Archive for August, 2013

Family portraits

I had always said I would never go to a portrait studio. Being a photographer and being married to one, there was never a need. Yesterday, there was a great deal on Groupon for Jcpenny portrait studios. Since I don’t have any great photos of Alexa and I together, and I could really use some good photos for the blog and my new website, I decided to go for it. I can’t really take photos of us together on my own. I got really excited about it even though it was titled “family portraits.” Family sounds weird to me without Alex. But still.. Alexa and I are a family. I planned out our outfits and replanned our outfits. I thought this would be a really fun mommy and daughter experience. I thought it would be a big event. I got up at 6 am (to the most amazing crock pot smell) and showered and straightened my hair before Alexa got up. I have short hair but it is still a big process. At 8 am we went to Target and I bought a shirt that actually fits me. I picked out a matching shirt for her. We both have leggings and uggs so I thought that would be cute. During her nap, I fixed my hair again, did my makeup and picked out some jewelry to wear. When 2:00 came, I got dressed and then dressed her. Her shirt was HUGE and I had to pick something else. We got there early and the studio was not open yet. We wandered around jcpenny where I got a new jacket to wear. My sweaters are all way too big and they advise not to wear a tank top. In the 20 minutes I walked around I began to sweat. Apparently, their AC broke last night. Upon entering the studio, it was even hotter! Alexa got cranky fast and started to turn red from the heat. I was sweating and frizzing. I changed her outfit and shoes to something cooler and never even put my jacket on. We rushed through the photos in the heat and I gave up 10 minutes into it. It was too hot to keep either of us from being miserable. Not a memorable or happy experience to say the least. I barely even looked at the photos and I’m fairly certain I will not be thrilled when I get them. Besides the heat, I was not impressed with having no direction whatsoever other than being told to stand in front of a backdrop. I’m not a model, I don’t know what you want me to do or how you want me to arrange my child. Every smile we managed to sneak out of her was either missed by the photographer or the flash malfunctioned. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much for the price. I’m disappointed in the whole experience. Knowing that, they still tried to sell me a Christmas session. I’d rather just skip Christmas thank you very much.
After, Alexa and I went to TCBY. She went NUTS for fat free no sugar added frozen yogurt. I didn’t think it was that good! She sure did…. I stopped at GNC to get weighed since my scale is broken. The scale told me I am 23 pounds overweight and I should decrease my calorie intake by 700 per day. Ugh… Well I lost 23 so 23 to go I guess.

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Hair!

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Target… Trying on the shirt… Notice Alexa lol

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Outfit

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Wardrobe malfunction

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Makeup done!!

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Yay frozen yogurt

Here we go again

Here we go again. I’ve been making a big effort to move on. I don’t mean run out and find a new husband… I mean come to terms with being single and attempt to enjoy life on my own. I’ve been making changes with myself and my life. I’m becoming more comfortable with everything. I’m living on my own and supporting myself. I’m able to enjoy memories now without falling apart every time. I’m parting with more of Alex’s belongings that I have no reason to keep. I have still maintained letting go of the anger. I’m happy with the progress I am making. I’m not in a funk anymore, I think. I’m cooking more, doing my schoolwork, starting new endeavors and enjoying every new experience with Alexa. I had a long day today and was looking forward to relaxing tonight and starting a new day tomorrow. I have a lot planned for my day “off.” I came home and went on Facebook. I try very hard to avoid letting myself get frustrated with what I see. I could not help myself and got involved in a conversation in which someone I do not know referred to suicide as “taking the selfish forever 5th” and then went on to say it is an admission of guilt and makes you a monster. My blood is boiling.. I am shaking. I know this is not directed at me nor Alex but I am so hurt. My husband was not a monster. He was a sick man whom chose the wrong path. I never want to think of him that way. Why do we, as a society, judge and automatically decide someone is a terrible person for one action, one mistake in life. Does nothing else he did with his life matter? So I’m up at almost midnight, cooking. Not for me… I will not be eating this meal. I am not sure why chopping vegetables was my attempt at getting out my anger. It helped a bit. But now I’m left here alone and upset. I should not let an ignorant comment keep me awake, but it is. I’m so sick of it all. I’m really trying to just let it go and move on. Something will always jump up and get in my way.

Think before you speak!

Yesterday, I found myself in a conversation with a good friend of mine. A woman that I vaguely know entered the conversation and proceeded to tell me that she “feels my pain” because for a few months, due to work, her husband was only home on weekends. She commented that she knew what being a single mom was like because that’s the same thing. I was so shocked that the only words I could muster up were “being a widow with a 15 month old is hard.” This ended the conversation. My mind is still reeling. Does someone really think this is the same thing? My husband is dead, not in the next state. I can’t call him when I’m frustrated, upset, missing him or need advice. He is not coming home in a few days. My child is not away from her father for a little while, he’s gone. I have to take care of her without her dad while I grieve his death. This is NOT the same thing. Why do we feel the need to act as though something we have been through makes us understand? There is no way to ever understand what someone else is feeling. Even if I met another widow from suicide with a child, I still may not understand or “feel their pain.” No two situations are the same.
This reminds me of a prior incident. Someone recently told me they miss Alex as much as I do. I was so upset and hurt that I could not even form coherent thoughts to respond. I have no idea what their former relationship was, but I can say that in the last 10 years, there wasn’t one. This person was not a part of our lives. My world was broken. The love of my life, man I shared my life with and father of my child died. I will never fully recover and never be the same. I relive finding him and struggle with every day activities that I used to take for granted. And you miss him as much as I do? Tell me.. how has your life changed? I’m sure this person meant well and was trying to be nice. I do. But it came across as rude and insensitive.
People that I spend a fairly decent amount of time with will still comment that they want to “blow their brains out.” People still think it is ok to look right at me and mimick shooting themselves in the head to announce that they are frustrated.
You would think that people don’t need another reminder to think before you speak (or type,) but I learn every day that we do.

100%

It’s interesting how it seems that when I find myself in a positive place, the next day I fall back down. I had a lot planned for the weekend and as usual was semi-looking forward to it. I say semi because it always takes a lot for me to get myself geared up and going, but when I actually do it, I am glad I did. Two of my friends are celebrating their birthdays on the jersey shore and I was going to bring Alexa to the beach for the first time. I was nervous about having a toddler at the beach and all that entails but I wanted to see everyone and couldn’t wait to see the first time she put her feet in the sand. Knowing I couldn’t spend the whole day there, I planned to go visit some family after and spend the night. I don’t see them enough and couldn’t wait to get there and catch up. I planned to attempt to stop in at another party on Sunday where Alexa could hang out with some kids her age. I don’t have enough “play dates” with her. She has been fighting what seems to be a stomach virus this week and had seemed to get better. Today, while I was at work, she got sick again. Knowing I had to cancel my trip really got to me. I suddenly realized how much I wanted to go and began to cry. I knew that it is not about me, but what is best for her and I cried even more feeling selfish for being upset in the first place. I don’t do well with “normal” weekends. Being home with nothing more to do than my usual chores reminds me that he is gone and I fall into a depression every time. Just knowing that this weekend had the potential to be that had the depression starting already. I wondered how it would have been different if Alex were still here. Well for one thing, he may have been able to stay home with her so I could at least go see my friends for a bit and come home. Or, he would have been here to spend the weekend home with me. This also brought out the realization of just how far away my friends are. I can’t just run out really quickly to see them. There is a plan, a long drive and a whole production to figure out just for a few hours with them. It seems as though the huge things that should upset me, don’t, but the little things like a weekend change sets me off. It was a long day and a long week and I’m exhausted. Alex would have known how to make me feel better whether it was with a smile or a wawa sub or a cute note. I went and got the wawa sub on my own. It wasn’t the same but it was pretty good. It comes down to the fact that to me, this is a loss, and every loss is grieved at 100%

Are you angry?

Recently I was asked if all the changes I need to make in my life make me angry. I simply responded, no I’m not angry. Anger is a normal part of the grieving process and even more prevalent in cases of suicide. Looking back at old posts, clearly I was VERY angry and the feeling would come and go. I think I can finally say I’ve let it go. It is time to move on from the anger. I previously discussed going through the grief recovery training and said just that… I was able to let it all go. There are answers I will never get and that’s ok. There are things I will never understand and that’s ok. I finally accept that Alex did what he thought was right in the moment. Irrational or not, he thought what he was doing was right. Yes, I wrote that twice. I need to no longer be angry for that. I finally feel that I’m there… I’ve made it to acceptance. This is my life and I can’t do anything but move forward. Without all the pain of anger, I can finally just breathe and miss him. I am making a lot of positive life changes right now. I’m taking calculated risks to better my life, Alexa’s life, and others around me. There has been a lot of stress associated it but I believe it will all be worth it. I think Alex is watching and cheering me on. I know he still wants what is best for me. I would rather he be here to stand by and be proud but I’ll take what I can get. Although I will never truly find the positive in his death, I am doing my best to make something good of it. As always, I love and miss you Mow and I hope I’m doing the right things.

1 week?

It was just pointed out to me that I have not posted in a week! Ahhhh! I have too much going on and it may be time for me to admit I am falling behind. I just started my next class, Intro to Counseling and boy is it boring! I know I have to push through but I’m having a hard time getting interested. I really want to finish school and I know this class is important. Direct counseling is not really what I want to do but I have to get through this part. I started a plan to work less hours for many reasons. I want more time with Alexa, more time for school and to really get my business going. I need to be home more. The catch is, I need health insurance. I have been spending a lot of time dealing with this. The first company denied me for my height and weight. I’m really having a hard time hearing “you’re short and fat.” I have lost 20+ pounds recently and this was a big kick to my ego. Not only that, my dream of starting my own business will be destroyed without insurance. I’m having a hard time with this. I am not the thinnest person ever, but being as though I am below average in height, it is nearly impossible to be thin enough to meet BMI standards. It was just not designed for people of my stature. Many companies will not insure someone with a history of gestational diabetes. I am no longer diabetic so why should this be a concern? My current company denied me for Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is something I am NOT treated for… It was only a concern for getting pregnant. I’m frustrated all around. I have been spending a large amount of time already getting my business and website started. Is it all for nothing? Is it so wrong that I want more time with my daughter and to be able to start helping others?
On top of all this, Heavy Cream, my cat had all of his teeth removed yesterday. He is fine but man was that a stress on me! It bothers me that all the stress is on me and though Alex wanted this cat, not me, I’m the one that’s crying watching him wake up from surgery and missing him while he’s in the hospital.
Right now, everything comes down to time and insurance. All I can say is UGH!

Dada

I’ve “always” worried about explaining the “daddy” thing. By always, obviously I mean since he’s been gone. I was not sure how I felt about Alexa going to the cemetery. I had decided that I would always tell the truth. I don’t believe in lying to Alexa and figured I would tell her as much as I thought she could handle. How much can a 14 month old really understand? More than I realize, I think. I feel that if I am always open about it, it will be “normal” to her and less likely to be an issue later.
I have a tendency to go visit Alex after my chiropractor appointment. Alexa usually falls asleep in the car after her adjustment. I usually pull up next to his stone and leave the truck running. This way she can sleep in the car while I sit with him. Today was a different story. We had a cranky day. I can’t really pinpoint why but it was a day of tantrums and I just had a hard time keeping her happy. She usually loves car rides. Again, today was different. Pulling into the cemetery, she was screaming. Certainly not going to fall asleep at this point. I was not sure what to do. I knew she wouldn’t sit quietly in the car while I visited. So, I got past the trepidation of letting her walk around the graveyard. I took her out of the car and she walked up to his grave. Alexa’s favorite phrase right now is, “what’s that?” So not surprisingly, she pointed to the stone and said “what’s that?” I responded simply by saying it was a stone. Again, “what’s that?” I pointed to his photo on the stone and said that’s daddy. She starred at the photo and said dada. I told her she was right and said this is where we come to see and talk to dada. She said “hi daddy.” I said, “Alexa do you understand?” She stood there staring (can you believe a toddler stood still) and said, “yeah.” Now how much of what I was saying did she really understand? I don’t know. But it did give me a sense of relief. She pointed to his flowers and asked again what they were. I told her they were daddy’s flowers. Soon she started pointing to everything she saw and asking. I finally just said “Alexa there are other people here too.” I really think I was just searching for something to say and that’s all I could come up with. She got quiet and began to wander around. I kept telling her we had to walk back to daddy. She would take my hand and follow me back. Although I never got to sit there and relax and say what I wanted to say, it was a good experience. I think it was the happiest she was all day. How much of that did she understand, probably not as much as it seemed, but who knows.

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The things I needed to say…

I have written Alex letters before but this one was different. I think I finally said what needed to be said. For the purpose of really showing my journey, I have decided to post it. I also decided to show it exactly as I wrote it. It was so easy to write yet so hard to read. Please note that “goodbye” was a way to end the letter. I am NOT saying goodbye to him. I still believe I can talk to him whenever I want to.

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Something I’ve learned

I am halfway through four days of The Grief Recovery Method training. It has been a very emotional two days so far… And I’m about to head back for day three. I am surrounded by amazing people and right now, cannot even put into words what I am gaining from this experience. Some of the little things that have happened there have been so powerful for me. I am so happy I will be able to help people experience the same. So for today.. I will leave you with this. 995140_10201044441406341_1651308872_n

“Fatherless children”

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I found this on the same site as I found the photo from yesterday’s post. This one is not a joke. It breaks my heart to think Alexa falls into the¬†category¬†of “fatherless children.” It sounds so strange to me. She has a father, well had I guess. She is just not being raised by one. Sometimes I think I worry about her future too much. I know that is my job as a mom, but what is “too much.” I have no experience in this department. I grew up with two parents. What is it like to grow up with just one? I will do my best to be a mother and a father, but I know that is not ideal. I can’t change it and I can’t drive myself nuts worrying about it. I guess all I can do is be the best mom I know how to be. I hope someday she can look back with fond memories of her childhood and be proud of me. I think that may be my biggest goal in life now. I want to be someone that my daughter is proud of.

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