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I have had this friend since elementary school, Todd.  He is quite literally the nicest guy ever.  Seriuously.  He was one of those kids who really did actually turn the other cheek when someone was mean to him in school.  I never saw him ever lose his temper.  I love him to pieces.  He grew up to be a firefighter.  He saves lives.  STILL the nicest guy ever.  He has a little girl and a baby boy who is just a couple months old.  He had been sick for a while and he thought it was just bronchitis that wouldn't go away.  It turns out, he has advanced lung cancer.  Advanced lung cancer!!!  He is only 30!!!!!  *sobs*  One minute, he's getting ready to go to the doctor, the next he's been taken to a hospital in MA and blasted with chemo.  I don't understand it.  There is no logic in it. I...just....can't.

A breakthrough in the madness


As I'd blogged about before, I've been trying to come to terms with some emotional baggage concerning my biological sperm donor guy.  I truly believe that some, if not most, of my weight struggles are related to feelings of rejection.  Anyway, I finally received a letter from him.  After 28 years of nothing, I received a letter.  What I realized after reading the letter is that in no way did he actually reject me.  In fact, my mom and I are entirely too good for him.  He's truly just a loser. A loser who, I found out, just got out of prison for doing something so disgusting, I can't even bring myself to post about it.

At first, I found myself mingled in horror at what he had done and disgusted by the fact that his blood runs through my veins.  I wish their was a "donor be gone" detox...but alas...there is not.  I take heart in knowing that I am 100% my mom's side of the family in terms of absolutely everything else.

Since the letter, I have felt better about myself, more in control and honestly....no longer feel rejected.  It's a great feeling to have confronted the one thing I was afraid of and come out on the other side a better, happier person for it.


Need a New Identity

I need a new identity.  Currently, mine consists of being either “Millsy’s Sister” or “My cool boss’ daughter”.  *sighs*  I went to a concert last night for a band that I LoOoOoVE called Fall From Below.  They are REALLY heavy rock…LOVE them…(did I say how much I love them?)  First off:  when people look at me, they do not expect me to be at a hardcore concert.  I admit, I look much preppier than my insides actually are.  Inside, I’m more akin to Amy Lee from Evanescence, but I digress.  The lead singer is a family friend and he happily came up to me and started to introduce to me to other people around me who know my dad and brother.  So I’m introduced as “Millsy’s sister”.  My favorite line of the night was when Matt introduced to me to a rigger who works for my dad and the rigger says “You’re Millsy’s sister?  I thought you would be taller”.  WTF?? *headdesk*  Yeah…my brother is like 6’5 and stacked, so I guess they assumed I would be what?  Tall and modelesque?  Sorry to disappoint.  What was really sad is that this girl that I graduated high school with introduced me by my name to her fiance, but he didn’t recognize me, so she said “Millsy’s sister” and suddenly he’s all “oh yeah!”  The instant I said the words “Most people know me as Millsy’s sister” ANOTHER guy that my brother played semi-pro with came up behind me and said “Aren’t you Millsy’s sister?”  It’s never ending.

The problem is that it’s been like this since high school.  Even people MY age (I’m older than my brother) that I GRADUATED with only know me as Millsy’s sister.  I think I’m going to have a t-shirt made…as a joke of course….

Can you tell it annoys me?  Like REALLY annoys me?  No one freaking remembers my name…EVER.   As much as I love my brother and my family, I was thrilled when I lived in WA that NO ONE knew my brother and everyone knew me as ME.  This is the price I pay for wanting to be near my folks.  *sighs*

I’m currently brainstorming ways to stand out so much that they remember MY name and start calling him “Tab’s brother”.

A happy moment

My mom is making huge progress with Dominic.  Having only seen him his first week of life until we were able to get stationed on the east coast again, it's been a little hard.  He didn't remember her (he's only 18 months old) and he's a little guy who doesn't just take to people quickly.  He has to evaluate you a bit before making a decision.  He spent the night there about two weeks ago and seemed to do okay, but yesterday was when I really noticed the difference.  For one, he went to my dad the second we got out of the car and normally he clings to me for 20 minutes MINIMUM before he'll even really look at anyone else.  Two: he actually let my mom cuddle him and fell asleep on her.  Usually the ONLY person he does that with is me.  He doesn't even do that for Mike.  Three:  although he was very happy to see me when I returned, it wasn't with his usual grasping my leg for dear life wondering where I went.  He was running around, happy as can be.  He stopped for two seconds to give me a kiss and then was off again.  The lastly, and best thing, from the look on my mom's face, was that when it was time to leave he actually threw a little tantrum and reached out to his gramma to take him so he could stay.  Yay!!  I've been feeling so sad that he just didn't seem to be taking to my family the way I thought he would because having family is so important, but I guess that he just needed a little time.  Seeing him so happy over there definitely encourages me to be able to have a little more me time, knowing that he'll be somewhere he loves.  Up 'til now, even though my mom lives less than 30 minutes away, I haven't asked her to watch the kids a lot because I knew how hard it is for Dominic to adjust and I just couldn't see myself relaxing and having fun when I was worried that he would be crying a lot.  Now perhaps I will venture out a little bit more....

Just randomness

Lately I have an unnatural addiction to Quotebook’s Tumblr.  I can’t help it that they are always posting things that seem so relevant to me these days.  I am normally such a happy go lucky person that having all of this anger, resentment, sadness and anxiety inside of me is something so foreign that I don’t know how to deal with it or express it.  Sometimes it’s easier to post someone else’s words. Anyway….

My marriage….ah….well….I have no idea.  He seems like he’s trying harder with the kids and with me, but I’m having trust issues still.  I’m always on guard.  I never posted what he did, but it was borderline breaking a vow you make when you are first married.  I know that he knows he f*cked up.  The problem is that we can’t even argue now without it turning into a screaming match.  Well…we couldn’t.  We had a breakthrough last week where we both wrote letters to each other.  Writing is what we both do best.  You can write exactly what you are feeling without attacking someone else.  It seems to have worked.  We seem to be back on the same page….but still….sometimes I’m so leary.  I want my marriage to work.  I married this man because I love him, and I don’t take vows lightly.  I don’t believe that he takes them lightly either.  I believe that my husband is a good man.  I think his problem is that he has an inner, extremely self-destructive nature and he needs to see someone.  He said he was going to, but he never did.  So, we’ll see how things go.  It’s sad.  It really used to be me and him against the world and somewhere along the line it changed to me and him against each other and I want the first one back.  We overcame SO many things that people didn’t expect us to because we stuck together and had each others back.  I think that we still want the same things, but we come from different angles and we need to both work on the compromise part of things.

My children….My children are beautiful, but of course, I worry about them.  Samuel is doing much better in school, but there’s always room for improvement.  He’s in two special classes plus his regular class and things are getting better.  I’m so proud of him.  Dominic is hitting the terrible 2’s and it’s really bad.  I think it’s bad moreso because he’s not talking at all yet.  I worry about that.  I also worry because he’s only 30.5” tall and not expected to grow more than a 1/2 inch in the next 6 months.  If so, then he’ll be 31” at 2 yrs and they normally double that as their height within 2” as an adult.  So that’s 5’2”….possible 5’4 OR *gasps* 5’!!  My husband says I worry too much about this, but I’m concerned that my little man is going to be picked on for being short in stature.  (Although with his current throwing arm…he may be a football player or baseball player….) My friend Rachael says there is nothing wrong with being short (she’s in the high 4’ range) but it’s different for girls than it is for boys.  I’m apparently hurting now for the emotional trauma he may suffer later.  I can’t help it….he’s my baby. :P

My health…HA! As if the above isn’t enough, I’m dealing with NASH (non-alcoholic kidney disease), 2nd stage kidney disease, newly diagnosed asthma and an auto-immune disorder that they haven’t named, but they are leaning towards Lupus.  (Really?  THIS time it’s Lupus? and the award goes to HOUSE)  I’m trying to lose weight.  I’m trying to go to the gym and get myself as healthy as I can.  But guess what?  Just when I was on a roll….I now have bronchitis with a “touch” of pneumonia.  I can barely move without having to stop and catch what little breath I seem to have left.  On top of all the vitamins I take a day (Women’s mulit-vitamin with extra B vitamins, fish oil, D3, and Iron…and ironically…STILL anemic) I now also have anti-biotics, steroids, an inhaler and cough syrup w/codeine for at night and right before naps.  I can’t seem to catch a break and it’s frustrating.  I’m an emotional eater and let me tell you….it is excruciating for me to actually have to feel.  I’ve been having monster anxiety attacks.  Not just about marriage and health, because there’s also…..

My family…..I have a family member going through a really tough time and this family member is someone that I feel so close to that it’s breaking my heart to know what they are going through.  My mom vents to me as I’m her “person” and I vent to her….so I hear pretty much everything.  I wouldn’t change it….This paragraph is deliberately vague but let me help you out here:  my extremely large family was once compared to the Kennedy’s.  From the outside looking in, we are perfect.  We are very close-knit, we protect each other, there is a lot of love.  From an insiders perspective,however, we are ALL completely falling apart in some way.  And it seemed to all happen within the last 2 years, which is an INSANE amount of heartache and grief and stress for everyone to take in. 

And last but not least there are the OTHERS:  I still don’t know what to call my biological sperm donors side of the family.  I only have a real relationship with my youngest “uncle” Alan.  This is because I’ve been talking to him on and off for 10 years now whereas the rest of the clan is just now deciding that they are taking an interest in me.  I was 3 when Cliff chose to walk out of my life and now that I’m turning 30 this year, he suddenly wants to know more about me?  He asked me for my address so that he could “write” me.  Only after I gave it to him did I start worrying that he would randomly show up on my doorstep and need a place to stay.  (He just got out of prison for having sex with a minor while drunk…..yeah….there’s a winner….)  You know what’s sad?  I actually feel disgusted that I’m blood related to him.  There’s a bit of self-loathing on my part that there is any part of this mans blood running through my veins.  *shudders*  And the more I find out about the others, the less I’m inclined to want to get to know them.  However, I know that I have abandonment issues that stem from this man, and I’m aware that it’s part of the reason for my weight.  I’ve been binge eating since I was young, I just never gained weight because I was athletic and did 2-3 sports at a time on top of regular activity…riding my bike 10 miles or running 2 and doing aerobics and whatnot.  I stopped doing ALL those activities when I was around 21 and on came the weight.  My mom thinks that I need to confront him with my questions and actually let myself feel the emotions (some of it hatred, blind hatred…horrible to admit, but true) before I’m going to be able to help myself get better.

You know, it actually felt really good to write everything down in one area.  I’m glad that I decided to do this today….


I am an emotional binge eater.  I recognize this.  I am taking steps to try to curb it.  The problem is that by taking steps to curb the emotional eating, I actually have to FEEL things now.  It's not going well.  I'm quite overwhelmed by things that are going on.  While things with my husband are better, I have a whole litany of other things that are affecting me and where I would normally binge eat.....I'm not....and the result is that I'm having severe anxiety attacks.  I do mean severe....like....go to the hospital because I can't breathe....attacks.

Today I broke down and binge ate.  Surprisingly, I stopped far sooner than I normally would and I haven't had the urge to do it again yet.  This is such a huge step!!!!

I have to coordinate with my husband so that I know when his duty days are because I am actually going to seek professional help with this.  I can't do this on my own, there are just too many things going on in my life for me to be able to deal on my own.

Facing fears

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it… You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
My biological persons side of the family has been talking to me after 28 years of not knowing them.  Also, apparently, my sperm donor has decided he wants to know more about me.  Now that I’m 30 years old. Yay. I have had so many abandonment issues from the time I was young because of this man and the idea of facing everything I have always questioned has made it so that I have really bad anxiety attacks anytime I even get an email from them. A recent one triggered an asthma attack.  My best friend tells me to cut my losses.  She’s worried the pain from my past is hurting me more than helping, but I feel the above quote is more accurate for the situation and that when I’m finally able to come to grips with everything I will finally be “free”
My biological persons side of the family has been talking to me after 28 years of not knowing them.  Also, apparently, my sperm donor has decided he wants to know more about me.  Now that I’m 30 years old. Yay. I have had so many abandonment issues from the time I was young because of this man and the idea of facing everything I have always questioned has made it so that I have really bad anxiety attacks anytime I even get an email from them. A recent one triggered an asthma attack.  My best friend tells me to cut my losses.  She’s worried the pain from my past is hurting me more than helping, but I feel the above quote is more accurate for the situation and that when I’m finally able to come to grips with everything I will finally be “free”

My vent about the SeaWorld incident

I can not speak for SeaWorld.  I do not work there.  I have no knowledge of their practices.  As someone who works for an aquarium and with marine animals, I am horrified and saddened by what happened to the trainer yesterday.  However, does it come as a surprise?  No.  It happens and every trainer working with such large animals knows the risk.  Should Tillicum have been used in any of their shows?  In my own opinion, no.  Not with the history that SeaWorld knew he had.  Now, in all honesty, I'm really confused as to what happened because SeaWorld officials say that she fell in and Tillicum drowned her.  Eye witnesses (and some anonymous SW sources apparently) say that Tillicum jumped out of the water and grabbed her.  In any case, it was tragic and I feel for her family, friends, and the poor bystanders who were witnesses to the event.

Where I work, we do a sea lion show.  The sea lions were not "captured" from the wild.  They were rescued and couldn't be rehabilitated safely to be returned to the wild.  Some of them continued to restrand themselves, some of them showed too much curiosity towards humans.  The aquarium I work at strives to return as many animals as they can to the wild.  It's true interest is in education and preservation.  At our shows, you will not see people riding on animals backs or in the water with the animals.  You will see a display of the beauty of the animals.  They demonstrate their strength and agility and character.  The trainers talk about what they eat and how to help preserve them in the wild.  We do have one sea lion that used to work for the Navy helping to retrieve wreckage.  They do a small demonstration with his skills.

We do have whales.  Beluga whales.  They are not used for show purposes.  They have their own monstrous Alaskan Coast outdoor exhibit and there are only 2 of them.  Plenty of room to swim and enjoy.  Although trainers do "enrichment" with the animals, you will not see them on their backs, noses or any other part of them and no one is in the water with them. (and enrichment is done behind the scenes) Beluga whales are endangered and we do our best to protect the ones that we have and the atmosphere is kept as close to natural as possible under the circumstances. 

I believe that aquariums and zoos who's aim it is to truly educate, protect and preserve should lead by example.  I believe whole-heartedly that humans are depleting earth's natural resources and there are many animals that would be extinct except for a few zoos and aquariums that do their best to not only protect them, but continue to breed them.  I know that I stand by the mission of my place of employment 100% and will defend it until I die.  Literally.  I believe so strongly in all the good that they do there. 

I don't know how I feel about places like SeaWorld.  I've been there when I was younger and was absolutely amazed by the beauty of Orcas.  I thought the show was amazing, but at the same time wondered how safe it was for those people to actually be in the water with these wild animals.  Lets face it....no matter how you put it....they are wild.  However, they are close to being on the endangered list because of human actions to their native habitats, so do I begrudge SeaWorld from having them?  No.  Do I think that maybe they should concentrate on more of the animals natural behaviors?  The ones that don't involve people on their backs or in their pool?  Yeah.  After all...playtime for an Orca is extremely dangerous for a human who is very fragile.  You can't expect an extremely large dolphin to understand that.  Plus, you DO hear of certain types of dolphins being extremely human friendly in the wild and playing with them while they are swimming at a beach; so to me - a show where people are holding on to the fins of THOSE kinds of dolphins is feasible. In a demonstration of how friendly they are...not standing on their heads or jumping from their nose...  It happens...realistically...in the wild...frequently. (Although when my aquarium had dolphins, I can't recall a single time when any of our trainers were in the water with them)  I have not heard of (although I could be wrong) Orcas being so friendly.  While they have not ever EATEN a human in the wild.  I haven't heard of them PLAYING with humans in the wild.  As a matter of fact, they tend to stay far away from humans.  What would give anyone the impression that it's a good idea to interact with them in captivity?  Just sayin.  

I'm seriously hoping that in light of what happened the other day (and in the past, not just with Tilly, but other Orcas who almost drown their trainers during rehearsals and training) that maybe they will take a good look at how they present their shows.  Maybe they were taking mother nature for granted.  People will still come to their shows to see the Orcas no matter if they have people doing crazy stunts on them or not.  People want to learn about these animals and (we can hope) learn how to preserve them.

I also hope that people realize that not all aquariums/zoos are the same and that there are many mid-size/small ones that work their asses off with a volunteer to paid worker ratio of 3:1 (so that all the proceeds go to taking care of our animals, rehabiliting ones that were stranded and other conservation efforts) to truly bring home the message of conservation and not just to entertain the masses.

breaking down

I have been so frustrated lately.  My husband has only really been home for about 5 months and it has been insanely hard to assimilate him back into the family.  Not on our part, I swear, I feel like he would rather be out to sea than have to figure out how to relate to his sons, or to me for that matter.  He and my oldest son have practically no relationship and Samuel really doesn't respect him.  I've tried to talk to my son about cutting daddy a break and understanding that he and I do things differently, but I think that Samuel doesn't see his dad try, so he doesn't.  My husband has also done and said some really hurtful things to me since he's been home and last night, Samuel heard one of them, and started crying because he didn't understand why daddy was being mean to me.  I just told him that sometimes grown ups argue and say things that they don't mean, but it doesn't mean that they don't love each other or him any less.  Although my husband said that he was going to speak to a counselor about his assimilation issues (it's very common among military personnel.  They feel disconnected and struggle with how to be "normal"), he has not yet taken that step.

On top of that, my 18 month old has developed a wicked temper and I'm at wits end with knowing what to do that is developmentally appropriate.  My husband was smacking his hand, but all that started was that Dominic now hits US.  It's getting out of control and at least once a day, I am reduced to tears.

Add to it that I'm trying to lose weight, but I'm an emotional binge eater and it's just crazy.  I try to get out and go to the gym, but everytime I come home, my husband and Samuel are at each others throats - almost literally - and both are so miserable that I feel bad about leaving them instead of being home to mediate.

Something has got to give - and soon - or I'm going to be checking myself into the nuthouse.  No joke.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.

The Devil is a blonde who wears lycra....

Actual conversation with my personal trainer this morning:

Her: “You did your arms yesterday, right?”

Me: “Yup. Legs today?”

Her: “Do you have any big plans for tomorrow?”

Me: “ummm….no. Just church in the morning.”

Her: “Oh.  Good.  You don’t need to be able to walk for that.  Let’s get started!”

*Go to shot of me with horrified look on my face*

Needless to say, I can barely move right now.  Know what it feels like to have rubber bands for knees?  I do