of the porch with my fingers, palms, lips….tried to connect it all together and take it into myself somehow, to keep always. She reminds me of something wonderful and hideous at the same time. I recoil and reach out again and again. I need her somehow…she feels like she could show me the way.

Hhm. Tired. Gotta focus on work now or I’ll drift off to sleep with my eyes open.

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