Friday, September 30, 2011

I Want to Talk About Me!

Today, I had a productive therapy appointment.

I talked about weight loss and the problems I encountered when I lost the weight each time. The fact that I felt naked and could not handle the attention and how I *hated* with a passion when people would tell me that I was a “new person!”

I have talked about how I don’t want it. It is like the angel on my shoulder who says, “Jennifer Maria (always use the full name), you are not meant to be alone. You are a good person and would make some happy, preferably someone nerdy to be nerdy with.” and the devil in his evilness saying, “Baaa, men who needs them. They will just use you and drop you without even calling. Save it. Have you missed anything in the year or so since you have been on a date? No. Besides, who would want you? No one.”

I am torn from getting back into Boston’s horrible dating scene for a late 30 something gal or just crawl into my internal cubby hole and say “screw it.”

The getting out and getting into the dating scene again is winning out. Loneliness sucks, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

The “new person” thing totally insulted me.

“Jen, look at you. Such a NEW PERSON.”

In my mind, ah no. I am still the same Jen. I like the same things just smaller. Was I such a bad person when I was fat?

Thin = new, good

Fat = old, bad


I might be a little different, everyone is as they get older, but damn, I am the same person with the same green eyes, nearsightedness, red hair and freckles. My weight was different and I had an affinity for Brussels sprouts.

I thought this was very good. For once, I talked mostly about me at therapy. Not Mom or Dad but me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SB Living

I am South Beach living.

Not literally, but I am on day 2 of Phase 1 of the South Beach diet. I am liking it. I have done CORE, a former Weight Watchers program, in the past and despite a few changes the two are somewhat close. I was successful on CORE.

I have to lose 15-20 before my surgery and I am hoping that these two weeks will help me in the long run. I am – surprise, not missing bread at all. I do miss oatmeal but bread not really. I know it has only been two days.

I am tweaking one thing. I put a sweetener in my morning coffee and a teaspoon of honey in my herbal tea at night.

I am trying to do this without seeing my weight. I do know what area it is in because I did see the number last time. I will not focus on numbers.

That is such a slippery slope. I want to be healthy and live longer. That is not too much to ask of myself.

In stead of eating, I have been reading. I think Elizabeth Chadwick is my new favorite author. More about my reading pursuits later.

Tomorrow is Friday and it makes me happy. No plans except maybe to go to King Richard’s Fair with not so secret sister on Sunday. I am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Support Wednesday: A Writer

When I was little, I used to dream of being a writer. I filled up notebook upon notebook of stories, most of which I can’t remember today. I am not sure what became of those notebooks. I dreamed of being a writer.

Of stories.

I never really thought I would be pouring my heart out about the ins and out of my life.

Such is life I guess. I never really thought my life would turn out the way it did period. Outside of being a writer, I never dreamed of weddings or what I would name my first born child.

At least I am still writing.

Who knows maybe someday I will get around to actually writing a story.

I am not sure where I would be if I didn’t just say enough is enough and start to write about my journey. It has been up and down these few years. The shadow is still there. Lurking behind the sofa, in the corner, ever present yet sometimes more camouflaged.

It is an outlet. Once I hit publish on the Live Writer, it hits the blog and I feel better. All my worthless, negative thoughts are relieved a little bit.

Some people draw, some people garden, I write.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Moly

If there is one thing I am paranoid about, it is my moles.


The ones that I can see (and most I can not) are forever driving me to consult the ABCDs of moles. Today, I had my 6 month dermatologist skin check appointment.

I was hoping for a nice clean mole check. One of those go in, the dermatologist scans my body with these magnifying glasses and she says, “They all look ok.”

Unfortunately, that was not to be.

On my lower back was a funky looking mole I could not check myself or obsess over. Unfortunately, most of the moles I have are on my back or the back of my legs.  Since I can’t see them, I try not to worry about them.

This mole didn’t even see the sun, which really DOES NOT MATTER.

They took a picture of my mole and when she showed it to me, I thought, “Damn, that does look bad. Different colors, not asymmetrical….”

I have been through this before and I have two nasty looking but freckle covered scares on my left upper arm of moles that were severely atypical and had to get dug out.


I am hoping that this time, it is just an atypical mole and not the M word.

Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t pale, freckled and moly. If only I had inherited some skin from the Italian side.

So, if you are moly and fry like a lobster, as I do, please go get your moles checked. The M word is no joke.

I will know in 10 days if it is cancer or just getting funky.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Fighter

I was lying in bed this morning. Trying to convince myself not to leave. I pulled the covers over my head, tapped the snooze button on my 3 alarm clocks more then a few times and really wished I could melt into the sheets.

I did eventually get my ass out of bed but not before cursing up a storm. I need to keep my job and help my mental health, not hinder it.

Sometimes I just wish for an easy way out. That the Prozac and the Wellbutrin along with talk therapy would cure my depression not just put a band-aid over it and raise my lows. Is there a cure? Is this a life long thing?

Out of everything, writing here has helped me the most. It gets the crazy thoughts out of my head. If you read, great, if not, writing about it helps me. It amazes me that people want to read my ramblings.

I thought about taking a picture of my battered and bruised knee to use to describe myself as battered and bruised but then I had second thoughts. Besides grossing people out, I am not battered and bruised. I am more of a fighter.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 Things: More Random Jen-ness.

So, I walking from Central Square T station to Union Square Somerville, for the fluff festival, when one of our awesome area sidewalks struck with abandon. Down I went, totally unaware. Landing on my knee and hands, I hit the bumpy concrete. My good pair of jeans now have a small hole in them and my knee, while scraped a bit,  is a fine shade of purple. Sometimes a bag of unused frozen peas in the freezer comes in handy. That is what I was doing last night. I had a date with a bag of peas.

Fluff, you may or may not be aware, is a staple of childhood in New England. Or at least, it was of mine. Peanut butter and fluff aka Fluffernutter is the ultimate comfort food, even more comforting then the cousin, peanut butter and jelly. Hot chocolate with fluff on top. Fluff with jelly. Fluff alone. It brings back happy childhood memories.

I am going to disappoint some of you that I did not take pictures. The festival itself was a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting more fluff walking. Actually, what I was expecting, I don’t know but a hurt knee took away a lot of the excitement as I hobbled around.

So today, I am just resting. Leg up. Pumpkin beer. Rome on DVD. The Patriot’s game.

So a belated 5 Things post is order.

You might or might not be aware of these 5 things about me:

1. I was attacked by a dog at age 9.

We had a dog and he had gotten into toilet paper and it was strewn all over the house. We had just gotten home from getting ice cream when I got into the house first to see the toilet paper. To save the dog from the wrath of my father, I had gathered up the toilet paper and it ended under my bed. I stuck my head under the bed, when the dog’s paw went across my face.

I have over 100 stitches in my face and any closer to my left eye and I would have been blind in one eye. Luckily, whom ever the plastic surgeon was that night, did WONDERS on my face. You really have to be close to see scars now.

My mother thought I would be afraid of my face and of dogs but neither of those things happened.

2. I love tuna fish with apples.

This is another thing from my childhood. Mom would cut up an apple and add it to tuna salad to make the can of tuna go further. I love it. Sometimes, apples find their way into my tuna fish to this day.

3. I love football but sometimes when I watch games that for me count, any Patriot’s game. I am afraid if I watch, they will lose.

I get so nervous and anxious. I hide my head under the pillow. Ever since I was little, I was always afraid after if I watched, they would lose. It has never gone away. I get all knotted in my stomach.

4. I still have my teddy bear from when I was a little girl tucked away in my bedroom.

You can’t see him but he is there. It makes me smile.

5. I do still have a little bit of hope. Just a little.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

4, 8, 15, 16, 26, 42

At one point, my Wednesday nights were booked. The hour of 9-10 or 10-11 was booked. The phone went unanswered. Nothing could come between me and my TV show. After the show, I would get calls wanting to dissect the show until we could talk about it no more. I went to message boards and debated everything about the show.

Maybe, you remember him:

The Amazing John Locke.

Or maybe him:

The handsome Sawyer

Or last but not least:

Ben, because really the show would have been nothing without him.

But 7 years ago, the fateful Flight 815 on Oceanic Airlines crashed with it brought several years of obsessive behavior with me.

I wish there was another TV show that grabbed me like LOST did.

I can’t believe 7 years have gone by. My, time does fly.

All images from LOSTpedia.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Support Wednesday: The Ugly Thoughts

Sometimes I wish there was a magic wand that you could waive in front of me and it would fix my brain. That would be wonderful.

Nothing unusual happened today. Work was busy. I had a headache but the ugly thoughts were plentiful. Just when I put my guard down, they attack.

Your ugly.

A bad person.

Why would anyone want you?

No amount of anything will change that.

I just makes me want to cry. Will it ever stop? Why do I do this to myself? Why?

I don’t think I am that ugly. I am 37. Soon to be 38. I am not a teenager. Why is my mind still playing games like I am?

There is that Everclear song that goes like:

I will never be safe, I will never be sane, I will always be weird inside, I will always be lame.

Will this be me?

One day I feel fine. The next I feel worthless. Most of the time, I am somewhere in the gray area.

I have been in therapy for a while. I just wish I had the answers.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jen’s News Edition

A couple of news stories caught my attention this week.

No one wants redheaded babies? How can that be?

Did you hear the news that Cryos, the world’s largest sperm bank, has said enough to red headed sperm donors?

Being a red head, I find it a little bit disturbing. Is it so bad to have a red headed child if you are blond?

We red heads have a bad reputation. Most of it not deserved.

Redheaded stepchild - A child who is obviously not your own, a child who is treated worse than other children in the family per the Urban Dictionary.

Temper? Me. No. Ok maybe, but not because of my red hair.  I come from a family of intense debaters and every now and then, against my internal control, a little snippet of that side comes through. It is not only me that has this trait in my family. Blond not so secret sister and brown hair brother both are prone to this as well.

And you know what, just because you are blond does not mean you won’t have a red headed child.

There should be more of us pale freckled people out there.

Another news story that really got my goat this week was Pat Robinson saying that it is ok to leave and divorce your spouse if your spouse has Alzheimer’s. I told my Dad about it and he said that he could see a lot of people agreeing with that opinion.

That bothers me as well. I know it is hard but what happened to “in sickness and health”? Ditch a person when they need you most. If you loved them, I don’t see how you could abandon someone like that.

I am not married and maybe I never will be, but I would not want someone abandoning me if I got sick in the future.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted and Toasted

Boots is a fine handsome healthy specimen of a kitty cat per the vet. Unfortunately, he is now plotting kitty cat revenge. I am sure that involves some pouncing at 3:00 am scaring the dreams out of me.

I am feeling a little better then yesterday. Enough to get out of bed (a little late but I am not perfect), showered and dressed. I had a headache most of the day and if I could have snuck out to come home and close my eyes, I would have.

My headaches disappeared for a while. I was loving it but now they are back with vengeance. I am not sure what causes them. It also goes with my upper back hurting. I am sure I have been slouching. Maybe they are related. In fact, I am sure they are.

I have a new food obsession.

Yes, the humble Brussels sprout. I love them roasted. I can not get enough. What is wrong with me?

There was a little problem with Mom’s feeding tube tonight. Nothing major and the nursing home fixed it but it caused some angst. I try to be the strong one and yet, it is not saying much that I am strong. I am tired and hardly strong but I try to hold it together, I do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Sadness

My plan for today was to get to King Richard’s Faire, a local medieval renaissance fair thingy that is held every September and October here. Unfortunately, I could not muster up the emotional strength to even get dressed until 3 pm. I will go next weekend if the weather is ok.

I just felt blah and decided that I would stay home but at least get dressed by throwing on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I watched the two first episodes of Rome, which came from Netflix this week. I did some cat placating in between.

I just feel sad. Not really wanting to do anything today.

Tomorrow is a new day and it will be better. Just with the excitement of taking Boots to the vet, I can guarantee it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

End Stage

The meeting with hospice and the nursing home today did not end up like I thought it would. It was all about making her comfortable for her end of life. It has been coming a long time. Mom was first diagnosed over 10 years ago. It has been a long exhausting journey.

We talked about things like if she pulled her feeding tube out, would it be replaced? No. We asked that she come off of her blood pressure and cholesterol medication. What is the point?

The point of the meeting is to make her comfortable and not agitated. We decided to decrease her feeding tube meals because she has been moving so much that she aspirates it and could possible get pneumonia. Eventually feeding through the tube will stop. The hospice goal is to for her to be comfortable. We want her suffering to end.

I talked about how hard it is to sit there for a half an hour when she won’t even look at me or acknowledge me. The hospice nurses suggested that she be laying down and trying holding her hand while rubbing lotion or maybe having music on.

This has been going on for a long time but it does not make it any easier.

I had a bit too many pumpkin beers tonight but while I could really do without beer most times, I love pumpkin beer. Luckily, some nights it is just good to have a friend to talk to.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Being alone is not bad, but it is not good either.

That sums up up my feeling of today.  My mind is a wanderer especially when I have a headache, which was ever present today. Then a conversation with a friend talked about dating and how I have been “off market”, not looking, not caring, not anything really. Then I said that I don’t know what I want. Which sums up my life in that regard. I will probably be an old lady with cats unless I find a fellow nerd to ramble on about what I have been reading lately.

I also met with the doctor that will probably be my surgeon. It went well. The office before hand was a little messed up. They lost my file. The doctor was not paged. I was sitting for 45 minutes before someone paged her. I did like the surgeon.

We went through my medication list and stopped when she saw my depression medications. I am going to have to talk to my medicine doctor about getting off of the Wellbutrin SR before the surgery and going to the non-SR version.  She said that weight loss surgery won’t help with those and I said that no, probably not. I have lost weight before and my depression was still my constant shadow, stalking me around corners. I am working on it though. I am a work in progress.

She agreed that December would be the best time. She said I should lose about 20 pounds prior to surgery. I think I am going to do South Beach. It may help a bit with what will come after the surgery.

I have a meeting with the hospice people at the nursing home tomorrow morning with Dad. I am not really looking forward to that. I know what they are going to say. It is hard to talk about.

I am so happy tomorrow is Friday. I will be collapsing on the couch when I get home work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Way

I felt like I worked today. I got home from the day of meetings at the hospital and just collapsed on the bed. I hung out with Boots for a while then got my ass up to go food shopping.

As of today, I will probably have surgery at the beginning of December, which would be ok work wise. It is a “down” time, if there ever is one. 

We had a nutrition session, a behavioral session and one describing the procedures themselves with a break for lunch.

I know from doing WW for years how to eat healthy. I already knew not to take calcium with the multivitamin or else you are just throwing that money for the calcium away. Sometimes it is just good to hear it again. My friend said I will be so sick of yogurt and cottage cheese after the surgery and that is basically what I took away from the stage eating after the surgery. I thought about getting some cottage cheese tonight but decided to hold off.

There was no guffawing over my not wanting to see the number on the scale today.  The weigher was fine with that. I do not want to be about the scale period. They can track my weight if they want. I don’t need to see the number.

I will need lots of behavioral support. My mind is where it all goes wrong, so wrong. Am I really just damaged goods and can’t change the way my brain works? I don’t think so.

On the way home from Hannaford’s tonight, I heard the song, The Way by Fastball. Are you familiar with the song?

I so want to:

They made up their minds
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going

Without ever knowing the way?

I would just pack Boots in the carrier, grab his food and some clothes and get out there. Where? I don’t know.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple Happiness

Tomorrow is a full day in my journey towards surgery. It is called an Immersion Day. I am not sure what I am in for but I am to be at the hospital all day so I am sure it will be write worthy when I get home.

Today was a typical Monday. I got home and made some ziti without lines for dinner. That is all it took to make me happy. I love ziti without lines. I know it is a texture thing. Just like I love the texture of oat bran/cream of wheat, jello, and stuff like that. I am a weird eater. So on top of food just looking “weird”, I prefer it to have a texture I like.

 Image: The Ziti without lines

Mood wise, I have leveled out for the most part. I hover around a 6 most days. Not happy. Not sad. Somewhere in the gray medium. I have taken solace in books and that has helped. Books were another friend of mine in tough times, like food, only they grew my mind not my stomach.

Since I am done with the current Game of Throne books, I have just begin rereading The Once and Future King. There is so much in there that I don’t remember. I am also reading The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. Sucked into these medieval fantasy stories hook, line and sinker. My Goodreads list is growing. Are you on Goodreads? If so, friend me Smile

Sunday, September 11, 2011

5 Things: Feel Good Movies

Sometimes I look at the computer as a good time waster. It lets me see a world that I may or may not ever see. Sometimes I look at it as an oppressor. Something to avoid at all costs. This weekend, it tipped to the oppressor side. I was busy and I just could not turn the computer on when I got home. I needed a day away I guess.

I have been avoiding the news and the stories of 9/11 on this 10th anniversary. They are everywhere. Ten years ago, I was a 27 year old working for a computer company that made networking parts and that day I was covering the switchboard for the receptionist at the doctors.

Now I am a 37 looking back at the last 10 years and thinking that it could not be 10 years already. How did it go by so fast?

I am going to put a happy note on my 5 Things post because I need it.

These are movies I love for one reason or another.

1. The Station Agent

It is a little independent movie about a man who moves to rural New Jersey to get away from people but can’t. It stars Peter Dinklage and Bobby Cannavale.

2. Secondhand Lions

Another quirky cool movie that I like.  A young boy goes to live with relatives and I would love to have his relatives. Yes, there is a lion.


Six foot three inch invisible rabbit? Why not!

4. Dear Frankie

I love this movie. Besides having quite possibly the sexiest man alive in it, it is a good story about a mother and her son.

5. Miracle at Morgan’s Creek

This one was so ahead of its time. It is about a woman who has a little too much fun with some soldiers and wakes up married and can't remember to whom and then the fun begins. This movie was made in 1944.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Could You Resist This?

I can not resist this face. He is the true leader of my home.


I may not have someone to talk to on long Sunday afternoons but I have a purring furry beast to pet.

Do you have a pet? Have they helped you, especially if you do not have roommates like me?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Support Wednesday: Down to the Core

It felt good to go to group tonight. The weather in Boston can be summed up by BLAH! and I needed it.

I let my group know about wish to be invisible. I went on to talk about it. Sometimes it is a lot easier to write about something thing then to actually talk about it. These eyes were staring back at me and all that was running through my head was “Am I a freak or something?”

They did not think I was freaky.

Last week at the meeting with the weight loss surgery psychiatrist, he said to me “You have to get over the attention thing to be successful.”

That struck at the core.

It grabs at striking down the unworthiness, the damaged goods feeling and the whole kit and caboodle, doesn’t it?

I have my work cut out for me but I am on my way.

I deserve to be healthy. Period.

Healthy mind. Healthy body. The two go together. One without the other is not healthy for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Green Eyed Monster

If you had not guessed by me posting about the family secrets, I have been thinking about the past a bit. Ok dwelling on what ifs. If only Mom was this and if only I got that. That is a sure way to drive me a little down.

Sometimes I am jealous about people with big close families with cousins, aunts and uncles who care. Yes, I said it. I am jealous of people whose parents can enjoy their 60s and not have to be in an a nursing home at 62. I am sorry. I know it is wrong.  I am supposed to just take what I got with a lump of sugar and suck it up. Well, anyone who does not say they are jealous at times in lying.

It does nothing for me. Nothing for anyone.

Maybe that why I was given mostly green eyes (they can and sometimes do change color) because I have been hiding the green eyed monster.

jens eye

Scary isn’t it? Most of the scary things for me come from inside of me. How can I think up these things?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Book, take me away…

Another long weekend is gone. The age old question will never be answered, why the hell to weekends go by so fast when the week drags by so slowly?

I didn’t do much today. I scrubbed my kitchen floor and I read. Yes, again. When I get lonely, I have always retreated into books. They take me away.  I have been reading Dance With Dragons, the fifth Game of Throne’s book. Such excitement I have had lately. I might as well read about knights and dragons because there sure as hell aren’t any left.

Instead of drowning my doubts in food, lately, it has been books. Soon it will be knitting. This week it is supposed to be cool, perfect for knitting.

One bad thing about getting better is that I am feeling lonely more and more. Talking to no one for hours besides my cat is probably not the best. Before, I would say that it was my place to be alone but now I am not so sure.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Family Skeletons

Sometime in the mid-1950’s, my great grandfather possibly spent time in this building.

Or maybe he was in this bed.

He was in the hospital for what the family said was a stroke. We think that my mother took after him and that most likely he was there not because of a stroke. You did not go to places like Boston State Hospital for strokes.

We will never really know because when we were thinking about getting the records from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Mom did not want all of the heirs to his will finding out (because the executor of the will, my grandfather, was dead.) We dropped it.

When I see shows about this places and what when on there, it breaks my heart. My relative was in one. As they make these former hospitals and their grounds into fancy apartments, you could not pay me enough money to live in one of them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 Things: Ode to Fall

Labor Day is upon us here in the States and you may know what that means. Fall. The has been a bit chilly in the morning and it is like *BANG* fall is here. So without much ado, here is my ode to fall:

1. Pumpkin this, pumpkin that.

Jack O’Lanterns, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup. Pumpkin, a native North American vegetable!

2. Corduroys.

There is nothing like the swishing noise that corduroys make. In fact, I broke out a pair this week and wore them. The sound is reassuring to me and I just love how they feel. I loved Corduroy, the bear, growing up as well.

3. Colored Leaves.

With Tropical Storm Irene this year, the leaf peepers might stay away but if there is one good thing about the approach of dreaded winter is the pretty leaves that New England is know for. I definitely want to go apple picking this year and perhaps do a bit leaf peeping myself.

4. Flannel Sheets

With the return of the chilly weather, flannel sheets make their appearance. I love the coziness of them. Another reason not to get out of bed in the morning.

5. Hot Apple Cider

I have been to bring people to the the hot apple cider side. Yum! Spiked or not, it is good and warms me up. I can’t wait to have my first cup. I may have to have some when picking apples and going leaf peeping.

What are some of your fall favorites?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Cloak of Invisibility

A long time ago, there was a little girl. She was very tomboyish, loved the outdoors and she was just that, a little girl. Then one day, too early, things changed. She wasn’t just an 8 or 9 year old kid any more but an 8 or 9 year old in an adult body with adult body functions. She was still a little girl.

People began to treat her different. Classmates began to grab her and say lewd things that she had no clue about. Meanwhile, at home, her parent’s lives were crumbling and she was a little girl stuck in the middle of this. She kept her mouth shut, retreated to her room, stopped being the outgoing, tomboyish little girl.

She discovered that while her mother could not help, sneaking cookies made her feel better. She also discovered that as she gained weight, people paid less attention to her. She thought that was best. She was not a little girl any more. She believe she was almost invisible. People slammed doors in her face. Men ignored her. She kept everything bottled up. She was one of those people who was an awful lot like Eeyore.

One day, the girl was tired of carrying around that extra weight. She worked hard to lose a 100 lbs. She did not like being the center of attention. When people congratulated, she just would talk down about herself and move on. She just wanted to blend into the woodwork. She was not a different person that she had been with the weight.

All of a sudden, men started to pay attention to her. She liked it yet she knew why they liked her. The same reason the school boys felt the need to harass her. She hated the way they looked at her. Part of her just wanted to run away like she did before.

Then that weight started to come back again. Men stopped noticing. She could get back into the safe zone of protection.

Yet, there was that girl on her shoulder saying, “That is not protection. You are not invisible. You deserve to be seen. That invisibility is your enemy and not helping you.” The seed was planted in the girl’s head and grew from there.

She is now on the course of setting things right again.