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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day vent

Let me give you a little background first:
  • I am adopted, but my parents told me from a young age. (That of course led to years and years of me feeling like I didn't belong, which I still feel)
  • I met my biological family at the age of 17, one sister I met when I was 13.
  • I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6.
  • While I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, only one sister I grew up with (she's adopted from another family), 2 sisters are biological, and the brother is adopted into the family my older biological sister was adopted into. I consider him my brother though.
  • My parents divorced when I was 23 or 24.
My mother came to visit me, like she always does, on my birthday this year, and since this was the first time I'd been medicated properly, I was really excited to talk to her and tell her everything I'd been learning about ADHD and how it affected me and those around me.

Maybe I ought to also mention my mother and I do NOT get along. Reasons will be explained later.

She was very receptive (for once) about what I was saying, and I felt we were really understanding each other for once, and I began to feel more comfortable talking to her, which was a weird sensation. She was a counselor to trouble teenage girls when I was a child, so I always felt more like one of her clients that her daughter. This feeling made me leery as I'd grown up not being able to communicate (with anyone) and always feeling judged.

As the weekend progressed though, not only did her own personality quirks (which I believe to be clinical, not just that we don't get along) began to really get on my nerves- specifically the one where regardless of what I said, if it wasn't something she wanted to believe, she would turn passive aggressive and begin turning the blame on me for things I'd done decades ago. Honestly, how does an over-medicated 9 year old know they are causing mental agony if they (a) don't know what that is and (b) are so medicated they can't remember years of their lives? Not to mention, back then, ADHD was a disorder of diet, not a development disorder.

So, on my birthday (which I've learned is just going to suck from here on out, she keeps ruining it!), she decided to tell me that all those years when my lack of attention, my impulsivity, my ADHD had done irreparable damage to my little sister, her, and my father, I couldn't do anything more than stand there stunned.

Who holds a grudge for 22 years?! And for something that a 9 year old child can't help!?

She then proceeded to tell me that I was heartless because I didn't feel the need to apologize for my actions.


I was stunned, and I still am. I tried to explain to her that when I blind man accidentally pokes you in the eye while trying to 'see' your face, you don't demand an apology. He has a disability. You understand that and make an allowance for the fact that he can't see! I'm sure I used other examples but my adrenaline was running high and I don't remember what I said. I was being so open and honest with her, and while I was at my most vulnerable (ever, I might add), she decides to attack me and make me feel awful for something I can't help.

I don't need to explain how it feels when an NT (especially once who has had psychology training, worked in that field, and is a parent) tells us that we have screwed so many things up and that it's our fault.

No wonder I am so messed up about certain things!

She still asks me questions from time to time about my ADHD, and I'm considering sending her one of the books I purchased on it, but I am unsure if she'll actually read it and understand it. She's the type that if it doesn't fit into her view of how the world should be (which is VERY skewed in some overly-religious mindset), then it doesn't exist. Literally.

My sister, Blaire, is very protective of mom, and also quite b*tchy. I mean, seriously. I can't hardly talk to her without offending her, even if it's about the weather or our pets.

Yesterday, I put a status update up on facebook that said:
"Are we losers for not spending the holidays with family?"
"There are different types of family, you know."

It was a quote from a TV show I was watching at the time and I liked it. I've always felt that family isn't about blood (mine never was), nor about those who you call family (because I've never felt accepted in mine). It's about those you share a connection with and those who you care for and care for you in return- crazy days and all.

Obviously, Blaire took it offensively, like she does everything else I say, and I just let it drop. There's no point in ever trying to explain anything to her...

I am totally rambling here, aren't I? I apologize, but I am just so frustrated that after all these years of them KNOWING I had ADHD, even when very little was known about it, that they either pretend it doesn't exist that all the things I did or do because of it are things I can change and ought to be sorry for, or just treat me like I'm sub-human and stupid.

I'm sorry, but I do damn well for myself, better when medicated, yes, but I have done exceedingly well unmedicated as well. Granted, the environment I lived in growing up and the one I fostered in my household while I was in school was caustic and pretty bad, but it kept my symptoms under control... I'd hope they'd acknowledge the challenges I've overcome, not from comparing me to the rest of the world, just acknowledging me for me.

I'll stop now... I have to go get ready for a long Thanksgiving day with friends, dogs, and homework since I got all my cooking done early and refuse to sit and twiddle my thumbs for hours while the hostess and my friend cook the rest of the meal.

And if you've read all this... you rock. Sorry it got so long

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The tree broke my house :(

The mess (inside):

My younger cat was on the tree in the left of this picture when the ceiling fell in... poor thing is still scared to death.


You can pretty clearly see the horizontal branch that fell into the house. There are 4 total that fell last night- and there wasn't a breath of wind.

We were fortunate, no windows were broken and our bikes are somewhere under those branches, but are OK. Can't say the same for the fence

Size comparison. She's 55 pounds and they are a bit bigger around that she is.

Where 3 of the 4 branches broke from

The offending branch from the outside.

It's been an eventful weekend already, and it's only 10am on Saturday morning.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Puttin' on my big girl panties!!

I am getting more hours at work! I'm taking the evening aid's hours since she does NOTHING other than sit around and giggle at nothing.  Not only is it creepy, but it really pisses me off to walk in on Monday morning to a full trash can and full laundry basket. It'll bump me up to 30 hours a week, about $100 per check, which all in all, doesn't seem like much, but every little bit helps.

I think I'm also going to sign up for a vet tech program through Penn Foster College. It's an AS degree, which seems a bit redundant since I already have my BA, but whatever. Some of my credits will transfer over and I won't have to take as many classes or pay as much in tuition. Even still, I make a $1 down payment and pay $47/mo for 2 1/4 years and I'm done- considering they'll give you up to 12 months per semester, and there are 4 semesters, this is going to be a piece of cake. I won't feel pressured to kill myself while working, but I'll still get it done way way before 4 years is up, lol.

It's going to be interesting!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I fail as a cartoon character

So, after getting our brand new (to us) washer and dryer home, we notice this lovely part has totally melted.

It's the terminal block- where the plug gives power to the rest of the machine. So, we replaced it- yay!

Of course, we kind of knew there was a blockage somewhere because the tub had issues draining recently, but we were kind of hoping it wouldn't effect the draining of the washer and dryer. Ha. It did. So, as it drains, water starts going EVERYWHERE, and I was in the kitchen grabbing celery out of the fridge coz I was hungry (yeah, that desperate for a snack, lol) and heard water pouring out of the drain. So, I run into the laundry room, and as soon as I hit the wood floor, my feet fly out from under me and I land flat on my back. Somehow, in this cartoon-esque fall, I managed to kick the living shit out of the furnace- which happens to be raised a good 4 inches off the floor. (You can see in the above picture the 2x4 the furnace sits on- that what my feet came up under and hit)

My poor feet right after the fall (ok, maybe 15 mins later, I had to change and crawl around the room for a few minutes first)

And this is my poor foot this morning in the ER.

After trying, and failing, to get to the kitchen for a drink last night, I almost passed out- to the point I heard the tell-tale swishing sound in my ears and felt pins and needles all over my body- even my vision was fading in and out. So, like any super sleepy and in massive amounts of pain person would do, I yelled my head off for Jay. Who came running in his sleep. He realized my back was dripping with sweat even though it was like 65 in the house last night, and grabbed a chair and paper towel for me... I tried to cool myself off best I could and take a few sips of water. Once my head came back, I hobbled into the bedroom and passed out til the alarm went off 3 hours later.

called work and told the answering machine what happened, and the on-call lady called me back an hour later. Told me to go to the doc, and let her know what they said. So, I wallowed in bed needing to pee but unable to walk for about an hour, then we got up and Jay brought me some cereal so I could take my medicine, then we hobbled to the car and to the ER.

I must say, they were very efficient today! Right after they checked me in, they wheeled me right back to a room! (I was in a wheel chair) Never has that happened before. I even brought a book to read- and so did Jay. lol. The doctor came back after he looked at my xrays and was making a face. Apparently,  I have a non-displaced fracture of the 4th & 5th proximal phalanx. Pretty much, the bone of my pinky toe and the toe next to it broke in a Y shape (on its side) on the bone closest to my foot itself.

So, I'm in a goofy shoe that doesn't bend and on pain meds, which I do NOT plan on taking that often and definitely off work til the weekend and maybe off longer. We'll just have to see. Of course, I can't drive either, which is driving me nuts. I need to go to the office, but Jay is sleeping. I also need my crutches out of the attic, but again.... the boy  is asleep. I'm going to have to wake him up soon. I'm glad he's home with me today though.

In an almost unrelated note, yesterday (when all this clusterfuck happened) was the 11th anniversary of my cousin, Drew's, death.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I have ADD and some type of anxiety disorder. I was first diagnosed with ADD at the age of 6 (1987) and was put on Ritalin which I took up to 100mg until I quit cold-turkey at the age of 12 (1993) while I was at summer camp. I had hid a lot of the pills throughout my life anyway, so it wasn't a massive blow to my brain to quit anyway.

Mom, I guess, couldn't handle me medicated or not, so she tried to find some other way to "handle" me... she put me on some type of amino acid pills that was supposed to help reconnect the neurotransmitters in my brain that because of my ADD weren't connected. At 12 years old, I began to have debilitating migraines. That, along with being a very awkward and shy kid, made middle school hell for me. I finally quit taking those as well, and my mom freaked out- again.

I had always done workbooks called "Stop & Think" as a kid/teenager. It was logic games, puzzles, and trying to retrain my brain to think like a normal person. There was no retraining... what was getting on her nerves, what I couldn't control or had no idea was even happening continued. As I grew up though, I learned little things to help me cope. I was often the one being yelled at, disciplined, or ignored. It effected my self esteem a LOT. I know I am smart, I don't focus though, I can't mentally push myself and because of that, I don't do well, often. Enter low self esteem and I begin to feel dumb. My dad often called me illiterate as well... it wasn't because I couldn't read and write, but I often said the wrong word, or stuttered. It's a slippery slope. After a while, I just believe I am dumb. Not uneducated. Just dumb.

Little aside- I began having panic attacks while I was in college. Looking back, I probably often had problems with anxiety. I just didn't realize it, and my family's propensity to ignore me made me feel like I just had to deal with it. Much like I did w/ my ADD.

Last year (2011), I went back to a psychiatrist (or psychologist? The one that can't prescribe scripts) to get back on medication. Here are parts of his evaluation...

Whitney is oriented by 4: person, time, place, and situation. She is above average to superior in intelligence. She was appropriately dressed and grooming was good. She maintained good eye contact and spoke clearly in conversational tone. She remained relatively still; there was no excessive movement. Affect was appropriate; insight and judgement were appropriate. Thinking was logical and linear. There were no reports of bizarre sensory experiences of delusional thinking.

So, you would think looking at this, that I am not as spastic as I feel. How could someone who talked to me for only a couple hours notice that I am not stupid, yet my own parents constantly made me feel that way? It surely wasn't pressure I put on myself. That isn't the point of writing this though. I know I am smart. I ought to be able to handle things the way other people do. I ought to not have problems with keeping our bank account, or motivating myself to clean, or to remember things. I should be able to do this. That is pressure I place on myself.

This pressure, I believe, is one of the main causes of my anxiety. My inability to accept that due to a neurological deficiency, I am incapable of doing things other people take for granted. To say that makes me feel like less of a person though. I don't want to be deficient. I want to be like everyone else. I don't want to have to make allowances for certain things because I can't. Because I want to.

I was never one that thought people with certain disabilities ought to just "get over it." No one is perfect. I never pitied them, because no one wants pity. I never thought about the day to day disadvantages we are placed in. I never put it together that some things just cannot be done by certain people. At least with my ADD, I thought I could find ways around it.

You know what I've been learning? I can't. I have to now learn to ask for help, and accept the help that is given. I have to look hard at my life and notice the deficiencies and difficulties I face and work with those closest to me so that they can help me get through them. I have to learn to rely on someone other than myself. It is hard to sit here, a 30 year old woman, and admit to myself that I am deficient. Broken. Incapable. Because I am. It's not a cry for pity, or an "oh, feel sorry for me and tell me everything is OK" because it's not OK, and I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. It is what it is. And we move forward.

Will I continue to flip out for no reason? Of course. Will I stubbornly dig my heels in because I feel I ought to be able to do something I mentally can't? Of course. Will I get over my disliking help? I had better.

That's really all I wanted to say. There's a lot going on in my head right now... a lot of processing that probably should have been done when I was a child, but not everything goes how we want it to.  And that's ok. I am grateful for J in times like these. I am so thankful he steps up when I desperately need him and won't take no for an answer. I am lucky.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why do we love zoos?

My dad and I got into a bit of a discussion about zoos the other day via email (or text? I don't actually remember). He's an optimistic idealist who wants them to be able to live in their natural habitats, while I pointed out that many species we enjoy at the zoo would be extinct if not for the selected breeding programs many zoos have. He then asked why we couldn't just breed a whole bunch of them and release them into the wild... My dad, ever the optimist.

Not the point of this though.

He sent me this article today from the New York Times Online, titled "Why We Love Zoos" - and after reading it, I wanted to share.

"Why do we flock to them? It’s not just a pleasant outing with family or friends, or to introduce children (whose lives are a cavalcade of animal images) to real animals, though those are still big reasons. I think people are also drawn to a special stripe of innocence they hope to find there.

Though not a natural world by any means, more like a collection of living dioramas, a zoo exists in its own time zone, somewhere between the seasonal sense of animals and our madly ticking watch time. The relatively quiet, parklike setting offers an oasis in the crowded, noisy, stressful, morally ambiguous world where humans tend to congregate. The random gibbering and roaring, cackling and hooting, yowling and grunting strike ancient chords in us, a feral harmony that intrigues and lulls.

Smells create a subtle olfactory landscape that stirs us: from the sweet drops that male elephants dribble from glands near their eyes in mating season to the scent signposts of lions, hyenas and other animals. Just as dancers have body memory, we have wilderness memory."

What I find more interesting about this, is that a large number of zoo visitors are adults without children in tow- much like J and I. It's a place to go, relax and just enjoy. Of course, there are the ever-present obnoxious children, normally being chased by the as-if-not-more-than-annoying-parents. Sadly, people like that are everywhere. 

I have to say, I agree, though. The sounds striking an ancient cord within us, the smells bringing back a memory we can't quite place- very similar to that of a wild thunderstorm- the calming effect they bring to many people. Of course, I think thunderstorms are a little different in that (a) some people are terrified of them (I don't know anyone terrified of the zoo) and (b) it seems to be the raw power or chaos of storms that is most calming. I don't know if I find zoos chaotic (not talking about the visitors, I mean the zoo itself).
Now, I must find another zoo to visit. My inner cave-woman is not quite satiated yet.