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.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Searching for Center Admist Ups and Downs

There's been so much to write about, but my energy level has been really low, so at the end of the day, I often log in to start writing, but don't get very far and then just delete it because nothings quite making sense. This week has been full of big ups and downs, as is usual for my life. I want to put some focus on trying to stay centered and not letting myself go so far up and so far down.

Some of the ups of the week: I finished teaching my class. I had several students tell me that the class greatly impacted them. One student came with me to do a poetry reading, and it was very powerful. Then we chatted for a long while and I gave her some tools for healing from rape (she's a recent survivor). It felt good to be able to do that for someone and to recognize how far I've come. Yesterday at my gym, the owner showed me how to do some new exercises and then did some acupressure on my neck.

Some of the downs of the week: I was turned down for a big fellowship that I spent a lot of time applying for. Mom's condition continues to worsen.

Some of the anxiety producing things of the week: Dad is spending a lot of energy on a relationship with some secret woman that he won't tell me or my sister about, and while I felt okay about his dating before, now I'm feeling kind of uncomfortable about the whole thing. I had a last minute workshop to throw together that I did yesterday. I was told to present for 10 minutes and show up and see that I'm supposed to co-facilitate an hour and a half workshop with another person that I've never met before. There's been more to do this week than time to do it in.

I'm starting to sleep a little better, although its still a struggle. I'm trying to put more energy and focus into taking care of myself. I leave for Kansas City in a week and a half. I'll be gone for three weeks - at two conferences and spending time with my family. But, after that, I will have an open schedule. I want to plan a mini-vacation, maybe back to Esalen or some meditation retreat somewhere.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Dropped by the Local Alzheimer's Association

I am so hurt and angry. Here's what happened: I've been participating in a support group through the Alzheimer's Association for adult children of a parent with Alzheimer's. Last month, I got a call from the leader telling me that she would no longer be leading the group. I called the Alzheimer's Association and spoke with someone on three separate occasions. Despite that I offered to find someone to lead the group and to make calls to group participants, the Association has COMPLETELY blown me off, given me contradictory information, and at one point came out and told me that the group isn't a priority.

One of the things I was told is that there's a group with another organization to go to that's about parents with aging parents. But, I was given the wrong address, so after a long day and missing my workout to make the timing, I drove around looking for an address that doesn't exist.

At that point, I'm also without enough time to get home for long before my next meeting, which is held in the same building as the Alzheimer's Association. So, I decided to go and see if there was someone to talk to face to face about all of this. And there was, but this guy blew me off and pretended like he really cares when he's the same one I spoke with on the phone and has been messing me around for the last month.

And on my mother's birthday!

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride of Stress

Thanks for checking up and nudging me, April. I apologize to all of my readers for having been lax in posting. I have been on this roller coaster ride of stress and emotions. Things with my class have been intense - going very well or with very big problems. Preparing for it has taken a huge chunk of my life. Luckily next week is the last week.

To add to that, Mom is not doing well. She's losing weight rapidly, becoming less and less mobile, less responsive to people other than the other residents (apparently they have these non-nonsensical conversations), and just generally on a fast moving decline. Its upsetting to hear, especially because, as consistent with how things have been, is not getting the level of treatment that I think she should.

Add to that trying to fit in writing fellowship applications and doing research for my team, I've just been this ball of stress. Every night, the stress level increases so much that I eat and drink to soothe it. Then, I feel relaxed and can fall asleep, but wake up around 3 am feeling sick and stressed and am struggle to fall back asleep. So, I'm stressed and then exhausted and then trying to function at this lower level and then fall behind, become more stressed, use more bad coping mechanisms, and become more exhausted. I'm in a bad cycle right now.

But, I spoke pretty openly about it yesterday with my therapist. She told me, as she often does, that I need to learn how to take care of myself, to soothe myself when I'm feeling anxious and stressed. It broke the cycle for me - and then I went to acupuncture today and then got a massage and had dinner with the massage therapist. Now, I'm feeling a lot calmer and more in control of my emotions. But, this is my struggle right now - trying to manage the anxiety even in the midst of chaos.

I mean in the time that I write this post, I found out that Mom had a seizure today and had to deal with all of the drama surrounding that. Augh! Grr! Such anguish to have your mother not be well. My massage therapist (who also does astrology) said that I'm going through a period of deep transition and so I need to really mine all that comes up for me now and give in to the fact that its just a hard time.

So, I should try to come back more regularly to blogging. I think that it will help me find time to deal with my thoughts and get them out of my head instead of constantly nagging at me. Thanks to all of you who continue to read my posts and send me support.

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