Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to the 336 solo-day 3

Relief is a great feeling.  It’s the emotional and physical reward we receive from our bodies upon alleviation of pain, pressure and struggle. A time to bask in the lack of the negative.  ~Vera Nazarian

After yet another long drive, I returned home.  To those who answered their phone to keep me entertained, thank you.  To those who prepared tacos, an even greater thank you!! 

I will be blogging less over the next few weeks--not because I don't want to, but because I don't need to and I will be channeling my energies elsewhere.  Single parenthood, for example, and journaling on my own and running.

I can say that my drive back last night was not filled with tears--but with relief.  We've arrived where we need to be for this part of the journey.  And we will continue our journey together--despite separate locations--and will reconvene when the time is right.

Stay in touch,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baltimore-day 2

It is through doing that an individual comes to know the potential and limitations of self and the environment and achieves a sense of competent and intrinsic worth. ~Gail Fidler

After a 36 day wait, an 8.5 hour drive and about a million tears, prayers and hopes--we finally have arrived.  It is such a bittersweet state to be in:  Relief for the help that has finally arrived.  Sadness for the temporary separation.  Hurt about the past.  Hope for the future. 

So many friends have been so wonderful to me.  Those of you who know the meaning of "Outfly."  Those who have taken my 2 AM sobbing calls and have lent out your shoulders, ears, sofas, and lunch money.  Those of you who have hiked to the top of a mountain and a waterfall in a day.  Those who have no idea what I'm talking about and still keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  Those who have helped with baby-sitting duties--for the young or the old.  Those who have sat with me on the sofa as I cry in desperation.  Those of you who have helped out covering at work and haven't fired me for my absences.  Those who are a part of the "Drizzo Tizzo" (Dream Team, for those of you who don't speak ghetto).  Those who have sent cards, emails, letters, texts, phone calls, and words of wisdom. 

I don't know how long we will be this many miles apart.  But I promise that no matter how many miles between us, our hearts are forever bonded.  And since I'm holding the children hostage, she has to come home, right?  :) 

Tonight:  A long drive back to a home where I will feel disconnected--as if a part of me is missing--because it is missing--but I will put faith in the fact that things are working in the direction they need to and that healing can take place--for us all--and we can not only be the Drizzo Tizzo, but also we can be a family again.

I miss you, my Love.  Take your time--and see you soon.

XO, La

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted. ~Jules Renard

I want to take this opportunity to officially apologize to every single one of my friends who has taken the time in recent weeks to check in with me and while I know every single one of you have a life and your own struggles, I've not asked how they are and not offered a hand to help.  I feel incredibly selfish lately because I have not done so.  And every single time that someone checks in, I consciously don't make the effort to ask how their circumstances are.  I apologize.  It is not that I don't care how you are each doing.  It is that I don't have the energy to have that conversation and don't have the energy to support you in what you need right now.

Today, I had a conversation that I finally needed to have.  Don't get me wrong--every single one of you has been wonderful, as I know I have mentioned before.  But today, I got to have a conversation that was just mine.  One where I didn't feel guilty not asking "how are you doing?"  A $25 co-pay allowed me the opportunity to speak without being interrupted, without feeling guilty, and without wondering if I was saying too much. 

There is a show on Netflix that I highly encourage others to check out.  It is called "United States of Tara."  The basic premise is that Tara has dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple  personality disorder).  She's married and has 2 kids and the show highlights life as Tara and life with Tara.  In the final episode of Season 3, her husband, Max, is shown several times doing "double takes."  The scene is done twice.  The first take is how he wants to respond (less than appropriately), and the second is how he does respond (appropriately, as expected).  However, he's eventually has too much and loses it.  Check out his losing it here on a low quality video(for those who are anti-the F-word, I apologize in advance....):

I feel like this a lot lately.  I feel like if there were really a camera following me around, I would like to do Take 1--I want to do and say that it is that is within me.  And then Take 2--what I really need to do or say.  I told that to my therapist today.  She said that it is understandable as I certainly have a lot going on and a lot of people depending me.  I hope I don't have a scene like this where Max loses it.  But if I do, I apologize in advance and thank you for your permission to do so.

Probably a more proper form of this--though it is a scene spoiler--is in the movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"--which is an incredible tear-jerker, is when a little boy with Asperger's finally decides that he is ready to tell his story.  I'm not sure if he decides that he is ready--or if he finally has a listening ear--or if it was an intersection of both factors.  I guess today was that for me--an intersection of both.  If you haven't seen the movie, don't watch this--go out and rent it, then re-read my blog, and then watch the video.  That's a directive.

Anyway, I officially apologize for not being in a place where I can genuinely ask how you are doing or ask how your different circumstances are.  Please know that while I am doing better than I was a week ago, there are still a lot of bumps in the road and I am moving forward.  I will continue to drop my co-pays so I can continue to unload without the guilt of not asking how she is doing and with the satisfaction of knowing that I now have 2 places I can speak without being interrupted:  in therapy, and on  here.

Apologetically yours,

Monday, August 13, 2012

I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow. ~ Wicked, the musical

I would never have imagined that I could finally have 8 hours of sleep in a single night without being chemically inspired to do so. I have now done it two nights consecutively. And I can tell my body is much happier with me, as a result.

I have truly discovered many things this week: I am stronger than I ever knew. That when we are our weakest, we are truly our strongest. The meaning of true friends: the ones who don't ask, don't blame, and stand with you no matter what. That self-care is difficult for me but not impossible. And that while things sometimes have to get worse before they get better, they will get better.

I truly appreciate all the love, listening, hugs, prayers, and genuine people who have supported me and my choices throughout this week. I can't control what is coming but I finally feel like I control myself again and I know I can manage any of the weather I may yet encounter.

Xoxo, La

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I said I'm strong, straight, willing to be a shelter in a storm---
Your willow, oh willow, when the sun is out.

~Joni Armatrading

When I was in elementary school, we lived at the house on University.  One might think that this was in a large city and we must live down from the local University.  Nope, not the case at all.  Instead, we lived out in the country of a small little Wisconsin farm town where there was not a University at all.  The irony of this street name only came to me in my adult years.

The house with a bright red door had a large back yard and a hill that was perfect for sledding.  The neighborhood was filled with kids and beyond the backyard was a woods where we would spend hours running around, building "forts," and getting completely mosquito-bite covered.  When we moved in the Spring of 1992, however, what I missed most was the gigantic willow tree in the back yard.

This willow tree was at least a million feet tall.  It had the perfect layout, begging short passersby to stop and climb it.  When we climbed up to the first tier of seating (a branch I later approached to see it was about 5 feet high), we were already hidden inside the leaves like campers in a tent.

Sometimes the storms raging at 4:00 have thunder and lightening that jolt us awake.  Sometimes the storms within us do the same.  At times like this, I find it helpful to find a willow tree.

In recent days, many of you have been willow trees:  prayers are coming from different states, lunch dates with friends, phone calls and text messages and emails making sure I'm staying strong, offers for stargazing and hugs galore.  No one requests details--they just love and support.  That's how I need it--don't ask why it is storming, just provide the shelter to keep others as dry as possible.

Last night, I went to bed at midnight.  The earliest all week. 

Today, I ate 3 meals.  The first time in probably a month.

I even stretched out on the yoga ball and did a few crunches.

And tonight, I laid in bed with my favorite little 11 year old boy and began to feel some calm coming within me.

The storm is not over, my friends, but I can handle the rain.  And I will continue seeking out my many willow trees. 


Friday, August 10, 2012


Home is where the heart is.  Home is where the Mom is.  Home is where you go when you are sick and tired of being nice.

While reading tonight's post, please click on the video and let it play.  Read the post.  Then listen to the song again and really listen to the lyrics.

As I've blogged about before and those of you who know me, there was a period of time in 2008 (90 days was the period of time--90 days exactly) in which I was homeless.  The term is homeless, but the truth is--I was also houseless. 

There are many sayings about what home is, as the first line of this post indicates.  The last one is a quote that my parents have had on their fridge since I was in high school.  Unfortunately, it is a sad truth.  We behave worse at home than anywhere else.  Anyone with children can attest to the fact that their children do just that.  But even as adults, we do the same.  We treat people at home worse than we would ever treat any others.  Not because we dislike those people--but for some reason, we decide to take liberties and treat them less than others--even though they mean more to us than any others.

Back to 2008--the devastating floods came through--my house was nailed--and I lived in the spare bedroom of my good friends Mike and Amy.  At the time, I really wasn't that bothered by it--we made out okay when our house got hit--we didn't lose too much, and we were renters so we weren't dealing with the responsibility of fixing a house.  When we finally got settled into the VERY upscale "Waverly Mobile Home Park" after those 90 days and some drama from a stupid wench at work, the reality hit:  I WAS HOMELESS.  I had spent 90 days in a borrowed location.  I had lived out of a laundry basket with 5 outfits.  And I just witnessed and lived through the 2nd largest natural disaster in recorded US history (Katrina was 1st, of course).

But there is a difference between a house and a home. 

A house is 4 walls and a roof.  I had lost one of those--though I was in a temporary one now. 

And for me--a home is an internal place of contentedness.  Feeling rooted.  Feeling strong.  Feeling loved and a sense of belonging.

Being houseless sucks--don't get me wrong--sofa surfing and hoping people will take you in (Thanks Michael George & Amy---and Amy "Red") is an exhausting plight to endure. 

Being homeless is devastating.  Looking inside you and feeling empty, even though you are surrounded by a plethora of people and "stuff."  Being asked simple questions and all you can answer is "I don't know" because you feel incapable of making a decision.  Feeling absolutely no sense of control as your world is whirling around you in an emotional tornado. 

I've been called controlling a million times--and more so recently.  The irony is--I have been feeling absolutely no control.  And in hindsight, I haven't felt it in a while.  Or "in a minute," as they say in the hood.

Listen to the song again--the lyrics are amazing.  A good friend of mine introduced me to it in college and it became a regular theme song for me.  When I'm down, as I have been lately, I play it to remind me that when my home is empty--or messy--

Take me-make me what you want me to be, that's all I'm asking, all I'm asking.

Welcome to this heart of mine, buried under prideful vines. 
Grown to hide the mess I've made inside of me, come decorate, Lord.
And walk open up the creaking door and walk upon the dusty floor.
Scrape away the guilty stains until no sin or shame remain.
Spread your love upon the walls and occupy the empty halls until the man I am has faded, no more doors are barricaded.

Come inside this heart of mine--its not my own--make it home.
Come and take this heart and make it all your own.
Welcome home. 

Take a seat, pull up a chair.  Forgive me for the disrepair.
Souvenirs from floor to ceiling, gathered all my search for meaning. 
Every closet's filled with clutter, messes yet to be discovered.
I'm overwhelmed, I understand I can't make this place all that you can.

Come  inside this heart of mine--its not my own--make it home.
Come and take this heart and make it all your own.

I took this space that you placed in me.  Redecorated in shades of green.
And I made sure every door stayed locked, every window blocked--and still you knocked.

Come inside this heart of mine--its not my own...

Come inside this heart of mine--its not my own--make it home.
Come and take this heart and make it all your own.
Welcome home....

I am working on finding my way back home again.

XO, La

Color confusion

The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is: when we set a boundary we let go of the outcome. ~Robert Burney

In attempting to embrace gray, there are so many confusing forks in the road. 

One of my favorite populations to work with is adolescent sex offenders.  Many find this very confusing, but to me it is obvious:  this is an easy group to work with because it is obvious that their behaviors are NEVER acceptable.  Take another type of child on my caseload--an angry one who gets aggressive.  We can teach him that hitting people is wrong.  But let's be honest, there are situations we have all faced that we would hit someone.  If someone hits our loved ones, we are going to step in and defend them.  Most of us would defend ourselves if hit.  So we reinforce a message to this angry boy that we know ourselves--there is gray.  But sexual boundaries are black and white--and as you well know, black and white is my comfort zone.  Thus, this population, in my opinion, is the easiest to work with because there is no gray.

I set boundaries for a living.  I work with parents on recognizing the cycles in their homes that they do not like and help them recognize their role of setting boundaries to interrupt these cycles.  Boundaries are black and white.

How do I embrace gray while realizing that I have let boundaries go? 

Why is it when I recognize what I need, I feel selfish because others may not like my boundaries?

When faced with it already today, I had the internal battle.  Do I forgo what I need to care for myself because I want to be with someone today?  Or do I set the boundary and realize that in return, I will lose out on that person today--potentially forever because she thinks I'm being hateful?

Today is my time to care for myself.  I can only do what I can do.  I can only be what I can be.  And have to have hope that in the end, something will turn out.  I have to reclaim myself.  I have to find myself.  I have to let go of the outcome of the boundary I'm setting because the outcome I'm creating for myself--not for others--is that I am doing what I know I need to care for myself.

I want to find myself.  And I want to be back in my home as it once was.  Can both concepts exist?

I don't know if what I'm doing is right, but I have to be real with myself and know what I can handle.