Family

I mention family a lot here and it may be confusing sometimes. I grew up with my adoptive mother and father and my biological twin sister. We knew we were adopted from a very young age and it was a private adoption so we knew a lot of details. My father sent letters to our biological mother throughout our life (although no one knew this until later). When I was 16 I had one of many fights with my father where he said “you should be grateful because of how you should have grown up.” That didn’t sit well with a rebellious teenager and my response was “show me.” We met our biological mother and full older sister that year. It was awkward and not much was said and we met at the house of a mutual friend so it didn’t really accomplish anything.

A few years ago the same sister contacted me on Facebook and we started talking. I visited a couple times and started getting to know her and her husband and children. There were several others around as they all live close by. Our mother and father live in the first house on the road and they would come down to her house for meals. Various half-sisters and half-brothers and nieces and nephews and their families would be there on different trips. One older half-sister and her husband I am particularly fond of. I’ve only met my full brother once since he was in jail before that and has taken off since then. There are a few siblings I haven’t met.

My eldest half-sister is the only one who does not live in the south with the rest of my family. She lives just 2 hours from me. I met her for the first time a few months ago and then she came to the house with 2 of her daughters a couple of weeks ago. She is the emotional one and also did not grow up with the rest of them. While we bonded over that, parts of her personality rub me the wrong way now and then. That’s true of everyone I guess.

My full sister and I haven’t been able to agree on exactly where to vacation next summer and last time we discussed it online she disappeared. It was the first time she ended a conversation without a “love ya” and I haven’t heard from her since.

I have had toxic relationships with my adoptive father and twin sister since my adoptive mother died over 10 years ago. I finally accepted that it was out of control back in March when a fight turned physical so I have not spoken to either of them in five months now.

All of this background information is to explain a common theme I will write about from time to time. I struggle with these relationships. Especially with the family who I’ve only known a couple of years or less. I try to keep my expectations in check but it’s easy to get hurt. I struggle with how much of myself to put out there and give. I don’t have a history with them and I don’t live close enough to be very involved now so they don’t really feel like family. At the same time, I have ALWAYS wanted to be part of a larger family.

And there’s the guilt that comes with feeling like I’m trying to replace what I grew up with. That’s absolutely not true of my parents although I know my mom feared it and I can only hope and pray that she would understand now. It sometimes feels true with my twin sister because we’ve never been close like I wanted to be and she has hurt me so much over the years.

Well I feel like this was kind of all over the place but I guess I’m still making sense of it myself.

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Recipe Blogs Rant

I appreciate recipe bloggers, I really do. I need the inspiration and new ideas. But I have to make some complaints because they are driving me crazy! I follow dozens of these blogs and I just don’t understand.

-If you claim to have a healthy recipe blog, why are you posting desserts every single day? That’s not what I subscribed to find.

-Why post a recipe that is trending all over the place? I will see it on at least half a dozen blogs in the span of a couple weeks. Unless you have a really ingenious tweak to the recipe, this is a waste of time.

-What is with all of the salads? Doesn’t anyone know how to cook vegetables and not just chop or tear them?

-Really, the desserts again. Doesn’t anyone eat real food???

-Why are dinner, dessert, and baked goods the only recipes? I can’t be the only person out there who likes to eat something other than oatmeal for breakfast and a salad or sandwich for lunch.

I am continuing on my quest to find recipe blogs that fit my lifestyle 🙂

Heightened Drama

The book I am currently reading explains one of several reasons for compulsive eating and never being able to get to a healthy weight and stay there is the need for drama in our lives because that is what we are accustomed to and we have come to need it. We’re only comfortable when that drama is present, even if that means harming ourselves to create the drama. Now, I understand this to an extent and especially for some people. My father is always looking to create drama where there is none. And I would agree that I need a certain amount of drama to not be bored. However, I often feel overwhelmed by drama and as if I can’t handle it. I’m only now discovering that the difference is the drama I create versus the drama I cannot control. This is no way to live! I have to learn how to handle the outside drama because it can’t always be avoided such as when it’s due to work. But I also have to learn to live without creating drama for myself, no matter how big or small.

Weekend Update

Friday night started off so terribly that I was sure I was in for a rough weekend. I got through it though and went to bed on time ready for whatever awaited me. Saturday I had plans with family who were in town. All of the communicating is generally done through one member of the group who was here because I know her best. Well, she wasn’t communicating very well at all, had forgotten something important I told her in regards to our plans and kept moving and changing things. This was all via text message before noon. I felt jerked around and, combined with my social anxiety, it was just too much. I talked to my husband and we decided just not to go. He gave me time to recover form being upset and then we hopped on the motorcycle for a long ride down to the river for a late lunch. It was a gorgeous day and I felt so good when we got back. I really need to focus on making more time for things like that. Saturday night we grabbed some food from the grocery for our dinner and watched a funny movie. Unfortunately Sunday didn’t continue in that vein. I was up early and prepping food for the week. It just seemed like I was working from the time I got up until the time I went to bed and there still wasn’t enough time for it all. I gave up my plan of going to the gym this morning because I didn’t even have time to pack everything up or shave my legs. I am looking for a way to make up for that tonight but I’ve also decided it’s okay if this week becomes Tues, Thurs, Sat instead of Mon, Wed, Fri. Maybe that will work better for me. I’m trying to go with the flow more. Now I just need to find a way to make Sundays better!

Following Up

It seems I was in an emotional tornado yesterday. I left and had a long phone conversation with my husband. We’re trying to work on things and we just don’t communicate very well. It really hurts us that we only have quality time together on the weekends. I went to my psychiatrist appointment nearly convinced we needed to add a medication but she saw things through a much clearer light. I’ve been dealing with a lot the last month and I still will for a few weeks. However, medication can’t change my current circumstances. If I focus on decreasing my stress and anxiety, I will get through this, and likely before a new medication would even have time to take full effect.

It also seems like I have a lot of break-throughs lately. They’re not necessarily earth-shattering by any means, more like “a-ha” moments that happen to have a big impact on my life. Yesterday I began to realize that I am so tightly wound and easily angered because I am anxious about money, food, etc. But I am obsessed with these things to the point of having multiple large spreadsheets for each. The part I have not figured out is this: am I obsessed because of my anxiety or anxious because of my obsession? It’s actually an important distinction if I’m going to try to make it stop.

There is one other thing I’ve been mulling lately but I thing it requires it’s own post. Let me do some more thinking on it over the weekend.

In a Rush

Well, I don’t have much time today but felt like posting. I am off in a few minutes to do my grocery shopping for next week and to see my psychiatrist. We thought we would be holding steady on this medication but I’ve been super cranky, very moody, and spend most of my time angry. And I get angry at the snap of a finger at that. This morning I caught myself trying to bring a friend down. Something has to change! Therapy just isn’t frequent enough to be enough, and even if it were, we are focusing on changing the behaviors with food and exercise. I suspect we will either go up on this medication or add another one in. I wonder if it’s been long enough that Prozac might work for me again? It’s the only one that’s ever made a huge difference for me. Fingers crossed and I’m off!

Moving Forward

At a snail’s pace! But I guess forward is all that matters. The cardiologist instructed me to halve my dose of the blood pressure medicine for a few days and then go back up and it worked, no more side effects and my pressure is now down a little bit. It’s the first medication to have any effect at all. I tried to go all in on the dietary changes again this week and it failed but it’s only Wednesday and I’ve modified and recovered it rather than letting it go for the rest of the week. I’ve also just joined a gym that is directly on my route to and from work. I can’t start until Monday because of schedule issues this week but I am making sure I am fully prepared and it’s as easy as it can possibly be. It’s always a challenge when you switch to showering and dressing for work in the locker room! However, I live one town over so going home after is not an option and there are no options with a pool in the town I live in. I think the pool will be the key to boosting my activity without so much pain and give me some variety from the treadmill plus access to the weight machines. The weight machines will be especially important as I try to become stronger, especially in my core to reduce back pain. Instead of my usual goal of five mornings per week, I am sticking to a reasonable three days for a while. I think it will be easier to adjust and give me time to keep up with the extra laundry! Eventually I would like to be able to join their group water aerobics class two nights a week and yoga one night plus Saturday mornings. I know that’s a long way off but I look forward to it! In the meantime, my diet next week has been modified to healthier versions of ethnic food. I find ethnic recipes (particularly Indian food) easier to substitute in, add vegetables to, and reduce salt. No more feeling like I am trying to eat leaves and dirt!