I found this old post from a few years ago when visiting the cuckoo's nest and wanted to share. Not sure why I didn't publish it before....
Recently, I've been in the cuckoo's nest (outpatient psychiatric hospitalization) and yesterday one of the therapists said something that really stuck with me. He said that when people knock on our house door we have the choice to let them in or not. If it's the pizza guy, we let him in and get our pizza. If it's a nice friend, we let them in. If it's someone with a gun or who looks dangerous, we don't let them in.
In the same way, think about this...would you leave your windows and doors open in the middle of the night with all of your lights on in the hot, humid summertime? Probably not because if you did bugs would be flying in, it would be hot and uncomfortable. For this reason we shut our doors, we shut our windows, we filter our houses from these things.
We also filter e-mail and phone calls. Sometimes you may not pick up the phone or read every e-mail you receive.
So, with all of that being said and thinking about how we filter and protect our house door from strangers, why can't we do the same thing with the emotions that come into our mind?
Our brain will process thoughts that lead to emotion. That is what it's supposed to do. Sometimes the emotion is a good one and it's like a nice friend visiting and when it happens open the door wide and let it in. If it's a negative thought that produces a negative emotion, then we should shut that door and not let it in our brains to ruminate and visit for too long.
Yes, emotions (good and bad) will visit and it's our choice to welcome them or not.
I hope I'm articulating what I learned. I'm new at this healing process myself and just wanted to share this with you.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I found this old post from a few years ago when visiting the cuckoo's nest and wanted to share. Not sure why I didn't publish it before....
Posted by Chunks of Reality at 7:49 PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Today at work I was outside having a cigarette and it was absolutely freezing. Needless to say, I wasn't out there for very long. I need to quit smoking soon and have decided to quit by 2012. I quit for two years and started back the day my daughter moved out. I am almost ready to quit again.
While outside there were two men huddled together talking sports trying to amass body warmth between the two in the best way they could. One of the men I see from time to time I always look twice at because he reminds me of my biological father. While they chatted about games they watched the night before I wondered to myself what my biological father talks about during his breaks at work. It got me very curious, which is normal when I think of him.
I haven't seen him for two years. The last time I saw him was at a gathering that I did not expect to see him at. He completely ignored me and acted like I didn't exist. This is normal behavior from him yet it hurt a lot. What is ironic is that he talked to my husband. He had never met him before and was curious about him, I guess, and I found them in the kitchen chatting. I almost lost my mind. I could not believe he talked to him but not me, his only daughter. My husband is Arabic and he was telling him how he had learned some Arabic while living in the Middle East years ago. What he did not tell my husband is that the reason why he was living there was because a judge had told him he had to pay child support and instead of paying he ran away overseas. What a long haul to escape child support.
I have never understood him. I remember being a child and having very rare moments when he could be the charmer and make me feel like the only person who existed in the world. He never had much to do with me. In my 20's I called him trying to get to know him as an adult and he actually asked me why I wanted to be his friend. I was dumbfounded to say the least. That was the last real conversation I had with him. In that conversation he also told me that he understood why I wanted to see him because he kept in touch with his parents to see what he would look like as he aged. Once again, I was dumbfounded. I asked to meet him for lunch. He was not interested as usual.
I am his only child. I think that is a huge regret for him. I recently heard from a great aunt he never wanted children and was angry with my Mom when she got pregnant. He was never in my life, really, except for those few rare moments of joy and a lifetime of pain.
I just turned 40 this past October. I do not know why, but I want to reach out to him one more time to see if I can finally get to know him. My husband and Mom tell me not to because it will be disastrous and I will only be hurt again. I am afraid he will die one day and he will take to the grave the reason why he was never in my life. Even at 40 I blame myself. I realize on a logical level that it is irrational to feel this way; yet, I cannot help it. The child within continues to grieve.
Will I feel this way on my deathbed?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I haven't posted IN AGES! I'm happy to say that I haven't been in bed this whole time with the dog of depression biting my ass. Things have been very busy with the Master's program at school, a lot of projects to complete at work and I started volunteering at a juvenile prison. I like to think of it as a teen rehabilitation center versus a prison. They have a mentoring program and I am currently mentoring three juveniles (all boys ages 16 to 17). I go after work for two hours on Wednesdays and then four hours on Saturday afternoons. It has been highly satisfying to work with these boys and greatly enjoyable.
I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend and spend cherished time with your family and friends. We will be going to my parents house Thursday and then I have to work on writing a paper that is due this week (what is the professor thinking??).
So far I've lost 105 pounds and wanted to post before, during and after pics below. The last picture was taken a week or so ago.
I promise to start blogging soon. I am very thankful for each and every one of you and hope that you are all doing well! *hugs*
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I miss my daughter so much. She went to the prom tonight. She is so beautiful. She has no clue how hurt I am and doesn't need to at this point. She cannot fathom the pain. She is so much into her social life and friends, which is quite typical for her age, but she's gone now and there is nothing I can do.
I am out of the looney bin and have been back to work for about three weeks. So far I've lost a total of 72 pounds since last year and work out at the gym almost daily. I've gone from a size 24 in clothes and am now in between a 14 and 16. 16 is a tad large while I can put on 14 but it's a tad tight. Not a bad predicament to be in.
My Hell is the fact that I've experienced empty nest at a rate of zero to 160. It has been a year and 11 days since she moved out. I am doing better yet at times almost fall apart like now. I didn't experience her senior year with her, go shopping for prom dresses with her and won't see her walk across the stage to get her diploma at graduation. She is leaving for England with her dad in a week and won't be attending graduation.
My counselor said I am grieving. It's strange to think that because she's still alive. The other night I saw a picture of her and realized I have a daughter and was shocked. She looked so foreign to me. That is when I discovered how I have been compartmentalizing my feelings in order to just survive. At times I am OK, sometimes I am actually good and other times I fall to pieces and cannot regulate the emotions.
I miss her. I am angry and resentful with her. I feel I miserably failed as a mother. I deeply love her.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I'm back in the hospital on an outpatient basis. I've been there for two weeks and three weeks prior to that was in bed either asleep or when awake planning how I would die. I go Mondays to Fridays from 8:30am to 3:00pm and am finally starting to climb back out of the hole. I meet with a psychiatrist three times a week, have group sessions every day, meet with a nutritionist once a week, have had a lot of blood work done and meet with an individual counselor once to twice a week. Group sessions consist of a lot of classes to teach you skills on how to regulate emotions, be more educated about your diagnosis and how to process your life effectively.
In the past I've been to counselors once a week for an hour at a time. Doing what I'm doing now is like having eight therapy sessions in one day, so it's been some major power counseling. It was either that or end the pain and I decided that this would be my last thing to try and if it didn't work that was it.
I stopped taking meds about three months ago. I am now back on them again and am afraid that I will be on meds for life. My psychiatrist has been trying different combinations to help things out and finally I'm starting to see that the sun does shine sometimes.
I've had to take FMLA (medical leave of absence) from work and yes I'm stressing financially, but hasn't that been the cycle and I'm ready to break it. I was hospitalized five years ago at the same cuckoo's nest and I think I'm getting more out of it this time. I don't know if it's my age (I'll be 40 this year) or the program is better or I'm more receptive to it all or what, but I've been taking A LOT of notes, have received and scribbled on A LOT of handouts and I think when I get out of the hospital I'm going to start blogging again what I learned in the hospital to keep it fresh in my head.
I also want to change my blog a bit and will be thinking about this as well in the near future once I'm out for good.
I'm not sure if I previously stated that I finally graduated in December with my Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. I did maintain the 4.0 GPA though I know it really doesn't matter because it's not like anyone will ever ask that question. It's just something I worked hard for and here is a place that I can talk about it.
I started the MBA program but have had to put it on hiatus at the moment but plan to start again as soon as I am discharged and am back at work.
Thank you all for the support and reading my crap. :) You mean more than you know.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I haven't blogged here in forever. I've just had nothing to say. You get to a point where you have so much bad news you are tired of thinking about it, much less talking or blogging about it. Instead of calling this blog "Chunks of Reality", I should call it "A Whole Lotta Complaining" because that is all I do, it seems.
OK, this is the first attempt to get back into the blogging world. I don't want to complain, so will end my post now. :)
Take care, everyone! I've missed ya.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
This is what I was saying last weekend. ALL WEEKEND LONG.
My husband and I have been working on the house for quite a while. I've been in the process of decluttering ten years of our life while he has been redoing our bar, making trims (to save money) and painting like a fool. Everything was fine until this past weekend when it became crunch time. His brother and family flew in from Paris Sunday at 5:30pm. We finished the house thirty minutes before they stepped off the plane.
Those design shows are full and I do mean FULL of shit. They make it all look so easy. One shot is how they want to design the room, next one they are moving furniture out of a room, next someone is holding a paintbrush and you see one little dash of paint on the wall and then voila! They are laying out candles, the furniture has magically appeared in the room, no one is in a sweat, and everything is PERFECT.
What you don't know is that there are twenty people hiding in the back of the house who break out working like Tasmanian devils when the camera is off.
My husband and I were only two Tasmanian devils and even we weren't fast enough. He actually never slept Saturday night and painted from 7:00am Saturday morning until 5:00pm Sunday evening. There were times that I almost started crying because it was just so overwhelming and I felt we would never get done. It was HELL. In Arabic, they say "Mosaba" meaning it's a catastrophe. All weekend long as I passed my mother-in-law in the house we would look at each and say, "Mon dieu...Mosaba!!".
I love that woman, by the way. She is such a dear angel. She flew from Morocco a few months ago and will be here until November. She helped out as well this past weekend and made the most beautiful curtains, pillows and comforter for the guest room. I need to take pics and post them one day.
Wow...I said "guest room". Most of the time I say it's my daughter's room because it is her room. It is the room she left and moved away from. It is really gorgeous now. I think it's easier to look at because it doesn't look like her room anymore. After she left it was hell even looking in the direction of her bedroom. All of her posters were off the walls when she left with holes all over the drywall. None of her things were there anymore and it looked abandoned. The walls were a mess with holes. I didn't realize it because she was always putting up posters here and there and changing them out and I never knew how many holes she actually put in the walls. My husband was spackling like crazy to fill them all in.
We still say it's her room. It will always be her room. It is just different now. Just like our relationship since she left.
I really need to write about what happened up until and when she left. It is just so difficult to do that.
Karen, I am sorry to hear about your daughter. I read your comments to my other posts and I wanted to say something and felt at a loss for words. I completely understand what you are going through. It's just so damn hard. I will write you soon, though. It has just been difficult to do it.
My brother-in-law and his wife and daughter will be here for another two weeks. Things will then start calming down. The only things left to do to the house after they leave is:
- Paint the facade of my husband's studio which happens to be located at the front of our house. The sun has faded it out so badly it looks like Sanford and Son live here.
- Turn the guest room (the room beside my daughter's room) into a "cave" for me. My husband is going to build bookshelves, we are going to paint and I am going to get my scrapbooking and jewelry-making things out of boxes they have been stored in for FOREVER and have a place all my own. I simply cannot wait for that!!
- Redo the paint in our bathroom. We never had a chance to get to it.
- Paint the shed in the backyard.
It's been nice to declutter. You feel lighter in your mind after going through everything. I still have more to do, but a huge amount has been done already.
I went to court for the bankruptcy hearing. Thank goodness that is over. The judge said that I would have to be "re-evaluated" in October 2011 because by then my husband hopefully will have a job and our financial situation will be different which means we will have to pay more money to the court every month. I hate the thought of having to go back to court then. Bankruptcy court is such a miserable place. People there all look depressed. Some people are having to pay over $3,200 a month for five years for their bankruptcy! I don't know how they afford that. I am having to pay $200 a month for five years. Many people there had already filed for bankruptcy multiple times in their life. I never knew that you could do that. I definitely don't ever want to do that again.
I still haven't gotten word about when I am supposed to go to the federal court for the security clearance I need for my job. I have all of my paperwork together though and am just waiting to know the date.
My house is changing just like my life has been changing. It's a new phase of life now. I am trying to get used to it. I don't know if I can. I haven't given up yet, though. I hope to get through it and be smiling on the other side.