Monday, March 22, 2010


It has come to my attention, unwillingly of course that I am "the woman with issues". I turned 30 years old on March 14, 2010. Instead of joy, I brought pain upon my family and most importantly myself. I had a minor melt-down which prompted in a large fight with my family and the realization that I am not happy. I am not happy at all. When am I going to stop letting my past dictate my present. 30 seems like good timing to me. I am not sure where to begin on all of this. It has been a long time. Over a year since my last post. Much has changed and even more has stayed the same.

My mom bought me a book about a year ago. I read the first few pages and set it back on my book shelf. Yesterday I picked it up again. I think it might be time. I need to stop carrying around all of this hurt and anger. I need to learn to forgive the people that hurt me. I need to learn how to forgive myself. I am most scared of letting go. Once I have done that, what will I have left? I am looking to re-write my story. I don’t want to be "the woman with issues anymore".

I will be reading 'The Forgiveness Formula' by Kathleen Griffin over the next months. I am hoping to use this blog to work through the pain, anger, hurt and sadness. I am hoping to forgive.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Memory Ball

I wish I were like Dumbledore in Harry Potter. I always have so much swimming around in my head and I can never get it onto paper, or computer fast enough. I need a magic wand that takes all my thoughts and puts them into neat little jars. I feel that I am coming back around slowly but surely. The great thing about this program is that right where I am is where I am supposed to be. I realized this morning that I have not been living the first step recently. I have fallen back into thinking that I have control. SO not the case.

Last night's home ACOA was amazing. Higher Power was working all over the place. The shares were inspiring, sad, heart felt, gut wrenching and exactly what I needed to hear. There are a few of us all around the same age and it is comforting to hear similar stories in regard to living life in the big city... jobs, friendships and specifically dating. Each story could be told by any of us and that is what keeps me coming back. Knowing that there is a place where so many people get exactly one I am saying. There is nothing better than a friendly smile or a knowing head nod when I am sharing.

I have been dating again recently and this has lead me to see some scary truths about myself. I had no idea what an issue I have with commitment until very recently. I probably never noticed it because I was always "committing" to unavailable men. Makes it a lot easier to commit to someone when you know they won't be able to or choose not to commit back. What a slap in the face. I realize that I am the mirror of so many of my exes. I would like to share with myself and everyone a conversation I had this morning with a good friend. It really is helping wrap my brain around some of the historical stuff that is coming up for me. (I am Dimes19 by the way)

Dimes19 (11:36:55 AM): i am just really starting to see how my thinking effects my life and how so much of it comes back to my history

iChrisEsp (11:37:19 AM): ahh

Dimes19 (11:37:21 AM): i have recently been examining things because of dating. I never realized what a commitment-phobe I am

Dimes19 (11:37:47 AM): I am just like all the men I date. That's why I date them

Dimes19 (11:38:12 AM): unavailable is what i do. that way I never have to be available

Dimes19 (11:38:31 AM): its pretty heavy stuff

iChrisEsp (11:38:46 AM): wow

Dimes19 (11:43:58 AM): here's how it works. I date someone who is basically unavailable.. whether he says so or not. That way I already know what the outcome will be. Disappointment. But I'm never truly disappointed because i already know how its going to end. And it always ends. I never have to worry about committing myself because I am always chasing that person, which is good because if they actually stayed put and wanted a commitment i would run the other way

Dimes19 (11:44:33 AM): and the reason i have no problem meeting their friends, family etc.. is because its a way to manipulate the situation and i know that it makes it harder for them to break up with me.

iChrisEsp (11:44:39 AM): i started thinking about all the women I dated and especially the ones i liked

iChrisEsp (11:44:50 AM): and i don't think i deserved any of them

Dimes19 (11:45:00 AM): oh i do that too

Dimes19 (11:45:20 AM): that's the other thing. anytime i do meet someone nice or good i come up with a million reasons why i am not good enough

Dimes19 (11:45:41 AM): and then that helps to drive them away

Dimes19 (11:46:30 AM): best part about all of it is, i think i want the commitment and i get angry and jealous that others have it... yet when its in front of me i am scared to death and want nothing more than to run in the other direction.

iChrisEsp (11:47:13 AM): ahh

Dimes19 (11:48:51 AM): i am a master manipulator. But so are the men i date. So its a power struggle who can do it better and faster. than when we cant manipulate each other anymore... it ends

Honestly this is all I can even get through right now. It brings up so many painful memories and feelings that I can only deal with it in small doses. It feels good to be back and I plan to catch up with everyone next week. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the snow if you have it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back in the saddle again...

I don't know why I haven't written in so long. I have been lazy. I have been lacking in recovery. I have been wrapped up with "the others" Combination of all of it I guess. I am fighting through it. Still going to meetings. Not nearly enough, but still going. I know this too shall pass. I am going to make an effort. Not because I have to but because I want to and its good for me. Thanks to everyone that checked up on me. I am doing well... happy for the most part. Still dealing with the day to day. I am getting better at letting go of somethings and most likely picking up new vices.
One of the key characteristics of an ACOA is the tendency to have a black and white perspective. It's always all or nothing with me. When I do it... I do it 150% and when I am bored of it I move on to the next thing. Balance is something I lack. So, this is my reattempt at balance. Germany got the ball rolling for me. The trip was amazing but the lack of schedule took a toll on me. It was too easy to change patterns that were still so fresh in the making. I have been struggling since I have been home to get back into a routine. I need to say this all out loud because it is easy to ignore if I don't. I have been more social again lately. I started dating again. All good things in moderation, but when any one thing dominates that's where the trouble lies. I know the drill. I haven't been reading my devotionals and my talking to HP is less. I need to get back on the horse.

So much has been going on in my life. Maybe that's part of the problem too. I have so much to say all the time. I never know where to begin. I guess right here would be a good place. For now I am back... just for today.

Today I am grateful for:

People who care about me and my well being
A HP that loves me even when I turn my back
LOST Season 5
Having a job for today
Being self-sufficient
Shrimp Fried Rice

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Playing Catch Up- Part 1

I have so much to write about and so much to catch up on. I am having difficulty finding a place to start. I have a feeling that my next few posts will be long... winding and paraphrasing from Cat.. with some short trips to crazy town. My trip to Germany was wonderful. It was full of fun, love, laughter... a little frustration and acceptance... and gratitude for my family and my home. I find myself happy to be home with a schedule, program and a sense of order.

I am going to post some pictures as well and summary of events for both all of you and myself. I was not as good at journaling as I would have liked to have been while in Europe. Little L. and I left on Saturday December 20, 2008 and arrived in Hamburg, Germany Sunday December 21, 2008. We had no weather delays but sat on the tarmac for two hours prior to our flight due to a broken plane in front of us. My trip over was how shall I say... miserable. We had two children behind us who proceeded to kick the back of our seats for the full seven and half hour flight. All bratty children aside we made it safely and I was more than happy to see my sister and her husband. I would also like to take a moment to say that for us codey's flying really is a brilliant lesson in letting go. I mean talk about the lack of control. I nearly had an anxiety attack waiting for my luggage to come. What an awful feeling that is. Sitting there watching everyone Else's luggage drop out of that little hole. All in all no lost luggage and safe trip to my sisters apartment about an hour away in a town called Bremen, Germany. It is an adorable little city with above ground trams and a river running through it. It is actually the town that Becks Beer is produced. We took a tour of the brewery the second week of our trip. The process is actually pretty cool.

***So that everyone has some clue-- I have curly hair (in most of the pictures) and I am the oldest of the three. OK is middle child and is tan (she goes tanning because its the only way she can deal with the lack of sun in North West Germany) and Little L. is obviously the youngest and the one with the incredible green eyes. Chatzy (which means honey or darling in German- and the nickname that we chose and he cant live down) is basically the only male you will see in all of the pictures. Lucky him ;)

Christmas Markets

I had never seen OK's apartment before, so it was nice to put a visual with all the explanations. They have a cute modern one bedroom about a five minute walk from the city. We had lunch, took a nap and in the evening headed out to the Christmas market. The Christmas markets in Germany are amazing. They start at the end of November and last all the way until Christmas eve. They construct houses filled with food, drink and shops. Each night everyone meets at the market to eat, drink, and enjoy time with friends and family. We spent three nights in total at the markets eating Bratwursts, potato pancakes, fried fish, chocolate and this great wine drink called Gluewhein. You heat red wine and then set flame to sugar cane and pour rum over the cane. Everything melts together to create a hot, sweet, killer of a hangover drink. Little L. and I met many of my sisters friends. A few of them, she teaches English to and they were excited to practice their skills with us. It was a nice treat for me because I was able to actually speak and understand someone. Much of the trip the four of us were only able to communicate with each other. You have no idea how tiring that gets sometimes.
German Christmas

Christmas eve we went to Chatzy's moms house. We started eating at 3PM and didn't finished until almost 10PM. I thought I might pop. It is German custom that you eat dessert first on Christmas Eve. Mama makes this delicious baked apple that she cores and fills with marzipan, raisins, sugar and nuts. There is a picture of it that above. After dessert hour we toast and chat. Then there is the cheese plate and presents. They use real candles on their Christmas trees. It is truly beautiful. The first candles are gold and then red there after. Finally, after presents comes dinner. We enjoyed a spread of Mediterranean food and happily put our traditional new pajamas on... finally crawling into bed after 11PM. Christmas morning brought another spread for brunch and then we rolled ourselves to the car in order to drive home to have our own "American Christmas" with gifts from each other and my mom. We decorated the tree, opened presents in turn, sang Christmas songs, made dinner and opened stockings. We all missed my mom very much, but we made a video of us and will send it to her to watch. It was an especially special Christmas because the three girls were together as adults. I was able to purchase special presents for each of them and it felt good to be able to spend money and not have to worry about bouncing my rent check. I feel grateful that I am finally in a place where I can give to myself and others.
American Christmas

We all chipped in to make Christmas dinner which was lamb, German dumplings, brussel sprouts and salad. We watched 'Friends' together and headed to bed at a reasonable hour because we had to catch a flight to Milan, Italy the next day. I think I will stop there for today. Italy is an interesting adventure and I think best left for another day.

My trip also included an overload on my self-esteem, a struggle to follow program in the midst of two weeks without meetings, tolerance of four adults living in a one bedroom apartment and a whole hell of a lotta time with family. I love my sisters very much, I would die for them, but let me tell you sometimes I really wanna kill them myself. It taught me acceptance and tolerance- and lack there of tolerance at some points. The trip brought out some of my best qualities and some defects that need to be changed. I have come to see that my self-dialogue with and about myself is not really so good. Now it is up to me to try to change that.
Today I am grateful for:
My family
My God
The opportunity to spend time with my sisters and to go to Europe
One day at a time

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Baaack!

Hi everyone! I am home safe and sound and just a little jet lagged... I just started reading posts. I think it is going to take me a little while.

I had a wonderful time in Germany and I cant wait to tell you about it... oh and post LOTS of pictures.

Until then Peace and Serenity.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The spell check is not working here so I have a lot of misspelled words. Sorry about that.

Taking a Time Out

I am taking a little time out this morning to breathe and have a few moments of silence. Everythin here is great but the constant flow of people can be a litle stressful. I can tell I have not been to an Al-Anon meeting in a week. This is a little time to focus on me and talk to HP righ now. It is difficult living with 4 people when you are used to living alone. At least now I recognize that it is probably not easy for everyone else either. I recognize when I am feeling stressed and out of control. I notice I start to clean. I cleaned my sister's apartment this morning. Not such a bad outlet for my craziness. The old me would have been miserable... started yelling etc.

I constantly have to remind myself that everyone has there own way of doing and dealing with things and my way is not the right way for THEM. Overall everything here is really wonderful. We have been having a lot of fun and there have been no fights. I think it is important that we all pay attention to our bodies and not try to pack too much in all of the time. We decided to stay home and make pizza last night and I am sure that it was the right decision. We were all able to get a good nights sleep.

Here is what I am struggling with today... I just want to complain for a moment and then move on. OK's husband is slow as mollases and has poor time manangememnt. Drives me crazy. We are always late for everything. I have been doing well (and OK does the same) with just letting him do his own thing. We leave for the train and if he misses it oh well. Its Christmas Eve and I am missing my mom. I am missing my mom anyway. I am missing my apartment and my bed and my schedule. The way I do things. This has really helped with appreciating living alone too. A lot of times I complain about being single... today I am VERY grateful for that. I am hating the weather here and how everyone else in my family has straight hair but me and I feel out of place because it is always misty and rainy and grumpy. This sounds so shallow. But EVERYONE in Germany has straight here but me and I sort of feel like a freak. I just feel a disturbance in "The Force" within myself if you will. I am headng for a shower and will take a few moments to talk to God and sort things out.

Today is going to be a wonderful day and overall I am truly grateful for everything in my life. I am so lucky and today I recognize that. I am happy to be able to recognize gratitude and that I am spending the day with my sisters and her husband. I am grateful that I get to experience a German Christmas. I am grateful that even though I am thousands of miles away from home I still have a network of recovery.

Peace, Serenity and Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Viele Gruesse aus Deutschland

Greetings from Germany! I just wanted to say thank you for everyone wh said prayers for me. I talked to Little L. and worked everything out. We are having so much fun here. The plane ride was long and not very much fun bu we made it safely. HP had some good lessons in Letting go of what I have no control over. Exampe: broken plane ahead of us that caused us to sit on the tarmac for 2 hours before take off. :)

It has been a wonderful visit so far. We have had very full days and the jet lag is pretty much over with. All we have done is eat good food and drink germain beer and this hot wine drink called gluehwein. It's yummy. We had traditional Bavarian German on Sunday night and last night we had potato pancakes and some yummy meat at the Christmas market. The market is really fun with beautifully contsructed houses selling food, presents and wine. Everyone gather together in the sqaure to enjoy each others company. Today we will go to happy hour in Bremen and then come home and cook dinner and decorate the Christmas tree.

It has been nice to spend time with my sisters and to be able to share with them my experience with ACOA. We read the laundry list this morning for Adult Children. We all laughed at how much we related to everything on the list.

I hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful Holiday. Thanks for all the love and support. I have a lot of Catching up to do on blogs. Peace and Serenity.

Today I am grateful for:

My trip to Germany
My family
Good food and drink
Saying what I mean and meaning what I say (most of the time)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bump In The Road

I had an Al-Anon slip this morning. Right now I am feeling angry, frustrated and a little guilty. I figured I should right about it to get it out. As most of you know I leave tomorrow for my vacation. I am looking forward to the trip very much. I will be going with Little L, who is 19. She has been a source of stress for me as of late and although she is not an alcoholic I consider her one of my currentl qualifiers due to her ACOA behaviors. Honestly, she reminds me exactly of my father (the alcoholic in my household growing up) and sometimes it is very difficult for me to deal with her. She is the only one in my immediate family that does not have a program which means it requires me to work extra hard at my own program when we are together. - Also, hence the tiny bit of stress about 2 weeks in Germany with her.

She is a sophomore in college living on campus. She recently starting dating a new boyfriend and has found a new group of friends. I am happy for her but with this new life she has basically forgotten about her old life.. including family, responsibility and respect, in my opinion of course. I am doing my best to remember that she is only 19 and when I was that age I did MANY things that I wouldn't dream of doing now. It is difficult because she has always acted much older than her age. She loves to be treated like an adult but does not like the responsibilities and consequences that come with it. More recently she has stopped returning my calls, messages and texts. I have been struggling with this. I have huge issues surrounding the situation and much of it derives back to her/our childhood and my mom's lack of parenting for a time. The story is so long and complicated but basically my sister and I are 9 years apart and in a lot of ways we were raised in two totally different families. I lived with active alcoholism and my sister lived with my dad basically gone from her life. When my mom and dad finally divorced, my mom spent the next 6 years pretending like she had no kids. Unfortunately Little L was still very young and was raised by myself and no one. She spent her entire senior year living alone in our house because my mom would spend weekends at her boyfriends house 100 miles north.

That being said, that doesn't exactly jive well with my control freak co-dependant self! It drives me crazy and I have a very hard time letting go. Especially since she is the youngest and my role has always been a second mother to her. Problem is I am not her mother. And I have no right to tell her what she should and shouldn't do. I struggle A LOT! with this. So currently I have been trying to contact her about our trip to Germany and she has not returned my calls. I wanted to let her know to put money in my sisters German account so we wouldn't have to pay extra fees. (Especially since she, in my opinion used her money unwisely through out the year and now has basically nothing saved for the trip). I have still yet to get her to return my call. And ya hooo tonight we are all having our Christmas dinner. Fun times.

I was talking to my mom about it this morning. Which I need to stop doing because she is not my sponsor and she is obviously too close to the whole situation. And of course I got angry and resentful- my favorite defense tool. And of course my mom took offense which in turn made me more angry. And it turned into this whole big saga. And I was like mom this is not about you. Its about me... of course. Ha! So now I feel badly and I should have just blogged here and avoided the whole big mess. I know this post is full of expectations and judgements... I am not writing to be Al-Anon-ed to death. I am becoming aware of all the moving parts and most importantly my part in the situation. I just need some love, and prayers, support and maybe a few suggestions on how to let this garbage go so that I can enjoy my vacation because really I love my family very much and I am so grateful for all the amazing things in my life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lots of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for a busy day at work. It helped to make the time fly by.

Today I am grateful that my mommy's present just arrived via UPS. I was getting a little worried.

Today I am grateful that my co-worker brought in leftover chicken cutlets she made for dinner last night. They were super yummy!

Today I am grateful that it is my home ACOA meeting. I am looking forward to volunteering for service again. And also I am happy that I am able to attend one last meeting before I had overseas.

Today I am grateful for one more day of work before I am lucky enough to have 2 whole weeks off.

Today I am grateful for Christmas right around the corner

Today I am grateful that I am getting better and feeling better. I find myself able to use the program more often than not. And even though sometimes it takes a little time I am able to get out of the funk that used to last for days and sometimes weeks.

Today I am grateful for a loving and all knowing God- who guides me when I let him and who still loves me even when I don't.

Today I am grateful for my friends and family who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to see me before Christmas because I will be away.

Today I am grateful that I am able to make better decisions. I am able to let go of things and give them to my Higher Power.

Today I am grateful to reconnect with old friends from my childhood through the lovely network of facebook.

Today I am grateful that K1 took me to see Neil Young on Tuesday night and it was like a spiritual experience. It was an amazing concert and brought me back so many times to my childhood. He was great and he ended his encore with a Tom Waits song and then The Beatles, A Day In the Life. Pretty rad!

Today I am grateful for all my blogging friends- for their love and support and caring.

Today I am grateful that I actually take the time to be grateful. Because for a long time I just thought the world was always supposed to revolve around me (although sometimes I still do)