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Yep I love this board as well, a good place to say what you feel or to read what others feel, depending on what suits best :)  Feel very lucky to be able to come here :)

The soup sounds lovely, Hops, perhaps the grated knuckle was the winning ingredient? :)  Your friend's caring responsibilities - wow.  I just couldn't physically manage to do all of that but I think when you're 'in the zone' it just feels normal so people get on with it.  To do all that alongside a job as demanding as being a lawyer?  And then to lose them all, so tough for her to cope with.  She sounds like a good person to know :)  And, Lighter, apple pies!  Yum yum :)

I've been trying to get back into some sort of routine and get myself moving again but I have noticed that I feel as if my cloak of invisibility is slipping?  I don't feel as if I'm hiding as much or such a need to be in control all the time.  We went to see a friend yesterday and some other friends were there - usually that freaks me out a little but it felt really easy to chat and see where the afternoon took us.  Today I saw the lovely osteopath who put my back into some semblance of order again so it's a little sore from all the manipulation but feels better as well.  She's always good to talk to as well, an interesting lady who has a lot of knowledge about all sorts of things (and three mad cats that she always has a funny story about).

And this evening I decided to start posting disability related info on Facebook.  I don't usually use it much and when I do it's generally for things that don't attract an opinion but the British Government have called an election and if we don't get the current government out then things for disabled people here will get even worse than they are now.  I thought about it and have decided to just post facts, not with a view to trying to sway votes but just to put objective information out there.  I've forewarned people so they can switch me off their newsfeed if it isn't the sort of thing they want to read but many reacted positively.  I feel like I am speaking up a bit and I've not done that for a very long time.  Feels good.
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: My mother died
« Last post by Bettyanne on April 19, 2017, 03:07:09 AM »
I forgot to include anxiety like yourself.....when I was 24 and had just given birth to my daughter....I was bleeding and staying at NM's house BIG MISTAKE.....I had 3 other babies too I asked her to stay with me as I was weak and couldn't take care of the kids.....she stayed to noon....she was a work alcoholic and never missed she walked out the door and left me....I called doctor and he sent an ambulance for me....and I called her telling her she needed to come home.  Long story short here I ended up getting blood ....took the kids when I got out of hospital and went home.....but after that I felt if my own mother didn't care about me.....what is wrong with me?
I ended up in a mental hospital for a month......she never helped....and never came to see me in the hospital....but as bad as it was to go to mental hospital it was a new beginning to go to a therapist this was back in the 1967 and the best thing that ever happened to me.....I had years and years of pain and up evil to deal with her....but back then they didn't use the word narcissistic ......not until 2000 did I have a therapist tell me that is what my mother is.  But anxiety hit me bad after she therapist said you have had anxiety your whole life from her. I think she is right and know she is right....thanks again....Bettyanne
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: My mother died
« Last post by Bettyanne on April 19, 2017, 02:36:32 AM »
Hi Just Kathy......
Thank you for your response above.......Yes I have been trying to make some sense out of what happened in my life and no answer is better then what you wrote.  They are just plain....mean and it is so strange because we all think like the Hallmark mother day cards.....and all the words that sound so good and kind in them is what a mother is all about about......but in our case non of the words make sense.....their whole lives have always been about themselves. My T said you think your mother loved your kids but the truth is she didn't ....she used them to get more attention. 
What ever it is I need to do to feel better......the one thing I can say is my Mother is dead......she hasn't called me now in five grateful for that.....the endless same conversations of What's New because she used me for news so she could call someone and repeat what I told her.....are over. 
Life is new and different without her......and so grateful for your kind response
Love, Bettyanne
I'm so glad you shared all that, Hops.  Every word of it.  Nice to read you're cooking, and what, and who ate it... honest.


I like domestic stuff too.... but..... finding the zone is sometimes difficult. 

Sunday I bought lovely Honey Crisp apples, and made pie.... s.  One big beautiful pie, and several smaller ones..... all with crumbles on top. 
My youngest didn't want to help.  Usually she makes lovely lattice pie crusts.  She was guarding the remainder of her break jealously..... keeping it all to herself. 


So I baked for the joy of solo baking.  It was comforting, but.... as I told DD16 on our phone call today..... I really miss Easters with her and her sister from simpler days gone by.  She understood.... she said it out loud so I didn't have to.  She understands too, Hops.

Tomorrow dd16 goes to the Village program again..... I'm so happy for her to have at least 2 more weeks of magic and ritual before she comes home.  I wanted her to take the most difficult parts of our story into that part of her program, and so I talked and talked to her today about our history.  The things she never knew, and the things she forgot or blocked.  We both felt...... like it needed to happen.  I wish I could have held her, or comforted her physically.  She has an incredible T to help her through it, and another T guiding her through Village.  I feel so blessed to have those supports.

Afterwards it felt like a weight came off my shoulders.  I had energy to clean one of the freezers, defrosting a chicken for tomorrow night, and processing the remainder of a pork loin for 2 more meals.... one I cooked before picking dd14 up from school.  Baby bok choi with sweet onions, garlic and pork.... salty and perfectly spiced.  Last night we had salt and pepper pork with extra jalapenos please.  Now we love spicy food together.... all three of us.   

Tupp..... the idea that you'll be planning special times for yourself.... regularly..... again... brilliant, IMO.  That struck me like a lightening bolt, it did.


Yes: )

I love sharing the board with you guys ((((Tupp and Hops)).



The carrot soup was good! Too spicy for one of the ladies but she's...particular. The rest devoured it.
I doubled the recipe and my kitchen looked like a orange-spewing howitzer had been through.
Had to chop 5 pounds of carrots since I'd mistakenly thought my VitaMix (ancient but powerful blender) could do that...oops. Also 4 enormous leeks you could playe baseball with. And a lot of spices--garlic, cumin, cayenne, etc. Tiny bit of agave. Swirled some of my home-grown kefir on top of each bowl, sprinkled with cilantro and grated lime rind. Epicurious website is where I found the recipe.

Grated a knuckle too.

Felt triumphant. (Always want to hold a press conference when I cook. Alert the media!) It's that rare.

Came home with enough energy to clean up the kitchen and went to bed feeling proud. I actually LIKE domestic stuff but just haven't done much of it since I got the house and moved. Job and D and all that just derailed some of the simplest pleasures in life -- or triggered me to stop enjoying those pleasures. This year, though I worry about my back, I'm planning to garden a LITTLE. (Keeping it small and realistic has always been a challenge, so it winds up a weed-fest.) Bought a used mini-tiller for my landscaper, who's going to pay me back. Or, I won't pay him for a couple visits. Made me happy.

Tonight I go to a b-day dinner (casual restaurant meet) for my longest-term friend over in the valley. Our parents were friends in the '40s in DC after the war so we always joke that we've known each other since conception. Will be a lovely drive over the mountains, about 45 minutes. I'm taking her a jug of the soup and a silly dog-themed card. She's more obsessed with dogs than I am; we can talk about them for hours.

I may have talked about her here. (Can you tell I've taken my ADD med? Leads to loooooooong stories.)

She's a lawyer whose life nearly collapsed under the stress of caregiving. Her Dad had a severe stroke, totally paralysed. The ghastly part was that her Mom was distressed at the thought of "Johnny being hungry" and my friend was in shock so didn't push back over the insertion of a feeding tube. A disastrous decision. Because although you CAN choose to refuse a feeding tube; once it's in, removing it would legally be murder. This man was so physically powerful (and bomber pilot during the war) that he then lived seven years, completely paralysed and speechless and immobile (which he would have loathed) in a hospital bed at home. Her job was here in my town so for all that time she drove back every night (oh, she also had a mentally disabled brother there) to coordinate everything and be night-caregiver. [I did that when I lived in another city four hours away for six months at the end of my Dad's life, which nearly killed me. So I can't fathom how she did this for so many YEARS. I often worried she'd die before her parents did.]

Her mother (I know I told this tale here before...y'all should tell me to quit being senile!) developed dementia. Still at home. Caregiver circus. So...the day Johnny died, they didn't immediately tell Frankie that Johnny was gone. (Yes, real names. Unbelievable.) The next afternoon Frankie went down for her usual nap in her part of the house and never woke up. In the interim, friend had called me to tell me about her Dad, and when his service would be the following weekend. Two days later she had to call back and say, "It's going to be a double service." It was devastating for her. All those years of stress and losing them both at once. Then she continued to live with and care for the Very Difficult brother until he died a few years back.

She's both a dear friend and my hero, in a lot of ways. She's recovered. In the stress of those years she had to give up her law practice, and now works as a legal editor (still in my town). But she enjoys the commute over the mountain for its sheer gorgeousness. And has a new little rescue pooch.

My employer-gent just called me to explain he had diarrhea at 2 a.m. so I must go buy him pills and bananas. TMI? I always have to look up how to spell it.


I woke up this morning thinking about the Easter weekend and I realised that there is still a part of me that wants to be 'rescued' over the holidays and included in other people's plans, or just to have people that you automatically spend time with when you have time off. 

That got me thinking about what I can do to enjoy the holiday instead of enduring it and hanging on until it's over.  I think I need to almost plan a little holiday at home and prepare for it in the same way that I would if I were going away somewhere or having people over.  And I think perhaps I need to do that at the weekends as well, so instead of them merging into the week and not feeling any different (apart from feeling like everyone else is out having a nice time!) I think I need to plan some enjoyable activities we can do at home and make an effort to make some special food.  I also think I should do some baking and instead of falling into the over eating/ over drinking thing actually plan some treats so that I get the comfort without feeling like I've fallen off the wagon.  And maybe I should make the effort to dress up and do my hair, even if we're not going anywhere, so that it just feels a bit special and not like an enforced curfew or something.

Now I've been thinking about food I've made myself feel hungry lol x
I understand why it got to you and stirred things up, Tupp. Still think you've managed to ride it through really well. Got a couple mouthfuls of saltwater and knocked off your surfboard by a dolphin who wasn't paying attention, but you climbed back on. You're still riding. So impressed by you.

I had a little wave to figure out too. First half of yesterday was just wonderful. Weather's ridiculously gorgeous and for a change, I woke well rested, functioned a LOT for me (getting things done), had a great walk and friend meet, etc. Later in the day I found myself obsessively reading about loss, drinking one drink more than I'd intended, and actually signed up for Twitter and for the first time in oh, about 6-8 months, looked again at my D's Twitter (to find I'm blocked). Haven't looked for AGES and have been feeling very healthy about that.

Then, duh, made the connection more consciously. Easter was a happy, lovely special Sunday when she was little. I did Easter baskets, we ate with her grandparents, she looked adorable, she cuddled up to me in the pew, the music is glorious, etc. It was just a time full of love and warmth and light. One time she came back to our little house on Easter Sunday afternoon (she'd spent the weekend at her Dad's) and as she came up the walk she was complaining about how they didn't really do much for Easter at his house, and I put my arm around her and expressed sympathy: Kind of a bummer, huh? No basket or egg hunt or anything? She wandered mournfully into the house and into her room and just screamed in joy, MOOOOOOOOOM! at the top of her lungs.

While she'd been away I had spent days: sanding and hand-painting an adorable new bed with vines, flowers, baby bunnies and squirrels with her initials on the headboard, building/assembling her a gorgeous new desk with a big shelving system on top of it, and I'd put a big Easter basket, card, and fat vase of daffodils on the desk. (She'd chosen daffodil-yellow for her room's walls, too, so the whole thing was a bit blinding!  :lol:)

That was such a happy day for me as a mother, bringing her that surprise and seeing her joy.

So once I made the full connection, I realized why I overate and overdrank yesterday, forgave myself. And now I'm fine again. Well, still minus my child, but also...I am well. Sending her silent love and blessing, but unhooked from expecting it will be different.

I can have hope in a philosophical way, but not in a personal way. No expectations keeps me sane.

And I am well.

Hope you are today also, Tupp. And will find happiness in this day regardless of biofamily triggers. I remember that old Stephen Stills song: If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with.

Pooch and friends will be my family today. I'm going to a potluck that a single woman with a big friend-family holds every year. Making carrot-leek-kerfir-cilantro soup. Better hustle!

Love to you,

Oh Hops your girl's bedroom!  I was so jealous of other kids' bedrooms when I was a child.  I can't imagine how excited I would have been to come home and find my room transformed like that.  Making your child happy is the best feeling in the world.  It sounds so lovely (and such a labour of love).  And being allowed to choose the paint!  Even though you'd need shades to walk in there ;)  I hope one day that those lovely memories you have have kind of take precedence in her mind and supersede whatever else it is that is going on there these days.  She was very lucky to have you, even if she doesn't realise that herself at the moment.  And yes, I can completely understand the overeating/over drinking, I've done it all weekend.  It's partly just there being chocolate around but some of it is also wanting to block things out.  I've always found routine really helpful and these public holidays disrupt that for me, and that makes me struggle a bit, too, not massively, but it means I always have a long to do list on the first day back because I've had three or four days of not being able to get things done.  I will feel a lot more like myself again by midday tomorrow, I think.  I like the analogy of being knocked off a surfboard by a dolphin!  In fact I think I'd quite like that to happen in real life!  Lol, not that I can surf, but it's a nice picture in my mind.  The soup sounds lovely as well, did it turn out okay?

In other news, we went to a friend's this morning for coffee and I mentioned we were going out tomorrow to buy a lawnmower for our new, very big garden, and she had just bought a new one so she gave us her old one!  Fab, has saved me some money and means I have no reason not to cut the grass now.  I've arranged to see another friend tomorrow (I've been a bit neglectful of friends since we moved because I'm so much happier in this place I've been quite content to stay at home and get things done).  I'm hoping to get the rest of the paint for the flat this week so decorating will be the order of day for a while, I think.  And yes, I'm pretty glad Easter is over too :)

I get it.

I'm kind of glad Easter's over.

I didn't specifically promise SF anything, Hops.  Thanks for reminding me I don't have to do this perfectly, for surely I won't.

Tupp,,,,, stuff is tricky.  Esp the emotionally charged stuff.  In a hundred years, what will it matter?  It won't. 

::huge sigh::

Now, to make peace and clear space.


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