Pole Love

Monday, November 9, 2015

I have been a member of the pole community for a few years now.  This weekend was the first time I actually went to a show.... and I was floored and inspired.

Pole is amazing for a huge number of reasons and I am humbled and thankful to be part of an amazing community that supports, accepts, and loves one another.

I have been to workshops with my hip that was falling apart no one judged me- I was just encouraged.  I went to a workshop with a kidney issue and was struggling with everything- again no judgement.... just love and encouragement.

I am facing a scary surgery in a few days, and I have told a few pole people about it.  They have universally been so amazing and so supportive- and the all were asking me how I was before the show. 

The show was astounding.  It made me so happy to see so many people loving pole and sharing it with others- members of the pole community and non polers- it was so fantastic

There were women of all shapes and sizes performing and all were loved and cheered for (of course all of the performers were freaking incredible!).

I am inspired to love my body more-- despite it being a bit shitty sometimes.  I am inspired to give myself wholeheartedly to pole and my friends- not holding my heart back.

It was an awesome show and I can't wait for the next one

Pixie's Birthday

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Meg turned 6 the other day.

I celebrated it with her in the same hospital she came into the world in--- but for different reasons, I had a kidney infection.

My silly kidney did not stop us from having a party though, we had pizza, cake, and ice cream to mark the beginning of Pixie's 6th year.

I can't believe that she is 6.  Meg is joyful, impish, compassionate, welcoming, loving, goofy, smart, silly, and an amazing kid.  I am so thankful to be her mom and to have the privilege of watching her grow.

And she sure has grown!!! From a little 3 lb baby to a big girl now.....
relaxing in the NICU
Meghan just born
Home at last

6 years old-- at the same hospital she arrived in. 

Meghan loves her chickens, she cares for them and checks on them all the time.  She can calm them down and they let her pet them.  She loves her friends and enjoys playing with them and giving them things. She is clever figuring things out are a specialties.  I can't wait to see how grows up. 

Trend setting parenting

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A few years ago I was out rightly laughed at by the popular/in crowd moms for babywearing with ring slings, mei tais, wraps, and other carriers that are designed with the baby's comfort in mind. I was told that my babies would be bored, that I was crazy for suggesting that these popular carriers could be bad for little one's hips and spines.

Fast-forward a few years and here we are-- now the in crowd moms are touting the benefits of these baby carriers and decrying other carriers as poor choices for babies... and I am over here saying "duh'"!

Same goes for breastfeeding.  I was the weird one breastfeeding longer than a year, donating milk, cross nursing etc.  Now its an in thing... and again I am over here saying "I told you so".

Gentle parenting is another example.  When time outs were in- we used "time-ins".  I have not sleep trained my kids.. or really any trained--- just let them be the guide.  And now opposition to "cry it out" is mounting. Even Dr. Ferber -- the developer of the Ferber method says how he would not do that again.  Yet again-- I am over here snuggling my babies and loving on them.

Cloth diapers are another thing... so many people said they were too much work and disgusting and now many of the same people are cloth diaper devotees.

I should be thankful that kids and babies are getting care that is more in line with their needs rather than following what has been done... but to be honest, I am annoyed.  This is stuff I have been saying for YEARS and when a popular mom goes and says "I babywear with a ring sling because it is better for their hips" and then all of a sudden other moms are dedicated ring slingers.... and taking popular moms words as gospel.  Why are we as women still following the popular moms? What makes a mom part of the in mom group?

It also worries me because what is the next 'in' thing going to be? Tiger Mom stuff? Will everyone abandon this kind of parenting stuff just as quickly? Won't their kids be confused with the back and forth parenting crap?

But I am happy that I have learned not to follow the cool moms and instead do what is best for my children.

Henry's egg hunt

Thursday, October 1, 2015

So we have chickens.  We have had them since March but they have been laying eggs only since July.

Henry's favorite activity is to harass the chickens and find the eggs.  He is always so proud of himself when he goes and collects the eggs from the hens.  The hens (or the ladies, as they are referred to commonly) are very patient with their three year old jailer.

He will go and pick them up despite them being nearly his size- and put them where he wants them.
Henry helps feed them, clean up after them, give them water and generally take care of them- which is a lot for a boy who does not yet use the potty consistently.

Recently, we moved the chickens to our home and subsequently had to build them an area- which Henry was very helpful with.

However- before the coop was completed tragedy struck in the form of White Fang-- the very prey driven husky found her way outside and killed a chicken-- Laverne a lovely chicken who was my personal favorite.

This was a huge trauma.  The kids all took it horribly.  And insisted on a memorial for Laverne complete with a graveside prayer.

But they have moved on- and are very happy to be caring for the chickens.

Learning how to parent

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I have the privilege of helping many friends and strangers learn "how to parent" except this is not accurate.  I don't teach them anything--I show them what they already know. Because we do know- even if we don't know we know.

Part of this includes the privilege of being with friends as they labor and birth their babies- I also have had the pleasure of helping new moms learn how to breastfeed (it may be natural but it isn't always easy!!)

And the other day someone asked me where I learned how to parent. Interesting question. Honestly? I am doing what feels right and hoping for the best.  As luck would have it there is a fairly large body of evidence that supports attachment parenting as an emotionally healthy parenting option.  But where did this come from?

My mom.

When I had my first I was 22 and so immature having a goldfish would have been too much responsibility.

My daughter was a preemie-- and my mom helped me gain the confidence to hold her, to change her, to feed her and to parent her.  I was terrified of breaking her- so when she came home from the NICU at a whooping 3 lbs- my mom came down to stay with me and helped me figure out what I was doing. She taught me how to bath her, and supported breastfeeding even though she never breastfeed me.  She found resources to help me.

The biggest thing she did was help me gain the confidence to parent Princess and trust myself to know what feels right.  We have instincts for a reason- fighting them is counter productive.

So now I get to share what she guided me to learn.  You can do it.  You are enough.  Your baby needs you.  

Little boy/big boy

Monday, September 7, 2015

Now I take pictures of LittleDude almost every night when he nurses to sleep.  One of these times it will be the last time that he snuggles to sleep and looks for my cuddles overnight. Soon one day, my milk will not be the thing that he needs to soothe his owies or mend his broken heart.

There of course are frustrations, when I want him to just go to bed.... to stop following me around, but he is my last little baby, so I am really trying to to focus on snuggling and enjoying every moment I can, because one time- it will be memories.

I love my little ones, and this is different, because I usually had delivered another baby by this time and had my time divided between a new baby and a three year old toddler.

Its hard not to have another baby, it is hard to know that this is my last snuggle bug, and I don't like it.  Being a mother has been such a huge part of my life- leaving this stage is a struggle for me.  What will it look like?  Will I still be needed? Loved? How will we navigate this?

A huge part of me hopes that this is not my last baby, I don't feel done. My heart aches for more nursing time, for more baby-wearing time, for more singing, and feeling a baby move in my womb

How Big? SOOO Big!! (too big)

Friday, August 7, 2015

LittleDude still co-sleeps and breastfeeds. He is 3. He loves to snuggle close and have that connection. I'll admit- I get touched out.  I'll admit I want space!  So I am doing my best to remember that I will never be this loved again as I am by LittleDude.  All of the kids went through this; the cuddles and snuggles and love- and then they get bigger and stop needing me so much, and the cuddles become less frequent.

Last night I cuddled up to LittleDude and as he nursed and cuddled, I realized that one day soon, this will be nothing but a memory.  That I will not have him drape his little body over my and hug me with every fiber in his body.

He already is losing his interest babywearing most of the time, how long until he is a really big boy and spreads his wings to fly? Which is of course, the point of being a parent, teaching them how to be independent.

I love him and love his snuggles for now.

Princess and her Sister

Friday, July 31, 2015

Princess has a best friend- she has been best friends with this girl since the first day of kindergarten.  They met on the playground and never looked back.

At first it was playdates supervised by parents-- making sure they were sharing- and being nice.  It evolved into talks on the phone and sleepovers.  Now they text-- and rove from one house to another like a pair of hungry bandits. 

It has evolved from a friendship to sisterhood.  They bicker like sisters, but love each other.  They squabble and just as soon as I have figured out what happened they are begging to see each other.

Watching them together is wonderful, I love knowing that Princess has someone (and a spare set of parents) to look out for her- love her- and support her. 

I am so thankful to the family who we love and consider our family.  Princess's friend and her family are included in our family activities- because family is more than just relatives.

Princess and her sister(friend) will remain friends forever, I bet.  They have already supported and seen each other through some tough times- with grace and care that I could use a lesson in.  They also share joy and hope- and everything that tween girls should- the giggles and the smiles. 

To Friend's family-- thank you for loving our Princess.  We love you and your family dearly.  We are deeply thankful.

Why do they grow up

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Someone posted a thing on Facebook the other night about the "Last Time".

When was the last time I nursed Pixie-- clearly there was one time that was the last time. There was one time that I held her close and had her nurse.  I don't remember when this was- which is sad- I feel like there should have been a way to mark that.  This is true for all of the kids (except LittleDude) who is still nursing.

When was the last time I picked up Stinky and carried him to bed? Or put him on my back? There obviously was a last time but I don't know when that was.

I don't know what "last time" will be next.  Will it be the last time I "muggle" Pixie and Peas?  Will it be carrying them to bed? Reading them a story? When will it be the last time to hold their hands to cross the street?

Even knowing that that this last time is looming- it can be hard to appreciate the little things.  It can be hard to remember to cherish the snuggles, the talks, the hand holding. I hope I can learn to value this time as much as I should.

Its been quiet around here huh?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Well--- sometimes no news is good news, sometimes no news is just busy, and sometimes, no news means my kidney is up to trickery and I am having hard time accepting it.

I got sick in June.  Like I do, I wished it away, figured that it was stress and it would get better.  I went to the doctor after a few days and he gave me antibiotics and all was well.  A few days later, I couldn't keep anything down.  Even the Zofran for nausea. So went to the ER. After waiting a year and a day the doc took one look at me and admitted me.  She seriously didn't even run labs first. 

7 days.  7 days on IV antibiotics to kick this infection.

Home for a few days. 

Then sick again. 

This time with scary bacteria.  My kidney does a go big or go home thing apparently-- and it goes big.

So now I am on antibiotics-- they make me very very tired and have some other fun side effects. Also learned today that I will need to investigate some funky stuff on my ovaries further.


I am ok. My kids are great, having a wonderful summer. B is wonderful. life is beautiful

Right now, I can be awake for about 2 hours before I need to sleep again, so I will write more when I have more energy.

SCOTUS made a good call

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I am an LGBTQ ally.  If you know me you know this.  I am thrilled that gay and lesbian people are now being afforded the right to marry.

It is saddening to see that so many people are less than happy about this decision and using their faith as the reasoning for their opinion.

The area in which I live is heavily Christian- and that is great. No problem.  But what I have an issue with is Christians expecting everyone else to abide by their version of morality-- because the bible said so.

My faith religious belief does not impact my support for gay marriage at all-- as my faith is mine no one else's.  And even if my faith dictated that gay an lesbian people should not be allowed to marry based on the bible it still does not impact the secular rights that need to be afforded to all people.

This is one of the greatest things about America-- we have a separation of church and state. Church beliefs do not get to impact state laws. Not everyone has the same faith or beliefs even if they have the same holy book- and as we cannot email G-d and ask for clarification the best thing we can do is to offer love and acceptance.  I firmly believe that love will be more acceptable to G-d than condemnation and judgement.

Just because the bible says that we must "keep holy the sabbath" we do not have laws that force people to go to church (or other house of worship)

Some people cite that G-d calls homosexuality an abomination--- well there are a bunch of things that are said to be an abomination to G-d.

Proverbs 12:22 "lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal faithfully are His delight" where is the outcry against dishonesty (have we seen what happens in politics?)

Proverbs 6:5 "Everyone who is proud of heart is an abomination to the LORD, Assuredly he will not be unpunished"

I can keep listing these quotes--- (thanks Mom and Dad for religious education-- see I did pay attention)

If so many things are an abomination to G-d why are we so obsessed with this one?  Why is this one the lightening rod?  Why are we so convinced that we need prevent other people from entering a loving committed marriage and enjoying the legal benefits that come because of it?

If people are/were making a push to force a church or house of faith to wed a gay couple then I would support the church-- as a private house of faith they have the right to stick to whatever they believe- without government interference.

It does go both ways though-- if the government cannot force a church to marry a gay couple then a religion cannot force a government not to marry a gay couple.

Separation of church and state is a fantastic thing.  The ruling has literally NO impact on anyone who is not LGBTQ and does not want to get married.

In a follow up post I will address how the SCOTUS ruling is not violating states rights.

StripCraft and Booty Work

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A while ago I was fortunate enough to take a workshop with the incomparable Lux ATL one of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege to meet.

I love pole.  It is my sanctuary, it functions as a work-out, social time, therapy, and so much more for me.  However, I am not much of a dancer, I struggle with flow.  I struggle with confidence, I struggle...

This workshop was heaven.  It was home.

First: Lux is crazy smart.  Which is so cool-- but not unusual in the pole world- the number of women who are unbelievably smart is staggering. What makes Lux unique is that she is so approachable she accepts and values her students as women where ever we are.  She also speaks her mind- this is hard. As a women if you speak your mind too loudly you're a bitch or worse... Lux embraces this and encourages women to embrace this.. I have an awesome shirt from her that reads "pro bitch"

When I dance I get self conscious and convince myself that everyone is so much better than I am- so much sexier-- essentially just that I stink.

Which leads me to....

Second:  It was like she was talking to me when she was laying out the class. Which leads me to believe my fears and anxieties are not unusual.

The first tenet of her class is:

Only you possess what only you possess

Simple, huh? Well yes, this makes sense, but how do I know what I possess that only I possess?  That is the journey.  That we all have to learn and to learn it we have to play with a lot of things and inevitably make mistakes.  As we are learning and on our jouney, remember that everyone else is on their own journey and we may all be making mistakes as we learn and grow.

The second is: 

Be vulnerable. Be willing to act weird in public

I certainly and self conscious and am afraid to act silly in public for fear of "what will people think?"
By staying in my comfort zone I am limiting myself and not growing.  Growth happens outside an individual's comfort zone. Make an impression. Be weird. Have fun. Embrace it. 

The third and final tenet is:

No shame. No fear. No apologies. Just Love. 

This one have a hard time with. I struggle with shame. I struggle with being fearful. I apologize way too much. I can extent love and acceptance to everyone but myself.  Recently, Amy Schumer did a skit on women and apologizing and how we as women apologize for everything.  

So I am working on it. 

I also plan on taking her classes again to really have the chance to better absorb her wisdom and learn from her incredible booty isolation ways.

Day to day- I am carrying her lessons with me, and not just practicing booty isolations in traffic- but embracing myself for who I am and loving it. All of it.

My 3 Year Old made an Amazon order

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I should have guessed that it would happen at some point.  Little Dude ordered a whole season of his favorite show "Paw Patrol" from Amazon.

Recently, I ordered a kindle fire relatively recently, and he loves it. Sadly, I have not figured out how to prevent purchases like this, and until this incident, I didn't even look into it.

The other night I started getting notifications on my phone that Amazon purchases had been made, little confirmation emails thanking me for my order. I thought nothing of it at first, thinking that maybe B had ordered a few shows--- then they kept coming, and I texted him to see what he had been buying... nothing.  LittleDude, was sitting right next to him and he was paying no attention to what was happening (typical).  While LittleDude was sitting there, innocent as can be and he bought a whole season of Paw Patrol and several other episodes. 

I suppose it was bound to happen sometime or another.  I am glad that it was less expensive than it could be.

Different Family Values

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I have had some rough times in my life- many of them in fact.

As much as these times have sucked- my family has always helped me through them.  Yes, there were times of tough love- and a lot of times I was exceptionally angry with them- but when it has come down to it-- when I really desperately needed them they have helped.

When I had my first daughter and I had nothing for her- my mom came and helped, she taught me how to take care of my very very tiny baby.

She has come down at the drop of a hat when I have had a medical (kidney) emergency.  She has come down for kids grandparents days.  She is present in our lives. My sister and my aunts/ cousins are the same way.

So now B is hurt. His family has not really called to check on him frequently, not really offering help-- they have helped- but only when we have insisted.  Interestingly- it has not been B's immediate family offering to help- it has been his aunts and uncles.

His side of the family has always kind of confused me- they were even less helpful when I was sick, but I had assumed that it was because I was not their child and they felt that my family had the obligation.

I don't get it.

When my family or friends need help- or even if they need company- I'm there.  If I can give or do something I will- I know what it is like to feel alone, vulnerable, scared, and overwhelmed-- and it is pretty darn miserable. 

Life with a dictator

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Little dude looks sweet and cute right??

He is a dictator.

He declares what he wants and expects his wishes to be obeyed forthwith.  Heaven help whom ever does not understand what he is saying. Because he knows exactly what he is saying.

Inspector Gadget! NOW.  Paw Patrol! STAT!

There are a lot of sayings about terrible 2's but 3's are really hard.  They know what they want, they can communicate it somewhat, and they are more determined so you can't try and distract them with something really cool (well you can-- and they may even humor you- but they will be back for what they initially wanted).

Three year olds can run the house if you let them.  Sometimes that is all that keeps my sanity--- LittleDude wants Chuggers?! Fine! He gets Chuggers.. Learn picking battles is half of being a parent.  I frequently tell the bigger kids to just give him what he wants so he will stop holding the house hostage with screams.

Logically- I know that 3 years is a huge developmental time and he is beginning to see the world does not revolve around him.  He is learning that wants do not always equal needs. Which can be a hard pill for a three year old to swallow.

Horrible Nightmare

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last week I had to go to the doctor for my hip.  While I was there, something horrific happened.

B was badly injured training at a live fire drill.

One minute we were texting each other about my hip, he said that he had to go drill, next thing I know my phone was going crazy as he had fallen trying to force open door as part of their training. When he fell he broke his leg.

Seeing the text that he was hurt but not knowing what was happening was terrifying. Not being able to help was frustrating.

As a mother, my job is to fix things. Make things better.  There is nothing that I can do to help him. Nothing I can do to make it better.  All I could do was go there and be there.

The break was bad enough and in a place that required surgery, I have had a lot of surgery, but waiting for someone to have surgery is something I have less experience with.  Sitting there, watching the screen with his case--- waiting for screen to advance to "surgery complete".

B's job has always scared me- I love and respect what he does, but it scares me.  Because he could so quickly be injured. Nothing is a guarantee.  Every time we talk we end it with "I love you, be safe".  I will not let him off the phone until he replies "I always am".

It has been hard for the kids- he is like superman.  He comes and fixes things and saves the day. His job is actually to save people.  He is not here a lot but when he is he is fantastic with them.  No one gets a better welcome than when daddy gets here.

Truth be told, I am a little jealous about how the kids are so interested in helping him. When I get hurt or have surgery nothing changes, the requests keep coming: "mama what's for dinner??" "where is my shirt?" B gets hurt--- totally different story- they are all over him helping.  Which, honestly is good.  He is dad- and a pretty darn awesome one.

Seeing the message that B was hurt was the most horrifying thing. My stomach dropped a million miles, I started sweating, I was sick to my stomach.  He annoys the crap out of me and irritates me beyond belief, but I love him.

When the doctor told me that he did need surgery, I got light headed--- and its not my leg! A doctor can tell me I need surgery and that is fine, I can deal, but not someone I care about, that makes it scary!

I do have new respect for what B had to endure in the waiting room for me- my surgeries were much longer and I have no idea how he managed.  Being the one unconscious is much much easier.

When he is better, I will have to find something new to say other than "I love you, be safe" because much like the kids-- he clearly doesn't listen.

I am thankful that he will heal.  I am thankful for my sister who saved the day. I am thankful.

Why I don't support gay rights

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I support human rights.

Let's start with the basics: LGBTQ people are people- people being the operative word.  People= human- so they by virtue of being human deserve the same rights and protections as any other individuals.

I live in a very conservative town.  The majority of people in this town are people who are dedicated to Christianity.  To be emphatically clear, I take no issue with that, as long as their faith is their faith and it doesn't become something they require others to abide by.  Many Christians assert that the bible says that marriage is defined as a promise between one woman and one man (we can debate what the bible says about marriage in another post).  This is what leads us to one problem:

A significant percentage of people in the country, do not believe in the bible as a source of faith or a guide for moral living, as a significant portion of people do not garner their ethics or morals from the bible asking them to follow its teachings regarding marriage makes no sense.

One of the best things about the US is that the US is not a Christian nation, we are not a Jewish nation, or a Islamic Nation. Our country was founded on the ideals of separation of church and state, where citizens are guaranteed the freedom of and from religion, therefore for laws to be written and instituted based on a religious text is in direct contradiction to our nations founding principles.

Whether or not two adults are permitted to marry in no way lessens the value and the importance of any other marriage.

Back to point-

LGBTQ people do not need special privileges or rights; they need and deserve the same rights granted to any other citizen.

Let us not forget that not terribly long ago, it was illegal for people of different races to marry now we have moved past this (mostly) hopefully we can move past this being a problem as well.

No, I don't dance for anyone

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No one aside from my pole sisters have ever seen me pole dance. 

Pole dancing has been thought of as a sexual act for so long, and it is. Really, pole rose to prominence in the US because of exotic dancers (aka strippers).  Without them, pole would not be. Pole can also be sensual, athletic, modern, or lyrical etc- it is an art, a sport, a career- it is whatever the individual doing it wants it to be.

For me though- pole helps me get in touch with my feelings, it helps me get in touch with my (please do not laugh too hard) sexy side.

So why do I want to get in touch with my sexy side if I am not going to let someone see? I do not believe that as a woman, as a pole dancer I need to be of sexual service to men unless I want to. There is no obligation inherent in being a pole dancer (for fitness or any other purpose).

A lot of people say something along the lines of "your husband must be happy" or "I bet he loves to watch you practice".

I do not pole for anyone but myself.

When I say something along the lines of "Well no one else has seen me dance" most often I am met with a response in the vein of "Then what's the point?" Which is to say: what is the point of being and feeling sexy if someone else is not going to benefit from it?

I want to feel connected to my femininity, my sexuality, my sensual side for me. Not for the benefit of someone else.  

and just because I can-- here are UNEDITED pictures from a shoot I had.

I think my phone works better when I say please

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It is a truth universally acknowledged that electronics and I do not get along.  It should be on my resume that I can effectively break any electronics.  If I can get it to work- it is a solid item.  More often than not I end up calling B and saying something to the effect of  "the thingy will not do the thingy that I want it to do"

I can hear his eyes rolling. Deep sighs "What did you do to it?" he asks.  "Nothing" I reply.


Somehow he gets it to work.  Interestingly enough, I can do the same darn thing and show him I am doing the same darn thing and it does not work- 3 seconds later- he does it- and magic happens.

My phone is another issue. I have an iphone and Siri dislikes me intensely- but she does seem to work better when I use my manners and say please and thank you.

3 reasons my girls have pink hair

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why yes! I did notice that my 3 daughters, age 5, 6, and 10 have pink (and purple) hair. I let them. I bought the dye.... I helped them do it! Why would I do such a thing??

1- It's their hair. Seriously. Not my hair, not my choice.
2- Allowing them to express themselves and my support of it- is good for them
3- Its fun! You only live once!

(as an aside-- I would never have had the confidence to dye my hair a fun color like that as a child- I still don't-- as an adult)

I think it looks pretty awesome, and I am proud of them for finding their own individuality.

We are not exactly a family that conforms to expectations, we set our own and expectations and love it.

Utah anniversary

Monday, January 12, 2015

The night before, Thursday, I came home from Mock Trial team and spread my work out on the floor in the formal living, no one went in there so I could set to work on the mountains of projects I had to complete. My boyfriend called.  He was older than me, my parents didn’t like that. We argued. I knew something was up.  I didn’t know what.
I was sick. I was scared. I was hiding. I was running to try and find something- someone safe.  He was angry- he knew I was not telling him things. I couldn’t tell him. I was terrified.  Everything was so terrifying. Feelings were/are scary. They can’t be reasoned with they can’t be controlled.
My brother came home from work- he was staying with us while he was separated from his wife. We sat down for ‘dinner’.  Which was tense. Always tense. Eggshells. One wrong word, glance, putting a fork down too hard and it would erupt into screaming and crying- saying awful things- just to hurt the other person- hurt them as much as I was hurting. I felt so empty so scared so alone. I felt everything and nothing at once.
Back to homework. I had a final paper to revise, AP physics to prepare for. Exams were next week.
I went to bed.
Set my alarm, made sure that my riding crop was under my pillow. I was terrified of my dad. I was scared- and my flimsy riding crop was all the protection I could muster. I passed out into a dreamless sleep.
The next bit gets a little fuzzy
I woke up. I think it was my parents at my bedroom door—with 2 strangers. I was told that I was going to Utah today—like now. At 4 am.
My mind raced- how could I stop this. How could this not happen. How could I stop it? I thought of saying I was pregnant- even though I hadn’t slept with anyone- but Illinois law said that a pregnant minor was emancipated from her parents. Then again, I wasn’t 100% sure of that and my brother was a lawyer- he would have planned for that reaction.  Also, I was so thin- there is no way anyone would believe I was pregnant. My body could barely support me not another person too.
I realized at some point- that if I left- I may not like it- but I would be away. My parents could not hurt me so much every day. I wouldn’t have to see them an know I was a giant fuck up just ruining their lives maybe this could be ok. I agreed to go. But I asked about my group presentation that I had to present tomorrow… and what about finals? It would all be worked out they said.
I had a few moments to change- supervised. Go to the bathroom- supervised. I would have killed myself then. I would have just to not be so terrified.
I got dressed. Jeans, size 0- too big. A pink camisole. A black wool cardigan with pink roses.  I could take very little: I took my violin, my stuffed bear Tasha (whom later in Utah I would hold and inhale the scent of home) and my favorite book- Pride and Prejudice.  I asked to say good bye to my dog- Fred. My brother had him out for a walk. So I said good bye to my cat- Miss Meow. My parents asked to say goodbye to me, I told them to fuck off.
It was very cold. There was three feet of snow on the ground. We took off for O’hare- me and two escorts. Later I learned how good I had it.  Other girls were drugged and taken. Others were handcuffed and taken. I went on my own.
On the airplane the escorts were nice to me- this was their profession. Taking girls to treatment so they may—just may survive whatever demons live in them.  They gave me a letter my mom wrote to me. At first I was too mad.  Too angry to read it- but as we passed over the Midwest curiosity got me. I read it. And lost what little composure I had. Everything everything came spilling out overflowing in a mess of tears. I was angry and so very hurt—and scared… but being hurt and scared but you on the defense- and that was an untenable position for me- anger was safer. But there comes a time when anger can’t hold everything back. My time for that was somewhere over Nebraska.  I still have the letter.
They offered breakfast. A Danish. Orange Juice. Fat. Calories. Hell no.

When we landed I was handed off to Danielle and Matt. At first Danielle intimidated me- but later I grew to love her- she was the only one who could help me with my calculus. 
What do you do, 4 days after your 17th birthday when you are sent across the country- with no notice- to a treatment center so maybe, maybe I could survive this and come out the other side?
What do you do when for as long as you can remember you have been not good enough- convinced your parents hated you- then get sent away? Seems to confirm everything I had thought.
I felt more alone then than I had ever felt. But a sense of odd relief. I wouldn’t have to see my parents and know I was letting them down.  Hear the frustrated sighs, the disappointment.
The indignity got worse over the next few days and weeks—and I told myself that worst case scenario I would be there for 361 days- at which point I would become legally an adult.  Seriously, it got bad.
One of the worst parts was it confirmed my worst fears. That I was not good enough to be part of our family- so they simply got rid of me- remember 17 year olds – especially 17 year olds who are starving aren’t the best at critical thought.
Going to Utah sucked. It was awful. But it saved my life. I still have my old therapist’s (Alan) email and phone number in my phone- and yes- when things are really shitty- I call him and 16 years later? He still answers me. The man is a saint.
Now- I still don’t let people get close to me. I don’t do feelings well.  I prefer things that can me reasoned with and logiced  (new word, just made it up) out.  Feelings are too messy. Too much.
So today, I am a hot crying sobbing mess- and tomorrow it will be worse.
I am still friends with a lot of the girls who I got to know there- we had very different lives- but they were the first to help put me back together when I fell apart. 
 Now, so many years later- I lose it around my  'anniversary' both going and coming.  I try and keep terribly busy- to keep the tears away, to try and hold it together.  Inevitably, I fall to pieces a few time. A sobbing snotty mess. I can still smell the same smells feel the same feelings. Its like it is happening all over again.
I want to throw things, cry, have someone hold me and tell me its over, never will happen again-- and maybe pry my shoulders out of my ears- someone to be there to help stem the anxiety and fear.

Flashback to my grandmother

Monday, January 5, 2015

B's grandfather is elderly (duh) and not exactly in the best health. Recently, he has had to spend sometime at a nursing home to get back on his feet. 

We went to visit him.

Nursing homes must all be about the same. We walked in signed in and followed the signs to his room. 

In a heartbeat, I was back with my grandmother on a hot summer day instead of a winter one.  I did not anticipate this. Maybe I should have. 

My vision shifted, my ears roared, and my heart pounded.  It was just like my grandmother. B's grandfather's room was at the end of the hallway, and that hall went on forever.  Each step moving us backwards instead of forwards.

She has not been gone for very long, only 18 months, but still, I think of her daily.  I made her fudge for the holidays. I looked at her needle work and admired it.

My grandmother was pretty darn great, and I miss her.