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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Looking for Travel Recommendations

This is a call for information: Do you have any recommendations about places to stay, restaurants, or things to do off the I-80 from San Francisco to Chicago or the I-40 from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas? My massive road trip will take place in December. In particular, I'm looking for a hotel with hot springs near Salt Lake City.

Have you lived in one of the cities or towns that I'll travel through? Have you gone on a similar road trip? If so, help me turn my scary trip into a fun adventure.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I Do When the Emotion Hits

Recently, I've been feeling a lot of deep emotions -- fear, grief, sadness, anger. In the past, I may have spiraled out into a very negative cycle. I would have been overwhelmed and given into unhealthy coping mechanisms. Part of the reason why my experience right now is so emotional is that it hits at so many core issues for me - feeling alone in the world, safety, etc.

Anyway, what I'm trying to do now is to start by allowing myself to feel whatever comes up, and then let those feelings pass. Then, I'm going to try to make a plan that includes taking care of myself and trying to make the best of the situation.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Did I Mention That I Hate My Father?

Everything is falling through with my trip back from Kansas City to home. I'm offering people to pay for their entire way, just so that I can have someone to go with me, and I can't find anyone interested. And so I made a desperate move and tried to plan a family trip over New Year's at a mid-point between KC and my home. I got my sister interested in going and offered to babysit her kids New Years. I called my Dad and asked him to drive with me and get a one way ticket on an airline home. He told me he'd think about it.

Last night, I got really emotional before I went to sleep just thinking about what it meant to ask my father to do me a favor. I thought about how my mom would have immediately offered to go with me, and how she forced herself on going with me when I moved out here, even though she knew that she couldn't drive on a highway but hadn't bothered to tell me that. Anyway, I started getting very sad about not having my mom around anymore. I broke open this box of photographs that I took from my Dad's house of my childhood just to look at photographs of Mom before she had Alzheimer's. I cried and cried about not having anyone to love me the way that she used to.

This morning, my sister called to tell me that Dad spoke with her this morning. He told her that he wouldn't even CONSIDER taking the trip with me. Apparently, he's not even going to tell me that to my face. He said that he won't not visit Mom for even a day. I find that such a hurtful excuse when I KNOW that my mom would want him to come with me. She's forced him to travel to be there for me in the past and would NOT want me to travel alone for such a long distance.

I hate my father for not telling me to my face. I hate him for not even considering my safety or my needs. I hate him for talking me into bringing my dog to stay with him and then not helping me get her home. I hate him for thinking that I'm selfish by even mentioning such a trip, when it would be good for him to have a couple of days away and for the whole family to have some time together AND equating me having needs with being selfish. I hate him for not being able to act as my father.

And why, you ask, did I get myself in this situation in the first place? Well, I was dating Larry when I brought my dog to Kansas City. He had offered to drive with me. Now, I'm alone for New Year's and driving many hours on desolate roads by myself.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

The Problem With Plans

Augh stress. So here's situation right now: I arranged to drive to Kansas City to get my stuff, my dog, and whatever I'll want of my mother's. I'm doing this over Winter Break because I was offered a last minute job teaching at my university starting in January, and so if Mom dies during the time I'm teaching, I won't be able to have much time to go back. I can probably take a week off, but not much more.

My Dad has a tendency to purge their stuff quickly after someone dies. He's already begun purging things of Mom's, but I have been wary of taking anything while she's still alive. Its clear though now that I have to just take what I want or it will likely be gone.

I arranged to drive to Kansas City with *Z*. Now, I need someone to drive with me back from KC to home with the dog. I had a classmate who lives in KC who was going to do it, but I got an email today from her backing out of it. So I'm a little stressed. I REALLY don't want to have to drive by myself and the dog. It was so hard doing it with Mom when she couldn't share the driving, but at least then she could stay with the dog in the car. I've mentioned it to a LOT of people who just aren't into it.

And here's my update on Mom: Dad called me to tell me that Mom's having explosive, horrible diarrhea. He said that there are two things that she gets that relate to digestion - Activa yogurt and a stool softener. Because the stool softener is regulated by the doctor, he's going to just stop feeding her yogurt. I tried to explain to him that yogurt helps regulate diet but doesn't produce loose stools. That she definitely needs to be taken off the stool softener. He said that he wanted to just alter the yogurt and see what happens. I got off the phone immediately. I then called my sister to ask if I should call hospice, but my sister started lecturing to me about some special diet that perhaps Mom should be on -- and maybe she'll bring Mom applesauce. So I waited a day and then called. The nurse on call said that it wouldn't be a problem, and she'd have Mom taken off the stool softner and maybe they'll put her on immodium. My family is so frustrating; I can't believe that I'm going to Kansas City!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dreams, Schemes, and Living Day to Day

So I've been having these really intense dreams lately. Every night. I know its going to happen when I fall asleep. And then I wake up and am not sure where I am. And I spend part of the morning just pondering the dream and trying to snap back into reality.

So after my scheme to get Mom more care, I tried to step back and just lose myself in work. I've gotten into a routine of work, exercise, yoga, cooking myself healthy meals, and just taking good care of myself.

Then yesterday I was asked to teach a class in Winter. A class that I REALLY need on my CV. So I agreed. But that means losing my flexibility Winter Quarter for being able to travel back to Kansas City. So now, I'm planning on going back Winter Break and getting the dog. But, the more that I try to plan, the more I get stressed because there's no way of knowing what will happen with Mom.

I called *Z* after all this time and apologized for being overly sensitive, and he invited me to Chicago, where he now lives. I'm tempted to ask him to drive with me to Kansas City but I also worry that I'm setting myself up for heartache. Ah, sometimes its hard to know what to do sometimes.

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