Goodbye and Good Riddance

WARNING: This post is about sensitive lady part stuff. If you are easily grossed out or would rather read about kittens or puppies, this post is not for you. However if you do find a good puppy or kitten blog, please send it to me as I love both.

So on October 28th, 2021 barring the apocalypse, I will be saying goodbye to my uterus and potentially my lady balls (ovaries). They are being removed because after multiple years of painful endometriosis and adenomyosis, bathtubs full of blood for weeks at a time (one time my husband walked in and almost passed out), going through enough menstrual pads and tampons to supply the entire continent four times over, a doctor has FINALLY heard my cries for help and is taking the evil thing out.

You would think I would be happy and overjoyed. And part of me is. But a teeny tiny smaller part of me is crushed and grieving. I always wanted to have my own kids in the traditional way. But due to multiple problems (see above) and just financial struggles it has never happened. And now, after this surgery, it will be physically impossible to happen. I know I am too old and too fat to have a normal pregnancy not to mention being on a lot of medications for physical and mental health problems. But still…

My one cousin had twins about 2 years ago. Her sister is currently pregnant with her own twins and has a three year old. It was supposed to be triplets but that is a heartbreaking story unto itself. My other cousin has 4 children and her brother has a 2 year old and his wife is pregnant. My oldest cousin on that side has a son who is going to be I think 6 this year. Then if you move to the other side of the family there are more cousins with more children. 99% of my friends have children.

For years I endured questions about when we were going to have kids, were we trying, when was it going to be our turn. Well none of your business nosy Nancy. Leave us alone. Please don’t pressure women into having babies. If they can’t, it’s a painful question and even if they can, maybe they are not ready. Things don’t always just magically work out like the movies. If they did I would be skinny, a church leader, and a professional author with two kids and a golden retriever and my house would be paid off by now.

I work with children every day through work and I love it. I enjoy interacting with my nieces and nephews (when I get to see them) but except for my husband’s sister’s kids and my brother’s daughter I don’t get to see many of the kids because I am not in “the circle of safe people” for most of my friends and family. Anyway, my point is that working with kids and seeing kids, even weekly, is not the same as living with them, snuggling them and protecting them from the world. Other kids can like you and enjoy spending time with you, but when they get hurt, they will call for their favorite parent or caregiver every single time (as they should).

A lot of people have made me feel as if I was a failure because I did not have children and that hurts. I feel like I got left out of some special women’s club that includes all the moms out there and that also hurts. And now I know I will never be in that club.

People have told me to adopt or engage in foster care but our state has placed a hold on training new foster parents and adoption is ridiculously expensive (a child would cost more than my current mortgage on my home).

So in exactly 3 weeks I will lose what supposedly makes a woman unique and special. But my husband reminds me that I am special to him. And he hugs me and holds me when I cry about this and then he makes me laugh because he always can and I am supremely grateful for this.

So I just want to say to all the women who have lost babies, can’t have babies, don’t want to have babies, you are still important and special. Having babies is not our soul purpose of existence. I am trying to believe this for myself and I hope you do too.

Hugs for all ❤

LOVE YOUR WHOLE SELF

What good is a size 2
When all that you do
Is obsess about the gym and your food

What good is skinny
When you haven’t any
Friends because you drove them away

What good is thin
Now that you’re in
Way over your head and drowning

What good is low cal bread
When you’re heart is dead
And your soul has withered dry

Love the chocolate
Love the curves
Live the life you know you deserve

Be healthy
Be wise
Awaken the beauty you know is inside

~Jenny Hansen

Overwhelmed

These past two months have been really rough so much so that I feel like I am a numb husk of myself. Currently I am what you would call a functional depressed person in that I can go to work and get a shower, but still spend inordinate amounts of time trying to avoid thinking or feeling anything at all. I have read a ton of books and played hours of video games all in an effort to not feel.

My grandmother (who is everything to me) had to move to Texas to live with my aunt because she developed dementia and kept wandering around the neighborhood and getting lost while only wearing her PJ’s and a blanket. She’s 91 so I guess should not have been surprised, but my grandmom was always so feisty that it never really occurred to me that this would happen. The last time I saw her she looked her age which has never really happened before.

So she finally got to Texas and was doing well. She went from being on 15 meds to only 5 and she was so happy. The last time I spoke with her on the phone she sounded like her old self and said she was getting involved in a church down there and had made some friends. My other aunt who lives up my way said she was doing so well that she eventually might be able to stop using her walker and that she was not hunched over anymore.

Two days later I get a text that says my grandmom had a heart attack. Then a UTI. Today they are checking her for a stroke. One of her heart arteries was 99% blocked. She was given Fentanyl for the surgery and since then she has been combative and aggressive towards everyone treating her. I’m hoping this wears off and she can get back to herself but I just have a very bad gut feeling.

So I got into grad school (AGAIN) this time for Child Advocacy which is a much cheaper goal to get me sorta where I want to be. I thought I would be excited but I just feel numb.

Last week I found out I need a hysterectomy because my stupid lady parts have never worked right and apparently never will. I get to keep my ovaries so I told my husband that I am turning into a boy because all I’ll have left is some balls. He hugged me and told me I am always all woman to him no matter what.

I’m not so sad about the surgery itself but it’s the final official closing of the door on me ever having my own child and that is what I am struggling with. I mean the likelihood of me ever being able to carry a baby full term was minimal but it kinda always felt like an option. I’m due to have surgery on August 27th and I’m debating whether I should or should not delay school one more year because it starts the first week of September and you can only start this program in September.

There are so many things flying around right now that I can’t think, I can’t concentrate, I can’t even cry (which for anyone who really knows me, this is totally not normal as I cry at Hallmark cards). I saw my therapist and even she did not know what to say except she felt so bad for me.

If you are the praying type please send some prayers up for me so I can make the right decisions and get through the mess that is my life.

Branding Yourself

So I’ve been hearing about this concept lately called Branding. The idea is that your turn yourself into a marketable “brand” that people will want to have. If this is not a new concept, sorry I’ve missed the boat until now.

So I was thinking about what my brand would be. How would I market myself into something the world would like? Then I thought, why do I care? Who do I have anything to prove something to? Who came up with this idea? Can I go punch them in the nose.

Then I realized that this would be a fun writing exercise and no longer wanted to hit someone. So here goes my “brand.”

Brand Name: Love and Light International

Mission: To bring love, light, and hope to all the people I encounter, regardless of when and where.

Sales Projections: Financially, this brand will never be a Fortune 500 company, but they are generous with their time and resources.

Special Skills of this Brand:
Two ears to listen and not judge.
One mouth to bring hope and encouragement.
Arms and hands to hug (with permission of course)
Faith that guides me to care more about others than myself
A degree in Psychology that is occasionally useful
Life Experience and Being an Empath

Areas Still Being Worked On:
Creating boundaries with others
Empowering versus saving others

I know that this was kinda corny but I actually enjoyed it. So what do you think of my “brand”? Is it reasonable? Would you want to “hire” or buy me if I was a product? Thanks for reading!!

An Old Poem I Wrote

Prayers are wishes
Thrown to the Almighty above
Asking for things
We shall never know

Wisdom, peace, knowledge
These are all fleeting
On a planet
Condemned long ago

Love does not exist
Without pain to coincide
Nor grace
Without condemnation preceding

Have faith whispers the masses
As they ignore the broken souls
They trample on Each and every day

Just believe
Thunders the man behind the pulpit
Ignoring the reality
Beyond the stained glass doors

What if instead of service
Predictable and sure
We took the hour to really listen
And be honest before friends and God

How many pews would we fill
How much money in the plate
If we allowed the Spirit to lead
Instead of the charlatan.

Jenny Hansen
Originally Written 05-04-13

Leftovers

For years I’ve had this terrible habit. I will go to a party, a family gathering, or somewhere that involves food and people. I laugh, I eat, I have a good time….and then I take home leftovers.

Even when I know there is too much for my husband or I to eat, I take it home. Even when people say, oh I’ll just throw this out…I just can’t let it happen. So we break out the paper plates or if its a best friend or family member you might get lucky and get Tupperware or an old plastic container that used to hold grated cheese or something else when the person is tired of having to replace their Tupperware or Rubbermaid.

I come home and plop it in the refrigerator. And it sits there…..and sits there……and sits there until it becomes moldy or old or smells funny. Then I throw it out. Sometimes I will eat part of it, especially if it was a really good dish or dessert. But almost never the whole thing.

So after recently throwing yet another something away, I started to think about why I do this knowing 9 times out of 10 I will not finish or ever eat this food. And I think I had a kind of AH-HA moment.

I keep the food because I want to keep the moment. I want to savor the happiness, the comfort, the essence of that day, that event. I want to keep it close and that is sometimes why I take but do not eat. I also think this may be why dessert has a higher chance of getting eaten (aside from I’m a fat kid who loves cake). Dessert usually involves sugar or sweetness and that usually makes you happy.

So thank you for listening to my little revelation for the day. Also I may not always eat the food but I ALWAYS return the container 🙂

Today Was One Of Those Days

Everyone has a bad day at work every now and then. You cry, you scream, watch a movie, play a video game, pet your cat, and move on. Bad days come and go and sometimes you can even laugh about them.

Then there are the days that make you question why you are in this field and if you actually have any faith left in humanity anymore. Today was one of those days.

This week has been crisis after crisis. Then I get a new referral for a family. And it’s a doozy. I can’t share details for obvious reasons (HIPPA Privacy Laws and wanting to keep my job and all that). But this family knocked me on my ass, ripped out my heart, stomped on it a few times, and left me totally speechless and crying for all the pain they have been through.

I don’t understand how human beings can be so cruel to one another. I really don’t get it. Then they drag their children through their mess not caring about the damage they are doing. It is so unconscionable. The damage done as a child can have long lasting effects. It can literally change the way the brain operates in the future and not in a good way. I can personally attest to this.

Please pray for this family tonight. I can’t give any details but just pray for comfort, healing, and peace. Also pray that I can hold myself together enough to be of use to this family and that I will have the right words they need to hear.

The People/Personalities In My Head

Raven is what I have called my dark side, my depressive, downcast and miserable self. I picture her as my emo self back in high school.

Mia is my over the top, angry, excitable girl who flies off the handle at everything. She is my Taurus and stubborn Irish side. I picture her as an overweight, red headed cutie that others love to be around until she flies off the handle.

Harmony is the side that tries to keep it all in balance. She is my rational side. She is hard to access but when I can, she is really helpful. Sometimes friends and family have to remind me she’s still there. I picture her as kind of a hippie with long flowing clothes that have flowers, wears a flower crown and is gentle to all. She is my peaceful side.

Little Jenny is my true heart and center. She is the one that still hopes and dreams and refuses to let her little light die. I picture her as a cherubic child wearing a white little dress like you would see a flower girl wear to a wedding. She has curly hair, and there are little bells on her dress that tinkle as she moves. She is pure love and light. She is the hardest to access because she is usually buried under all the worries, concerns, and anger I sometimes feel. But when I do access her, WOW! Meditation and Yoga tend to help me get to her.

It helps me to categorize these feelings and moods as other people because I always feel I can help other people. So if I’m having a bad day, then I can say Oh that’s just Raven again. Raven basically was responsible for my last blog post. But I can help Raven by accessing other “people” or parts of myself.

I know this sounds weird but I have been trying to explain my head to other people and why I feel the way I do and this is the best way to get it across.

I had breakfast with a friend yesterday and I took a day off work and it definitely helped. My doc also upped my sleep meds so I got a decent night’s sleep which also helped. Hopefully Raven can take a nap soon so that I can concentrate better at work and stop being so miserable.

Sending you all love and the light of God. ❤

Spring Forward

I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything new. I wish I had a good reason such as things are spectacular and life is grand and I can’t WAIT to tell you all the good news. Sadly, this is not that post.

Every year around March, for some unknown reason, we spring our clocks ahead for an hour. I know back in the day it had something to do with farming but we are not all farmers now. I usually have an easy time adjusting to this change more than the one where we go back. But right now I’m struggling with changes of any kind.

I want some stability. I want to Spring Forward to the place where I don’t give a crap what anyone says about me but I can still handle it gracefully. I want to Spring Forward to that place where everything is okay, the pandemic is over, people are done being extreme assholes in the name of their “freedom,” people stop bitching about the election on both sides of the fence, and we can get back to a country we can be proud of again.

Everything feels so extreme right now. Facebook is a minefield you have to navigate to keep your friends and family from hating you. My mother in law is convinced that every time we leave the house we’re going to die and is fully convinced we are going to be a Socialist country soon and all our rights are being taken away and everything we worked hard to earn is going to be gone in a puff of smoke. She told me to get a safe and put all my money in it and then cut a hole in my floor to hide it.

I am tired of being scared. I am tired of anxiety. I am tired of being depressed. I am tired of all the complaining, the whining, the “canceling” of things, the everyone being offended by everything and being so damn sensitive you can’t even say God Bless you without being offended that you said the word God. Give me a break, seriously. Maybe what this country needs is a giant Kit-Kat bar to take a break, then a Snickers bar to release the hangry, some puppies and kitties, and babies and whatever else is adorable to get the focus off the hate.

My heart hurts. My head hurts. I just want to give up. I want to go to sleep and never wake up. I’m just so tired. It feels like it will never end, never get better. My faith is kinda there but not. My job makes me cry constantly. I can’t sleep, I’m stress eating, and I cope by playing video games, burning candles, reading books, and playing on my cell to just numb me so I don’t have to think. I can’t concentrate at work, I’m falling behind, my team is a wreck, and I just can’t find the energy to care.

I’ve had so many goals for my life that are never going to be accomplished and that brings me so down. I’m going to be 39 in April and what do I have to show for it? Maybe a dozen kids total who I actually was helpful to and a ton of parents who think I am a piece of garbage.

So I came here tonight to vent. To cry and type, and try to get some of it out. Because the pain is a poison in my soul that leaves no room for love or light to get in. Please say a prayer for me. I really could use some right now.

Sending some love to all my fellow writers and readers. Hang in there even if it is by the slimmest of threads. Some day it will get better even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Peace, Love and Kitten Kisses ❤

COVID and Elections: Hell In A Cell

When I first started dating my husband he was very into wrestling and loved to watch shows like Raw and Smackdown. For the uninitiated the WWE is a soap opera for men with pretend fighting that looks real and sometimes can actually cause real injuries or even death. I’m not a huge wrestling fan but it doesn’t bother me if it is on.

One of the most interesting matches I would watch with him was called Hell In A Cell. Basically the two combatants would be in the ring and a 24 foot high steel cage would descend from the ceiling and cover the ring. The only way out was to pin your opponent. But everything went in this match and there were no disqualifications, pretty much anything went. It was brutal and definitely not for the faint of heart (I know it’s fake but sometimes you honestly forget that when a huge man is jumping down on someone from on top of a huge steel cage).

Ever since March I feel like I have been part of a Hell In A Cell match with COVID. I have ducked, I have dodged, I have occasionally fought back but COVID is a strong opponent that keeps changing tactics. Faucci, public opinion, masks, no masks, sanitizer, gloves, death, hospitalizations, etc. It was enough to drive you mad. But eventually I kind of got to a place where I could sort of breathe (with a mask on of course!).

Then came election season. The tag team partner of COVID that hit me over the head with a brick and then whacked me with a steel chair while I was down and has not stopped hitting since.

I have never, in the 38 years of my life so far, EVER seen anything as destructive, divisive, corrupt, cruel, or soul sucking as this election has been. There have been mud slinging campaigns at election time. There always will be because people are people. But this took it to a whole other planet of attack.

People I love, people I care about, who I thought I knew well are ripping each other apart over this election. I can’t stand it, my heart and stomach both literally ache. Oh and don’t forget I get to go to work and hear how COVID is tearing families and communities apart.

Yesterday I attended church via online (still not comfortable going back yet even though they’re allowing up to 50 people inside). The topic of the sermon was “A Nation Divided.” The first 3/4 of the sermon were great. We should not judge others for their choices. We are not going to tell you how to vote. But use the Bible as your guide to how God wants you to vote.

And then….
it fell…..
completely apart…

I was told that as a Christian I should vote for someone that (fill in four political agenda points). I’m not going to share what they were but suffice to say that I did not agree with those four points and therefore felt shamed into thinking I was not a good Christian woman.

I spent the whole day on a serious rage spiral because I felt attacked on such a deep level. It did not help matters that I am in the middle of a medication change which has left me feeling like an exposed raw nerve every minute of every day. I screamed, I yelled, my husband consoled and validated me and eventually (as always) rage turned into depression and I slept a good portion of the day away until we had to go to his mother’s house for dinner.

Today I took a mental health day from work. I literally laid on the couch for the majority of the day trying not to cry or scream (I failed at not crying). I felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer to my very core. The hate I’ve witnessed, the fear, the frustration, it all came to a head in the last two weeks and I could not even muster the energy to move until about 4:30pm.

I love God so much, I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior and that because I believe he died for my sins, I am forgiven by God and will get to go to Heaven one day. That is enough for me. That is my faith and I’m comfortable with that. So for someone to come along and say that this is not true because I don’t vote a certain way hurt me in my soul. My faith is important to me and has gotten me through some rough times. To say I’m not a believer if I don’t do [fill in the blank] is to attack the very core of who I am as a human being. And that hurt.

I have asked my pastor if we can talk about this as it was one of our elders in the church who preached today and I did not feel comfortable talking to him directly as everyone was patting him on the back and telling him what a great sermon it was after it ended. I am waiting to hear back but I feel he will be able to hear my side and not judge me for it. He’s good like that.

So today was simply a venting of frustration, hurt, and pain. Please pray for me or send good vibes my way. This pandemic is killing us in the helping professions and unlike docs and nurses, nobody gives us any credit for the hard work we do (not saying docs and nurses who are killing themselves fighting this don’t deserve 1000% credit, but don’t forget parents, teachers, counselors, and social workers who are feeling this just as hard as they are).

Thanks for listening. Hopefully the next post will be a bit brighter. Spread love not germs ❤