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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moving on ... passing a couple disappointments




Tuesday, November 27, 2012 @ 11:15 AM

Good morning … what little is left of it.  It’s about 11:15 AM and we have until about 1:30 PM to take our shower and then we’ll leave here early today to Dr. Marvin’s.  We have a 3:30 PM appointment due to off-scheduling.  The above picture is the one left over from Saturday that you haven’t seen yet, unless you have been over on Facebook.  We are still whirling in that space.  This was the group we had over for Thanksgiving and it included everyone except Rich who was taking the picture.  I thought that everyone had a good time, I know I certainly did … it was so fantastic. 

I think we might have told you some parts of it already, but we are unclear as to all that happened that didn’t get written in the briefer writing periods before this.  Basically though, both Maury and Laura kept up with things to get their families here pretty much on time.  Maury was about 15 minutes late, but we’d asked him to pick-up a few things at the grocery store.  AND, right before they got here we took a run to the little store too – we had to pick up butter which Rich needed right away and we picked-up also a bottle of inexpensive wine.  I just wanted enough to share a toast at dinner and that seemed to work out fine. 

Because Laura’s got here first we were able to show them a short tour.  With just a few rooms, it doesn’t take much to get through.  I was really pleased that I was allowed hugs all around.  That’s the kind of stuff that really makes everything worthwhile.  I liked Mike right away and watched how Austin was doing in the space.  The only thing I really remember about the tour was in telling Austin that if he wanted to get away from things that this was the room to come to.  It had some comfortable furniture and a TV.  Although, the TV was set on Christmas music, Austin seemed to turn into it right away.  I’m not sure which part was interesting him.

Afterwards, we went back to the living room – of course, after making introductions to Rich who was still in the kitchen.  I don’t recall all the pleasantries, but had felt that we needed to settle everyone – maybe myself too – in that I knew we couldn’t stand long.  We started getting to know one another through the pre-part and through dinner, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as the group had in playing cards after Maury’s got here.  That had been another bustle as everyone settled in.  We used the bedroom of course for coats, and people came in and out of rooms and “people groups” in getting to their comfort level.  Both Laura and Maury’s had brought things like food and centerpieces.  It was such a unique beautiful experience – and Rich and us hadn’t even thought of having a centerpiece.  It was like things were happening to make everything just right.  Maury and Nikki had brought several dishes and we didn’t expect all that, but we feel usually the more the merrier.

Austin seemed to be out in the living room when the other family came.  I know that he was here, but also toward the back,  but primarily I remember him utilizing Rich’s chair the majority of the afternoon which was fine because Rich was working diligently out in the kitchen and that’s the way he would have wanted it.  I think Austin liked the chair because he could “slouch” into it comfortably and it rocked and swirled.  People seemed to fill in the room and introductions were made.  Fairly soon on … I think it was either Austin or Maury that had suggested that we play some games.  The only board game we had was scrabble and that wasn’t good for the group because it was focusing too hard and various spelling abilities amongst the kids. 

Maury got the cards out that were under the TV and although the decks were different sizes, he made do with them.  Austin was suggesting a game of BS, because it seemed he’d played it and had a lot of fun with it.  I think I focused more on Mike’s suggestion of King’s Corners.  In all throughout the time spent (up until about 5:30 PM when everyone left), they played three separate card games.  The first was the King’s corners which lasted a couple of rounds, then they switched over to BS, and then I guess BS+ in that Austin made a new game adaptation from the old game to make it more interesting.  And, then the last game, they got into Black Jack.  We didn’t have poker chips anymore, but what seemed to work out better was that we utilized Rich’s “Fishing Fund” jar where we throw most of Rich’s and my coins.  The kids understood readily when we told them that Rich saves the quarters for laundry, but they could have as much of the rest as they’d like.  Laura and I think a little Nikki worked on dividing the coins out.  I don’t recall knowing how much, but I don’t think it was much more than 85 cents each.  There was still a large stash, but someone reminded us that the bank had to have money to pay out, so that was fine.

Soon on … Maury took the role as dealer and Mike took the role as banker.  Everyone was sitting around the round table in the living room and it seemed everyone really had a good time.  I know I did.  I spent as much time as I could just watch and smile and laugh at the antics of the group.  Austin took a center role in keeping things moving along as did the other guys.  I so much loved having Austin join his female cousins … I can’t explain the feelings of completeness it brought.  There seems to be some idiosyncrasies that were best understood by Laura and even Mike, which helped balance out some of the excitements.  Austin is very direct in saying whatever is on his mind and he’s as sharp as a tack!  I so much love and encourage any of the family’s directness.  It’s not nice to be mean with it, but I think people are much better off in being honest.  Talking to Laura before and Thom after gives me the feeling that Austin gets a little more verbally aggressive – at least that’s my take on it, so we’re preparing ourselves for surprises, but one way or another you can’t help just loving the pieces out of this kid!

I think one of our favorite lines of the whole event was when Austin looked at Maury somewhere in the middle of the event and decided out loud that he was really going to like his long lost uncle.  Maury didn’t say anything, but I know he heard because at that point Austin had the floor.  I hope Maury is able to appreciate what a generous thought that was for Austin to have expressed.  Maury was the other lead in the events due to personality and leadership through the card game and ability to handle all the kids’ and others’ relationship to each other.  It was really impressive and I loved that Maury could definitely step up and be the male master of ceremonies – so to speak.  He could tease, play, or be serious at any time and brought to mind the way – Garvey sons act in general.  Mike and Maury seemed to get along too so that they were playing similar mental games with the kids.  Mike was the more serious of the two, but most of us were knew to him.  He has a really nice, easy smile and is very smart, AND he related to Austin beautifully.  Laura and Austin stayed fairly close during the day, but I think that Laura has been long enabled at being there for Austin and she supports him very well. 

There was one sort of negative thing Austin said to his mother about the pretty sweater she was wearing.  He had made a comment on her showing off – but I think that is part of Austin’s personality.  I don’t know why he did it, though I expect it will happen many more times down the line, though he might not always just target his mother who he’s most comfortable with.  He knows that no matter what his statements aren’t going to lose his mother’s love of him.  Maybe at those moments he’s just needing a little more direct contact with her and doesn’t know other ways at that very moment of getting it.  He seems at times to be a bit of a snuggly bear, so you can well measure the comfort between them.  I know that Austin depends on his Mom quite a bit … as especially, might be in a family without being married or having siblings.  I had no problem with it and especially was touched how well the two seemed to work together.  Laura was getting time to relax, but it seemed also that she was on call as to the impulsive quickness of Austin.  She is quick to correct but in a very gentle direct manner. 

I thought Austin related more to the adults than the other grandchildren, but I’m pretty sure he was watching out for them too.  A while after dinner – from my understanding that Austin went in the sewing room and three of the younger girls followed.  My impression from what little I heard was that Austin was on the chair and the three girls were giggly on the couch.  That’s a good test of relationships.  There was too much going on at the big table to watch carefully at the little table during dinner.  Rich said that Austin had eaten just a turkey leg, but neither of us had problems with that.  It was a matter of allowing everyone to find their comfort levels.  I seem to recall a few situations where Austin was making conversation between the two tables and I think the girls were more giggly.  I got to sit next to Jade and Mike at the dinner table and I enjoyed that location.

Maury told me afterward that I’d made a big misstatement too.  I’m not sure I can recall how it came about, but he said it was inappropriate.  Somehow I think we were focused on making sure that Laura and Mike be comfortable to come back to our home with or without Thom as long as it was alright with him, and of course Austin.  But, that is about where I slipped.  Maury said that I set-up a competitive situation with Mike in saying to Laura something about her being the center of both males attention.  I don’t recall the exact words, and I meant it as a compliment in that Laura had at some point won both their hearts and attention.  Maury though said if it had been said to he and Nikki that they would be angry with me.  I don’t know how Laura felt.  I didn’t mean to be out of place.  It’s just that Thom is still in my relational space as to Laura – probably, much more than others because it would be a normal focus of a mother.  I really didn’t mean to say anything negatively and I feel bad that it was perceived that way.

There was another part that Maury thought to tell me.  He said since Nikki had talked to Rich on Thanksgiving that he had slipped into the number one position on her list of favorites.  Of course that is good for Rich, but made me feel bad.  Then I asked if I were on the list and he said that Bob – his stepbrother was second.  And, then I asked if I were at least third and he said just that I came in there somewhere.  I know that Maury tends to tease me because of some of our parts, but he’s saying always some amount of reality in it too.  It brought me down a lot the next day after he’d left for lunch here while he was on break from work.  We shut down because we weren’t handling the thought that we had done something wrong with both Laura and Nikki and even through Maury.  And, then Maury continued to tell me in a sense how gullible we were … he told me that one of my other DILs had been lying often to me about various things.  Of course that is hurting so I have to be suspect why Maury is putting out the negative, but I asked to be given an example.  I had hoped it would be something I could contradict just because others were looking at a different angle than Maury had been.  But he told me that I had said during the meal that Cari and Joe had gone to Oklahoma for a holiday visit with friends.  It was like yes, this is what Cari told me.  But, then Maury said it wasn’t true and that Cari and Joe had gone down to see Joe’s step-sibling family and that they’d taken a rental car and drove back to Chicago with Joe’s father and stepmother.  So it didn’t have anything to do with friends, they’d gone down to see family.  That confused me.  I didn’t know why Cari just didn’t say the truth.  Maury said too that she “strung us on” for a long time – just days before the holiday.  He said that they knew long before that they were going down and plans had already been made. 

I wanted to hold off hoping that Maury was wrong, but then we looked at Cari’s FB profile and saw that of course it were true.  It had been a family experience and that it included my son who hadn’t said anything through any of it, but was then at that point caught in an outright lie.  It wouldn’t have mattered, in that it is no secret that Cari favors that side of the family, but for her to distract me with something not true purposefully.  That just doesn’t say much for having built a good relationship with her.  I took it to my fault.  There was also that element of doubt because I had asked Maury to consider if the option came up as to living with Rich and me.  More of that in a little bit.  But, basically, before I could consider out loud the other option of asking Joe and Cari, the situation allowed Maury to say out loud that Cari wasn’t in an honest relationship with us.  That made me feel terrible and added to the thing stated to Laura, and the dis being on part of the list that wasn’t on top … basically, I went into a pretty negative spin the rest of Sunday.  Rich had gone out to visit his mother and I was depressed when he had gotten home. 

We talked to Rich about what had happened in each of the situations, and of course he’s always a balancer of thoughts.  After a while, we started to be able to do something besides stare at the wall, but it took hours and hours.  I can’t say that any of the above wasn’t true or to some degree my fault, but it made me feel terrible, because I was riding so high on how successful the day had been.  I’d forgotten the part where everyone talks afterward and things are “sorted out.”  It’s just that when we talked to Rich everything had been grand.  Maury gave me the impression I was seeing things with rose-colored glasses.  I guess in the end if it came to this maybe rose-colored glasses are better.  I’d like to think more that Maury was having a negative reaction like his father would and had some mean spitefulness in saying these things, but they one way or another hit their mark.

Of course, this conversation had come up in discussing Austin’s directness … It seems more now than anything another Garvey trait – through the male line.  I will still say I guess that truthfulness is more important than anything else.  I just don’t personally see the need of bringing others down.  Now I’m thinking even with Maury there was a reason he was being so abrupt with me.  I think in some really backward way it is a way of protecting me … like the truth is better taken from one of my sons than to be heard elsewhere.  It gives an impression that he’s looking over my back shoulder for me.  In the end we have this avenue of the blog to think things through, and we have the avenue of Dr. Marvin who we will talk to about this in a couple of hours.  I don’t know what it means to know that you aren’t a favorite on someone’s list.  Rich brought that part more to home that it was something said on about a 12-14 year level.  It’s no one’s fault that we have younger parts especially that are more upset by these kinds of situations.  The bottom line response to Maury was that we wrote him a FB note after we talked to Rich.  We told him that we were #1 on Rich’s list, and that he could be landing on the bottom of Rich’s list and that anyway we’d told Rich that he had to make more mistakes at Christmas so I could have a better chance.  HMPF!

Maury didn’t respond back.

Ok, that feels better.  We just got out of a very hot long shower.  My body feels more relaxed.  Rich was home for about a half hour to eat lunch, but he was watching fishy shows and we didn’t talk very much.  He had had a bad morning.  He had to meet with a customer who was greatly displeased with one of Rich’s shops.  They had made continual errors on the customer’s work.  Rich sounds like he renegotiated so that he lost half the money from his proceeds – so like $3000.  That’s BIG loss for us.  I’m hoping now that the workshop who had all the problems will also lose part of their profit for having screwed up so bad AND for having lost this customer’s good will.  I think Rich really did need to let flow over his mind the fishy world stuff.  He gave me a kiss on the way out, but he’s going to officiate a game now and won’t be home until about 7 PM.  We were specially nice to him LAST night, but we better count on doing the same tonight too.

So that was definitely a break in the day.  It is now 12:45 PM so we have 1 hour and 45 minutes to go before leaving to Dr. Marvin’s.  We might be back as early at about 5 PM.  WooHOO!!!

So let’s move on … I would like to conclude here – we thought about it in the shower, but that for all practical purposes that it still WAS a great event on Saturday – hmm just talked to Roberto … we asked him to come by again before Christmas because we wanted to give him a small token of our appreciation.  He’s like no noo… But we’re like yes yes.  Unfortunately we had some $100’s and some 10’s … And, we were looking more for $20’s.  I hope we catch him again … I think last year we dropped something off at the office and that will work too!  He’s a really nice guy and has been working for the building as long as we have.  The owners of this building own several more so lots for Roberto to do.  He said he’ll see us soon though because we are moving into the snow shoveling season and he does that too.

Ok, NOW back to regular writing … now though one and a half hours left.  Ahh AND we poured ourselves some Sprite.  We had had popcorn and turkey for lunch.  *Sigh* that be the good stuff AND we had dressing and pie for breakfast … ok, maybe that is not regulation, but it works for me.  There are two more pieces of pie so Rich says that we have to save them to share with him tonight *DOUBLE sigh!*  It’s a tough life!

Ok, getting back for real … we are going to consider that everyone had a good time, but some of them hold in reserve bad feelings, and so for all that … we don’t need to make their feelings our feelings.  I know that the laughter and gaiety were real.  I didn’t mean to say anything negative and I appreciated as hell out of having FIVE grandchildren here PLUS the adults.  To me it was just the most exciting thing.

There is now a major other thing to talk about.  We will say that not much other than general picking up happened on Sunday or Monday and pretty much even into today.  The dishes are all washed and put away, but a few things like dishwasher, bakers’ racks, table and chairs still have to be put away.  That’s not too bad … we’re still thinking through where the chairs need to go and what to do as to the twins coming over the weekend.  The other part we wanted to talk about though is what is happening with our house thoughts.  For all we know they will go nowhere and we’re half way between there and here now anyway.

Basically, to straighten out the mixmatch of information … we met Rich’s Mom’s best friend for Thanksgiving, and then she seemed very interested in us looking at her place.  She seemed to be conveying that she wanted to sell it and move on to her other place in Florida.  One of the problems beside a slow market is that the house is filled to the brim with objects from about 3-4 households who all willed things to her.  For example one of the women who had passed had 10 china settings … like who really needs that many?  They all have to get processed and there is a lot.  The stuff is in every room and there are a lot of rooms.  It is a 11 room house with 4 bathrooms.  EVERY room plus laundry and other crawl spaces are just full of stuff. 

The first thought was that she was giving us a leg-up on buying the place.  But the first thing out the door Rich said NO, it is too big.  Of course … that’s not satisfactory to me and we start to think how could we make the best use of a house like this if we were able to catch a good deal?  That’s when the thought of Maury, Nikki and family came in.  As you could see a couple of days ago, we had drawn up some ideas as to the space.  Basically, on the main floor would be Nikki in the LR for an office, Me and Rich in the dining room for an office, and then we would share the family room, breakfast nook, and kitchen.  Then upstairs, Rich and I would get the master bedroom and bath, plus I would get a sewing room, and then Nikki and Maury would get a bedroom and a bath.  Then downstairs there were three rooms and Maury and Nikki would have to choose whether those three rooms were for the girls, or whether they’d split two rooms and use the den area for a private family room for Maury’s family.  There’s another full bath on the basement floor, and I’m pretty sure it’s a half bath on the first floor – maybe more, but at least that. 

There’s a lot of problems with this kind of thinking … basically, I’m the only one that wants to do it – AND, we don’t even know if its something that would be offered by Pat.  None of us adults – Maury, Nikki, me or Rich can take out a loan, though we each have money coming in that could do the place if it were a rental, or most idealistically a rent to own.  BUT, again we’re not sure if Pat really wants to sell it, or if she could hold on receiving money.  We could deposit more with her if anything were to happen that we’d receive money from one of our mothers, but basically, it would be a matter of paying $2-2400 to her a month.  She might much better appreciate a clean bank sell, which puts us up to the point of just helping her organize and move her stuff to its proper resting place.  I don’t think she has so much in Florida though she might want new furniture down there, but basically, she has to make choices.  We’re not sure if she can right now.  It was only about eight months ago her mother passed.  And, I’m sure that those kinds of choices are hard for her.  But, on the other hand, she seems to prefer Florida and the place up here is big and most likely lonely for her.  One of the reasons she liked Florida was because there was a great church there.  Here she had an important part of a church, but the members were all old, and it eventually had to be sold.   I think she does have friends both north and south, but not as many daily relationships as when her mother, father, and roommate Ruth were here.

So, If you take off being able to ever purchase the house, then we again have the part about helping her order things.  I was talking to Thom on the phone on Saturday after our event.  He had asked what is going on around here, and we told him about this fantastic Pat person we’d just met and that we had asked her if we can help … she didn’t really say yes or no, but she gave us a hug and I thought the answer was more like yes, thank you.  Then we told Thom that we had hoped that Maury could come by and help move some of the bigger things.  But, then Thom said, that he would.  We asked him what he meant, because he’s still living in the DC area.  He then went on to talk about it being a reason to come back.  We filled in the part where he could stay with Pat, because she had that kind of space.  We thought it be such an excellent idea because Thom is such a good worker and could be very trustworthy and able to Pat.  We also liked the part – that Thom would be just out of the Marines – so he would become a veteran, and Pat used to work with the Veteran’s through the government.  I know that Thom can be a gem to have around, but giving him this kind of large sense of purpose would be perfect. 

He’s got again 80 days paid leave.  60 days he might be able to hold onto because he will continue working with the government, but he could use it too.  He has the grand plan of working in Japan doing his old job but as a civilian and he feels pretty confident, but not totally sure he could get that job.  If he got that job, he would be at a 12 level, which is pretty high for a young sergeant level person.  I thought he said that it would mean earning $90,000 a year.  That would really be something.  But, the job doesn’t open until October.  Thom will be discharged in March, but with those 80 days that would amount to 4 months of having a paycheck even if he didn’t have to work.  He has another option to take a job in Norfolk in March when his time was up.  BUT, if he takes that job, he may get stuck at a 9 level, which meant that he’d not be at a 12 level if he went directly to Japan.  I’m not sure how that works, but Thom is pretty good about figuring stuff like this out.  Basically, Thom is going to need something to do before he gets the Japan opportunity.

Now though, we’d like to say there might be one other option which would be totally up to Pat.  Basically, then we called her on Sunday night and presented her with our business solution.  Thom is having very terrible problems with Duyen.  He would like to get out of there sooner, but they can’t afford two places.  They’ve both agreed to see other people, and that’s happening, but it can’t get any better, and most likely it will get a lot muckier.  If Thom were to take his leave in January, he could move in to help Pat.  I don’t know how long it would take, but Thom basically could work through March – when Pat wants to go down to Florida, Or, Thom could work until October, in continuing to help Pat with her things, or if Pat were in Florida, he could house sit for her for that time.  The deal for us, would be that Thom would be near to home.  He’d be only 2 miles away, and he has a car so he would be able to get to other family members and friends as well.  He’d not have to pay the rent – providing Pat gave him a room and he’d be able to keep her company and assist her in any means she seems fit.

There was one especially really cool thing in that I hadn’t thought of the Thom part moving here for a while and since it was a Thom idea it might likely be one to work.  BUT, again we called Pat two days ago and asked her to consider the idea.  It seemed like we caught her in that she might have been dozing, but it was clear that we overwhelmed her.  She had allowed me talk out my ideas without saying anything, and her general first reaction was that she wasn’t going to be able to move that fast.  She stated there were too many decisions she would have to make.  We tried to reassure her how valuable Thom could be in thinking through things AND doing the manual labor necessary and that he was really smart with an excellent sense of humor.  I really believe she would never have another offer like this.  They’d be really helping each other out.  She hasn’t responded back and we had told her to take her time.  If this is going to work – she will have to be the one masterminding the project – because it is her life that is getting sorted.  I think it would work out though there is no doubt in my mind that the first part of making decisions would be very hard.  There’s a little sense of “hoarding,” but mostly I think there is just so much stuff it has taken over all of her rooms.  Thom would be so good though in a crisis mode – at least we think it is severe enough to be labeled such.  It just can’t be a good deal for Pat to be living alone with all that stuff and sorrowful feelings because the people closest to her have passed.  She needs help and a clean break.  There’s no doubt that she has to make all the decisions – they can’t be made for her, but she can be helped to go through something I always heard and respected from the Flylady.  Basically, she says toward making moving decisions …

Hmm, ok … dash all that … We called Pat and she called us back and she didn’t want to go with the idea.  It wasn’t a long conversation, but she stated that she wasn’t ready to consider a roommate and she didn’t think it was a good idea to have a strange male in the place.  I can see her logic.  It stings a little bit though because he’s my son so obviously our trust and belief level is going to be different then Pat’s. But, I do understand that it was a lot to consider.  I hadn’t even considered really these points.  I would have thought it to be more reassuring to have someone in the house again – especially a Marine who happens to work in security.  But, we’re going to let that go … because although it was our suggestion, it’s no good if it isn’t good for her.  Maybe something else WILL work out for her.  I’m getting the idea that she moves slower than I’d originally thought. 

We did continue the part where we asked her to come over to share a dessert or something.  I’m guessing it would have to be around lunch, because I’m thinking she wouldn’t go out in dark even with it being close.  Again, we are strangers to her.  I’m still glad I asked.  If she had been in a different place and time in her life, she might have better appreciated the gift.  But, if she wasn’t in that space – it would be considered a hindrance.  I have to be ok with that I am not a hindrance it is just that my idea might have been.  It was like reshuffling the deck before she was ready.  But, that’s pretty much me.  We usually say and think what is on our mind.  Until you check things out, you never know.  At least we now have closure on this.

I still hope she lets me help her on Her time frame.  I feel bad though because what I could do is so much less than Thom could have done.  When I asked about coming over for dessert, she said that this week she will be taking care of her car – she’s renting while hers is repaired, so that pretty much choked up the week.  Maybe next week – though we have to consider the twins will be here on Sunday and Monday, and Dr. Marvin next week will be on Wednesday at 4 PM.  BUT, that’s as much as we can do now for the time being.  We’ve only got a couple of minutes before Dr. Marvin’s.  I have to say we’re disappointed, because you all know how we love a new project and getting Thom home would have been something.  But, for now … time to go again J

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