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Thank you for visiting!

Monday, July 4, 2011

"I don't know why she hitted me"

For those of you who aren't narcoleptic, I have a question: do you ever have trouble sleeping? I do. Last night, as I listened to Matt snore away, I struggled to try to rid my brain of the words of young girl who was being examined because of large bruises covering her back. Throughout the exam she chattered away happily with the doctor and nurse, but all the while insisting she didn't know how she got the injuries.

Then, spontaneously, she looked up with a frown and stated simply "I don't know why she hitted me".

A little background: I participate on a board that reviews the cases of kids in foster care. Once a month I receive a stack of case histories to study prior to meeting with the other board members, parents, a representative of DHS, and lots of lawyers. It would not be hyperbole to say that many of these children's life stories are absolutely heartbreaking. I've been doing this on and off for about 6 years, but that fact never changes.

"I don't know why she hitted me": The statement of a little girl just trying to figure it out.

I don't know why her mom "hitted" her either. By all accounts, this mom loves her kids. She's been offered and has engaged in treatment (including anger management and parenting classes) but continues to remain totally invested in an abusive "disciplinary" style. We aren't talking gentle pats on the bottom here. There are allegations this mom had actually stomped on her daughter's back.

I imagine that this positively sickens you to think about. I know it does me.

Thank God I have never been so out of control that I harmed any of my children physically. Nor have I suffered such severe physical abuse. However, I can point to many times in my life when I have allowed myself to take a course of action that I knew was destructive to myself and/or to my children.

There were years when I absolutely could not be in the same room with their father without feeling so angry that I was constantly on the verge of losing control. And lose control I often did.

I knew without doubt that standing witness to me fighting with their dad was unhealthy and destructive for my kids, but I repeatedly gave in to the negative feelings and acted on them. Most of the time I honestly felt completely unable to stop this cycle. Heck, it remains a struggle for me sometimes even now, despite years of prayers and talk therapy.

Despite the fact that I love my kids more than life itself, I have repeatedly failed to act in their best interests.

No, I'm not suggesting that my actions (or inactions) were as blatantly destructive as those of the mother of this child. I am just "wondering aloud" at the overwhelming power my emotions had over my actions.

As humans, we like to think we are relatively "evolved". But those baser instincts, evidenced by the overriding of cognition by more primitive, "emotional" parts of our brains, suggest we still have a lot of work to do.

I know I do.

More later -- until then, stay safe. And if you have an opportunity to make a foster child's life even the teeniest bit better, please do so :o)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mean girls and dust bunnies

Hi all -- Trish here, checking in from that crazy place we call home.

It's been a weird couple of months here -- Matt's symptoms gaining in severity and me crumbling into a erratic mess of emotional dust bunnies. Work has been a bit stressful. And I realize I am NOT nearly as altruistic as I would like to think I am.

Turns out some people just s.u.c.k.

And others are just CRAZY.

Not you, gentle reader; of course not. But they are out there, and they are unavoidable.

You know what, though? All that pressure at work produced something really lovely here at home:
an opportunity for Matt to be my champion.

It's unsurprising, I suppose, that as the symptoms of Matt's narcolepsy have intensified, I have become increasingly responsible for, well, just about everything. Home, housework, family, pup...

... maintaining our relationship with each other. Monitoring and responding to changes in Matt's health, sleepiness, attitude, needs.

But I got slammed with 8 loooong weeks of incredible stress at work. The type of stress that sent my head right back to the that horrible place in California, and the panic-attack producing months of entering the building each day wondering "is this the day that I will be fired?".

Of course where the head goes, the heart often follows. And this time was no exception. That soft and vulnerable bit 'o me followed my smarts right into the dark pit.

And at the bottom of that pit, what did we find? Yep -- you got it: dust bunnies. Nothing left of Trish but about a thousand frazzled emotions scattering this way and that, elusive and completely uncontainable.

But then, my narcoleptic love braved that mess, stepped up to the challenge, and declared "it is NOT OK for people to treat my wife like that!"

And I remembered: I am loved. Matt loves me and he has my back. (grinning widely) And that is so more important, more central to what I want from life, than, well -- just about anything.

So I must send this shout out to the "mean girls" from work: thank you!

I am so very blessed to be loved by and in love with this man. Most of the time I am so focused on holding everything together, we both miss the opportunities that only occur after life seems to have fallen to dust.

And to each of you reading this: I wish you love.  Find it where you can -- but also let it find you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Maybe not?

Hi all,

Been a bit crazy around here these last couple of months. I've been working a lot with HAS ( and started doing some consulting with OHAC ( Add the pup, the son who moved back in with us Dec. 1st, two out of town trips, and time spent on a couple of other volunteer commitments and the sum is a crazy (and very tired) Trish. Oh yes, the narcoleptic husband who SNORES very LOUDLY doesn't help ;o) 

A confession about that last bit: there have been many nights when, somewhere around 3 a.m., my pillow has started looking more like a great tool for smothering my Sweetie than for resting my head. No, I'm not going to act on that urge, but I sure do hope he gets his C-pap fixed soon. Or I find some suitably comfortable ear plugs.

I don't mean to complain, just wanted to explain why my posts have been so infrequent, especially of late.

So... in case you've forgotten, let's set the stage: last time we checked in, I shared my optimism about our successful handling our November trip to California. Matt actually managed to make it through the entire Thanksgiving dinner with kids, grands and dad. I thought that, just perhaps, we might finally be figuring out how to live, in public and with family, with this disease.

Wishful thinking, it turns out. The last month and a half have been pretty bad for Matt. I have worried quite a bit that he might need to tweak his meds again. It turns out that he has been worrying about something I hadn't even allowed myself to consider: perhaps he hasn't hit the bottom quite yet. He might actually still be getting worse.

Stay tuned; more later. And this isn't necessarily bad news: more data means more information, and more information brings us closer to more effective treatment. And maybe, eventually, if we are very fortunate: a cure.

But for now, rest assured in knowing that we are OK. We will continue to be OK, and we will continue to be together. This thing is not going to beat us.

Hmmm, I take it back. We are BETTER than OK!