Friday, February 26, 2010

Sea Turtle Mother

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm feel a little less raw than I've been in the past few days. Like I mentioned in my previous post... I literally felt as if I'd fallen in that Sand Pit in the Winnie the Pooh Story...only, a big part of me didn't want to try to get out again. An even bigger part of me didn't think I could. On Monday, I decided that I was going to stop eating until I felt some kind of answer emerge, I am not a religious person, though I've always been deeply connected to my spiritual self, and I know that people have fasted for spiritual reasons with what they consider success. I decided I'd try it. I didn't eat anything. I drank water, and it wasn't hard to maintain that pattern because ,frankly, I was too sad to be hungry. I fed my family, and did not feed myself. I know it seems really extreme, but my pain was really extreme too.

I've been thinking about sea turtles a lot lately, they have really helped me over the past few months to find some peace that has been really driving my life lately, but I fell anyway. It was sudden, and terrible, and I almost lost my grip on everything I hold dear...but when I hit the very bottom of despair, I found them waiting for me again. Patiently. And I knew this wasn't just something to share with a few was something to share with everyone.

Sea turtles lay these big abundant nests that are chock full of eggs. Most of the eggs never have a chance to hatch, because they are eaten by predators. Of the little sea turtles that DO hatch, most of them are eaten as they try to make it to the sea...and the ones that make it to the sea, are also greeted with predators. But...some of them DO survive. Some of them live. And when they do...their life is never really fair. They are always at risk of being killed at some point, Even though they are completely peaceful creatures. These wonderful sea turtles, they float peacefully, without anxiety...even though their life isn't fair. Even though it will never be fair. They aren't afraid...they aren't brooding about how unfair their life really is. I've swam with these creatures, and they were like angels. Peaceful, gentle, welcoming. Real living angels of the sea. A lot of their babies die. Their life isn't fair. But...they swim on. They swim on with inner peace.

I'm a sea turtle mother. Not all of my babies get to live. My life isn't fair. But...I'm reaching for inner peace. I want to float in peace. I want to keep swimming in this big sea of life.

Life isn't fair. I don't have to like that my babies died. I never have to like that. But I do have to keep swimming. I do need to find inner peace. That's what the sea turtles have for me, and I'm going to try to follow their example. I broke my fast this afternoon. Four days of fasting....four days of being lost in the deep dark caverns of pain....

I'm still swimming...I didn't drown. Maybe, when and if that sandpit appears again...I'll be able to stumble around it instead of falling flat on my face,Maybe I will, as sweet Liz suggested, throw some sand in to make the pit less deep (very wise I must say Liz!) but if I DO fall, I'll try to remember to call the sea turtles to help me get back out. Because, they are waiting. They are my friends, my spirit guides...I am one of them. Sara...The sea turtle mother.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Falling down...AGAIN.

"They were having a rest in a small sand-pit on the top of the forest. Pooh was getting tired of that sand-pit, and suspected it of following them about, because whichever direction they started in, they always ended up at it, and each time, as it came through the mist at them, Rabbit said triumphantly, "Now I know where we are!" and Pooh said sadly, "So do I," and Piglet said nothing...

"Well," said Rabbit, after a long silence in which nobody thanked him for the nice walk they were having, "we'd better get on, I suppose. Which way shall we try?"

I'm sitting here wondering how it happens so fast. It comes out of nowhere, and a smile a moment before sits frozen in shock, until it fades, and crumbles into despair. One tiny little chink to the Achilles heel of my soul and I'm in the dark, without the will the climb out of it ever again.

Because, really....what is the point?

Why keep TRYING if I always just end up HERE in this blackness?

I feel like the story of Winnie the Poo...when he goes around with Rabbit and Piglet, and all of a sudden, they realize that they keep coming back to the same sandpit. I used to think that was really funny...I remember the pictures in the story book...the expressions on their cartoon made me laugh. I remember watching the movie on video tape over and over again with my sweet little Hamilton who adored Poo Bear. I watched it to be with my little one, but, I also loved that story. I laughed every time...even as a mother.

But now...I keep coming back to that sandpit. I keep falling in it unexpectedly, even though I KNOW it was there before. I start looking up, noticing the blue sky, and butterflies flitting about...I start to believe in fairies again...I start to believe I'm going to be o.k....and then...WHAM SPLAT CRASH!!!!! I'm in the fucking sand pit again. And...I don't think it's funny. I don't see the humor in it, though I am pretty sure that LIFE is laughing at how easily I trip. "Oh look...there she goes again! Isn't it FUNNY when she falls in it AGAIN! HA HA HAHAHA !"

So, while I'm sitting in here, feeling the gritty sensation of sand in my teeth from doing a face plant suddenly, I just feel like crying forever.

I don't want to cry about getting stuck in the sand pit any more. I'm just HERE. In the fucking sand pit. I can't keep trying to get out of it. Looking at the blue sky just trips me up. Trying to believe in fairies isn't working for me. My companions in life might find a way out of this stupid hundred acre wood if they would just LEAVE ME IN THE GOD DAMNED PIT!!!!!!!!

It's too hard to keep finding myself back here. It's too hard to realize it's happened. Again.

Maybe if I just...give UP....I can just accept that this is my life. In a sand pit.

I'm one of those dogs you may have read about. The ones that taught psychologists about the effects of depression. The ones that stopped trying to avoid the shocks. They just sat in a corner, whimpering. They had learned that there was no point in trying to get away anymore. They had learned that they would be matter what they did. It's called learned helplessness. And...I've learned it. I get it now. Life is never going to stop pushing me into the sandpit. ever.

At least, if I stay here....I'll know where I am. At least...if I stay here...I can't fall IN again.

Maybe I can outsmart life if I just stop TRYING to get away from the pit.

Apparently, it's where I'm supposed to be. Why else would life keep pushing me into it?

My husband. My sweet husband. The man I love so desperately. He keeps trying to coax me out. His hand is outstretched and he's hoping I'll grab it. He wants me to keep on walking with him. He figures that as long as we walk together, one step at a time...even if the sand pit shows up again (and it WILL), that we'll be o.k.

But I'm not so sure about that.

Because I'm just in the sandpit whimpering.

I don't want to grab his hand because I'm afraid of bringing him back to this spot. I'm afraid life will push anyone near me in with me. I want him to back away slowly...and just leave me in the sand pit. I want him to get as far away as he can go. AWAY from the sand pit that has claimed me as it's prisoner.

I don't seem to care about finding a way out anymore. The sand pit will find me if I try to get away. It will find me no matter how happy I get to be in one moment. It will find me no matter whose hand I'm holding. Or how tight I'm holding it.

I'm pretty sure that blue skies will still shine for everyone else if I stay here.

I'm not going anywhere. I'm just here. In the pit. I'll sit here, and if my kids need something, I'll try to get it for them. When my husband needs dinner, I'll make it for him. But...inside...I'm in the sand pit. I'm not coming out. And I'm not going to eat another bite until I understand why I keep getting pushed in here. I read this morning that a person can survive for about 45 days without food...and that's only if they are thin. I'm 257 pounds at this point. I think I can hang around until I get some fucking answers from this life. Until I get something CLEAR from the universe I'm not going to keep sustaining myself with food that just sticks to my ass making my burden of existence heavier and heavier. I want ANSWERS NOW!!!! and if I don't get them--

well. then, that is my answer. And here I will sit. In the pit. While everyone else moves on...out of the from the pit...and safe from me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A gift of open hearts

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my husband?

I probably have...but....even so, it just seems appropriate to express it again. I love my husband beyond my body's capacity for love. I sometimes feel that I might burst at the seams from the immensity of feeling that fills me when I think of him.

When he isn't home, I find myself remembering the first time he opened the door, and I saw him there. It was his eyes. Blue, warm, smiley eyes. Eyes that drank me in, and knew me in a glance. I think of his hands...strong, smooth, capable hands. I think of his smile...his wisdom...his grace...his humor. I hear his musical genius, and his strong voice. I, admittedly, think of the strong lines of his athletic body and how it carries him, like an eagle, through his life.

This is a man that helps others in pain. A man that nourishes others. Plays with his children. Cherishes me.

This is a man that spends early morning moments before the sun rises in prayerful contemplation, and communion, with his twin spirit sons, Simon and Alexander in order to begin his day with them. In order to find his center, so that he can help comb out the tangles of other peoples minds...including mine.

This special man, author, therapist, artist, dancer, musician, athlete, shaman, intuitive healer...has been holding my fragmented broken self...with love for 15 years.

He has loved me without question. He has been supportive, and nurturing. He has never judged me for being plump, emotional, internally doubtful. No....he just loves me.

He sees me.

This weekend, we took a walk, and then, went to the mall to get a fruit smoothy to share. We were walking by a jewelry store when he suddenly pulled me inside.

"I've been wanting to get you this..." he said with a smile. He pointed at a circle filled with united hearts. Two big ones, and two smaller ones. "You looks just like the card I made you when we lost Simon and Alexander. It is you, me and Simon and's ALSO our five living sons...all of it, in one wholeness within the wholeness....Do you like it?"

I nodded...and held him close.

I've been wearing it ever since.

You know, I've been really sad. I'll probably be sad on some level forever. But right this moment...I feel really very lucky. I have such a loving,tender man to share my life with. Our living children are amazingly dear, I have such wonderful dear doggies to cuddle...and Simon and Alexander...they can't hold my hands...but they will always hold my heart.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Signs of trauma manifesto

It is missing.

It's not REALLY a big deal, IS missing nonetheless.'s not my purse, or my tiny wallet with keys attached, or my coat, shoes, or favorite pair of yoga pants. It's not the tootsie pop that I claimed as my own the day before I found out my pregnant belly was a tomb. It's not my cell phone...or a purple dog leash, or the card that entitles me to a free loaf of bread at the local bakery.

No. It's simply my "Griz card". The card that allows me unlimited, free access to the city bus because I am a student at the University of Montana.

Like I told you, it's not really a big deal.

It's just a dumb card with my face on it.

The only reason I mention it at all is that I've had to replace it several times in the past 10 months. I've had to replace it four times in fact. After having had the original card for four YEARS prior to that...I've lost the replacements four times in the past 10 months.

Each time, the picture looking back it me reminds me that I am a very different person than I was 10 months ago. Before my womb became a tomb. The replacement pictures look sad. Bloated. Tired. Old.

It doesn't look like I remember looking.

I keep wishing I could find the original one. The one with the smile, and sparkly eyes free from dark circles. The one where I didn't know my children could die. Not REALLY die. It was an abstract concept. Something that happened to other other countries....for other reasons.

But...anyway, the card...I've been looking everywhere for it; looking for any one of them in fact!

Here is what I found instead of my Griz card:

A receipt from the ultrasound office that said I'd paid for a video that they forgot to take. . .they told me we could do it "next time"...but there was never a next time to see my babies alive.

A bag filled with school papers and studies related to circumcision for a report I was supposed to do last Spring for my woman's studies class, a thick baby name book borrowed from my midwife, a homeopathic vial of morning sickness tablets, a half eaten box of ginger candy and my yellow binder filled with my pregnancy progress. It was the bag I carried from the bus, to my midwife's home....and then to the ultrasound office to confirm that my body was full of death, instead of life. There was a crumbled hardened tissue in the bag as well.

I found a purse filled with odds and ends from my hospital stay. Pamphlets about stillbirth. Papers that told me how I might feel as a reaction to losing a baby.

I discovered, under my bed, clothing that fit me 10 months ago...they had folded nicely under my thriving belly...and had made my butt look great! I hadn't looked for those jeans....because I knew they didn't fit--even though I am not pregnant.

I discovered in the crevices of the couch in my living room about a pound of popcorn, a handful of m&m's, about $10 in change and a list with possible baby names that my husband and I had laughed about...only 10 months ago.

I found my favorite hairbrush in an overnight bag...and a pair of blood soaked pants and a bloody shirt, hardened...crumbled....from the night that brought to light that not only had I lost one baby...but that two babies had called my body home, and that the 2nd had spent 6 weeks rotting inside of me until finally I began to hemorrhage and required that they take him out in pieces to save my life. It was the 2nd time I died in 6 weeks. I guess my husband had had other things on his mind besides trying to salvage the clothing I wore that night.

I found all my childbirth books. Stuffed into a bag. I'm sure my husband was trying to put them out of view.

I found my favorite lipstick that I last wore 10 months ago. It looked strange on this face that has gone without any embellishments...for 10 months. Why put it on if your just going to have to wipe it off when you cry. No...I only wear lip balm now....because breathing through my mouth cracks my lips...and my nose is usually swollen from eyes have raw marks at the corners. Every-time they heal a little....I lose it again.

I found a "bully stick" that I bought for Ferdinand when he first came home with us. Still in the bag that I put it in. For those of you who are in the dark about what exactly a bully stick IS...I'll spare you the details; but my puppies LOVE them in capital letters. I'd forgotten where it was--so I bought more.

I thought I had put my Griz card back in my wallet the last time I used it. I was taking the boys to Aikido.

It saves me a dollar every time I ride the bus. I have no memory of any other possibility. And in really doesn't matter. It's just a bus card, with a poorly taken picture of a sad woman.

It's just something I seem to keep losing.

It's only a reminder that I used to be a little more focused. A little less fat. A little more smiley. A bit less scattered.

It's just a card.

It's nothing compared to what I lost 10 months ago. Espesially when you consider the fact that no matter how many times I lose that card...I can always pay ten dollars to replace it.

There is nothing I can do to replace Simon and Alexander.

That's when you call it loss. When you can't replace what is missing. Ever.

Pure loss.


That is the kind of loss that puts losing a plastic card into perspective. It's the kind of loss that explains WHY you lose other, more meaningless, things.

It's the kind of trauma that puts slippery slides where the foothold of your mind used to be.

And so you lose things. Meaningless things. Things that remind you of the real losses you've had.

The losses you can't replace, or find, no matter how hard you look.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentines wish...

May the love you feel for your babies
both here and lost forever
be the glue that holds your life together
even with the rains crash in
even with the storm blows
even with fog obstructs your view
even when you lack strength to go on.

May the passion you feel for your lover
yesterday and tomorrow
be the twinkle in your eye
even when your arms are empty
even when your tears flow
even when you cannot breathe
even when you feel distant.

May the person you always dreamed of being
while you made mud pies, and ran barefoot with abandon
be the wind that holds you afloat
even when your heart is broken
even with all "could have beens"
even when the load is crushing
even with too much to bear.

May this day of love filled inspiration
With all it's glitter and poofy frill
Be more meaningful than a box of chocolates
because your heart deserves love
because your future deserves hope
because your present deserves warmth
because all healing starts with love.

Happy Valentines Day sweet mothers.
Happy Valentines Day sweet babies.
Happy Valentines Day to all the fathers.
Happy Valentines Day to brothers...sisters...
Happy Valentines Day.
A day of love.
for love.
because of love.

Happy Valentines Day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tribal Thunderbird Rescue

It's a little funny how life is. Funny strange....not funny ha ha. It's that same kind of funny that lifts you up in one moment, offering the potential for a smile...a feeling of confidence....and then throws you back out into the road right in front of a speeding mini van filled with car pooling soccer moms and their happy i-podded tweens leaving you twitching and flattened as car after car runs over you....

What IS this? This roller coaster ride....I've been on it so long I've stopped TRYING to contain my vomit! Out it comes....all over everyone around me....the ride doesn't just keeps on going, like there is some crazy laughing psycho that keeps stepping on the gas right as the ride starts to ease up....right as I think I get to get off the damn ride to wash off and ride something more the kiddie planes or something. Maybe a nice happy log ride. Or....maybe....just eating some ice cream and watching a happy puppet show.

But no. I get to be Velcroed to the damn roller coaster.
Against my will.
For all time.

At some point, I came to the conclusion that if there IS a hell. . .It is a roller coaster ride that you can NOT get off of. It is a scary, screaming, roundabout that convinces you that if you don't die on will at least wish you could pass out until it was over. A crap your pants kind of ride. A "Daddy, Daddy!!! PLEASE tell the man to STOP!!" ride.

What's really funny (see above definition of "funny") is that I seem to BE the crazy psycho that keeps stepping on the gas.

Or at least...that is what my husband thinks.

Because, this morning....

He told me that if I don't stop being such an asshole to his wife, that he is going to have to start being mean to me.


He told me that he won't tolerate me saying mean things about his wife anymore.
He told me that what I keep saying about his wife is total crap.

He told me to knock it off...and the look in his eyes was FIERCE!

He said that it's o.k. if I am sad forever. Hell...he expects that I will NEVER stop being sad about losing our twins. He also said if I think I can go on being so awful to his wife...saying horrible things about her...that he will NOT put up with it...and I will have to deal with her husband. Because NO ONE talks about his wife that way.

Are you confused yet?

The roller coaster ride came to a screeching halt.

I stepped off it, with tears in my eyes. Shaking. I left the bitch who had been saying I was worthless...that I killed my babies with my body...that I wasn't a good mother...that I didn't deserve joy...or life....

I left her there with her jaw open...I could feel her clawing at me...trying to pull me back into the ride.

But he held me in his arms. Held me strong and secure. With all the love that has ever been since the dawn of time.

He told me he was getting a tattoo.

Of a tribal American Thunder bird.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting some control over life...

It is amazing what a little control can do for your affect. The sky looks bluer, the air feels warmer, cookies smell better and dogs seem fluffier. Of course...all that could simply be that spring is about to...well...spring! But seriously...that can't really be it, because I am in Montana, where winter prevails until at least April...sometimes even June.'s the control that's doing it. That is the only answer to this feeling.


Over what? may sound is control..over my dogs.

This afternoon, I finally was able to have the dog trainer I've been talking to since early January come out to my house. She had been on vacation, and then I had some schedule issues, and then she did.....and then she went to a dog show...and then.....

she came. SHE CAME!

She walked in with the embodiment of confidence. (the complete opposite of the me I am lately...) She took control of the crazy chaos that has been taking its toll, and she straightened it out....and handed that order back to me, and showed me how to keep it.

Sounds pretty simplistic...but, in one hour, that is exactly what she did. My furry fur balls went from trying to kill each other in the living room, to passively sleeping next to each other in the exact same living room. (side note: though Ferdi and Felix play outside nicely, go on walks nicely, and are sweet to each other in general...they go INSANE in the house, and it is SERIOUSLY vicious, and quite scary. So...I have been keeping them apart in the house to ensure no one gets bit....but that really felt like only a temporary solution to a very volatile problem.

My new trainer explained very kindly that Ferdinand seems to think that he needs to take care of me...protect me. (I wonder why.....oh yeah...because I'm a total mess.)
and that this feeling of protection has created some serious anxiety. He feels that Felix, when he's in the house, is a threat because Felix DID attack him over food when he was still in a starvation state from his old owners neglect. He equates Felix with danger in the house...and attacks protect ME.

After 45 minutes of working with these two smart pups together, Maryelle had given me complete control over two dogs that were NOT even thinking about fighting.

I wanted to cry...but this wasn't because I was sad.

Obviously, this is something we need to really keep tight in the house. The whole semblance of control could be wiped out with a lazy attitude. I have to stay on top of it. I have to be the boss.

I have to be the pack leader.

and that....will require some inner strength.

The thing that helps me believe that I can do it is that they are my twins. They are worth it.

and so am I.

Maryelle will come back next check on my progress with them.

I have the tools....I understand what to, I just need to do it.

It feels good to have some control over something.

It makes me feel that there is light up ahead.

What a nice feeling....maybe spring will come early after all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

chocolate, treadmills and puppies

What do these things have in common? Well...for me, they are all sources of endorphin release. Well....maybe not the treadmill in and of itself, but, walking is a source, and hence, a treadmill simulating walking can fit into that category as well.

So first....chocolate.

As most women know, chocolate is the source of all things happy. Studies show that women that eat chocolate at least once a week will live longer than their non-chocolate eating friends. Downside? Eating chocolate as a source of happiness will also lead to increased butt size and all around overall increase in mass period, which does NOT make one happy.


Due to increased butt size caused by the chocolate that was eaten to try to enjoy a happiness that has been elusive at best since the loss of my sweet twins, Simon and Alexander...I walk a lot. I walk with my sheepdog pups every day. But, as I also have to use a computer for my freelance work, and the online classes I am taking in an effort to "stay in the loop" (including one called "Grief Loss and Bereavement".)I ALSO sit a lot. Too much in fact. Not only do I sit around for work and school...but I sit around helping my kids with homeschooling, and then I sit around with my husband exchanging foot massages while he talks about his day, and I cry about mine.

So, I started looking for ways to walk while working. The resulting effect was that I found the Treadmill computer desk. I called the company and told them I wanted to know if they would barter with me for my writing service with my home business "Butterfly Reflections". They agreed, and this is what they are sending me in exchange for my talent with words....

I fully expect to reduce the size of my butt, enjoy the natural calming effects of endorphin release caused by walking, and have hopes that this desk will not only make me healthier...but happier too. I expect that my recent diagnosis of the heart condition known as "long QT" will be quelled due to the natural reduction in stress that walking brings on, and that overall...I will feel better at the end of the day when I know that instead of sitting for hours on end...I was walking instead.

Regardless of the effects, it will at least be a more interesting way to write.

This brings me to the last item on the list, but by far the most important one. Puppies.

Puppies of such furry warmth and lovable sweetness, only a person of steel hearted coldness could resist their charm. Adorable sweet faces punctuated by black noses and only the occasional flash of a sparkling eye under all that fur. They romp gleefully on our walks, enjoying the snow and slipping around like two bear cubs in the woods. They make me smile and they lick away my tears. They trot ahead, insuring that the path is safe for me to travel...and though I am not happy about the size of my own butt at this time....I certainly do love to watch theirs!

Yes....these are butts that would make anybody smile.