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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

One Fish -- RIP

When Chris went into the hospital in Dec. 2015, she asked me to take care of her two Betta fish. I am not a "fish person" but agreed thinking it was a temporary situation, and didn't know the names of the fish so I called them "One Fish" and "Two Fish" after, you know, Dr. Seuss One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. As one was red (on the fins) and the other bluish green....

Anyway, you know Chris died a year ago in June.

I have had One Fish and Two Fish since --- and they became a part of my little family. Daily rituals. Feed Kona, feed Ripley, feed fish... you know routine.

This a.m. found One Fish dead..... waited awhile to make sure... by afternoon still not moving, sort curled on the bottom on the aquarium -- gently scooped him/her up -- no movement, no response, so after making sure --- buried him/her by Zenith and Boomer's ashes in the back yard.

This shouldn't bother me so much, but I have been in and out of tears all afternoon -- I mean, jeepers, it's just a fish -- and I am not even a "fish person"....

But part of Chris went with that fish.

Now I am worried about "Two Fish", who is acting strangely out of character -- do fish grieve? They were not in the same aquarium as you can't put two Bettas together as they will fight. But they did live next door to each other....

And I am just rambling about silly fish... No not "silly" fish --  Chris's fish... which I weirdly gotten attached too...

Tomorrow another EMDR therapy appointment -- don't know if I am ready.....

Friday, July 14, 2017

One Stressful Week

So this week ends with a bang -- my computer was hacked! I don't know how it happened, but on and off all week when I tried to send an e-mail or post something, my computer would redirect to strange websites telling me that my Mac was infected and to call 1-888 numbers to talk to "an expert" at Apple Support but the phone numbers did not match the phone that I have for Apple Support and first I just ignored it as some phishing type of scam until yesterday I couldn't access anything on my computer at all! And finally called the "real" Apple Support phone number and ended up on the phone with the "real" Tech, who told me that yes, indeed, these "pop up" windows were a scam.

After about an hour of doing this and that, with the Tech "sharing" my screen and finding strange things like "wormhole" and "Megabug" on my "activities pages", and trying to delete them, some successfully, some which would not budge, the Support Tech suggested downloading a software program that took nearly five hours to download, and while that was downloading, he told me there was a concern that I might lose everything on my computer.

Jeepers!

So here I am frantically trying to move documents and photos onto flash drives and I am up until 3 a.m. last night....

I was going to blog about having Reiki therapy yesterday, which my therapist suggested instead of another EMDR session. She suggested this because I was pretty much a nervous wreck when I walked in -- having had a bad week with Kona being sick (she is better now) and experiencing a couple of dissociative incidents, plumbing issues and going through a really severe thunderstorm Wednesday evening that left me shaking and crying as thunder and lightening boomed and flashed around the house, and me alone hugging the cat and dog, missing Bob so much -- and well, just being stressed and sad and grief stricken...

Now, I've heard of Reiki but never had done it or even seen it done, but was ready try anything. The experience was interesting, the therapist holds her hands over and sometimes on different parts of your body, starting at your head and working down ending with your feet, the idea is to transfer "positive energy" and remove "negative energy" and while doing this, the lights are turned down and very relaxing music is playing the background. I found myself feeling quite calm and relaxed after the therapy.

Then I come home to blog and nothing is working on my computer! aargh! So much for "calm and relaxation". I was up all night waiting for new software to install. At midnight, when the thing was reading it had one more hour to go, I decided to go for a midnight swim.

And am so relieved that my computer is working perfectly this morning and I have not lost any files... phew!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Kona's Birthday - 6 years old!

I fostered/adopted her 6/25/15 and this picture is of her with her former owner -- she was almost 4 years old,  91 lbs and look at those nails! She was used as a breeding dog, for a "backyard puppy mill" and got no exercise and didn't even know "sit" --


Her first day home with me  ---
Then training, exercise, proper diet, down to 75 lbs. where she should be --

Now one happy damn dog!
I "rescued" her from
the FL Labrador Retriever Rescue Society --- but I must ask, truthfully, who rescued who?
Don't know how I could have made it without her -- she is now certified/licensed/registered service dog -- for me
Happy Birthday, Kona!
And yes, she got a Doggie Ice Cream Sunday at the Dairy Inn and lots of tennis balls and treats!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Good Grief & U2

I have been reading Theresa Caputo's new book Good Grief -- you may know the author as The Long Island Medium. The cover of the book states Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones and Learn to Live Again. I highly recommend it to anyone going through the grieving process.

I purchased the book "pre-publication" online as I had seen her on a talk show promoting the book, so really didn't know what to expect. But I am a big fan of her show. And got a discount purchasing it pre-publication.

When I first got the book, and got to the end of the first chapter -- there was an "exercise".  I hate exercises in books and usually skip them, but this exercise (which she calls "healing moments") started out Even if you don't change out of your plaid pajamas, you are going shopping today. Then she went on to pretty much demand the reader to go the nearest bookstore immediately and buy a journal that you really like the looks of because I (the reader) would need this to write in for further exercises. hmmmm

I read this sitting on the back porch with Kona having just gotten out of the pool and it was 4:00 p.m. and believe me, I never leave the house to go shopping at 4:00 p.m. but you know what -- I got up, got changed, grabbed Kona and headed to the nearest bookstore.  Man, that Long Island Medium can be persuasive....

So I bought the journal, a beautiful one.
My Journal
So fast forward to the present:

In Chapter 11, the exercise is to find an activity that your loved one couldn't resist. Then invite their spirit to join you in this activity.  And know that if you felt Spirit's presence at any point, it was real....

I had thought about that one for a long time. I don't necessarily do the "exercises" in order, and sometimes think about them for awhile. One of the exercises had been to "share" something your loved one enjoyed (food, drink, whatever) and also share a story and I did that on May 28th with our little Celebration of Bob's Life.

Anyway, so this week my friend Hillary and I went to the U2 concert, and I thought perfect! I will invite Bob (in spirit) to join us as he also loved U2. I didn't tell Hillary this, because I didn't want her to freak out thinking a ghost might be traveling with us in her back seat. Or worse, think I had completely fallen off my rocker.  I did wear one of Bob's favorite shirts and it felt so much like he was with me, hugging me through that shirt.

The concert was held in a outdoor stadium-- and it rained pretty miserably through the first act (One Revolution) and then just before U2 came on stage I looked up in the sky, the rain had stopped, and there was this incredible double rainbow that extended from one end of the stadium to the other and was directly across from where we were seated (so folks on the other side of stadium didn't see it at all).


And I tapped Hillary on the shoulder and said, "Look! A rainbow!" and she looked up and said "Can't you just imagine Bob sitting on top of that rainbow."

Which gave me a shiver. And as Theresa Caputo says "know... it was real." Hillary snapped the picture above, it doesn't do it justice --this double rainbow was huge, flawless, bright and incredibly beautiful. And I do believe, a sign that Bob was there with us....

And by the way, the concert was fabulous!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EMDR Dreams & Emotions

Since doing EMDR, my dreams have changed. Before, when I dreamt of Bob, the dreams were always about "losing" him -- i.e., I'd see him, then he'd disappear and I would be frantically searching for him meanwhile something like a hurricane or flood is happening at the same time. Frantic dreams. Anxiety dreams. Awful nightmares.

The other night, I dreamt of Bob and he scooped me up in his arms then suddenly we were flying, floating in a starry night sky and I felt so deeply his love and I thought, this is heaven, I was in heaven with him...

Then another dream, instead of "losing" Bob, I 'found' him at a flea market -- and I said, "There you are!" and he explained that he hadn't died, but been kidnapped and forced to divorce me by his ex-wife -- and then we grabbed hands, and ran toward the exit and I kept thinking if I can only get him to the car... and then, as they say, I woke up.

My therapist says these "dream changes" are a good sign that the therapy is working. Though, to me, the first dream felt more like an actual visitation instead of a dream.

My last session was especially hard -- a lot of emotions/memories came through that I wasn't expecting. Especially rage. Rage at Bob's family, the way they treated him in life and the way they totally disrespected him (and our marriage) after his death...  I wasn't prepared to feel any of this, pretty much thought I'd gotten over it -- but guess it was all just buried inside and came spewing out like so much vomit.

I am skipping this week's session as Hillary and I are going to a U2 concert (my all time favorite band) -- and hoping this will keep me feeling a bit "high" this week, and not wanting to break that spell.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

EMDR

So I got through my first two sessions of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, and I can tell you this is not a therapy for the faint hearted.

For those who are unfamiliar with this process (as I was) it works like this:

The therapist sits very close to the patient, and I mean close, almost knee-to-knee. She then moves her hand back and forth in front of the patient's eyes. Some therapists hold an object in their hand, others (like mine) just use two fingers close together.  The back and forth movement is quite rapid and sweeping from far left to right. I (the patient) am to follow the movement with only my eyes, keeping my head still and sitting still. While doing this (the first time) we talk about the traumatic experience, in subsequent sessions I only have to visual it.

Walking into my first session, I had known that we would be using May 28th as the trauma we would be focusing on, but I was thinking we'd be using the events of the entire day, i.e. my finding Bob dead in his bed, calling 911, paramedics, police, the men in black, etc. etc. but no this was not to be. Our focus has been simply on the most traumatic part of the day, which was me, waking up, finding him dead.

So the visual is this -- I wake up, am startled because the sun is shining and Bob didn't wake me up with his usual "Good morning! The sun is shining!" and so I call out to him, receive no answer, run to his bedside, find him on his back, eyes wide open staring at the ceiling, and me screaming his name, trying to shake him awake and screaming No No No! over and over and over again.

And as the therapist moves her hand back and forth, we go through this scene, reliving it, over and over and over, sometimes 15-20 times during our one hour session.

Oh. My. God.

Of course, there are breaks in-between where she asks me how I'm feeling both physically and emotionally, she writes down my reaction, asks if I want to continue or visualize my "safe" place for a moment, take deep breaths etc.  Then after the one hour session ends, we talk about how I am feeling once again and compare that to how I was feeling at the beginning of the session. It's quite amazing the emotions that break through, some like anger, I did not expect. And this anger was directed at Bob, like "After all I did for you, this is how you pay me back, you bastard!" Whoa. I was so pissed I wanted to kill him, but couldn't because he's already dead. ha!

The only light-hearted part of the session was Kona, who usually lies by my feet during therapy, but could not do this because the therapist was sitting so close to me and so I had put Kona to the side and told her to "stay".  Unfortunately that day, my therapist was wearing a skirt, and, unknown to us, part way through the session, Kona somehow wiggled her way between us and suddenly up popped Kona's head from underneath the therapist's skirt! Oops! (I noticed at the next session, my therapist was wearing pants -- lesson learned.)

Anyway, I can't even tell you how shaken up I was after the first session. I almost puked on my therapist. She's lucky I didn't. I went home exhausted, both physically and mentally.  I slept 13 hours straight that night (I have had been trouble sleeping).

Yesterday I saw my shrinkologist (you know psychologist or psychiatrist -- whatever she is, I always forget, so I just call her my shrinkologist) and told her I was doing EMDR with my grief therapist and she told me that she was proud of me for taking this step. That the unexpected emotions (like anger and guilt) are things I've been holding inside and need to get out in the open and release them in order to heal. She also said it will be a long process, sort of like digging a swimming pool in your backyard with only one shovel as a tool.  And just like digging a swimming pool with a shovel, I will be exhausted.

It's hard work. My next session is Thursday. I'm not sure how well it's working, too early to tell, but I'm not giving up yet.