30 October 2014

PTSD

Disclaimer: I'm warning you now, this is going to be a rambling and painful post.

If you know me in real life, perhaps you don't want to read this, and if you choose to continue, you may want to pretend that you didn't the next time you see me.

----------------------------------------------------

I've had a rough week.

And thankfully (?) it isn't IF related.

Having Halloween at the end of a school week isn't helping either. My normally good class has been INSANE because of all of the build up to candy-fest. I cannot wait until I put all of the decorations away in my classroom.

Cannot wait.

For those of you that aren't Canadian, our country has had a rough week too.

Two soldiers were killed senselessly on our soil and it brought so much sadness. The younger of the two soldiers, who was a reservist, was laid to rest earlier this week. I will never forget the sad face of his little boy. I can't think of their families without crying. If you have a prayer to spare, please pray for their families.

And seemingly, more trivially, my beloved public broadcaster, has been mired in some controversy.

I don't want to get into details about what has transpired, all of you have G.oogle and social media, but the question of violence towards women has come up (I know this is an over-simplification, but it's late, I'm not a journalist and I'm spent).

I was wondering why I was getting more and more upset, more than usual, about this situation.

Then it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks.

I have PTSD.

All of this business has brought up horrible memories that I have tried to block out for the past twelve years.

I have mentioned my history on this blog -- if you're one of the lucky (?) people to have read me for a long time, you may recall the post from WAY back in 2011.

I try to forget that there was a life before Mr. JB. That there were no previous relationships before him.

But there were.

And this particular one was bad.

I know that I was not at fault. I know that I didn't deserve to be physically abused. I know that I have come out the other side better for it.

I remember thinking, "If I stay he's going to kill me."

But I stayed, I can't remember how much longer I did, but I didn't leave that same day that I had that thought.

But I am so sad and so angry that this is a part of my history, that this is part of the pain that I have buried deep within my heart.

I, like so many of the women that are involved in this particular situation, did not speak up. Did not report it. Did not tell anyone.

I'm educated. I come from a good, albeit crazy, family.

I knew better.

And here it stays, my secret.

Don't worry, I've told Mr. JB in vague detail, but I don't feel like he needs to carry my pain.

So, for the past week since the sordid details have come out about this particular Canadian celebrity, my shame has returned.

My anger and frustration that I have tried to deal with on my own has bubbled up to the surface. I feel like I've been on the brink of tears at all hours of the day.

(It also doesn't help that my thyroid meds are messed up. Stupid thyroid.)

I wish I was brave enough to post something on my FB wall about not blaming the victims. Or even to admit that I have suffered abuse at the hand of a so-called loved one, but I can't.

I'm staying silent to the public.

And it feels like the pain is growing.

I know I need professional help. I've done IF counselling and therapy before.

I know that this is a wake-up call to get my head checked again.

I am just so angry right now.

I wish that I didn't have this as a part of my story.

I wish that I didn't relate to these poor women.

I wish that I didn't carry these invisible scars on my soul.

I thought that IF was hard enough to deal with. At least with IF, I have a husband and a circle of friends that supports me through it.

I'm not really sure where I go from here, but I'm thinking this blog post is a start.

St. Jude, pray for me.




21 October 2014

I'm still here

I apologize (yet again) for disappearing.

But life.

And work.

And ignoring my IF has gotten in the way.

I guess after slogging in the trenches for nine plus years, I can successfully forget.

Or at least distract.

Successfully.

It's pretty easy when work keeps me busy and when I get home I'm spent.

No more juice for blogging.

And not enough sadness to want to get it off of my chest.

But don't worry, I'm still praying for all of you.  If you're a member of St. Gerard IF group on FB, I'm there much more often, call it easy access.

I'm wondering about my place in the bloggosphere. There really isn't anything interesting about waiting for an adoption match.

I've waited for nine years for my body to work.

And I continue to wait.

Same old, same old. Only this time there meds are less plentiful.

Thank God.

I'll try not to let months pass before I post here again. Please pray that we have something interesting to blog about soon.

St. Jude, pray for us!

16 August 2014

On SUVs and Minivans

Before we left for our awesome Florida trip, I sold my 2004, dependable sedan for $5000.

Yup, you read that right. 

I have been toying with getting a new car for a while, and our mechanic knew that we were open to selling and another client who was looking, so we took the plunge.

I was having such a hard time because I couldn't justify a bigger vehicle for our family of two.

But we did it. 

We are pg on paper, right? 

Our family of two is a temporary arrangement. 

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around that. 

I even said to Mr JB while we were at the dealership that I was planning to give him my car when it's time to move to a minivan. 

I said that even before I could think. I haven't let myself dream of minivans for a LONG TIME. 

After nine years of IF I can honestly answer when someone asks if we have kids, "Not yet."

Btw, we have a meeting with our new social worker Monday morning if you could spare a prayer. 

I can already imagine all of the kid paraphernalia in the trunk and the car seats in the back.

Who am I? 

Not so much infertile, but an adoptive mom waiting for her kids. 

p.s. This is what we got:
p.p.s. Go over and congratulate my dear friend, Amy. God has finally answered her prayers! 

7 August 2014

Healing by the ocean

We've been in sunny and hot (and at times rainy) Florida for almost two glorious weeks. 

It was these two weeks that got me through the hardest days in my classroom.

This is what I imagined when I was feeling sad about my empty uterus.

It was this beach that I channeled when I got anxious about our adoption -- and will continue to channel as we wait. 

Btw, we were paired with a new social worker who we need to call when we for home. She's on vacation too right now. 

I wish I could say that IF didn't come on this trip. 

She did. 

And I've also had a bunch of pg dreams. 

How's that for some strange subconscious craziness? 

This vacation has been full of rest and prayer. 

Two things I've needed so much. 

I'd like to dream that next summer our vacation will be so different, but I know better than to make plans. 

I've made God laugh enough. 


3 July 2014

Losing My First Baby

Before any of you panic, we didn't miraculously conceive. 

We had to put down my beloved kitty cat today. 

My first baby. 

My first real pet (fish, hamsters and birds didn't really count since they weren't exactly interactive).

When I lived out west while I was in university I heard meowing in the hallway. I opened the door and in walked a tiny kitten. 

She refused to leave. 

I sat on my couch and she sat beside me and put her head in my lap. 

She chose me. 

Although she lived with my parents because Mr JB is deathly allergic, she was always my cat, although my dad loved her as much as I did. 

It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but we couldn't watch her suffer any longer. 

The vet and her team were so kind and patient. They let me stay with her and I was able to hold her while they gave her the medication. I prayed the Hail Mary and said a prayer to St Francis of Assisi while she passed. 

Afterwards Mr JB and I stopped at the church around the corner, coincidently St Francis of Assisi to say a prayer in the garden in front of his statue. 

My heart feel so broken, but I am so grateful that we were able to have sixteen and a half years together. 

Rest in peace, my beloved Fussy Cat. 


16 June 2014

Practical Advice

After the initial disappointment of not getting the house Friday night, we went on to have a lovely weekend. 

Btw, the house sold for $12 000 over asking.

Yes, you read that right.

$12 000 over. 

And we offered the asking price. 

It definitely wasn't meant to be since offering what the seller wanted was too much (the needed about $50K worth of upgrading). 

So, I visited my dad after work today because he didn't attend the family gathering that we went to -- my mom went, but my dad said that he had home repairs to do which was mostly true. I'm just grateful that one of my parents was there! 

I told my parents about the house and they were both shocked that we didn't get the house and that the buyers offered so much. I showed them a similar listing on a busy street and with a pool and my mom said,

"You don't want to live on a busy street with small kids."

She said it so easily and matter-of-factly that it didn't sink in until my way home. 

I guess we're not the only ones excited about adoption!

Btw, Mr JB dreamt we adopted a chubby blonde haired boy. When he woke up Saturday morning he was so happy! I have no idea if that's a good sign, but it can't be bad. Also, at brunch with his dad on Sunday he joked that he deserved the Fathers' Day special because I was pg on paper! 




11 June 2014

Adding Excitement to the Chaos *Updated *Final update

The school is winding down, and I'm running out of steam.

I just finished my report cards (although I still have a little bit of curriculum to teach, shhh!!!) that are due on Friday.

We also got Mr. JB's car back from the mechanic after almost a month -- it took a long time to find a replacement clutch and then the labour was at least two days.

And $2200 later.

Ouch.

Definitely no counter top for me anytime soon.

So tonight when I got home I asked Mr. JB if I could drive the car around. I am not 100% confident about driving a manual transmission, but if he's in the car with me I'm okay.

We drove around our neighbourhood and I turned down a street where a house has recently gone up for sale.

And guess what? Mr. JB wants to see it!

We put in an offer on a house that we didn't get before my surgeries in Omaha in 2011. Since then we haven't been able to afford a down payment on another property since all of our savings were spent on hospital bills.

The house needs some renovations, but would be livable as is. It's on a quiet street and walking distance to our parish.

And the best part about it: Our future kids could walk to the parish school!

Although our townhouse isn't geographically far from our parish, our kids would go to a different, but newer school that requires busing (I believe it has to do with having to walk across busy commuter train tracks).

Since we moved to our neighbourhood I have dreamt about my kids walking to school. When I drive to work I fantasize about walking my children to school and then going to daily mass.

Honestly, the location couldn't be better.

Who knows what this visit will bring. I'm trying not to get too excited. The house looks great in the pictures, but for all I know it smells like cigarette smoke and cat pee.

Although I doubt it.

Could you please say a little prayer for the JellyBellies tomorrow?

p.s. I know that it isn't recommended to have a big life change during the adoption process, but I definitely think that purchasing a detached home would be a good thing, right? It's not like we're downsizing to a little condo! I'm trying to acquire a backyard for my kids!

------------------------------
Update: We LOVE the house. We need to secure a $20 000 bank draft to secure the offer. We have a credit line for half, but we have to find the other.  Our real estate agent said that the seller, who goes to our church and is a lay reader at our mass, wants close to the asking price. We're offering just under. 

Our real estate agent will be by in about an hour with the offer for us to sign. I'm trying to stay calm!!!! 

Please say a prayer that this all works out! 

Final update: Our real estate agent told us tonight that there was a second offer that was going to be presented tonight. We discussed it together and decided to up our offer to the seller's asking price and we dropped the home inspection condition.  Unfortunately, the other offer was well above asking so the seller went with them.  I'm sad and relieved at the same time. I felt like we were overpaying at the asking price since the house needed some work.  

IF has taught me patience. I guess that we just have to wait a little longer for our forever home....

1 June 2014

Trying To Count My Blessings

I have been trying to not worry about the adoption wait.

And I haven't been successful. 

I have been waking up in the middle of the night in a panic. I usually fall back asleep, but in the morning the linger of worry is stil there. 

I have tried to be patient for almost nine years. I have lived through surgeries, medications, blood draws, but it's this wait that seems harder. 

Perhaps it's because I'm exhausted as I always am at the end of the school year.

Perhaps it's because I've been nursing a running injury that has kept me from hitting the pavement. 

Perhaps I've already reached my limit of waiting. 

I'm betting on the latter. 

So in an attempt to distract myself I decided to have lunch and mark in my tiny, but beautiful backyard. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Mr JB even agreed to an outdoor fireplace that we put to use last night. 

I am trying to wait with grace, I know that God is leading our family to something wonderful. I just wish it would happen sooner, rather than later. 

24 May 2014

Wallowing in self-pity

My week went from bad to worse. 

Although we are happy with who will be fixing Mr JB's car, it looks like it's going to take a week AND it's going to cost closer to $2000. 

Ouch. 

On the bright side, the mechanic gave us a loaner so we don't have to pay for a rental car. 

I also had an extra difficult week with my class.  The weather has gotten warmer and their behaviour (something I have worked so hard on with them!) has gotten worse AND I was so frustrated because half the class was not grasping the math concepts we are learning. 

On Thursday afternoon one of my students knocked over a paper organizer (one of those three tiered metal things) on my desk and then flat out denied that he has anything to do with it. By that point in the day I was so frustrated that I almost started to cry. The one thing that saved me was one of my little firecrackers got up and said loudly and firmly (with a lot of attitude), "No, I saw you knock it over! Now go clean it up!" By the time the dismissal bell rang, I was able to have a calm talk with the little guy. I asked him why I was upset and he knew that it was because he lied, not because he knocked the thing down. 

Taking ownership over our actions is not a strong suit for my students. 

To top off my long and frustrating week (and it was only a four day week because of Victoria Day on Monday!), I ended up in the ER after school. 

I have been battling a nasty cold all week and my cough had gotten so bad that it was affecting my breathing. I called my GP at lunch, but the office closed at 1. By the end of the school day I knew that the asthma meds I had on hand weren't going to do the trick. Lucky for me, I was seen right away and I was given three breathing treatments back to back. By the second treatment I felt relief.  The doctor (who was wearing a Batman belt and really cool glasses) sent me for a chest X-ray, just to make sure and it came out all clear. 

I'm still feeling crummy and woosy from the medication they gave me last night, but my breathing is so much better. 

And the cherry on top of my craptastic week: Yesterday was CD1. 

Yes, even when one has moved on to being pg on paper, it still sucks big, fat donkey balls. 

We were invited to a wedding today, so I have to buck up and feel better by 2pm. Apparently we're sitting with a colleague of Mr JB's (who has successfully done IVF twice) -- yes friends, she is also a Catholic teacher.  I'm almost thankful that I feel sick so we won't have to stay late and make small talk. I wish I could stay home and watch movies and drink tea with my heating pad on my belly! 

I guess I'm going to have plenty to offer up.....

















20 May 2014

Reality Check

First off, thank you all so much for your kind words and comments on my last post. I am trying to stay calm, but there isn't enough yoga, prayer, or running a girl can do to keep all anxiety at bay -- part of me is almost grateful for my high needs, poorly behaved, crazy class. At least I have some distractions during the school day!

So last week, I got my tax return.

I really need a new countertop.

Let me re-phrase that: I really want a new countertop.

We do have some damage under the faucet from a now-repaired leak, but it'll hold for a while longer.

I got a very good tax return that would pay for the replacement of the ugly laminate that I've been looking at for nine years.

But, now Mr. JB's (relatively) new car needs a new clutch.

Yes, a 2010 vehicle, bought new, needs a major repair that is not covered by warranty.

And guess how much it's going to cost.

Yup, every penny of my tax return.

No, new countertop for me.

I wanted to cry from disappointment.

But as my dad said to me when I told him about the car problems, "It's all a part of life. At least you have a job so you don't have to worry about paying for the work to be done."

Which brings me to yet another prayer request: We have a wonderful woman that does lunchtime supervision at my school.  I taught her middle child in the first and second grade, and I hope to teach her youngest in a couple of years.  She is one of the kindest people I have ever met.  She came to school today in tears because her husband was given a year to live. He has pancreatic cancer and is the main breadwinner for the family.  Their eldest just did his Confirmation and starts high school in the fall and the youngest is only five. I cannot imagine the grief she is going through.  Please storm heaven for them, I will be approaching my principal about doing something for them as a school community, but she needs prayers now.

My lack of new countertop seems really unimportant now.