12 February 2007 136 miles. It has occurred to me that the next charity I should donate to is the one Sharon is involved in, especially since I’ll be getting my next dog from her, whenever God sees fit to bless me in that way. I managed to work on Frodo and Lily’s story, today. It feels good to be doing that kind of writing again. I think I’m finally easing out of my winter doldrums. I suspect part of the stress has also being knowing that I’m going to the dentist tomorrow. Hate going to the dentist. ACK! Breathe in, breathe out.
13 February 2007 It’s too wet to cycle. I also had a dentist appointment this morning, and didn’t want to be late. Unfortunately, it was a frustrating appointment. I know it’s been several years since I’ve been to the dentist. I’m going to look for another one. This is not working out. When I made the appointment I explained it has been a long time, and I knew I’d need x-rays and a deep cleaning. I also told the person I was making the appointment with that I was on a budget and needed to be sure I could afford to do this right now. I was told it would be $150. I anticipated it might be a little bit more, but imagine my surprise and irritation when I was billed $274!! They offered to bill me over two months, which is no help at all since I put my eye exam on the next month! If I had been told up front how much it would cost, I would have planned for it. This has happened before, though not this bad. This particular office talks to me like I’m a “bad girl” and need my hands slapped for not doing everything they tell me for my teeth. Must be nice to have enough funds to not have to worry about such huge bills! Now I must ask, why have I put up with it all this time? Well, I do like the dentist; it is his staff that makes me bristle. Their tone and word choices are condescending at best and rude at worst. Long past time to find a new dentist. Be brave. I hate change. LOL!
14 February 2007 It’s still too wet to cycle. Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day, not that it means anything to me anymore. Okay, whining is over. LOL!
15 February 2007 159 miles. I’ve finally figured out why I can’t lose weight. I have to be invisible, and fat people are invisible. No one looks at them. No one notices them. In order to truly be able to start losing weight, I must be willing to stop being invisible, and right now that simply isn’t safe.
16 February 2007 168 miles. I had a great session with Kevin. We didn’t talk about some things I thought we would, but we did talk about exactly what I needed right now. I told him how Tom Barrett was in many ways the least of my problems and about my myriad mostly unpleasant relationships in the past, and that I’ve not dated in over 10 years because of it. Poor man. He question why I was so hard on myself about things that had happened in my 30s, and I told him I was a grown up and should know better. He gave me is quizzical look and asked “What’s grown up?” And I had to laugh; “So grown up is sort of like being normal?” He smiled at that. We talked about me simply not knowing how, and now I’m learning healthy boundaries and how to enforce my choices. I also told him about my frustration with the porcupine book and how it says that before you go into the cave of the porcupine you have to be armed, and one of the things who have to be armed with is the knowledge of who you are. I told him how I feel like there’s this image of me, created long ago and not entirely by me, but I don’t really like her, but she’s what I’m always comparing myself to and coming up short. I likened it to RUN AWAY BRIDE and he said with me “What kind of eggs do you like...” Yep. I am learning though, slowly but surely. I told him about how excited I was when my eye exam asked what hobbies I had and though I hesitated I was able to definitively reply “Reading and writing.” It helped with deciding what to do about my contacts. I also told him how angry I was reading the TOXIC PARENTS book and the first question asks about being called names and made to feel worthless, and my first response was a resounding “That didn’t happen in our house.” I looked at him and said, “I’ve been seeing you for what, 1-1/2 years, and I still LIED first!” He looked at me and smile and said “You were raised in a sewer, do you really want to admit that to anyone?” Well, no. He continued that if I admitted I was raised in an extremely dysfunctional home than it would follow that *I* was dysfunctional. Not a pleasant thought. He’s right. At the end, he came back around to wondering why I’m so hard on myself. I smiled and told him that I drove my last counselor crazy with a similar problem. She had listened to something I’d gone through, and she said, ‘You made it through.” I replied, “Yes, but I would have liked to have made it with more grace.” She raised her brows and emphasized, “You MADE it THROUGH.” “Yes, but I would have liked more grace.” “Repeat after me, YOU MADE IT THROUGH.” “I made it through.” Then I mumbled, “But I would have liked to with more grace.” Kevin laughed. I’m learning that I am not responsible for making everyone else more comfortable. I don’t want to intentionally hurt others, but neither may I accept responsibility for them. My first consideration is to take care of me healthily. If taking care of them means neglecting me or even hurting me, then they are on their own. It was also nice to hear him say that I have a kind heart and we don’t want to get rid of that, but I do need to learn that giving and giving and giving is not about being kind hearted; it’s about abuse. He emphasized the “Love thy neighbor, as THYSELF.” I also enjoyed going out to eat with my sister afterwards. It’s nice to decompress in a safe environment. I’m clearly feeling better than I have in ages because I made bread today. :-)
17 February 2007 I attended the SCA War with Karie and Ruth and had a good time. The shopping was far more tempting than what I saw at the Ren Faire. Dogs are allowed!! As long as they are on leash and reasonably well behaved! They even had a “run” set up for them to chase feathers as if they were chasing a rabbit. What fun!! The battle was quite a spectacle with crowds of people “battling” each other and catapults and giant arrows. What a hoot! Occasionally knights would limp off the field, while others were simply “killed” and milled about. One particularly knight even said “Good day, my lady.” I was so breathless by the delighted surprise it was all I could do to reply, “Good day, my lord.” When was the last time I responded that way to a man? It took a good fifteen minutes for my heart and breathing to settle back to normal. LOL! Almost everyone was dressed in garb! We’re planning to attend again next year! When we got home, Ruth came in to visit for a bit, and I broached the dog issue. My dad agrees that I need a dog, but not until after Mom has knee surgery because she can’t handle one more thing. Mom doesn’t want to go through another dog dieing. How pathetic is that? To give up years of joy simply because an animal dies? What about people? It was astonishing to realize my mother would prefer me not in the house than have to go through the grief of my dog passing away. How sad. I was surprised, just for a moment, and then it was so perfectly crystal clear, and I know she doesn’t realize what she revealed. I’m starting to look at apartments in Gilbert. I thought about a mobile home and haven’t given up that idea either but I don’t want to paint myself into a corner. I want to keep my options open.
18 February 2007 I’m feeling more optimistic than I have in a long while. The incident with Sir Knight was the most valuable experience yesterday. There was a time when I would have worried about my interest in him. Now, I know I’m learning healthy boundaries and how to maintain them. I’ll be all right. Family dinner was delicious, and I enjoyed the chatting.
19 February 2007 More rain..
20 February 2007 I read through the "What if YOU're a porcupine" chapter, and though I think I'm listed in the first category as not necessarily healthy, I rated "needs counseling" on the self test. I also sent Kevin two emails, one addressing the paragraph that states the need to love others and not withhold love. And then asking him his thoughts on my decision to attend the Elliott/Groves ward this Sunday. I am writing a paper to myself about "Define Your Own Standard of Excellence." It isn't easy. Realizing it isn't easy helps me to understand why it's been difficult for me to figure out. How am I supposed to know I’m enough if I don't know what I'm looking for? Hmmm... I just realized that it's probably a question for Kevin. Next time. I'm going to work on my own perceptions first.
21 February 2007 177 miles. Come to think of it, Kevin has been asking me the question of “What is enough?” for a while now, but I’m only now starting to get it. On a positive note, I’m actually getting my work done again, in a timely manner.
22 February 2007 200 miles. I don’t care for exercising, but I am glad I put in the work, but I know myself enough to know that I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t HAVE to! LOL!
23 February 2007 209 miles. My tax program arrived this afternoon and rather than fret (as I finished worked in a very timely manner) I sat down and did them, all. All finished but for submitting and paying. And I’m only waiting for that to get a little more settled in how my bills are going with the dentist fiasco. I am so blessed.
24 February 2007 Ruth and I went for our usual walk this morning and I came to a stunned realization. When I was small, I had no friends but the family dog. My mother isolated me with the excuse that she didn’t like to impose as other parents would not allow their children to come over, so she wouldn’t let me go to play. It gave her utter and complete control of my life. The first 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 years of my life were spent alone, with my only friend being the family dog. Now, she has complete control again and refuses to allow me to have the one thing dearest to my heart, a dog. Her excuse is that she doesn’t want to go through the heartache of losing another dog, a dog that she does not take care of or spend time with beyond a few minutes a day. God have mercy on her soul, for I cannot, and my father too, who allows her to be such a miserable tyrant.
25 February 2007 I attend church with Shari today. I enjoy her company, and look forward to getting to know her better. She is studying library science. We also found out we both love FlyLady! LOL!
26 February 2007 218 miles. I’ve been writing, YAY!! I’ve also been reading my porcupine book. It’s been truly difficult. I’ve been reading the chapter on criticism, and it is incredible. He calls Constructive Criticism and oxymoron. Hear! Hear! As he described various scenarios, I could see myself over and over and over. Down to the end of the chapter when he says that those who live with constant criticism: “Soon, there won’t be a need for anyone else to criticize them, for they will do it themselves. Self-criticism becomes self-fulfilling prophecy and all of the evidence of being criticized by others now is joined by all the evidence they amass against themselves. In the jury of their minds there can be only one verdict with so much negative internal and external evidence, i.e., guilty as charged of not being truly worthwhile.” It’s true. Blessedly, and thank God, Kevin is helping me learn how to move past all this, little by little. As I read some of the defeating behaviors in trying to communicate, I discovered that somehow, somewhere I did learn to communicate appropriately in many ways. I have endeavored to have healthy discussions with my parents only to discover that they will only listen to me if I agree with them. Anything, ANYTHING, different is dismissed or completely ignored. They know what is best, and if I can’t see it, then I need to change my perspective. How sad for them; they don’t know me at all, and they don’t want to know me.