Much Ado About Nothing

I finally had my biopsy appointment last Friday. After getting an ultrasound first, talking to tech, then radiologist I was told, “I don’t see anything to biopsy. This all looks like normal breast tissue.”  

Um what?!?  The radiologist felt the lump that had brought me there in the first place and she said the shape and size weren’t worrisome and the ultrasound images didn’t show anything. She wanted to do a 3D mammogram to be sure. So I got my tit squished for that. 

After looking at the mammo, she sat with me and told me there was nothing to biopsy. She said that more than likely it was a fat lobule and those are completely normal. I was and still am dumbfounded. 

I went through 6 weeks of mental torture to have a very anticlimactic ending. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I feel kind of dumb about the whole thing. At least she didn’t say to me “I don’t feel anything.” (Which is what the previous doctor had told me.) The lump was real. I didn’t make it up and it was nice to have validation from someone of that. 

I am glad I had it checked out and happy to put it behind me. I would rather address it promptly rather than delay, delay, delay and then find something major. I don’t think I will return to the original imaging place where I had the mammogram done that started off this 6 weeks of worry and anxiety!  Asshats. 

Hi Ho, It’s Off for a Biopsy I Go

Tomorrow I go for my biopsy consult.  After comparing this mammogram to the last, there is enough abnormality in the lump that further action is required.  There is a classification system used by radiologists called BIRADS and it has a value from 0 to 6.  My lump was classified a 4, which means ‘suspicious’.  There is a 20% – 35% predictive probability that the lump is cancer.  From what I read, when a radiologist gives a rating of 4, they are usually 80% sure it’s cancer.

I’m scared about tomorrow.  And the biopsy that will follow.  And getting the results.  I’m scared to think I may have breast cancer.  The husband is going with me tomorrow.  I’m anxious too.  I want to get the biopsy done ASAP, because it will take at least a week to get the pathology report back, telling me whether or not this is cancerous.

This waiting period sucks.  It fucking sucks.  I have so many heavy things going on in my life right now.  This is one.  Working on our marriage is another.  Hearing from friends whose marriage seems to be crumbling is yet another.  Looking for a new job (hope to have a positive update on this soon!).  Dealing with anxiety and depression.  There is a part of me that thinks to myself, “Goddamn the hits just keep coming!” I’m hoping that this really is  just a difficult season and that things will lighten up soon for me.  For our family.

Throughout all of this, I’ve been trying to be very kind to myself.  I’ve been emotionally eating like no one’s business and I’ve gained back a few pounds that I had previously lost.  Although I’m not thrilled with my actions, I realize that it’s a coping mechanism for me right now.  It’s not the best one, but it’s really not the worst thing I could be doing at the moment.  If I were to follow in family footsteps, I could be drinking or drugging my worries into oblivion.  Yet I’m not.

The silver lining?  I’m still doing plenty of positive things.  Exercising every day.  Meditating most days.  Regularly writing down things I’m grateful for.  Going to therapy.  Getting good sleep.  Asking for support from friends.  Enjoying quiet moments with my family.  Getting past my procrastination to finally get a will done since we are like 18 months overdue on that shit.

The other positive thing?  I listened to my intuition to get this checked out.  I felt the lump and made an appointment ASAP.  My husband couldn’t feel it, my doctor didn’t feel it.  My doctor didn’t think it was anything but sent me for diagnostic testing anyway.  And I’m thankful for that.

There is a quote I found recently while browsing Pinterest that helps give me perspective when I start freaking out or thinking dark thoughts.  I’m not sure who said it, but I love it and think that it’s applicable for so many things in life.

“Everything heals.  Your body heals.  Your heart heals.  The mind heals.  Wounds heal.  The soul repairs itself.  Your happiness is always going to come back.  Bad times don’t last.”

I hope those words resonate with you as much as they do me.  They give me hope and help me to remember that nothing is forever.

Titanium Tit

I learned this week that I have a titanium bead as a marker from a previous breast biopsy. Four years ago I found a lump, went to my doctor, and had to undergo the nerve wracking process of a mammogram and biopsy. Thankfully it was benign. And I’m sure the doctors told me about the bead but hell I didn’t remember so it was news to me. How did I learn about my metal tittie this week?

Another lump. Another mammogram. I don’t know yet if I will need to have another biopsy. I should know  within the next week.

My life is so different than it was four years ago. I’m in a different city, I’m now a mom, and currently not working, but thankfully have health insurance through the hubs. Surprisingly I’m not at freak out level 5 this time. I’m trying to take this thing one step at a time. One doctor appointment at a time.

Have I thought about the whole ‘what if I have cancer’ scenario?  Of course, considering I lost my dad to cancer.  Have I thought about what the potential of breast cancer could be the end of?  Sure – breastfeeding my daughter, possible future babies, possible tittie loss. I’ve tried not to venture too far down that rabbit hole because it gets scary dark fast. All I can do is deal with things as they come. If they come.  This may turn out to be nothing. I don’t know yet.

It’s made me acutely aware of the present moments. Early this morning, I sat nursing my daughter at 4am, gently stroking her soft brown curls, thinking how lucky I am to have nourished her with milk from my body for over 17 months. Or sitting enjoying nature, feeling grateful I can see the sunset, feel the breeze on my face, hear the birds, smell the flowers and taste the salty ocean air.

I’m learning to be grateful for the smallest things.  For now, I’m in a wait and see situation.

Contemplating My Life, My Legacy

So a Facebook acquaintance, one that I met through a mutual friend while in LA, is dying of liver cancer at 30-some years old.  DYING.  He’s younger than me.  30-something fucking years YOUNG.  He’s recently been told by the doctors that there’s nothing more they can do.  And all of the posts I’ve seen about his situation have me thinking about my own life.  My own legacy.

What if I died suddenly?  What would my daughter remember of me?  My friends?  Family?  Have I accomplished leaving a legacy in case I don’t wake up tomorrow?  Am I currently living my best life right now?  All these thought provoking questions.

I tried talking about it to the hubs tonight, and I started crying, thinking about the whole “what if I died tomorrow?” topic.  He talked about years ago in therapy he wrote his own obituary, and then I lost him to Game of Thrones.  I’m more than a little annoyed by that.  I think he knew, because he offered to watch it tomorrow, but by the time he offered, the moment had passed.  He’d made his choice to watch the show.

I’m still here thinking…am I OK with my life as it is right now?  And the answer is glaringly, obviously NO.   Fuck NO.

I put everyone else first in my life.  I had a moment earlier today where the hubs kicked me out to go get a pedicure, but the place wasn’t going to open for another hour, and I sat in my car and thought, “Now what?”  I didn’t want to shop, I didn’t want to do anything that resembled spending a ton of money without having a job yet, so I drove back home and took a nap while he napped with our kiddo.  I couldn’t even think of anything else nice to do for myself….and then I thought how awful is that?!  That led to thinking what has become of me?

I really want to make some concrete changes in my life.  Starting with putting myself first.  Do I exactly know how to do that yet?  No, but I know that involves small steps, like eating a diet with fruits, veggies and wholesome food to power me through the day.  It involves daily exercise to help manage my anxiety levels and give me a physical outlet.  It involves doing at least one thing EVERY GODDAMN DAY that I ENJOY doing (i.e. reading, crocheting, taking a bath, blogging, or other hobbies…) even if it’s just for like 5 minutes after the kid goes to bed.  It involves maintaining connections (and making new ones!) with people that love and support me on this journey through life.  It involves loving myself, first and foremost, and knowing that I am worthy of good care.  Of good attention.  Of a good life.

With all of this deep thinking, I had a very sad realization on my walk this evening.  I realized that for most of my life, I’ve been so desperate for someone to love me that I’ve asked nothing in return.  I have always equated having needs as being synonymous with being needy so I’ve never demanded much from a partner.  Now or historically.  Because the fear is if I ask for too much, or have too many needs, that they will leave me.

I’m done with that shit.  I don’t want to live my life being afraid to take up too much space.  I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to start living my days more fully.  More completely.  I’m done living a shell of a life because tomorrow is not promised to anyone and goddamnit, I want to make this a good go around. Something memorable.

Motherhood is Fucking Lonely Sometimes

I am sitting on the couch, alone, surveying my disaster of a living room, taking a moment after putting the baby down to bed.  Eating popchips like a mad woman.  Watching episodes of Law & Order SVU because I can’t get enough of that show.

The husband is a 4 hour flight away at a funeral and I’ve been dealing with a kiddo with an ear infection since Tuesday night.  A single ear infection turned into a double ear infection.  Add to that an allergic reaction to the antibiotics we were given.  This week has sucked.  * Sigh *

Did I mention my husband was away?  I wish that the dog could somehow help me out or babysit for a few hours to give me a break, but no such luck.  Husband won’t be back until tomorrow, but he’s taking the red eye, but I don’t know how much “help” he will be when he does get home.

I love my daughter, and being a mom, but sometimes I think about my old, pre-baby life with longing.  And I get a little sad.  Because I miss some of the close friendships that I could more easily maintain pre-baby….and I feel like they’ve gotten left by the wayside.  Overrun by shitty diapers, double ear infections, dinner time, nursing, walking the dog, laundry, bath time, putting the baby to bed…the endless list of to-do’s on my plate these days.  When I do get a moment, I just want to sit in silence.  By myself.  Without anyone needing or wanting me.

I realize the irony in that last statement…how can I feel lonely when I’m almost never alone?  But I am lonely.  For some real friendships.  For my mom tribe.  For someone to tell me, “You are gonna get through this”, whatever this happens to be, knowing that they’ve walked in my shoes and can speak from experience.

My only close mom friends live far away….and it fucking sucks.  I have made a few friends here, but one of the friends I have is the “cherish every moment!” kind of mom and that shit just ain’t real.  Being real to me is admitting that some days you want to run away.  Some days you want to scream at your husband that the next time he leaves his socks laying around you are going to put them all together in a pile and burn them.  Real is not losing your shit on the dog, even though you really want to, when he shits in the house because you were too busy tending to your sick kid to take him for his normal walk.

 

No one told me that this mom business would have these kind of moments.  Such worry.  Such anxiety.  Such frustration.  Such loneliness.  I’m probably talking to no one right now.  * Sigh *

I think I’m going to bed.  Alone.

I’ll Take The Shits for $350, please.

When you read that headline, isn’t that exactly what you envision for your anniversary?  No?  Well it wasn’t what I envisioned either…but that’s what happened.  And still happening.

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Dessert!

Let me set the scene for you.  We decided to take a trip to Napa for our anniversary with the kiddo in tow.  I had even found a local nanny service with terrific reviews so that the hubs and I could have some alone time.  He found a restaurant with great reviews, and booked us a reservation on our anniversary.  He even went so far as to let the restaurant know it was our anniversary too!  (Bonus points for him on this….I believe I owe him a quality BJ at some point for this good work.)

We got to the restaurant early and enjoyed this scenic view.

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View from our table

We sampled different Napa wines from their extensive list.  We had a delicious three course meal, with the chef even sending out two additional small plates for us, free of charge.  Seriously, the food was divine!  At one point, I had even said to the hubs, “I think I may have just come a little…” because the food was THAT good.

 

Our dinner was so good for a number of reasons.  We got the opportunity to talk about plans for the future, about things in our marriage we should keep doing, things we should start doing, things we should stop doing.  We had the rare opportunity to spend time with each other, without one of us being distracted with one eye trying to pay attention to our spouse and one eye watching our kiddo.

On our ride home, my stomach began to rumble very deeply.  I remember commenting that I didn’t feel so hot.  We get back to our hotel, pay the nanny, got the report on how V was, and then I exited to the bathroom where I shit the entire contents of my dinner out.  I was also feeling sick to my stomach, and I was praying to the porcelain god and any other god that would listen, that puking wouldn’t follow the diarrhea.  To be sick from one end is bad enough, but to have it coming out of both ends is truly awful.

We racked our brains trying to figure out what the offending dish may have been, as we both were pretty sure I had a case of food poisoning.  I think it was my 3rd course, which was squab.

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The offending dish (I’m sorry little squab)

It was supposed to be medium rare, but I think it was mostly rare.  I didn’t ask for them to cook it more, and in hindsight, I really should have.  Because I looked at it and thought “That’s too pink to eat” but ate it anyway.  And am now paying the consequences for my dumbass move.

 

And for those of you that may want to judge me for eating squab.  Please don’t as I’ve already beaten myself up enough over this.  You see, when I ordered, I thought squab was a type of pheasant.  Because we were in a fancy schmancy restaurant, I wasn’t going to be the unsophisticated type to ask “What is squab?” Growing up in the Midwest, I came from a hunting and fishing family, so we regularly ate wild game, including rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, deer, fish we caught, etc.  It was only later on that I googled and discovered that squab was pigeon.  Young pigeon. And I felt morally conflicted for having eaten a young pigeon.  The hubs didn’t help when he was jutting his neck in and out like pigeons do when they walk.

I’m writing this post 5 days after the dinner in question, and I’m still shitting my life away.  I’ve felt truly awful since Monday evening.  In addition to the diarrhea, I’ve felt bloated, gassy, nauseated, and just icky in general.  I dropped off the kiddo at daycare this morning, and as I walked to my car, I started crying, muttering to myself, “I just want to stop feeling like shit!”

Sigh.  At least was a memorable anniversary.  How about that for a positive spin?

P.S.  Had to post this real life pic from our trip.

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This is vacation with a toddler.  

Hubs was trying to get some nice pics of me and the kiddo together, because it’s almost always her and him in photos, with me behind the camera.  He managed to snap a pic of her pitching a fit, and me trying to protect her melon from making contact with the pavement.  I love the contrast of this beautiful scenery behind me, with a flailing child in front of me.  Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Wrapping this up so I can go shit my life away.  Again.

 

At An Impasse…

Last Sunday, the hubs had asked me if I was feeling left out because he’s doing things on Saturday with the kiddo when I’m in class.  His question led to a great conversation how I am feeling left out, how I feel that he makes times for the things that he wants to do, but doesn’t make time for us as a couple.  It was hard for me to say to him, but it’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  He was really supportive and gentle with me on Sunday.  That’s why I was so confused about tonight’s exchange.

He comes back from picking up dinner for us, and is telling me about a conversation with a supplier.  He’s going on and on, and I’m frustrated.  He was gone for an event, which was in town but required him to stay at a hotel, so I was managing the household.  And the kiddo was up for over an hour in the middle of the night.  Every.  Fucking.  Night. pretty much for weeks.  I’m exhausted, anxious, worried, and in general, not in very good spirits these days.  So as he continues to tell me about this convo, I get pissed.  And he asks me what is wrong…and I tell him, that I feel like everyone else gets billing with him but me.  And that I get what is typically left over, which is not much, if anything.

His reply to me?  I’m blaming him for everything since I’m not happy right now.  I told him that I didn’t think I was blaming him, as this has been a consistent issue for me.  He tells me, through pursed lips, that he doesn’t know what to say.  And then followed with ice cold silence for the rest of dinner.  I’m so hurt, and I’m mad, and I’m at my wits end at being ignored or iced out.

I didn’t feel like I was attacking him, I really didn’t.  I didn’t name call him – I didn’t say “YOU are not doing this…” or “YOU are not doing that…”  I used “I” language to try to express myself like an adult.  And for what?  A deflection that somehow having needs is “blame” and then feeling this ever growing sense of loneliness enveloping me.  I’m going through this HUGE life change, where I’m trying to figure out a new career/job, while not trying to take things personally about being laid off, and I don’t even feel as though my husband has my back.  I don’t feel like he understands (or cares to understand) what a big emotional deal this is for me.  It’s the first time in my life I’ve NOT worked (besides maternity leave….but that had a definitive start and end).

He checked out for the rest of the evening.  He didn’t speak to me.  In fact, he went to bed at the same time our 15 month old daughter did.  It just makes my heart hurt, because the distance between us grows each time he chooses silence over discussion.  Another wall goes up every time he chooses to not talk about the very real issues that are happening in our marriage.

I’m left here, alone, on the couch wondering, what can I really do?  What options do I have if someone doesn’t want to engage?  What can I do if someone would rather check out than recognize their partner is going through a very difficult time and they don’t even bother to try to comfort them?

We are totally at an impasse.  And I have no fucking clue what to do.  I’m heartbroken, and so tired of crying.  And tired of being alone.

It’s a dozy of a rant for me

Warning: I sound like a whining little bitch in this post. But I’m over pretending that it’s okay here, these are my issues for the last three years that are only getting worse now that the oil has “left” ND, it hasn’t the price just dropped and people had to leave. Once the demand goes back up there will be plenty of PEOPLE coming back to help you further rape the land for money.

I am SO fucking over living in Bismarck middle of fucking nowhere North Dakota. Privacy blah blah blah. No fuck this shit. I can’t say that I haven’t met and connected with some WONDERFUL people who I want to stay in touch with, and would even come back to visit, while I have lived survived here the last few years. But this weekend, was the pinnacle of what I call ND racists ignorant cock-sucking xenophobic asshats or ND-RICXA (rick-a) for short. I swear to jebus I am the last one to judge people without knowing as much as I can about a situation, THEN I’m judgymcjudgster while being a total bitch.

So even though I came out here thinking “North Dakota Nice” that’s got to be a good thing, less people so less traffic, less legislative sessions so they must have their shit together (they only meet once every 2 years while taking over the largest chunk of parking at the capitol), people are flocking there and staying thanks to the oil stuff so it must be a good area to raise kids, and housing prices are only going up so buying a house early is an investment.

Simply put, I was a naïve moron.

I’ve come to find that the people I’ve connected with the most, are the people that moved here within the last 5 years from GA, NY, CA, AZ, and CO. I have the world’s best neighbors who are beyond words wonderful, they are from here, moved around with military and came back because to call the mans family large would be an understatement. Family is super important out here, but most people don’t give a shit about anyone else’s, because they are the only people who matter. These people I love to call world’s best neighbors care about everyone, they are loving, inviting, beyond helpful, just… they are just the best people ever. Every time we even think about moving the one pro of being here is them, like what would we do being away from family AND not having them? Generally our conversation doesn’t get much farther after that.

I was informed by co-workers that “North Dakota Nice” is a form of frenemies, and sadly I’ve had to experience it as well. My first month here I tried to tap into Mary Kay meetings, since I had done it back home and thought it would be a good way to meet people outside of work. We had our “breakout” meetings and after a few minutes of business it was Sarah saying “Stacy did you ever talk to your son about that sleep over?” “Yes we just had to find a reason to ground him so he couldn’t go, we don’t want to be the bad guys”, I’m curious and say, “is his friend a bad kid or something?”, “oh no he’s wonderful but we don’t really KNOW the family” UNDERSTANDABLE… but wait, “they have only been here a few years, they aren’t FROM here, so I don’t think they are all that trustable”… that was her fucking reasoning. Her kid was in 3rd grade so he has gone to school with this friend since kindergarten, she says they’ve had play dates but they aren’t fucking from here so they must not be good enough. So instead of address the issue of their bogus mistrust they play ND NICE. Most basic example that we’ve all heard before is to say your baby is cute and turn around and tell their friend how horrid you/your baby is/looks, etc. Down to the workplace, sabotage for jobs, shit talking, etc. ALL while to your face they are nothing but wonderful, these are people I would call chicken shit back in CA but out here, this is just how most people are, which is beyond frustrating because you can’t tell who is really your friend. I used to think I was a decent judge of character but damn these people are good actors.

Less people and less traffic is still true, along with less traffic meaning people don’t pay attention to shit around them and put others’ lives in danger on the daily. I used to drive 9.7 miles to work while living in Los Angeles, it took anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on when I left, and three freeway changes. Here, I live in the pseudo suburb’s and (look it up) there are only two “freeways” in the entire states, which I call glorified highways. I drive less than a mile through “town”, take a freeway for a couple of exits, down a main street and into the parking lot. I thought “my god this is going to be amazing! I’ll be so calm when getting to work, so much less stress, it only takes 15 minutes max to get to work and that’s if it’s bad snow,….” Stupid stupid STUPID me…  I can’t even make it to the onramp without a heavy case of road rage. Blinkers aren’t used, and I was used to that, you can watch people driving and pay enough attention to see when they’re going to start merging, I basically lived my entire driving life anticipating others movements. Out here, it’s fucking impossible. We drive a pickup that most people here call a car because it’s not some heavy duty diesel, which 90% of the population apparently drives. They change lanes without notice, they slow down for no reason, sometimes they take more than two blocks to fully merge, they are usually eating, they don’t seem to care about laws saying you can’t be on your phone while driving (talk or text), they will change their minds at the last second and go from off ramp to fast lane, they turn right from the left hand lane, fuck one guy STOPPED right in front of me and then screamed at me that I was going TOO fast once we got to a 2 lane stop light. I was going 20 in a 25 with only him around, fucker. I say “they” because while this is all young and dumb driver shit that some of us (cough cough me cough) have done before, this is what happens on a daily, less than 5 mile commute, to me every. Single. Fucking. Day. I’ve been rear ended 18 times in the last 3 years. EIGHTEEN TIMES. We replaced the bumper once and then said fuck it, it’s only going to happen again, not worth the deductible.

I miss the traffic in LA because it was so congested that you couldn’t do this shit. Whenever we go home to visit I drive because I feel so good to be in “real” traffic. Every day my life is on the line with these dipshits, who claim to be the best drivers ever. I don’t claim to be but I certainly don’t endanger others every fucking day. I speed like crazy most days and I own it, I have a lead foot and the quicker I get away from these shitheads the better. By the way, a speeding ticket, or any ticket for that matter is LAUGHABLE. I was going 90 to Fargo (because that’s my closest goddamn Costco) in a 65 or 70… My ticket was $40, no points, well some points but their point system is ridiculous, so it doesn’t even matter until you get a DUI (which doesn’t fucking matter to most people anyways, pay your mediocre fine and move on, no jail time, no license revoked, etc) so yea. I’ve gotten 4 speeding tickets in the last few years: my insurance never goes up, nothing shows on my driving record, and I’m out all of $65 total.  Do I speed with tickets so cheap? Absofuckinglutely.

I’m not going to get myself started on the bullshit that is the legislation here. I will say that they are the least transparent state in the entire US because of all the bullshit fraud, kickbacks, etc. They are at least 50 years behind in EVERYTHING, last session they said abortion after a heartbeat was detected was illegal, aka PLEASE SUE THE FUCK OUT OF US BECAUSE WE DON’T “recognize” Roe v Wade AFTER ALL WE HAVE A SHITTON OF MONEY, oh wait, no we don’t, we have cutbacks for state employees who are already making just over minimum wage with the worst healthcare EVER. … yea, won’t get myself started.

Don’t come out here to raise your kids, the school systems SUCK, the homeschooled kids get a better education, and there are nowhere NEAR enough private school options. Also, good luck finding daycare, I had to put my son on list for YMCA when I was 8 weeks pregnant, almost two years later, he’s STILL on a list… even after they expanded to a new building… I have one conversation burned into my mind regarding my daycare. Again, sweetest people ever but our agreement was he goes in early and comes home a little early. My daycare lady does it out of her home and has a night job as a cleaner so they HAVE to leave by a specific time, we agreed happily because we love them and she was our only hope. This woman NEVER takes a day off, she is a machine, I want to be like her when I grow up. We went on vacation, two days in her mother dies, obviously she wants/needs to take a week off. We come home, I’ve used all my vacation time on the trip with one sick day left while my husband has 90 more hours to use. We agree he will stay home with baby after the first day since I can stay home that day. He tells his boss before we even come home that he will need to miss a few days, he walks into work and while on the phone with me (baby is now sick, we have one car, needed him to come swap with me at lunch) tells his boss “I’m only here today but I can take my laptop home and work while baby is sleeping” asshole boss says “that’s fine, but why are you taking so much time?” (TWO DAYS) husband “our daycares mother died and she needs the week off” this is what is burned in my head forever: boss says “is she working for you or are you working for her?”… husband just walks away and quickly gets off the phone with me. WHAT THE FUCK DUDE… who says that? Long story short, if you don’t have family to rely on, one of you better stay home with kiddos until they are in school because everyone else here has HUGE families so when johnny is sick or daycare isn’t there everyone else just steps up and if you don’t have that system, well, sucks to be you.Especially if you’re a dude, because why doesn’t your wife just stay home? This is the reason I had no sick time left fucker, I WAS STAYING HOME when baby was sick.

We bought a house just before the bubble of housing hit so we got a decent deal, shitty land, but decent layout. Then we pumped $30k into the house to ‘finish’ it and we’re up so I can’t complain. I will say that this is what sparked my rant, we wanted to refi at year 2.5. Our credit scores are on point, we pumped equity into the home, house prices went down but still way above what we paid, not much on credit (thus the good scores) and we had full time “secured” jobs that we held for three years. All signs point to EASY approval. I met with loan guy at our credit union who gave me the all clear and set up an assessment  saying “once we get this back your husband can come in and look at your options”, GREAT. I’m white as can be, I’m mostly German, one would think I fit in since I’m a fucking chameleon at blending into a culture and community. He was hesitant but nice enough, see ND Nice for example. I get the call to come in, bring your husband. I need to point out that my husband was the one to let the assessor into the house and made a comment about my husband being native, he’s not but why does that matter… I find out later… Less than two minutes after walking in with my husband it was a “well I wish I could make this work but the loan amount just won’t be high enough” I look at the copy of the appraisal, they shorted us a full bedroom and bathroom. I point this out and he says “well, it’s up to the appraiser and that’s what they have so that’s what they go off of”, I ask what type of business they are working with, the answer, “we hold discretion on what types of loans we work with and this one won’t work, we wish you luck, and since we’re not going to issue the loan you will have to cover the fee for the assessment which is $600, would you like us to pull from your checking or send you an invoice”… I was FUMING. I contact an attorney friend of mine who looks into discrimination, he pulled some information on the demographics the bank is working with… 98% WHITE customers. Do I have a case, yes, will I win, NO. fuck my life.

This is what started my fury. I knew that we were treated as outsiders. I know that the go-to statement after anything negative is mention on the news is something along the lines of “well, you know it’s all those terrible people coming in from all over that are causing all these problems””the cold winters usually keep the riff-raft out”. These were the exact statement from a woman a cubicle over from me within the first two weeks of starting my job. From then on I tracked it, because I’m a fucking nerd with anger issues. The result up to last weeks “attack on a mother in a mall” (read that as dumbass 20-something pissing off her ‘friends’ and getting smacked around while holding her two year AS A FUCKING SHIELD)… all the comments on the article were around black trash, outsiders, etc… whatever, trash is trash but these women have been here since they were in elementary school… if your oh so wonderful community couldn’t help them “adapt” then fucking take on some blame yourself. It’s always a “they weren’t born and bred here”, “typical outside trash wrecking everything”, “We used to be the country’s best kept secret”, etc etc etc. This is pretty much in EVERY article, the news will only state if someone is a Bismarck Native if it’s a good story and lets everyone assume that something bad is only done by an “outsider”, which only enrages me more.

The results, sorry I sidetracked there, are that 97% of the “bad stuff” is perpetrated by a born and fucking bred NORTH DAKOTIANS. Do you hear that you complaining dumb-fucks of ND, NINTY-SEVEN PERCENT OF ALL THE BAD SHIT IS DONE BY YOUR “OWN PEOPLE”. Even when I shared the spreadsheet complete with links to public information on the people being born in ND (I spent entirely too much time on hospital searches for birth announcements, but I do have software at work that makes it a little easier to find people) and crickets, they blow past it saying “your information must be off”… NOPE you just don’t like being called out on your bullshit.

And I get it, you don’t want to see your “own” as bad, you want to blame some external force, but you can’t, it’s not going to work forever. At some point you have to own up that people here fucked up, not people coming here thinking (and wanting to believe) they will be accepted as decent human beings….

I know this is like a novel of a rant (about four pages now) but I’m just done with being here. I’m done with the backstabbing, I’m done with worrying that my son won’t have any real friends because their parents are fucking dickwads, I’m done feeling like a complete outcast when there is NOTHING different about me other than where I’m from and my character of not participating in the bullshit they love. I’m done feeling so much fucking hate in my heart towards people who could be decent human beings if they weren’t so xenophobic. I’m done with my son being called DARK like it’s a bad thing just because my husband is a Mexican mutt (I say mutt with love because according to ancestry he’s got a little of EVERYWHERE in him) when he’s barely even olive toned. I’m sick of feeling so down all the time because my family and most of my friends are so fucking far away and I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to visit the place that I refer to as frozen over hell. I’m done with everyone saying “come home” when I know my husband’s family is the reason we won’t. I’m done not having a Costco within a 2 hour drive. I’m done shopping at Walmart for my groceries because that’s the only semi-affordable option since the ONLY chain of grocery stores out here has the monopoly and charges VONS prices for food-4-less quality.

I’m done being at the point of my happiness resting on getting the fuck out of this place and encouraging others to do the same so they can go back to being the best kept secret for a fucking reason. Bismarck is a fucking pandora’s box, that’s why nobody wants to talk about it. I’m done trying to see the good in this place when I’m surrounded with negativity.

I’m done ranting now too. Going to get back to working out and eating better to feel good.

On a happy note, I did a HIIT run and it didn’t kill me! Going to have to keep that shit up!

Ella

I’ll attach some screen grabs from a news outlet here in Bismarck to show that I seriously can’t make this shit up. The issue was 4 “women” were pissed about a post their “friend” made and straight out attacked her while she held her toddler at the mall. One elderly gentleman stepped in and was hit as well. Everyone just walked by like “nothing to see here”. Some of the responses are people I know feel my pain in being here but the second I post something like that I’ll get the “go home then, we don’t want you”… here’s the shots (keep in mind a LOT of people deleted their comments when they were called out, I should’ve taken more sooner) screenshotsbullshitbismarck

 

Avoiding Self-Sabotage (Don’t ask me…still working on it)

How do you not sabotage yourself?  How do you nix it or nip it in the bud once and for all?  I’ve been so frustrated with myself today, but at the same time, am trying to have compassion for myself, as I’m trying to unlearn some bad habits.

Growing up, I was the one that my mom and sisters compared themselves against.  I was the fat yardstick – they felt better about themselves when they weighed less than me.  Or their waist was smaller than mine.  I distinctly remember them being giddy with excitement after they saw what I weighed compared to them.  I never realized until I was an adult what a terrible fucking awful and shitty thing that is to do to someone.  To make me be the “fat one”.  The “less than” one.  (Or more than in this instance.)  Just so they could feel better about themselves.

I’ve had a lifetime of feeling like I don’t measure up to others, that somehow there is something wrong with me.  And from that train of thought comes the all or nothing thinking when I’m having a bad day.  It goes something like this, “Well, let’s just plow through the entire bag of peanut butter chocolate puppy chow mix, since you’ve had half the bag already.”  So I eat until I am sick.  And numb.

I’ve realized it is the numb part that I’m seeking during these times.  The place where I’m beyond any kind of feeling.  Usually something uncomfortable.  And when I unpack it in my logical brain, it all makes sense.  I’ve been without any kind of schedule for 3 weeks now.  My last day at work was 2/5, and I’m floundering with the lack of routine or regular people interaction that came from my job.  I’ve been trying to fill in the gaps with lunch dates with friends, exercise, networking, applying for jobs, etc. but it’s just not the same.  And I’m nervous about finding a new job.

It’s not all hopeless, as I do see progress in my journey.  I used to go on huge emotional eating binges for days, and the episodes have become less and less throughout the years.  I’m more hypersensitive to my habits especially now because of my daughter.  I don’t want to burden her with my baggage.  Life is hard enough without adding your mother’s shit on top of everything else.  I wish I knew the magic formula to turn it off.

How do you cope in times of uncertainty?  What are your go-to strategies?  What helps you not to numb out when you are scared/afraid/etc.?

Body After Baby

I’ve been dumbfounded at what has happened to my body after having my daughter.   No one prepares you for the shit that happens to you in the weeks and months after giving birth.  I hear everyone talk about enjoying the time with the baby!  And sleep when the baby sleeps!  But the reality is that you are not only dealing with a new role in your life, as a mother, you are also dealing with the very real physical changes that come along with motherhood.  Those that say that you’ll be back in your jeans in no time or that breastfeeding melts the pounds away – fuck you, you goddamn liars!

I feel the need to preface this for any men that may read this post.  If you have a significant other, and she hasn’t given birth yet, you may want to cruise on past this post.  A ‘read at your own risk’ kind of warning.  I’m going to describe things that are:  embarrassing, horrifying, ugly, and generally unpleasant.  This shit is frightening and I think my husband still hasn’t recovered from all the trauma yet.

My birth was pretty traumatic and to make a long story short, there were forceps involved.  I had had an epidural but I felt everything!  I was pretty much a wreck downstairs for several months postpartum.  I am pretty sure that I had some type of nerve damage from the forceps, because initially during sex I had a huge loss in sensation (some has since returned).  Honest to God, I had times during sex where I was tempted to ask my husband, “Is it in yet?” because I didn’t feel ANY. THING.  And this had nothing to do with the size of my husband’s junk.  Some positions were better than others, but overall it was a devastating feeling not to feel much of anything.  Even now, 15 months later, I still feel as though I have decreased sensation.  And it takes me much longer to physically be ready for sex.  All in all, sex has not been that enjoyable for me post-baby.

The return home with baby was memorable.  I had a 9 lb. baby and when I came home 2 days later, I only weighed 4 lbs. less.  You do the math on that one.  I was so swollen from all of the IV fluids that I’d had that it took weeks for me to lose any significant amount of weight.  The night we came home, I walked into the house and felt this warm sensation running down the inside of my thigh and down my leg.  I thought it might have been some type of bleeding, and went immediately to the bathroom.  It wasn’t blood….I had pissed my pants.  With zero warning or signal from my body!

It got better when a few days later, while wearing my sexy adult diaper and putting dishes in the dishwasher, I felt something down below and before I knew it, it was already too late.  I was crapping myself.  Again, no warning!  Nothing!  Not even an SOS that a code brown was coming!!!!  I remember whispering to my husband, who was next to me, “I am shitting my pants…” and he grabbed me by the elbow, and in a rush, tried to escort me to the bathroom.  I just shook my head and said quietly, “Just leave me here.”  The damage had already been done.  The moment of humiliation happened.  I cried so hard that night.  It’s so frustrating to feel like you have no control over your bodily functions!

I distinctly remember going for my first run after getting cleared at my 6 week check-up.  During my run I had full on pissed my pants.  Not just a tinkle.  Not just a little pee pee.  I had fucking soaked my pants.  I walked in the door, and the hubs excitedly asked how my run had went and I burst into tears!  It took several minutes to even get the words out to tell him what had happened.  It was that kind of ugly cry.

When I’m not dealing with physical issues from my birth battle wounds, there are the emotional ones that are just as tough.  The hubs and I had been talking about sex, and things that we like, and I bravely confessed that I’m sad he hasn’t gone down on me since before I was pregnant.  That’s like over 2 years!

He had explained, that with my issue with certain bodily functions, that he may get peed on during the deed.  That’s why he’d been hesitant to go down on me.  In his defense, I totally get his hesitation.  On Sunday, while our daughter was sleeping, we were in the middle of getting it on, and my husband started to do what I had missed for 2 years – he went down on me!

I wish I could tell you that I enjoyed it.  But I didn’t.  At all.  I was afraid to enjoy it.  I was afraid that I would indeed pee on him, even though the whole pissing myself thing rarely happens any longer.  I partially credit hoo-ha therapy (Yes!  I went to hoo-ha therapy…or pelvic floor therapy) and getting back into workout routine with the decrease.  I was afraid to climax because what if I did pee on him?  And then there was the whole thought process of what my vagina looks like after pushing out a  baby and tearing during the process…and well, yeah, Operation Downtown was a big fucking flop.

I sit here thinking, “Why are you writing all this embarrassing shit about yourself, Robin?  What’s the fucking point of all this?”  And honestly, maybe this will help someone.  This is stuff that I wished I had known about before becoming a mother.  So I wouldn’t feel so emotionally jarred when these things occurred.  Had I known, then I would have been able to tell myself, “Hey buddy girl, this is a part of the process.  This happens to other moms.” Instead of feeling alone.  And dysfunctional.  And abnormal.

What I have realized out of all of this is that I am grateful for my husband for helping me find my new normal.  And our new normal as a couple.  I’ve also realized the need to be compassionate with myself.  That it takes time for your body (and your mind) to recover from giving birth.  I look at my little pooch on my stomach, and I’m not embarrassed, but I think incredulously, “I grew my daughter in there!”  And there’s a strength that comes from having gone through this whole process.  I approach things differently, because if I can grow and birth a human being, what else can I do?  What else am I capable of?