Crazy hair day ….

crazy-hair-day

Petitioning the school to institute this as soon as possible.

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How would you like to be buried?

I realised recently that in my mind I have a very particular way that I would like things to occur after I died — when ever that may be.

The problem with this plan, is I won’t be there, so I thought it might be good to put some information out there – so that way there will be no confusion about how things go.

I want to be cremated – I am fine with organ donation.  If I am not using it, and someone else will get be able to live a better life with my bits, then they are welcome to them.

I do not want to live on life support – I do not want to be resuscitated if my quality of life requires me to be hooked up to a mechanical system which breaths, and makes my heart beat.  If I was alive and unable to do it for myself I would like to be offered the “assisted death” route – so if I am unable to communicate, lets work out an eye blink system or a hand squeeze system.

I do not want my cremation remains to be buried or put somewhere where my children, and family will feel an obligation to visit and bring flowers to.

I really do not like that idea, and when I die I would like to be gone, and my family not to feel an obligation to a 1 metre x 1 metre square piece of land somewhere.

I’d like my remains spread around a wine farm – or several – seems the right place!  That way if you are going to visit me, you will be visiting me with a large glass in hand and will need to do a bit of a tour of a few wine estates at the same time.

I really do not want a religious ceremony.  I do think that these occassions are for the living, and for them to find solace and to give them closure.  I would like something very much like the format we were married with – relaxed, people drinking wine, eating snacks and being happy, or at the very least telling really tacky jokes about death.

My take on faith and religion, and the after life may well change as time goes by.  At the moment I am not comfortable with the idea that “everyone goes to heaven and looks down on the rest of us” nor do I believe we become angels or angelic bodies.

I am not sure exactly what happens when you die.  But right now, I feel that when you die, you die — you go to sleep and that is all.

Okay, so that is where I am in the event of me meeting the Grim Reaper.  Now you know.

Does your family know what happens to you when you die?

I love Epic Fail Moments … and I seem to be doing them regularly ….

Okay so what do we know about me.

1.  I have three kids, I am not your run of the mill mom.

2.  I work, and I work because I enjoy it and to remain sane – I do not think I could be a stay at home mom.

3.  I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety and panic disorder, possibly with a light touch of OCD or even Tourette’s thrown in for good measure.  I also have a social phobia – and added to that a touch of what you could call sensory sensitivity i.e. too much sound, light, noise, touch sets off a few triggers.

4.  I am scary honest even when I do not want to be.

5.  I drink way too much tea and wine.

6.  I would walk a mile for a bag of Chuckles.  (I am lying, I might walk to the end of my drive way, but it is still a very far way).

7. I abhor smiley face icons.

Great so we know that.  Nothing new there.  Just checking we are all on the same page.

I really do not mind who reads my blog.

Really.

Okay, I prefer it if my mom did not read my blog.  But anyone else, be my guest.  It is a public forum, knock yourself out.

I get countless emails and messages from “moms who struggle” to say thanks for saying what they think and feel, and for saying it out loud.  I blog because it makes me feel a bit more “normal” each day – but it is nice to not be the only person who “struggles” with stuff.

I have commented that I enjoy my job, and the people are great, and blah blah blah pancakes.

But the physical closeness of people and the amount of noise has had me making regular visits to a psychiatrist and a psychologist and basically had me shut up at home because I am “afraid” of being at work.

Slightly career limiting move …. you think?

Because it is setting off panic and anxiety attacks, I can only spend so long crying in the toilets, before people start wondering if I have a bowel problem or a urinary tract infection that needs to be addressed.

Recently there was an office shift and a staff member got moved next to me.  She is lovely and sweet and all of those things.  If my mother sat next to me it would set me off.  It unfortunately escalated “my situation” and I spent a bit more time in the toilet cubicle and started dipping a bit more frequently in my “lunch box of pharmaceutical approved medication” which is all not ideal.

I struggle if my kids are close to me, too much of them near me and I start to shake, rattle and roll. <yes, it is loads of fun to be me, I am a ton of fun at parties and get togethers>

I posted a note about this a little while ago.

You know that mantra “You never know who reads your blog!

Well, bottom line is you don’t.

And I don’t really consider it too much else I might not say anything, or I might start censoring what I say and then I might as well write for …. You Magazine.

So far, all okay.

But then someone at work reads my blog.  Someone forwards it to someone else who forwarded it to someone else.  All who work 2 metres from me.

And it was off ….. like …. I don’t know what goes off?

So now not only do a few dozen (I am being modest) people in cyber space know that I am a full on whack job – but now a few hundred people in my office complex know that I am full on crazy as well, and making judgements accordingly. <sigh>.

I know there should be a bright side here, but I am seriously not able to find one.  I will wait for Natasha to find a way to politely comment, as sometimes she does manage to say it quite like it is and can make me snort even in the face of full on disaster.

The irony is I spoke to HR and asked her to keep it confidential, because I like to give the impression that I am mildly sane, it prevents the goats from getting afraid and scattering.  Work has actually been great in understanding I am having a “bit of trouble.”

You really cannot actually write a better fail moment than this one.

I would like to say “hi” to all of you from my office who might be reading this, and really you should not be spending company resources reading non-company related material during office hours. 

It is strictly prohibited and frowned upon.  I can also check the URL/ISP details so know who you are.  (I can’t, really, so don’t panic.)

To those who are not from my office, but know me – this is what I would call an epic fail moment, or …….. no, it’s just an epic fail moment, of which I had several this year.

On the upside I have sleeping pills.  I am weighing up whether one or twenty-seven is a good number for this evening.

No, really I am fine.  This is not some tragic cry for help. I am not quite throw myself off a ledge yet, but I have developed a wonderful case of catastrophe and panic going on – as we speak.

If you are crazy and you know it, and mildly to extremely embarrassed clap your hands!!

Clap clap!  You know the rest of the song, so I will leave it to you …….

The boogie man is going to get you ….

I am reading Jilliane Hoffman’s Pretty Little Things, and I am literally pooping in my pants as I get deeper and deeper into this book.  I brought it to work in case it got quiet and I could get through a few more pages – a girl can dream and all.

The short version (no spoiler alert here) of the story is that there is a serial abductor of young girls.  There is an investigator who has first hand experience as his daughter went missing/ran away 11 months earlier.

The serial abductors stalks his prey through the internet.  He uses a fake identity i.e. the image and details of the local jock, and then uses this to befriend girls on My Space or whatever social network is appropriate to the girl he is targeting.

Teenage girls are always going through some teenage angst where they hate their mother/father/brother/cousin and a good looking boy (an older man posing as a good looking seventeen year old) is always going to find a captive audience in an innocent thirteen year old girl (especially one whose parents just do not understand her.)

I am still reading it – but it has alerted me to the fact that predators no longer need to hang out at shopping malls to steal our kids.

Nope, they can march right into our child’s bedroom through whatever social networking site our child is using, and what is more we will pay for the bandwidth for them to do it.

The predator can then convince your child to willingly tell them everything about themselves, and the predator in question uses this information to lure the child in further.  If the idea of this did not make me so angry (and scared) I might even be impressed by how cunningly clever, and simple this plan was.

Then the predator, in some cases goes on to “willingly” coerce your child to present themselves to the pedophile in person at a location of their choosing.

I can honestly say I am not sleeping more soundly whilst reading this book.

I told Kennith about the book – as far as I had got in the story.

We both agreed that Connor shouldn’t go on line when we are not in the room on his Moshie Monsters game.

Moshie Monsters is a bit like social networking for young kids where Monsters (they design) are their avatars and they decorate their house and buy flowers – more innocent you can’t get.  But that being said, there is really very little stopping a creepy (and mildly creative) 45 year old man from logging on as a Monster, and saying he is 9 years old, and “befriending” my child and gleaning information from him.

Kennith and I are sort of looked at each other slightly wide-eyed, and wondering how we are going to deal with this going forward.  We want the kids to have computer/internet access, and we also do not want to sit next to them all the time while they are doing it, policing their every move.

The reality is becoming more obvious (and disturbing) that you no longer need a car and a bag of sweets to lure a child away from it’s parents/care givers.  All you need is internet access and a gullible innocent child and Bob’s your uncle on this one!

I am about ¾ of the way through the book – it is very good, maybe not the best I have ever read (that honour belongs to Michael Robotham with Shattered) but Pretty Little Things is good none the less.

I am not sure if we will be moving the computer into Connor’s room after reading this book.

The one thing I have realized is that neither Kennith nor I can risk technology getting ahead of us. We need to stay updated with social networking/facebooking/twittering/mix-it and every OMG and WTF – or whatever else is going to be available in the next 5 years.

We need to keep up what the kids are in to, and more importantly try to see the windows where other people can climb in to our kid’s bedrooms.  (listen, I find this entire subject as disturbing as you do, and I am freaking out as well …. )

There is no way we can sit and wonder where the hell it is all going, and why our kids can work the new iphone and we can’t set the clock on our eye level oven!

Unfortunately it is a whole new scary world out there, with real monsters that do wait under the beds.  As parents, we need to also realise it is an opportunist paradise for what can only be described as a “better off culled” part of our society.

I really am not going to be sleeping any better for the next twenty or so years.

Not feeling so good …

I have not been feeling well for a few days, it was mainly IBS  (irritable bowl syndrome – or spastic colon or fuck-my-stomach-is-really-sore) related issues.  From about Tuesday night the tempo was definitely stepped up and I really started to feel more crap than bad.

Wednesday was pretty grim, and by Wednesday night I was in agony.  We stopped at an all-night pharmacist and they gave me the usual things that really barely bounce off my symptoms.   I  do think pharmacists should give you schedule 4 or 5 drugs if you have a convincing enough story and lie on their counter, but we can address that in a separate post on another day.

I seldom miss work due to IBS.  It is around so much, that if I stayed off when IBS hit, I would be at home permanently.  So I tend to chew back half a dozen Buscopan and go to work and just focus on getting through the day without screaming at too many people.

I generally lack patience and tact, but when I am in pain, I have been known to be rude to blind crippled children with dyslexia.

My symptoms are usually spasms, of the kind that make you sit up and take notice.  In my case I have to stand, as I can’t actually sit at my desk.  I break out in a slight sweat, and feel really nauseous.  The pain/discomfort increases and it gets to the point where I actually cannot hear what people are saying anymore as I am in so much pain.

My pain is often intensified when people say “Have you got a sore tummy, take an ENO that always make me feel better.” At about that point I start imagining smashing the Eno glass into their face … but again, I seem to have gone off on a tangent.

By Thursday morning I was really out for the count and phoned in sick – I know I may appear to be a lackluster employee, but I rarely take sick days.

I popped off to see a GP.  Who turned out to be really nice and mature – I am so tired of seeing GP’s who look like they are 12 years old and graduated in 1995.  I like my doctors a little old and weathered, and more important who appear to be older than I am – which is getting harder and harder to find as time moves on.

Doctor B was great and did not try to cure the problem, but we discussed my symptoms what has helped over the years, what has not and what today’s problems were.

She gave me some muscle relaxants – gotta love that – though I was hopeful my sphincter did not think the relaxants were for him – and then some pills for intestinal cramping.

What a great combination, especially when taken together and at maximum dose.

Strange how when you look at the recommended dose you always think “well, that is for mere mortals with normal pain, for the pain I am experiencing – which is way off the chart – I need to double if not triple the recommended dose…”  Well, that is how I reason it anyway.

I always figure, what is the worst that can happen – I will just got to sleep for a long time, hardly seems like an undesirable side effect to me.

I would suggest being close to a bed, and not operating any kind of machinery or trying to text at the time of taking said muscle relaxants.

Thursday I lay there like a vegetable, and Friday was not much better – but I did start feeling mildly more human on Friday afternoon.

But strangely for the balance of the weekend I just kept feeling really crap – still crampy, though not throw-you-on-the-floor spasms, but nauseous, heavy, and just totally shite all around.

I was lying in bed on Saturday night whining quietly to Kennith.  Kennith suggested – in a not affectionate/optimistic voice – “is there any way you could be pregnant?”

Now I know that it is scientifically/biologically/religiously/time-space-continuum impossible, but at the same time I recall how I felt when I was last pregnant.  For those first three months and it was pretty much how I felt now – like absolute shite.

Suddenly I was alarmed – and still feeling sick!

Immediately I started worrying – good grief, could you imagine if I am pregnant!!  I am paranoid on the best of days and with the power of suggestion – especially negative suggestion – my mind can pick up on that scenario and run with it.

I had already worked out that I was due in late February/March, it would be a boy.

Kennith and I would practically be divorced then, I would weight at least 30 kilograms more.  Our house would be beyond chaos with too many children and not enough rooms.  I anticipated Pepe resigning because she felt I had pushed her too far.

Work had fired me as I would be so sick during this fourth pregnancy that I would not be at work much, we would be so far into financial trauma that we would be selling off any wedding presents we had received.

I went to scratch in the bathroom cupboard to see if I had an old – unused – pregnancy test lying around.  Sadly no, went back to bed to worry some more.

Sunday stopped at Clicks at Century City – pee’d on a stick – and not suprisingly it was negative.    The emotions one goes through when one is trying to urinate on a stick and not on your hand as you stare at that little line to appear or not to appear is really quite special.

For a moment, I actually thought “gee, what if I am” in a sort of silly smiley way.

The impact of a fourth child now would have killed us, even me a mildly rational person could have seen that.  I am barely coping as is.

Part of me – the sane part – was so relieved to have failed the test, though a very small – actually teeny-tiny-minute part – the unstable part – was a little disappointed, but that part of me likes to fly a little too close to the sun.

Kennith again asked if I would just let him go and have a vasectomy – and again indicated in no uncertain terms that he is OVER HAVING MORE CHILDREN!!  He even added “I AM DONE” with his arms that go up in the air for extra expression.

You know, I understand that.

I don’t accept it, and will continue to badger him some more – but in a subtle way.

He has taken to talking loudly and slowly to me on this issue so that there is no misunderstanding from him to me as to his wishes. But I just ignore him and think he will get on board.  (We can talk later about how I manage to sustain my delusions in the face of all evidence to the contrary.)

I know three children is too much and I often agree that we have bitten off more than we can chew, all this I know, but any way, that was my day.

It’ll knock your socks off …

On Saturday afternoon I went off to Pick ‘n Pay to do some grocery shopping – we  had friends coming over to watch the game and then stay for dinner, so I needed to get quite a lot of things and it was easier if I went without the entire family.

I left Isabelle and Connor home with Kennith, and Georgia came along with me to the shop.

We moved around the store and got what we needed.  While standing in the queue at the check out, I stepped away from my trolley to look at the soup display and was trying to decide whether we could include a soup course.

Retails often do displays right at the front of the stores, so you tend to impulse shop – appeals to the kind of shopper I am.

I was standing there with a liter of Minestrone in a bag, wondering could I eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?  Would my friends eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?

I was using my six-sets-of-eyes-that-mother’s-have to watch the trolley, Georgia who was standing next to me, and also to glance at people walking past.  I kept my one hand on her to ensure she was not wandering off as the store was really busy.

This woman walked past – long dark hair, maybe late thirties, and her son trailed behind her – about a metre gap between them.  He had on a dark tracksuit pants, takkies and a t-shirt – quite a solid built guy, I estimate about 11 – 14 years, but can’t be sure, as I do not know many kids that age.

It’s strange that I saw him, as I did not really notice him as my eyes were moving from trolley, to Minestrone, to the contents of the Minestrone, to Georgia, to generally public and back again …  all while wondering if I would use croutons and cheese with the soup and what bowls I would use, and whether I had enough.

But I did see him.

Then I saw him unfurl his hand, which I noted was quite a large hand.  Then in that moment I saw him open his hand.  He pulled his hand back while he was moving past her, and slapped Georgia through the face.  So hard that she lifted off the ground and flew into the vegetable/soup display.

It took me a few moments to register what the hell had happened.   It was beyond surreal.

I was trying to pick Georgia up at the same time emit some sound out of my mouth that possibly showed my indignation and horror at what had just occurred, as the boy and his mother continued walking like nothing had occurred.

I picked Georgia up who was now crying hysterically – as you would be when slapped senseless while perusing soup at the local Pick ‘n Pay.  I managed to shriek loud enough for the mom of the boy to turn around and look at me – and I said “your son just slapped my daughter through the face!”

Her face looked like I had slapped it.  She stared at her son and quickly started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” to me.

I glared at her son who was turned away from me.  I was now ready to go over and beat the crap out of this little tosser right there in the veggie aisle of Pick ‘n Pay.

He turned to face me – while walking away from me – and I realized with sinking horror that he had Down Syndrome features.  That is where it got awkward, and my anger turned to shame and embarrassment.  I really did not know what to do.

Georgia was screaming and crying – I have her up on my hip, and I am staring at this situation and every part of me just wishes we all were not here right now.

So what happened?

The mother said sorry – I mouthed it was fine.  She kept moving away from me, and did not actually stop and walk back to me and apologise.   Her son carried on walking behind her not changing pace.

Georgia was hysterical, I had to tell her “it’s okay, it’s okay, it was an accident…” – yes, I realise it was not an accident, but what was I going to say?

I could have gone with …

That boy has a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome, and for reasons I can’t explain decided to give you a flattie in the middle of Pick ‘n Pay – and me your protecting mother, stood there like a total freak and did nothing to protect you or to stop it happening.

I also felt embarrassed that I was about to rant at a child that clearly had a disability, and felt totally powerless that this had happened and I did nothing to prevent it or to remedy the situation. ”

Instead I comforted her, paid for my groceries and packed her in the car.

I felt that we had been assaulted in full view of a store full of people, and no one (not one) stepped forward to assist me or my daughter.  I realized that the boy could have pulled out a knife and slashed her, and I would have been equally powerless to prevent it.

I really felt traumatized and a bit violated that some stranger had walked up and assaulted my child while I was standing there and I did nothing, and afterwards it was me who felt bad for what had happened.

Georgia was upset afterwards for a few hours, but seemed most upset that the boy did not come and say sorry to her himself  (clearly they teach the power of sorry at her school).

I really do not have a conclusion on what happened.

I really felt totally powerless and immensely angry.  I wish I had reacted differently to the mother, but what would I have said? What could I have done to make it better for me and Georgia, without going totally beserk in the veggie aisle?

It also made me realise how totally vulnerable we and our kids are when we take them out into public.  That some stupid or misguided person could do anything to our child in the blink of an eye, and even with us standing there, we would not be able to foresee it or stop it.

The sands of time …..

Last night I went to book club, and the girls were very congratulatory about the “engagement” and they wanted to know who it came about. Did something occur that created this moment, had we been planning it and so on.

I was trying to explain the situation in the context of the week, as it was quite important and had really been a hectic emotional week.

On Friday I had gone to Child Welfare and gone through the Orientation Meeting to look at adopting. All the while being suspicious (certain) that though Kennith was sort of-a-little-bit-keen on the idea, I knew he was not quite ready for it. I was just storming ahead, and really hoped he would just hitch his cart to this horse, as so to speak!

On Saturday night Kennith and I had that giant fall out.

On Sunday I abandoned ship and met my friend for a lie-around and talk until I started to feel better. I was so frustrated and angry, and just did not want to speak to Kennith as I was feeling very raw and very wounded.

On Monday we spent the day with the kids and were out at the beach and for lunch, and then as peace descended on the house we spoke in a reasonably calm manner about what we were arguing about on Saturday. I was still angry and upset, and we managed to sort of get through the discussion with us both understanding the other’s point of view a bit better.

Unfortunately Kennith also dropped the bomb that he was not willing to progress through the adoption process until he was sure that he wanted to do this and that we were ready to look at this.

Though I wanted to go through the process and then have a “cooling off” period before we went on to the list, Kennith said – rightfully so – that he knows if I go through the process, there is going to be nothing stopping me from just going straight on to that waiting list.

He is right. Once I move through this process, I will move from mildly obsessed, to full-blown obsessed. There would be no stopping me, or trying to apply the brakes at that point.

Though I was very disappointed when he has applied the brakes, actually crushed/wounded/felt like I had died a little. I do understand his point of view and have to respect that I am thinking emotionally, and he is trying to ensure that we do not end up in “ye old poor house” or “ye old divorce house” because we are taking on more than we can handle.

I am trying not to harass Kennith and not go “are we ready?” all the time – when I really do want to. It’s a case of waiting and waiting for the time to be right for him, and taking it from there.

I am vaguely aware that a possible outcome is that Kennith may decide that this is not the route for us. The time may never be right. I am not sure I am ready to hear that right now, or consider it in my rather befuddled brain.

So for now, it is a case of taking a deep breath, and just letting time pass.

On Tuesday we did speak further about it, and some of the issues that had come through in our argument.

On Wednesday night Kennith proposed, so it really was quite a week for me – very emotional, lots of things going on. I think I just wanted to sum up the thoughts on the adoption issue here so that it did not appear that it was some fleeting project that I had abandoned.

The want, the need, the desire is still there ….

<this post was written last Thursday afternoon, but I did not get a chance to post it until now, so the timing might seem a bit odd…>