Saturday, September 05, 2009


I feel like one of those small ponds that you encounter in the woods. There's always a layer of green slime growing on top because nothing ever leaves or enters the pond, except when it rains. That's how my brain feels. I feel trapped, with no inlet or outlet for my feelings. This year, the only time anything fresh enters my brain is when another disaster hits us. Then, for a short time, my brain kicks into overdrive to solve the problem. After the crisis passes, my brain returns to stagnation.

Nothing flows easily from my brain anymore. I've just spent the last half hour writing ONE stinking paragraph. I have thousands of ideas flowing through my brain, but they just get trapped there. While I'm at work, a great idea for a post will pop into my head. I jot down some thoughts, fully intending to write a blog post when I get home. Then I get home, turn on the computer, hit the "New Post" button, and....NOTHING! The blank page before me somehow overwhelms me. This must stop!

Our internet service hasn't helped my writer's block either. We have very few high-speed DSL moments at our house. Most days we're either running at dial-up speed, or the service keeps kicking off and on repeatedly, or both. I've lost several blog posts this way. My phone company buddies and I have been s-l-o-w-l-y trying to fix the problem. This week they switched us over to a new line at the "junction shack" for our area. The service isn't kicking off as often, but we're still having speed problems. Personally, I think the problem is with the Siemans modem/wireless router the phone company uses. L had nothing but problems with his Siemans hearing aids. The guys, however, say that they haven't had any problems with the modem model we're using....time will tell.

I've spent the summer hiding in books and old movies. Sorta like comfort food for the brain... nothing nutritious, just empty calories. I think our shitty summer weather had a lot to do with this. I've been enjoying the cool temps, but the rain is something else. This week is the first rain-free week we've had all summer! Maybe the change in weather will loosen the sludge from my brain?

I've also spent a LOT of time in self-examination. My parents' descent into self-absorbed dementia has forced me to backtrack through my life's experiences to discover what makes me tick. I've made this journey with the help of my cousin J, our longtime(45 yrs) family friend Sandy, my 36-yr-old-son-I-didn't-give-birth-to Troy, and my loving daughter SME. It helps to bounce my thoughts off people who know my story from the beginning, especially J, who has known my parents longer than I have.

My journey of self-discovery has led me to the revelation that I NEED to re-invent myself. I NEED to find some joy in my life and stop surviving on the day-to-day drudgery of my existence. I NEED some FUN! How will I accomplish this? I'm not really sure. The one thing I do know is that I need to start writing here more often. I highly value my blog-friends' opinions and encouragement!!

I really think that the first thing I need to do is post the final installment of my ordeal with my Dad's colon surgery. This will bring everybody up to speed on what's happening in my life now. Posting that story should also help free my mind of a lot of the rubble that's been accumulating there...hopefully.

Once past that hurdle, I need to return to writing some more light-hearted posts. We actually do have a few GOOD things happening in our lives! I'd also like to share a ton of recipes and strategies for surviving on a dwindling budget in our economy.

I also have a lot of rants about the economy and work floating around in my brain. Writing about them is my therapy. On with the healing!!


At 9/05/2009 3:02 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I don't have the level of personal drama that you do, but I have enough. I kinda feel a little sluggish too. Great ideas for posts, but then no motivation to write them when I have the time. As for the dropped connections, do your posts in your wordprocessing software and then copy and paste it to blogger. That way you don't lose anything and it's a much quicker download. I used to have to do that when I had dial-up. I feel like giving you a call right now. Sometimes talking through things can loosen you up enough to write, but alas, we're expecting out of town guests any minute. They'll only be here through tomorrow morning and we just adore these people, but it kinda puts some things on hold. "Oh, can't start that right now, guests are coming." I made a coconut cake today, maybe I'll do a quick post on that. I really don't have any desire to do anything longer that I actually have to think about. *sigh*

At 9/05/2009 3:31 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

VV, *Sigh* is right! It sounds like you're in the same pit I am in. :(
Maybe I'll give you a call tomorrow afternoon?

At 9/05/2009 4:38 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

It's been such a tough year for you - no wonder you are down a gallon or two of fun! I hope the worst is over for you. In the last month, my own stress has eased considerably and I find my brain is starting to function again and I am looking forward to things and enjoying making little plans in my head to do this and that. It's exciting. Life is fresh and new. I have rediscovered my sister and drawing and even noticing decorating again. Soon, I'll be in touch with old friends and the world will open up to me. The same will happen for you if your parents' situation gets settled - I hope it is already.

At 9/05/2009 5:09 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I'm looking forward to the next installment of your parents' story. Also looking forward to seeing you post more often PERIOD! I miss you!

Finding fun is hard - especially on a budget and in the boonies. But there ARE ways - there has to be, right? Music discovery has been HUGE for me this last year, and I find it not only fun & interesting, but therapeutic as well. And I can fit it into my modest entertainment budget, thanks to PayPal.

If writing for you is therapy, GO FOR IT!

Another post card is on the way, BTW.

At 9/05/2009 7:08 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Tomorrow afternoon would likely be good for a call. I know we're going to Ocean City to meet with friends to play board games in the evening. You still have my cell number, right? E-mail me if you don't.

At 9/05/2009 8:48 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Hey there. Hope all is well and girls are wondering if you recieved there mail yet?? If not let me know.. I got your address from Sme and WC. So I will catch you later. Hugs..

At 9/06/2009 9:34 AM, Blogger --R said...

Hey there tshsmom -- I know EXACTLY how you're feeling! It's weird. :) And I do think that the crappy Midwestern non-summer we've had has contributed to the stagnant feeling. I'm looking forward to your posts and wish you energy and good luck.

At 9/06/2009 10:18 AM, Blogger Sonja said...

I can relate somewhat... I've certainly felt stuck and unmotivated and uninspired. In my case, a nap usually helps, but that may be directly related to a certain child who likes to nurse at night. :)
I hope you can propel yourself out of this hole - I think you can!!!

At 9/06/2009 8:06 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Sorry you're in a funk. It is understandable, though. I think you're right about posting the final installment from your dad's surgery. You need to let that out into the daylight. Or bloglight, watever.

Maybe you can really experience your emotions as you write it. I've found that feeling them intensely for a short period helps get rid of them, where repressing them makes them last a whole lot longer.

Looking forward to seeing more of your writing. Hope you're feeling better about it all soon.

At 9/06/2009 8:40 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Mmmmmmmm - since returning from "and remember to chew up the dogs' food for them world" I too am having more than usual brain fatigue/scambled/stuck problems.

And, like you, when I spend much time there (back "home"), pieces of my past float through me and resurrect a need to - well, heal! So much in the craziness for me triggers all the past craziness I was subjected to. Like plugging an already frayed electrical cord into an outlet wired too hot for it to handle - fzzzzzzzzzzzt.

I bought home tons of letters I had written to my mother during a rough period of life - and I was able to read them and see why I was where I was at that time, feel sort of sorry for that young woman, but see the patterns, and as I read the last one, walk to the shredder and say good bye - at last filed in the correct memory compartment and DONE! Its very hard to write about - I suppose I shall someday - maybe not share it, but I would encourage you to just start a file in your computer and write a bit each day (but also knowing how hard this stuck place is to leave). Perhaps someday all will come together to make a fabulous book. Making sense though would be enough! :)

I would be interested to know how you are putting things together as they go. I am wondering if its part of our job to finally put the puzzle together before we move on to the next realm - heaven.

The past year or so I've done not a whole lot, but I've had fun - my art parties, going to the beach, suntanning, obssessing about health, meeting new people - I want to feel guilty but I just keep grinning like a happy fool.

Also hate to say it, but I don't think my mother is mentally well. Hasn't been for a long time. A lot of us weren't, but we spend our life fighting for sanity, responsibility, and we are constantly moving toward it, but some people (like my mother) want to stay in their cesspool - so what is there to do, but for us to move on. Problems arise when we are called upon to go shovel out the cesspool occasionaly. How we are going to deal with them is another issue - - our recent forays into elder care have left me hoping that it never ever ever becomes a full time job. SO - let's have as much fun as possible while we may!

My mother seriously needs evaluated for ALZ, but would only go screaming in a straight jacket. In the hospital she was acting like an imperious, confused Queen of Crazy. As long as she can manage financial affairs - -

But as I say, lets put that away and concentrate on a high quality of life NOW, as much as our poor burned out selves can.

Waiting for last installment on the = uh = adventure.

At 9/07/2009 9:55 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Jeannie, I'm searching for the "fresh and new" aspect too...wish me luck! I'm wondering if most women our age don't go through this re-discovery phase?

Thanks WC; I miss you guys too!!
The postcard arrived yesterday...beautiful...THANKS SWEETIE!!

I think the budget thing is what's been bumming me out the most. We've had to cut all recreational spending this year. Our only traveling has been for funerals. :(
Then we had to make up for the time I took off over my Dad's health issues. Then L was off work for several days with health issues...arghhh!
I've also been re-discovering music, which I'll get into in an upcoming post.

Tweets, I got Bri's letter, but no sign of Kora's yet. I was waiting for Kora's to send them both a return letter.

~r, I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one. It makes me feel a bit less weird...thanks! I'm sorry that you're in the same funk though. Maybe we'll have a glorious fall that will brighten our aspects on life?!

Sonja, yeah, little ones have a way of sucking the energy out of us, but the payoffs are well worth the effort! ;)

Squirl, that's EXACTLY what writing about those emotions does for me. It's painful while I'm writing, but I'm able to close the door on the experiences once I've written about them. Thanks pal! ;)

Gardenia, you and I have really been following the same path lately, haven't we? :(

That alternate world of craziness is really hard to cope with! At first I thought that the craziness was a new thing. When I started examining my upbringing, I discovered that it's always been there to a lesser degree. My cousin and Sandy have really helped me to see this. Now I'm working to overcome all the control issues that have been instilled in me since birth. It's been an uphill, yet freeing, experience.

"But as I say, lets put that away and concentrate on a high quality of life NOW, as much as our poor burned out selves can."
That's MY goal too! It's a bit harder for me, as my parents only live 2 blocks away. I'm trying to establish boundaries for myself so I'm not totally sucked into the craziness again. I don't think my family could survive another bout of that.

At 9/08/2009 6:44 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Two blocks - oi - mine's 2,000 miles! Sometimes a good thing. Breaking control is not easy!

At 9/11/2009 7:47 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, yeah, 2 blocks makes it harder to establish boundaries, but I really think I'm making headway. My son is a bit impatient with my progress. He just tells me to say "Enough already" and walk away. I, on the other hand, have this overwhelming sense of duty that's hard to sever without feeling guilty. *sigh*

At 9/18/2009 8:28 AM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Hey, kiddo, this morning I'm sending up a prayer for you and yours. For peace to reign supreme, for healing, and for order and for everything to fall in placed for all the fall cleanup that I know starts going through your mind about this time of year! Five years since Ivan hit here - as we go about, we still find places that have not been cleaned up. Shoot, we're still cleaning up...anyway, just popped in for a hello.

At 9/20/2009 10:09 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, THANKS, I need it! I've been praying for the same thing.

At 9/24/2009 11:57 AM, Blogger Pam said...

Wow, tshs...I just spent some time catching up on your blog. So sorry to hear how rough the year has been for you. I know how hard it is to watch someone descend into the depths of dementia, illness and just plain old age. Consider yourself hugged.

I've been hiding out for months now, trying to find comfort in anything that offers an escape from the seemingly never-ending stress we've had here. For so long now it seems that whenever I would sit down to try to write, my brain was completely constipated. I couldn't pass a thought, let alone a word! I didn't want to post yet another post about why I wasn't posting... argh! Anyway, I feel like I can relate. I hope things will take a turn for the better for you soon, and in the meantime, take care of yourself. You are carrying a heavy load now.

Here's to blogging and connections and friends -- may we both find our words!

At 9/24/2009 4:27 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Pam, thanks for the hug!!
You guys haven't had a good year either. :(

Brain constipation is the PERFECT term for our problem! Hopefully you and I will find the right laxative and our words will flow freely once again!


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