Friday, October 28, 2016

Musing #47--Cereal for Dinner

Cereal you guys. We had cereal for dinner.
Husband was working late, and it had been that crazy of a day.

I'm totally fine with crazy days. I think crazy days are wonderful. They show life is being lived and usually productive.

What's getting me right now, as I look around at the dishes undone, and the house a disaster. It doesn't matter that I wasn't home for more than two minutes. I hear Husband's parents in my head...not talking to me...that would be gushy, fluffy, veiled, manipulative crap. But as soon as Husband walks in the door I hear them pounce on him. And, though still gushy and fluffy...not so veiled, ripping me to shreds to him and with a disaster house and cereal for dinner to back them up...I don't have much of a case.

They are constantly in my head. This is my struggle right now. After 10 years of abuse, they aren't currently in our lives except for the occasional letter they send via my parents address, but their abuse is alive and well and constant in my head.

Husband has the uncanny ability to just turn it all off. Which is probably why he didn't turn into one of them. Why, he behaved as he did due to culture, but it wasn't who he was. And as soon as it was recognized as abusive behaviors, a switch was flipped and it's gone. I don't have this ability, they are still messing with my mind, but now instead of not wanting to bring them up to Husband in fear of him protecting them over me (because he did...for nine years...it was always them over me, because he (we) didn't understand what was really going on). It's now in fear of him not understanding why I can't get them out of my head, when he's the one who's dealt with them for a lifetime, and they are his family. It only seems logical that I should be able to just move on and settle in. But I feel frozen in time and I can't move forward because they hang over me and micromanage my every thought and movement. And Husband is frustrated when I make an off-hand comment about them, and not wanting me to bring their negativity into our home, not realizing that they are there all the time for me, pulling me into a dark place.

It's tricky. And I'm not quite sure on this one. How, once you've said your piece, and broken contact, and the abuse stops...how to then release yourself from them emotionally and break contact mentally.

There is wonderful advice out there. And great relateable memes. And excellent research. But putting it into practice doesn't seem to be working for me.

Any thoughts? Experiences? What helps you break away mentally and emotionally after the physical break has been made but the abuse seems to haunt you?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Musing #46--SPD/SID

After literally months of bedrest, Dale came two months early. He was a large preemie. But still an itty bitty baby. Now, you'd never guess. He's a tank.

There was something always a little bit off. He walked a bit after what I thought was 'normal.' Talked in a language only I could understand (even Husband needed a translator). And didn't seem to develop at a rate that I thought he should. Everyone, pediatricians included, told me to chill out and be patient. That kids will be kids and develop at their own rate and I needed to let him just figure things out. Especially as a preemie, that he was doing great...just look how healthy he was!

In my gut I knew things were just a titch off. Not majorly, but there was something that wasn't connecting.

Well, the adhd testing is still needing insurance approval, but in the meantime we recently got the official diagnosis of SPD or SID. His was Sensory Integration Disorder but some call it Sensory Processing Disorder.

Basically everything that is so frustrating with him is because of this. All of his social issues, classroom issues, development issues, everything that I get so frustrated and just think 'you are such a bright/thoughtful kid! Why doesn't this tiny thing click for you too!?!' is because of this disorder. It all makes sense. Finally an answer.

There are so many intricate parts to it, but one thing the OT said to explain a large part of it was, 'imagine you put your hand in your pocket. Without looking, you can feel the difference between your chapstick and a rock, and a sticker. He can't do that. His senses don't work like that.'

Here is a really helpful website to explain more about SPD/SID
https://www.spdstar.org/

Nobody wants a disorder for their child. It was difficult having it all laid out in front of me of what he is deficient in to function properly. Luckily, he is still young enough that with proper interventions, we can 'train' him and help his brain learn the things it isn't connecting on right now.

And if he comes back with an adhd diagnosis as well, we'll tackle that when it comes too. But in the meantime, we're going to work on this. He's such a great kid. So thoughtful, so happy, so smart. It's time his peers and teachers and others see it too, and not let a disorder hold him back.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's here

Our faucet arrived!
Picture on facebook or instagram
We are purchasing our kitchen remodel piece by piece as we can. And the first piece is the faucet. It's beautiful.

You can follow me on either of those sites for quick picture-updates. It's easier for me than sitting down and uploading things to the computer regularly. Though I'm trying to be better about regular blogging. 

I feel like a happy dance is in order. Now we just need new flooring, cabinetry, a sink, a wall knocked down, lighting, a table (we're currently using a camping table), counter tops, a fridge that seals and then we can use this beauty! 

Come on tax return!

 


Musing #45--No Paper Plates, but Still Thankful



Well we wanted to say thank you to all the main players in our yard clean up. There were so many who came and moved a couple rocks and pulled a few plants and it was amazing, that we could never repay them all. And that was the whole point. Service isn't supposed to be repaid so, some had to suffice with just a 'We are so grateful.' But there were others, who came and gave a large part of their Saturday to us. In a way that I am in awe. And to them, we couldn't even repay...but again...that isn't why they did it. But I wanted to express my appreciation anyway. So, I did what I could do.

I baked.

My mom's cinnamon rolls are generally a massive hit. I haven't ever met anyone who didn't like them. They are sweet enough for the sweet tooth, but not so sweet that those 'non-sugar' people don't like them.

After they were all baked up I realized that we didn't have any paper plates. And I've delivered enough goodies in my life to know that even the most well-meaning of people have the hardest time returning dishes. Life just gets busy for everyone. So, I just don't give out my dishes.

What was I to do? No paper plates, and cinnamon rolls to deliver. It was a Sunday, and as the Lord's day we'll go hiking and enjoy his creations and things like that, but as a general rule as a family we've chosen to not shop on the Lord's day.

Well, we had to get creative. We had cereal boxes. So I lined them, 'fall-i-fied' them, and put the cinnamon rolls in.


(The kidlets like to scramble my HARVEST letters)





I actually think they are cuter and more festive than paper plates.





I am so grateful for the work that was done in the yard. It is such a burden off our minds, and such a jump-start to our spring make-over. Now we just need to save up for some fruit trees! Shade trees! And flowers!

Happy creativity!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Musing #44--My Birthday, Tree Stumps, Boots, and of course...Malignant Narcissists

It was my birthday recently.

Now typically with my birthday Husband's parents will make a big fuss about how they try and try and never can do anything right and I never appreciate their gifts or when they call (usually a few times during the day when Husband doesn't answer the first time...they leave a message, then keep calling incessantly) then when Husband finally answers they act all apologetic as if they are so sorry to interrupt our day but they just love me so much and feel so bad I don't feel welcomed and just wanted to wish me happy birthday to let me know how loved I am. Which would be wonderful, if it weren't all a manipulative game of theirs.

Since our...what should I call it...time in hell? When everything came out and Husband saw what was going on, and I could finally put names to what I knew wasn't right...I have realized so many things. And find their behaviors both disturbing, and fascinating (mostly because it proves that for 10 years, I wasn't the crazy one...and many people--myself included at times--thought I was).

For ten years Husband's parents did everything they possibly could to discredit me in every way to Husband, and anyone really. Discredit me as a mother, as a hard worker, as a person with integrity, as a good human in general. All under the narcissistic guise of them being the victims of whatever situations they create of course.

And, it worked on some scale. Tensions boiled high in our marriage to the point that we were seriously talking divorce. Had I not been clear across the country with no friends or family to speak of...surrounded by people who knew and worshiped the Narcissists...I would have left. Husband also believed their manipulations (he was conditioned from childhood to do so) that I was to blame. And if I could just be kinder, more forgiving, more generous, more_______fill-in-the-blank, that the problems in his family of origin could be solved. Any problem came around to me being the root issue. I was their scapegoat. And they milked that for everything it was worth, painting themselves as the saints and the victims at the same time. That they would be willing to forgive me...should I ever ask it (translation...should I ever allow them to control me they'd be happy to stop the lies)

It wasn't until we were in the middle of it that Husband saw what was going on and, for himself saw what they were doing and had the moral strength and courage to stand up to them and say 'woah guys...it's you...and even me...it's not her. It's been you all along. And I've been blind to it. Stop blaming her and face your own problems that you've created for yourself.' (That was a summary) And boy did they rage. Oh man. Did. They. RAGE!

Now, they act as if I don't even exist. Their focus is regaining control of Husband. They are working overtime on that. And IF I am mentioned, it is only as an effort to prove their point, or milk their manipulations. In addition, they are trying to claim my children as if they don't have a mother.

Meanwhile, it was my birthday. And since they are sending all their correspondence to my parents, because that is the only address they have, they have to keep up their image and acknowledge me for that purpose. My card says. 'Hope all is well.' So the facade was kept, my parents saw the effort of a birthday card...I got a 'you don't exist to us anymore because everything is still your fault.' card.

It is so sick and twisted. It is so obvious. I am just sickened by them...and yet they have so much blasted control over my mind right now. Curse them!

In an effort to stay positive and not spiral into bitterness, I try and focus on other things. For instance, the stump.













This massive thing is a problem and has to be removed.


We are living past paycheck to paycheck right now and Husband has been working at it with an axe. He's done magnificent job, but it wasn't going anywhere. Last Saturday a swarm of members from our church showed up, one with a backhoe, and cleared all our flowerbeds (They were overgrown and a mess filled with rusted rubble and broken pottery and wood...it would have taken us months) and removed this guy as well as about 6 other stumps. I am beyond emotional and grateful for their kind service.


Especially the reminder of good people, who do good things, who help me want to be a better and kinder person and not give Husband's parents the satisfaction of becoming bitter and selfish.

There are wonderful people in the world. I hope to become one of them. With examples like this...it is a whole lot easier to see my goal.

Also, it is rainy and windy...and I get to wear my red boots. Who can be sad when wearing red boots? Remember the teacup pig wearing red boots? I love red boots!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Musing #43--Quick and Easy Asian Stir Fry and Garlic Parmesan Noodles

Goodness gracious life has gotten away from me.

My to do list is miles long, and I complete maybe an eighth of it each day. Chips kidney infection that wiped her out for over a week--poor thing--took it's toll on her and all of our routine. It was around the clock medicine and TLC.

It was rough. I'm not going to lie. Seeing your little one go through so much pain. And wishing you could take it from them.

Don't worry though, I got the chance to feel a fraction of her pain. I mentioned it on facebook. I got the anchor for a tooth implant placed. Holy mackerel...

Anyway, life is speeding by at a painful rate, but we still need to eat.

This is one of my go to recipes. The veggie and sauce part comes in a huge bag from Sam's Club with lots of veggies and two bags of sauce, so we split it into two meals. But the secret is in the garlic Parmesan noodles. I mean how many small boys do you know walk into the kitchen and ask what's for dinner and jump up and down yelling 'YUMMY! YAY!' when the answer is stir fry?  Mine does. A large part is the yummy sauce and variety of veggies, and the other part is the yummy noodles. They are super easy, and adds a whole extra dimension.
So, this is the veggies and sauce. Yum.


I cook up a bit of chicken with fresh ground pepper and some sea salt (I made that pepper mill...kinda cute huh?) Let cook with the lid on to keep the moisture in.


While the chicken is cooking. Start some water boiling with a titch of olive oil and sea salt.


Add the noodles once the water reaches a rolling boil


Then chop up the chicken. It should be pretty tender.


Add half the bag of veggies and stir around. Heat through, but don't 'cook.'


Add the packet of yummy yummy sauce and stir in. Veggies should be cooked until bright in color. As soon as they start turning dark, they are overcooked. The sauce makes this a bit tricky because it turns them a little dark, but you can still tell when they are just right. Don't let them get soggy and overcooked.

It looks really yellow with the sauce, but you can see the brightness still in the carrots especially.


Back to the noodles. Drain water and add a titch more olive oil. Garlic salt, parsley, and parmesan cheese to taste.




Stir and serve with stir fried veggies and chicken. We use these noodles for everything. They are really versatile and so yummy and easy.



Enjoy. I hope life for you is a bit slower in pace than it's been around here. One great thing though, is that the faster pace doesn't give us much time to dwell on the past...we just keep moving forward. We'll have to address stuff at some point, but right now, we just keep going.

Have a beautiful day!
Do you have any go to, quick and easy recipes that you love?



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Musing #42--Etsy

Well I'm terrified. I opened it. I had a ton of names I loved, but it ended up PiecesoflifeDesigns due to availability. It's kind of a mouthful. We'll see how it sticks, I think the rules are you can change it once or something.

So...I'm kind of excited. Really nervous. I still have a bunch of research to do, but needed to just open it, or it'd never happen. So there are only technically three things in the shop.





I don't know, I'm intimidated by all the amazing things on Etsy. I'm trying not to be, but I totally am.

We'll see how this goes.

I'd be honored if you knew someone who would enjoy these, if you'd direct them my way. I may totally be low-balling the price. I look at Etsy prices and wonder how people buy things on Etsy, but I have no idea. I may sell my first ones and be under after all the fees rack up. We'll see I guess (I hope...because if we see that means I've sold something right?) Ahhh! I'm so nervous!

Here's my little blurb on my coasters:

I decided to open my shop and make these 1) because I love them and use them everywhere and gift them all the time because they can fit anyone's any-room 2) as I heal from years of my husband's parent's psychological abuse I use crafting as an outlet 3) these symbolize a lot for me. They aren't all exactly the same, they aren't all perfectly round, they all have little mistakes, but in the end that is what makes them wonderful to me. They are unique and their pieces make them lovely. And as I craft each one, I remember that, and it heals a tiny part in me. And I would love to share that happiness I've found with you.


Check out my new shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PiecesoflifeDesigns



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Musing #41--Manipulation and Smear Campaigns

My last five days have looked like this:

What is that 50lbs bag of Skittles doing in there?!?!? That wasn't ordered by the doctor! It must have snuck in the picture like it snuck into my last five days...and my waistline.

Chip is finally on the mend. We've had five days of 104 degree fevers, and some other exciting things. I'm exhausted and it's been worrisome.

But tests came back. It's a kidney infection with other minor add ons. And she's now been on antibiotics for two days and it's finally starting to calm down. Whew.

Back to routine.

I mentioned on facebook about Husband's parents using my parents to send my kids things--letters, books, etc--trying to manipulate us all.

Here's a little more on that.

There is a knowledge that by sending it to my parents with the message 'we don't know where they are, and I just have to let my grandkids know I love them, please pass this on to them for us. This is the only address we know of to use.' Totally manipulates my parents and their heartstrings for their grandkids. Playing on the empathy (which is a complete narcissistic thing to do, because they do not posses empathy, and they use it as a weapon when they find it in others...not "if", mind you...they look for it and prey upon it.) A book I'm reading called Healing From Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas (brilliant book by the way) says 'It's a part of the human condition. It is the double-edged sword of compassion. Those who have been targeted are often very empathetic people...Tenderness...will be used against them time and time again by psychological abusers.' So my parents fork out money for postage and forward on the manipulative mail. Despite my trying to explain who these people are and what they are trying to do here. Which is: Control my children and completely discredit me as their mother and as a human. We intercept the mail anyway and each letter or book inscription is filled with manipulative, sugar-coated trash where they try and claim my kids, and put me through what is called a smear campaign, and manipulate their choices for now and their futures. And let me tell you. Over the last ten years, I have found Husband's parents to be MASTER smear campaigners...masters!

My mom just can't wrap her brain around it...that anyone could do that to another person, let alone their/her grandkids, and she's met my in-laws and aren't I exaggerating the situation just a bit? How could anything but fun surprises be in those packages? So she keeps sending them on. (We want them as evidence should we ever need them, but they should not have to pay the postage. I see my parents often enough that holding onto them until I see them next is sufficient, but with narcissists everything is dramatic and urgent.)

Anyway, I read the last book inscriptions (not to mention the books themselves were manipulating choices my kids could and should make on their own) and got so ticked off I chucked them across the room. It isn't enough that they tried to control our lives while there was still a line of communication open, but now they are worming their way into my mind from another continent.

Narcissistic definitions: Smear Campaign
Just like he was "so concerned about me" and the only reason he'd ever lose it was because he was SO worried about me...:

I'm so excited to be opening an Etsy shop. I don't know if anything will sell. But crafting is an outlet for me. I hope that what I can offer is accepted. I'm not in it to make money, cover costs--yes, but really, my hope is to sell enough that I don't have piles and piles of 'outlet crafting' in the corner of the house. I mean, my kids have more quilts than they could possibly use. I also ordered a bunch of new supplies to learn a new skill and hopefully it can be part of the shop. I really want to move past their campaign against me and continue to improve my life, my situation, my talents...me. And I thought I'd ease into it with a new skill. I hope to open officially next week. Meanwhile working on some names that represent who I am and my goals. Any ideas?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Musing #40--Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Like I mentioned on facebook (I try to keep you updated on there if I can't get to the blog), Chip got really sick. It started on Saturday and progressively got worse until yesterday she was spiking fevers around 104 and we were trying to keep it from rising. She was a sick little chicklet.

Chip asks for chicken noodle soup regularly, it is her favorite. And yesterday definitely warranted some. I like this recipe that I found on pinterest, but I modify it a titch to fit our tastes. (My version below)




Crockpot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

3 chicken breasts
5 cups chicken broth/stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup evaporated milk
8 oz homestyle dry egg noodles
garlic salt to taste 
1T parsley to taste 
1t oregano 
pepper to taste

In a slow cooker combine chicken stock, cream of chicken soups, and evaporated milk. Whisk. Add chicken, vegetables, and spices. Cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. 
Shred chicken.
Add noodles, cover, and turn slower cooker to high. Cook on high for 1 more hour. 
Serve with bread or crackers.

There is something so healing about homemade chicken noodle soup. I don't know what it is. But it boosted all of us. Husband had I think four bowls full...he hasn't eaten that much in a long time. Maybe it's not just for physical ailments. It's probably not called comfort food just for your body. It comforts the soul too. (Ok, I did roll my eyes a bit at my last statement there...even if there is truth to it, that was massively cheesy.)

Enjoy some homemade (SUPER EASY AND DELICIOUS) chicken noodle soup. And stay healthy! Being sick is the pits.



Chip is better this morning. Bummed to miss school. But the fever is gone. I think the soup is magical or something...if not...well it was delicious anyway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Musing #39--Mom Fail

Eh... Major Mom Fail This morning.

Husband and I were up way into the wee hours of the morning making a shelf for my crafting stuff (shh. I'm trying to open an Etsy shop because crafting calms me...but an Etsy shop is scary to me...failure is scary to me...so it's stressing me...and I can't find anything I need when I need it...and that frustrates me...so Husband is trying to make it easier by making an awesome shelf for my stuff. so it can calm me again...because organization calms me...)

The shelf it up and kaulked. I just need to paint it today, and then I'll post our pictures.

ANYWAY.

We got to bed late...way late. But I still have to take my meds, and they make me sleep, no matter the foolishness of my timing.

Chip walks in, 11 minutes before we are supposed to be out the door claps her hands like Mary Poppins and says, 'time to wake up mom.' (She's such a mini adult :) )

I look at the clock, jump out of bed like a ninja (a drugged, sluggish one...) and hurry and make breakfast and lunches.

My kidlets are amazing and already dressed for picture day. I do Chip's hair while she eats. (Dale's won't be spiky this year...he likes it better that way, so I guess that's fine.) Grab little teacher gifts we had, because...it's Wednesday...who doesn't like to be surprised with something because it's Wednesday...and run out the door only 8 minutes past when we were supposed to leave.

Made it to school 3 minutes after the main bell, but before the Tardy bell...

Whew.

Needless today I set another alarm today...to go off every morning.

I'll post pictures of the shelf when it's done. I'm excited...and tired...but mostly excited...and tired.

Progress and projects are therapeutic for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Musing #38--Lighten up!

Well I feel like it's been super heavy. So, like on Musing #10 it is time for some lame humor.

So, again. The first ten things (On Pinterest this time) that made me smile, chuckle, or--hopefully--out right laugh. (And...I just want to apologize in advance...I have no excuse for why some of the things are funny to me...it just shows how stressed I am I guess :) )

But:

La vida es mejor cuando sonries:):
No matter how lame the jokes...

12 Animal Memes That Make Us LOL: Just about everywhere you turn there's a silly animal meme: advice animals, grumpy cats, and puns galore.:

@Shyene Oh my gosh So funny Work it!:

30 Funny Pictures for Today  If You'd like, click the link to see more like this: http://dummiesoftheyear.com/30-funny-pictures-for-today-7/:

animal funny memes 2 Who doesnt love animals like these? (36 Photos):

36 Funny Pictures for Today  Dummies of the Year:

Words I Don't Understand - Funny Will Ferrell Meme:

35 Funny Pictures for Today  Dummies of the Year:

29 Funny Pictures to Nerd Out On | 8 Bit Nerds:

Nerd Out On 27 Funny Pictures Check more at http://8bitnerds.com/nerd-out-on-27-funny-pictures-2/:

I like this kid!  You can't teach that kind of funny!:

So, there you have it. Either I'm sorry the last minute of your life was wasted...or you're welcome for the smile brought on by lame memes.

I hope you're day is beautiful and full of laughter. I'm going to try and laugh more today for sure!

I'd love to hear what made you laugh. Laughter should be shared.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Musing #37--Malignant Narcissism and PTSD

I've had some pretty severe health issues for years. I've seen a neurologist for the last 4 or 5 years and we have gone through so many test to find answers. I've had blood work. CAT scans. MRIs. I have been a pharmaceutical pin cushion like you wouldn't believe. To the point where I was on 10 different medications and all the side effects were warring with each other making me even more sick.

One appointment stands out in my mind (and I went there at a minimum, monthly for 3 of those 4 years) and Doctor was kind of baffled--which didn't happen often, he is an incredible doctor. I am a healthy person. Most everything about me is healthy, except for this mysterious thing that we can find no answer for, that causes such debilitating pain and wipes me out. As a mother, I was desperate for answers, so we kept searching. In this particular appointment he told me my symptoms mimic that of soldiers who come back from years of war with severe PTSD, with a system overloaded with cortisol, the stress hormone. I was embarrassed and guilty that my symptoms and struggles would be compared to people who were serving our country and putting so much on the line and I felt like there had to be other answers for something that seemed almost imaginary to me. We followed a different lead and found some good answers that helped with the pain, but not the severe fatigue and other things that came up.

Then we moved away--into toxicity--and answers about narcissism came flying at us at a rate faster than we could handle. My pain, and a large part of the other symptoms went away. I am still on a couple medications, I was not miraculously healed or anything, but bodies are incredible things, and until my mind could catch up, it was taking the brunt of all the abuse and processing it, without the brain.

I'm not diagnosing myself. I don't know that I have PTSD. That is something that is very serious. I know that my body mimics many of the symptoms, and this little meme that I found on Pinterest really hits home. I don't know how to describe what's going on with me. I can't explain things right now. I feel like I don't know which way is up. My brain is not functioning like it should, and my body isn't either. So, I feel like I have a lot of research ahead of me. But I can't help but wonder if the narcissistic abuse I endured put my body into such a defensive mode for so many years that it is showing signs of PTSD.

In the meantime. Husband has suggested that as a family we need to get out of ourselves and serve others. Not in our church or the school--we do this a lot already. Those are very visible places. But find some place to serve others that isn't visible...a place to serve that is just for us. Our souls to help other souls merely for the benefit of helping others, and serving others. Not to get a gold star or praise from anyone. I love this idea, and I'm currently searching for places that are great opportunities to be nameless volunteers for a great cause.

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. Thanks!

#malignantnarcissism #narcissism #ptsd #serveothers #musingsofamiddlywed #musing