All posts tagged family

Baby Steps

Published February 23, 2012 by Hemlock

We’ve all heard the news about Mo and it’s heartbreaking, however, I’ve found that I need to separate myself from it a bit.  Maybe it’s a bit selfish, but the more I thought about what happened to her, the more I thought about the possibility of it happening to me.

I can’t handle that possibility right now.

I’m back on my meds, and I’m glad.  I feel a bit more stable and put together, though it concerns me.  I worry that I won’t be able to stop them, and then I worry about what kind of effect that’s going to have on any potential pregnancies.  It’s the struggle in my brain of knowing that being depressed while pregnant isn’t good, but then there’s the risk of birth defects… *sigh*

Anyways, I know that right now I need to be on my meds.  I was quickly spiraling into a dark pit and didn’t realize it.  I was flipping between moods constantly, I was eating continually (I put on about 10# in a month), I wasn’t cleaning the house, and I was snapping at my dog.  If I had gotten pregnant, I don’t think I could have handled another miscarriage.  I wouldn’t have committed suicide or anything, but I don’t think the results would have been good.

I freely admit that my outlook on TTC is grim.  After the number of unsuccessful pregnancies I’ve had, it’s inevitable.  I don’t really know how I feel about that.  Part of me wants to stay positive, but there’s a part of me that wants, and needs, to stay realistic.  I worry about what will happen if I do manage to hold onto a pregnancy… will I be able to bond with my unborn child?  Am I doomed to suffer from post-partum depression?

When I was active on the Craigslist forums, there was a woman who, like me, had suffered through 6 or 7 miscarriages before she finally went on to have a baby boy.  She disappeared for a while, but a few months later I was able to get into contact with her, and found out that she’d been through some serious post-partum issues but was doing better.  Am I doomed to this as well?

I don’t know… only time will tell.  All I know, now, is that I need to take baby steps.  First and foremost, I need to get myself under control and I need to drop weight.  I’ve opted for the non-medicated PCOSer’s path, so I need to get my insulin levels under control, and the only way I can do that is to drop some weight and get a handle on my eating.

Baby steps, right?


The Matriarch Is Gone

Published April 5, 2011 by Hemlock

Around 8:30 this morning I got a call from my Nana that my Great Grandmother had passed away yesterday.  I believe she was 85 or 86 years old.  Her health had been failing (Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Heart Disease and various other things) for nearly 10 years.

I will admit that even though she raised me, we weren’t very close.  Yes, I loved her, but our personalities just clashed too much for any long term contact… even over the phone.  We had a bit of a love-hate relationship.  When I talked to her last week, I knew it would be the last time and was patiently awaiting the call.

I won’t lie and say that she was a wonderful person, because she wasn’t.  She was  selfish, judgmental, and manipulative.  However, she was a strong woman, who I had a lot of respect for and she really was the person that shaped me into who I am today (for better or for worse, but you’d have to ask my husband on that one!).  Hell, she was probably the only one that was hard ass enough, at first, to raise me.  I’d probably be doing drugs right now if my mother had raised me (love her, though!).  Instead, I’m an incredibly stubborn, head-strong, smart-ass, strong, resilient woman.

I’m not upset at all, and honestly, it was time that she passed.  She didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, and she never wanted to have to rely on other people and it was getting to that point on all accounts.  As her bitterness progressed across the years, she became less and less pleasant and life with her became more and more drama filled.  I was very angry with her for many years for what she put my Nana through (taking care of three ailing and dieing parents) and it did put a serious strain on our relationship for a very long time.  Even to this day, we never told Grandma when we were coming into town.  We’d go see Nana and that was it.

You know what, though?  No one is perfect… especially someone in my family.

Mom and I still have no idea what exactly happened, but apparently she was found dead in her recliner chair yesterday after a friend had tried repeatedly to call her and wasn’t getting a response.  Nana went down to go check on her, and that’s when she found her.  *shrugs*  We don’t know if her heart finally gave out, or if she… had some help from a little too much insulin.  However it happened, it appears that it was quick and she deserved that much.  She was lonely, and she feared death greatly.

There will be no funeral, as she didn’t want one.  She’ll be cremated, and her ashes will be spread.  There’s not much to do with her apartment as she started giving away everything about 2-3 years ago.  I worry about Nana, as there’s a lot of guilt there, but she’s in Robot Mode right now.  Mom and I may, or may not go down to Santa Cruz to help out however we can, but Nana has said she doesn’t need help.  Whether that’s the case, or not, we’re not sure but we should know soon.

My only regret is that I didn’t give her any Great-Great Grandbabies.  If anything, I feel even more pressure now.  My Grandpa Bill is not much younger than her (and really doesn’t take care of himself, and is a recent cancer survivor), and though he’s not related by blood, he’s the driving male-force in my life… closest thing I’ve ever had to a Father.  I’m not upset in the least about my grandmother (more a sense of relief with her than anything else… does that make me a bad person?), but when my Grandpa Bill passes… That one’s going to be hard.  Really, really hard and at first I thought Nana was calling me to tell me that Grandpa had passed away.  I want so desperately to give him grandbabies, but with every passing month, and every miscarriage the outlook gets worse.  I want my children to know their Grandfather, but I know it’s not going to happen.

Either way, I’m glad that she’s gone and she doesn’t have to worry anymore.

I wish I wasn’t the oldest

Published January 27, 2011 by Hemlock

I have a bad case of Sister Envy.

For those that don’t know, I have two younger sisters ages 17 and 13. I was raised by my grandparents, with only a bit of contact with my mother until I was 7. At that point, I lived with my mother off and on for the next 9 years. Most of that time was spent with my Grandmother, though. During this time frame, I was abused by my first step-dad, gained a sister, celebrated a divorce, acquired another step-dad, and then finally gained another sister.

When my middle sister was born, I was home schooled and my mother was working a lot so for the next couple of years I found myself babysitting a lot. Too much responsibility for a child my age. When my youngest sister was born, again I was called up on to babysit a lot. By this point, I was suffering from a severe case of Anorexia Nervosa. This wasn’t due to a body image issue; I’ve never had a problem with my self image and I’ve always been a very confidant person. My disease was a diagnosis based upon the original Anorexia Nervosa, not the ‘new and improved’ version you see on T.V. dealing with poor body image. My anorexia was induced due to stress. When I stress I get nauseous so I don’t eat. This in turn causes me to stress about not eating which causes more nausea; it becomes a vicious circle. Eventually I began to stress about the fact that was dropping weight which made the situation worse and I wasn’t physically able to eat. In the end, on a visit to my grandmother, I was forced to remain in Santa Cruz and I was given an option: Either seek treatment on my own, or be put into a hospital. I chose to avoid the hospital and began seeking therapy with a woman who specialized in Traditional Anorexia Nervosa as well as weekly visits to an acupuncturist. In the end, my recovery took roughly a year before I was able to sit down and really eat a meal. I went from about 120 pounds, down to 93 pounds, and then by the time I was eating regularly I was up to 115 pounds. It’s something that I still struggle with.

Now, how does the sister envy fit into all of this? My middle sister got the benefits of being the oldest without the downside of getting the short end of the stick. My grandparents were pretty old fashioned and I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or color my hair until I was in my late teens. By that time, I didn’t have much interest in it. When I lived with my mother, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or really express myself in any way.

Fast forward to my sister: by 12 to 13 years old she was dying her hair pink, blue, black (natural blonde), was wearing makeup, wasn’t forced to babysit and all of this was Mother Approved. In addition to that, she’s had hardly any responsibility with my Mother paying for everything. It’s very clear to both myself and my youngest sister that we aren’t even in the running of Favorite. My youngest sister is a lot like me in many ways, but Mom is still much more open about what is and isn’t allowed with her.

In the end, what’s been done has been done, but I’m envious that my sisters have been able to experience vacations, have had their cars given to them, that they’ve never had to worry about money, or having clothes full of holes on the first day of school. They’ve been able to experience life in a way that I haven’t. Part of me really wishes that I’d been an only child. Age-wise, and method of raising, I’ve been an only child (I’m 10 and 14 years older than my sisters), but I have the misfortune of looking back and seeing things from the outside in. Whereas, my sisters have only experienced life the way it is. I’m jealous… plain and simple.

In the end, I really hope that I don’t ruin my first born the way I’ve been ruined. I want my kids to be able to experience their childhood.

Food Makes The World Go ‘Round

Published January 10, 2011 by Hemlock

Diner food is some of the most amazing food ever. In my family we made a habit out of road trips and scenic routes. It wasn’t unheard of in my home to drive two or three hours for pie, or chicken fried steak. Heck, supposedly, my Nana went out for milk one day and was gone for a few months. She remembered to bring milk home with her when she came back, though!

Anyways, Diner/Dive food has always held a special place in my heart. We spent a lot of time on the road between archery tournaments, figure skating competitions, and visits to my mom. My Nana, Gramma, and Grandpa Bill could tell you how to get anywhere in the United States without a map and the best part is they can tell you the best place to get good, hearty food and an excellent cup of coffee. They can usually tell you the best place to get gas on those roads where you’d least expect to find a gas station.

Xannatos and I discovered this old casino in Downtown Reno the other day. It was featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins at some point, but I only watched the episode recently. This place is open 24 hours a day, and best as I can tell serves all of their meals, including dinner at any point of the day as well.

We’ve been to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn twice now. The first time, it wasn’t anything super special, but I’ll admit that the coffee took me back to my childhood (yes, I drank coffee as a child). There’s just something, well, different, about diner coffee. I can’t explain it, but anyone who’s spent any time at all in a diner knows what I’m talking about. Also, the Zucchini Sticks were the most flavorful I’ve ever had, and their milk shakes are to die for.

When we went back today, we hit the jackpot. Xannatos got the Fried Chicken, and I got their Lemonade Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes; we also ordered an appetizer of Asparagus Sticks. Unfortunately, I had to order Decaf as I’m in my two week wait, but you know what? I didn’t miss my normal coffee; their Decaf is excellent! Hubby gave the Fried Chicken a thumbs up, though he states that he still prefers mine (and he’s not just kissing ass, either. I’ve been told by many people that my fried chicken is amazing… which is funny because I can’t stand fried chicken and don’t eat it when I make it… *shrug*). My Pork Chops were great, but the star of the meal was the Mashed Potatoes. They used Red Potatoes versus Russets, and between the artery clogging flavor of butter and the smoothness of those Reds, we discovered that there was absolutely no need for gravy. Yes people, I ate my potatoes without gravy… and I enjoyed every bite! The Asparagus Fries were amazing, even Xannatos was nomm-nomming those things down like there was no tomorrow. Those will now be ordered whenever we go there.

I’m hoping that our search has ended for some good old fashioned diner food. I really am. There’s something about good food that brings people together. Usually we each have a book, or have our phones out and are busy surfing the internet, but tonight we simply enjoyed our food and each other. It was a nice change of pace from the usual. It’s nice to know that even after nearly ten years we’re still capable of having conversations… I don’t know why that was so important to me tonight. I guess between all of the life and money hardships we’ve been through it’s just nice to be reminded. I still love my best friend, and he still loves me. 😀