Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Tell me To RELAX

When DH and I first met, I was warned about his mother. He did not like her and had not liked her for the majority of his life. He told me many stories about what she was like over the years. My personal favorite was the one about how she had a picture of him at the age of 3, high of her second-hand pot smoke. The picture was taken because she thought it was so funny. That right there should tell you all you need to know about her ability to parent. The best thing she ever did for my sweetie was to dump him at his grandparent's house and run away for 4 years of his life when he turned 2. His grandparents are very fine, upstanding people with high morals and values. They taught him how to be a man.

When DH and I started dating, she was married to his step-dad. In the two and a half months DH and I were engaged she asked for and got a divorce, moved to Mexico to start a business, went bust, moved back home, and started living in a motel. Classy.

I tolerated the woman until after DH and I were married, and then I tried to ignore her the best I could. She lived in the motel for about 6 months and then started to mooch off of friends. She would go "visit" them for as long as they could tolerate her and kick her out. So she went, burning bridges all along the way. She emailed me one day and said that she wanted to come stay with us for two or more weeks. I laughed and told her there was no way in hell. We told her she was welcome for one weekend, and then she had to be on her way to ruining her next friendship. She tried to book her ticket out to our house, and it conveniently spanned the week of our first wedding anniversary.

DH finally put his foot down himself (instead of telling me to tell her off) and told her she absolutely, positively could NOT be around for our first anniversary. She tried to play my sweetness into relenting. I told her absolutely not as well. She said she figured that we would go somewhere for our anniversary and she could stay at our house while we were gone. I informed her we had no plans of going anywhere that weekend, and she was to be gone no later than 24 hours before our anniversary.

It was after our first anniversary that we started undergoing infertility treatments. When she caught wind of this, she began sending me emails explaining why I was having such a hard time. They included subjects like, "Being overweight can cause infertility." I weighed 113 lbs. "Drinking too much can cause infertility." I don't drink, never have. She knows this. "Drinking too much coffee can cause infertility." I don't drink coffee either, never have. She knows this. So yes, her emails were sent to be just plain rude. But then she would turn her puppy eyes to my husband and tell him that I was too sensitive, that she was only trying to help. He told her to back off. He knew better. He had already told her off about similar emails she would constantly send me telling me about all of the soldiers killed in Iraq while my brother was deployed there.

Next, she would IM me and tell me that I needed to relax to get pregnant. Every time she would communicate with me, she would end it with, "Relax!" It started to really chap my damn hide. Then one day we were in town and decided to take her to dinner for her birthday. It was the last time I would see her for a couple of years. Her last words to me that night were, "RELAX!" Finally I had had enough. I told her that relaxing would not solve our infertility, that we were almost positive there was a medical reason, and that her telling me to relax implied that she felt I was so uptight I was preventing myself from ovulating every month. She then told me that she never had any desire to be a grandmother, to which I replied, "Works for me! We'll tell our kids you don't exist."

In the end, it did turn out our reasons for infertility were medical. I had pretty extensive endometriosis as well as PCOS. No amount of relaxing would fix either of those problems. I just want to rub her nose in it for being so ignorant and insensitive. I want her to realize she doesn't know everything, and that her form of "support" is uncalled for.

It would make me feel worse if she only did these things to me, but I recently found out she did them to her sister as well. While her sister was fighting breast cancer and going through chemo, my BIL (Bit**-in-law) sent her emails similar to the ones I received, only about cancer. "Drinking too much alcohol causes cancer." "Being overweight causes cancer." Does being an insensitive waste of a person cause cancer? Because if it does, my BIL ought to go get checked out ASAP.

I realize this post makes me sound angry, but I'm really not anymore. I am still anoid and will be every time I have to see her or communicate with her, but I'm letting the rage go. Now that I am officially seeing a shrink, I am getting all of the bad vibes out and letting them go for good. I don't need to carry this junk anymore. While this woman may, very unfortunately for me, be the grandmother of my daughter, I don't need to carry around her baggage anymore. So this is the end of it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Feeling Chamelion

Have you ever had those days where it seemed like your mood directly mirrored that of any person you were around? Like if the person in your presence was really happy, you were really happy too. If they were really depressed, you were really depressed too. Well, I've been having that kind of day for the last two days. Its like I don't know how I feel, but whenever I'm around someone, I feel the same way they do. The thing that is really odd, is that I am picking up on everyone's emotions. Even complete strangers I pass with my grocery cart in the store. Is there a name for this phenomenon? Is it anything like reading someone's aura?

To be honest, I don't really like it, especially when I end up being in the proximity of someone who is unhappy. I also don't like not being able to predict what mood I will be in within the next 5 minutes. I'm not sure what is causing it, or why it is hanging around for more than a day, but I kind of wish it would stop. It is truly odd, and I don't remember the last time this happened.

Maybe I am just really tired lately and need to get more sleep. I will just blame it on that.

On that note, I am off to bed. At last!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Last Two Sessions

So my last two sessions with the shrink have been a big let down. In retrospect, I think I may be setting the bar a little high for what I expect to accomplish each session. I guess its because I walked out of my first two sessions thinking, "I'm cured! Its a miracle!" that every consequent session would be the same. But it is not to be.

At my session last week I discussed my issues with my mother, hoping for tools to help me mend a relationship gone horribly wrong since my youth. In fact, when my dad told my mom I was going to a shrink her response was, "I'm going to get it." You would think she was saying that because she knew she had done some damage over the years, but no, not at all. It was right in line with her Poor, Poor Pitty Me attitude. "I'm going to get it. Everything is going to be my fault. She's going to blame me for everything." That was very disappointing. Expected, but disappointing all the same. It would be nice if the woman could for once acknowledge that our relationship is the way it is because of the way she has treated me over the years.

I don't want to get off on a Mommy Hates Me tangent, so I digress. While the session did yield some interesting thoughts that had never crossed my mind, I did not walk out thinking the world had been set to right. I tried not to let it bother me and told myself that the session was more of giving the shrink some back story so we could get down to the nitty gritty later. I did appreciate when she told me I had a definite emotional wall up against my mother because it was necessary to my survival. The question is, how do I break down the wall now? I got nothing in the way of answers.

Today I wasn't sure what we would talk about because I have been feeling a lot better the last couple of weeks thanks to my spiffy new anti-depressants. They have made me down right giddy to breathe. Everything makes me happy since I started taking them. So I figured we should go back to the infertility issue. The whole reason I was really there in the first place. I want those skeletons out of my closet and I want them gone for good.

I laugh when I think about the session because I walked in in a great mood. I didn't think I would get emotional or that I would cry, but bringing up thoughts and feelings from my treatment days and the thought of having to go through it again made me cry. I expressed all of my fears for the future and why I felt that way. I told her what happened in the past and why it was so traumatic, how it all made me feel. I told her I wanted the tools necessary to combat those feelings and emotions if it took us a while to get pg, if we had to go through treatments again, or God forbid, we get pregnant and lose it. I didn't get what I asked for. Instead, I walked out of the session feeling depressed. For the first time it felt like my happy pills were letting me down. I was down the whole rest of the day to the point that I wondered if I should call my doctor and ask him to increase my dose.

At one point the shrink asked a question that brought such anger into me that it shocked me. I told her that I wanted the tools to be able to cope if I had a miscarriage. I have good reason to think it is a possibility. She then asked me what I would do if I did miscarry. I wonder what expression I had on my face when she asked that. Inside I was thinking, "What the hell do you think I would do?!" My mouth said, "I'd bawl my eyes out for a few freaking weeks!" Yes, I said "freaking."

Like I said, I went in in a great mood and left depressed. Isn't that kind of backwards?

I talked to a friend who has been to see a shrink before and asked her about her experience, if she ever walked out feeling like nothing got resolved and the session was a waste. She replied, "All of the time. That's why I quit going." Yeah, I get that. We talked about it a bit and realized our expectations were probably a little high. You can't have an epiphany every time. Sometimes you go in to give back story to work things out later.

I will give it another month, and if I don't feel we're making progress in those two specific areas, I think I will call it quits. But it does make me wonder if the reason I'm doing so well is the combination of happy pills and therapy.... Hmmm....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy Dog Lady Part 2

It is time for part 2 of our Crazy Dog Lady story. If you didn't catch part 1, scroll down a bit in the blog and read it for the back story.

The day after my first run in with CDL, I decided to take the dogs and baby out for a walk again. This time Mags was being a little bad, so I decided to leash her shortly into the walk. I have a leash splitter that turns one leash into two, which I was using this night. DH did not join me, but caught up to us shortly after we turned around to head home. A few minutes after we met on the trail, I looked up and saw CDL come around a bend on the trail. I KNEW she wouldn't be able to keep her yap shut. Sure enough, "Oh for pete's sake. Will you please put your dog on a leash?!" I was seriously irritated, and coldly replied, "She IS on a leash." All the while not making eye contact to keep from wanting to lunge at her. She repeated, "Will you PLEASE put your dog on a leash!" I looked up, made eye contact, and raised my voice, "She IS on a leash!!"

DH knew that I had been having a really rough week and interjected to keep me from pummeling CDL. This was the first week I had been to see the shrink, and was before I got my prescription for happy pills. I was totally at rock bottom on this day and had zero emotional capacity to deal with this woman. He politely explained the leash splitter and why Mags wasn't always on a leash. She then began to explain herself by saying her dog didn't like it when other dogs weren't on leashes and it tended to make him misbehave. I bit my tongue and kept walking to keep from telling her SHE was the moron, not her dog. Her dog had no idea how to discern if another dog was on a leash or not, especially if it kept to itself. If her dog was having issues, it was because she was passing her neuroses down the leash to him.

Shortly after getting home I took my dogs out to a green area near our house to play ball and run out some of their excess energy. A few minutes into the game CDL came around the corner and pronounced, "Oh for God's sake! WILL YOU PLEASE PUT YOUR DOGS ON A LEASH!"

DH was not around to save her this time, and I had absolutely had it.

I yelled back that I didn't have a leash, as I was playing ball with my dogs. 6-foot leads are NOT conducive to playing fetch. She then yelled at me and asked how she was supposed to get home. I dunno you moron, by walking down the alleyway 20 feet behind me? At this point I had boiled over. I turned and yelled at her, "If your dog can't behave well enough to go on walks even when he's on a leash, then you need to learn how to be a responsible dog owner and get him trained! The reason my dogs behave is because I have spent thousands of dollars in dog training!"

Of course, she wasn't going down without a fight, and screamed at me the entire time she was walking down the alleyway 20 feet behind me. She told me that I was really nice picking a fight with a neighbor, to which I replied, "Likewise! YOU started this, not me!" Her reply was that she had asked a simple request of me, to which I replied her request was ridiculous. She then threatened to call the pound on me. I told her to go right ahead, and that I would call them right back on her since her dog obviously could not behave and that I was not doing anything wrong.

The entire time we were fighting do you know what my dogs were doing? Laying in the grass next to me, their eyes GLUED to the ball in my hand. They didn't give two figs about her or her stupid dog. Why? BECAUSE MY DOGS ARE WELL TRAINED!

Once she had walked past and shut her yap, I pulled my phone out of the stroller compartment and called DH. I was so angry I was shaking. CDL turned around and glared at me while I called him. She watched me the entire time she was walking down the alley and flipped me the bird just as she went around a corner. I put my hands up in a gesture that implied, "What do you want from me? Grow up."

DH came out right away and was just as pissed off as I was about the whole thing. He said, "I bet Mags and Sades didn't even notice her or her dog, did they?" Nope.

A few days later I was out in the same area playing ball with my dogs. I had turned to talk to my daughter while she was in her stroller and when I looked up CDL was walking down the alleyway right across from us. I quickly looked away and ignored her, but smiled to myself because she had to walk up that alleyway while watching my dogs take turns getting the ball. How many people do you know that have two dogs that take turns playing fetch? While one runs, the other lays down at my feet and waits. I thought to myself, "Ha! Stick that in your back pocket you old bag! Now you've seen my dogs behaving."

We have run into each other a couple times since the incident, but we just ignore each other. I really have no desire to get into another match with her. I didn't want the first one, but I just could not handle a complete stranger feeling like she was entitled to push me around over some neurotic need she had in her head to control everything in her environment.

CDL, if you ever come across this blog, please do the world a favor and get in to see a shrink shortly after enrolling your cocker in dog school. I can attest to the fact that happy pills really do work. You should consider getting on some.

Thus ends my Crazy Dog Lady story. I hope it brought you as much laughter as it has all of my friends, family, and coworkers. I hope that you do not think ill of me for this incident. I really am a kind and generous person. I just have no patience for rude people.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sticking In My Craw

Before I finish the Crazy Dog Lady story, I first have to get out something that has been sticking in my craw for years. I just want to go on the record and say that I seriously hate irresponsible dog owners. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones who do any of the following:
  • Own a dog and walk said dog unaccompanied by poop bags. Dog poops, owner looks around to see if anyone is watching before running away, leaving their potentially disease-carrying dog poop to be someone else's problem, such as the responsible dog owner's when their dog comes down with giardia (if you don't know what that is, google it; it isn't pretty), or the child who happens to step in it.
  • Own a dog that does not and cannot behave in public because you are too irresponsible to train and properly socialize said dog.
  • Walk an untrained dog while not on a leash, and said dog runs up to my leashed dog and gets up in my dog's face or jumps on me. No, I am not okay with it because I own a dog. No, I do not think it is cute. At all. Please don't expect me to smile and be polite when your irresponsible behavior has interrupted mine and my dog's walk.

Tonight DH and I went out to dinner, and when we returned home, found a pile of dog crap in our yard. Our house just happens to be along the very walking trail Crazy Dog Lady walks her dog on. Coincidence? Maybe. Do I suspect? Yes, very much so. I know she knows where I live, and believe me, it is only a matter of time before I figure out which house in my tiny neighborhood is hers. Even if it wasn't her, I don't feel that I am in any way, shape, or form responsible for an irresponsible dog owner's dog poop left in my yard. So tonight after my shower, I dawned my sandals, went out to the shed to grab the pooper scooper, went out front, scooped up the poop..., and dumped it in the middle of the trail. Its not mine. I won't clean it up. I don't appreciate it being left in my yard where my dogs and children play. When I walk my dogs, you bet your sweet bippy I carry poop bags, and if one of them pops a squat, I clean up after them. IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY AS A DOG OWNER.


All right, so ends my rant. If just one irresponsible dog owner reads this and changes their ways, praise be to Heaven and thank you from the bottom of every responsible dog owner's heart.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy Dog Lady Part 1

Last week DH and I were out walking our baby in her stroller along with our two Precocious Pooches. One of my dogs is a bit older (3 years) and more mature. She is a very well behaved dog, and I never hear anything to the contrary. In fact, I am constantly getting compliments about how well behaved she is. Everyone who has ever been in contact with her instantly loves her. I actually used to take her to work with me at my previous job because my coworkers loved and adored her. When we go on walks, I often don't put her on a leash because she generally stays right next to the stroller. She doesn't wander off or get into any kind of mischief. She stays right where she knows she is supposed to be.

Our other pup, on the other hand, is just that. A pup. She just barely turned one this year. The breed is known for being hyperactive for the first 2-3 years, and then they hit a turning point and calm down into very gentle, cuddly dogs. As she is a hyperactive pup, however, we cannot trust her to be off leash on walks. Ever. She would run all over helter skelter and get up in other dogs' faces. She even has a tendency to rile up other dogs while she is on leash just by perking up her ears and acting bulky. Usually DH walks her because she tends to pull, while I push the stroller and keep an eye on our other dog.

That being said, both of my dogs are generally well behaved and well trained. I have trained 8 dogs in my short 30-year life so far. I am no greenie to the arena. I have spent thousands of dollars in dog training and socialization classes for my pups. The thing that brings the most pleasure from strangers is that my dogs actually take turns getting the ball when we play fetch. It is not uncommon for passerby to stop and watch my dogs play fetch.

Now back to the story. We were walking along a windy trail that opens up into a grassy area. At the other end of the grassy area, it closes back down to go through some woods and over a bridge. After which point, the path turns a 90 degree angle off into some more woods. DH and I had just entered the clearing, when up ahead just before the bridge there was a woman with an ill-behaved cocker spaniel. She was at least 100 yards ahead of us. Far enough that I could not see her face. We heard the woman call out, "Are both of your dogs on a leash?"

Perplexed, I didn't know why it would matter. Our older dog was minding her business and walking right next to the stroller. I replied that one of them was. She then asked if I would please put my other dog on a leash. Instantly my hackles were up. My dog wasn't misbehaving in any way, shape or form. Obviously this woman had some kind of neurotic need to control absolutely everything in her environment.

As I am not a confrontational person, I begrudgingly obliged. Once my pup was on a leash, the woman crossed the bridge and disappeared around the corner, with her ill-behaved cocker in tow. I irritatedly asked DH why the hell I had to put my pup on a leash, pointing out that the woman's dog did not behave any differently when my dog was on a leash as opposed to when she wasn't, and that the woman could no longer even see us. He was clearly as irritated as I was and told me to take her off her leash. I did.

We then proceeded to walk across the bridge ourselves and around the corner, across another bridge, and into another clearing that opens up to a duck pond. As soon as we entered the clearing, the woman was standing off to the side of the trail waiting for us. I glared at her, then ignored her, and we continued on our way. We did not see her again that night.

DH and I have lived in this area for over a year now and I have never seen this woman before that night. I have asked a few neighbors if they knew her, but no one does. One of them suggested she might be new to the neighborhood. Another offered to go to battle with me if needed.

Thus ends part 1 of our saga. Stay tuned for part 2 that promises a cat fight in front of neighborhood children....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to do an update about my session yesterday, but there isn't enough time for now. Instead, I wanted to leave you with these serene pictures of Scotland. They are too beautiful to not share. Enjoy!