Brain Barf

May contain traces of nuts.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Going places that I've never been.

SOOoooo, we're back to full blown panic attacks.
I had gone a year or so without even one.
I've had a lot of anxiety lately, you know it's that wonderful time of the year.
I've also been working crazy hours. Plus other stuff and regular life crap.
I thought I was dealing OK.
Until I had to pull over to the side of the road recently.
I hadn't ever had one driving before, and wow...a wonderful new world of terror.

What if my kids had been in the car?
What if I hadn't been able to safely pull over?
What if Officer Friendly had pulled up behind me and thought I was a drunkard?
What if this happens again?
Fun FUN stuff to add to the list.

I had another one in that moment right before you really drift off to sleep and it sent me puking into the bathroom.

My panic attacks have always been spontaneous and weird.
I don't have them during a lot of anxiety or in stressful situations.
Mine sneak up on me in random moments and lay me fully out.
Mine are debilitating.
In the worst ones, I get tunnel vision and sometimes black out.
In the very worst of times I developed agoraphobia. Woo!
My former therapist told me this was due to an attempt at avoiding further panic attacks.
Whatever, I'm not back to that point nor will I allow myself to ever be there again.

The positive?
This last round helped me identify some triggers.
I wasn't patient (hee?) enough with my therapist to get to this point (plus he was a dick) so I'm pretty thrilled with figuring this out myself.
Which, is essentially, the key. I get to choose how I react. Easier said than done obviously.

The triggers: I am highly sensitive to judgement and micro-management.
Which could also be phrased as: I was raised Mormon.

My husband deals with his stress by trying to control little things. He's been under a tremendous amount of stress lately.
For example, our daughter who has her learning permit, crunched the car when trying to back it out of our driveway: No big deal.
I leave the kitchen drawer open: End of the world.

I'm OK with being Jeffrey Dahmer, but don't tell me how to brush my teeth or wash the dishes.

In the big picture (what a lame term) a lot of learning and progress has happened.
For me, identifying the main triggers was beyond powerful.
For my husband, learning what shuts me down and evaluating his own stress processes has led to a lot of understanding, and bonding.
And...I'm on the road again.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The year I framed the Christmas wish lists.

I wasn't able to talk my oldest daughter into seeing a therapist. Forcing kind of defeats the purpose. So she's taking Nexium for the ulcers.

Anyhoo, I asked my kiddos to write up their Christmas wish lists and then went shopping.
I live in 53 miles south of nowhere, so I had to drive a bit.
I was glad that I didn't read their lists before I left, I could have saved some gas, but wouldn't have had the quality time sobbing in the parking lot.

Twin A, MFA, wants a lamp. You know like, every eight year old boys deepest desire. It was the single item on his "list." Oh, the selfish desires!
Twin B wants slippers. Big dreams, that boy. I assume he wants one for each foot.
My younger daughter wants to go back to Utah for Christmas. (Me too chica.) Teens these days!
Oldest daughter spent the most time writing her list and I wondered if I was going to have to mortgage the house.
Her "list" said, "cheer up Mom, I love you. Thanks for everything. There is no way I would have made it through the last few months without you. I already have everything I need, except for a date with Michael Buble. (plus a lot of personal etc...that I can't share).
Signed, Your freakin' daughter.

And my cup runneth over. I'm the richest Mom in the world.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Abraham Martin and John

I am emotionally drained.
So far I've held off sinking, because, I need to be be available.

Today I went to the second funeral of one of my daughters friends in one month.
My daughter found out while we were in Utah by MySpace of all things.
She had washed her cell phone while we were there so she didn't have any other contact with home friends.
This girl glowed. She was my daughters youth group leader, she baptized her and was the one she went to.
If you Google her name, it comes up with multiple news articles on her cross country achievements.
She was 19 and died on Thanksgiving evening of heart failure.


I'm trying to talk my daughter into seeing a therapist.
So far she isn't willing, she thinks it means that there is something wrong with her.
I want her to see someone, because this is a lot of heaviness. It's not the norm to have two of your high school friends gone in two months.
This is something that will affect her life view, forever.
She could really use a neutral insight and a few coping skills.
Right now, she has an ulcer, and I'm going with her to the doc on Tuesday.

Our drive home for Utah in her "new" car, that we were both really looking forward to resulted in her sleeping almost the entire time.
Except for when some dip shit in Oregon (some f'd up state law that you can't fill your own tank) put regular gas in the diesel engine.
She reacted very severely, even though it eventually turned out OK.
She hasn't shown an interest in her "new" car since.
Or much of anything else.
And this wasn't in the parenting book either.
There isn't a chapter on: "When your daughters friend shoots himself in the head," or "When your amazingly beautiful, picture of health daughters friend dies of heart failure."
And I'm scared...sad... and worried.

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