Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goodbye IHM...

14 years ago, when we moved into this neighborhood, I felt such relief knowing there was a catholic school one minute away from the house.  As was when I grew up, school was walking distance, and in the neighborhood.  It was one of the big selling points to our house purchase.  The year my girls started there, Allison was in 2nd grade, and Alena was in Kindergarten.  I went on to have three more children attend there, however one needed special services, and had to be placed at a different school.  Today, this very last full day left at this wonderful school, I have a 7th grader, a 3rd grader and a 1st grader.  My oldest graduated from there last year.  Needless to say, my kids have grown up in this school.  They are known there…they are not “just another student”. 
I have grown as well.  I would have never believed that I would make such great friendships during the time my kids have been at this school.  I hesitate to call it a school…because it is so much more than that.  It is like a family get together, of sorts.  Every day. 
I have become very close with several people there.  I have had a whole parish help me out when our family was going through a time where help was needed, and others stepped up to fill the gap.  Some drove my daughter to school, and several brought dinners to our home.  It was amazing.  I feel so close to these people…the moms.  Nothing can describe the family atmosphere between us moms,  and the kids. 
We are losing more than a school.  We are losing a community.  I realize that a lot of the families are going to the same school next year, but unfortunately we are not.  I will miss the kids being able to walk to and from school.  I will miss going to the schoolyard to play, and finding friends there.  I will miss always having somebody to talk to while I wait to pick up kids.  I will miss Mrs. Zambo.  I will miss the closeness of all the teachers knowing who my kids are, and knowing that I am their mother.  I will miss all the class functions.  I will miss the sports.  I will miss all the parties that took place in the Fr. Keaney Center.  I will miss getting hugs from the other moms.  I will miss feeling comfortable in a room full of people, because I know who they are.  I will miss the birthday parties with the kids friends.  I will miss having my child walk to a friends house after school.  I will miss so many things.  Like I said, we are losing way more than just a school.
This is the part where I get on my soap box.  So stop reading if you don’t want to read my personal opinions. 
I am SO mad that this is happening.  I am SO mad and so sad.  I find it apauling that the catholic church…with all the money they have, allows this to happen.  I feel they are more interested in money, than teaching the catholic faith to our children.  The future adults.  To save a buck, they consolidate these schools, only to end up closing them in a few years anyway.  If they would spend less money defending pedophiles, and more time trying to get our children the education we so want for them.  WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO BE RAISED IN THE CATHOLIC faith!  We crave it, we struggle to support it, we mean business.  But the cost to do so is astonishing.  The big wigs have made it so expensive to get this education, that so many have had to leave the schools, due to the inability to pay.  This is disgusting to me. 
When we would take our kids on field trips to the Rigali Center, or other catholic headquarter kinds of places, you would be walking on marble flooring, and seeing all the elaborate d├ęcor.  Why can’t they be of meager means, so that the money not spent on marble statues could be used to lower tuition?  I WANT my children to go to a faith based school.  I am sure, that if they made school affordable, especially in the city, more and more people would go to a catholic school.  In the city, there really is no other option than catholic school, or the public school that is unaccredited.  It’s not fair.  That is why, in my opinion, when the charter schools opened, they pulled all the kids from the catholic schools.  Because they are free, and they aren’t public school.  Imagine if tuition was low enough for all to afford, how many people of faith would flock to a catholic school.  I think a lot would. 
I am saddened to the point of being sick, knowing that the building that stands as a school, this very last day, will soon be a building of nothing.  The school is what made this area a neighborhood.  At least in my opinion.  After tomorrow, I will no longer have that circle of support that is my school family.  After tomorrow, my kids friends, that they have had all their lives, will move on to another school….  That is a stabbing feeling in my heart.  After tomorrow, I will probably never see Mrs. Zambo again.  As if you can’t tell…I really do love Mrs. Zambo.  After tomorrow, life as my family has known it to be for the last 14 years, will change forever. 
And that makes me sad. 
And that’s all I have to say about that.
I will miss you my IHM homies.  Thank you for always being there for me.  I love you all.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Kind of Mom that I am...

This past week has been a doozie of a week.  And that is putting it mildly.  Some people know the story, but most only know half of the story.  In a one sentence synopsis, this is what happened.  2/5 of my children almost died.  Two out of five.  In the same week.

My family history is one that is riddled with layers of depression, and unfortunately, these two of my children inherited the unfortunate gene.  Apparently, this gene does not skip a generation. 

These events had me spending a lot of time thinking about what kind of mother I really was.  What kind of mother has two children who were so overtaken with depression, that they both tried to take their own lives, in the same week? 
Now, usually, I would be very quick to point out all my wrong doings, all my flaws and mistakes.  Usually I would tell myself what a piece of shit mother I am.  Usually I would turn into a "I am such a sucky person" kind of person. 

But this time, I actually thought about it. 

And I determined to myself that I was actually a good mom. 

A mom who loves her children. 

I am not the kind of mom that bakes cookies and does crafts.  I am not the kind of mom that takes my kids to parades, or any function that involves a lot of people.  I am not the kind of mother who spares no expense for whatever they want.   I am not the kind of mother who has one on one time for each child every week.  I am not the kind of mother who enjoys having her kids in sports.  I am not the kind of mom who cooks dinner for her kids.  I am not the kind of mom who plans elaborate birthday parties.  I am not the kind of mother who likes to socialize with other moms.  I am not the kind of mom that is pretty and skinny and "like the other moms".  I am not the kind of mom who enjoys having kids over.  I am not the kind of mom who lets her kids have sleepovers.  I am not the kind of mom who feels smart enough to help with even the simplest of homework.

I have been the mom who has felt less than good because of the kind of mother I am not. 

But guess what?

I am the kind of mom who makes sure she tells her kids multiple times a day that they are loved.  I am the kind of mom who likes to laugh with her kids.  I am the kind of mom who takes her kids to and from where they can spend time with their friends.  I am the kind of mom that puts God into most conversations.  I am the kind of mom that makes sure her kids are safe, and out of harms way.  I am the kind of mom that has "been there".  to all of it.  I am the kind of mom who understands what depression feels like.  I am the kind of mom who knows that cutting is just a coping mechanism.  I am the kind of mom that knows what it feels like to feel so out of control due to anxiety.  I am the kind of mom that realizes that using medications to stabilize your mood does not mean you are weak.  I am the kind of mom who talks openly to her children from a very early age about monsters who look like normal people, and that their bodies belong to them.  I am the kind of mom that talks about sex and periods and birth control long before any of it is necessary.  I am the kind of mom that has no boundaries of what can be talked about, or questioned. 

I am that kind of mom.  And someday, I hope my children appreciate me for who I am. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I am overcoming...

I have been going through a LOT of changes lately.  I have been changing external things, and internal things.  People would be amazed at how much change I've accomplished if I were to share.

I will share some.

After years of starving myself, I have been complying with a meal plan for the first time.  I may not complete it 100% every day, but I am close.  I have chosen to return to treatment, at the LOWEST level of care, in an effort to get over some of my severe fears, and to get support, as I really don't have any support outside of those walls, and my sweet therapist.  I do have friends and family that love me, but they could never understand what I am experiencing without getting mad or start backing away from me for being a freak.

As anybody who knows me, or reads this blog, I connect to music...and I have a song for this part of my life.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I can apply to everybody going through things in their life.

I am overcoming.  I am proud of myself.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Seeking out your Help...

Dear anybody who might read this lonely blog.

I am writing to ask you to help me with my cause.  I don't usually ask for money, and actually, I am not asking for money for myself, I am asking for a donation to a very important cause.  Something that is very close to my heart.

I am going to be doing the NEDA walk.  (National Eating Disorder Awareness).  This disease has owned me since I was 15, and I have watched it destroy and mutilate so many of my friends.  I am walking for myself, my friends, MY DAUGHTERS, your daughters and sons, family members and all those who suffer from this horrible self slaughtering disease.

I ask for your help in this endeavor.  Please visit my page, and if you can donate even $5, I would so so so appreciate it.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Drifting. . .

Sometimes in life, or at least in my life, I feel like I can't grasp where I am in the big scheme of things.  I feel like I am drifting along, trying to grasp onto something, anything, that might make sense to me. 

Currently, I am drifting...with nothing to grab on to.  The things that are sticking out for me to grab, are pointy and dangerous, and I'm afraid to grab onto them.  So I drift.  I know deep in my heart that they would only hurt for a little bit, and save me from drifting down stream...but I am too scared. 

Fear is a big part of my life.  I'm afraid of most things.  Driving, being liked, being made fun of, being perfect, being fat, being ugly, being a bad mom, being hurt, being left alone, getting lost....and the list goes on to so many more things. 

So right now, I am drifting.  In a boat afraid to look.  Afraid of tipping over.  Afraid of getting poked by a tree limb.  Afraid of drowing.  Afraid of a never ending river.  Afraid of currents.  Afraid of rocks.  Afraid of rough water.  Afraid of drowning. 

But there is a team of voices, outside of me, telling me to grab on.  Telling me to hold tight.  Telling me it will all be ok.  Telling me it is the right thing to do.  Grab onto a pointy limb....eventually I will be safe. 

But for now....I drift. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Life with an Eating Disorder. . .

An eating disorder.  Unless you are unfortunate enough to have this disease, and yes, it is a disease (just as real as cancer), it is impossible for you to understand what it is like to live with one.  I will take this time to try and explain what it is like FOR ME to live with this disease.

I have suffered from an eating disorder since I was 15.  I am now 42.  An old lady who has lived most of my life with this horrible illness.  I have had ALL forms of the disease...anorexia to the point of weighing 72 pounds at 5'7''....bulimia to the point of throwing up several times per day for years...over-eating to the point of weighing nearly 270 my current state of the disease, bulimia nervosa.  I have lost over 100 pounds in the past year. 

Having an eating disorder is a profound example of self hate.  It also comes with a loud voice in your head that NEVER shuts up.  It screams at me all day long, and has since I was even younger than 15.  It says things like "You are disgusting.  You are so nasty ugly.  You are so so fat.  You better not eat that.  If you eat that, you MUST throw it up.  Nobody loves you.  You are unworthy.  You are too needy.  You scare people.  You are a monster.  You deserve this disease.  You deserve nothing good.  You should hate yourself because you are a worthless piece of shit.  I hate you!!  I HATE YOU!!!  I HATE YOU!!!!"

It is a voice that I call ED.  (Eating disorder).  ED is extremely mean to me.  Even though I call the voice ED, I know it is just myself, my brain talking to me.  It is like having a little marine standing in your ear SCREAMING at you all day long.  It is consuming.  So, I may seem normal to people, I may seem normal at work, I may seem normal to my family...but this voice is in my head ALL DAY LONG. 

All. day. long.

You cannot imagine how exhausting this is.  It is all consuming.  Hearing this voice, fighting this voice, and trying to be "normal" just simply exhausting. 

The food piece:  I feel extremely fat and nasty.  Even though I have lost over 100 pounds, I am still very much disgusted at how I look.  I am embarrassed to be anybody.  I feel that I should lose another 30 pounds.  AND THEN I WOULD BE HAPPY.  Or so I tell myself.  My "wise mind" knows better.  But that is what ED tells me.  I try very hard not to eat much all day long.  If I do happen to eat more than I had planned, I have to literally fight the voice in my head to try and shut it up.  It screams at me telling me that I MUST purge.  I MUST get rid of what I ate.  If I can't help myself, and I eat, I will eat enough to make a purge worth it.  I hate purging.  It is hard.  It is dangerous.  It is socially unacceptable.  It is embarrassing.  It is secretive.  It is gross. It is exhausting. It is just wrong.  I know this. 

But I can't help myself. 

You would think that purging would make it "all better"...but then the voice tells me how disgusting I am.  Things like "How dare you eat!!!  How dare you throw up your food!!!  You are so f'n disgusting.  I hope you have a heart attack the next time you do this.  You don't deserve to live!!  Your family deserves better".  And so...the voice...ED...owns me, it seems. 

And then I am consumed with guilt.  Both for eating.  And for purging.  There is no winning with an eating disorder.  I have guilt 24 hours a day.  Nothing I do is the "right" thing.  Like I said earlier...


Life with an eating disorder is dangerous, embarrassing, difficult, expensive...and exhausting. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Looking for that door...

Have you ever heard the saying, "When one door closes another will open."  Yeah, me too.  I believe it to be true, however sometimes it is a very long tunnel with no door before a new door is found.  And God only knows if that door is locked or not.

Throughout my life, I have had doors close and new ones open.  For example, when we lost our business, it was devastating and scary as hell to a mother of five little bitty children.  But before we knew it, new doors opened and life is much, MUCH better today with no business.  When I had a miscarriage, that also was a devastating door closing blow...but look what happened...four more children crawled through another open door and found me.  I realize it all works out eventually.

So, why this blog post?  Consider it sort of "therapy" for me.  ;)

I see myself in the image above.  Alone in a stone, dark tunnel.  Feeling my way around.  Searching for a door...or even a freaking window.  I have been in a tunnel for a very long time.  I am getting tired of the darkness, even if it is becoming a safe environment for me.  In the dark, nobody can see me, which I like.  In the tunnel, I am alone, which I like.  In the stone tunnel, it is cold, and I am able to hide and hope for a better world.  What if I find that door, and the world is no better.  Yes, that is a stupid fear, but it is a true fear of mine.  What if I continue to crawl around, spend time searching, creeping around this dark tunnel, only to find out that the door I find only leads to a darker tunnel?  What if the new dark, cold tunnel has rats?  That would just be too much for me to handle.  So, I think sometimes that the tunnel I currently live in isn't so bad after all.

Unfortunately, I must keep looking for a new door.  Otherwise, I am doomed to this unhappy, unhealthy life I am currently living.  I must learn to trust that a new door may or may not be better than what I have now, but if I stop searching, I have given up.  I do not want to be a quitter.  So a hunting I will continue.

Even if I don't want to.