Welcome to my little piece of HTML heaven!

Welcome! I am a 30-something mom with boisterous, loving twin girls who were born in 2006.

I started this blog in September 2010 when I made the decision to DEFINITELY pursue bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) so I could chronicle my journey and my feelings, thoughts and experiences as a patient, mom, daughter, friend, writer, student, etc.

I had my surgery on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7:30am. Although I don't remember much of that day after 7:25am, it changed my life forever. It feels like someone hit a "reset" button in my brain when I was under general anesthesia (and I don't remember my surgeon discussing THAT in my pre-op visit!!). As of 38 months post-op, I have lost 100 pounds and my total loss since my highest recorded weight is nearly 160 pounds.

In mid-2012, my health started to decline as Psoriatic Arthritis started to kick up a few notches and make my life miserable. I am learning to cope with a debilitating auto-immune disease and the life adjustments that go with it. It's not easy, but we're getting there.

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment or just say HI! I'm glad you've decided to join me in my journey!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What exactly is happy?

The word happy.  It's used in so many ways but what does it really mean to you?  What does it mean to me?  How should this word be used?  Attainment of certain goals, such as money, health, material things?  Or is it a state of mind?  Can you really tell if someone is happy based on what they have or what they look like in a photo?  The term "happy" seems like something that everyone is seeking but so few actually truly feel they have.

Being happy, finding happy, looking happy...these are all things that I've had to think about in some capacity in my adult life.  When I was much younger, I thought if I had enough money, I would be happy.  I was wrong.  I thought if I kept certain company, I would be happy.  Again, I was wrong.  I was told if I would "just lose weight", I would attract a perfect man, I would be so happy...again, dead wrong.  Obviously being with a man isn't my bag and that's been well established for 20 years now.  Have a kid...will that bring happiness?  Ah, no.  If there's one thing I've really learned in the past 20 years, there's no outside force that can make me happy.

 As I've stated in previous musings, it has taken many things in this life to lead me to this "happiness" thing.  Having my guts rearranged and the subsequent weight loss itself did NOT cause my "happiness".  Having children did not bring me "complete happiness".  Making good money was nice, but it did not make me HAPPY....in fact, I was quite miserable because I was forcing myself to work very long hours and put up with things from others that I never should have...just for money that I believed would bring me happiness.  Not so. 

I think my path to MY happiness DID start with the weight loss, but it was more of a domino effect.  The weight loss led to a spike in my anxiety and PTSD, which caused me to pursue intensive therapy treatment for the PTSD.  Within weeks of that processing therapy, I wound up half-way across the world without my kids, the person I was in a "relationship" with (I use that term VERY loosely, it was more or less a glorified roommate situation) or the people I knew or saw often.  I was halfway across the world and did not speak the language, did not have a phone, did not have the familiar things I was used to....things that would make so many people go into a tailspin, homesickness, etc.  Not the case for me.  I felt peace for the first time in my life.  I did not expect this, but I did know that while I was busting my ass to make the money to GET there, I had...I mean HAD to go there.  There was a reason for it.  You know, my life has NOT been the same since I spent those four weeks in the Czech Republic.  I wasn't quite expecting the massive changes I made when I returned, but they happened because they were supposed to happen.  I am NOT the same person I was four or five years ago and many of those changes were made during that domino effect in the past four years. 

I have always believed that people, places and things come into our lives....or leave our lives for a reason.  Situations arise for a reason, even if they don't make sense at the time they are happening.  It is up to us to do what we need to do when these things happen.

Being homeless sucked, but believe it or not, I was HAPPY.  I knew what I was doing and where I was going and just three weeks into that, I started talking to someone online.  I made every effort to throw out roadblocks....we were homeless, on public assistance and I am disabled.  She was fine with all of that...which I was cautious about.  Until Christmas 2012 when we met face to face, she and I formally became a couple.  Less than two weeks after she returned to the East Coast, we were engaged.  Five months later, she was here in Denver for good after finishing up student teaching.  We have a HOME together and in 34 days, we will be MARRIED.  She has brought a form of happiness into my life that I had not yet anticipated.  When I packed up my kids in October 2012 and left that abusive situation, I was 100% ready to remain alone with my kids until things were more settled in our lives and I had promised myself and my kids that I would NEVER be in a position where I had to unsettle and uproot my children AGAIN.  If it meant remaining completely alone to raise my girls, then so be it.  I was okay with that.  I was more than okay with it.  I was ready to start over on my own....completely on my own.  Then Steph came along...but nothing changed about my need to not uproot my kids or cause more trauma to them.  She was completely on board and the very first part of our relationship WAS long distance.  She moved here in June 2013 and has been here with us since then.  It's been a year but it seems like she just arrived yesterday...yet it seems that we've been in this place...our place together (not just the physical home) for so much longer.  That is happiness to me. 

In just 34 days, we bring our families and friends together and become one family...both legally and before God.  There was never any doubt in my mind.  My children are now OUR children.  My struggles become OURS.  I have arrived in a place where someone is trusted enough in my life for me to allow her to help.  To love.  To live.  She doesn't care about my disabilities or inability to work outside the home.  She knows and understands the issues with the girls and embraces them without question.  Even when AJ is pushing every button, both physically and emotionally, she reminds her that she is NOT going anywhere, no matter what she says or does.  We are one.

I found my happiness in life when I let go of the past.  When I took my future and the future of my children into my own hands and walked away from those that were holding me back. 

My life is not perfect.  I have debilitating medical conditions that will be life-long.  My children have been scarred by people in their past and I have to help them work through that.  There are days that I can hardly get out of bed, weeks where I spend more time seeking medical care, refilling medications or waiting on medical tests than I do with my family.  But dammit, I am HAPPY.  I am at peace.

I am exactly where I want to be, where I need to be.  I now know what it truly means to be happy.  Even without the "good money", the company of certain people or all those material things.  I am happy.

What is YOUR happy?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gratitude....it's what's for dinner

The older I get the more I learn about the world we live in. It seems that in our society, the drive to "succeed" and strive for more, more, more is on the minds of so many people, we tend to forget about what we already have. I don't know if it's an accumulation of life experiences, my trip to a part of the world where life is slower or this damn auto-immune disease that has pretty much put the brakes on my own goals and financial dreams. What I do know is that being forced to slow down and really take a look at things has SERIOUSLY changed my outlook on things in my life and the people I choose to keep near me. I have a life-changing, chronic, disabling auto-immune disease. I have had to give up so much...my ability to do my job, my Girl Scout troop, furthering my secondary education, my social life, running a GLBT parenting organization, my autonomy, my independence....my ability to just DO, in general. What good could EVER come of this? I have to rely on either public assistance or other people for financial support, for medical care and to take care of myself in general. How is THAT a good thing?? I'll tell you. GRATITUDE. Those that have known me for a while know me as the "overachiever", the "go-getter", the "never say no" kind of person. My disease has forced me to SLOW DOWN. I have to stop and think about my actions before I do them. I have to stop and think about how much of myself I can commit to any person or thing outside of my own immediate family. It has forced me to learn to think outside the box in nearly every aspect of my life. It has forced me to step back and ask for help when I need it, which is something that we ALL know is a huge issue for me. I have been forced to prioritize my tasks and only do what I can....not necessarily what I want. It has kept me at home, which is a good thing since we have two soon to be eight year old girls who are barreling towards puberty and a society can be hurtful, judgmental and hostile towards anyone or anything different. I had NEVER thought I would be a stay at home parent, but it's what I've become. I did not find it....it found ME. My kids NEED me. Although I can't be the full fledged GS troop leader, soccer mom, energetic type, I can be WITH them. I can be there FOR THEM and in this day and age, that isn't easy to manage with so many families being forced to work two plus jobs to try and keep things afloat. The past two years have been full of change, both positive and negative. My life in general has been pretty hard to handle, but had it not been how it was, I would not be who I am. I am grateful despite my illness, I was able to travel to the other side of the world and see how another culture lived....and realized that I need to live like that as well. I mean, over there, family is very important...maternity leave can be as long as three YEARS, paid. You can be paid to stay home with your young children for up to four years, medical care is comprehensive....and REQUIRED by law. The work week is shorter and the weekend is longer. Families and government both understand that sick leave is needed for everyone...and so is vacation time. Are there downfalls? Of course. But it certainly makes me think. I have always been family oriented and thankfully, I am now engaged to be married to a woman who values family as much as I do. Her family has become my family and in many ways, I am grateful for them. Having a recovery-intensive surgery has been hard on me, my kids and my fiancee...but without question, my soon to be father in law spent SIX weeks here with us, no questions asked. No emotional price tag (my mother will understand what that means!), nothing asked for in return. A gesture that will always resonate with me because I'm not accustomed to that. I am grateful for this new extension of my family because they are a fantastic example of what a functional family should be, at least in my eyes. This is not to say that I hate my family of origin, I am ungrateful for them or anything like that...because I am not. The girls have an AWESOME set of grandparents (three sets, total) as well as uncles, several cousins...whom they have already met and spent time with. My soon to be mother in law reminds me so much of my Grandma Nita...it is incredible. As my own mother had said, "I am so glad you are marrying into a FAMILY." So am I. In the recent past, I have watched people who are always complaining. They have healthy boys and fuss, whine and cry because they "need" to have that girl. What does that say about them? What does that say to those kids that are already here and in need of love? There are SO many people out there who cannot have ANY children...who would kill to have A child, let alone THREE boys. Be grateful for your children, they are a GIFT. They are NOT an accessory, something to show off or fuss over when *gasp* a child arrives before the due date or doesn't say/do something that YOU want them to do. This child is a gift and your ungrateful attitude will RUIN that child. As parents, it is our job to produce and raise children who will be productive members of society (not just materialistically). Overemphasizing or doting over the first boy or the only girl....what does this do to the rest of the children in the family? You should celebrate ALL of your children and enjoy their lives, trust me, they could be gone at the turn of a page. Losing a child late into the pregnancy instilled this in me. Not seeing my boys in about 5 years instilled this in me. Spending time in homeless shelters with two young children and not a dime to my name instilled this in me. Developing a destructive, chronic disease instilled this into me. It's gratitude and I have it. I'm grateful for my soon to be wife and her family as they have not only blessed me, but my daughters. We may not have a lot of money and like many, it's hard to come by, but what we don't have materialistically, we more than make up for in love. I am grateful for a brand new apartment as I know what it's like to live in horrible shelters or live in substandard housing. My body is more or less attacking itself, but I have excellent health care....and I could be DEAD. The next time you feel down, or feel the urge to feel sorry for yourself.....stop and think about what you have. What do you think your life would be like WITHOUT those things? Be grateful for what you have, because as I've witnessed, it could be gone in an instant. Cherish the children you have, because you could have none at all. In the end, our material things stay behind when we die, but our inner self is ongoing. Be grateful.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's been a while.....so much change, so little time to process it all

I don't think I have written anything since April or May so I guess it's long overdue. We are quickly coming upon it being a year since I grabbed the kids and left Erin and a disgustingly dysfunctional living situation. I have to stop and reflect a bit since a quick glimpse into my life this time last year can help me continue to push forward and grow right now for the next year. Those four months in hotels, safe-houses and waiting for housing to come through were total hell and that is 100% the truth. Looking back, I have no idea HOW I pushed through, especially in that last safe-house where residents were treated horribly. But I did. The girls did. Even after having to scrap the Big White Monster just before this past Christmas and spending two hours each way on the bus to get the girls to and from school. Fighting to get my financial aid reinstated at Metro State, making the decision to move the girls to the local elementary school, dealing with an autistic kid, a kid starting puberty far too young and all the typical day to day stuff that happens in life. Wrestling with my own chronic health issues which led to me having to apply for disability again (still waiting, BTW) and now I have to have someone living in with me due to issues with falling, gait instability and not being able to physically do most things around the house (thankfully I can still cook). I've been doing iron infusions for anemia and will start Remicade infusions next week for the Psoriatic Arthritis, which no longer responds to Humira or Enbrel. I've been put on stronger narcotic medication for the chronic pain (which isn't useful during the day since I can only take it at night) and had my GP put me on a narcotic contract because I am well aware of my family history of substance abuse and I can't go there. It is affecting my attendance in school and my depression/anxiety is back...but I won't let it get me too down. I am returning to therapy this month and with positive social support at home, I think I will be okay. Despite my adversities, I have been back in school since January and have maintained a GPA in the 3.2 range. I have had to drop down to part time for Fall 2013 due to my health stuff, but it is what it is. The girls started second grade last month at our local public school and are thriving. AJ is still having issues with reading, but we are working with her and they both get additional tutoring and academic support through the school. Their weight has plateaued and both have grown in height a bit this summer. Although Kiana is showing more autism traits, she is doing well in the classroom and hasn't had a meltdown at home since around May or early June. They have not missed a single day of school and both had perfect attendance during Summer Scholars. They do enjoy school and I hope that continues for them. We are at the top of the waiting list for public housing in Denver, which means that we will be moving (yet) again....and we've only been here for 8 months. I hate moving, but thankfully we won't have to move again for a while once we get settled into our next place. We will be allowed to live as a family with Steph....and we will be able to have a pet in addition to my service dog (which I do not yet have), which I think will be really good for the girls. All kids need to be able to have a pet in their lives, it's so important to the growing process. We have been offered two units recently, but had to turn them both down due to stairs and other amenities that don't fit into my accommodations in place with DHA. We have our hopes up for a place that's almost finished with renovations in the same area where I lived as a teenager....it is very close to a friend of ours with a daughter close to the girls' age. In two months, we will head to Atlanta for Thanksgiving/early Christmas with Steph's family. We will be there about two weeks and it will be the girls' first time flying. Part of that time will also be spent in Virginia, which is the halfway point between Atlanta and one of Steph's brothers/his family. The girls will get to meet their new cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. I am so excited to be able to give them this opportunity (with their help, of course) and to be able to take them to new places as a family. We are also planning a short Disney cruise for next fall with several exciting events happening right around that time (more on that later, though). I picked my tie dye and genealogical research businesses back up early this summer and am currently working on websites and expanding those, but it's been slow...mostly due to my health issues and of course, money. Unfortunately, I may end up having to take a short break from both school and business stuff while I get all these infusions, labs, MRIs and doctor visits out of the way and proceed with fighting SSDI for benefits. I haven't been able to do any of those things on a full time basis for almost 2 years now and it sucks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Six months in review...and reflection

Boy, when I stepped off that plane from Prague to Denver last August, I had NO IDEA how my life was going to change or just how different things were going to become for me. But I'll tell you what, by Labor Day it was crystal clear: I was not happy, the girls were not happy and our environment had become toxic in many ways. It was even showing itself in my dreams, which initially I dismissed as Ambien-induced craziness while I was overcoming jet lag. But it is said that you only remember dreams that really mean something and I have always had preminatory dreams from the dream that I was trapped in an old VW beetle at the age of 7 with my mom, aunts and grandma outside and unable to help me to the dream I had about Grandma Nita's death the same morning she passed to dreams about being cheated on (and being right) to this. There was no infidelity....but there was NOTHING to the relationship. What others saw from outside the relationship was a total 360 from what really went on and I'm sure it was not by accident that things happened that way. As they say....hindsight is always 20/20 and this was no exception. I have always been one that believes in following my instincts, even if others around me don't "get it". They have never steered me wrong. Ever. Also keep in mind that by the time I returned from overseas, I had not only effectively processed my trauma through EMDR therapy, but I had also spent a month alone. Without my partner. Without my kids. About 7000 miles away from home and the language I recognized. I was happy there, I didn't want to return home and although I missed my kids horribly, I dreaded going home. I wouldn't admit it at the time, but I knew why and I knew that something was eventually going to have to be done. Counseling? Not likely. You can't send someone to counseling who believes they have done nothing wrong. You cannot counsel the oblivious, heal the inconsolable. There was far too much toxic there...and let me tell you, toxic with a friendly front is SCARY after you have spent two years behind closed doors with that person. As the partner of this kind of person, you are punished for the actions of people in their past, even though you may have never met that person. You only know what THEY want you to know about them, about their feelings and thoughts. You can clearly tell that something is very wrong, but when asked about it the only reply you may get back is, "No, nothing is wrong, I'm fine." They sit by like a lump on a log when you attempt to discuss relationship matters with them. They will simply say, "Oh, nothing is wrong with our relationship" or they may deflect back to you, "If you would quit moving my stuff out of the way, maybe XYZ wouldn't happen." Or perhaps there are clear double standards: The children are not allowed to do things that are considered normal and reasonable for their ages and levels of development (how many 4 or 5 year olds do you know that will willingly keep their rooms clean or not leave Barbies on the living room floor?), but it is more than okay for them to leave their trash and computer parts all over the areas where the children play, eat or watch television. Then the children are expected to not touch anything, not move anything and if something breaks or is moved, the children are expected to be punished. If you as the primary caregiver doesn't "punish" the children, then you end up paying for it later through some other form of passive aggressive "revenge". In my case, that was withholding affection, flat out refusing to eat food I bought/prepared at home even after eating it plenty of times before and taking multiple helpings...and picking on my kids to get a reaction out of them and me. I already knew what needed to be done to get myself and (more importantly) my children out of the toxic home when "The Punching Incident" occurred on September 30th. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. There was no other option but to pack up and leave, especially with CPS involvement as a result. As far as I'm concerned (hell, as far as everyone I know is concerned), you lay a hand on my child...harm her AND her sister (who witnessed the whole thing and still has PTSD-like behaviors) you get NOTHING. No notice, no money, no sympathy, no love. The abuser is a grown up, the child is not. And naturally, it was deflected back to me once I told her via email that I wasn't coming back, "If you would punish your kids the way they needed it, I wouldn't have to do that". Sorry, I won't take responsibility for another adult's action. No excuses, no good reason to punch a six year old child in the chest. Had I been thinking clearly after that, I would have called the police right away instead of waiting until I had us all out. But that's just it....I GOT US OUT. After the first incident of physical violence. Why? Because it was the right thing to do and I was not going to stick around and let someone four times bigger than my kids take out their (passive) aggressive behavior out on them. Were things tough for us? Sure, they were. I had to uproot my kids...again. This time with no notice and no certainty as to where we would be the following week or month sometimes. But as I was taught with the whole Prague experience, I had to follow my instincts and trust in the powers that be. I knew everything would be okay. Maybe not right then, maybe not that week or even that year, but I knew. Each step in this journey was a step closer to my goal for our family: our own place. After leaving her apartment, I breathed a sigh of relief when we had time in the hotel (thanks to amazing friends, nonetheless). As we pulled up to the first DV shelter 10 days after checking into the hotel, I breathed another sigh of relief. When our month there was up, I was kind of standoffish about the place we were heading to. I had heard not-so-nice things from other parents (that turned out to be correct), but over the course of the 10 weeks we were there, we made it work...despite adversities such as horrible staff, the loss of our mini-van and having to wait longer to get into our new home than I had anticipated. But it DID happen. My gawd did it! During the three or four months where we were unsure of where we would be one week to the next, something amazing happened: LOVE. Before you get all frazzled, yes, I know. Fast, soon, worried. No, we are not doing any U-Haul dating, in fact right now, we're not even in the same state. Yes, hard, but this is also a good thing. Lesbians are well known for jumping into things too fast and too deep (get your head out of the gutter) and ending up with a disaster before they know it. Been there, done that. Too many times. Never, ever again. Not like before. I am following my instincts in every sense of the word and we are both in agreement on this one. No need to rush it, it needs to be done right. This makes me think of a quote from Marilyn Monroe: If you can't take me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best. Indeed. We have been in our new place since the third week of January and are LOVING IT. Not having a vehicle has proven to be far less stressful than I had anticipated. Not only do I not have to worry about gas and insurance, but I don't have to worry about my vehicle breaking down, getting into accidents or driving in snow/ice/rain storms as I despise doing. It forces me to have to think ahead, plan ahead and organize more, all of which I needed more of in my life. We are more physically active since moving here. The girls' school is about a mile away and we walk (which ends up being four miles for me each day), the area King Soopers is about the same distance and Whole Foods is a few blocks closer. I have made two trips to Costco since moving here and have been able to do my grocery shopping there the same way I did when I still had a vehicle. It just takes a bit longer, but is totally doable. We live within walking distance to several urban parks, one of which is less than 2 blocks away. Our closest bus stop is about two to three blocks away and the bus runs about every 10 minutes and I am less than five miles away from one of my best friends. Even the medical offices where my PCP, Ortho and Rheumatologist are housed are all within walking distance as is the closest Children's Hospital ER, two major hospitals....and of course Starbucks and Einstein's Bagels. Two of each. The girls are making friends within our building and at school. They're finally sleeping better (and have their own brand new bunk beds!) and are under the care of a pediatric endocrinologist for what turned out to be precocious puberty. My older twin has to undergo extensive testing and assessments for Sensory Integration Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome (which is one of the reasons they are now at the local public school) but her classroom function has improved since starting the new school three weeks ago. They will be starting play therapy back up soon. They are reading, writing and can do math at grade level now and are excited to go to school everyday! So as we come closer to summer, things are certainly looking up in our lives. I don't have much, but then again....I don't really NEED much. I don't need the big new flat screen TV or the newest technology to be happy. I don't want or need a car payment or an insurance payment....my feet work just fine. We have most of the furniture we need and it is OURS. Our home is OUR home, not anyone else's home and I no longer have to be made to feel as if I'm constantly in the way or that my kids are invading someone's privacy. My journey is not over yet. I am working on finishing up Spring semester, am registered for summer and fall 2013 semesters and am working on getting my businesses up and running. Baby steps, but everything is finally falling into place and coming together. At long last...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mom in the City

Month one: We have been in our new place for a month now and things are slowly coming together. I have paid my own rent twice....and on my own. I moved myself out of the shelter and (mostly) out of our storage unit...in one weekend. Material things that were taken from me or left behind have since been replaced. Since we're smack dab in the middle of the city now, the van has been scrapped and we are using mass transit 100% of the time (or walking). It was good enough for all of us in Praha, it is just as good for us here in Denver. No shame at all in using mass transit. The school district provides transit passes for the girls and I also have the College Pass through Metro State. Using public transit takes my paranoid ass off the road (I hate driving in bad weather), reduces our carbon footprint, gives me more time with the girls and also forces me to think ahead and plan more. I don't buy more than I need and we get more exercise. If we want to eat out, we have to walk somewhere to get it. Grocery shopping? Not much of a problem. We have a Whole Foods about 5 blocks away and a King Soopers about 8 blocks away. And a rolling 90-can capacity cooler, thanks to my awesome girlfriend. What about my massive trips to Costco? Already been done once since moving here. Took a cab home...and gave the driver a bit of an extra tip for helping me unload the truck :) Sure, the commute is longer than I'd like in order to get the kids to and from school (yes, they're still at the charter school in the 'burbs), but the quality of the education they're getting there is damn near perfect for our family, so in my opinion, I am investing in my children's education and future by taking an extra hour or three out of my day to take them out to Denver West to attend the school. And yes, they are returning next school year. We have spent the month getting to know a couple of our new neighbors, exploring our new neighborhood and settling in. Saturdays are the Family Library Days and we "rent" movies from the library to watch at home instead of renting from RedBox or buying them (or illegally downloading them like The Ex does). Although we don't have a whole lot of furniture yet, we are settling into our new place nicely. I am on my air mattress but the girls do have their brand new foam mattresses and the brand new bunk beds are due to be delivered tomorrow. Gotta love Walmart's free Site to Home shipping :) I may not be able to buy everything all at once, but it is OURS and cannot be taken away or used as a control tactic by a passive aggressive and/or abusive partner. And my kitchen is just that....a kitchen. Not an overflow room for someone's hoarding or covered in loose computer parts that always end up getting in the way. I do laundry DAILY (it also helps that the laundry room for our floor is right across the hall from our front door)....and I cook from scratch at least 5 out of 7 days of the week. The girls have hot lunches sent with them every day. Since ditching The Ex and the money-pit of a minivan, I have lost another 15 pounds and each of the girls has lost about 5 pounds (no, I do not have them on a diet of any kind...). We are all sleeping better and have less stress in general. And look at this VIEW: The three of us are absolutely loving living in the city -- and we do NOT miss Wheat Ridge, Arvada or Commerce City at all. I do not miss having a vehicle and I am finally loving life!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ecstatic with a side of crazy

Catchy title isn't it? My advocate at the campus DV program wants me to up the blogging and writing to help with all the crazy drama going on at the "safe house". For the sake of safety, I won't name names. But first the awesome news: I have been put at the top of the wait list for our transitional housing program and Friday after the kids stopped vomiting/shooting water out the back door, we went and had our "pre-leasing paperwork" appointment. What's that mean? Well, they give us a bunch of HUD required paperwork that we fill out right there and then we get a better idea as to when we move. In our case, it will be in about 2 weeks time. Would be sooner, but they had maintenance fall behind on move-in preparations due to the flu and the holidays. Two weeks is better than 2 months. My rent for the 2 bedroom 1 bathroom? About $160 a month. Will I just be sitting on my ass doing nothing? Nope. I go back to school next week and will be working on my money management issues, starting a savings program for home ownership and getting my business up off the ground. What else? My appeals through Metro have all been approved and I'll be able to pay off the balance of my study abroad program on my own. My van is being looked at sometime this week and I'm losing weight again after a year of almost nothing. I guess dropping the toxic baggage in my life paid off in more ways than one, eh? I am still working on my own emotional adjustments. I have been standing up for myself....sometimes a bit louder than need be, but certainly warranted nonetheless. Hence the side of crazy in my blog title today. I have my crazy, I know this. But you throw in there someone that is insanely jealous and angry that I got into the housing program she was turned down for and it makes for an interesting two final weeks here. Did I tell her about herself when she started in on me. Yes. Will I do it again if she comes at me again? Yes. Did I make derogatory remarks against residents of a different race or culture....hell NO. Was I accused of this at a house meeting by crazy lady? Yes. Did the advocate on staff at the time do anything about it? NO. Deflection is the name of the game here. TWO MORE WEEKS. Thank fucking gawd.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Closing the door on an effed up year

I had originally meant for this to be published on New Year's but it wound up being a few hours (okay, more like a week more) than I had anticipated. Looking back on 2012, it was one of the worst years I've had in a long time....but was also one of the BEST years I've had in a long time. Even after many short-comings, this was a year of growth and learning for me. The whole time I was raising money for the Prague trip, I was focused on getting myself there because I knew there was a reason for that trip. Although I did think it was something related to my genealogy (and that was one reason), I had no idea just what that lesson would be until my return back home. I hadn't realized how unhappy I had been in the relationship I had been in at the time. I hadn't realized just how much I was capable of doing on my own if given the opportunity and the right tools. I hadn't realized that it was okay to ask for help when needed. I had NO IDEA that so many changes were going to be dropped in my lap and so much was going to happen in the course of three short months. I didn't know that everything that my daughters and I knew and held as familiar would be turned upside down and we would be in constant transition. Good things that 2012 brought me aside from spending a month on the other side of the planet? Trauma processing, self-realization, spiritual growth, removing toxic relationships and people from our lives, starting over....and finding someone that isn't psycho, needy, controlling or co-dependent. Standing on my own two feet, even when it means being scared shitless and not knowing what was coming next. Standing up for my children and not second guessing my decision to leave Erin even though it meant being homeless and spending the holidays in a safe house...and walking away from what few material things I did possess. I also learned who my REAL friends are through all of this and what they mean to me. Many of which I have never even met face to face before. This new year, 2013 has already been a better year and we're only a week into it. I am getting help with the repairs to the van, my appeal to the Bursar's office at school was approved and will cover all of the money I owe back to the school and I go to fill out pre-leasing paperwork for our new apartment tomorrow morning. And let's not forget my awesome gal who is a neverending source of emotional support when its needed the most.

There is no other way to go...but up...