Author: PTKT

First Hand

Rebecca MacCeile

The really neat thing about publishing a memoir has been the intimate snap shots it provides into my life from 2005 forward. What makes it even more interesting is when pieces of the puzzle finally come together. Chapter 14 in Candy Apple Butterscotch highlights my experience with an armed robbery and subsequent theft of my car. This all happened in 2006.

Friends and fans, just yesterday, thirteen years after the fact the police contacted me to tell me that they found my car. I don’t have all of the details just yet, but I’m making the trip down to retrieve any belongings that I might want and decide how to proceed with the car this weekend. I’m over joyed, and slightly apprehensive at what I might find. According to the officer I spoke to on the phone the car itself is in pretty rough shape but has been sitting in…

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Better Late than Never?

Back in early 2006 I was the victim of an armed robbery. I wasn’t hurt and the thief didn’t get away with anything aside from my car and the contents inside it. A few sentimental things were lost but over all it things could have ended a lot worse than they did.

Fast forward to today when my parents received a certified letter from the county. They found the damn car and they have some items in evidence that they’re able to release to me. I don’t even know what the hell could have survived or be important all this time later, but I’m making an appointment to come down and collect it.

I always assumed that the car had been dumped in a local lake or river. Apparently it was dumped somewhere dry if they’ve collected things from it for me. Or I have a bag of wet goo waiting for me. Lol.

My laundry!! My polyester white pants!! 😂 THE BLUE BLANKET. My missing story journals! Oooooo this is kind of like Christmas.

UPDATE: They have the entire car!! It doesn’t run and it’s in pretty rough shape, but I can have it if I want it. WHOA. I’m not sure how I feel about this now. I’m excited and also nervous. Never thought I’d ever see it again, let alone go through the contents. There’s a lot of memories with that car. Some very sentimental stuff stashed in the back seat too. Nothing of value to anyone but me. I wonder if it’s still there… guess we’ll see when I go look at it Friday.

The Nuanced Annoyance of PTSD

Over the last half of the week I got completely knocked tf out by a bacterial sinus infection. It didn’t come back positive for strep so they aren’t sure exactly what it is, but antibiotics seem to be helping. They sent my tests off for cultures and I should have the results soon. I don’t really care what particular bacteria invaded as long as it gets fixed.

The hardest part of my recovery from my second bout of sepsis has been learning to listen to my body before I’m knocking on death’s door (again lol) I knew I wasn’t feeling particularly well on Tuesday but powered through my symptoms until Thursday. I was in the middle of my shift at work and I knew something was not okay. Thankfully on Thursdays I’m kind of extra as far as my prep team goes so I was able to go home early and get an appointment with the local immediate care.

I felt bad leaving work early, because I knew I was sick but I probably could have powered through it. However, powering through my discomfort in the past has lead me to hospitalization more than once. I needed to leave work and take care of myself, but there was still a iota of guilt.

I hate that about my PTSD. It’s worse than any flashbacks or intrusive thoughts. What does that have to do with my PTSD? Lol. Well basically once your brain is accustomed to the levels of stress associated with trauma anything else feels like no big deal. I was sick. I needed to leave. But I wasn’t AS SICK (ie dying) as I have been in the past so I felt that teeny bit of irrational guilt for asking to leave. Which is stupid.

Finishing the end of my shift only to wind up bed ridden or in the hospital again requiring me to miss MORE work next week doesn’t make any sense. I know I did the right thing by cutting my losses and getting treatment when I needed it. This time.

Other times I’ll miss the mark. It won’t be anything truly serious or treatable and I’ll have left for no real valid reason. Which I think contributes to my feelings of guilt. It’s really hard to explain to people how much of a struggle it genuinely is to determine my feelings or listen to my body outside of DEFCON 1 level chaos mode. I’m constantly second guessing myself. Is my PTSD interfering with my assessment of my health? Am I telling myself these symptoms are fine because I’m not dying yet? Do I need to address this now when it feels like nothing to prevent it from turning into something awful?

Ugh… I don’t know. I know it’s not wrong or shameful to take care for my health. It’s just something I’ve never really done before and I’m still learning the ropes. In a way it’s like I’m a 32 year old child. Things I should know by now in my phase of adulthood are still new to me and figuring it all out is annoying. Especially when other adults look at me like I’m crazy for struggling with something that most other people don’t.

Just let me figure this out without all the judgey side eyes dammit! Lol.

A Losing Battle

I went to our annual parent teacher conference with Little’s teacher today. It was extremely unproductive. I don’t hold anything against her teacher. I think she’s a great teacher. It’s the education system that we’re struggling with, and looks like we’re going to continue to struggle with for the duration.

Teacher: Your kid is so super smart. I just don’t understand why she won’t apply herself and misbehaves in class.

Me: She’s bored.

Teacher: Well I can’t challenge her if she won’t meet the basic standards of behavior.

Me: …

It was basically a stalemate and waste of my evening. Little’s teacher’s hands were tied as a teacher and the expectations she needs to meet for the state and my hands were tied as a parent for not setting unreasonable expectations for my child.

At least Little is excelling as far as academics are concerned. She’s ahead of her peers in reading, and passing every class with As and Bs. She started her school career below average, and is now at or above all benchmarks. She’s learning. She’s just driving her teacher bananas in the process and I’m stuck in the middle of it all between allowing her to be seven and requiring that she meet school standards.

What’s in a Name

In my last post I mentioned the name I chose for my first child if the pregnancy had come to term. I’d never really thought much about it too wrapped up in the grief of losing the pregnancy and the abusive relationship with the father. However looking back on it now I wanted to note it.

I remembered my ex being very adamant about naming our first son Jeremy because he had some sort of attachment to the name. He explained it as being tied into a certain song. I remember because he wasn’t particularly a fan of the band and it seemed odd that he would choose to name his child after a random song. He was dead set on naming the child Jeremy after the Pearl Jam song by the same name.

Going back and actually looking at the song itself and then delving into the inspiration behind said song… WOW. I really hope that the song was just a convienent mask for his true attachment to the name, because… yeah.

The song was penned in memorandum of a young boy who chose to end his life by self inflicted gunshot in the middle of English class one afternoon. The story was similar to most stories of young suicide. The boy was ostracized and bullied without repreve. He didn’t have a stable home life and no support from his peers and saw death as his only escape.

My ex told me he loved the song because he could relate to it, and that made it significant enough for him to want to bestow the moniker on our first born son. I believe that he could relate to the song considering the strained relationship he has with his father, but to want to attach an innocent child to such pain is a little… I guess it just highlights his state of mind during our relationship over all really.

But… of course, so many years after our relationship eventually came to an end my ex has since confessed that 90% of everything he ever told me was a lie. So who the hell knows what his real attachment was to the name. Apparently it was genuinely significant for something. God only knows.

October

Jeremy Alexander/Katelyn Marie 11/06

Oliver James/Molly Ann 11/07

Gus Vaughn/Lorelei Leigh 09/08

Ezekiel Wesley/Eliza Temperance Hale 04/14

Everett Wesley/Penelope Louise Hale 08/15

Lost but never forgotten. 💜

My oldest child, if the pregnancy had come to term, would be turning 13 next month.

While I can appreciate God’s grace in never allowing my first three pregnancies to continue to term, I often wonder who those people would be. I often wonder if the first four pregnancies were single or multiple since I never had the opportunity to make it to my first ultrasound appointment before I lost them. Knowing that I carry the hyper ovulation gene, it’s possible that each pregnancy represents more than one life. I’ll never know.

I often wonder how different the course of my life would be. If my ex and I would have stayed together, or if our tumultuous end was inevitable regardless. Due to his illness/injuries/disorder I know I never would have been able to leave Ohio. I probably wouldn’t have healed from any of my trauma, and I certainly wouldn’t have written any of my books.

And then I look into the faces of the tiny humans that I have been blessed with. Each beautiful little soul that wouldn’t exist if my previous pregnancies had survived, and I can’t imagine never knowing these little souls. As much as I have grieved the loss of my angel babies, I can also appreciate how wonderful my life became because of their loss.

Time heals, even when the wounds still occasionally ache.

Bathroom Grenade

I love our house. It’s big enough for our family to exist comfortably within its walls, it’s in a nice neighborhood, great school district and it was a quick sale/divorce proceedings so the price was great too. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted when we set out to move after the Twins arrived, but for the most part I’m quite cozy here and in no hurry to move on.

The only thing that I absolutely could not stand about this house was the one bathroom. It’s challenging enough going from a multiple bathroom living space back down to one, but the annoyance was magnified by the previous homeowner’s obvious lack of home improvement skills. They tried to refinish it, and pretty much destroyed it in the process. We knew this moving into the home and it wasn’t an issue while we were remodeling.

But then my ex decided to act like a damn lunatic and break into my apartment where the kids and I were living while Hubs spent his time making the house we bought into our home. We managed to finish pretty much all the major renovations EXCEPT the bathroom. I didn’t even have the opportunity to paint before we were forced to moved in.

Not only did previous owners of this house destroy the bathroom structurally, but they also decided to paint it a horrid shade of Puce. Puce is one of the worst colors I’ve ever seen. To each their own when it comes to colors and styles but I’ve hated it since the moment we moved in.

THE WORST
Closer to what plagued my bathroom walls until this past weekend.
When we moved in… yes, that’s “wood” accenting the bathtub. It’s actually foam but why they chose the wood grain that looks stupid around the bathtub I have no idea. Or why they tried to accent it instead of just caulking it??

My bathroom has been stuck with that awful paint, and weird “wood” accents for almost three years. Every time I set foot in there for any length of time I cringed and got so mad at the blatant disregard of the previous owners. Lol. But the poor color choice, and weird accents are the least of our bathroom issues which I not so happily discovered ridding myself of the horrible paint this weekend.

I set out to use half a gallon of left over paint we had stashed in the laundry room to freshen things up. It was raining, Hubs and the kiddos were content, and I had nothing else to do Sunday since we accomplished all of our other household chores Saturday. I figured hey, this will be a piece of cake. I’ll just slap some new paint on there and call it done until we can afford to hire someone for a complete renovation. Hubs and I both are fairly handy when it comes to basic home repairs, but our bathroom is too far gone. Lol. I’m not even wasting my time trying to fix everything that needs fixed. I’m going to hire a contractor and come back when it’s new and shiny.

ANYWAY… so I’m getting everything ready to paint. Moving some shelves out of the way, getting the shower curtain down etc. I decided instead of painting around it that I would take down the vanity mirror, and that my blog friends is when I discovered:

WTH PREVIOUS OWNERS?!

The GIANT GAPING HOLE in the wall (and that our fancy vanity mirror came from Goodwill lol) I… I can’t even. From what we can tell they had to install a GFI outlet before they could pass an inspection to sell, because the one to the left of the GIANT GAPING HOLE is not a GFI outlet, and the one that is a GFI is literally tape and spackled into it’s home. I’m not really even sure how it’s still hanging on since the spackle is quite literally crumbling around it.

I laughed. I stood there holding my mirror and just straight up laughed. I mean what else could we do?? We don’t have the materials to fix it right now nor did I have the time. All I wanted to do was paint my bathroom walls and call it a night. Which in the end of it all is what I ended up doing lol.

I will now refer to this as my “magic” mirror since it made the hole disappear.

My vanity mirror went right back over the hole after I finished painting. Lol. I added a hand towel bar and carefully covered the outlet and called it done. Because honestly until I can toss a grenade in there and start over, this is as good as it’s going to get. 🤷🏻‍♀️

MUCH better.

Happiness

Yesterday I went to the store with the Twins. We stopped for breakfast, I grabbed a PSL (because what’s fall without a PSL am I right??) we wandered around the grocery store for an hour or so and headed home. Once we got home the boys went out back to play with the dog and I put everything away before taking a few minutes to throw together some banana bread. While the bread was in the oven I did some dishes and watched the boys playing in the back yard.

Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t lost in intrusive thoughts. I wasn’t discontent in the stillness of my own home. I was… happy? I mean… I’m still trying to figure out exactly what healthy emotions and feelings are so I think this is happiness. Although in a way it feels more like I’m complete. I have zero desire to get out of the house and not because I’m fearful of the world. I just love being at home these days.

I can’t wait until my daughter gets off the school bus this afternoon because it’s Friday. I don’t have to work weekends right now which means I get to have my Hubs and my kiddos allllll to myself. Little doesn’t participate in any sports or such right now so our weekends are spent just being together as a family. Something that I dreaded up until recently.

Not because I don’t love my family. I do. I love my tiny humans and my husband. I just didn’t love sitting still for those long quiet moments while my trauma was running around unchecked. I had to stay busy to numb and avoid the pain. I always wanted to be doing something, going somewhere or with friends and Hubs. I never wanted to sit back and relax.

Now? I relish those quiet moments. I love coming home from the grocery store and watching my Littles play with the dog and baking banana bread. I love cooking meals for my family. I love sitting quietly on the couch working on writing projects, or just goofing off online next to my husband doing the same.

In the past I was apprehensive about these feelings of contentment because it never seemed to last. Some crisis or another was always around the corner, but now life has settled into the blissful repetitive nature that I’ve longed for since childhood and for the very first time it actually feels *good* to be here.

I think this is happiness… lol. At least I’m pretty certain. If not happiness, it’s definitely peaceful which is a new experience all around. New and wonderful.

Flawed Expectations

My Little is struggling in school again this year. Not academically in the least, but socially. After talking with her teachers I don’t believe it has anything to do with my Little at all. She’s seven. Her behaviors are typical, seven year old behaviors. She’s excelling as far as grades go, but she’s bored in class and goofing off. She’s not acting out in terms of attention seeking or intentionally being disruptive. She’s seven.

What her teacher expects from her isn’t developmentally appropriate for a seven year old. It’s more aimed towards a nine or ten year old, so she has decided that Little is “immature” and needs more strict discipline to bring her to the behavioral level of her peers.

I’m not against rules, or strictly adhering to them as long as the expectations you have for my kid are reasonable. Delivering punishment everyday because she’s not adapted to sitting in a classroom like her peers who have been in daycare/preschool since birth isn’t reasonable. It’s not going to motivate my child, it’s going to discourage her. She already has the anxiety that comes with emotional intelligence and awareness. She’s an introvert that isn’t going to be able to articulate her feelings immediately no matter how many times or different ways she is pressured into doing so. She’s getting great scores on her tests so she’s obviously retaining information even though she’s not “paying attention” in class. I mean…

I understand that the public education system is designed to put 30 individuals into a box and turn out 30 academic clones who meet the state funding requirements. That’s just the flawed American Education System, but this teacher really seems to have forgotten that her students are individuals at all. It would be one thing if Little wasn’t paying attention and failing her classes. It’s entirely different if she’s just bored and disengaged in the learning process. No amount of discipline is going to change my child’s intelligence, and if the school refuses to give her the high ability test simply because she is “immature” then we’re going to have this fight every year with every teacher until Little goes off to college and can fight with her instructors by herself or actually chooses a field of study that offers a challenge.