Tag Archives: family

The Family Tree Project

There are a lot of problems with the Family Tree Project. It’s not Mr. B’s, Small’s teacher’s, fault, but I am just uncomfortable with the entire idea.

When they assigned it to my aide’s daughter, she called it nosy. I don’t have much of a problem with that – but can see there are times when revealing my past would not do me well. When I worked in the capitol, I would introduce myself using my first and last name – both are rare. Occasionally someone would scrunch up their nose and try to think where they had heard the names before. The Capitol’s major and I share the same name, and that was probably why, but once or twice I said, “you don’t know anyone I’m related to.”

Now, fifteen years older, I see that was a snotty thing to say. While my parents were state employees, stirring around in law enforcement and tax evasion, my paternal grandfather was a tom cat, sprinkling the rest of us around the country. He was guilty of a lot of poop and I have never met him, nor will I ever. The man is dead, and lays in a pauper’s grave in the town my father grew up in.

My maternal grandfather was a carpenter. My grandmother was an artist. I have no shame that comes in that, but I do not bear their name. I can’t brag that I am one of them as soon as I am introduced to someone new. Those grandparents will take up a large amount of my daughter’s family tree. Their children might be another story, one being a leech and another a meth user. In my own recovery, though, I have met many an addict that is a genuinely good person who happens to have some serious problems that they solve (or don’t) using drugs. I am naive enough to believe the drugs I take are different than the drugs they do.

Enough for now. Monday my husband and I start marriage counseling. We’re dropping the baby at 3:30 and the sitter will have her until 7. Will keep you up to date.


BFF and till death do us part

My sister-in-law (husband’s sister) is a vegan and a Buddhist, and an atheist. She came to church with us and was able to say she enjoyed the music. We walked home.

She wanted to have girl time later, so I got my coat and took her out to the berm (levy) near our house. She wanted to talk about sex, so we did. I’m good at talking so people will talk more, so I didn’t reveal too much about our conjugal bed, only to insure her that, yes, things have changed, and yes, I was still attracted to her brother. Her brother is disgusted at the idea of my brother and I having conversations like that (which we don’t.)

More importantly than all of that was her sharing her thoughts on love and relationships. It interested me, yet I felt a little uneasy and since then I figured out why. Her idea is one of living in the moment. Does she believe that, that person is worth it and was worth the time you had together? If the answer is “yes” it doesn’t matter if he leaves you for another man or breaks up with you to move to Alaska and find his fortune. The idea is that you can wallow around in the other, good feeling moments without feeling bitter or angry.

My response was to think about it, and sort the truths from the baloney. This is what I came up with. When I enter a relationship, it is a commitment of some kind. Maybe the commitment is to speak to this man sitting next to me on a bus. Maybe it’s marriage, but they both require something. It’s up for the people involved to figure out what it is. I was reminded of this by T, my bff. Of course marriages require commitment – that’s the point, right? But what about friendships? Are they commitment driven?

Second grade started and Small came home with a new best friend. Her name was M and she is a beautiful, not too bright, little girl. She had been held back a year and she and her equally as intellectually equip brother were in the same class. I did not like this friendship because I didn’t think it was a good match. Also, we had invited them to two consecutive birthday parties where they did not come. It wasn’t that I was offended, really, who cares at a pool party? But I knew something would happen that would cause Small to get hurt. I didn’t say anything about it, who knows, maybe I should have. Small went to justice and bought BFF bracelets. I told her if they break up as BFFs that M gets to keep the bracelet. She agreed that was appropriate.

It was less than a week when I had a sobbing little daughter, crying so loudly and fiercely that she was gulping for air. M had picked another girl to be her partner in a school activity. It was over. M had promised she wouldn’t hurt Small and then she did. There was a commitment on Small’s side to be Best Friends Forever. It wasn’t a necklace for her, it was a way of life. She’s moved on to other BFFs and I like the girls (and boy) she is hanging out with now. They are smart and social and cute.

But what about T. Now, I know you are reading this, Mrs T, but I’m going to write about it anyway. It may have been a misunderstanding on my part, but if it was, it’s an interesting misunderstanding. I was talking away with Mrs T and she was chatting back. We’re a noisy pair, the two of us. At one point she said, “I don’t know if I am able to do this.” I am pretty sure she meant that she wasn’t sure she was able to commit to our friendship. She said that friends in her life were compartmentalized – people she walks with, people she plays Parcheesi with, people she sees at church. I was running over onto many areas of her life. Was this going to work?

I think my sister-in-laws philosophy would be to decide the in the person herself was worthy, believe him to be so, and to love them. She was to love them without expectations and when he leaves, he is gone.

I can’t do that. I am too much like Small. I enter a relationship, I expect, no need something from the other person. It’s not a form of manipulation, although I can see how it might be perceived that way. It’s my reality. If love is gentle, patient, kind and keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t boast then I have to look at a relationship through those eyes. I think that gentleness can be evident to tall without commitment to a person individually, but I do not think that patience can exist without a commitment. I will be patient – also known as “long-suffering” with you. I may not like what you do, or honestly, always like you, but I will be patient with you. You are you, unalterably you, and, even though I might be as zany as thought possible, I will not be reckless with your soul. That is my commitment to you. If I bind myself to you, and things go south, it will be sad and I will be angry. I think that, in most cases, that is okay. It is part of it, ya know? I don’t have the soul of a reed where water and wind blow through me unfettered.

Feeling strangely centered, considering I am pointing out my own non-meditative state. Good bye for now.

I think things are working with T just fine now, thank you very much. She is busy and happy and lost all her excess weight. I am not the same kind of busy, but I have a lot to do, and some times I even do it. I like my friend very much. We are like teenagers. Once overweight teenagers with husbands who work and don’t go to school. And text each other all the time. And drink Peet’s coffee.

Life is good.


“Overweight/Skinny”

I want to give a shout out to my new readers and followers. Please keep reading, and leaving comments. I want this to be my best. This year I’m going to be more focused on the novel I’m writing. I hope that means I will use the blog to warm up and lure you into creating a Malakoa fan club, complete with a forum for fans that passionately argue with each other about potential interpretations and gush over my transparency and honesty despite all of my sufferings. Yeah. Do that.

My sister in law in here and things are going very well, at least on my side of the room. She is very cute with her new short hair cut and was very sweet. She played with my daughter and after she and hubo went up to be, we stayed and chatted into the night. Pleasant.

So pleasant I went ahead and ate twice as much Coconut Bliss as everyone else and a Coconut Cupcake with a ton of frosting, and a ton of frosting. Buttercream with real butter and a hint of blue food coloring to differentiate between that and the Earth Balance frosting. It was like my nervous energy was suppressed until she left, then it was free to reign. I’m sure I’ve gained. My tummy feels flabby – a word I have never used to describe myself before. I feel as if it’s all back. I can’t relax in to the comfort of being overweight any more, because I find I’ve preferred being “lean”. I don’t like the words “fat” or “skinny” because they are so critical and so charged. You don’t use “skinny” to talk about a girl you find beautiful. In my experience, “fat” is not so wonderful of a descriptor either. I like lean – it reminds me of a race horse. Strong, powerful, glossy hair and well cared for nails. I would like that to describe me. Once a UC Berkeley football player told me I had legs like a race horse and I really liked that. “Overweight” hurts. The world famous psychiatrist described me as, “overweight” in his description of me and it stung. I didn’t do anything about becoming a healthy weight, but I didn’t like it. Years later, I’m no longer, in T’s words, hiding behind “a mound of fat”. I have an ordinary body now. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have an especially designed body, and I have more say over how it works and looks now than I did then. I wasn’t eating to gain weight, I was eating because I was hungry, or because Small was hungry. Or I was nervous or sad. There are always reasons to eat. I’m paring down those options, and that is why I am slim. “Slim” is not my favorite word to describe a body, either. “Slim” reminds me of a “slim volume” or “Virginia Slims”. I’m still wearing Lane Bryant Clothes. This surprises me, but my mom says that I was wearing my clothes too tight. So it’s a size 8 pair of Calvin Jeans, and a size 14/16 sweater. I have lost two cup sizes, so I’m a tad confused on how that can be so. When I lost all that weight training and completing the tri-athlon I wore an eight on the bottom and a 12 on the top. Maybe it’s my shoulders.


Granola and Vegans

Darn it if I didn’t click the wrong button and deleted my post again. I need to figure out how I did that, and how to prevent it, so this doesn’t keep happening. But back to the food.

I sent my husband to the store to shop for this weekend. My sister-in-law’s flight has been delayed – she is arriving here today instead of yesterday. She is vegan. We have all sorts of fresh food and whole grains. My husband eats like a vegan with meat. He will have all the vegetables in the world and most of the fruits. He adds a large chunk of fish, beef, lamb, chicken and any other animal. He dreams of foie gras. We went to a restaurant on the way up to a family reunion, he had an ostrich burger. It would have been good, he’s enjoyed it before, but it was in the freezer too long. He likes meats. He has a wheat allergy, so he stays away from flour tortillas and the vegan cupcakes I made yesterday. Without out offending my vegan friends, I say with good authority that Earth Balance is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. The frosting was repulsive, so I made some good, honest butter cream frosting for the rest of us to eat. The rest of us meaning me. I never should have made that frosting. I think I ate four cupcakes, and I had a few spoonfuls of the frosting. Just to get the taste of Earth Balance out of my mouth. I easily stomach the fruits and veggies, and even tofu, but cannot hang with things like “tofurkey” or cheese substitutes.

I weigh Wednesdays at Weight Watchers and I am hoping I eat moderately for the rest of the week. I would be okay if I stayed the same. I would like to lose a pound, and maybe I can if I do the vegan thing for the next few days I can pull that off. But I need protein to help keep my bipolar steady. I know there are many options for vegan protein. Mix beans and rice, eat tofu, isn’t tempeh vegan, too?

Working out double today. I am going to lift weights – squats, push press and rows, and yoga. Everyone that is important has commented how stressed I am, so I’m going for the “stress” tape. When I haven’t exercised for a while, I get really angry and punch the air. This is not a “maybe” thing. It’s like all my adrenals and stress hormones get released. I hope it results in a more relaxed, even keeled Malakoa. My sister-in-law is coming to see us from a long plane ride away, and after a long phone call with her earlier this week I burst in to tears. She doesn’t mean to be mean and would probably be sad if she knew I was crying because of our conversation. Hubo got home at exactly the right time, so I was comforted.

I talked about the “home team” on the Gentle Christian Mothers’ board, “a speaker once told me and dh that “you are the home team. When you have children, they are on the home team. Other than that, no one else is going to ever be on your home team.” Every situation, every conflict should be based on the idea that it is your family first. No one is welcome to infiltrate your team. When the girls up and marry, they will be on their own home teams.

This means that my home team is me, Small and my husband. Not you. No friends. Not our siblings or our parents. I am going to remember this and be loyal to my home team and try to be kind to everyone.


You were lucky, says the pharmacist to me.

Pills are always a bone of contention for the taker and just about everyone else. My brilliant book will be called, “Sorting My Pills”, which is about the wrestlings of a mentally ill person and her treatments, family and everyone else in the world. I like to tease my dad about the number of pills I take and prescriptions that are a part of my life. He is uncomfortable with the joke, so I tell it to him every chance I get.

Inderal is a heart/cholesterol medicine. As you can guess, it lowers the heart rate. It also has the side effect of causing the shaking, caused by Lithium, to go away. It has anti-anxiety properties. I thought I was supposed to take the little blue tablets three times a day. I frequently forgot the midday dose, but ultimately got that taken care of by taking it at 11, when Small eats lunch. I went off it when I developed Serotonin syndrome about a year ago. As of December 16 – fourteen days ago – it was re-prescribed.

Yesterday evening I checked the pills I was about to take. I do a cursory pill counting glance every night, but for some reason zeroed in on the yellow tabled I had been gulping on morning and evenings for the last two weeks. I just followed the instructions without considering what they were. (This is not like me – usually I do a lot of research and have much discussion with my doctors before I add a drug to my regime.) I find a cool website that identifies pills and find out I was taking two sixty mgs of Propranolol. I didn’t know what it was so I go on the chat with a Walgreens Pharmacist. It turned out it was the trade name for Enderal. I was already taking Enderal. In fact, I was taking it almost three times a day, at 20 mgs a slug. Somehow the prescriptions overlapped. Let’s do some math here. 60 x 2 = 120. 20 x 3 = 60. I was taking 180 mgs, an abundance, of a drug that slowed heartbeat. I typed to the pharmacist such, “I am lucky.” She answered to me, the medical facade dropped, “You are lucky.”

I haven’t really cried yet. I have worked on processing this – I could have killed myself without the intention. It hasn’t scared me, yet. I looked at my child and my spouse with more shock than sadness. When I am seriously depressed I look at them and feel so sad and sorry they will have to go on without me. This sort of death is more of a spectacle. It honestly never occurred to me I could accidentally hurt myself. These drugs are safe, right? So long as a I follow their instructions, everything will be fine, right?

Not so much. I’m not sure how to prevent this from happening again. I have so many daily prescriptions, so many different prescriptions it’s hard to keep up with it all. This is true for the mental patient I am and for anyone who is emotionally connected to their illness. I don’t know if people who take statins have the kind of relationship with medicine that I do, maybe they do. If they don’t they can detachedly open a bottle and swallow a pill or two. They don’t need to think or resent their pills. They keep them alive longer than they would, and that’s that. I would do better if I was more detached. I don’t hate taking pills – I know they extend my life and my health, but there is still something emotional going on here. If i wasn’t would I be in the situation I was last night?


If getting angry at her (PG)

“If getting angry at Malakoa did any good, she’d be cured by now.” So says my father to my mother. So he gets mad at me too, huh? I didn’t know. I get mad a lot, especially at my mother. It is something to realize your family is angry at you a good portion of the time. It’s not something I can do anything about, though. I’m always going to be at least somewhat like I am now. Some of it is bipolar, some of it is my sparkling personality.

I think I hate facebook and I’m thinking I am going to quit. There, I said it. It’s because I over analyze things. For example, an old friend remarried. She and I are no longer close, but she’s stayed in touch with a couple of our old friends. They were very close. They were IN the first wedding. She posted her wedding pictures and the friends were not in it. I have become a tad obsessed with why… It is strange to wonder why they wouldn’t even be at her event. I can’t pm her about it because I wished I didn’t care.

Here is my latest issue, though. There is this girl who was in Small’s class last year. We’ll call her Morgan. Morgan is very well behaved and received many accolades because of it. As for my daughter, that’s not how we roll. She doesn’t run in line, she explains to me, she skips in line. She is put next to the naughtiest boy in the class and the two of them jabber on and on. Personally, I like the girl and her mom and wanted to invite her to her birthday party. Small was jealous so we didn’t. Too bad, I liked talking to the mom.

On her facebook she posted that she went sailing at Paradise Point…. with the evil LN….

Now, I know that LN is yapping about me. She does that, there is nothing I can do about it. It’s her nature. She is not likely to change. I do not want to be friends with her anymore and I wish my old therapist who moved to San Diego was here to help me process all of that. He was good about it. The current therapist is not. We’ll get to her in a minute.

Anyway, I’m mostly fine about LN. I do not feel betrayed because there is nothing for me to be betrayed about. I knew this was the way she was and for a while (like, a year) I believed there were really legitimate things wrong with the people she talked about. I’m sure a good percentage of the mommies hear what she said and think differently about others because of it. The more they get to know her, though, the more they have got to clue in on her distorted view of the world.

I had a boyfriend who did that. I don’t want to get in to it right now.

Anyway, I’m really trying to stay away from LN. Not necessarily avoiding her, but definitely not seeking her out. I make no effort to find her after school, or go out and see her while our kids are playing in the culdesac. I’m done. Really. I didn’t defriend her, but I blocked her wall from showing up and am just SO OVER IT.

Sure, yeah right.

So, Morgan’s mom has her own Facebook page. That’s how I found out about the sailing. So what, you say, ignorant of my love of water and dreams of sailing. One of my dreams is to go sailing. I went once when I was as little girl, but I hardly remember it. I want to go so much! It’s a dream. I’ve come close to getting to go. Once was in the late nineties. We were going with above boyfriend’s parents, but the weather was ugly, thunder and lightening. We didn’t get to go. Later my husband’s friend at work had a boat and we were supposed to go one weekend but there was some kind of mis-communication so we didn’t. Two close calls. I wouldn’t even know how to go about getting to do it.

I wrote the first part of this post yesterday. I feel pretty over it, now. I’ll get to sail one day, but today is not that day and tomorrow is not that day either.

* * * *

Weight Loss. I put on a pair of my husband’s shorts and a tight brown t-shirt. I don’t look nearly as lumpy as I did in a great big grey shirt from a few months ago. It was nice. No one told me nicely to go upstairs and change.

I’ve lost 28 pounds. We got a great big bunch of candy from the pinata at a little girl’s birthday party and I’ve been munching away. We’ll see how that shows up on Tuesday.

* * * *

I think I’m getting a new therapist. Last time for some reason she went off on this tangent about religion and Gods and god and how all religions really worship only one God. Oh yeah, that’s what I did: I told her that Buddhism is an atheist religion. Every one I know raised in the faith does not believe in God. They don’t worship a great big ol’ God, they worship their ancestors. She didn’t like that because I think she thought I was “judging”. I am so flippin’ tired of the whole principal of “judging.” Of course I don’t want to “judge” other people, I don’t know what they’ve been through any more than they know what I’ve been through. If I’m going to be berated for my beliefs, what is the point of being “non-judgmental”? We slid through Hinduism. I think a true Hindu would be pretty offended to be told they worshiped only one God, when there are thousands of Gods. After her minor diatribe, resulting in a deadly ethnocentric interpretation of world religions, stating that ultimately, all religions worshiped one God. Now, I have heard that every path leads to heaven. (Like all road lead to Rome.) But I think this is different. To say there is one God that everyone worships requires a twisting of faiths I am not comfortable. I can see how the “all paths” might even be a necessity for a therapist, but the way she arrived at that deduction is what troubles me.

She loves Eckhart Tolle, I’ve seen videos of him. His m.o. is living in the moment. I have no problem with that. It’s a good idea. Nothing controversial there. His books, on the other hand, are the lost leading the lost. He twists scripture from major religions to point out they are all talking about the same thing. This can’t e true. If it was true, they would have more, real life similarities. There are lots of Tolle critics on the internet, but many of them haven’t read any of his books or seen his videos. I saw a video, I read as much of his book as I could stand. A critic “call(ed) his ideas and looping ways with language New Age twaddle.” I still don’t feel like I qualify as a critic…. that said, when people say things about all paths go to the same place it usually means to me that they have not examined the directions. I know there are many folks who are on one path and criticize openly and loudly the people on another. They usually criticize a path they don’t know anything about and are not likely to find out more. I’m not an expert on world religion, but I have studied enough to believe every American Buddhist I’ve known has been an atheist. She said that they were Buddhists in one right and atheists in another. No. That is not what I said, saw or understood. She said after that if she offended me she didn’t mean to and that she usually doesn’t discuss spiritual things with her patients. I am glad to hear that. There was a point earlier in our relationship I almost told her I didn’t want to touch spirituality with her at all. I already knew she and I differed greatly in our beliefs. I can’t just let it roll over my back. My friend, CH said that I had an “intense” faith. I had great, long-term relationships with two therapists that did not have the same spiritual practices or beliefs. Honestly, it just never came up and there was no desire to correct or adjust my “intense” beliefs. I did not break my back trying to share the Four Spiritual Laws with them, either. In fact, I almost didn’t keep going to the first one because she wrote I was, “preoccupied with religious pursuits.” It turned out not to be a problem.

But I’m sensing this is different. If anyone can help pinpoint the problem, I would love to hear from you. I’m leaning towards finding someone else. Let me know.


Mind all over the place – R for content

Shocked? You should be. After all, I am as steady as the sea, I am calm like a hurricane. I am like a simmer. I am a yo-yo dieter. Why shouldn’t I be everywhere at once without even trying?

We are studying the Marriage Builder in our “Growth Group.” One of the first questions was, “What do you want most from your marriage?” My husband wants “consistency.” I don’t even know what that means, even after an explanation. I can’t be consistent. I want to be, sometimes, but most of the time I don’t. I’m like a great big trifle, filled with sponge cake and whipped cream and even jam. No slice is the same. It’s so creamy delicious though, who can resist?

I wish mightyheidi was up. She makes me laugh a lot and I calm down when I get to talk to her. She almost died this year, so it was very scary. Most of all scary for her, I think. It’s hard for those of us with kids to really want to meet our Maker. Before marriage, I was eagerly awaiting heaven. Maybe marriage didn’t change me, but having Small makes me want to bargain. Just ’till she’s 12, 18, has kids of her own. I confess that when the depression breaks in I think about how old she’ll be when I finally do it. Would a 18 year old handle it better than a 15 year old? That’s when I feel my body comes in to a certain obedience to the illness. I can see a little how I’m being irrational and have no responsibility to die, but it almost doesn’t matter. Just for the record, Mrs T, I’m not having these feelings right now, I’m just able to express them right now.

I applied for a job so I am checking my email every time I can pry my family off of this computer. They don’t reply. It is sad because the hours are so perfect. (Have you noticed that the hours are pretty much the only qualification necessary for me to apply for a job?)

Really thinking about a tattoo…. I want my mom to die of shame, that’s why. Also I’m thinking about the whole Тоска concept. It’s me! It’s me! It’s a Russian word: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

I would get “Тоска” on my hip that way you could say, “Did I really just see a tattoo peeking at me?” or “I didn’t know you had a tattoo?” or nothing because they aren’t checking out my bikini line, which i shave irregularly.