Tagged! You Behind the Illness…Told in Four’s.

My friend Terri at her absolutely fantastic blog, Reclaiming H.O.P.E. has invited me to participate in telling you a little bit about me behind my illness. Like Terri, I am someone who mostly blogs about living with fibromyalgia. I appreciate this chance to talk about things that have nothing to do with illness, and this looks fun!

Here we go, this is me told in fours:

 

 

Four places you’ve lived:

  1. St. Cloud, Minnesota.
  2. Seattle, Washington.
  3. San Antonio, Texas.
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Four places you’ve worked:

  1. Director, Bishop Lewis State Work Release.
  2. Court Advocate, Region IV Council on Domestic Violence.
  3. Mental Health Counselor, Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres.
  4. Psychiatric Technician, Crisis Unit, Fairview Deaconess Psychiatric Hospital.

Four Hobbies you enjoy:

  1. Zentangles.
  2. Art Journals.
  3. Bible journaling.
  4. Decorating wreaths.

Four things you like to watch:

  1. Real Housewives of … (I’ll deny, deny, deny!)
  2. This is Us.
  3. Criminal Minds.
  4. Game of Thrones.

Four books you’ve enjoyed reading:

  1. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  2. Many Masters, Many Minds by Brian Weiss
  3. Space Between the Stars by Deborah Santana
  4. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Four places you have been:

  1. Cozumel
  2. Cancun
  3. Isla Mujeres
  4. Tulum

Four things you love to eat:

  1. Fresh guacamole and chips.
  2. Fresh melon with chili powder sprinkled on it!
  3. Grilled steak.
  4. Cheeseburgers.

Four things you love to drink:

  1. Dos Equis with lime and salt!
  2. Powerade Zero.
  3. La Croix flavored water.
  4. Cappuccino.

Four places you’d love to visit:

  1. Indianapolis to watch the Indy 500.
  2. Canada to ski Whistler.
  3. Africa to go on safari!
  4. Kentucky to watch the Kentucky Derby.

 

I’ve been cruising around trying to find folks to nominate to do their ‘fours’… I’m late! Please, if you read this consider yourself tagged! I Nominate You!!! (Caught you!)

This was fun. Thank you, Terri!

Version 2~Kim

 

Rumored Role Reversals

Male and female role reversals? Yep! Nope! Well, maybe. It just depends…

The gender-neutral alibi comes into play here. We are not defined by our gender! Let’s reminisce …  The man is the breadwinner, and the woman is the homemaker, and we are in the early 1950’s. Face it, ladies, feminism happened. The one income family home ceased to exist. But what ‘rights’ we acquired (courtesy of feminism) in the big, dangerous Working World of Man was we had a paying job to go to. But the workload of the woman never changed in the home.

Don’t get me wrong, feminism has its upside. Women can vote, go to college, demand equal rights, and with great enthusiasm Mic Online reports as of 2017 women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man! (I don’t see a reason to celebrate that but, I guess that’s an outstanding statistic to mention?) Women can make their abusers, even if they are married to them, and rapists face criminal charges. (That is a bonus, I am serious.) Women can own land – oops that already happened in New Orleans during the antebellum period before the Civil War.

Let’s get on to the present, the woman now gets to go to work outside the home! Then she comes home and cleans the house, make meals, does the laundry and raises the children. Yes, we are players in the Working World of Man but was it worth it? Was it? I think, maybe yes, to some of it. I’ll leave the rest up to you to decide.

Rumored role reversals are running rampant in the world of chronic illness. And they are true. Gender roles are not only questioned, they downright do not exist! If you are going to maintain a relationship those generic female/male roles we used to live by are out!

I can no longer hold down a salaried job, grocery shop, cook, keep a clean house and get the laundry done. I am not physically able. My husband can do all of those things! He has in the past, he did two weeks ago when I had a flare, and he will do it again in the future because this little thing I have is a chronic pain disease!

My husband is a man’s man. He likes to work on cars and listen to loud music and watch westerns! He is also extremely intelligent. He watches business shows about stock trades and the FOREX market. He day trades and is a driver but has been taking courses to make him an even better trader. He also is setting up a planner for 2018 that will include his hours, what housework he will complete each day and a list of any additional tasks I need him to do…

I feel GUILTY! He says there is no room for guilt in our relationship, no one did anything wrong. I’m allowed to clean a room a day if I feel up to it. I am not allowed to do the laundry. I have a balance problem and falling down basement stairs with a basket of clothes in your hands is, I’ve been told, incredibly freaky to witness. I may cook one meal but no more power cooking like I used to do, and we should make meals together – he says! I order the groceries, pay the bills, and do our taxes. My husband has no desire to do those three things and has made that clear. I can handle this!

So, my husband will work two jobs (because one job is never enough to support two people) and take care of the majority of the household chores. I shall continue to try to be well enough to help him. I will order the groceries, and it should be noted that includes take-out! I will keep the books and do the taxes. Gender roles? Not in this house!

IMG_0221~Kim

 

My Song.

(I found this picture below and started reminiscing about a time long ago!)

oscar-keys-58399

I remember you up there,

searching the crowd, 

landing on my smile

and you sang my song.

You sang for me.

I remember you  up there,

mischief in your eye,

our omelets at dawn

after nights without sleep.

You were happy then.

I remember you up there,

searching the crowd,

you can’t see me now 

but still, you sing my song.

I was happy then.

 

                                                                                                 Just me, in the 80’s.

Those days are distant memories. I was young, the 80’s were coming to a close and I had not a care in the world! I don’t want to go back. I’m excited about where I am! I am on a journey with the love of my life. My husband is my song now!

IMG_0178~2018!

4:20AM.

What does one do at 4:20AM?

I am sitting in my house, all is quiet. I can hear the wind whispering until the whir of the heater begins with the shallow howling of warm air flowing through the vents. It is peaceful. It is satisfying. My dogs have begun to snore while my tenants are quietly sleeping upstairs. My husband is at work. I am alone, in the middle of an urban city… I am alone.

I have become acquainted with Fear again. Like an old friend visiting… like time never passed and we can pick up our conversation from where we left off. Fear and I have known each other intimately for over 20 years. I remembered Fear differently though, much scarier than she appears recently. Don’t get me wrong, she is still very powerful but I find her to be willing to negotiate for my time. Fear isn’t as intrusive as she was in the past. She is just back.

I try to remember a time when I lived without Fear. Life was so very easy then, even though I didn’t know it was. Anything was possible! All the time in the world was mine for the taking. That ladder in front of me was for climbing and if I missed a step there would be a net to catch me so I could climb again.

Then I met Fear.

I relate to Fear differently now. I don’t see Fear as an irrational thief anymore. I take time to listen to Fear and we work out our differences like two friends who agree to disagree. I know Fear, and I know her power. I am not naive and I know there is a purpose for Fear but there is an emotional toll that Fear is no longer allowed to take from me. I won’t allow it. I will listen, I will try to understand but I will not let Fear visit with me for any length of time that creates a feeling of my well-being dissolving. Fear cannot create turmoil in my life any longer.

I know why Fear is here.

I know that change creates Fear and she feeds on it … my life is changing right now. Everything is changing, I should be blogging about this but Fear is here! It is now 4:30AM and here I sit. I am all alone in the middle of the city and feel peaceful, somewhat at ease yet Fear is here for her visit. I hear her, I know the reason she is here. I have listened and we have discussed it all. Now it is time for Fear to go.

img_0820~Kim

The Hard Way or The Easy Way?

I can beat the shit out of myself on a daily basis! This has to be stopped. I have to move further into acceptance. Liking myself, realizing I am where I am today and be OK with that. I need to remember I am doing my best with the knowledge I have at this moment in time. I understand growth is why we are here on this earth. We are here to learn, make mistakes and try again. Stop with the self-defeating beatings!

I was at work one morning when a co-worker came to me crying, she had fought with her husband that morning. This was her second marriage and she feared she was making a mistake for the second time. I knew this couple, they were not a mistake. So I told her she could end things, and decide to never try again, that would be easy.  Or she could remember love is a risk and fight for it but this would be, by far, a harder option. Now, you must remember, I knew this couple personally, they had a healthy marriage and the fight was silly, but her fear of fighting with her husband, and rightly so, was very real as her previous ex-husband was a very violent man. She chose to fight for her marriage. She chose to feel love and all that it came with. (They are still happily married today!)

It is very easy to decide not to love someone. It is so much more risky to allow yourself to love someone because the stakes are higher. There is the pain you feel with every fight, the hurt over every misunderstanding, the desperation when things seem to be falling apart, only by loving someone can all of these feelings have consequences. Love is a risk, not loving is safe.

I was stuck for many years in a pattern of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’. I was negative and expecting bad things to happen. I was comfortable with that. I expected nothing good from anyone. I was never disappointed. I had been in two failed relationships, I had an illness I didn’t know much about. I was in pain and getting the run around from doctors and unbelieving friends, family, and acquaintances. It is so damn easy to be negative because you just don’t care anymore.

I am learning acceptance, every day. It is hard to be positive. It takes work to be positive. It is hard to look at the dark cloud and find the stupid silver lining… but there is one. You just have to keep looking and waiting, sometimes for many years. I am so relieved I didn’t stay with either of the two men I thought I would be married to because I found my hubby of today! He was my silver lining. I am so glad I worked hard to learn about fibromyalgia because I taught myself about it and I can advocate for awareness. I am happy I didn’t let my friends and family fall by the wayside allowing them to think what they wanted to about me because I learned to stand my ground and explain my disease. I learned boundaries and the art of “No.” I ‘practice the pause’ before reacting.

14591662_10153779471291604_1549404490778721624_n

I am not done yet! I am still learning and getting stronger emotionally every day! It is hard but I will keep working at it. I won’t lower my expectations of others because life is crummy at times. Nope. I was never one for handing out “You’re Stupid” signs and walking away but I do have my limits and steadfast boundaries in place. (There are some individuals who should be wearing these signs so you know ahead of time, no need to worry they are just stupid.)

I will walk the path less traveled and learn with every step I take. I will do my best with what I know today and accept that I am not yet done learning. 

Live your best life!

IMG_0201~Kim