JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Interactions, Conversations, Pain, and Healing

I talked in therapy about how I feel down deep that I'm unlovable - because of how my father verbally abused me, my sister and peers made fun of me, my family ignored me - and how I play that out in relationships, finding ways to reaffirm this fear by jumping in too fast (prove theory wrong) or pushing away (protect myself). I'm trying to just notice how this comes with Jerry, and then try and find some middle ground of continuing but not getting too emotionally close too fast. Anyway, in therapy I also spoke about how losing Mom and Grandma, two of the people who I felt really did unconditionally love me, intensifies this. I gave an example of how upon finishing the draft of my thesis, I wanted to call both of them and brag a bit. But, I couldn't.

Still, today I tried successfully to call Mom. (Often, I get transfered upstairs but no one answers.) She said that she was relieved to hear my voice and asked what I'm up to. I told her that I'm just finishing my master's degree, and she said, "Master's degree - that's great. We'll have to celebrate." It meant so much to hear her say that. I told her that we'd also have to celebrate her birthday which is coming up. She asked if I'm coming to town. I was sad to tell her no. I told her that she'll be turning 62, and she was appauled and a little sad that she was "so old."

I really miss her. I wish that I was going to Kansas City for her birthday. Maybe I still will drop everything and go.

I went to Costco, intending to buy one of those roast chickens, but they were temporaily out and instead of waiting like 5 minutes, I bought this cheese pasta with pesto alfredo sauce. I'm completely lactose intolerant, but I just wanted the comfort food. I can't believe that I did that. I had some already for dinner, and I only got through less than 1/3 of the package. Its going to make me so sick. But, all I could think about is finding some comfort. I also bought purple-ish fuscia-ish roses (Sanchi would love them) and a decent (relative to what I normally get) bottle of wine and a new soft cozy top.

Did I mention that I miss my Mom?

Anyway, last Friday *A* asked me to have breakfast with him on Saturday. I asked if Jerry could come along, and anyway, here's the conversation (from MSN messenger):

A: that would be akward, woudn't it?

K: why?

A: I don't think the guy you are seeing really wants to have breakfast with your ex.

plus I'm not really a morning person, so you know I'm not mr. friendly.

in the morning

K: well i thought we were relating to each other not as ex-s, but as best friends

A: yes, but does he buy that?

K: why wouldn't he?

do you not buy it?

A: you wouldn't be suspicious of a situation like that if you were jerry?

K: suspicious of what?

what should jerry fear?

A: I don't have time for this

K: you're the one whose being wierd

A: no, I'm not. I'm trying to tell you that I would guess he could possibly feel akward about meeting an ex-boyfriend at breakfast regardless of what you tell him about our current status.

I'm also saying that I really am not up for meeting somebody new in the morning. I'm more than willing to meet this guy. just not over breakfast

K: okay

What the hell is up with that?

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Transitions and Perhaps a Dissertation Topic

So, my meeting with the professor yesterday went really well. He basically said that I can take all of the data that I've been helping to collect for the last two years and write my dissertation on that. He also told me not to worry about taking any more classes (except for the one that he's teaching next quarter that I need to take) and that I'm "already a scholar in my own right."

So, I can go back to Kansas City if I want and take like a year and write up my dissertation during the day 9-5, and then spend evenings and weekends with Mom. That's what I'm thinking about doing, but I'm trying to ease into it. I'll really miss my home here and Jerry and everything. But, I'm leaning towards just wanting to be with Mom.

I went tonight to a hospice support group to talk about losing Grandma. I was going to go afterwards to a movie at Hillel and then an anti-war demonstration, but instead I came home for a glass of wine and a cookie and to start looking at the data for my potential dissertation topic and start to think about whether or not I can take that on.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

RENT!: There's Only This

I went with Jerry last night to see the muscial "Rent", which I had purchased tickets to months ago. The show always invigorates me and gives me a renewed sense of purpose. I was a little disappointed though that Jerry didn't get into the show at all. He said that he had never seen a muscial before, hinting that its not a guy thing to do. Somehow I made some comment about the musical "Fiddler on the Roof", and Jerry said something like "what, does that deal with Jewish people?" (completely seriously he asked this). I don't know what I'm blabbling about - other than trying to explain that I felt really disconnected from him last night. He took me back to his place and kept going on and on about wanting to make me chai tea. I kept saying that I can't drink milk and don't want caffeine before bed, and it was like it just didn't click for him. I had also reminded him that I need to be asleep at 11:30pm, but that didn't seem to click for him either.

His roommate came over and hung out with us. I really don't like that guy. He's this uber snotty, masogynistic science geek. He and Jerry talk about things which make me feel uncomfortable. I had to really push Jerry to take me home at 11:50pm, and then all of a sudden he kisses me - almost as if to show off to his roommate.

When he drove me home, he said that he'd take a rain check on coming in (which I had offered right after the musical) until I kissed him goodnight and he said "well maybe I should reconsider," almost as if kissing each other is only about being sexual and not about just connecting on a physical level.

I don't know.

I went this morning to a late stage Alzheimer's support group, and it just reaffirmed for me that I want to go be with my Mom. I'm going to meet with someone on my research team in a couple of hours to talk about dissertation options. I have no interest in their research, and I know that they'll treat me bad, but I guess that I just want to go be with Mom, whatever I have to do to make that work. And, if I end things with Jerry because of it fine. And if I have to leave my home, fine.

Clearly, I think that you, the intelligent reader, can sense that I don't feel fine about all of this. Things feel off today.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 19, 2007

Travels to San Diego

The train ride to San Diego wasn't so bad, although I got a bit stir crazy at the end. My friend and I went to hang out at this gay bar, Burbon Street, which was a lot of fun, even though I was out later than I wanted. I woke up the next morning with a mild migraine, ruffling around trying not to wake up my friend, looking for Advil and then finally an Imitrex.

The Imitrex helped me sleep and feel better, but I was kinda high the next day. We went to D.Z. Atkins or something or other for brunch. Its this fabulous Jewish deli. Then, we went to Costco, and back to her place where I passed out. After a great sushi dinner, I got the place ready for the party while my friend got ready. I couldn't drink because of the Imitrex in the morning, but I did manage to have a piece of chocolate cake, my first chocolate in months.

I was having a good time, although around 1:30am when a roommate went to bed, I felt permission to try to do the same - as normally at 11:30, I'm cognative behaviorally trained to pass out and sleep for eight hours. The party was so loud though that I just couldn't fall asleep. After taking the pills I normally take to sleep, getting ready for bed, doing the stresseraser, and listening to my guided imagry CD, I realized that it wasn't going to work. I called my friend's cell, but she was drunk and obnoxious, saying "why don't you try your CD?"

I started crying at first, having no idea what to do and feeling exhausted, and then I decided to try to use the situation as an opportunity to practice calm in the midst of the difficulty. I found my friend's Tylenol PM, cleaned out the floor of her closet, found some sheets and a blanket, and just fell asleep listening to the guided imagry CD on my laptop in the closet.

I could have gotten really annoyed with her and fought, but the next morning I decided to just let it go. I had brunch with a different friend, a role model, which was wonderful. Then, my (birthday) friend and I hung out briefly in Hillcrest, going thrift store shopping, and I was on a bus for 3 hours to catch the train. It was a long and stressful night, but I was really happy to make it home.

Now, I'm exhausted and feel gross because I have my period. But, Jerry called me for brunch, which was really nice, and then we went later for a walk on the cliffs for sunset and made dinner together. I'm starting to really feel comfortable with him and feel connected with him. I think that I want to be with this guy for awhile.

At the same time, I'm thinking more and more about wanting to spend time in Kansas City. So go figure that one. I guess I'm trying to just appreciate everything.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why I'm So Emotional: I Miss Mom

I started realizing after I wrote my last post that the reason that I'm feeling so emotional is that I think its a bit ridiculous that I'm traveling this weekend to San Diego when Mom is disappearing. I want to be with her. I miss her so much.

Labels: , ,

Nice Valentine's Day, Travel Plans Lead to Stress

I had a really nice Valentine's Day last night with Jerry. I stressed myself out a bit trying to get everything ready, but I was able to let that go and just enjoy the night. I also got to speak with my Mom, which was great, even though I still don't think she really remembers me. I also got a card from her today that my sister helped her make. There was also a note from my 5 year old niece that said "I love you."

I didn't sleep well last night, which was a shame. We put something on the tv, and I fell asleep snuggling with Jerry, but after I got into bed, it was like some switch flipped, and I was wide awake. I still can't figure out how he feels about me. He seems to be openning up, and I feel that we're connecting, but its hard for me sometimes that he doesn't verbalize what he's feeling. He even mentioned that lack of communication was why he broke up with his last serious girlfriend. But, I still wonder if he's trying to take things slow. Its in some ways keeping me grounded, I guess.

I'm supposed to be going to San Diego either tomorrow or Saturday for a friend's birthday party. I can't decide if I should take a train or drive and when I need to go and I can't find help with my dog and my friend is pressuring me to get there earlier than later and *A* is giving me a hard time about getting here Friday night because he wants to hang out at the bar. My sister gave me a bit of a hard time about visiting my grandmother's sister on the way, which I want to do, but kinda fear that it'll be too emotional for me. All of sudden tonight too, I just started feeling this sense of panic - that life or death PTSD thing like this is a big decision even though what's the big deal...I know. Traveling triggers me. Especially when alone. I feel like I've been floating and then all of a sudden there are these currents, and I feel myself go under a bit.

All in all, I'm doing well, and things with Jerry are good, and school is good, and here I get a few days off so why should I feel stress, right? I am going try to see the stress as an opportunity to practice not letting myself get lost in the PTSD anxiety feelings and to self regulate. I just wish someone was freaking going with me though. Jerry's going to San Francisco, and I wish that I was going with him or something. Or, I wish I could just stay home and be left alone. I do realize that this is all about a pattern though, and that I can practice letting it go.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Finished a Draft of My Thesis

I went to turn in my completed draft of my thesis today. My advisor, someone from my fieldsite, and the other two on my committee need to all read it and send me revisions, but pretty soon, I'm getting a MA!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Now I Remember Why Dating Is Hard, Mom Forgets Me

I finally called Jerry on Friday, after he sends me some casual text around 10:15pm. I was really frustrated that night, although he claimed it was a miscommunication.

Saturday night, I made plans for us to go to this nice restaurant. I offered to take him out, but he insisted on paying. It was candlelit and right on the ocean. The romantic atmosphere helped bring us back to this relaxed, comfortable dating place. I finally told him about some of the sexual issue things that are going on between us, and he immediately changed the subject and started going on and on about something. I called him on it, and then he said something like "well if you want to talk about your orgasms, we can do that." He was kind of bitchy about it, and I felt horribly uncomfortable.

He took me back to his place, without really asking me, and put on this movie "What the bleep do you know" or something like that. I was kinda annoyed that he kept suggesting before that all of these violent movies, when I had said to him several times that I don't watch violence because I deal with it enough in my research. I had him drive me home after the movie, which was already after 11pm, and he was so awkward in the car; probably I was awkward too.

He told me to call him the morning. We met for breakfast and sex, and I was happy that Jerry clearly had heard me the night before. All of a sudden, things seemed kinda back on track with us. I'm still a little wary about the whole relationship, but I think he's a very nice guy. He's just very vanilla, very socially conservative, and that's not necessarily so me. But, he's also very solid, and I think I really need someone like him in my life. And, I know that resenting the relationship after one month is something that I do, so I'm going to try to give it some time with him. ITS SO HARD though that Jerry doesn't really talk about his feelings. I'm hoping that he'll open up more to me when he gets to know me better.

Anyway, next weekend I'm going to a friend's in San Diego for her birthday and he's going to San Francisco for a beer festival thing. I did tell him though that I'll make him dinner on Wednesday aka Valentine's Day. I'll be done with my draft of my thesis by then, so I can finally clear off the dining room table. Did you catch that? I'll be done with the draft. Yea!

Anyway, on some sad news, my mother has forgotten who I am. My name no longer means anything to her or having a daughter. Its a hard thing to take. I forgot to mention before that last Thursday, I tried to go to an Alzheimer's Association support group and couldn't find it. That is after going to the wrong place first. It felt very ironical. And sad that I couldn't find the support. But, I'm not completely in the space right now to deal with that. Maybe if I go to her, she'll remember that she loves me when she sees me.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Angry With Jerry

Jerry and I made open plans earlier this to do something both tonight and tomorrow night. Tomorrow night, he even mentioned an interest in bringing me to meet his brother. Last minute, he told me that this conference he's going to is going to last until 9pm tonight. I was a bit annoyed, but decided to be flexible and made plans to go to services with friends. It is 9:30 now, and I haven't heard a word from Jerry. I had emailed him telling him that services end around 8:30, and I am honestly really frustrated and angry that he hasn't even contacted me, even though I sent him a text message 15 minutes ago.

I had dressed up nicely in particular for him, but it was somewhat uncomfortable, and not knowing what our plans are or if we're even going to end up doing something tonight, I put on my pajamas and am going to try to get some thesis work done before putting in a movie. I am just overly sensitive about this, I think, because the last guy that I dated was constantly standing me up, and that ended up being the end to our relationship - I laid a ground rule to not make plans with me and then stand me up; he did; I called him on it; I never heard from him again. And Wednesday when Jerry and I had plans, he didn't show up at my house until after 10pm, messing with my whole sleep schedule. I am really enjoying being with Jerry, but jeez this is really exhausting. And I'm not even sure what to do about tonight. I guess I just do my own thing and when he calls me eventually, tell him that I'm mad. Its 9:40; grrr!

I do somewhat fear that since we've been dating about a month, I may be hitting my dating hump - by this I mean none of my relationships ever last past this one month mark.

Labels: , , ,

Card From Mom, Thinking Through My Next Steps

I got a card in the mail yesterday from Mom that her cousin helped her with. Mom wrote:
"Dear [Karma]
your daughter
I miss you

It made me happy to get the card, but a little sad as I pictured the cousin helping Mom. Mom probably said: "What should I write?" Cousin: "How about dear [Karma]?" Mom, as she writes, "Dear [Karma]....whose that?" Cousin: "That's your daughter." Mom writes "your daughter." At the end, Mom would struggle in writing "love", forgetting what she was writing after the "lo." The handwriting is like that of a young child, unsure of herself.

I've been sending Mom cards and postcards. My friend who visited her noted that she'd carry the postcard in her pocket and show it off. Sometimes I wonder how much Mom remembers me and how soon she'll be forgetting. But, I try to focus on enjoying in the moment having her in my life as she is.

Things with Jerry are progressing slowly but surely. I'm having a hard time talking to him about whatever sexual issues there are that need to be discussed. I'm going to try again this weekend. Part of my difficulty is a tendency not to bring my issues into relationships, to try to just take care of the other person and figure that I can live without whatever that thing is for another day. But, I need to bring myself more into this relationship and worry less about how he'll take things and emphasize more what I need. I still worry that this will drive him away, but I guess its a chance that I just have to take.

I'm starting to think about what to do after I finish the MA. I could continue with the degree here, go to Israel to do research, or find some way to go back to Kansas City. I'm not thinking too seriously about it right now, but its in the back of my head.

All in all, I think that I'm generally doing a lot better than I have been. I'm not experiencing the PTSD symptoms that I was and I'm not depressed about Mom and Grandma as I was. Its still hard, but much much easier.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 05, 2007

Patience, Recovering, and Plugging Away

I'm tired, still recovering from having Jerry spend the night since I don't sleep as well with him here. Last night, I went out to my Sunday study group and came home to have a new entertainment center/armoir put together, but left in front of my old one with the tv on it. Somehow on my own, I managed to switch them out, but it took all of my stregnth and kinda brought me to my point of limitations. I was tempted to call Jerry for help, but felt really strongly about wanting to not be dependent upon the new guy.

I'm still plugging away at my thesis. I'm close to 100 pages now. I go from just having it flow out of me to feeling like I'm pulling teeth a little bit. But, nothing like last year where I couldn't concentrate at all because of PTSD. It is nice to be close to done.

My sister finally called me back today. She was trying to get my sympathy about the phone conversation she had with Dad, but I just kept my mouth shut. I mean, she is looking at everything backwards it seems. She said that she'll want to go straight into a new house if they move, without any mention of how they'd afford that or acknowledgement that the selling market is bad now. My sister admitted that she hasn't put much effort yet into her selling cosmetics business and that her husband wouldn't take a job outside of his area and that he likely isn't going to get one there, but they're just going to keep waiting and see what happens.

I know that I have to have some conversations with Jerry about sexuality stuff, to explain probably my whole theory about rape culture and sexuality, which I can tell he's not going to be into, and I don't know how to bring up the topic of sexuality without insulting his manhood. I get the sense that when I told him my story about having been raped and about what's going on with my mom that he's kinda like a deer in headlights. I understand that this stuff kinda hits him out of the blue, but part of it makes me feel more separated from him. I don't know how to explain this.

Here's what I want: I want to be able to express my sexuality in a way that doesn't follow traditional notions of gender - that's about me being with another person not me playing out the role of woman with a guy playing out the role of "man". I want to be able to connect about real things, deep things. I also just want to keep going on with Jerry, having patience, and enjoying the companionship that our relationship provides. I also want to find a hair stylist that knows what to do with Jewish hair, but that's a whole nother story.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rape Survivor Jailed for Coming to Police

It is shocking that in Tampa, FL, a survivor was put in jail when she came forward to the police. Please, help spread the word.

Labels: , ,


Personal Growth Carnival

You can find my poem "What I Felt When Grandma Died and My Family Dissolved" and other postings about personal growth at this carnival that I recently discovered.



Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sister's Thinking About Moving Away, Jumping a Bit With the Date

My sister just called me and told me that she's thinking about moving away from Kansas City because her husband is having trouble finding work. I am SO frustrated. This is a response to my dad talking with her about not just living off of his money forever and someone in their family needing to work. So, my brother in law is thinking screw it, I'll just leave so my sister can't be around to help out. Argh! That would leave my dad alone again with things and more push on me to move back there. Maybe I'll do that anyway, but it would be nice if they would be around to help. Plus, I can't believe they would consider putting their kids through another move again after my niece missed a month of kindergarten, and the kids are just started to get settled.

On a completely different note, Jerry made me dinner last night. Then, I dragged him back to my place to watch a movie (movie was his idea) so that my dog wouldn't be stuck at home alone. And, I slept with him, even though I had it in my mind that I should wait. I just have a hard time putting my desires/needs out there. I mean, granted, I wanted to sleep with him, and it was great and everything. I just missed that first opportunity to practice negotiating needs. Did I mention it was great? He's great. I'm very happy really in these regards. I just need to try again with the negotiation thing; I can want something and express it and converse about it, right? Jeez, why is this so hard?

Labels: , , ,