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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Genetic Testing

Augh! My father can be SOOO frustrating sometimes. I called him tonight to hear about how my sister's kids get on his nerves and then the fight starts. Dad tells me that his doctor said that he can order genetic testing for Mom to find out if she has a strain of Alzheimer's that they know has certain genetic markers. I've been working on getting this done for ages!!! See here for a post I wrote last year about it. But, he's not going to do it because he can't be bothered and he doesn't see a point since it can't for certain say whether or not she has Alzheimer's.

I'm so frustrated because I went along with him ordering that Mom will get an autopsy after she passes just to get this testing done, but he clearly has forgotten about that. He doesn't care. He just wants the autopsy to prove to himself that its Alzheimer's. Its so BS. Clearly, she has Alzheimer's. Her symptoms are SOOOO classic, and if were something else then why wouldn't he make some sort of attempt to figure it out and treat it.

I want the genetic testing done because I want some sort of better indication if I'm going to get Alzheimer's. And I can't find a doctor who will do it for me because only certain ones can do it, and the guy I found here said he has ethical issues with doing the test on me and recommended having it done for Mom.

I'm tired of his argumentativeness, his controlling behavior, and the way that he'll say whatever just to change the subject and get what he wants.

He's going forward with selling Mom's condo FAST even though my sister noted that Grandma's possessions are there and should be gone through to see if there are heirlooms. Dad claims that Mom's sis probably took out anything valuable already. I didn't have the energy to argue that something doesn't have to be worth a lot of money to be an heirloom.

AUGH! I'm so sick of my family BS. I am not looking forward to my trip to KC. And then there's another one in March/April. After that, I'm done for the year. Seriously, maybe I'll go back the next September or December, but there's no more than three trips MAX. No more 5 trips/year like this year. My early New Year's resolution is to stop sacrificing myself so much for my family instead of focusing on building my life here and working on my career. I don't need to let them walk all over me, especially since there's not much more to do for Mom anymore and its not like I'm actually successful in most of my efforts anyway.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Ah Vacation!

Ahhh, vacation was so nice. My friend, P, and I took a trip to San Francisco. I LOVE SF! It was great -we went shopping, stayed at a fantastic little inn that made fantastic breakfasts, ate great food, went dancing at a queer women party.... It was a little awkward at times because P has made it clear that she has a thing for me, and she's not exactly supporting my desire to not move past friendship. She was snuggling all night, flirting with me all day. It was good for my ego on some level, but it still made me feel not seen and kinda not respected. Its like she decided that being with me is something that she wants, and she's trying to achieve that without care about what I want or need.

I am glad to be home. Although its all of a sudden back into the family drama. Dad is going forward selling Mom's condo. My sis is freakin about it and wants to go stay there over Winter Break when I'm in town. Dad wants me to come with his friends for New Years and sis won't even think about the holiday until she figures out what she's doing. Sis is trying to manipulate Dad into paying for the trip.

So what do I want to do for New Year's? Ask Cory to go out even though he may need to go to the synagogue's event with his family? Go with my friend Merissa out on the town like last year? Dinner with Dad and his friends? Try and organize Dad and sis and everyone to do something together with Mom?

I am enjoying having no big problems right now. These aren't crises. I have lots of plans with lots of different people. I'm enjoying the calm of vacation.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Feeling Emotional

In therapy today, I just couldn't stop crying. I talked about how even though I knew not to put too much into things with NJG that I still felt kinda heartbroken. I talked about how hard it is for me to be single and how I have this need to share my life with someone. I talked about being frustrated that I'm struggling with sleep issues and have to be somewhat rigid about going to bed and waking up at a certain time so that I can follow the cognitive behavioral treatment for my insomnia. I've had to start taking medication again to sleep, and I am really wary of it since I had such a hard time stopping before. At the end of the session, I noted that I'm PMSing majorly and about date starting to date.

I've also got a migraine coming on. I tried taking low dose aspirin and 5-htp to prevent it, but it isn't working. I'm going to take some mega combo of advil and tylenol after dinner.

But, Cory called me which makes me feel better. He said that he isn't not calling me that often not because he's not interested in me but just because he's busy. I'm not so sure. But, it is nice to have seeing him in KC to look forward to.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Dad Dating

Well, as this third in my series on dating, my father called me up tonight to tell me that he wants to start dating. He invited a woman over to the house on a date, but she canceled last minute and wrote him a letter saying that she doesn't feel comfortable dating a married man and that she thinks its a betrayal to his family. So he called me up to see if I think its a betrayal.

I told him that I'm supportive of that. And that one day I'll set up a jdate profile. (I had to explain to him what Jdate is.) I suggested that if he really want to date that he get out more. He said he doesn't want to go to singles events because everyone will know that he's married. I said that he could just go to regular events and suggested that he tell women that he wants to start a friendship if he wants to avoid the freak out that he experienced.

He joked that I always tell my sister everything that he tells me. (I didn't realize that he knows this.) Apparently, my sister will come straight out and confront him on things that I repeat to her in private. But, he said that I can tell my sis about this. I think he is a little freaked out about how she'll respond. With good reason.

So, I called my sister (because I know that she'd freak), and I told her. She is REALLY upset. She thinks that its cheating on Mom. She told me that Dad isn't wearing his wedding ring anymore. I told her to try to have compassion on him and to see that he's lonely and that Mom isn't really a wife to him in the same way that she was before. But, its hard for her. I left it by asking her to try to think about how she'll respond when he tells her, and to try to support him. She said that even if she does, she doesn't want to hear any details or meet the woman he dates.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Boho Dating

Yeah, dating's not so fun anymore. I went out with NJG last night, and the whole time it was kind of awkward as she kept asking me these questions about who I want to date and what I'm looking for - but all in the abstract. She freaked out about not feeling ready for a relationship. And then at the end, she told me that she likes really butchy women (aka not me).

Even though in therapy, we talked about how I have this trend to find people who are perfect on paper, fall for them, and then get heartbroken before even getting to know I am again. This perfect woman on paper, and I feel heartbroken.

Also, in therapy we talked about how I need to work on asking for what I want and focusing on not getting lost in the future but being able to just be in the present. But, the whole date I was future thinking, not saying what I wanted. When I got home, I tried to call to just clarify, and she still had her phone off from dinner. So I sent her an email which said something along the lines of I'm really into you, but I get that you're not into me and am happy to hang out with you in whatever way you want to define. I haven't heard back.

So, after that night last night, I woke up feeling congested and sick. I think its a little psychosomatic. Dad told me that he's got a cold, and I'm taking that on for him. And, the whole thing with P and NJG just makes me feel kinda sick. NJG asked me if I want a relationship and why, and as I started talking about it, I really felt that longing to have someone in my life.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Woho Dating

My dating life is very much ramped up, and I'm not quite sure about how I feel about it all. I had a date with this very nice Jewish girl (NJG) who is getting her dissertation also related to gender issues. She was fantastic, and we had tons in common. Her dad had a stroke and is in a similar state to my Mom, and we got to bond over being so young having these issues and being dedicated to our parents and lots more.

Then, last night I went to a concert with my friend P. P has become one of my closest friends recently, but it was a bit weird for me when she started big time hinting about wanting to kiss me. And then, NJG was at the bar we went to later. I told P that I had been out with NJG, and she asked me if I can date more than one person at a time. I told her that we'd talk about it not while screaming in a loud bar. And then of course, I couldn't talk to either NJG or P without feeling like...just wrong. So, I just danced until I left.

I asked P to meet me for dinner tonight where she just laid everything on the table and said that she's not looking for a relationship now but that she really wants to just kiss me sometimes and casually date me. I told her that let's wait until at least next month when she files for divorce. Yes, that's what I said. Yes, its all very complicated.

Tomorrow night I have a date now with NJG. And then P and I are going to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Augh! Plus, I have the guy in Kansas City. And there's a guy that I've been sleeping with here off and on but just as friends. So, my love life is a little bit full...especially for someone who is completely emotionally not available. My commitment is to my family right now. I feel oddly raw and confused. I mean, what the hell am I doing here juggling four people? I'm a monogamous kind of girl normally. And while NJG is perfect for me on paper, P is a really good friend and treats me fabulous. So what am I really looking for?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Have Advanced to Candidacy!

Yesterday, I advanced to candidacy. This means that I can add the letters "ABD" after my name and that I've required all of the requirements of my program except for the dissertation. My committee was SUPER supportive of my work and basically said that I'm one of the top people in my graduate program. It felt good to be acknowledged and that throughout all of this mishugas with my family and everything else, that I can succeed in my career.

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The Color of Friendship Award

Thanks to Shari for awarding me a "Colors of Friendship Award." She describes this award as honoring the following:

"We are a spectrum of color, diverse in our customs and upbringings, but we are human with the same feelings. We are all united in some way and not so different if you think about how we love our families...we feel the same things. The Internet has brought people closer together somehow...the world doesn't seem so huge and untouchable."

I would similarly like to honor the following people:

Gail at The Mom and Me Journals

April at The Thriver's Toolbox

I Survive! at A Broken Childhood

It just goes to show how much healing and connection is out there if you put yourself out there. Since I've started this blog, I really have come a long way in my quest. I really think that it has been in part to having this blog and all of the support that I've received through it. Thanks to all of my readers and all of my friends who have been there for me along the way!

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

"The Bubble" by Eytan Fox

I just got back from seeing the movie "The Bubble." It was so amazingly powerful in its message about love, war, and Israel. I was supposed to be having this pseudo date, but I had to get out of there after the movie because I just needed to be alone and cry a bit. She said to me: "There wasn't any way of it. You could tell that it was all going to end badly." I said "that's the way with a lot of Israelis now." I thought about how its been this way since Rabin died. Movies about the conflict never tend to have any sense of the conflict ending. They're more about how the system is so entrenched that there's no way of overcoming it.

There was a scene with a pigua, and it really makes me freaked out about my friends who live in Israel. It reminds me of the times when I was there and there was a bombing and having to call the 8 people I'm closest to, just to make sure we're okay. The movie made me feel like I can never go home: the conflict will never end, and I don't want to get sucked up in it.

I would say that this movie is the Israeli "Brokeback Mountain." It was amazing. But sad as hell.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

From Preventative Care to Comfort Care

Well, Dad has decided that we're only going to give Mom comfort care and not preventative/ treatment care. If she has another heart attack or seizure (they're not sure what this last thing was), then she'll stay at her assisted living. She won't get any of the medications recommended by the doctors.

I spoke withe the nurse at Mom's facility who agrees with all of this. Mom's so far along that we shouldn't do anything to prolong her life.

I did convince Dad to start giving Mom the herb passionflower, which should make her more relaxed and help prevent seizures. That's a comfort issue, I convinced him. She won't get garlic to thin her blood and prevent heart attacks. That's a prolonging life issue, he thinks.

I can't really complain because I was the one who pushed for us to talk about this. I just feel majorly out of the decision-making processes that went on this week. I feel far away and distant. But, I'm also starting to get productive again and grateful to not be in the middle of the mishugas. Its lonely being so far away and without people to talk about it here. But, I'm also able to live somewhat of a more normal actually be able to have a life.

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