Wednesday, May 31, 2006

FUNK - E - Chicken

Bubba was right...but not TOTALLY right. He told me that he was afraid that I would falter in my faith...which I kind of have. It is more like being distracted...which is VERY easy for me to do. What rocks about this is that I haven't faltered for as long as I usually do. (Consequently, I LOVE proving him wrong...and HATE telling him he is right...well, sort of...he is a VERY wise man.)

The rollercoaster valleys and peaks aren't as dramatic as they once were, but they are still there...and I know that they always will be. If I could identify them coming, I could brace myself. One thing that I do know is that when I skip church two weeks in a row, I, without fail, head into a valley. I love the weekly encouragement that church gives. I also know that reading my Bible, doing some sort of study, and reading christian blogs assists me with not being distracted. Here is where my "little brain" is often allowed to take control...and hinder me from these daily types of devotions. If I begin to read my Bible study, or the Bible, or my blog friends, and it deems that I will not be able to concentrate, then the tasks become too difficult. When this happens, I give up...notice the fact that I have NOT done any of my LBY study, or cleaned my bathroom yet. I have a hard time grasping monumentous tasks...on a couple of occasions...and I give up. I hope to try again...with the study...and the bathroom.

My BIG struggle today is the fact that I OFFICIALLY start my new job tomorrow. I have been in training, but tomorrow, I will be making my first round of calls. I am terrified. I know how to do this, I know my products, but I am afraid. What if they don't like me? What if I don't make a good impression? What if they ask me about my "hiding" from the industry for the last year? What if they can't see past the fact that my former employer taught me all of the wrong things, and that I have learned from it. What if I go into these places and puke all of this on them?

I am going to try to pray A LOT today, and every day in regard to this. I also have therapy tonight...I could use some tools/advice on how to overcome all of this.

So there you have it...my FUNK - E - Chicken dance for today....could someone PLEASE change the music?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Still Sweepy

YYYYAAAAWWWWNNNNN......SSSSSTTTTRRRRREEEEEETTTTTTCCCCCHHHH!
Ahhh...much better.

I feel like I have been "asleep" for the last few days. I made it home safe and sound LATE Friday night, and I have done NOTHING for the last three days....absolutely nothing. It was so nice.

I had a great trip...it was a nice combination of Little Me, and Adult Me. I don't have any big monumentous things to share...I am just glad to be home.

On another note, I am REALLY trying to make myself read. I tried on the plane...no luck. I tried in the hotel...no luck. I decided to try to read before I went to sleep last night...I actually made it through a chapter. I was so excited! The book that I am reading is "Searching for God Knows What"...one thing I noticed...this guy writes in a similar pattern to the way that I write. I still had trouble reading, BUT...I at least made it through a chapter...um, but don't ask me to recall what I read...

Hey...look, I figured out how to post pictures...cool! Yep...I was in Seattle...it was pretty groovy!



Ok, I think I need some coffee...I am still not awake.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Persnickity Rules

I. MISSED.MY.FLIGHT! I MISSED MY FLIGHT! (Insert choice words here)
My flight was to depart at 6:30 this morning...early, but since I am a morning person, not that big of a deal. Well, I arrived and was parked EXACTLY on time to check in, get through security and make it to the gate with about 2 minutes to spare...BUT...the airline that I am flying, evidently, has a MINIMUM 2 HOUR PRIOR check-in. 2 hours???? What is that all about? The airport where I live is NOT big...only 12 gates....and NO entertainment available to occupy one for 2 WHOLE HOURS. I am beginning to think that they get kickbacks from the merchants in the terminal. Well, when I arrived, perfectly coiffed for my afternoon business meeting, and RIGHT on time by my precise calculations....I missed the ticket agents by 30 seconds...they had just left. AHHHHHHH! I did learn some important airline info though. The FAA shuts down the airlines ability to issue bording passes 30 mins prior to flying...they couldn't do it if they wanted to. Also, I learned that to fly standby on the next flight...Oh, I hope it isn't fully booked....I have to be checked in 3 hours before departure...3 HOURS!!! What on earth am I going to do for three hours? Don't they know that I have anxiety issues? After three hours of sitting in the airport, I might be climbing the walls...literally. (Oh, and I am not a fan of flying to begin with...medication is usually in order to fly at all.) So...three hours of anticipation, waiting, not knowing if I am actually going to get on the flight at all...well...I have a VERY fun day ahead of me.

To top this all off, I was going to meet Daring Young Mom for dessert and coffee tonight...now, I won't even be able to do that. Me so sad.

Ok, I guess I will quit whining...had I researched, I could have printed my boarding pass off the internet, or I could have gotten there earlier....my bad.

Sigh...I hope that you all have FABULOUS Wednesdays...I know that mine will be too...eventually.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Baby Steps Part Deux

Well, I leave again tomorrow...I am VERY excited about my new job, but am getting a bit worn out by the MASS of information that I am getting, and the traveling....sigh. I will be possibly meeting a blogging friend this week, so that is keeping me going. She is VERY busy right now, but the possibility of meeting her, and knowing that there is someone I "know" close by brings me great comfort.

Ok, down to business.

Therapist last night dicussed my previous post...YES...I print these out for her. We talked about the "little girl", how old she was at this point, how scared she was on my last trip, how I am FINALLY able to see the difference between her and me...the seperation will aid me in holding her hand while she grows up. At this rate when I am 60, she will be in her late 30's...

Another very valuable conversation that we had was in reference to, as she calls it, "my little brain". Now, I know that she does not say this because she thinks I am small minded, but because my brain very closely resembles a housefly...it darts around from place to place at incredible speed, and with great effort. Bear with me...this will all have a point...

She gave me an example of her husband...who is also an anxious person...they were digging holes in their yard to plant some trees. Therapist...in her logical way...used a shovel...common sense. Well, her hubby decided that it would be faster to use a post hole digger...also not a terribly bad idea. They both dug away. He encountered some "user errors", and had to rig the digger to work effectively, then he came upon a rock, so the post hole digger placed aside, he had to address the rock issue....and so on...he became VERY focused on the issue at hand...the ever changing issue....this is anxiety at it's finest...not really like ADD, but similar. In the time he was focused on his ONE hole, she had completed several...because she didn't allow the same speed bumps that he encountered to let her lose focus on the bigger picture.

To bring this all back together...anxious minds MUST learn to deal with things in baby steps...something I have tackled before in a previous blog. It seems as though the BIG picture is too overwhealming...so we procrastinate....until it becomes so MONUMENTOUS that we eventually give up....I have NO IDEA how I made it through college! To explain this furthur, she used the example of cleaning the bathroom. (I recall cleaning mine sometime in the last year...I am not a "dirty" person, so it is not THAT gross) When the situation presents itself as needing to be done, it becomes this HUGE task...an ALL DAY CHORE...it's just one bathroom...but it feels like I would be cleaning the bathrooms at Grand Central Station...with a child's toothbrush. So, baby steps are in order to complete the task. Small goals...Monday, clean the mirror. Tuesday, the counter....you get the idea. Organization is VERY closely related to this...

Big House, Small Fly....

So there you have it...baby steps and flies for the anxious mind.

The bathroom....will wait until next week. ;-)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Movie Quotes

Ok, so it is early. I am in a GREAT mood today. There is a song that is running through my head...as there usually is when I wake. Today....living for today...I am gonna let my little light shine like there's no tomorrow...

Being in such a good mood this morning, I thought I would let the world know that some of my humor is, well, borrowed. From movies. These are a few of my favs...and I can usually insert them into conversations...sometimes, I am the only one laughing, but who cares, right?

Oh, and they are NOT verbatim...my memory isn't THAT good.

Hey, let's play a game - see if you can figure out which movies these are from...sorry no prizes, just a little fun.

If you have any poo, now is a good time to throw it.

Negative ghostrider, the pattern is full.

You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.

You follow ole Rafiki, he know de way.

Stop looking at at me, sssccchhhhwwwaaaannn.

Buehler, Buehler.

Get busy livin, or get busy dyin.

It's not show friends, it's show business.

Toe Pick.

Eat the food, Tina!

I'm a hound dog! Hhhhhoooowwwwllll

You. Had. Sex. With. My. Promdate. You had sex with my prom date!

Housekeeping. You want me fluff pillow?

What day is it? October? It's nudie magazine day!

I got her number, how bout them apples?

My name is Enigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

Luke, I am your father. You are not my father!

We are NOT brothers.

And...drumroll, please....from the best chic flick that involves guns, gamblin, AND Val Kilmer.....
"I'm your Huckleberry."

Wow, I watch WAY too many movies...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oh So Very Glad To Be Home

I made it home, safe and sound. Consequently, I leave again for more training on Wednesday. Mid June I will be home, well only will be traveling in my own state.

My life, it seems, is one lesson after another about myself. I learned A LOT in my four days of travel. It has taken me two days to process it all.

The recap: Therapist encouraged me to "open my eyes and take it all in". So, I did that. The trip to Dallas was GREAT. I had some fab time with God. Didn't get lost even once. (I can get lost in a bathtub...really, so this was quite an accomplishment for me. I flew into DC...the Ronald Reagan airport. (HIGHLY recommended to fly in there just as the sun sets...it was BEAUTIFUL!!!) I noticed that the "little girl" was VERY present. I even saw her when I looked in the mirror. It was almost like I had two personalities...hmmmm...maybe I should be in a mental institution...just kidding. She was there, with her eyes WIDE open. She was scared, but excited. When I got to Canada, I made it through Customs...whew...they didn't find the 95 kilos of coke I was carrying...again, kidding. Since I have never traveled alone, there was an overwhealming sense of being lost...and wanting someone to help me. I went to the area where the Taxis and shuttles are, in hopes that there would just magically be a shuttle there to pick ME up. HA! It was very late...and I think I was the only person that spoke english. (I wasn't sure I hadn't gotten on a plane to the Orient by mistake...there were so MANY cute little Non- North Americans! (Hope that doesn't offend...it IS well intended) Well, I spoke with the older Taxi guru...I KNOW that somewhere in me, I hoped that he would recognize my fear and just help me...WRONG! I eventually just grabbed a cab...which I was totally RIPPED off...oh well. Got to my room...and slept...I was EXHAUSTED!

Wed, relax...I knew that I was in the hands of my new boss at this point. Limo...yes, I said LIMO...picked me up and took me to the factory. Adult M was back, and there to learn, and earn the confidence of the people that I will be working with. It was great.

I didn't see the little girl again for the remainder of the trip. I recall having conversations inside my head in regards to the fact that I COULDN'T let her out again. I needed to make sure that these people knew that I am an adult, and a professional...I think this affected my drive home in a negative way. I didn't enjoy it they way that I normally would. Maybe that was just the exhaustion.

Notes from the trip...well, from the plane when the little girl was WAY present...
I have a very weird feeling that everyone is looking at me, and thinking I am an idiot. Ignorance is bliss, so I am still smiling. It is strange to KNOW that you appear like Pollyanna. I wonder why they are staring. Ok, slow down...this is just your inner child having self-esteem issues. The question is will I EVER get a grown up look on my face? Man, I can almost HEAR the little girl, and the anxiety monster. Name it, it is not that hard. Pray, and keep your eyes open, observe the world, you are not alone. Research the airline pretzels, they are good. - Oops, you probably can disregard that last part.

I have a LONG journey ahead...insert Sara Groves song....this journey is my own.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Epic

I have A LOT to write today - sorry for the epic blog. I understand if you can't make it to the end.

Therapy was GREAT last night. We discussed the happenings of the weekend with mom,and how it affected me, good and bad. Therapist keeps telling me to "name it", "own it", and "accept it for what it is". I couldn't have explained this a year ago. In my anxious mind, a comment is made, I roll it around, twist it, throw some mud on it, and react to it very quickly. Seriously, this takes about one nanosecond to occur. What I have been focused on doing with other situations, and other people is slowing my mind to actually see the truth for what it is. To head off the spiral before it starts. I have not been able to do this when it comes to my mother.

On a similar, but side note, my brother told me what he wants for me this weekend. Not from, but FOR. He is truly amzing. His desire is for me to slow down, to live in the gray. I guess I tend to worry the people that love me because I live so fast, it seems out of control. Life is very fast, and VERY black and white for me. How does this relate to the above statement? I have been able to slow down areas of my life, but they are not evident to others. The one BIG area that I have not been able to slow myself is with my family. Mostly mom, but also with others.

So, to bring this full circle, I FINALLY am able (at least I understand it) to recognize the tools needed to deal with my mother and the rest of my family. I can't let the anxiety monster flip the story into a hurt motivated kind. I must learn to understand that no one is perfect, everyone can lie, their motivations are not always to hurt me. I will accept things at face value. If they hurt me, I can process it by admitting that it is MY hurt. That it is MY mind that is twisting words to hurt. If I "own" my thoughts for what they truly are, then I can dismiss them as just thoughts...not truths. If I know and recognize what my mind is capeable of, I can head it off at the pass, and choose a different path. I chose the path that leads to Him.

I have told you before that I would blog about the following words and what they mean to me. I have difficulty deciphering the difference between them. In understanding, and SAYING out loud, I seem to understand the words, their meanings, and their roles in my life.

Approval - In my own words approval relates very closely to validation. The issue that I have struggled with in regards to approval is seeking it from worldly people. I was able to look my mother and brother in the eye this weekend and tell them that I don't need thieir approval. I need His. This was HUGE for me.
Accountability - I equate accountability to discipline. Not what most would think about disclipline either, but more like being discliplined/punished for doing something wrong. Although this is somwhat true, it is also somewhat false. Accountability is owning your actions as wrong, accepting them, and making different choices the next go around. We can be accountable to one another, but ultimately, we are accountable to God.
Acceptance - Easily misconstrued to share the meaning of approval in my mind. Acceptance is seeing truth, understanding it at face value. I told my mom and brother this weekend that what I want from them is acceptance for who I am. For all of my good and bad points. God loves us the way that we are, why can't others? I need to accept the people that love me for who they are at face value, and let God worry about changing them...I can't do it. Consequently, I am able to let God change me, to work in my life. I need to remind myself that He is doing the same in theirs.
Advice - We all know the saying about advice/opinions. I tend to look to others for advice in an effort to gain their approval and acceptance. The "little girl" is the one who seeks these things from worldly people. In doing so, she asks their advice and seems to say "Na Nanny Boo Boo...I will do what I want". This causes frustration for the people around me.

Knowing and understanding all of this is something I feel that I have wrestled with for most of my life. No more. I seek His approval - I don't need anyone else's. I am accountable to Him - not them. I am (or am at least trying to) accept the world at face value - not the value that my mind can give them - He accepts me for who I am, I must do the same with others to be more like Him. I will continue to seek advice in an effort to make educated decisions, but ultimately, I will do as He wants me to - if that matches the advice I am given, then the ones who gave it are also working to be like Him.

I am leaving today, on a journey. (I am actually driving 5 hours, hopping on a plane to go to Canada for training for my new job) I will return late Friday. I look forward to the driving parts....I LOVE to drive. The in between the driving parts is a little scary, but I am excited about it. I will be alone, in a strange city, to eat alone. The "little girl" is the one who is scared. Knowing that is half the battle.

God be with you...I KNOW he will be with me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Chapter 4 - Rounds 1 & 2

Ding Ding....back to your corners. No, it wasn't a boxing match, or even a brawl, it was more like two thirds of a no contact sport.

Round 1 - (Hey, that even looks like a boxing match sign!) Saturday night. Bubba and his family bear the hard decisions, in my opinion, of dealing with my mother. They have children. So Saturday night was a loving conversation about my mother's physical well being, and her ability or inability to take care of these precious children for part of summer vacation. We had a loving, open conversation about her physical problems. (what I haven't shared with you is that my mother was born in 1948...she's not old) She has seven degenerating discs in her back...and is in A LOT of pain. We talked very openly about what the doctors are doing, and what the plan is for the next few months. We also talked about all of the possibilities of her physical state with or without surgery. No specific decisions about anything were made, but we were able to communicate about it, and that we are here for her, and that we love her.

Round 2 - Sunday, after a morning of attending my church....something that meant so much for me to have them both with me. We got bubba all packed up and were ready to go visit grandmother before he headed out of town, when a whistle somewhere blew. Mom sat on the sofa and said "I have one question. Will I be able (allowed) to keep the kids this summer?" (Insert dramatic music here) We sat, and Bubba told her that he didn't think that she could physically care for them. As a parent, and a son, this must have been a VERY difficult statement to make. Mom began crying, and retreated to her room, expecting us to vacate the premises to leave her to her self pity. Bubba went and got her, and asked her to come talked to us...then...the truth began to come out. We talked about feelings and how you cannot change the way that someone feels, and that we understood that she was hurt, but that there were other options, this wasn't the end of the world, and that it was selfish of her to act this way. (Ok, so I am sugar coating a bit). We then discussed her mental well being, and how there are MANY inconsistencies that we have noticed, and that she will not be able to manipulate those kids, or us anymore. We talked to her about her short temper and the fact that she used to be a much nicer person, but that when she lashes out (in her words...as a result of her physical pain) that she doesn't apologize to the people that she hurts. She admits that she knows that she lashes out...she had no explanation for not apologizing. (In my mind...there is a HUGE admission of guilt in all of this.) The conversation went on...for three hours. We discussed LOTS of situations, and remedies to how we all could do better at being a family. We all discussed what we needed from each other in order to feel like a family, and to be a part of each other's lives. It was a good conversation.

Given the lengthy past of being hurt, it is going to be a very difficult road for all of us. We all have to forgive each other. (Forgive - a word that I do not believe that my mother truly understands...she seems to misconstrue it and turn it into "give"...what else can she "give"...) It is truly God's work that my brother and I have such a good relationship...hard at times, but ultimately, we truly love each other. We want the same thing for and from our mother. An HONEST, LOVING relationship.

My view on the whole thing...I feel like I have some HUGE unresolved issues. This is where faith and therapy will play a BIG role for me. I have to work on my own ability to forgive my mom for hurting me. We didn't talk all that much about my mommadrama (word adptation taken from another blogger...thanks). After a few comments made during the conversation, it was clear that my hurt has developed into anger, and I am not able to control my tongue at times. The comments, and hurt that we did talk about were completely denied on my mom's part...which hurt more, which made me more angry, which made me want to say hurtful things to her, which would make me no better than she. THANK GOD that bubba was able to recognize this and cut me off before I spiraled. So, therapist and I will be working on this, so that I too may have some peace with my mother. Skepticism about her reactions is going to be a VERY hard thing to overcome.

So there you have it. I honestly feel like there is a round three to come. I am trusting God to prepare my heart for it. I pray for the ability to overcome my own pain, and FORGIVE her.

God,
I can't do this on my own. I can't do this with my brother's help. I can't do this. I know that you know the desires of my heart and that you have blessed me time and time again. This one...it's all yours...
I love you.
Me

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dreams and Whispers

I had a dream last night that I remember parts of very vividly. I am not exactly sure where we were or what was happening, but this is the compressed version.

Standing in a line somewhere with my mother, brother and grandmother, there was some discussion as to what we were supposed to do next. Were we supposed to get our drinks, or take the elevator? (Don't you just love dreams?) If we were supposed to get our drinks, were they paid for, and exactly where was the elevator? Bubba, being from out of town, did not know the immediate answer. Grandmother, still one of the smartest women I know, was as lost as a child in the grocery store. Mom, well...no explanation. I told them all several times that the drinks were paid for and that I would show them to the elevator since I was familiar with the facility. This was completely ignored, so I re-stated it. After being ignored a third time, I dropped to my knees and SCREAMED in the middle of some very public place (a Southern woman would NEVER do this) "DOES ANYBODY HEAR HER?" I sobbed. When I looked up, they were gone, and I was alone, still screaming and sobbing.

I would love to tell you that I give no weight to dreams. Usually I don't, but this one was a little too intense to ignore. What does it mean? Why don't we understand dreams? Are dreams/nightmares the work of God or Satan?

To relate all of this to recent situations, while traveling last week with my mother and grandmother, I stepped into my "cruise director" role of traveling. Neither of them have flown for several years, and the airports have changed...a lot since their last "voyage". I became their "parent". This is a role that I have struggled with many times with my mother. I have been an emotional parent for many years.

I tell you all of this because the "Chronicals of Momia" will reach the climax of the story tonight. We are confronting her with her anger, lies, and deception. She has hurt so many people without apology for so long. There are now several people under 4'9" that she can affect/manipulate/hurt. If we don't protect them, I am afraid that they will face the same issues that I have. The excuses that she has given for her behavior do not gel with the timeframe of how long she has acted this way. It is time to open the wardrobe and face the ficticious world that she is living in. She can't hurt us anymore. We won't let her get to us.

Us and we...those are me, my brother, and "the little girl" inside of me. I am suiting up today, climbing in a protective bubble with the little girl. I pray for His words to be my voice. I pray for His patience, His grace, His mercy, His love.

Sarah Groves is running through my mind this morning..."Right now, I don't hear so well....I think you're whispering." I am taking comfort that a whisper is all that I need to hear Him. I KNOW that He hears me.

Dear God,
Please give us your strength, your caring hands, your loving voice.
Love,
Melissa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Well, I am not sure if you have noticed my absence, or if you really care, but Mental Vaca is OVER! I am diving head first back into the swimming pool of waves that are my daily thoughts...and bailing them out of my mind as fast as I can. See, this blog lets me clear my head, I tend to forget that at times.

I have been traveling a lot, and will continue to do so for the next month for training. Some of it has been great...just me, God, and the open road. Some of it, not so great....since when did I really learn to love my alone time? Lots of family time, some good, some...again, not so good.

This weekend...well, it's Mother's Day. I have several "mothers" in my life. The problem....my biological mother is up to her same old tricks. This weekend, even for the purpose of being thankful that we have mothers, will undoubtedly be a difficult one in my family. The Chronicals of Momia will continue next week. I have Therapist "on call", plenty of meds to ease the frustration, and a very heavy heart. I HAVE to remember that this is what is best, and that God is in control. You see, we will be conftonting my mother with her pain and depression this weekend. I have referred to it as an intervention, but that is not a good word. We are worried about her, about her mental health, her physical health, about the fact that we really don't want her to grow to be a VERY bitter old woman. How do you express this to someone who has given up so much for you? How do you, LOVINGLY, tell your mother that she is on the verge of losing her family because of her actions? How do you prepare for such an undertaking? PRAY, breath, PRAY some more.

Said "intervention" will be happening sometime after Friday evening. The bodyguards are armed and ready with their own heavy hearts, but it is time. I know this. If you have any advice, or verses that might serve me and my family well over the next few days, I would REALLY appreciate it if you might share those with me...

Preview for next post.....the difference between approval, advice, and accountability.

I have missed you.