Category Archives: Family

Abandonment

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First let me say I was not physically abandoned by my family.  This is true despite it being threatened with being taken to an orphanage and left there.  But developmentally, psychologically…  I was abandoned at an early age.

It was often threatened to be driven to the orphanage when I was young.  On more than one occasion, I was put in the car and was driven around.  All the while, I was being belittled and told that nobody would want me.  I lived in fear of those car rides.

But more than that, I was abandoned when my mother looked the other way.  She knew what my father was doing.  She did nothing to stop it.  She looked the other way.  I had no one to protect me.  My grandmother looked the other way too.  In some ways it didn’t seem as sinister as my mother.  I think she had almost no power when it came to my grandfather.

My parents were simultaneously over-involved and under-involved in school.  On the one hand, bad grades were severely punished and usually involved a message to the teacher asking what happened.  But good grades (what I usually brought home) were ignored.

Abandonment is a tough issue for me.  I’ve learned to rely only on myself.  Not having someone who cared enough to stop blatant abuse scarred me for life.  And trust…  Well that’s a tricky one too.  It all goes down to not having someone who cared and left me to my own devices.

Punishment

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It feels like I could never go a week without getting punished for something.  Those rare times when I brought a bad grade home (spelling assignments, I’m looking at you), it seemed the punishment was more severe.  And I wonder where my extreme perfectionism comes from…

Bringing home a bad grade was my worst nightmare.  It was usually followed by the wooden spoon, no dinner and no books.  The dinner and the books, although crappy, weren’t probably abusive.  I can’t say the same about the wooden spoon.

The hitting was almost always done with my shirt on.  She couldn’t risk leaving any marks.  Sometimes it was the spoon base.  But more often than not, it was the handle end.  In some ways, I preferred the spoon end.  It didn’t sting as bad.  And, in my (probably) distorted view, she seemed to tired out more quickly.

It came to the point, I no longer cried.  I laid there, dejected.  Resigned to my fate.  There was no fighting back.  If anything, tears made it all worse.

Thankfully (I guess) I did well in school except for spelling.  I still can’t spell to save my life.  I’m thankful for the invention of spell check, even if I do still stump it.  So school related wooden spoon contact was rare.  Not that there weren’t numerous other things I was punished for.

Creating a Dialogue With Your Inner Young Child

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Creating a Dialogue With Your Inner Young Child

From: Cathryn L. Taylor M.A. The Inner Child Workbook

 

1. What is her favorite food?

Fried chicken.  But only her grandmother’s chicken.

2. What is the activity she would most like to do?

Read.  She could read all day and all night.

3. Has she done this before? Is so , what happened? If not, ask why.

She reads all the time.  Her favorite book is still Green Eggs and Ham.  But now she can read it on her own.

4. Ask her to tell you about her fear of being blamed and criticized or of doing or saying something wrong.

She is always afraid of doing something wrong.  She’s terrified she’ll bring home a bad mark on a school paper even though she’s only in Kindergarten.  She’s terrified that she’ll be taken to the orphanage for real this time.  She’s afraid of messing up her dances.  She doesn’t want to disappoint Miss R.

5. Does she feel overly responsible? Why?

Always.  B was just born.  She’s supposed to take care of him when mom is drunk.

6. What does she need most from you?

She needs me to understand that she wasn’t a bad kid.  She was a good kid in a bad situation.

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I’m exhausted now.  I’ll try to finish the remaining questions in the near future.

 

 

 

Father’s Day

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Yeah.  Not my favorite day of the year.  But it’s not as bad this year as in the past, even though I’m home rather than on the other side of the globe.  I don’t have the energy for the symptoms.  It’s like my brain and body have made a truce.  My brain will leave me alone so my body can finish healing.

You know, even having finished counseling years ago, I feel closer to making peace with my past.  I can’t change it.  It’s always going to be there, but that was then and this is now.  I don’t mean to say things will always be peachy keen.  But I can keep moving forward.

I’m looking forward to moving to Hong Kong, but part of me wants a regular old job here in the states.  One that will give me health insurance so I don’t have this stress I’m going through right now.  I love teaching, but with my student loan debt going back to school isn’t an option.  I don’t know.  I get more confused as I think about it.

What a Day

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Woke up early because I had so much to do today.  Saw an email that said call home.  My Grandmother died.  The one person in my family who wasn’t completely psycho is now gone.  Well, she’s been gone for a couple of year.  Alzheimer’s had robbed her of her memory and in the end, took her body too.

Went to see Dr. P.  Just as I was walking in the office, my left ankle rolled and I ended up on the floor.  Yes, I was a blubbering mess.  He put me in the treatment room so I didn’t have to be around people.  I was so anxious and upset about everything, he decided to do an IV of Valium.  Yay for benzos.  Actually, it’s just a saline (maybe with other stuff, I don’t know) IV and then they inject the Valium through the IV port.  I don’t know why but after about a half hour, I was freezing.  They gave me a blanket.  I kept shivering.  They put another blanket on.  By this time they were concerned I was running a fever.  Nope.  I was just shivering for no reason.  On went blanket number three.  It was not cold in there.  I swear.  When they finally took the IV out and I sat up, the room started to spin.  I held onto the bed for dear life.  So, after roughly two hours I got out of there.

Next stop, Dr. K.  He upped the gabapentin to 1800 mg a day.  Tomorrow I get another round of the trigger point injections.  My neck is killing me.  They concentrated the TENS and the massage on my neck and I was almost crying while she did the massage.    It hurts to have anyone even touch my neck and shoulders.  My pain level is up to about a 7.  Thankfully, the gabapentin makes me sleepy, so combined with Dr. P’s meds I should be able to sleep.

Speaking of Dr. P, he’s got me on Imipramine (as the only antidepressant), Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin.  I don’t have much trouble with anxiety.  And I guess Klonopin can be prescribed as a muscle relaxer because Dr. P told me it can no longer be prescribed for anxiety.  And goodness knows my muscles need relaxed.  I really think I need something else for the depression.  It isn’t doing jack for the fibro and it isn’t doing anything for the depression.  He originally put me on it because it was supposed to help with nightmares.  I have no idea why he took me off the Paxil.  I think I’ll ask him about that next week.  I know I’m charting my moods with a web app, and hitting 30% is indicative of a good day for me.

Then I went to the bank to take care of some stuff.  That was easy enough.

Then I get to work.  Today I had 5 classes, 3 were taking tests, 1 was making ice cream sandwiches and one was basically going to color the whole period because I couldn’t get my brain together enough to actually do a real lesson.  As I’m copying tests, the copier starts making weird noises.  Ugh, the bloody thing is running out of toner.  Why?  Why today of all day?  With some kind words and a bit of shaking of the toner cartridge, I got everything printed out.

So here I sit.  Tomorrow is destined to be crazy as well.  I have to take Gidgette to the vet for her kitty birth control shot so we can get her out of heat.  Yes, she was spayed, but apparently they missed some ovarian tissue.  So I have to take her to the vet, get food and litter while I’m there.  Come home, dump everything and let Gidgette out of her carrier.  Clean myself up as necessary, and go see Dr. K so he can stick needles in me and then go to PT.  Then I get to go to work, grade tests, give more tests and have my boss sit in on a private lesson I do with her son.  Crap.  I guess I should prep something for that.

I’m tired.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  And I just want the whole world to leave me alone for a day.  From 1 to 7 I have to be in control.  I walked in the door tonight and just lost it.  Doesn’t help those damn suicidal and Si thoughts are creeping into the back of my mind.

General Health & ETC

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Aside from being crazy, I’m generally healthy, despite my weight (which is still going down).  Had a full checkup with blood work and all.  Kidneys and liver both checked out fine.  Thyroid is back in the normal range with medication.  Blood pressure and heart rate are fine.  No diabetes or anemia.  Cholesterol is slightly elevated, which I’ll be treating with diet and exercise.  Doctor feels no need for medication yet.  Some blood test showed evidence of inflammation in my body.  Well duh, tendonitis in my wrist.  Doctor agrees that’s probably it.

So all in all, I’m just crazy.  I haven’t been sleeping as well, despite medication.  Same with the anxiety.   Terrible nightmares where I’m being raped or tortured.  Afterwards when doctors try to help me (usually involving giving me something like IV benzos to help me calm down so they can treat the injuries) I beg them to stop.  Strangely enough, the doctor in the dream is usually “Ducky” from NCIS.  I have no idea why, outside of the fact I’ve been watching a lot of NCIS lately.

Two weeks ago, my shrink gave me some IV compazine to combat the nausea I was having.  I can definitely say having an IV placed at the base of your wrist, palm side is probably the most painful site.  For some reasons, the nice veins in my hands went diving for cover.  I was so tired and felt so sick and overwhelmed, I just lay there silently crying.  The following week the doc asked why I had been crying.  I explained and added that I was tired of feeling crazy and I was mad at my parents for contributing to my craziness (both genetically and environmentally).

It feels like I’m in a PTSD flare-up right now.  They physical pain in my wrist doesn’t help.  I think the touching, while helping on one level is making me more jumpy and anxious and flashbacky than usual.  I guess I’ll try to explain that to Dr. P when I see him on Monday.  It’s a good thing that he only gives me a week of meds at a time.  I’ve got some niggling suicidal and Si urges going on as well.

Holy crap.  I didn’t realize all this was going on until I started typing (sans splint, I’ll be a good girl and put it on as soon as I finish).  I don’t want to feel like this.  That’s different from 10 years ago.  Then I thought I deserved to suffer and be punished.  Now I just want to be happy.  And I want it to be real.  I don’t want it to be the forced happy mask I’ve been putting on at work.

And I guess I should clean up the apartment.  The general level of pain and exhaustion has led to a mess of a living space.  Doesn’t help that my washer is slightly unbalanced and it takes about 10x longer to do laundry than it should.

And damn it.  I’m not going to cry!  No.  Stop it Kathryn  Crap.  Not working.

 

TTYL

This Week’s Ivory Pics

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Kitten!

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I have an adorable ball of fuzz.  I’m so excited.  It’s only in the last couple weeks I’ve felt like I’ve completed the grieving process with Sparkler.  I loved her so much.  But, I knew I didn’t want another guinea pig.  I knew I wanted a cat.  Now, you have to understand, Korea is not a cat country.  No serious.  It’s really not.  I went to a dozen places before I found one with a cat for sale.  And dear lord was she expensive.  But she was totally worth every won I spent.  She’s been in my life less than 12 hours and I can’t imagine living without her.

Right now, she’s curled up in (on?) one of my shoes.  Once I coaxed her out from under the bed, she started to play.  She has one of those mice on an elastic string tied to a stick.  She loves it.  She was going crazy.  She’s purrs like no cat I’ve ever heard before.

I’m still working on the name thing.  I know her Korean name will either be 눈(noon) which means snow (and eye) or 구름(goorum) which means cloud.  I’m sort of leaning toward 눈.  I’m just not sure what English name to give her.  I’ll take suggestions.  You’ve helped me name animals in the past.

So here are some pics of my new baby.

Some updates

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I don’t have a whole lot to say.  I’m still processing being home.  There are days it seems so real and days when it just feels like a bad dream.  I’m thankful to be back in Korea.

It’s a three day weekend.  Thank goodness.  I’m still exhausted from the trip home.  The weather flying back was really bad for the last 2 hours on the flight into Tokyo.  No seriously…  I started saying Hail Mary’s.  I left my stomach somewhere over the Pacific.

I updated the OS on my computer today.  That turned out to be a bigger pain that I thought.  Why is it that I seem to need 2+ tries to actually get an upgrade right.

I bought some new bedding for my apartment.  My summer bedding was too light now that it’s getting chilly at night.  I technically didn’t need it.  However, the stuff I had was pink.  I’m not a pink person.  The new stuff is blue with pink roses on one side and stripes on the other.  Right now I have the flowered side up, but I think I’ll change it to the striped side.  I’m not anti-flower, but I’m only kind of meh about the pattern.  Find bedding that wasn’t god awful ugly and/or expensive was really challenging.  When I do move home, I’ll ship both the summer and winter bedding home.  I’m not leaving it for the next people.

That’s about all.  Emotionally I’m confused.  I’m tending toward stuffing mode, so I’m working hard to at least acknowledge that I’m feeling stuff, even if I don’t understand it.

Offline for a bit

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My mom passed away yesterday.  I’m trying to find flights and stuff to go home for a few weeks.

I’m prepared with a slightly increased dosage of Zoloft, Halcion and some Valium.  I won’t have much in the way of internet access because I’ll be staying with my grandmother.  I can cross my fingers that there’s an open wi-fi access point nearby, but I’m not holding my breath.  The average age of the neighborhood is probably up around 60, so not too many tech savy folks over yonder.  I’ll be a the mercy of my brothers and father to drive me around because I don’t have any auto insurance (why pay all that money for the car to sit in the driveway).