October 29, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone (literally)

photo taken on our way out to hilton head island a couple of weeks ago.
i love sunsets.

Wow, what a mouthful yesterday, right?
That had to have been building for a while.
My car not starting (without the normal jump from a neighbor) pushed me over the edge, and I exploded ...

I feel better, and I again credit that to having a space where I can unload my feelings. Though I do feel more censored in what I express here now, with so many family members that read. It's not like my older blogs. Blogs that I didn't share with anyone I knew. Blogs where I felt 100% free to express the deepest parts of myself, without fear of being judged, because, well, noone knew it was me. I no longer have that feeling, but I'm working on it. I love blogging. The therapeutic feeling it gives me is unmatched (and free! lol).

So now that I've spiraled back down to earth; clawed myself out of the pity part ditch I chucked myself into; seeing clearly again through the fog that overcame me ... I'm going to elaborate a little more, give a little more well rounded update.

No, things aren't peaches and cream here.
We're a family in crisis trying to find the other side, things aren't going to be rosy.

Nick is working on his problems with therapists, group meetings, books, etc. Yesterday I made it sound like he wasn't doing anything to get better. He is ... he works on his issues, but the center of his whole being, fear ... it over takes him. He lets fear absolutely control his life, and it washes away the hours of work each day that he is putting in to work on the very issues that fear is creating. So, it doesn't feel as though it's getting any better, at all. We're still facing all the same crap because he's still letting fear run our lives. The work that he's doing is helping him to recognize that this crippling fear is controlling him, instead of the other way around ... but that hasn't done a whole helluva lot to confront and attack it. To stop letting it railroad himself, me, the kids.

It's a process, right? I'm tired of hearing that. I really am.
I've been working double time for many years, by myself, to get us through the muck and keep this family together. I'm exhausted. I'm hanging on by a fingernail. The last thing I want to hear is that it's a process! I don't want to quit. I don't want to walk away. Just not sure how much longer I have in me. I'm losing hope. I'm losing patience. I'm losing love.

But again, a million times better then yesterday.
Based on that explosion of feelings that were building up in me for some time... I've obviously pulled away from this.
I've obviously shifted from doing what it takes to help us through this, to doing only what it takes to keep us afloat.
Survival mode.
Perhaps I need to overcome MY fear of being hurt by him again, and reengage, reconnect, recommit.
Maybe that model of example will inspire and give him the confidence he needs to do the same.
It's worth a shot, right?

It's been rainy for days ...
nice surprise to see the sun shining when I woke up this morning.
Gonna take that as a sign, and smile!

October 28, 2010

Drowning in Lemon Juice

Where have I been?
Ahh... valid question. One that I've been asked many times.
Truth be told, I've been here, waiting.
Waiting for what?
Now THAT's the real question.

It just keeps going from bad to worse. I've been waiting for that cycle to dissapate. Waiting for something positive to share. There's been nothing. I mean, of course there are good positive things that happen through-out the course of the day, just none that hold my attention long enough to blog about. It seems my entire soul of energy is spent hanging onto the good positive moments (if for no other sake then the children's), that as soon as they go to bed, I am spent. 100% spent. I can't describe the lifeless, hopeless, drained feeling I have at the end of each god foresaken day.

See... do you see why I haven't been blogging? How irritatingly frustrating is it to listen to some chick blabber on about her pathetic sham of a life when she isn't doing a fucking thing to change it?

Quite frustrating, my friends. Quite frustrating indeed.

I know this isn't the update you've all been waiting and hoping for. And on a pretty big level, I've been holding back not wanting to disappoint. I know what people want to hear is that Nick is doing better; Our family is re engaging; We're getting through this and growing stronger in the process. I know I haven't been able to say that with any kind of honesty, so instead I wait. I say things like ... "ok, this week was a wash, maybe next week will be better. Our friends and family deservingly want updates... no need to disappoint and worry them now, next week will be better; I'll be able to share with them then".

Yea, not so much. It doesn't get better around here. We're either in a state of complete dilusion and denial, so we can fake happy while being in proximity of each other for the kids ... or we're brutally honest and it's hell. Kick you in the gut, stabbing heart pain, elephant on your chest, choke on your tongue suffocation kind of hell when we're around each other.

I'm not getting better.
He's not getting better.

Ok, ok, i suppose that's not entirely true. His edges have softened a bit. I'm not getting screamed at, not having things thrown at me, and not being sucker punched anymore. He's on medication to tame that beast. But the problems and issues that are a'plenty within him ... he's not working on them. He's still the same person, just a more tame medicated version of him.

I've grown to despise him.
My compassion and empathy has turned into disgust and pity.


Fear, plan and simple. I'm scared shitless.
Pathetic, Weak, and a Coward.
Yep, that about covers it.

Ooh, Ooh, and guess what?
My FUCKING car wont start!!!!!!!!!!
I've already mentally trapped myself here... the lack of transportation, no way out, it's TOO MUCH!!!

I do believe I'll come back and edit this later, but for now ... there's some uncensored rawness for ya!
Worth waiting for? I know it wasn't, and I'm sorry.

Also, probably shouldn't waste your time calling ... I'm too knee deep in my self pity party to feel like answering.

Cue the music...

October 4, 2010

Happy ONE YEAR Birthday, My Dreads!

A year.
A flippin year!
You're getting so big, *sniff.
We spent your birthday at the beach; couldn't have picked a better place! The salt water, the sand, the wind ... perfect.

I've been asked a slew of questions over the past year (well, a bit more then that ... my first set of dreads was started 15 months ago) since becoming a dread head. I've decided to highlight a few of my favorite (or most asked, lol) here.

Why did you decide to dread up?
No reason. Many reasons.
It felt right. It felt true to me ... the path I am supposed to be on.

I really didn't like my hair pre-dread. It felt like a constant battle, trying to get it to look the way I wanted it to. I found myself being late to appts, etc, fighting with it, crying about it. It didn't seem to represent who I was. The constant washing, blowdrying, straightening ... I felt a slave to my hair. It was a hassle. A hassle that I wanted to be free from. I didn't want to be my hair, I wanted my hair to be me.

And then I saw a photo of a woman at the beach, just sitting on a rock. She looked so calm, so at peace, so beautiful. Her hair was dreaded. The simple beauty, the free nature ... I fell in love. I knew I would have dreads one day. I tucked that dream away, waiting for the my entire being to catch up to that initial "wow". A year or two later I was ready, and my dreads were born.

This has been a spiritual journey for me, undoubtedly.
A journey that has taken patience, faith, love, respect, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, judgement, vanity ... both within myself, as well as how I perceive and relate with others.

Don't you worry about what people will think?
Brings to mind this powerful internal question ...
Why are you trying to fit in when you were born to stand out?
I'm not a conformist who fits neatly in a box, and I don't want to be. I may be judged by some people, but that's ok. I'm not trying to fit their molds, or their ideals. I'm working at feeling truer and more genuine to myself. My dreads make me happy (most of the time). They fill me with a comforting sense of confidence, security, and self esteem because I know I am being true to who I am.

My hair is very representative of who I am at my core ... simple, free, untamed, ever changing, and uniquely beautiful. They stand out from the crowd. They have good days and bad days. They put a smile on my face, and on the face of people around me (either a genuine smile, or a judgmental one ... it's still smiling). They're me. There are going to be people who judge you for who you are, but perhaps, just like they've taught me more about tolerance, acceptance, and judgement, maybe my wild "not the norm" hair will have a positive impact on other people as well.

How long did it take?
I'll start by saying that my husband helped me...
he's a virgo!
Perfectionism definitely came in to play while doing my hair.

When all was said and done, the set that's on my head right now took about 21 straight hours for him to section off (I slept through some of it, lmao), and then 2 nights to dread up (may have taken him 3, but I stepped in the second night to finish up the backcombing myself). While his perfectionism played a huge role in the amount of time it took for my hair; dreading is a long process. From what I've read...12-16 hours is about average (for medium length hair).

How long are you going to keep them?
As long as it feels right.
There's no logical answer or timeline that plays into this.
My decisions are made from the heart. If/When I feel it's time to move on, I'll do that.

What happens when you don't want them anymore?
I'll cut em off. Shave them off is more like it.
They make fancy products that are meant to help remove mature dreads without cutting. I used some after my first set. They were only dreaded for a couple of months, so not really "mature", and it still took forever and a day (month and a half?!) to get the dreads all out. It's was a long and painful process. One that I wont be doing again. You can cut your hair a few inches from the scalp, comb out the bit of knots, and have some hair to work with ... but when I'm finished with my dreads and ready to take the leap; I'm going to shave it. Another dream of mine.

Do you ever wash them?
I do wash them! Once or twice a week, actually.
In the beginning I was using the full "no poo method" ...

Basically, you add approx a tbls of baking soda to each cup of water. Pour that over your head, concentrating mostly on your roots. Massage the mixture down from your roots to cover the length of your hair. Rinse.

Next, you'll use a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water. I like to add in a few drops of essential oils (patchouli and sweet orange mixed is my favorite). The vinegar will help to fully rinse your hair, while the essential oils leave your locks smelling fantastic. Massage this mixture into hair, and let it stand for a couple of minutes. For dread-heads (no pooing works for all hair types/styles) ... this is the perfect time to do some routine "rip apart" maintenance if your locks are growing together. Rinse well.

That's it ... no pooing.

Now, instead of the baking soda mixture, I wash with a Dr Bronners soap bar, but still rinse with the ACV/Essential Oils blend. I had a lot of flakes as a result of the baking soda. I'm confident that if I played around with the measurements a bit (everyones scalp will react differently) I'd be able to stave off the flakes ... I just haven't had the motivation to tweak the recipe yet. The boys use the Dr Bronners bar for their hair, and we all use it for our body, so it's just convenient. Convenience doesn't usually breed motivation, does it? :-/

I heard that dreads smell?
This is not really a question... but people often look to me for an answer after making this statement, lol.
My response ... my dreads do smell, actually. They usually smell like patchouli and sweet orange!
This is never what the person is expecting, ha!

Actually, the notion that dreads are dirty and smell bad isn't accurate. You'll probably come across people with dirty, stinky dreads, but you'll also probably come across people with dirty, stinky "normal" hair. That has everything to do with the person, and nothing to do with the hair style.

Do you ever miss brushing your hair?
I do sometimes!
More, though, I miss running my fingers through my hair! I also miss the softness of undreaded hair on my neck, or on my face when I vigorously shake my head around, lol.
I left my bangs undreaded, so I can still get the soft hair through fingers feeling when I want to. It's not the same, but it's what I have, so I make it work :-)

If there are any other questions you readers would like to ask in the comments section, I'd be happy to answer them :-)