Last week in ethics we were talking about reward and punishment. We were asked to discuss the types of discipline that were used when we were young.
I made the comment that I "never did anything wrong" and my teacher laughed. But really, it was true. I can think of times that I did something wrong, but there weren't too many of them.
In third grade, I got in trouble for talking during a test. I had to have my parents sign a letter from my teacher. I forged their signature. I was so guilt striken I couldn't go through with it. I came out of my room and told my parents.
I don't do things that are wrong. I always get caught. And more than that, I have extreme feelings of guilt. I've always struggled with guilt. So I try to do what is right as often as humanly possible so that I don't feel guilty.
This weekend I felt guilty.
In the Mastery of Love, it talks about guilt and forgiveness.
"At a certain point, you find that you must forgive yourself for all those wounds and all that poison you created for yourself in your own dream. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows. That is the supreme forgiveness--when you finally forgive yourself.
Create an act of power and forgive yourself for everything you have done in your whole life. And if you believe in past lives, forgive everything you believe you did in all of your past lives. The concept of karma is true only because we believe it is true. Because of our beliefs about being good and bad, we feel ashamed about what we believe is bad. We find ourselves guilty, we believe we deserve to be punished, and we punish ourselves. We have the belief that what we create is so dirty that it needs to be cleaned. And just because you believe it, then, "Thy will be done." It is real for you. You create your karma, and you have to pay for it. That is how powerful you are. To break old karma is simple. You just stop that belief by refusing to believe it, and the karma is gone. You don't need to suffer, you don't need to pay anything; it is over. If you can forgive yourself, the karma is gone just like that. From this point on, you can start all over again. Then life becomes easy, because forgivness is the only way to clean the emotional wounds. Forgiveness is the only way to heal them."
G. came over on Saturday and we had a wonderful talk and a wonderful day yesterday. I am so happy about how it all went.
Today is the first televised Cubs game! Only problem is that it is on during my math class. I am really trying to go to math, but damn if they aren't making it hard.
This week is going to suck. I have play stuff Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Saturday. Two practices and three performances. But then it's totally done with. I guess it did make time go by quicker, but I'll be glad to be done with it.
The one day I don't have play practice is Tuesday, and I have home vist #2 followed by Class #4.
Then it's Sunday. School on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and then I'm on spring break. The next week I go to visit my mom. When I get back, March is almost over! And then a few more weeks and I'm done with all my classes and baseball season starts. G. and I have tickets for a game in April so that should be fun too.
This weekend, I felt very low. But I'm trying to stay positive, stay focused, and be happy. Spring is coming and with it, I feel..some very good things.
I've been kind of put through the wringer this weekend in terms of feelings. I won't go into most of it, because it involves other people, but really..I need to keep in my mind the things I want.
While I agree that love is a lot of different things, there are some things that I want that if I didn't have, I wouldn't be happy.
The number one thing is being available. I know myself. I need attention. I need to know that if I call someone because something goes wrong, they will be there for me.
When I was 20, I dated a married man. I knew he was married when we met. He told me a lot of things, about how she didn't understand him. How he never felt connected to anyone like he did to me.
I knew that I wasn't doing anything wrong really..HE was the one who the commitment to her, not me. But in the end, I did do a few things wrong. Despite the fact that he was the one with the commitment, I was contributing. I could of said, "Look..I don't want to be a part of hurting someone else. If you want to be with me, then do so when you can be with me completely"
But the other thing I did wrong was allowing myself to be 2nd. No matter how much time he spent with me, no matter how much he said he loved me, I was still 2nd. He still went home to her. He still shared his last name with her, a child with her. He still had to lie about us. It wasn't like he could walk through the mall holding my hand. I was hidden. I was nobody.
And I'm more than that. I've finally gotten to the point where I see myself as someone who is worthy of all of someone's heart. I am worthy of their attention and love.
Last night, when I went to the movies, G. leaned over and said "You are the most beautiful girl I've ever seen..I'm so proud to be with you tonight."
Your heart is like that magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There's no need to go around the world begging for love: "Please, someone love me. I'm so lonely. I'm not good enough for love; I need someone to love me, to prove I'm worthy of love." We have love right here inside us, but we don't see this love.
Can you see the drama humans create when they believe they don't have love? They are starving for love, and when they taste a little love from someone else, it creates a big need. They become needy and obsessive about that love. Then comes the big drama: "What am I going to do if he leaves me?""How can I live without her?" They cannot live without the provider, the one who provides them with daily everyday doses. And for that little piece of love, because they are starving, they allow other people to control their lives. They let others tell them what to do, what not to do, how to dress, how not to dress, how to behave, how not to behave, what to believe, what not to believe. "I love you if you behave this way. I love you if you let me control your life. I love you only if you are good to me. If not, then forget it."
The problem with humans is that they don't know they have a magical kitchen in the heart. All this suffering begins because long ago we close our hearts and we no longer feel the love that is there. At some point in our life, we became afraid to love, because we believed love isn't fair. Love hurts. We tried to be good enough for someone else, we tried to be accepted by someone else, and we failed. We have already had two or three lovers and a few broken hearts. To love again is to risk too much.
You have to focus on the most wonderful relationship you can have: the relationship with yourself. It is not about being selfish; it is about self-love. These are not the same. You are selfish with yourself because there is no love there. You need to love yourself, and the love will grow more and more. Then, when you enter a relationship, you don't go into it because you need to be loved. It becomes a choice.
You know, sometimes I get brief glimpses of what it must be like to be a mom. Today's glimpse is courtesy of Addison. Now, before you send me some comment about how pets aren't like children..I know. I do. But damn if I don't love that little bird. And damn if she doesn't act just like a child sometimes.
Addison has the most annoying shriek in the world. G. says that is not true, that hers is actually not bad. But to me, it makes me want to jump out a window. I had Addison in here with me for over an hour. And she kept falling asleep. She stood on her one little leg and would close her eyes and start mumbling. Finally I put her in her cage since she was so tired.
Ten minute later and the bird is shrieking at the top of her little birdie lungs because she's in the living room and I'm in the bedroom and SHE...IS...OUTRAGED.
I can only take the shrieking so long, and I won't go get her, because that just encourages her, but finally I went in there to cover her cage.
Now, if you read before, each night I go to cover her and she climbs up the bars and gives me tons of kisses before I cover up the cage.
This time I stomp in there and say "Mommy is covering you up. You can't shriek like that Addy" and I grab the blanket and huff "You're getting covered up!!"
And the little baby climbs up the bars and starts kissing me.
Now, she probably is just confused and thinks its bedtime, because, let's be honest..her brain is the size of an M&M.
But maybe, just maybe, she loves her mom..despite it all :)
I'm kind of an idiot, but turns out that's a good thing!
For weeks now, I've been commenting how I can't wait until April 3rd! April 3rd was the day that I'd be happy again! Baseball!
See, baseball makes me happy. For many reasons...One, I love the Cubs. I love getting to go the games. I love Wrigley. I love Chicago. I love my little Cubs shirts (in blue, gray, and pink).
I love watching games with G. and making brats and drinking Old Style.
I'm a new baseball fan too..but there is something reassuring about it. I know that almost every day I can listen to the games or watch them on TV. It makes time go by quick, and we all know how good that is to me.
Anyway, last night G. and I were checking out cubs.com and he says, "You know that the spring training games start tomorrow." "Of course," I said.
"It might be on tv."
Yeah. Apparently spring training games are all on the radio (MLB radio, you listen through your computer) and some are televised.
So I am happy to report that "Michelle is happy" has moved up one month, and now today, I'm officially happy!!
I'm settling down in my room now to listen to baseball.
It's beautiful outside. The sweetest bird I've ever seen is blowing kisses at me.
And my kids are out there, and we're getting closer and closer.
It's the little things that make my life beautiful.
Today is a sad day to be a Cubs fan (well most days are, but today is even worse).
I am huge fan of Ron Santo. Ron was the Cub's 3rd baseman. He has diabetes and kept it a secret for most of his career. Having diabetes is hard enough, but because of all the traveling a ballplayer has to do, Ron had it real tough.
According to Cubs.com: Santo played 15 years in the big leagues, and all but one was with the Cubs. He has a career .277 average, 342 home runs and 1,331 RBIs, and accumulated those numbers despite having diabetes.
Ron does the radio broadcasts for WGN radio. His son, Jeff, made a documentary about Ron entitled "This Old Cub". Due to complications from diabetes, Ron has had both legs amputated.
Today Ron had another chance to be put in the hall of fame, but the Veteran's committee did not select anyone. He was 8 votes shy.
Ron said "You can have all the talent in the world, it's not gonna get you through. It's what you have in your heart"
Alrighty folks! We're making progress! I came from class tonight feeling upbeat and happy! (Me? Upbeat and happy? Whoa!)
Today was class #3. Today's topic was Meeting Developmental Needs: Attachment. We watched another little movie, this time it was very graphic. It had a lot of bad language, and V. my SW was funny because our class is in a church, and she's like "Um..maybe I should of shut the door!"
The little girl in the video was also sexually abused. We talked a lot about normal development and how abuse/neglect can cause developmental delays. We talked about how to help form attachments.
C., one of our teachers told us a neat thing she does with her children. She lets them pick their consequence. For instance, if a child does something wrong, she says "Go write me a list of 5 possible punishments" And then she lets them pick which one they want. It helps gives the child control.
I also told the class about some of the examples that ouiserboudreaux talked about that she uses with her daughter. Our teachers agreed that you were on the right path! :)
We also talked about how we, as adoptive or foster parents form attachments with our children. We talked about ways that we could increase attachment and things like that.
It was an interesting class.
Cammie came to class tonight, and even though we got off to a rocky start, I think I like her now. She honestly seems like a dedicated SW. I've heard good things about her. She seems proactive and she is coming to our class just to answer questions and all.
In case you're just joining me here, V. is my SW now. She does my homestudy and teaches my classes. Once that is done, I get turned over to Cammie who is the one who does the adoptive placements.
Here are some good things that I learned tonight:
First off, I was worried that I would need a phone (other than my cell phone) but V. said I don't. I also was worried about dressers. V. said that I only need to have drawer space and closet space. So I don't need to buy three dressers.
Cammie also said that she is estimating that fingerprints will take 16 weeks. (As oppossed to 6 months) 16 weeks is four months, and since I got mine done the first week of January, that is good timing. I'm hoping that in May everything is done, including fingerprints.
I'm scheduled for home meeting #2 next Tuesday before my class. So I'll have home meeting #2, and then class #4. Then the next week will be class #5 and I'll schedule home meeting #3 at that class.
Oh! I also have to take an adoption specific class (this one is more geared toward foster parents), but they said tonight that it will probably be right after this class, and that they usually pass out information in the 7th or 8th week.
So all in all, things are moving along nicely and it looks like in May everything should be done. And then we wait! But I think in some ways it is easier to wait when you know that you are ready. I will be happy when I know that any day now I could have children, instead of doing paperwork.
Anyway, everything seems to be going along well. And in case you are wondering, I had time to straighten my hair before class, and throw on some makeup. I'm such a spazz.
Here I was all hyped about being deemed "emotionally and medically" superior and then the doorknob thing kind of ruined it.
I wasn't even offended when I had the following conversation with G:
Me: So she signed my form. It says that I'm emotionally stable. G: Hahahahaha Me: No seriously. G: Oh. Well, that's funny. Me: And medically superior! Even though I'm classified as 50% disabled! G: Did you tell them about your finger?
But I tried to change the doorknobs today. If you haven't been following along (and if you haven't, shame on you!) but I have to change three doorknobs in my house because apparently my children will be hellions who lock themselves in their bedroom, my bedroom, or the bathroom. Maybe one in each place.
And then if there is an emergency, I will not be able to use my fire extinguisher, or my emergency numbers (complete with cute clip art), or my emergency evacuation plan! Because they will be locked in the room!
The good news is that at least they can't stick their fingers in the outlets.
Anyway, I tried to do it, thinking it would be easy, but um..it's not.
In other news, I'm happy it's the last day of February. March is fairly busy, but busy with things I will enjoy. Including tonight, I have 7 more "play related things" to do..4 practices and 3 shows. Tomorrow is class #3, and I'll schedule homevisit #2 tomorrow as well.
Hopefully it will be sometime after I figure out how to change the doorknobs.
I have been deemed medically and emotionally fit to parent a child.
(According to my doctor anyway)
And no, my gigantic papercut did not stand in the way!
I get all my medical care at the VA hospital, and generally I like my doc. Her patient load is 99% elderly men, so she always seems like she doesn't know quite what to do with me.
As she sat there filling out my form saying things like "I thought you had to have your own place...oh..I thought you lived with your parents." "You are the youngest foster parent I've ever heard of" "Do you already have the kids picked out?" "I'm suprised you would do this. Most people your age are only concerned with themselves"
I started to get mad. If I was in her office because I was pregnant, would she say things like that?
But then I took a deep breath. She was saying things out of her ignorance. And I was getting the form filled out.
One step closer to Violet, Klaus and Sunny. One more step.
1. I will try not to cut my finger with a big envelope, giving me the world's biggest papercut. 2. I will try not to scream "F***, F***" because it hurts so much. 3. I will try not to wipe the blood on a towel. 4. I will try to have purchased a first aid kit by then, so I don't have to bandage my finger with toliet paper and some scotch tape.
"Some people say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, but I say when life gives you lemons, throw the lemons back at life's face and scream 'I don't want your fucking lemons!'"
Not much to report lately..Friday/Saturday there was a big flea market/yard sale.
I had to run write from there to the play practice. Apparently Ellen #2 quit. So there is a new Ellen #2. And the director thinks I'm doing "wonderfully..but I need to make sure I don't use my SouthEast Missouri accent"
I'm not from Southeast Missouri. I'm just saying.
Tomorrow I go to get my medical form filled out, which is the last paperwork thing I have so far to do. Tuesday is my 3rd class, and I'll schedule home visit #2 at that class.
"But you don't understand," I said through tears. "You can't even begin to understand."
Fertility is something most people take for granted. People naturally assume that everyone will get married and then have children. Biological children.
When I was 15, I became very ill. I had felt sick for a long time. Just sick. No real pain. No real illness. Just sick. Then one week, I began vomiting. Hundreds of time. The pain in my abdomen was so intense that I could only stand it when I was in the bathtub.
On a Friday night, my Dad went to the big football game between the rival high schools. I was suppossed to be there. Instead I was lying in the bathtub.
"Mom," I cried. "I'm sick. I'm really sick. I need to go the hospital"
I remember very little of the drive there. I remember my temperature, 104 degrees. I remember them saying that I needed a pelvic exam.
"No. No. No." I screamed. They would ignore my cries. My mom held me down, with some nurses. I remember nothing except the doctors tie. It had Noah's ark on it. And the pain. And the speculum. It was cold, and it hurt.
Months later, after I had healed from my pelvic inflammatory disease, the tubo-ovarian abscess that had leaked throughout my body..I began to think that maybe I would have problems with kids.
I had always wanted to be a mother. I think it's because my mom was such a MOM. She had a job, a teacher, but she was a mom. Everything about her said "Mom" She constantly talked about her children. She still does.
My mom never left the hospital room. She spent each night sleeping in a chair. She protected me.
I knew she would though. She had before.
Two years before, when I told my mom about the years of abuse. I don't know if my mom instantly believed me. But I do know that despite how hard it must of been, my dad and my mom protected me.
Thirteen years is a long time to be abused.
I never connected that illness to the abuse. The doctors did though. One day, after attempt after attempt at getting pregnant had failed, I was given the news.
"The doctor who did your surgery asked us. He said, Has she been sexually abused? The amount of damage is consistent with severe sexual abuse. She will probably never have children"
I was hysterical for over an hour.
But almost instantly, I felt better. I had a reason. I had a reason why I didn't have a baby yet. I would adopt. It was ok.
The truth is though, infertility is never ok. I read the beautiful words of people suffering from infertility. I have gone through it myself. With my friends. I know what it feels like to have your body betray you in some kind of wicked sense.
You wonder why. You question whether this means you aren't suppossed to be a mom. You cry. You hurt so much.
"I understand that," he said. "That must be really hard."
"Yeah..but you don't understand."
Infertility is awful. Infertility because of sexual abuse? Well damn. I mean really. Damn.
"But I'm angry for you. I hate that it happened. I understand."
The truth is though, you can't understand. Because I don't understand. I don't think anything was "meant to be" because that leads down a tricky road. Am I adopting because I was abused? I hope not. Was I abused so that I could parent an adopted child? I don't think so either.
But after awhile, it becomes ok not to understand. The truth is, I'll never forget anything that happened to me and the ones I cared about. But I've learned to decide that what is in the past is in the past. No one can hurt me anymore.
And when you acknowledge that you won't be hurt anymore, you gotta mean it. To sit and say "Why? Why me? Why can't I just have sex once and get pregnant? Why does it involve so much more?"..that means I'm letting someone hurt me.
Instead I chose to be thankful. Thankful that I'm alive. Thankful that I had parents who stood by me in the depths of the darkest despair. Thankful that one day, I'll be a mom. Thankful that no matter what, I survived.
When you stare down evil, when your heart plummets to the bottom of the earth, but you still survive, then you become ok with not understanding. And you just start living.
1. I went from coast to coast following a tv-made girl band.
2. I missed three months of tenth grade because I had a tubo-ovarian abscess.
3. I fired automatic weapons at tanks.
4. I got a tattoo of a daisy on my back, and when I did, I threw up twice.
5. I drank sake in Japan. It had a snake in the bottom.
6. I went into the "Unification Tunnel" which puts you underground and about as close as you can get to North Korea. While underground, I drank from the "Unification fountain" which pumps water in from North Korea as a symbolic gesture that the country might one day be unified.
7. I was in a force march, carrying 85 lbs, plus a rifle, and the next day I discovered I had done it all with a severely fractured femur.
8. I was a tour guide in Washington DC.
9. I shook hands with President Clinton and said to my friend "He smells good"
10. Sammy Sosa hit a ball directly at my head during batting practice in San Diego. I did nothing but scream. My ex-husband reached his hand in front of my face and grabbed the ball before it killed me. I became a Cubs fan.
I think I have a sinus infection. Which is ok. That sounds funny, but part of my "disability package" was that I have chronic sinusitis. Everytime I get sick/in pain with something that is on my disability package, I try not to let it get me down, because hell..I'm being paid to be sick!!
At least in my warped mind.
I'm feeling blah today. I skipped school, even math which I really didn't want to. And I called the director of the play to find out when I had rehearsal.
He said today.
I told him, "I can't do Wednesdays, remember?" That was the first thing I told him when I auditioned. No Tuesdays/no Wednesdays. I already have commitments on those days. He said that was fine.
But he didn't sound like it was fine on the phone. He said "Well fine, just don't show up"
I know he's probably frustrated with people not showing up and all, but with the exception of last Friday when I had a fever, I showed up everytime I was suppossed to.
I should of stuck with my instincts and not done the play. I don't enjoy it, and while I like the script and I like the story, I just don't like doing it.
I thought it would help pass the time quicker, but really nothing does. There is nothing that brings my kids home quicker.
Anyway, I'll continue to do what I agreed to, because I agreed to do it.
I can't wait for spring. Winter (except for snow) makes me depressed.
It was about working at part of a team. Everyone was there from last week, and we got another couple.
We did a neat exercise. We had to answer some questions like "What are we doing tomorrow? Who will be with us? What do we want to do a year from now? Who do we want to be there? What do we want to do in five years? Who do we want to share that experience with?"
Then we got in groups. And we had to pass our paper to a group member, who would rip a piece off it and keep it. Everyone passed their papers around until our paper was all ripped up and everyone had pieces of other team members papers.
This is what it feels like to be in foster care. The plans you made, the people who you are with, and want to be around are now all gone. Everything is all messed up and confusing.
Then we were given two tiny pieces of masking tape. We had to share those pieces as a team to tape our paper back together.
When it was done, it was back together. But it still had holes and it was still damaged. This is how a child feels when the are reunited with their parents or move to an adoption plan. The loss is still always there.
It was a neat exercise. To be honest though, the class is very repetitive. It's all very general and I learn much more from the books I read and stuff.
I have to collect some info for my genogram, which is like a family tree sort of. I'll go over that in my next home visit.
Next week is about attachment, and then I'll have my second home visit after that.