Putting Humpty Dumpty together again

Hi.  Thought I'd pop in for a little update.  I was disappointed last week because I couldn't make it to my first day of therapy since everyone in the house was so sick.  We did manage to go on vacation, but honestly I was SO tired from being sick all week that I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.  I think the girls did though. 

None of us are thrilled about being back and in the daily grind again, but at least I finally got to go to my first therapy session today.  Initial opinion?  "Complex post traumatic stress disorder with multiple losses and traumas."  Nothing I didn't already suspect & haven't joked about for years, but it has a slightly different ring to it when it comes out of someone mouth that has any kind of authority.  A lot of things make more sense now.  Like the way I act or react to certain things.  I've been reading a lot about it today & so much of it applies.  "Hypervigilance" is definitely one of the things that caught my eye.  I've been told that I shouldn't sit expecting something bad to happen because then it's guaranteed to happen & I would argue that I'm not expecting it to happen, but I've been sucker punched enough times to not be looking for the punches now.  The one site I was reading says that with CPTSD, the person is hypervigilant, not paranoid (BIG difference) & that the person doesn't know if something's going to hurt them, they are merely constantly scanning the horizon just in case there is danger.  So true, so true.

Anyways, hopefully the label and the acknowledgement is the first step towards getting it all fixed, pretty & shiny again.  We'll see.
xoxo veronica


Emma quote of the day

Looking around the crowded streets near the beach in San Diego,
Emma's face was visibly wrinkled up
as if she'd smelled something bad

When I said something regarding this is where a lot of the tourists go,
she looked at me with a shocked, horrified look on her face and gasped,
I smiled & said, "yes" with a giggle.

She gave it some thought for a moment
while she continued to look around as if she was smelling something bad, then she said,
"Yeah, well we're the 'normal' kind; 
NOT the creepy kind.  Right?"
Right. lol
xoxo veronica


Blessed, blessed, blessed.

As I sit here in the quiet, I have been taking a little bit of time to reflect.  We leave in the morning for a little vacation.  I gave the kids their choice of anywhere they could go (within reason) and then they picked & I made the plans.  Now the bags are all packed and sitting by the door.  The kids are sleeping anxiously in their beds & I am trying to amp myself up to go to sleep, which is usually no easy feat.  The kids are feeling better (thank God!) and I am still pretty queasy, but know I will be okay and even taking into account the nausea I'm feeling, one thing has overwhelmed me.  MY GOD I AM GRATEFUL!

Seriously, even through the rough time I've had lately, I am so blessed and so fortunate!  It's easy to forget when you're going through the thick of it, but man-oh-man I am so grateful for the life that I have today.
  • I'm grateful for the good paying, steady job that I have been blessed with.
  • My health.
  • My kids are freaking AWESOME.
  • I'm grateful for knowing that even during a rough patch, I still have faithful friends who love & are looking out for my kids who aren't near me right now.
  • My friends, my friends, my friends!!!  My life would not be what it is and I would not be where I am as a person without all of you amazing women!  
  • Family
  • A safe place to live
  • A dependable car
  • Modern conveniences
  • Passion.... to write, create, express, love.
  • Time away to recharge.
  • Hope.
  • For the knowledge that even on my bad days, God is still good.



Wow, sums me up pretty good.


Friday five (or there abouts)

  1. Getting ready to take the kids on vacation in a few days and guess what?  Everyone is SICK!  lol  At least hopefully we're getting it all out of our systems now & that means we'll be healthy & have a great time later in the week.
  2. Courtney & I finally had an actual conversation.  I miss her.  Still feel betrayed, but am more hurt than angry.  Still, how can I so easily forgive other people that I love & not my own child?  Of course I forgive her.  It still is what it is.  I feel like I'm being robbed of all the things that were supposed to be my reward as the parent that actually stuck around and did the work.  I raised her.  I struggled to make sure she went to school & stayed in school.  I disciplined her, went to conferences & taught her her ABC's.  Now?  She moves into her dad's house a month or two before graduation in a huff & now I have to pick between going to her graduation and going to her graduation party because they're a week apart & I can't stay that long.  Daddy gets all the glory for his baby graduating when you know what he did to help raise her?  S.H.I.T.  I received papers from the child support agency the other day letting me know her support was terminated because she was now 18.  He only owes me $31,000 and some change in back support.  *sigh*  I know he would say, "but I have both the kids now."  Yeah, they're there NOW.  It's not like you raised anyone.  Getting one of them at 15 and the other after she was 18 is not RAISING children.  you're maintaining one of them and not doing crap with the other.  Whatever.  I fully own that I'm a little bitter right now.
  3. Which brings me to my starting therapy tomorrow.  I've always had trouble with this before for a couple of reasons.  First of all, unless I'm really into something, I don't stick with it.  I start out all gung-ho, but it doesn't take long before I'm totally over it.  I have activity A.D.D. that way.  Second of all, there is absolutely nothing that anyone can say to me about my issues or crimes that I don't already intellectually know.  It's getting it to sink down into the inner man that's the problem, and how is someone else going to help that happen?  I don't know, but I guess we'll find out.  I had originally decided that because I know that I won't stick with any sort of weekly (for years on end?) arrangements, I thought it would be better to find some sort of a rehab facility for in-depth counseling.  Not with the real crazies (no offense) & not with the druggies, just with people dealing with their shit who don't have time to spread it out over years, but like to get in and get out.  Well, I got an education because I learned that unless it's for substance abuse or sometimes an eating disorder, insurance does not cover any inpatient treatment. Because of this, it would be $60,000 up front.  WTF???  Yep.  So.... I get to start f***ing weekly f***ing sessions.  F***.
  4. Have A LOT of travel going on this summer.  Have no idea how I'm going to afford all of it.  Doesn't look like any easy going, kid-free summer for me.  I'm probably going to have to pick up extra shifts to pay for all of the airfare.  At least it's for good reasons.  All celebrations!  That will be a nice change.
  5. Gearing up for another HOT summer.  It went from cold to HOT.  It's like we had the furnace on one day and the a.c. the next.  It's tending to be in the mid 90's during the day lately.  It's nice in the evenings though.  As soon as the sun starts to go down, so does the temperature and that's nice because during the summer we don't get that luxury.  I remember last summer being shocked that in the middle of the night it was still 100 degrees and too hot to sit outside.  Not looking forward to that, but at least it's a dry heat (inside joke). ;)



Redeeming moment....

Tonight I was blessed with one of those rare & fleeting moments for a nurse...one of the redeeming moments that are a gift of grace reminding us why we are what we are and why we do what we do.

Actually, I didn't even get to experience it firsthand, but that's the thing about God... his blessings are so powerful that you can be blessed just by hearing someone else talk about their blessing.  As this nurse was telling me about tonight's redeeming moment, she had goosebumps on her arms and tears in her eyes and as she spoke she made my spirit smile.  That got the conversation rolling about the different stories we each have & I eventually made my way to this story... the time my patient cried as he touched my hair.

These are the moments that make up lifetimes.  These are the moments that move you back from paycheck-nursing into nursing.  These are the humbling God-moments where you are entertaining angels unawares and they speak to a holy place inside of you that stirs your spirit and shakes your jug.  And when your jug (that vessel that contains all of your life's stories, dreams, praises, good deeds,etc.) is shaken, that's when the aroma of your life flows out of the jug & is pleasing to the Lord. 

I heard a sermon on that when I was probably just a teenager and it has never left  me.  Sometimes God misses you & just wants to smell you, like a mother lovingly inhales the smell of her baby's head.  Other times, the juice in your jug starts to settle and stagnate; all the pulp falling to the bottom of the jug and that's when God shakes your jug on purpose... to chase out the staleness & stir things up again, bringing you back to life.  Either way, it's not always pleasant, but it's always good for us in the end.  I thought I would repost one of the stories of a time God shook my jug.


"You Remind Me Of A Girl....."

You never know what you're going to find when you walk into a patients room. Sometimes they're nice, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're butt naked, sometimes there's a ton of people in there...and sometimes they move you. One of my favorite things about nursing is that I get to share in the lives of so many people... I become part of their story. Part of their "dash"... you know, the dash between the years of their birth and death. In every cemetery there are countless stories in those dashes.

Sometimes God takes opportunities to remind me of all of this in order to pull me back to myself... or back to him rather. Last night he did just that. I can get so stressed and caught up in my own stuff that I lose perspective.

I was running really behind last night. 7-11 p.m. is the busiest time of my shift and I had nine patients. I had one more person to assess and was trying to just get it over with so I could get onto other things I had to do. I purposely saved him for last because he was going to have surgery to have a pacemaker put in today and I knew I would have the most work to do with him. As I entered his room I was all about business. Get 'er done! lol So I walk in and introduce myself and as I'm checking things off of my to-do list I notice that he is white as his sheet and he's just staring at me with his mouth open. Finally I take my stethoscope out of my ears and ask him if he's okay. He stammers for a second and then he says, "It's just that you remind me of a girl....." At first honestly I was thinking "that's nice pumpkin but I've got work to do, I don't have time for this." But then I noticed there were tears in his eyes and he was still staring at me. So I decided to take a moment and talk to him. I looked at him and smiled and said

oh yeah? How so?

And as I smiled he gasped and said....Oh my God! Your smile!

are you okay?

Yes, it's just that......your smile, your beautiful teeth and your beautiful dark hair....and your eyes....and your fair skin.....

Wow...if you're looking to win me over it's working sweetie! You get extra snacks tonight. (and I winked at him)

No, really....I can't believe how much you look like her. Would you be offended if I touched your hair?

No... I suppose not. (as he reaches up and touches my hair his lips start to quiver)

It's uncanny. (and he takes my hand and kisses it) I'm sorry, it's just that....I loved her and I never saw her again. It was World War II and I was in Germany. Oh how I loved her...she should've been my wife. I knew instantly that she was the one but i fought it. I was a young man in the military after all. I had plans.

So you were trouble then? lol

Yeah, you could say that...but I didn't think so at the time. The sad part is that just as I decided to stop playing games I was injured. My men were under fire and I protected them all by getting them out of the way and I had to stand in icy water and fire on the enemy to save them. No one got hurt but me....I got frostbite so bad I still have constant wounds from it (as he showed me his bandaged legs). They shipped me home wounded and I never saw her again. She never had any idea that I had decided to ask her to marry me. I left her with her heart broken and was never able to find her again..... and you look just like her.

Wow. He brought a tear to my eyes.....and a renewed softness to my heart. I was reminded of what I was really there for. Nursing has become so much about the tasks and the paperwork because of lawsuits and bureaucracy. But really nursing is about the soul and heart of the person. Doctoring is about the science, nursing is about the spirit.

My cup was filled. He was a gift to me. A simple little conversation that changed me... brought my spirit back to where it should be. We were now part of each others stories. I smiled softly at him and then kissed his hand.

As I look back on my short 33 years of life I already see so many faces and so many stories. Like the ocean waves my love has fallen differently on every shore... but it has all been love none-the-less. Thank you all for being part of my dash.


Riding the quake

Okay, so I'm here.  I didn't think I would be, at least on some stubborn, prideful level.  I was going to close up shop forever, bring the walls up high so that no one will know what's going on in my life or in my mind.  That's not true...it's mostly one person in particular that I wanted to keep out.  I had that comment box on the side of my blog & one day, I found this...

"So I guess all that stuff about you being a 'Christian' is pretty much 'bullshit' huh?"

I'm going from memory because I deleted it, but that's pretty close to what it was.  And I'm pretty sure I know who it was.  And it not only pierced me, but it pissed me off.  Not one person out there is without a faulty history.  Every person has lied, stolen, cheated, etc in some way or another.  Some sins seem more blatant or "bad", but really they aren't.  Not in God's eyes.  So, who do you think you are saying that to me?  Yes, I'm a Christian, but I am also (unfortunately) capable of saying FUCK YOU.  How dare you say something like that to another human being...especially if you claim to be a Christian yourself!  So, to the person who had the nerve to write that... GO FUCK YOURSELF.  Just because you've obviously lived a charmed life where you've never really had to endure much of anything, doesn't mean you get to puke your holier-than-thou judgment all over me.  Once again, FUCK YOU.  My advice?  Stay away from my blog if you don't want to know what's going on in my life...let me rephrase...if you can't handle what happens in my life.  

 So what brought me back here when I thought it was closed up for good?  I had a bit of a lightbulb moment yesterday when I was talking with a friend.  I was talking about the earthquake last week & saying how I didn't get freaked out because it was mild, but if I were in a strong one I most definitely would freak out.  I was questioned about this and I replied, "because it speaks to a higher level in me...what do you do when your whole world is shifting and shaking and you can do nothing to control it?  That sums up so much of my whole life!"  My friend said, "But listen to what you just said... "you can do nothing to control it."  You have to just let things happen."  I kept debating that this was exactly what could sum up my whole life & that I've always HAD to just go along with things.

Then my friend said, "But I don't think you do." 

"What do you mean?"

"I don't think you ever ride the quake, I think you try to control it."

*lightbulb moment*

As simple as it sounds, it was a huge epiphany for me.  Here I was always thinking that I was a go with the flow kind of person who (even when it was tough) rode whatever wave that came my way.  The truth is, I may have managed to survive the horrible travesties that have come my way, BUT... I did so mainly while scratching and clawing, riding that thing like a raging bull; trying with all my might to bend it and control it into my will.  At the first whiff of something being wrong, I wanted to f.i.x. it.  My friend was right, I never ever ever sat back and just released control to the universe for my fate.  The true story of my life  (and what I can give you literal examples of over and over and over) is that if I'm going to go down, dammit I'm going to go down fighting. 

It's going to be hard for me to change that because that's genuinely one of the things that I am proudest of.  I love that I am a fighter.  I love that during those ten long years that I was trapped in an abusive marriage with the evil one, that even in the midst of a nasty beating, I never knew how to cower from him.  I was so outraged that he would have the NERVE to treat me with such wrongness, that rather than cower, I became indignant and went down fighting.  Some say that was stupid; now I agree it probably was.  But it still makes me who I am...I will passionately fight for what is mine.  But when is enough enough?  Even fighters come out of their fight stances when the fight is over.  

Maybe it's time for me to fight when the fighting's necessary, but to simply ride the quake from time to time. 

My plans for zen in '10 hadn't been going so good, so as usual when I'm spinning my wheels and am not exactly where God intends for me to be, he'll give me a little help.  He gets me on track and he calms me down in order to refocus.  I have never been silenced like this before though.  He rendered me utterly mute where it came to writing and nearly forced stillness upon me.  I've felt those threats of stillness before, but as usual I fought it.  But this time, I willingly welcomed the stillness.  I was bereft and saddened and completely disenchanted with the english language.  I pulled inside of myself & couldn't bring myself to write a word...and that was okay with me. 

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't giving up, it was more that I had been sobered.  I had an experience recently that in one fell swoop stripped away every notion that I had taken stock in for the past few years.  Everything I believed was not only being taken away from me, but now I was learning the truth....the stripped-down truth and I was left with nothing but silence.  I had been sobered.

So for now, the plan is to enjoy my life.  Give my little beauties some great life experiences.  Try to remain in some of that stillness that I have found.  Learn that I don't have to have the answers and the itinerary right away, sometimes I can just sit back and wait.  Relax.  Work on regaining some of my fruit.  Stretch some life into this aging body.  Meditate some peace into this road-weary soul.  Eat healthier.  Find a therapist of some sort to begin working out the 35 years worth of issues that I have to sort through.  Most importantly, learn to ride some quakes.

I've missed you guys.  Thanks for sticking around.

xoxo, v.



'When words become unclear,

I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate,

I shall be content with silence.”

                                                                    ~Ansel Adams

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