Sunday, August 26, 2012

I've got it bad...

We arrived in Utah at 11:45pm on Tuesday the 21st of August, after a long but (mercifully) uneventful flight. The trans-Atlantic leg was end-freaking-less--eight hours and 35 minutes. The in-flight entertainment system was only working for one of our seats, so we played musical chairs for nearly the whole flight. Edith loved the airplane toilets, and we had to use them about ten times during the flight. She got a little grumpy toward the end, but took a 45 minute nap on my lap and was good as gold when we landed in Atlanta.

Customs and immigration was a breeze. The immigration officers very kindly allowed me to use the US citizens line, even though Edith was travelling on a British passport. I didn't need any help, but it was volunteered on several occasions. We had a longer layover than I thought, so we all got a little bit bored and antsy waiting for our connecting flight. The kids spent the entire flight sleeping, and I got to read (Emma, that Kindle has been a GODSEND! Thank you!).

So yeah, we flew. We got bored. We arrived. No lost luggage, no vomiting, no seizures, no crying. My children were models of good behavior, and I was so relieved.

(Thanks for the blessing, Mr. Gilbert)

The first day here was rough, as always. The kids got up at 4:30 am, and I was running on two hours of sleep all day. But we followed the jet-lag rules, spent as much time outside as possible, didn't nap, and went to bed at a sensible time.

We are having a great time--Lofley family reunion yesterday, cousin DJ's missionary farewell today, and just family stuff all day long. I've missed these guys so much, and though we live so far apart, I always feel like we slip effortlessly back into our place in the family when we come home. I expected to feel that way.

What I did NOT expect to feel was like a foreigner in my own country. It's a very strange sensation. People keep making eye contact with me, and it's weirding me out.
Everyone is so friendly. Nobody is smoking. It's so CLEAN! I don't feel like I belong here.

Don't get me wrong--I still want to move back here more than anything. But this trip is kind of an eye-opener for me. I really feel more comfortable in England now than I do in Utah. Going back there and waiting to sell our house is going to be easier from here on out, I think.

The biggest revelation to me is how much I miss my husband. He's probably on his flight to SLC right now, and I can hardly wait to see him. It was so hard to say goodbye to him at Heathrow, and I am seriously sad without him. Nearly eleven years of marriage, and I am still so crazy about him that I can't bear to spend this much time apart. Pathetic, but kind of awesome!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Letting go...

I took the kids to the Butts Road park yesterday. We had a little picnic, picked and ate some of the first blackberries of the season, and they played on the swings and slide.

It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, but the park was shady and cool. The kids were playing together without fighting, and having a wonderful time. I was sitting on a swing, just watching them play, when all of a sudden I felt the urge to actually do some swinging.

I felt like a kid in the schoolyard again--pumping myself back and forth on that hard plastic seat, hands gripping the chains. I kept going higher and higher, then I closed my eyes, leaned back, and just let myself go.

It was one of the most amazing feelings I've ever had. That brief 30 seconds when I didn't have a care in the world. I wasn't trying to control anyone or anything--not even myself. I released all my stress and all my worries, and I felt completely free.

Today was my last session with Will, the awesome Scottish therapist. It was a really good one. We talked about my insight on the swings yesterday, and the fact that I now realize my anger and stress are triggered by my need for control. I must be in control of all things in my life at all times, and when I don't have that control, I freak out. I lash out. I get angry with my children when I can't control their behavior. But I'm starting to realize that I don't NEED to control their behavior. I just need to teach them the proper way to behave, stand by to make sure the lessons are being absorbed, and step in when necessary to make minor corrections.

We discussed the source of my control issues.

It's not something that I'm ready to blog about yet, but I think I may get there eventually. It's something that's shaped everything about the grown-up me. It's got me a referral for trauma counselling. Nearly sixteen years after the fact, but still...better late than never, right?

I feel like I'm finally on the path to becoming whole and happy and healthy.

That's not to say that I am unhappy, because I'm not. I have a wonderful husband, whom I adore. He loves me, too. We have two beautiful children. We have a comfortable existence. I have wonderful friends and an extended family that can't be beat. I'm happy, and incredibly blessed.

Whole and healthy, though. Hmmm, that's another matter.

But I've reached a point where I want the whole package. Just happy isn't enough. I want to be rid of my dissociation and demons. My control issues and coping mechanisms. I want to be authentic and unfettered and free.

To feel the way I felt on the swings yesterday, to have that all the time, would be the most incredible blessing of all.

Hooray for therapy.

And, as Martin said today, "Thank goodness we don't have to pay for this!"

Friday, August 03, 2012

The dating game...

Once upon a time, I had notoriously bad taste in men. My parents never, and I do mean NEVER, approved of the boys I liked. Looking back, I can kind of see their point of view. But thanks to Facebook, I am currently in touch with most of my ex-boyfriends. And let me tell you, most of them have turned out pretty awesome--no matter how little potential they seemed to have at the time.

There have only been three guys I dated that my parents actually approved of. One of them was when I was just barely sixteen, and it turns out that he pretty much only asked me out because he was "desperate for a snog" (his words, not mine). Another one is (I believe) currently a recovering drug addict who is living with his parents and suffering from severe mental health issues. The other one takes the cake--he is gay.

I really ought to have more faith in my own judgement.

My parents didn't want me to marry Martin. They tried to talk me out of marrying him right up until two weeks before the wedding. Funny, because he is the best man I ever brought home for them to meet. He is so wonderful.

So the moral of the story is, if your parents try to tell you who you should be dating you should definitely ignore them. Unless your name it Edith Alyssa Gilbert.