Happy New Year?

Well, here we are, it’s a new year.  I have ditched my iPad in favor of a Kindle Fire tablet gifted to me by Alison.  It’s become my new best friend and also made me extremely grateful for those who gift me.  I seriously couldn’t afford such tech or gadgetry for myself and I do appreciate it.

I love it and am especially happy that the keyboard I got for the iPad works with it as well.  I am, in fact, typing on it as we speak.  I play sudoku on it, read more on it, take it places with me, watch Pride and Prejudice endlessly on it while I do dishes, write on it and take pictures with it.  Eventually I’ll figure out how to text on it and then, oh boy, I’ll be set won’t I?  Unfortunately it also makes window shopping on Amazon even easier but hey, my wish lists can’t hurt me.

It’s snowing out there today and I’ve been thinking about so many things for future blogs.  My big, fat Israeli divorce.  My heart bleeding silently for Jerusalem.  My love for my fiance and home here under the permafrost.  How these two things can be compatible in my life – my two greatest loves which are so very far apart.  My son, who is growing up before me and how hard this is for us both.  How autism morphs and changes and we blaze new and unknown trails every day as he grows into such an amazing young man and I struggle, as always, to just keep up and continue to wonder why people praise me for being a great mom – really, it’s because he’s such a tremendous young man.

I’m crocheting now after my knitting just disgusted me to the point of giving it up for now although Knitpicks has my nickel plated interchangeables for sale and they’re really gnawing away at me.  I still harbor that intense hatred for Polish customs for throwing away my needles in case you’re still wondering.  Anyway, I am making a “starburst” square afghan which consists of a gabillion little kinda granny squares that are really little starbursts that will all hook together.  I need a gabillion and I think I have 17 done.  Tune in later for more on THAT one.

I’ve been baking bread that sometimes people eat and lately, most of the time they snub.  Along with most of my dinners.  Oh Scott eats everything and praises what I cook and since I cook as an art, that makes me happy but still.  I have a can of raspberry pie filling and a package of yellow cake mix….I’m thinking raspberry filled cupcaked for Shabbat this week.  If I feel like it, I MAY share them with the children.

Then again, maybe not.  Depends.

I spent most of December worrying because on the first night of Hanukkah I got a call about my old house – someone was interested in buying it.  It wasn’t in the greatest shape and really, not in the best location and honestly, I wanted to just get rid of it before someone torched it.  The median sales price for what I had was less than $20,000 so I was happy with what we negotiated and I agreed to a sales price.  Talk about a Hanukkah miracle.  Most houses where my house was are on the market for 3-5 years and houses like mine?  Usually just abandoned.  So…being the worrier I am, I worried until the sales contract was signed and then I worried until the closing because I knew it would either fall through, there would be some wild lien I couldn’t even fathom or someone would torch it before we could get pen to paper.  I asked everyone I could think of for prayers and prayed as much as I could and to my own surprise on 31 December, we closed quickly, easily and with no fanfare.  Just signed the papers, said “Well, that’s that”, said goodbye to the ex, and walked away.  I never felt so relieved in my life.

I set about paying off debts I never thought I could pay off – I can’t even describe the feeling.  I have been so poor for so long and remain poor even after everything is now settled but I know that I am building a better life that hopefully will reveal itself.

Miracles are afoot and I bask in them.  I learned a long time ago that sometimes the only thing you can do is ride the tide of the miracles and just let HaShem do his thing and take you where you’re meant to go.  Fighting it really doesn’t get you anywhere and to be honest, basking in the glow of miracles is a pretty amazing feeling.  I recommend you try it.

I still feel anxious and, I hate to say it, depressed.  Maybe it’s the winter time even though I enjoy this time.  I think maybe depression isn’t even the right word.  Sometimes tired seems more like the right word.  Like life just makes me tired.  The happys aren’t as sparkly but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel happy, it’s like Scott said to me one evening when I was watching something funny on tv – “why aren’t you laughing?”  I was amused, just not enough to make me laugh out loud.  It’s hard to describe.  I suppose it’s like you can see the sun but it’s just not sparkly sunshine.  The sky is not a birdsegg blue.  You just DO, you don’t BE.  I can’t explain but that’s how I feel about it.  Sometimes I wish I could just sleep all day but I can’t.  I know that that’s what keeps me getting up each day.  If it weren’t so cold out, I’d be walking.  Routine powers my day but it doesn’t mean it’s any less exhausting just going about the routine of life.  And I am okay with it.  The routine gets me up and moving and I try to make little bits to look forward to, to break up the monotony of the routine….but the exhaustion and boredom remain.  Maybe someday it will change.  Right now, I just don’t see that.

So anyway, if I haven’t depressed you to death or bored you silly, happy new year to you.  Have you made any resolutions?  I used to when I was little.  I’d make – wait or it….schedules and routines for me to follow.  Now, not so much.  I make changes as I go…I don’t necessarily see calendar dates as the big time to decide to change my life.  This year I will be walking a 5k at the Pittsburgh Marathon and I am raising money for Evan’s Miracle League baseball team that allows kids with special needs to play adaptive baseball  (DONATE HERE) which is one of the most worthwhile things I can think of EVER doing so I am training for that.  And as usual I am doing random acts of kindness like carrying my emergency dollar to help people with change at the grocery store, helping out when I can (like bringing in trash cans when people are at work and it’s windy) and just trying to be a better human being this year.

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Sore Fingers Today

I have severe hypoglycemia.  It’s a real bitch too because I have had two grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures from it and I live in absolute fear that I’ll have a really bad low, won’t be home and I’ll have a seizure.  I blame my 30# weight gain on it AND my food addiction.  I just worry that I won’t be able to keep it steady so I eat all the time OR it drops and I eat and then it drops unexpectedly and I eat and well, you get the picture. 30# later if I am not full ALL THE FREAKING time, I panic.

It’s a sad way to live.

I finally decided I had to see an endocrinologist and I decided to go the distance and see the one I’d been seeing before I left for Israel.  In some ways it was a good choice because he had my records from 2010 when I was there for (go ahead and guess) hypoglycemia although it wasn’t so good because his middle name is NOT bedside manner.

He told me that my failed glucose tolerance test meant absolutely nothing to him (thanks, I drank that nasty ass orange crap and had a 40 low for nothing then) and that I’d have to go “make nice” with the lab and then get myself into a bad situation (read: nasty low) and go get gallons of blood drawn for half a gabillion weird tests that no one has ever heard of.

And that’s not exaggerating because when I went and made nice with the lab (good tactic if I do say so because….) they hadn’t even HEARD of two of tests and had to call their regional HQ to get the coding for them and even the regional HQ had to look them up.  Even THEN they couldn’t identify two others without calling the doctor AGAIN for guidance.

The supervisor at the lab keyed it all in and then told me that when I hit that “sweet spot” and had a good low to get myself in pronto and they’d take me right away.

So…I talked to him last week when he called me to tell me not do strenuous exercise before one of the tests (really?) and assured himthat today would be the day.  Actually it had to BE the day since it was the only day when poor Scott wasn’t running everyone back and forth all over Gd’s creation to doctor’s appointments and whatnot.

This morning I got up and started off with toast with apple butter.  When Scott got up at 7:30 I was at 180.  We talked about when we wanted to have to low hit and I knew it would happen about an hour after I ate something so terrible it couldn’t even be classified as food.

In this case it was going to be two packages of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls (I am gagging even as I write this.)

So…Scott went to get his hair cut and I sat in the car and ate 3 of the 4 rolls.  There was no way for love or money you could get me to eat that 4th roll.  I was almost ready to just hurl it all out and I couldn’t imagine anyone ever eating more than one package of these even though I know there are those who do (and I am NOT judging) – all I wanted as a hash brown or something that didn’t taste like crusted sugar and chocolate to cleanse my overloaded palate.

But…I had to suck it up.

So we went to pay the insurance, get Scott’s license picture taken and do some shopping at the grocery store which is where I hit the sweet spot.

I knew it when I couldn’t see anymore so we scurried into line, paid even though there was a HUGE error on our receipt and ran out and across the parking lot to the lab.  I was shaking and in a sweat.  I checked my glucose and I was at 50.  I knew we were on borrowed time before my liver decided to take some of my fat and send it northward to my pancreas so we ran in and wrote RUSH on the signin.  Scott even told the tech that his wife needed to be drawm immediately for her blood sugar before she had a seizure!

HUZZAH!

That pulled me past two folks who were there with appointments who weren’t really pleased with my cutting line (I am SOOOO sorry…really) even though I sort of had an appointment which I sort of made three weeks ago sort of but hey, they wouldn’t have known that would they?  Sorry again.

Once we were done I was STARVING so I had a 7 layer burrito and a taco (now you know why I am FAT) and went to my therapy appointment.

I have to admit my fingers are sore from all the finger sticks I did today.  I have hit three lows since that induced one and I know the rest of the week will suck until I can get a good diet of fruit, veg and protein back into my system.  But strangely that’s okay.

I know that I still could have a seizure but I also know that MAYBE this time something can be done.  MAYBE something WILL be done.  When I was in Israel my endocrinologist put me on acarbose and that worked really well.  I’d like to do something like that again.  Something that will keep me steady.  Then I can get on a good, low calorie diet…more activity including my daily 5k…and hopefully kick my metabolism back into gear.

So…while I may have very sore fingers today..I also have hope.  I think it’s a fair trade off.  I’ll keep you posted.

Taking Back My Name

Everyone always tells me that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet when I get sad about losing my Israeli name – Eli.

For 2 years I was Elianah or Eli and I loved it.  Elianah-Sharon.  I still say it the Israeli way – Sha-RON – in my head.  Of course once my plane touched down back in the US, I was Sharon again.  It just never felt right after that.  Not Israeli Sharon – a foreigner even to myself.

I wish there was some way I could just retake the name I took when I immigrated, the name on my Israeli papers.  But I can’t without changing it legally here.  There’s a little hope that MAYBE when I marry again I can change it, making Sharon my middle name and Elianah my first name.

With my luck though….

Tonight though I did change it a little.  I changed it on Facebook and while that seems insignificant and petty and really, it is….it meant a lot.

I am socially phobic.  The only people I regularly interact with ARE on Facebook so while it was a trivial step, it was an important one to me.  I changed it here as well.  This is my home on the web so I should be myself here.  I should be who I am inside and that person will always be Elianah-Sharon.

Yeah, I get that a rose by any other name…and that’s true.  But I also get that we have to feel comfortable in our own skins and this makes me feel comfortable in mine.  I’m kind of letting a flag fly and that’s kind of scary because whereas I have been hidden for so long, this kind of puts me right out there for everyone to see.  And maybe hurt.

It’s scary.

But being me is more important and we shall see what kind of a risk this really is won’t we?

The Biggest Disappointment

I have been thinking a lot the past few days.  Usually this leads to a very dark place that I have a hard time coming back from.  I so very don’t want to ever go back to that place ever again.  Often when I find myself headed to this place these days, I just shut down the thoughts and go to my happy place and lalalalalala…..it doesn’t matter anymore.

But sometimes the dark side creeps up on me.

What I am thinking about is my biggest disappointment.  That, of course, is and always will be having to leave Jerusalem.  Despite all of the wonderful things that have happened since, and I don’t want to say they are any less amazing or wonderful, leaving that city will always be the biggest disappointment of my life and one I can never fix.

Of course that leads directly to a situation of lashon harah (something very bad which was said about me by someone else to many people, regardless of whether it was true or not, who then believed it carte blanche without question because the person telling them wanted them to – take it from me, as our sages say, the evil tongue, lashon harah, does kill a person when it spreads and it never should.)

The worst case of this spread of lashon harah is when it was told to my father.  Today I had to accept that without question, without asking me, without any doubt whatsoever, my father believed it.  I had to accept today how very much this has hurt me…how truly deeply it sears my soul to not be believed by my very own father and worse, to have him automatically believe the worst of me without ever even conceiving that he should even believe the better.

This takes me back to when I was 17 years old and some piece of scum walked into my father’s nightcluband told him I was “the best he ever had.”  My father came home and beat the living shit out of me with a razor strap.  It happened without warning so quickly I barely even knew WHY I was being beaten and defense?  Absolutely none.  And mercy.  Really?  I was guilty without a trial.

And that’s how it remains today.

Guilty without a trial.  It’s just like it was when I was 17 – and my father’s opinion of me has never changed.  For a man who molested me, this is actually….well, I don’t even know what it is.

Today I had to accept all of this.  And obviously I need to act on it but I don’t have any idea what to do.  I didn’t have therapy so I didn’t have a chance to talk to my therapist – that will have to wait a week.  In the meantime, I am just going to process it and not worry about what to do about it.  I am going to let it sit there.  I am not going to roll it over and over and ride with it under my arm to the dark place.  I’ll just wait a while until I can talk to Kellye and then I’ll know what to do and I’ll act on it and send it on it’s way.

This is something I really don’t want to think about.

This is betrayal at it’s very worst.  It’s betrayal, lies, deceit, it’s a whle lifetime of what I had built up in my mind as support from my father that never was and all that “never was” just crumbled away….I guess.

But as unreal as all of that was – the hurt is VERY real.  I am devastated.  I am shot through with devastation.  I am lying on the floor, curled up in my grief for what I thought existed and never did.  I am once again afraid to trust, afraid of people, afraid of the world.

And I know it had led to both a setback and a step forward.  Hopefully they will cancel each other out.

Time will only tell.v

Riding the FACT Bus

Last week I had to take the local paratransit.  Because I get medical assistance, I am qualified to ride the bus and because I had an appointment that was overlapping a commitment Scott had to attend to, I had to take the bus.

I have to admit I was terrified.  I didn’t know what to expect and there wasn’t much I could do about it.  I just kind of had to grin and bear it and hope it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Unlike my trip to the synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, I didn’t have the chance to prep with my therapist Kellye prior to my bus ride…this was a cold turkey bus ride.

The good thing about the bus is that the driver, Jack, is a really nice guy who makes you feel really comfortable right from the start.  He’s happy and talkative and seems to understand if you’re not so much.  He called about 30 minutes before he came just to tell me that he was on his way and what time I should be outside….cool.

I sat outside and waited.

At exactly 11:15 when he said he’d be there…the bus rolled around the corner and I got on.  Little did I know it was the “party” bus!  There was one person on when I was picked up and she was chatting away with Jack which was fine with me.  Then we dropped her off and picked up three more people who were regulars apparently and they just laughed and chattered away.

I felt a little conspicuous sitting in the front seat and definitely out of place.  My face was warm and the bus was hot.  I felt like I was going to throw up the entire ride but I made it.

We got to the road where we’d have to turn left to get to our destination….I was consumed by my panic and nerves and I jumped up and told Jack to turn…and he was all like, “I KNOW dear, I come here all the time, don’t worry!” and then laughed at me.

PUBLIC HUMILIATION as the rest of the party bus laughed along.

Inside I knew they weren’t laughing at me…well, maybe they were.  And if not, when I got off the bus and lost my balance and almost fell down, well, you get the point.

But, the real point is that I did it.  And it was a HUGE step for me.  Do I want to do it again?  Actually I do.  I need to do it again to make it not so weird and not so strange.  So I can maybe be a quiet part of the party and feel like I belong more and not feel so much like I felt – a fifth wheel on an already unbalanced bus!

Still, after I got my balance back and walked into my appointment I knew I had taken a major step for me.  It may seem really small to most people and even for me, given my past life – the chick who left it all behind and moved to Israel and made a life for herself and her son despite everything for two years and would do it again in a heartbeat (her heart tells her) – it seems a little trivial, but I know given where I am at mentally now, it was one of the biggest steps I could take right now.

I don’t know when or if there will be any more big steps, I just know there was this one and I am very proud of myself for making it.

Rosh HaShanah: Pride

I am so afraid of new situations.  It’s not new to me.  I guess I always have been my entire life.  I remember hiding behind curtains when I’d have to meet someone new when I was a very little girl.  I made my mom take me to the first day of school until my sophomore year in college for fear of things like the school bus stop, the school bus itself and walking into the building for the first time, roommates and just new things.  I actually became anorexic when I was interviewing for becoming an exchange student during my sophomore year, nearly killing myself with anxiety on top of the hell and horrors that went on in my house.

This fear continued on into college and still continues.  I would get sick on the first day of a new job or a new experience like joining a new club or group even though it was something I wanted to do.

It’s just always been this way.

And now that I have other more serious phobias, my social phobia has turned into full-blown agoraphobia, although very specialized and very defined.  It’s very, very real.

Last night was the evening service for the first night of Rosh HaShanah and I decided we would go.  I told Scott not to listen to any excuse I made short of a cerebral haemorrhage and me in the ER.

Scott has to work today and I also figured it was dark (it’s easier for me to do something in the dark) and we had every little step planned out.

We planned getting there REALLY early so we’d have a parking spot in the parking lot.  I’d wear clothes I was comfortable in and we would be hyper prepared.  I even called the temple early in the morning to just scope out the parking since it was what was really stressing me out.

I was ready.

I made a really festive dinner.  Cooking calms me so I made roasted curry chicken with apples, wild rice pilaf with apples, sweet and sticky green beans and apple cake along with gala apples and honey.  It helped because it turned out absolutely perfect, delicious and right on time.

Scott and Evan looked fantastic.  I was in a skirt that I felt good in, a sweater and a pashmina shawl.  I felt good.

Of course we forgot our tickets but we got them and still arrived in time to snag a space in the parking lot.  We backed in.  I took a klonopin so I’d be really calm and okay.

And it all worked out better than I could have hoped.

I cried throughout parts of the service as I felt Gd welcoming me and His love wrapping around me and the angels, Michael, Gabriel (especially), Uriel and Rafael surrounding me to keep me safe and there.

Scott was beside of me and I felt him there as I leaned against him.  It wasn’t overly crowded and people didn’t really bother me although the gentleman in front of us wished us a “happy new year.”  I replied “Shana Tova” and he smiled at me.

I thought the organ and choir would bother me as I tend to be more traditional but it was really, really nice and I loved it.  I felt at home.  The rabbi felt perfect for me.

Next week for Yom Kippur I am ready to go back.

I wish we could go Saturday for services but I know it’s all baby steps and that going for Kol Nidre and the next day may be more than my weak neshamale could handle and I don’t want to tank myself before I am ready even though I feel enthusiasm.

I am happy and I feel good.  I am proud of myself.

I did it.  And IT was huge for me.