The Family Of My Life Archive

So there is a Tumblr user who will go unnamed for their own safety that I’ve been an adopted mom to for a while.  They live in a shitty situation with their parents and are a constant victim to all sorts of abuse with no easy way out.  Also, please note that they are 20 so what I’m about to do is legal.  However, being an adult doesn’t always make leaving any easier.

I consider this person to be like a daughter to me.  A daughter of my heart if not my blood.  You know how found families are.  They are a core member of my friend group and over time they’ve revealed more and more details of the abuse they suffer to the group.

I finally reached my breaking point and with their consent, the whole group is now in rescue mode with me playing a central role.

First I need a new job that pays a living wage, which I’m looking for no matter what anyway.  I’m about to graduate, this is the next step in my life.  But with that living wage, I should be able to sort my finances and make it so I’m no longer dependent on my mother.  This is key.  I can’t initiate the plan if my mom is giving me a few hundred dollars a month to support my family.  I don’t currently have a death wish.

Anyway with finances in a better position, and a tax return in hand to fund the trip, in early March I’m making the 12 hour drive to a state I won’t identify (actually my mom is driving me in her car because I’m a horrible driver and my own car is guaranteed to not survive this trip, bless its soul) we’re packing my found daughter up, and bringing her home with me.  All while her parents are at work so we have no resistance.  (A note will be left and the local police will be notified that this is a rescue and they are not missing, just leaving a bad situation.)

Once back in Ohio they will live with me as long as they need to get on their feet and establish their life as an adult, just like I will allow my other 3 kids.  I don’t see a difference.  It won’t be the most ideal living situation as quarters are cramped.  But they’ve declared it much better than their current situation.  So that’s something at least.

My friend group is working out the logistics of this plan.  Everything from where I can rent a little cargo trailer and a trailer hitch, to making sure they can finish their current degree and move on to the next, to health insurance, to getting them in therapy the second we’re back in Ohio.

My immediate family is on board with this.  Pat is a little more resigned than excited.  But Pat understands who they married and how I am.  My purpose in life is to rescue those in need with whatever power I have.  That, and I’ve been talking for years about being done having kids, but wanting to foster older kids and give them a loving family once we’re financially stable and the kids are grown.  This is about 10 years sooner than I had in mind, and it’s an adult we’re fostering.  But hey.  This is the path I’ve been led down.

Sammy is super excited to have a big “sister”.  The boys are accepting.  Lucas is hesitant but he’s autistic and is really hesitant with any strangers.  He’ll be fine.  He has 8 months to warm up to it.  Most importantly, while I’m aware of his stranger danger tendencies, he’ll at no point be in any danger so trust will be built.

Mom is hesitant but also on board enough to drive me 12 hours and back to make this happen.  You know how mom’s can/should be.  Cautiously supportive.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to these days when not studying.

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My Dad

Posted April 22, 2019 By kmarrs

Longtime readers know my relationship with my dad, over the last 20 years especially, has been a rollercoaster.

The worst of it was when we lived together 6-12 years ago and he was trying to be head of house, while not really contributing to the household, and over stepping some boundaries when it came to the kids. I won’t hash it all up. It’s history and I’m trying to let go of some things. But I’ll sum it up by saying, 3 generations living together is rough, especially when it’s the middle generation that’s “in charge” and it was made worse by the fact that dad and Pat don’t really get along. It was a rough situation and it lasted too long.

Once we got dad out of our house, things were still sort of rocky for awhile. Not bad, just not good. Mostly awkward, with unsure footing.

But then Rachel almost died. And I realized I couldn’t take the relationships that matter for granted.

Now I would like to stress here that had my father been abusive (I know my audience, potential and confirmed) I would have cut the ties and walked away. But my father has never been abusive. It was just a bad situation and then an awkward one.

So the relationship was worth fixing.

I still didn’t jump right on it. I spent time with him occasionally. Like when I was at my mom’s house. And a few one-on-one daddy/daughter dates. But things weren’t really in motion yet.

Then I started weekly therapy just right down the road from him, but 30-45 minutes from my house, getting out of therapy as rush hour traffic started. It seemed like the perfect situation to be like, “Hey. Let’s spend time together.”

So now every week I have therapy from 4-5 and then I go and have dinner with my dad. Sometimes it’s fancier sit down. Sometimes it’s fast food. Sometimes we run an errand or two while we are out. I’m not up at that end of town too often, and dad doesn’t drive. So sometimes there are things that just need to get done, so we run errands together. It’s nice. Really nice.

This past Monday night we saw Captain Marvel together. I’d already seen it with Pat and the kids, but dad hadn’t. He has no one else in his life to see movies with, right now. So I suggested we catch an early showing. I think we are going to work movies into the plans more often. Maybe not monthly, but when there is something he wants to see.

Movies are especially good since there is company, but no talking. Dad and I talk about surface level stuff, but things just stay shallow. At least right now. It’s not bad. The frequent silence is comfortable. It’s just not deep. So movies are a good way to spend a few hours together in companionable silence, and still have entertainment.

I should have him take me to the new Men in Black when it comes out sometimes in the next month or so.

Anyway, there is room for imporvment in my relationship with my dad, but we’re actively working on it. So I think we’ll be ok. We may never reach deep waters, but some relationships are like that.

I know my dad loves me. And I think he enjoys my company. So that’s good enough for me.

I just… I need to work on trusting him. But that’ll come in time.

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New Therapist

Posted January 17, 2019 By kmarrs

We’ll start with the old. I saw my old therapist, Cindy, off and on for some 12 years. I was pregnant with my middle little when we paired up and I started DBT. It was right before I got pregnant that I was diagnosed with BPD. And he’s turning 11 in just a few days so almost 12 years seems pretty on the nose.

And Cindy was/is great. She specializes in BPD and DBT and I adore her. I would not have the skills I have now, if not for her.

But I’m at a point in my life where one of the primary things I want to talk about in therapy is my identity of being queer. (Which is how I choose to sum up my sexuality and gender identity.) And Cindy is not afraid to talk about me being queer, but she has no experience with it personally or with people in her life so she had no practical advice to offer. She had great listening skills, but I need a little more.

So I did a literal google search for trans therapists that are local to me and I found Ruby. I don’t know if she herself is trans. I honestly can’t tell even after a session with her (which is fine) but I do know she has a Master’s in Gender Studies and gender queer people in her life, beyond her own experience. (She did say she is queer. It just hasn’t been defined out. Which again is fine. I don’t need her life story beyond the generalization that she’s qualified in this topic and issue.)

Additionally, she’s also fully versed in BPD a lot like Cindy is. So I’m not completely sacrificing whatever help I need with BPD, just to have someone whom can relate to gender issues.

Anyway, as of now I’m going to start seeing Ruby every Monday after work. My first session was this past Monday, the 14th of January. And I want to talk about it. Not the details of what we talked about, though I will sum it up, but instead the general feel of it all. Why Ruby is the perfect fit for me.

She was just coming in from being outside when it was time to start our session. So we go into her rented office and she starts going around the spacious room and turning on a dozen floor and table lamps. No harsh overhead florescents. Nope. This isn’t a sterile office, this place has a living room feel. There are comfy places to sit with an abundance of pillows and blankets. Rugs on the floor. A play area for children. Huge, wall conquering book cases filled with books. This place just immediately felt like home. Which, as nervous as I was, it put me at ease.

After she turned on all the lights, she sat in her own comfy chair, bent down, and took off her boots revealing fun cat socks. Like. There are just no words. I picked her off this long list of therapists that I found because she was friend shaped. I was delighted to discover that she specialized in what I needed her to specialize in. But the initially what made me go to her website, off the list, was that she just looked warm and friendly. Warm. So warm. So to have her kick off her shoes, which is honestly my person aesthetic, was revoltionary. I didn’t know therapists could do that! From now on, any new therapists I try out, if they don’t kick off their shoes, then they just aren’t for me.

The office. The no shoes. I just felt really safe.

Moving on, though I could spend another 5 paragraphs talking about the no shoes and fun socks…

I’m pretty secure in my gender identity now so while I wanted someone who specializes in it, it won’t be the main focus of therapy. We talked about that some. Most the session was just a brief outline of who I am. Standard first session shit. But we did discuss the goals.

My main objective is to deal with my anger issues I’m finally admitting I have. I… when I’m frustrated by my kids or spouse I turn red with anger and before I even realize I’m doing it, I start yelling. All the fucking time. I don’t want to yell anymore. I need to replace it with something, I don’t know what because the kids don’t listen. But I don’t want to yell anymore. It’s just not how I want my home life to go. So over the next however many weeks and months, Ruby is going to help me learn skills to stop the yelling, and parenting skills as to what I can do in place of it to get the kids to listen.

Cindy probably could have done that for me. But now, with Ruby, when gender issues are on the forefront of my mind, I can bring them up and we can tackle them as a team. It’s not the primary objective of therapy, but it’s still a thing that can coexist.

So every Monday at 4 I’m in therapy with Ruby, who works out of what could easily be a living room, if not for the insurance agent across the hall, and who kicks off her shoes to reveal relatable socks. I’m… it’s a good way to spend my Monday afternoons.

I should have kicked off my own shoes. Next time.

And then after therapy I have a standing dinner date with my dad. Which will make for a long day, but it lets me avoid rush hour traffic in getting home (therapy is on his side of town, my house is decidedly not) and I really should spend more time with him anyways. So this is good. I get home 10 hours after I left it and exhausted, but that’s just how it is sometimes.

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Update on Life

Posted August 19, 2017 By kmarrs

Ugh.  I’m suppose to be working on a science paper.  However, I have time to do that later, and I have not written here in a while, so why not procrastinate?

School:

I am a little more than halfway done with my bachelor’s degree.  I am estimating my graduation, if everything goes as planned, to be the spring of 2020.  Which I know sounds so far away.  But that’s me going halftime, taking two classes a term, and also me taking (hopefully) next summer off.  I’m due for a summer off.  And apparently we can do that now and still work.  See as a work-study I have to study to be allowed to work.  But they realized that sometimes we need a break from the study part.  So as long as we have studied the previous fall and winter terms, we’re allowed to take the summer off.  I would have done that this summer but I didn’t know about it in time.

Fall term has officially started.  I’m in week one of it.  I’m taking a general science class that is more focused on critical thinking and analysis than it is on a specific field.  But that’s ok.  We live in a world of global warming deniers and this is a business school.  So basically I took the science class that was both offered and required.  It’s a 12 week class (compared to the usual 6 weeks) and then I have a 6 weeks management course.  I don’t remember the specifics of the management course.  I’d look it up but I’m about 11 weeks away from giving a crap.  It’s an elective that seemed important to me at the time.  So I’m sure I’ll benefit from it.

Work:

Still doing the work-study for the mathematics department gig.  I basically plan to do this until either my boss gets sick of me or I graduate.  Hopefully the graduation happens first.  Then I’ll do a work-study, or whatever the equivalent is for a grad student, gig for OSU or wherever I end up.  Hopefully OSU.  Anyway, work is going well enough.  I just had a performance review.  My first of many.  18 months, almost, into the job.  But eh.  Anyway, there were no surprises.  I knew going into it where I need to improve and we agreed on everything.  So we discussed how I can do better in some areas and that was that.  I’ll get another review in 30 days or so.  I think.  At least that seems to be the plan.

Kids:

Everyone is happy and healthy.  Funny story, actually.  Sambam had a couple of major cavities in two of her molars, and at that size and at her age, they don’t fill them, they put crowns on them.  Something medical jargon here about the crown lasting longer and they’re just baby teeth.  Seemed weird to me but I got a second opinion just to be sure. (We had a bad experience with a dentist when Thomas was this age.  The dentist did unnecessary work for the insurance money and was later the recipient of a class action lawsuit.  So like we’re a little paranoid.)  Anyway, it’s legit so we took her to get her crowns this past Thursday.  They put her on laughing gas to calm her before using the needle to numb her.  And I’m telling you, my daughter was so calm and high (as a kite) she didn’t even notice the needle.  I sure did though and I hurt for her.  Anyway she got the crowns and was like the number one best patient of the day, everyone agreed.  And I was super proud of her.  She’s a good kid.

They all started school this past Wednesday.  Sammy is in first grade and loving it.  Lucas is in fourth and start intermediate school, which means he now has 8 periods, or so, and is switching classrooms.  He was nervous at first, but seems to have taken to it like a duck to water.  Thomas is in eighth grade and in his last year of middle school.  He’s growing up.  I’d say he’s as tall as me, but if I’m being truthful I think at some point in the past month he’s officially passed me.  And I’m not short.  I’m about average height, but he’s going to be tall.  Sammy turns 6 in a couple of weeks.  She’s maturing into quite the big kid.  She’s also turning into quite the artist.

Dragon

So most of her birthday presents this year are various art supplies.  The grocery store sells sketchbooks for like $2.50.  Plus colored pencils and of course huge boxes of crayons.  Then she is also getting coloring books just because.  Coloring is fun yo!  Anyway, the whole family is in on it together to supply her with all her art needs.  Plus a few other odds and ends.  But I think she’ll be happy with her haul this year.

Friends:

I have more friendship in my life right now than I’ve had, well, ever.  It’s mostly online, but I’m ok with that.  I do need someone local to meet for coffee or dinner once in a while but I’ll work up to that.  In the meantime, I have so much online friendship that like, I don’t feel like there is anything missing.  We’re all on Tumblr and it’s just this big group of us.  You should come chat me up over there.  I will warn that my feed is a constant stream of snakes and reptiles and fish.  One posting automatically every hour.  And then when I am on, it gets really political.  Like really political.  So like if you can’t stomach snakes or politics, maybe you shouldn’t join me on Tumblr.  Anyway, here is the link.

Health:

I haven’t almost bled to death in a couple of months.  So that’s a plus.  And last we checked my hemoglobin was up to 12.7 which is in the normal range.  The low-end of the normal range, so I’m still on the iron supplements, but I’m not like as anemic as hell as I was even a month ago.  Anyway, I’m just going to keep up with the iron and hopefully I’ll stop almost bleeding to death, and things will be good, yeah?

Mental health wise I’m ok.  Mostly just really tired.  I could have used this summer off from school.  Really really.  But it’ll be good in the long run to keep pushing though.  I’ll have a nice long break soon.  2 weeks for Christmas and then I think I can schedule another 6 weeks on top of that during winter term if I take 2 6 week classes and neither of them start in the beginning of the term.  Terms are 18 weeks long, so this is doable.  I just have to make it until then.  Also, that two weeks off for Christmas, will also be two weeks off from work, because the whole university shuts down.  So like, I’m counting the days.

I have not had any medication changes lately, but it’s been awhile since I’ve listed my meds, so why don’t I do that now?  In no particular order, and everything I take:

  • Gabapentin 900mg for fibromyalgia.
  • Ativan 1mg for anxiety – up to twice a day, but usually only once
  • Vitamin D3 2000mg because I get no sun ever
  • Ferrous Sulfate 650mg this is the iron
  • Protonix DR 40mg this is a super antacid that helps prevent my stomach from eating itself since I keep nearly bleeding to death
  • Geodon 100mg this is an antipsychotic I use off label for Borderline Personality Disorder.  It isn’t for everyone but it can be very helpful for those of us with BPD to be on a medication like this.  It helps with things like impulse control and angry outbursts.  In general I just feel more in control of myself on this medication.  However, a medication like this is not to be taken lightly.  There are serious possible and likely side effects so really talk it over with you meds doctor and weigh out the pros and cons.
  • Topimax 100mg for headaches mostly, but there is the added benefit of weight loss.  Again talk a medication like this over with your doctor.  There are better medications for headaches generally, but as I’m obese, I wanted something that would help with weight loss and I knew this one did so I asked for it by name.
  • Fetzima 80mg this is my antidepressant.  It’s a newer one and my insurance is not happy about it, but dudes I’ve been on them all and this is currently the one that works.  It has the added advantage of a norepinephrine boost so like it helps with my energy levels.  Which, between depression and fibro and anemia (these days), I need that boost.

And that’s everything.  I take these all at once in the evenings.  Which is not ideal but I’m horrible about remembering to take meds and this is the system that works for me.  So this is what I do.  My doctors know this about me a prescribe around it.

Also, on the subject of health, I have given up regular pepsi, and have switched to diet (coke).  I’ve lost 20-30 pounds in doing so.  I know it was the switch because that’s when I started losing weight.  So yay?  I have a long way to go and I’m working on it.  Taking walks.  Making healthier eating choices.  Eating less in general.  But I’ll get there.  I’ll never be super skinny.  It’s just not my body type and I’m on too many major psych meds that cause weight gain.  But I want to be at a healthier weight, whatever that means for me.  I’m also over all more interested in a healthier blood pressure, blood sugar level, and cholesterol level, than I am the actual shape of my body.  Health over size.

That’s everything I can think of so I’m signing out.  It’ll be awhile, I imagine, before I write again.  Life has me pretty busy and since my mental health is stable, it’s pretty boring.  Which is a good thing.  I promise to try and touch base next month.  I promise to try anyway.  If I can write monthly, I think that’s a good goal.  And of course, if anything interesting happens, I’ll write sooner.  In the meantime, I leave you with this photograph of my daughter cracking up on laughing gas.  She really is a doll baby.

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The Spirit of Santa – The Spirit of Giving

Posted December 5, 2014 By kmarrs

I need help saving Christmas for 4 amazing, young boys and their father.  These boys have had a rough go at life.  Some parts have been rougher than others.  This past year has  been the roughest yet, as their parents battled for custody.  Their father, the more stable of the two, has finally won this battle, but doing so has seen his finances get stretched beyond comfort.  He had to give up his second job, and when is babysitter stopped showing up, he missed a lot of work, nearly losing his job in the process, and a lot more.  Upon hearing what was going on, I stepped in and have been hanging out with these amazing boys, aged 4-9, every day after school until their daddy gets off.  In doing so, their daddy has been able to get back to being financially stable, however, not enough so to make Christmas happen.  He’s afraid the illusion of Santa will be shattered when they realize what Christmas coming after a tax return really means.

I call bullshit.  There is too a Santa and his magic is alive! However, not being made of money myself, I can’t do this alone.  So I’m asking for your help!  This family needs some Christmas magic now more than ever.  It’s been rough for them the past year.  I think a Christmas miracle is exactly what they need to see.

Please help me give this to them.

We are aiming for a deadline of the 14th so that there is plenty of time for phase 2: shopping.


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BPD Borderline Personality Disorder and LossThis year…  To say I have lost is such an understatement that it’s almost laughable.  Or would be if I wasn’t spending my free time curled up into a tiny, tiny ball crying and raging.  I assure you I’m not laughing through my tears.

Some of this loss has been by choice  but too much of it has been by force which is, I suppose, how loss typically happens.

It might as well have been by gun point that my aunt was taken from us a couple of weeks ago.  We learned of the cancer prognosis about a month before she was taken.  No one really saw the prognosis coming and we were given just enough time between prognosis and passing to realize there was no preventing it.  Cancer, is an asshole.  But, I suppose we know that.  Knew that.

The “loss” of my best friend of 12 years in the opening months of this year was of my free will.  It was a conscious decision that I made on the spot but that I’d been building up to over the months prior.  And while her character was never much of a secret, I was made privy to its true nature over the last couple months.

You (she) will never, ever read this but I would like to say now what I couldn’t say as your relationship with my estranged husband came to an end:  I’m so very truly sorry that the timing of my mental break down was so inconvenient to you and your desire to throw your beliefs aside and get laid.  Because really, my mental break down really has been inconvenient to us all.  I suppose you’ll have to go and find another fuck buddy.  If you need help finding one, may I suggest the depths of hell where your selfish, inconsiderate, whoring soul belongs.  You’ll find your people there.  And they won’t care how truly hateful and negative your depraved existence is, inside and out.

Bitch.

Maybe we won’t add that friendship to the loss category after all.  We shall call it my escape.

The other friendship loss also wasn’t much surprise.  They say some people enter your life and are meant to stay there until the end.  Some come into your life and their role is brief.  Maybe it’s only meant to last a few weeks.  Maybe a few months.  A few years.  Or, in the scheme of life, even a decade or two might be considered brief.

N, as I shall call him out of a true respect for his desire to remain unknown to this world as a whole, I thought was meant to be a life long friend.  I still hurt over the loss of what I thought it would be.  But through my tears of the loss of a friend, I do see the role he played.  He was my secret keeper and companion in the days leading up to and following the end of my marriage.  And while he and I were only ever friends and never would have been more, I was able to examine who he was and my response to him and start to see glimpses of what it is I seek in a romantic companion.

The list is much longer than what I will say here, but for a starter, I will never, ever again find myself in a relationship with someone who doesn’t read.  My joy in sharing books with N and him sharing books with me… Him handing my books that weren’t about, “You’ve read such and such so you might enjoy this,” but was instead, “I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to share it with someone who reads,” was, I think, one of my (many) favorite things about that friendship.

The idea of being able to add a romantic aspect to that, with someone else of course, is something I will no longer settle over.  I look forward to the day I find myself in bed with someone, sitting side-by-side reading our respective books.  Maybe we’ll even be reading the same thing so we can talk about it as we go, careful to avoid spoilers.  Both people in that bed understanding that the lights can’t be turned out until one more chapter has been read. And one more chapter is never just one.

N, I don’t really expect you’ll read these words but please know while our friendship exploded in flames and anger, I will forever thank you for the role you played in my life and the gift you gave me of sight.

I’ve already written on the end of my marriage.  The loss of tucking my children in each night and waking to their fighting each morning.  I do not wish to dwell on that here.  It’s been written about, but I can’t fail to mention it.

The loss of my fine motor skills, as I type on a computer keyboard plugged into my laptop because the keys are slightly bigger and have more space between them allowing for easier manipulation as I write, my fingers struggling to keep up with my head and heart as it is, has been the hardest to swallow.  Special pens bought for work in order to have a better, more secure, more comfortable grip.  Each of my coworkers knowing that while we are forever stealing one another’s pens, mine are off-limits.  It isn’t a matter of being my favorite, it’s a matter of me being a liability as I need to be sure and reassured I didn’t miscount the money my fingers struggle to manipulate.  I never count just once, I’ve learned to compensate, how to count it, how to manipulate it to be sure I balance each night. But my fingers, my hands, my fine motor skills are being taken from me as I fight tooth and nail to not lose it all.

As I drop my camera, not the point-and-shoot, but my darling Nikki due to a compromised grip as I simply lifted it to move it over 2 feet.  A special strap is already attached to help with grip, any photographer wanting that security no matter the state of their hands.  But who attaches a strap to move something 2 measly feet?  And Nikki fell, my portrait lens busted, and I still, months later, can’t bring myself, can’t find the will within, to learn if my beloved Nikki is still in working order.

As my fine motor skills trickle away, my sanity, stability, tumbles.

 

To Be Continued

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