Thanksgiving Day

Thank you to all of you for reading my blog.

I started my blog – three years ago today! – to unburden my thoughts and emotions here rather than constantly unburdening them to my very sweet, kind, patient brother.

I never expected to have the followers that I have nor find the friends that I have found here along the way.

And I never expected to receive the comments, encouragements, and shared experiences that I have.  They have been especially beautiful to me.

Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, please know that you are on my “thankful for” list!!!

My brother and his family will arrive sometime this morning to share in our annual feast.  One of my sisters and her family arrived yesterday and will stay until tomorrow.  She and my younger daughter helped with preparations yesterday and will continue to do so today.

I’ve already got the turkey in the oven after brining it all  night; it’s going to be yummy!!!

There will be eight cousins here today.  They love playing together!  Well, my daughter doesn’t play with them, since she is a little older, but she loves her aunts and uncles and cousins.  And the “in-laws” blend in so much that they aren’t “in-laws” at all, but only family. It all makes for a very wonderful time for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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this is beautiful…

(The poem below was posted on the blog of Dr Bill Wooten.  Click here for original post.)

Self- Observation Without Judgment

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it’s just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy – seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

~ Danna Faulds From “One Soul”

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well that was just generous

He gave me an extra $40 for Thanksgiving.

Now, maybe my sisters and my sister-in-law could do Thanksgiving for 14 people for $40, but extreme frugality is not one of my strengths.

I guess I’ll be paying for Thanksgiving.

But that’s fair, right, since it is my family coming over for Thanksgiving?

And since his parents live essentially next door, he can just pop over there and see them and all of his siblings and not have to take anything for dinner over there.

Works for him.

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anxious about counseling

I made an appointment to see the counselor that the man from Toastmasters recommended.  The counselor’s name is Fred.

Fred emailed documents consisting of the usual stuff: forms for name, address, SS#, insurance info,  directions to the office, etc.

There was also a “disclosure” document telling his background, his approach, confidentiality, fees, etc.

So, when I read about his approach, which I’ve copied below, suddenly I felt very afraid, or rather, as I’ve been told, very anxious.

Is it possible to fail counseling?  What if I am not “good enough?”  What if I can’t make the changes I need to make?

I know I can always look for someone else to work with, but sometimes I wonder if I am afraid to actually make the changes I need to make.

Or maybe it will work out well to work with Fred since in the past I have been, and to a degree still am, a very solutions focused person.

Counseling Services Offered/Theoretical Approaches

People can make better decisions if they have enough information to understand how something works. Here are some aspects of counseling and therapy as I see and practice it. 

Counseling includes your active involvement as well as efforts to change your thoughts, feeling and behaviors. You will have to work both in and out of the counseling sessions. There is no instant, painless, or passive cures, no “magic pills.” Instead there will be homework assignments, exercise, writing, journals and perhaps-other projects. Most likely, you will have to work on relationships and make long-term efforts. Sometimes change will be easy and swift, but more often it will be slow and deliberate; effort may need to be repeated.

I take an educative approach to people’s problems and encourage you to learn more about the kind of therapy I perform. My approach is derived from a “Solution Focused Model” developed by William Hudson-O’Hanlon, “A Brief Therapy Model” as outlined by Michelle Wiener-Davis, William Hudson-O’Hanlon, and Brian Cade. These are researched and effective therapies. You are encouraged to become knowledgeable about goals, methods, and effectiveness. I am also flexible in my approach integrating the use of other modalities to meet the client’s needs.

I am also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This is an intervention that utilizes rapid eye movement to desensitize traumatic or disturbing memories. These memories may be the basis of current anxiety or depressive disorders.

If we are to work together we will need to specify the goals, foci and methods, risk and benefits of treatments, the approximate commitment involved, cost and other aspects of your particular situation. Before going further, I expect us to agree on a plan to which we will both adhere. Periodically, we will evaluate our progress and, if necessary, redesign our treatment plan, goals and methods.

As with any powerful intervention, there are both benefits and risk associated with counseling and therapy. Risk might include experiencing uncomfortable levels of feeling like sadness, guilt, anxiety, and anger, or frustration, or having difficulties with other people. Some changes may lead to what seems to be worsening circumstances or even losses (for example, counseling will not necessarily keep a marriage intact).

Clients I have worked with are psychologically and mentally “healthy” and seek counseling for difficulties due to normal life events. I do not take on clients whom, in my professional opinion; I cannot help using the techniques that I have available. I will enter our relationship with optimism and eagerness to work with you. I have a special interest helping adults with depression, anxiety and stress related issues.

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last night / tonight

Okay, so last night I couldn’t get him to leave the house and go visit his parents so my daughter could call her sister.  (See post.)

Tonight he decides he needs to go help his parents and spends an hour and a half at their house.

Whatever.

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utilikit

Last night my husband put on his brand new utilikilt.

Of course, I knew nothing of the purchase until he showed up wearing it.  He said he bought it off of Amazon.

(You can click this link if you want to see what I am talking about.  He got the khaki one.)

I have nothing against utilikilts.   I think they’re kinda cool, actually.  Being of Scottish ancestry, I love traditional kilts and utilikilts are just another way to use that “look.”

However, when I saw him wearing the utilikilt, I felt so much fury that I can’t even describe it.

Maybe him wearing something that I liked bothered me.  Maybe I’m that petty.

And maybe it’s the money.

As I wrote previously, my daughter has been accepted to the state university in the city near us.  She does have a Pell grant that will cover part of the cost.  And she has the option of student loans.

I am trying to decide how I am going to pay for her college.  I would really rather not have any loans.  I have the money in the bank to cover the cost of the coming semester, but I don’t know if it would be better to hang on to the money towards leaving and do the student loans or to pay her tuition and not have the loans.   So I’m trying to figure that one out.

And then there’s Thanksgiving.  If you’ve read my blog that long, you may remember that about this time last year, he cancelled my credit card on me while I was out of town visiting my sister.  (See post and post and post.)

So for groceries, he gives me cash.  And if he decides he is not going to give me extra cash for Thanksgiving, then I will buy whatever else I need for Thanksgiving out of my savings.  I was thinking about that yesterday as I started buying stuff for Thanksgiving.

And then I came home and he was wearing a brand new utilitkilt.

You know, I understand the desire for something new and something cool.  (I’m sure, too, absolutely sure, that he bought the utilitkilt to show off at Thanksgiving.)   I recently bought some fabric to make a new skirt.  And I bought my Johnnies to plant.  I do understand the shopping thing.

But it also hurts to feel unsupported by your husband who you would somehow (stupidly?) expect to support you.

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craziness

I can’t function tonight.

I don’t know how to describe it.

I haven’t gotten enough sleep this week.  I’ve been too emotional this week and cried way too much.  I feel like I haven’t handled things well this week.  Maybe on the outside I look like I am okay, but I am screaming, dying on the inside.

I feel like I am just listening to the minutes ticking away waiting for it to all be over.  Waiting for my life to end so I can just be done with everything.

The therapist that I talked to yesterday encouraged me to try to live more in the moment, to focus on the moment.  I told her that I had already started trying to do that.  She said to find what I enjoy in each moment.

Ha!

That’s part of the problem.  I don’t enjoy anything.  Isn’t that sad?  But that is part of depression.

I wish I could somehow just shut down.  Not think.  Not be.

I still have to be here for my daughters, but I feel like I am walking dead.  It’s especially bad tonight.  Maybe tomorrow after I get some sleep I will feel a little better.  I think I might sleep in the living room tonight.  I want to sleep in my bed, but I don’t know if I can stand being near him tonight.

I wish it was all over.  I feel like I am in slow motion in a nightmare that will never end.

I sure do hope this new therapist can help me.

I don’t know how I can keep going and going and going like this.

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out in the cold

My younger daughter lives at home and my other daughter lives in another state.

They used to call and talk to each other every Friday night, but they haven’t done that for awhile.  They decided they wanted to talk to each other tonight.

My younger daughter won’t talk on the phone with her sister while my husband is in the house, so she will go sit out in her car to call.

Well, tonight it’s cold.

She asked me if he was leaving.   I didn’t think he was.

I went and told him that the younger one wanted to call, but wouldn’t with him in the house.  I asked him if he would go visit his parents after dinner so my daughter could stay in the house and not have to go out in the cold.

He said, I work my butt off in the freezing cold all week; all I want to do is eat diner and go to bed.

Then he said he would put in ear plugs so she could call.  I told him that she still wouldn’t stay in the house and call.

Then he said that she could go sit out in the van with the engine running.  I told him that I had thought that it was unhealthy to sit in a running vehicle for long periods of time.

He said nothing more.

We ate dinner.

After she finished eating (in her room), she put on her coat and went outside to call her sister.  He just sat at the table and ate his dinner.

I went in the bedroom and cried and cried and cried.  I felt like I was an accessory to the crime, that I was as bad as he was because I don’t know what to do.

Finally I went back into the dining room, crying, and begged him to please go visit his parents so she could come in the house.

He said, I don’t understand this.

I left the room again.

He just finished brushing his teeth and now he is sitting at his desk, probably reading church literature.

It’s 33 degrees right now.

I don’t even know what to say.

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Johnnies

A couple of weeks ago in Toastmasters, during Table Topics, I got the question, how do you feel about the coming of winter?

In case you don’t know, Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to improving speaking and leadership skills.  And Table Topics is a session during the meeting where the Table Topics Master will ask a question, and the member called upon is then to answer the question “off the cuff.”  It helps in being a better impromptu speaker.

So, I talked about how I felt about winter.  I am from a warmer place than where I live now, so winter here is kind of hard for me.  I don’t like the cold and I especially don’t like it that the plants die or go dormant.

I went on to say, though, that I had found a way to combat winter.  I plant Violas.  Violas are small cousins to pansies and the original Violas were called Johnnie Jump Ups.  Even though the Violas I plant are hybrids of the Johnnie Jump Ups, I still call them Johnnies.  I talked about how Johnnies make me smile and help me to bear winter.  They are so cheerful and keep blooming even in the cold.

After I gave my little talk (Table Topics answers are only 1 to 2 minutes), I got an email from one of the men in my Club.  He often talks about health and how much thoughts and emotions can effect health.

Here is the beginning of what he wrote to me (the rest of the email was about some health related stuff):

[My name] – Exciting, Beautiful, Delightful, Refreshing, Joyful, Happy, and Always Smiling,

Please see yourself as other people see.  You are all of the above things.  In order to love Good and Others, you have to love yourself first.  You are the Johnny Jump up, Viola, to everyone’s day.

I cried.

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another therapist

I talked with another therapist person this morning.

My company has an Employee Assistance Program that offers counseling and referrals for further help as needed.  I can have three free counseling sessions with a person from the EAP company.   I found out, too, that they have a crisis number that I can call 24/7 to talk to someone anytime I need to.

So I talked with a therapist with the EAP company this morning.

I told her about my childhood trauma and about other “abandonments” in my life.  I told her some about my marriage, but the session was more about me and my overall life rather than just the marriage specifically.  Which was fine.

She was very kind and very compassionate.  She listened very well and she seemed to comprehend everything that I was telling her.  And she did not suggest counseling for my “marriage.”

She did tell me that I had depression – no surprise there – and anxiety.

I spoke of it in terms of fear, but she said it was anxiety, and not fear.

She said that she thought that therapy with the right person would help me a lot so I don’t have to keep struggling with these things.  She also suggested medication, but she was understanding of the fact that I don’t want to use medication if I can at all avoid it.

In Toastmasters yesterday, after I had already made this morning’s appointment, one of my friends there gave me the name of a therapist who helped him tremendously.

I had told the therapist this morning that I was  looking for someone to help me with the childhood trauma of abandonment and how it has affected me, so she was going to help me find someone to work with.  But I also told her about the therapist that was recommended to me.  And she knew that therapist!  So she was able to tell me that she thought that he would be a good counselor for me to work with.

She did say that if for some reason it did not work out with this counselor, that I could come back to her and we could talk again and she could help me find someone else.

She was so kind and so understanding and so encouraging.  It was really comforting.

Even though initially I was a little apprehensive about going to talk to her, I am so very, very glad that I did.

And I think I am going to send her a card telling her thank you.

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