Friday, March 15, 2013

One Year

This is right before it hit.  The kids were the only ones taking this seriously.  There had been two sirens and they'd been down in our designated safe room for 20 minutes.  
I, of course, was NOT taking it very seriously.  I was upstairs taking pictures of hail when it started to pass over our house.  An instinct came over me and I ran downstairs and held the door of the bathroom closed.  It felt like we were in a washing machine.  There was a sucking force.  And, yes, a freight train sound.  Which, living a couple blocks from the tracks, has been a PTSD trigger for me nearly 
every. single. night.

I don't have words for what happened or what was said or how I felt when it hit our house.  
I just have a strong wave of anxiety.  It was terrifying and without knowing we were in a tornado... I knew.  It was a weird knowing and unlike any other feeling I've had.  

When I thought it might be over I went upstairs.  I still didn't really know what happened.  It was like a dream state of shock.  This is the first thing I saw out the windows.  All the trees I could see were either uprooted or shorn off.  We are talking about massive 3-4 foot diameter 100+ foot tall trees.   
I think I started hyperventilating.

This is what I could see out of the windows on the other side of the house.  At this point I became terrified that we weren't safe inside the house, that more trees might fall, or there might be one on the house. I was also scared about our gas line.

These are all our yard.  It looked like a giant game of pick up sticks.  I was terrified to be outside and terrified to stay inside.  It was a nightmare.

It was an extremely traumatic event. The actual tornado, but also everything that happened afterwards.  The fighting with insurance and contractors... still, one year later, is something I don't think anyone expects.  And the energy for that after having been traumatized emotionally is almost impossible to summon.  My worry about the unpredictability and strength of mother nature is intense.  There are no simple thunderstorms for me anymore.  I'm very worried about the spring.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Update (also known as stuff you probably aren't interested in)

Hmm, this past week was a mixed bag.  As per the norm I have had a very hard time adjusting to the time change.  Damn, my body just can't ever handle it.  Fall or Spring.  I do love me some DST and actually would prefer that they just make that permanent, having the light in the evenings is a HUGE mood booster.... I just can't handle the actual time change.  It takes me about a week or so to adjust.

We went up to The Cougar's house this weekend to pick up some things.  I was very worried that going back would be hard emotionally, but it still felt comfortable. She had such a great family house, it's a shame that we won't have that to bring our family together anymore.

I took the kids to the bouncy house again on Friday.  I wish I had thought of this a long time ago.  It's the best detoxifier ever.  Again, it really stretched our weekend.  Remember in the beginning of the school year when we went out to eat on Mondays and Fridays to help the school week feel less overwhelming?  Well, we stopped soon after I wrote that, because A) the homework load was too big to be able to eat out, and B) we got sick of that routine.  But, it was helpful to have that routine while we adjusted.  Point?  That I think we are going through another rough time, and establishing a routine of things to look forward to helps immensely.  Right now, going straight from school to the bouncy house on Friday afternoons, and then going out to eat, and watching a movie before bed makes our weekend feel like a 3 day weekend.  And we need that.  Because our weeks feel like 10 day weeks.

Kid had another sleepover with her remaining Korean friend. We all really like her, she has a great personality.  I am very worried about how this is going to play out, though, when she leaves.  We took her out to a Korean restaurant, so that our girls could familiarize themselves more with her culture.  Everyone loved it.  When we got home they Skyped their other friend who went back to Korea.  There are the obvious hardships with this, but I am so thankful that Kid has had this experience.  It's been an amazing learning opportunity.

We still have no idea what we'll do school-wise next year.  There is hope that next year will be drastically better with the 5th grade teacher where they are... but... we don't know.  This year has been part torture.  I was happy to hear that a dad went into Kid's teacher last week and angrily asked "What's up with the college level spelling words?!"  At least I know we really aren't the only ones who are so frustrated.  (P.S. Kid would want you to know that she is the only one in the class that scored an A+ on that spelling test.... if anything comes from this it is that we have learned how to study... I just wish we didn't have to learn that at age 10 at the expense of any downtime).

We are a couple days from the one year tornado anniversary.  Spring worries me... a lot.  The kids were out playing and then came rushing back in when they thought they saw a bank of clouds on the horizon.  I think this will be a hard couple of months.  I had some extreme PTSD for several months, and while that feels better, I think that might be in large part because it has been winter.  We'll see.  I expect this year will be the hardest and hopefully it'll get easier for us to get through as time goes by.  And, no, our repairs are still not all finished!  We actually just got a bill from the disaster contractors... and I won't get into that nightmare... except to say... yeah, we don't owe YOU anything.

Speaking of tornadoes the Red Cross has a new Tornado app that you should immediately install on your cell phones & tablets.  It is free.  It has a built in siren that will go off in the event of a tornado warning, which is so important if you are not in an area that has sirens, or if you might not hear it where you are.  Go get it!  If you live in the US you need it.  Especially if you live between the Rockies and the Appalachian Mountains.

Yesterday, Baby broke down and sobbed and sobbed and said she wished she wasn't alive, that she doesn't like her life.  Um, yeah, I pretty much wanted to kill myself.  Things are hard for her right now, she feels a big divide between her interests and Kid's as Kid matures and it leaves Baby feeling heart broken and lonely.    Oh, so sad.  We all had a good cry over that when I told Mr F and Kid about it.  Baby is going to make a list of things she likes to do with each of us, and when she is feeling lonely and left out she can pick one thing and we will make sure one of us is available to do that with her.  I hope that helps!  I think being the baby of a family is hard and it is easy to feel left behind.  She also has a very busy nature and needs a lot of stimulation and company... a characteristic that is not natural to Kid, Mr F, or myself.  With Baby it is not ever enough, and that can be frustrating for all of us.  Even if I throw her a luncheon tea party, or let her give me a makeover (which I wore out in public!), or let her set up a restaurant in our kitchen (at dinner time on a school night!) as soon as that is over she needs more.  There is no downtime.  But we need to work harder at recognizing that and helping her find more ways to fill up her time.  As I said to Mr F, she's only going to need us in this way for a couple more years.  I also think, she is ready for a full day of school... of course, that has to wait until the Fall.    Anyone else go through something like this?  Age related or temperament?  I kind of think a bit of both.  It definitely makes me feel sad, and question my parenting, because I am with her the majority of her day and it isn't enough to make her feel fulfilled.  She is so creative and gifted and has a huge imagination... and all of her ideas and plans are big and elaborate and inconvenient.  You know?  I just can't always help her pull them off on a school day.  If you follow our Facebook you KNOW that we have a full life and do a lot of fun stuff together while Kid is at school.... everyday.  I have to keep reminding myself that I really do do stuff with her, because I have a natural tendency to beat myself up.  I wish I knew how to make her happier.  I hope this is age related moodiness.  The thought did occur to me.... great... we've got one with anxiety and now the other with depression (and I suspect ADD)... the one two three genetic punch!

Speaking of ADD... Mr F left the garage door open the other night.  I set the alarm. I woke up in the middle of the night having a heart attack.  I try not to let the ADD bother me too much anymore... but... yeah, I was pissed.  Close the fucking door!

That's it.

Except this:

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