Christmas was Nice (2013)

Christmas was nice.

It is a big deal for me to be able to say that.  This day has become symbolic in my marriage, not for the right reasons.

Christmas Day 2010 was the day I admitted to myself that I wanted a divorce.  And it’s been a roller coaster ever since!

So yes, Christmas was nice. Nothing big to report about it actually and that is a GOOD THING!  ha.

Oh – here’s something.  Hubby is terrible at gift giving.  It stresses him out to try to pick something.  Sometimes I get nothing for birthdays, anniversaries etc.  Usually though for Christmas I get gifts he begrudgingly buys at the last minute just cuz he knows he better.  ha.  This year that was different.  It was the week before Christmas and he actually asked me what I wanted.  Personally I would love a surprise gift that he picked cuz he knew what I liked… but this is reality and that just isn’t him.   (Well occasionally it’s him – remember the cedar chest which I love!)  It is very helpful to him if I just tell him what I want instead of him trying to guess.  That stresses him out.

I like those sideways cross necklaces.  I told him I wanted one of those.  I told him I liked the ones that are curved better though than the straight ones.  One morning after the kids got on the bus, his sister said she was going shopping and talked him into going.  I’m so glad!  She should drag him along every year!  Apparently it’s quite difficult to find the sideways cross necklaces that are curved.  They found plenty that were sideways and straight.  Who knew.  I had seen them online.  He said they went to every jewelry store in the area.  They did find one at a fancy schmancy place but they wanted $500 for it.  NOT in the budget.  LOL  He said they finally found it on their final stop of the day.  I didn’t realize I was sending him on a wild goose chase when I told him what I’d like.  I think its awesome though because it required effort and he still did it! Yay.  Needless to say, I love my new necklace!

Large Curved CZ Sideways Cross Necklace

(Last Christmas I actually used a big black marker and circled something in a sales flyer that I wanted for Christmas – I think it was a necklace – and put it on his dresser.  Talk about a hint, right?  Doesn’t get much easier than that!  I didn’t get it – or any other necklace either actually.  It was never even mentioned at all.  Ha.)

He wasn’t overflowing with sweetness or mush or anything Christmas morning.  But he wasn’t jerky or rude or grumpy.  AT ALL.  He was just him.  And that is all that I can ask for.  ❤

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone. I’m laying in bed typing this on my kids iPad. Hubby is home but watching tv in the basement still. He’s not tired. He’s used to being up all night at work so days off are still weird sleeping schedules. I hope that he will actually sleep with me when he is tired tho :/

tonight was nice.  We continued a tradition we started last year and made egg rolls, wontons etc. and then we even decided to invite hubby’s parents at the last minute. we watched a DVD about Jesus’ birth and then we just hung out the rest of the night.

This is our first year without Santa. Sigh. These kids are growing up faster than I can stand :(

a friend of mine posted on Facebook tonight that this is her first ever Christmas without her babies at home with her. She divorced her husband this year and it was his turn with them. That makes my heart ache.

hubby and I have been doing pretty darn good!  And I am so thankful!  especially so I don’t have to divorce his butt and not get to see my kids on Christmas!

I feel peaceful tonight. I pray pray pray that tomorrow goes well. I think it will. For a look back at the most miserable Christmas we’ve ever had.. Click here. 

Im going to read it just to remind myself how far we’ve come.

I wish u all the best. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Dear God, Thank you for everything!

More Panic Attacks and All Kinds of Exposure Therapy!

Last week I had a horrific panic attack.  Just so bad.

I’ve wanted to come type it out but every time I have a minute, I decide I don’t have time to deal with it just yet.

The problem is that I NEED to deal with it and figure it out.

But I have been working so many hours the past few weeks, I am on overload and barely have ANY down time. (Which I’m sure contributed.)

But then since time is so short, I dont want to ruin the precious few free minutes I have by drudging through that drama.  I dont want to get all worked up about it and then have to run off and do something else that may just result in a panic attack.  I dont think that dissecting it right before I run off to another stressful event is a good idea.

So I will type that out later.  Hopefully soon.

The next few days have many potential panic-attack-inducing situations….

Wednesday – Kid1 has to catch a charter bus bright and early for a leadership competition in another town.  That means I need to leave the house at 6:45 to get her there.  My latest, quite fabulous panic attacks  (yes, more than one – kind of like a mini series!) was in the town I need to take her to.  And on the roads I need to drive to get her there.  I’m worried about getting ativan in me early enough for it to be working before we get to there.   Yes, I will be setting my alarm for 5Am just so I can get up and take ativan.  What a life I live.

Then I plan to stay in town and do some Christmas shopping.  Including one place I had a panic attack that day….  And yes through the parking lot where I completely freaked out.

And my sister is going with me to look at an exercise bike that hubby asked for for Christmas that I found used and hope to get.  So, I’m driving another person in my car, on those roads that I’m so nervous about driving on….  that makes me more nervous.I seriously hope I’m so relaxed from the ativan that none of this bothers me at all!

My shopping/To Do list is huge so it should be fun.  :)

Then Wednesday night is the Christmas concert!  In the auditorium.  I was recently there for a fall sports awards event and I did great.  I have conquered this location I think.  I say that but then these recent panic attacks are so fresh in my mind I’m afraid I will completely freak myself out.  Dear God please be with me at the concert!  I doubt hubby will go so I will sit there myself as usual and that really sucks.  It is what it is though.  Sigh.

Thursday  – The DAY AFTER my big panic attack episode, the basketball team booster lady called and asked me to work the concession stand at the varsity game this Thursday.  I surprised myself by saying yes.  Then I freaked out because I said yes.  But I’m glad now that I did.  It forces me to keep fighting back against the panic monster.  Kid2 in in the jr high basketball team which is why we are involved in this, so she gets to come and help!  (She is not thrilled. )

Also Thursday night is the viewing for my husband’s relative.  I didn’t know the man well but I know his wife pretty good and she is a mess.  Must go to this.  Yes, I must.  I’ll keep telling myself this.  We will stop in at the funeral home before going to the basketball game.

Friday is the funeral.  I seriously hope I do not have to go to this.  Sitting there in those little chairs, trapped.  In a tacky funeral home.  We are a small town and yes our funeral home is gross and tacky.

Also!  My step-dad’s mother died on Sunday.  Still waiting to hear the details of that viewing/funeral.

Exposure therapy at the funeral home!

Did I just make the deaths of 2 dear people about me?  Unfortunately yes. But rest assured that is for my blog only and would NEVER do or say that in real life!

Sunday – I get to go back to the theater!  (Don’t forget the British accent please!)   BFF is going with me and we are sitting with my bro and his wife.  I bought the tickets and you can be damned sure I am taking the one that is the aisle seat!   They are paying me back, but I got online and chose the seats and ordered them and have them in my possession….  hahahahahaha (insert evil laugh here?  lol  I’m in  a weird mood)

We are seeing The Nutcracker.  My little niece is taking ballet and she gets to be a little reindeer that prances on and off the stage – twice I think.  ha.  The nutcracker is something that we saw often as kids.  Sometimes live in small town productions and sometimes we just watched the movie.  I wanted to go this year anyway – since my recent success at the theater!  My family loved when we went to see Annie, but the kids have all gone with school groups to see The Nutcracker and they were bored to death and don’t want to go again.  Plus, I will be missing Kid3’s basketball game and Kid1’s volleyball game.  So hubby is out too cuz he gets to be the taxi for the day.  He probably really didn’t want to go anyway.

When the tickets came in the mail he said “Who is going with you???”   Ha!  I love it!  I hadn’t told him I was going anyway.  Made me proud that I am doing what I want to do, even if my family doesn’t want to!  Yay me moment.

Wow this got long.  I do feel better though.  As soon as I said that I thought of my panic attacks last week and my chest got tight.  Deep breaths.  Ugh.  I really really hate this part of my life.

Anyway, wish me luck this week.  And pray for me if you will :)

Dear God,
Please give me strength.

Almost (Christmas 2012)

We almost make it through the days without arguing. Almost. Christmas day was beautiful. Im on my ipod or i’d say more about that. Later.
Christmas day was beautiful – until about 7pm when his jerk-mode kicked in. I was more angry that he ruined the wonderful day than i was about what he said. I think. Maybe it was a tie. But it made me reallllly sad.

Today was a pretty decent day. Until he yelled at kid2 and completely over-reacted about the silverware she wanted to use! When he flips about the little stuff i feel like there is no hope. Because how do u fix that? Its irrational. No reasoning with him would help. And is t he a grown man? Should i really have to step in & defend my child to her father about a spoon???? No!

Almost sucks. I want better than almost. Almost has me lying here in this bed all alone. Again.

Christmas Day was a Good Day (2011)

I smile every time I think about it.

I am so relieved!

As I said earlier, the weekend started pretty rough.

But after all that it was nice.  Very nice.

On Christmas eve we had some nice family time.  We made cookies, we strung popcorn (hadn’t done that in years!), we read the bible together, we just hung out.  Hubby went to bed before the kids and I wished he was awake to put out the gifts etc with me after the kids went to bed.

On Christmas morning, I like to take just a few minutes (like 10?)  to wake up before the kids rip into the gifts.  Usually this is met with harsh words and total irritation from hubby.  I put in my contacts, make some tea, and get settled on the couch with my camera.   Then I’m ready.  It’s not like they have to wait long and I don’t think it’s horrible for me to ask them to wait a few.  This year he didn’t mind.  This year he reminded them to wait and I didn’t even hear any irritation in his voice.  We sat next to each other on the couch.  We talked and laughed.   It wasn’t tense and terrible.  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

Yes, he still did things like grump and swear about the transformer toy that challenged him.  And yes he had some not so lovely moments with his sister at dinner at his mom’s house that afternoon.  It’s not like he’s been transformed into some fake happy go lucky guy.  But wow what a difference a year makes!

And from the panic attack / anxiety perspective….   Usually I take an ativan before going to these family functions.  I didn’t and it was a little uncomfortable at times but it was ok.  Like I said, Christmas Day was a Good Day!

I hope everyone had a Merry Merry Christmas!

THANK YOU LORD

A Rough Start

After a rough start to the weekend when I was convinced it was the beginning of the end…..  it turned around.  Completely.
(I’m not gonna share my post about that rough start cuz wow was I angry when I typed that out.  I think I’ll keep that one private :/ )

I was so hurt & angry at him, and I just KNEW he was gonna ruin it all….

Then I was wrapping stocking gifts in my bedroom on Saturday afternoon and the movie “Fireproof” came on.  Talk about a sign.  It was right at the part when the Dad is talking to his son about not giving up on his marriage.  Yes, the movie is a little hokey and preachy.  But the point is still valid.  And when I was on the treadmill Friday morning, Joyce Meyers came on and her whole sermon was about forgiveness.   She basically said that you shouldn’t grumble & complain if you are the one that always has to apologize first or take the first steps towards reconciliation, because that just means you are the more mature one.  That’s all.  It doesn’t mean that the other person doesn’t care as much.  It doesn’t mean they never would do it.  It just means that you are more mature.  She said skip the drama about refusing to do it and waiting for them to do it.  It just drags it out longer and then everyone is miserable longer.  She said don’t hold grudges!  I can relate to that :)  So I had already been spinning that around in my mind.

Then the more I thought about it – the more I wanted to go into Christmas Day with a clean slate.  I didn’t want leftover garbage to start the day off on the wrong foot.  I needed it to stand alone and be what it was going to be.  I guess I just really needed to know for sure that we were making progress.  Yes, a happy Christmas without his moody anger as a dark cloud over everything would really show me the status of our relationship!

So I took the first steps to make up with my hubby.  Should I have had to do that?  No.  But I did anyway.  And it was easy.  He explained his part, I explained mine.  We figured it out.  Still sucks that we have to constantly explain ourselves to each other.  But it is what it is.  And it was over and we sat on the couch together.  He watched the football game & I sorted through mail.  The whole mood in our house changed.  The kids noticed and I was glad I acted maturely and took the first step.  :)

Yes, Christmas day was a big relationship test.  I’m sorry but yes, that’s what I had turned it into.

Hubby knew how I felt about past Christmases.  And you know, Christmas is supposed to be such a joyous occasion that it has really pissed me off that so many of them lately have been ruined by his nastiness.  I remember how it used to be my favorite day.  It had become a day I dreaded.  It was time to put an end to that.  And we did.  Hopefully for good.

Related Posts: Crying on Christmas

My Ideal Christmas Day

I know I shouldn’t do this.  I know I should not get my hopes so way up high!  I keep thinking about it though.

I am afraid he will ruin another Christmas.

Not because of any recent issues, just because the past few have really sucked with him.

REALLY sucked.  Last year it was what ultimately led me to decide I was done with this marriage.

SO.  Yea, I’m a day dreamer sometimes.  I should be working but I’m so distracted by this!  So I’m here to type it out :)

Imagine a Christmas morning where everyone wakes up happy that it is Christmas.  Not with swearing about coffee not made yet or having to wait until the microwave beeps, and my tea is done.

Imagine a happy family laughing and getting along as they open gifts.  Imagine a hubby that smiles at his wife.  Imagine kids that are not afraid of being yelled at for opening a box or whatever to play with a new toy instead of waiting until all the gifts are opened.

Imagine a hubby that says Thank You to his wife for the gift she gave him.  Imagine him smiling at her while she opens her gift.

Seems like basic stuff right?  It ought to be.  Isn’t it that way in most families?  Even while growing up in my dysfunctional family, Christmas morning was no way as stressful as it has gotten here.  So yea, I feel like I’m harping on this.  Better typing it out here than saying it out loud and nagging hubby about it I guess.

This Year is Different.

Relief.  I feel calm.  I feel like I can slow down now and perhaps enjoy this Christmas season more now.

I was feeling overwhelmed and like I had an endless list.   Well I still have a really big list.   But I have realized that it is a lot shorter than last year’s list!  A lot of the chaos was in my mind – because I was expecting it to get so very crazy like last year.

When I read back over that list I typed out a few days ago, I thought “wow – that actually doesn’t look so bad!”

And now the biggest stressor of the week – the Christmas concert – is over.

This year is different.

The rest of the week will be a piece of cake now.  Busy, but not panic attack material.

What is different than last year?

My kids are involved in fewer activities.  Last year Kids 2 & 3 were both in basketball leagues.  This year, just kid3.  And I don’t have to worry about having a bleacher meltdown until January 7th.  So I can mark that off of my list.

Girls Scouts.  Ah yes.  Girl Scouts.  This is the first time in 8 years that I am not a GS leader and my kids are not in troops.  Girl Scouts kept us busy.  “Girl Scouts make the world a better place.”  And we tried hard to fulfill that motto at Christmas time.  We went Christmas caroling to the old folks homes.  We took a field trip to a store and bought presents to donate.  We wrapped gifts for people.  We delivered gifts to elderly neighbors.  We made a float for the Christmas parade.   We sent Christmas card to soldiers.  And we had a Christmas party.

I forgot how very busy & nuts I was trying to plan all that for the girls.  It was a lot of fun and I often miss being a leader.  BUT, I appreciate that I have more time now for everything else.  This year has been crazy.  I can’t imagine what a mess I would be if I was trying to squeeze that in too.

And the MAIN thing that is different?  I’m not wanting to kick my hubby out of the house like I was last year.  I’m not crying all day long.  Or angry all day long.   Or so stinkin’  lonely.   I’m not crying myself to sleep at night.  We’re not hating each other like we were.

So, this is definitley an improvement.  And I’m glad I can see it more clearly now.  I’m not saying I won’t get overwhelmed again before this holiday is over.  But this perspective will help me keep it all in check.

Now I’m off to bed because I took off work tomorrow and hope to finish most of my Christmas shopping!  G’night!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

O Holy Night was my favorite tonight.

Christmas concert – 7pm

call Grammy to tell her – she’s not home now

supper – pork chops, potatoes, etc – eat by 5 so have time for hw, get ready etc

tulsi tea!!

ativan – take 1 around 2 or 3?

and another by 5:30pm – how early does she have to be there?!

————————————————-

The concert is over.  I am relieved.

Those were my notes from today.  It helps me to write it out so I can see the schedule.  And yes today I was feeling the ativan.  So I planned when to take it.  I rarely take 2.  I didn’t need to take 2.  I’m kinda mad at myself that I did.  I just wanted to enjoy it so badly!  I wanted tonight to be a success for me in this fight against panic attacks.  And at the same time I was sick to death of even thinking about it.  I wanted to be numb to it.

It worked.  I felt like a normal person sitting there.  I still wrote in my notebook.  I still played with my camera more than necessary.  And it was still hot in there.  But I was good.

I even looked around the auditorium and told  my kids stories about once upon a time when I went to high school there.  It was nice.  A few heat flashes here & there but nothing too scary.

I wish I would have fought harder.  I wish I had been more determined today to do it without ativan.  I didn’t have that in me today.  I needed this to be an easy night.  I’m not quitting.  I just took a break tonight and will resume the fight when I am not so exhausted.

Thank you Lord for beautiful Christmas music :)

And yes, it was actually Christmas music this year!  Ha.  Not like last year.

O Holy Night was my favorite tonight.

Kid1 plays the clarinet and was right in the front row so we could see her clearly.  She really is beautiful.  They all dressed in black.  The music teacher insists that it is about the music – it is not a fashion show.  Guess what?  Teenage girls can even make wearing all black fashionable. Oh the neat accessories they wore.

Merry Christmas.

—————————-

For more info on Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil Tea) and how it helps anxiety, you can see Jill’s review on PanicFreeMe.com here:
Holy Basil Benefits: Anxiety Relief

Fighting Panic Attacks This Time of Year

The Christmas hustle & bustle gets me every year.  Busy, Busy, Busy.

Friday – We put the Christmas tree and decorations up.  We made 16 dozen cookies.  We cleaned the house etc for company.

Saturday – Kid3 to doctor in AM with pink eye.  Yuk!

“Cookie Baking Day” at my house.  Family started showing up around 10am and the last few left around 10pm.  This is an annual tradition that I love.  We host it every year.  (Hubby hides all day – only stopping in occasionally for food. ) Fun, but tiring!

Sunday – I had no motivation and did the minimal amount required.  This put me behind for the week :(

Monday – Monday is always ‘catch up’ day.  Catch up on work stuff that happened over the weekend.  Catch up on house stuff that was neglected over the weekend.   I rarely plan appointments etc for Mondays just because it is catch up day.

Today is also a basketball scrimmage for Kid3.  I did not go.  Hubby took him.

TuesdayBack to the eye doctor.  Kid3 gets his first ever pair of glasses.  Kid2 gets new lenses put in hers.  I get to pick up my contacts.  Feeling ok about going back.  This visit will be shorter and we will not be back in those little rooms :)  Plus we were just there and I survived so that was a confidence booster.  Thank you exposure therapy.

Wednesday – Christmas Concert at school.  I survived it last year.  I had a good time actually.  Of course I will fret about this the most this week though.  I really hate hot crowded auditoriums!  Hopefully hubby will go too.  Not for me, for Kid1.

Thursday – Hubby & I are supposed to go Christmas shopping.  This will be fun if I can find time to plan in advance.  I have to make lists and see what I already bought for everyone – especially the kids – so I’m sure it’s going to balance out OK.  I don’t worry about the exact number of gifts, or the exact dollar amount, but of course you want it to be fair.  And I have other family gifts to buy too.  We have a Christmas party on Saturday. We exchange names so I will HAVE to have those present done.  Yay for deadlines I guess.

Thursday night Kid3 has practice so that is just a little bit of running around.

Friday – Nothing is on the calendar!  Yippee!  Ha.  But really I will be going to the grocery store if I don’t on Thursday, prepping food and wrapping gifts etc for Christmas party on Saturday.

Saturday – Kid3 has a basketball game at 4pm.  Christmas party at my brother’s house is at 5:30pm.  Not sure if hubby and I will just go opposite ways, and they will meet us there after the game… or if we will all go to the game and then all be late for the party.  That would work if I was not taking hot food.  Don’t want it sitting in the car for 2 hours…  We’ll figure this out later I guess.

The kids go to school until next Thursday and then are off until Jan 3rd.  Hubby is off work the last week of December also.  Hopefully that will be relaxing, not stressful :)

I had all of this swirling around in my head today and needed to type it out.  I was getting quite anxious, feeling like this week was going to be dreadful.  It doesn’t look so bad now.  Really I think the Christmas concert Wednesday night is the only thing I really need to freak out about.  LOL  Obviously I don’t really need to freak out about that.  But I have been.  I think I will be calmer now and not feel so overwhelmed by all the activities this week.

My plan for the concert: ENJOY the music.

I used to love this kind of thing.  I want to love it again.  I am determined to love it!

I find it interesting that right around this time last year, I wrote a post called.  “Busy Week – Lord, Help me to not Panic!”  This is definitely the hardest time of year for me.

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.