Monday, January 16, 2012

My ups and downs with organized religion

I have never been a devoutly religious person. It may have been due to some bad experiences with several churches over the course of my childhood.

Experience Number One:  As a child, maybe 6 or 7, these people in a school bus stopped on our street and showed us kids some magic tricks. They then told us that we could come to their church for Sunday school on their bus. My parents agreed to let me go to church on the bus each Sunday. I went for awhile and during Sunday school they used to do a prayer session where we could have a group prayer for whatever anyone wanted to pray about. I was a child, and did not know what depression looked like, so I thought my mom was always sick. So each week, my prayer request was for my mom to get better. One week during prayer session, I requested my usual prayer and the Sunday school teacher told me, "You always want to pray for your mom, how about you pray for something else?" That was the last Sunday I got on that bus.

Experience Number Two: At 9 years old, we moved to Florida. My grandma knew some people who were sending their kids to a church summer camp. Seeing as how we had just moved and weren't really settled, my parents decided it would be a good idea to send me to camp. COMPLETELY UNPREPARED. We packed my clothes, and my grandma got me a new blue jean purse and a cute leather change purse, with some money for the snack area and that was it. I get there and there are bunk beds, I was thinking, "Cool! I've never been on a bunk bed." We drop our stuff off at our bunks and dive into camp activities. Coming back to the bunks, I find out that people have their own sheets, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. I of course have none of these, and of course neither do the bunk beds. So there I am, in a strange place, with strange people, and I'm the only one with no bedding. A couple of nice girls at camp let me use a sheet and a sleeping bag. A few days into camp and I am approached by staff at my bunk. They ask me about my coin purse and how I have the money folded and how much I have. Apparently, one of those "nice" girls who I thought was my friend, claimed I took her money and it was in my coin purse. They call my parents and keep all my money. I spend the rest of camp with no funds and being treated like a thief. I have never been to camp again.

Experience Number Three: Now I am about 15 this time. I like this boy and as it turns out, he lives next door to a church. Me and my friend start hanging out at the church and eventually are invited to join the church's youth group. We go to meetings and events with the church's youth group and everything is all fun and games. I guess it turned out to be less about the boy (who did not attend that church, just lived next door to it) and more about an escape from my home life (That is for another post, another time.) One evening at the youth group meeting, we were watching a movie and having snacks. My friend and I were sitting in the back and being goofy, and maybe a little rambunctious, but hey were were teenage girls. We were actually asked to leave and not return because we were, "not taking this seriously." So, I didn't come back.

Okay, so experience number three was mostly my own doing, I was there for the wrong reasons and not behaving properly. But I was under the impression that church was the place to go when you were a troubled youth, and that I was.

At 15, I also went to a Catholic service in Spanish, so I had no idea what was going on, which oddly enough, I saw that boy from experience number three there as well.

At about 23 years old, I discovered the internet. This is where I started doing some hardcore reading on Witchcraft. I played with that a bit, took some online e-mail "witch" classes. Once I realized that witchcraft was not what you read about or see on TV, I moved on to Paganism. I have played around with the Pagan ideas for many years, but never got extremely serious, or devoutly, involved in it.

I also attended a LDS service about 2 years ago with my next door neighbors because my daughter went to church with them and wanted me to go too.

Jumping into present age me, I am 35 and now my daughter wants to go to the church that her Girl Scout troop meets at. So the first Sunday in November 2011, we go to church. Everyone is friendly, there is a coffee hour, Sunday school, Traditional and Contemporary services. We have gone almost every week since. In fact, we only missed the one service on new years because it was a combined service, so everyone from three different services were going to the one service together, my social anxiety would have killed me. My daughter signed up for the Christmas Pageant and got to be an angel. Some of the families from Girl Scouts and the church pitched in when they heard we were not going to have anything for Christmas. All together, they raised over $300 for my family in less than a week. We had the best Christmas ever, and had some money leftover for gas and groceries. It has been wonderful.

Now, I am not saying that I believe in "one true God" or that there is even a God at all. My mom says this experience is proof that there is a God, but I say it is only proof that there are still good people in this world. So I will continue to go to this church as long as they will have me. I will keep an open mind even though every time they talk about angels descending from heaven, I picture aliens descending from space ships. I will help my fellow man, just as they have helped us. "Do unto others," right? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


So Today I called the veterinarian to get my newest cat, Lucy, fixed. While I was on the phone, the receptionist decided now was a good time to update my chart with a more accurate list of my current pets. She asked me if I still had Little Bit, Buddy, Maggie and then Venus. Last she asked me if I still had Pouncer. I started to cry. Although at this time, I do not have any of the previous cats any longer, for various reasons, none of them struck the chord that my Pouncer did.

In April of 2000 my friend Becci was going to look at kittens and mentioned that there were two solid white ones in the litter, one boy and one girl. I told her I wanted the white girl because I had always wanted a solid white cat and she said okay and went to look at the kittens. Well when she got back, she hands me this little white kitten, with just a thin grey line running vertical down it's forehead. Not quite "solid white" but close enough. Then I notice that it has one blue eye and one green eye. OMG! That is so cool! I'm getting all excited and then I's a BOY. Now I hate having boy cats because they spray EVERYTHING. So I'm a little upset and I ask Becci, why she didn't bring me the girl one. Her response is, "I didn't like her face, this one is cuter." Fine, whatever, I have him now, I'm just going to have to deal with it. So I cuddle him and play with him. I was even going to name him David Bowie. He was cute but he mostly hid under my bed for the first two weeks. About a week into having him, he would climb up on my bed while I was sleeping and would attack my feet. Not like a normal, claw and attack, but he would "pounce" around on my bed. Like he was hunting prey. So I changed his name to Pouncer. I loved Pouncer, he would lay on my head at night and lick my hair. He used to sit back inside my desk on the part behind the keyboard tray, where it was solid for holding a computer tower, and he would attack my hands while I was typing.

The flash somehow switched his blue eye to yellow with
 a green pupil and his green eye to blue with a red pupil.
(Pouncer - 2001)
He was my best friend and as he grew up, he just kept getting bigger, and bigger. Even the vet when holding him said, "Wow, this is a big cat. And he's solid too." He was by no means fat, he was all muscle and my love bug. The worst thing he ever did was when I was pregnant with my younger son (He's 10 now,) Pouncer got jealous so he "marked" me. It was disgusting and funny at the same time. Because we all know, he did it solely because he loved me so much. He was an indoor/outdoor cat. One day in May 2006, the city had set up to remodel the sidewalks and they were doing a lot of construction type work outside. They were loud and had big tractors. I do not know if the noise drove him away, or if he got caught up in all the equipment (you know cats love to sleep in car/truck/tractor engines,) if a dog got him, or anything else...but I never saw him again. Anyway, I loved Pouncer and we had some good years. I miss him dearly.

Friday, January 06, 2012

My Son and His Most Recent Accident

     So on Wednesday at about 6 PM I get a call from my oldest son (he will be 18 on Monday and is mentally disabled.) He tells me, "Guess what Mom! I ran into a car with my bike." My mind, of course, goes to, "Crap, how much is this going to cost?" But like a good mom, instead I ask, "Are you okay?" After some conversing and a little more detail I realize that he meant that he ran into a MOVING car. Yes, a moving car on the main road, that was driving 45 MPH! Now I'm all like, "Oh Shit! Are you sure you're okay? Where are you?" He says, "At Luna's," all calm like nothing is wrong. So I'm thinking, "Okay, he's fine then. He went off to his friend's house, didn't go to the hospital or anything." So he proceeds to tell me that the lady he ran into stopped, checked to see if he was okay, then moved her car out of the road and called the police. At this point (yes, I'm a little slow) I'm realizing that he left the scene of an accident, "Crap!" He could not identify the vehicle for me or anything. He took off because he was afraid he would get in trouble for jay walking because I am forever telling him that jay walking is a crime. Now, because he was on a bicycle, I don't know that it would be considered jay walking, but anyway...He is okay. About an hour and a half later, he calls me and says, "I think I'm going to need a sling. I can't lift my arm or bend my elbow." Now I'm back to, "Crap! Okay, where are you, I'll come get you and take you to the hospital." I have my mom come over to babysit my two younger children, 10 and 9. I go get him, he's holding his arm and can barely walk and he tells me, "My 360 is broke." Me: "What?" Him: "Yea, it was in my backpack, when I fell, it broke." Me: "Okay well, we'll worry about that later." Him: "Okay." I load his bike in the car and we go to the hospital. By the time we get there, it's after 7 PM.
     Now, at the hospital, we check in. They get him back fairly quickly, bypassing other people who were there waiting. They ask a million questions about what happened, how it happened, whose fault is it, where it happened and at what time. In less than an hour, we've been moved from the Emergency Room to Pediatrics (because you see, he's not actually 18 until Monday.) About 9 PM, we finally get the X-rays done and then wait another hour for the doctor. As it turns out, his foot is not broken but his ankle is sprained and there's no visible break in his arm but the extreme swelling in the joint indicates that there is an "invisible fracture" that will be visible within 3-5 days. So another hour later, they finally come and put what is called a splint cast on his arm (kind of like a half of a cast that goes up the length of his arm, around the back of the elbow and halfway up his upper arm and then wrapped with a bandage) and an ace bandage on his ankle. We get home about 5 mins to midnight and we are done.

     Enter Thursday, I call the local police department to make sure that the report was filed from the hospital. Apparently, although they ask a million questions about what happened and where, when and how, they do not however, make a police report. So I make the police report. The officer on the phone tells me a report was filed by the driver of the car. She did the right thing. My son did not. Another officer calls me back and in a more of a statement toned question, "I understand your son is my hit and run suspect." Me: "Umm, yes, I guess so." Thinking to myself, "Hit and run suspect? Really?" The officer and I talk briefly, where I explain to him that my son is mentally disabled so although he is 17 and almost an adult, he really isn't responsible enough to be held accountable for his decision to leave the scene of the crime. The officer asks to speak to him and so I put him on the phone. They talk for a short while and I can sort of overhear the conversation. They discussed my son's injuries and the damages to my son's belongings and damages to the car that he ran into. Then they discussed the legalities involving getting a traffic ticket for illegally crossing the road vs. the illegality of leaving the scene of a crime. My son seems to understand, explains he was scared and did not know about not leaving being a crime. At this point my son gives me back the phone and I ask the officer, "Is he in trouble?" The officer was very nice, and seemed understanding, he told me, "No, I'm not filing any charges against him." I am relieved, and we talk for a little longer, exchange pleasantries, he gives me the record number for the report and we say goodbye.
I would just like to say that I really appreciate the understanding of everyone involved. The driver of the car was more worried about my son, than the damages to her vehicle, the hospital staff and the local police department officers were all understanding and non-judgemental throughout the whole thing. It's been a long couple of days and to top it off, this is not my son's first, and probably not his last, encounter with a moving vehicle. I swear he will be the death of me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Today, or yesterday considering it's after 1am, I read a wonderful post from @thebloggess at that inspired me to write this post. So here it goes, thank you Jenny Lawson a.k.a. The Bloggess.

Different psychiatrists have told me different things. when I was 19 it was postpartum depression and was given prozac and Xanax, at 22 it was schizophrenia (and was told I had no right being a parent), at 23 I was back to depression and given Paxil. A couple more pregnancies (and obviously no meds) before I sought help again at 31 (after a complete and total breakdown at a Wal-Mart self checkout counter), and now it's Bi-Polar coupled with Social Anxiety Disorder. Don't remember the meds that time because I was on like 5 different ones at once. By this point, I was over 300lbs due to side effects of meds and depressed eating, so at 32 I see a different psychiatrist who treats me for Bi-Polar with multiple mood disorders and multiple Anxiety Disorders. At 33, I am told, "you're not Bi-Polar or Schizophrenic, you're just severely Depressed and need to force yourself to socialize more, have you thought of joining a social group like ''?" by a case manager at the mental health clinic. I left there in tears. I am now going to be 36 and have been off my meds ever since...My mom says I am definitely "borderline schizophrenic" and she believes this because my father was a "Paranoid Schizophrenic with Bi-Polar tendancies" at one point he was told he was "Manic Depressive with ADHD." I am a single mother with 3 children (18, 10 & 9), I have lost some weight (I am down to a fluctuating 245-250) and I just muddle through and spend most of my time seeking solace on the internet.