Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I had to work this morning so we had our Christmas last night. Santa managed to get in and out while Lisa and the kids were out visiting and I was at work. There was the usual frenzy of ripping paper and tearing off of bows. I thought Santa was pretty good to us all. I was a bit disappointed that Jared was so negative about most everything he got. Jamie seemed pleased. The kids went with their Dad this morning.

Our best gift will be getting into the Townhouse. There has been a bit of a glitch with that. $3,500 of our funding fell through so we will have to scrape to make that up but I think we can do it. I can sign up for overtime now and the only limits are no more than 96 hours a month and no 16 hour shifts back to back. I got one 16 hour shift for next month and on Monday I will sign up for all that are available to me. I could work days off but I prefer to work 16 hours a couple of days a week rather than give up a day off. We will make it happen.

We have had a very good year. Some of the things I am thankful for - The opportunity we have to build a life together, that we have been able to meet our financial obligations, the wonderful town we live in. I am thankful for a healthy mind and body, for a family who loves me, absolutely awesome friends, my many animals that allow me to love them and make me smile every day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How bizarre, how bizarre

We got an email from our broker today saying there were 2 bids put on the townhouse that were substantially higher than ours, both over listing price which was $155,000.00. As we were sitting on the couch feeling sad and looking at different real estate sites to see if anything new had been listed the phone rang and it was the listing agent for the townhouse we had bid on before this one. It's in the same complex and, basically, the same townhouse. The main difference being this one was offered by HUD. She said if we were still interested they would accept our bid of $120,000.00 for the townhouse as the other bid had fallen through. SO - we are going on over to Simi Valley tomorrow to sign the offer and take a check for $2,000.00 to get the process going. This unit has all appliances except for a refrigerator (which we have), the other one only had a microwave. Our payments are projected to be about $400.00 less than what we are paying for rent now. There is one drawback to this townhouse - it has no yard at all, only a patio. Murphy and Cujo aren't going to like that and I am not too fond of it. Hopefully house prices will go up a bit by the time Lisa gets out of school and we will be able to sell it for a profit and by a regular house with a yard. On the bright side, we will be putting money into something we actually own and will also have quite a bit more living space. Life really has been good to us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Early Mornings

I really enjoy the early morning hours, once I get up and get going that is. On the days I have to work I get up at 5:00 so I can either walk or Nordic Track before going to work. I like to sit in the backyard for a few minutes after I am done - look at the stars in the sky and kind of touch base with God before I start my day. If Murphy has come out with me I will hold him in my lap and give him kitty loves for a bit. I love the peace and quiet of that time of day.

Since we put the Christmas tree up last week I have started turning the tree lights on when I get up in the morning even though there is no one to enjoy them but me. Murphy seems to like to lay under the tree. This morning I snapped this picture of him just before I walked out the door.

I am on my own at work from now on. My trainer is on vacation for 2 weeks and I was scheduled to go on my own on January 3 so they just had me cover her spot for her vacation. I found out last week I will be working the 4:00PM to Midnight shift instead of the 11 PM - 7:00 AM shift. I feel very fortunate to be able to land the earlier shift. I was hired for the later shift and planned on working that for at least a couple of years until a spot on a different shift opened up. I know the later shift would be a slower time to work but I really, really, really hate being awake all night and trying to sleep in the day. We have had some really busy days this week. It seems like we have had an extra dose of suicide calls, I guess this is a hard time of year for some people. I've had a few unusual calls too - like the guy who called to say someone had stolen his identity and now they were trying to steal his life and his soul. He thought they were at his apartment and he was going to go back there and kill them. He called back later and told me they weren't there when he got home. I tried to get him to let me have someone come talk to him but he hung up on me - those are the kinds of calls I remember, the ones who need help that we are unable to reach.

We are putting a bid in in a Townhouse, not sure if we will get it or not but if anyone out there has an extra prayer to spare pray that our offer will be accepted.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A New Doctor

I think I probably am the invisible part of our blog. I would rather sit and talk about things, then write them out. But, for the first time, in a long time, I want to write. . .

I had been under the care of the county mental program for the past year or two. Since J has gotten her new job we have been fortunate enough to have "real" health insurance. So...that is where this post comes from.

While trying to "work" with my county pdoc, I was put on a medication that seemed to work okay, but I got tired of what it was doing to me and eventually weened myself off. I had gone to him on my visits and tried to tell him what it was doing to me, but he wasn't interested in talking about it. Over the time of being with the county I had tried various meds along with this one particular one I have recently come off of. None of them seemed to work. Even though I was diligent in trying them out. I must add in here also, that during all of this I was in therapy, which helped me to deal with life.

So....for the past month of so I found myself on no meds....starting to have a clear appetite calming more tired feeling.....and....paranoid thoughts coming back....insomnia...irritibility, bordering on extreme anger....but, my mind was not tired. I hate being tired. I have been alittle scared to not be on meds, but at the same time I am loving it.
Last week, I found a list of docs on our health plan and randomly picked one--she, of course, was not taking new patients, so I got stuck with another doc in the same office. This whole week I didn't want to go and see him. I thought, "I can do this on my own", "look at me, I am okay right now". I almost cancelled the appt twice. But, Friday came and J and I drove out to see him. He met with us separately. And then together. When I met with him he wanted to know about my childhood, my dreams, basically, my life. He wanted to know about the illness--the feelings, etc. While I talked with him he just wrote things out and really listened to me. He didn't want to know what the other doctors had said--he was making his own assessments.

The prescription pad. . .
The first one he wrote out for me, said this:
"I'm a good person
I'm training my mind to select my thoughts in a
healthy way, so as to be the source of my own
tranquility and self-esteem.
I am pleased with me for this wise choice
of thought"

He said to practice this exercise 60 times a day.

Now, mind you, I have never had a doctor help treat me with this type of exercise. After he wrote that he wrote another for some sleeping meds--so I could start on that part of the illness.
He believes thought process and chemical imbalance contribute--so we are going to work on both. When J came back in the room, I remember the doc saying, "we are a team". Just typing that sentence makes me want to cry because I am grateful I did not cancel my appt. I am grateful I have a partner who is willing to be a part of this team to help maintain this illness. I believe I have, once again, been blessed in finding this doctor--who is listening and willing to help.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Meeting

I had my meeting with the Bishop last night. He told me he had asked to meet with my because of my relationship with Lisa. He asked me the nature of our relationship and I told him I considered Lisa my spouse. He asked if we had a domestic partnership and I told him yes we did. He asked if any discplinary action had been taken against me by the church previously, I told him no. He said he would have to begin proceedings to do that and I told him I understood and had no problem with him doing that. I told him I understood I wasn't required to attend any council or proceedings that were held and that I probably wouldn't. As we talked more he told me who the council would consist of and that the purpose of it was to set goals and outline a program of repentance. I told him I had no plans to make any changes. I told him I was more at peace now than I had been in the last 15 years, he said that was good but implied that the relationship wasn't. I told him he could think what he would but that I had been blessed more in the last 18 months than I ever had been before. I told him we survived 8 months with neither of us working and there is no way we should have. I told him the fact that I was even able to have a conversation with him was a blessing because a year ago my voice was such that I could hardly talk. I told him he could attribute the blessings to whatever he wanted but I chose to attribute them to the Lord working in my life. He didn't have much to say about that. He told me would still be welcome in church and hoped we would continue to come. He said on Sundays he sats up on the stand and watches us with the kids and is amazed that we are there, that we are smiling and happy and enjoy being there, and that was good because that is where we should be. I guess in some ways that confuses me because in one breath he is telling me the relationship can't be good and in the next he is telling me he can tell we are happy, but I just let that slide.

Anyway, he is going to get with the Stake President and start proceedings. We agreed there would be no reason I should have to be there. He made it clear that he didn't know what action would be taken but the most severe would be excommunication.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Meeting With the Bishop

When Lisa went to pick Jared up from Cub Scouts this week the Bishop was there and invited her into his office for a chat. It seems like our run of annonymity has expired. I should be getting a call from his executive secretary sometime soon to set up an appointment for me to meet with him. The long and short of his conversation with Lisa was that she could either resign her membership or be excommunicated. I imagine I will be given the same choice.

Not too awfully long ago the thoughts of a meeting like this would have filled me with fear and uncertainty. It no longer does. I am willing to go meet with the Bishop, listen to what he has to say and answer questions he may have. What I am not willing to do is resign my church membership. I feel like if I do that I would be saying I know longer want to be a part of the organization when in reality it is the other way around. I also don't intend on going to any church council or court they may have. I feel no bitterness and understand he has to do what he feels is best. I guess I have been preparing myself for this moment for the last year. No matter what they choose to do in regards to my membership I know who I am and the Lord knows who I am. That is good enough for me. I know it will break my parents hearts and that is really my only regret.

The people in this ward have treated us very well. I don't know how many of them are aware of the nature of our relationship but I know a few are. It isn't something we really advertise but, if asked, it is also not something we deny. I don't plan on altering my pattern of church attendance. I will be working Sunday days for at least the next 4 months so attending will be out for that long.