My Tickers

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween, the happiest and scariest time of year. A time to be scared for the fun of it, a time for haunted scary houses and thoughts of dead people coming to suck your blood or eat your brains. Halloween is the one time of year where it's ok to be scared of everything.

When I was a kid, I was scared of everything every single day of my life. I was scared of getting the beating that I knew I would get. I was scared of the boogie man who was actually the sperm donor. I was scared of the dark, I was scared of the light. I spent every waking moment scared of something. On Halloween night we would dress up as scary things like ghosts or pretty things like fairy princess'. Then  we would grab a pillow case and our little orange box from school, the UNICEF box that we received every year at school. People would have bowls of candy and another of pennies to put into the UNICEF box. It was a tradition that we did every single year, we would take the box of pennies to school the next day and hand it in. The teachers would send the money off to help poor children who had no food to eat or the opportunity to get an education. Anyway, we would head out trick or treating....the egg donor often driving the car and letting us out here and there to run around through the streets pretending to be something we weren't begging for candy and pennies. 

Before walking out the door we were always warned "No funny rhymes like "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat" and no eating the candy! We were warned not to touch a single piece, never open a wrapper, never eat anything given to us because someone might have put a razor blade in it and it would cut off our tongues and we would bleed to death and die! 


As we rode in the back seat we would try to sneak candy into our pockets so that she wouldn't know. We knew what was going to happen once we got home, we knew that once we entered that house with that candy we would never see that candy again. See the egg donor had to "test" the candy to make sure it wasn't poisoned or that it didn't have razor blades in it. If it looked tampered with (aka it was a piece of candy she didn't like) then it was thrown into the trash. If it looked like it might be ok, she would take a bite to be sure and then she would have to be 100% so she would eat the rest. She would sit there and eat the candy in front of us, torturing us by eating our candy and not letting us have a single piece. Sometimes I would sneak to the trash barrel after she went to bed and steal pieces of candy out of it. I had a spot in the back of my bureau where I stashed my candy, in my underwear where she wouldn't look or find it.....and I knew my siblings wouldn't go there either. The candy was safe from all. 

Perhaps she meant well, trying to protect us from harm. Perhaps she really did, in some sick weird way, think she was doing the right thing. Perhaps she thought it was good to keep us feeling helpless and under her control...I really don't know. All I do know is that my son will never experience that kind of Halloween night! Oh he'll get to go out trick or treating with his pillowcase and zombie costume, but he won't carry that UNICEF box (because the schools don't do that here) and he will not have his mother eating all his candy in front of him. I do go through the candy looking for anything that might be tampered with, I am smart enough to know  that there are people out there who would find it funny to drug kids or whatever. So I check, anything that looks iffy I toss. I take one candy bar for myself and all the dark chocolate goes to Hubby because he's the only one in the house who will eat it. I put all the rest in a bucket and it gets given out one or two pieces at a time when earned. I do have to limit him, I just don't have to take it away. 

This year, as in years past, I look forward to carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, I look forward to going out with the boy as he trick or treats around the neighborhood, watching him be a child and gather candy from his neighbors. I look forward to hanging out with him afterward handing out candy to the stragglers and pumping up on sugar bombs. I don't really look forward to the sugar bomb battle (since it will be a school night he is going to need to go to bed at a descent hour regardless) and I don't look forward to the battle of the bulge as the candy sits in the house calling my name and teasing me lol. 
Personally, I think the egg donor, in her own way, thought she was doing right by us. I think she thought she was making good decisions regardless of how we felt about it. She could often be heard saying "Spare the rod, spoil the child". I guess she didn't want us to be spoiled, she just took it too far. I can now see these things because I have let the anger go, I have decided to not live in fear and to move forward in my life. For me, this is like the day after Halloween. I don't have to be scared anymore because the monster has been revealed as the sad and pathetic person she was. She's not so scary anymore, the sperm donor isn't even scary anymore, I now fully realize that the only way they can hurt me now is if I choose to allow them to haunt me. I am choosing to know in my heart that it's all just a memory.


Happy Halloween Folks and safe out there. Have some fun trick or treating, going to parties, whatever you do to celebrate this fun holiday. Just be sure not to eat the candy in front of your kids.....cause that's just plain mean!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life is what you make of it

I don't know who originally came up with that saying, but I used to hear it from my foster parents a lot and I never fully understood why they would say such a thing to me. First of all, how did I make that life? My life was not what I made of it because I had no choices that I could make on my own. I was just a kid. Even though I had been placed in foster care, I still felt helpless and like I was nothing but a victim of circumstance. I couldn't make anything of my life because the beginning was so horrible, so unimaginable, there was just no way for me to make any kind of decent life. Afterall, you can't make something from nothing....or can you?

As I grew older I began to realize that we all live an average of 75 to 80 years, that means we get to spend 3/4 of our lives trying to make something of ourselves, we get to make our lives. Once we become old enough to go out there in the world on our own we get to begin to make the choices that will determine who we are and what kind of life we will lead. We get to choose our destiny. We take what we have learned and we make our choices based on that, good or bad we make our lives from that point on. Our past, our upbringing will definitely influence our decisions but we get the final say and we make our own choices in the end. So what happens to those, who like myself, have grown up with nothing (or worse than nothing)? How do we make decisions that are good and wholesome and make for a good life? How do we take nothing and turn it into something?

My personal answer to that is I take that nothing and I do everything I can to make opposite decisions. Am I perfect? NO! I am far from perfect and sometimes I make a wrong decision in the heat of the moment. I will yell, I will lose my cool and say something mean and hurtful, I will copy what I learned out of instinct because I still have trouble controlling my emotions. I never hit, never physically follow the path that was taught to me. I do not lock my child in his room, I do not strike him except occasionally with my words. I know it's wrong, I know I need to control that urge to yell and call names, but it's not always easy. I struggle with this part every single day. My son has ADHD and ODD and he is a HUGE challenge most days of the week. I can't remember the last time we had an entire 24 hours where he didn't push my buttons to their limits. He's active, he's loud, he's defiant and challenges everything you say out of instinct. The ODD (Opposition Defiance Disorder) makes him want to challenge authority. The ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) give him impulse control issues along with the attention and hyperactivity issues. The impulse control makes it hard for him to control the defiance urges and therefore we battle a lot. It's not even the big things, it's the little things like taking  out the trash or recycling. It's things like taking a shower or doing his homework. Lots of times he will do all his homework except for one problem and he'll leave that one because it gives him that little bit of defiance. Of course then I have to fight him, I have to win and make him finish that homework or take out the trash because he needs to learn. It's hard to not become my egg donor with my words and lose my cool. I start yelling, I start raising my voice in frustration and then I lose my emotional control. In my frustration, I too lose my impulse control to a certain degree. So what's the difference between me and my egg donor? How am I so very different from her?

There are really two major differences between me and her....The obvious is I never strike my child. I maintain my control enough to know when to walk away and not allow that evil to grow inside me. If I have to I will tell my son to go to his room for a few minutes or to sit on the couch while I walk away and take a few deep breaths. I know when I am so frustrated that I have to separate myself from the situation. I can feel the darkness boiling up inside me, I know how easy it would be to strike the child down and make him comply, but I also know the cost of that compliance and I refuse to allow myself or my son to go down that road. I make the choice to do the right thing, to know my limits. Second, I feel majorly sorry for yelling and I immediately apologize for my poor choices. I show my son that I know I am not perfect, but I know how to make the right choice in the end. I know my faults and I am willing to admit to them. I show him that the stronger person admits their faults and does their best to fix them. I know I will never be perfect, I know I will forever make mistakes, but I will do my best to show my son that life is what we make of it, life is about the choices we make once we have the power to make those choices.

I know, I know, children can choose between right and wrong. Children can choose to be good people with their friends and family, and as parents it is our job to teach them which choices are the right ones to make. But in all reality, children do not have a ton of power over their choices and for many kids like my son, they're simply wired differently and it's even harder for them to make the right choices even when they are taught right from wrong. Their brains tell them one thing but their gut tells them to defy, to fight against authority, to stand up and be acknowledged  regardless of what may come. They do not comply, they do not simply do as they are told.  They need to be approached differently to get what you want and I am slowly learning how to get what I want without him realizing it. I still give direct orders here and there, he needs to learn to deal with life and fight that urge to defy authority, but he will not learn by constantly fighting. So I work hard to change my tactics, to explain his situation to him and help him understand why the battle is worth it in the end. It's hard for him to look into his future and see a good man that people want to have working for them and with them. It is hard for him to imagine what life could be like if he learns to control those urges to fight back. It was just as hard for me to look forward and see a life without abuse and I need to remember that when dealing with my boy. I need to remember that he is young and he doesn't understand the saying of life is what you make of it. I just need to work every day to help him make the choices in his future that will help him understand it when he's 40 like me.


I wanted to take a moment to explain something about Thoughtful Thursdays. Lately I haven't been writing stories about specific events, I have been more about my thoughts in general. This is because I feel the events of my life have been just one horrible tale after another and it does no good to hash them over one by one. I feel that in doing so I am only prolonging my pain and I do not wish to do that any longer. I have come to the point in my life where I am ready to just have thoughts and not have to remember specific events in full detail. Life sucks and then you die....that's what I used to say. It's true to an extent but at the same time it's not. It can be that way if you let it, if you hold onto that pain and relive those memories over and over again. OR you can chose to make a change for yourself, for those you love, make a change for the better. My old saying needs a rewrite...Life sucks and then you heal!

Let the healing begin!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New look

I decided I needed a new look in here for the fall so I sat here at the computer with my Paint Shop Pro and created a new banner that would match this fallish background that I like. I love the fall, it's a beautiful time of year. Even though it is technically the beginning of an end, it's also a time of color and beauty. I feel that it shows that endings can be beautiful things that lead to new beginnings.

As I watch the leaves die and fall off the branches I am finding myself looking at it from a different perspective. As I heal from my past I am finding that a lot of things are taking on a new view and I kinda like it. This year fall resembles me....or maybe I resemble fall...I'm not sure but either way, this is how I see things.

In the fall we spend hours and hours looking at the beautiful colors amazed in their beauty even though they are dying. Then those leaves fall off the trees and we spend many more hours cleaning up the debris. We pile up those leaves and carrying them away to the edge of the woods where they can decay in a compost pile and return to the earth. By the end of fall everything is cold and frozen but the debris is cleared out of our lives.  We know that it's still there but we also know that now that we have cleared up those leaves the grass will be able to grow back in come springtime with a vibrancy and beauty that will bring us much happiness. There will be new growth of young leaves and the sun will shine once again.

As for me, I have watched my own life in amazement and awe. I survived a lot of crap, a lot of which I have put here in this blog. I have watched myself, like those leaves, change and turn into something beautiful. I shook my branches and knocked all the dead leaves off and then spent time piling them up and removing them from my life. Much like the old oak tree in the back yard, I still have some leaves that are hanging on trying not to fall but the majority have fallen to the ground. I have spent a lot of time piling those up and putting them away where they can decay and become the fertilizer of my future. I know they are there, sitting in the dark edges of my life, but they are no longer attached to me like they used to be. Occasionally I may go back to those edges and  scoop something up, but it will just be to fertilize and feed something beautiful. I will never be able to forget, these things in my life will never fully biodegrade, but they will remain and be the soil to live my life by. I will use them to make something beautiful, I will use them for something good. As the remaining leaves fall, as I am positive they will, I will put them in the pile with the others and let my new leaves grow in their place. I will someday be the mighty oak that stands tall and strong, surrounded by green grass and sunshine.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good things come in small packages

This past week I made plans with the Wild Child, we were going to get up bright and early on Saturday morning, drive for 3 1/2 hours to my old hometown and go apple picking. Then  we were going to drive 3 1/2 hours back home. The car was all ready, we were excited and talking about it every day.

Then Friday arrived!

Friday afternoon the Wild Child walked home from school, I met him at the door with a tiny kitten in his hands. Apparently he had found it on the way home and wanted to save it.

**Flashback to my childhood "Mom, I found it in the woods. It was all alone and sad. Can we keep it PLEASE!!!!**

He was all scruffy looking and had matted fur. He was dirty and tiny and full of fleas. It's a holiday weekend and the no kill shelter is closed until Tuesday. We brought it in, gave it a bath, gave it a dose of flea stuff that we had from when the other cats were kittens and placed him in the basement to keep him away from the other animals until we could figure out what to do with him. I told the Wild Child we could probably keep him here in the basement until Tuesday and then we could take him to the no kill shelter. We already had 2 cats and I didn't think Hubby was going to want a third in the house.

Hubby came home from work and the Wild Child worked his charms. He used every trick in the book and maybe even invented a few as well. He even went to the extent of reminding his father that my cat, Rex, had passed away over the winter and so now I didn't have one. Martin is the Wild Childs kitty, Merlin was a gift to Hubby when his kitty was killed by coyotes. My kitty had been Rex and he was gone. In the end Hubby gave the Wild Child a choice, spend money on gas driving to Vermont and going apple picking OR keep the kitten and use that money for shots. He chose the kitten and I received the task of figuring out a name.

At first I thought about naming him Scruffy, since that's how he looked when the boy carried him in. Then I thought of naming him Zorro because of his little mustache. Isn't it the cutest thing you have ever seen?

The Wild Child didn't like Zorro so I kept thinking. We have had a few cats named after mythological gods (Loki and Minerva) so I started looking at greek god names. First I found Boreas, God of the north wind and winter. That's pretty fitting for our family since we sure do love winter. The Wild Child didn't like the pronunciation and thought it might be difficult to say all the time and even harder to find a short name or nick name for.

Then I found Apollo: God of sun, music, archery, poetry, healing and prophecy. I love the sun and how it feels on my face, the sun alone can bring me happiness. Musical talent runs in my family and I find nothing more relaxing than cranking up my favorite tunes and singing along. When in high school I loved archery and was pretty good at it too. I enjoy writing poetry, especially when I am having emotional moments and need to get stuff out of my head. I work all the time to heal and move on from my past. Prophecy, well when I had gone to the bank to take out a little money for the trip my bank account was $666 and then this guy showed up keeping me from going back to my hometown. (In case you don't know, many believe 666 to be the number of the devil) I wonder if it was a sign...makes ya think huh?

I named him Apollo, it seemed to fit.

Of course Saturday I take him in and am informed that he can't be more than 6 weeks old and can't get any shots for 2 weeks. He is adorable, plays well and eats a ton. He has trouble with dry food so we are giving him canned kitten food for now. He's doing pretty good with the litter box so long as I put him in it shortly after he eats. He will learn in due time to go to it on his own, until then I will continue to carry him to the box. He won't go for anyone but me so that's my job, but then again he is my kitten so I guess that's the way it should be.

Good things come in small packages, in this case the package has been named Apollo.