Dimes

 

I keep a corner outside my daughter’s room, it was my first daughter’s and is now my seconds.

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Beside it to the right is, was her bedroom and to the left is the laundry room.

 

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I have been having a harder time lately.

I stop and light her candle as I do often, kiss my fingers to her photo and proceed to finish the laundry.

Where I immediately find this.

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A dime.

Now it is not the first but this one came at a time I truly needed.

I have found one on the floor in my closet, on the ground outside my car door, on a walk.

Why dimes? Why not quarters or nickels and some will say, like in the post I share below that finding coins period is a sign from above and others believe it is specifically dimes that we receive from ones we lost.

What do you think? Has it happened to you?

Thanks for reading.

Sheri

https://www.ask-angels.com/spiritual-guidance/finding-dimes-pennies-from-heaven/

 

https://www.auntyflo.com/Superstition-dictionary/finding-dimes

 

https://passingthru.com/finding-dimes/

 

 

Body Image; the subjective picture or mental image of one’s own body

*** This post is not about Grief, though there is some in it. I am choosing to write about something else that I have dealt with my whole life.

Body Image – Noun- an intellectual or idealized image of what one’s body is or should be like, that is sometimes misconceived in such mental disorders as anorexia nervosa.

Since I can remember I have been obsessed with being “skinny” my first recollection of this issue, or problem, as it became, was when I was around 7; one of my best friends was a ballet dancer. I was constantly looking at her legs beside mine, always believing that mine were huge by comparison. This photo of us below proves my delusion.

Summer of 1987

I loved playing with my Barbie dolls but unlike others I do not blame their tiny unattainable frames for my obsession, I blame society and television. It (Barbie) was/is a toy after all, a doll to act out my fun with. Magazines and music videos on the other hand had only beautiful, tall, skinny women in my face constantly, they were real women. I grew up in the age of Kate Moss, the ridiculously skinny frame and face of Calvin Klein.

By the time I was 12 I wanted to be a model, I was only 5ft 6 but hey so was Kate Moss, the problem however  was my frame… I was not “petit” or “tiny”, I always felt like an ogre beside my friends, big shoulders, big glasses, I was not an athlete or a dancer, I played no instrument, basically I had or felt I had no talent. By fifteen I was doing some local modeling and shows after taking classes the previous year. A friend at the time commented to me, a male friend, which in hindsight made it matter more, he said ‘wow, your too skinny!’ You see I spent much of the 8th and 9th grade not eating and if I felt I overate, I made myself throw up. I weighed 112 lbs. in grade 9 down from 118 in Grade 7 and when he said that, you’d think it sounded an insult but not to me, it was validation.

I went to a modeling show in Whistler at 15,  here I am, in this picture which is important because the pink sweater I am wearing in it is a shirt I was given when I was 8yrs old and here I was wearing it as half top 7 years later, I was so proud I fit into it.

model

 

My body image morphed from a child who kind of thought she was bigger than others, (even though I clearly was not) to being obsessed with controlling how many calories I ate and exercise I did. I didn’t really like throwing up and felt so mature that I was making the decision to exercise over being anorexic…(eye roll at myself) I joined the gym at 15, it was my routine. I took the bus everyday or went with my boyfriend, whose mom ironically or not was a former model and always commented negatively and positively to me about my body weight or the state of it.

I noticed every .05 of a pound I gained or lost. Fast forward to me realizing I will never be able to maintain 110lbs or be discovered,  so at 18 I got hired and started working at Hooters restaurant I began doing bikini contests. You see bikini models over fashion models were allowed to have curves. Something I, as I got older could not hide no matter how little I ate.

contest       1998     I got 2nd place at  a Miss Hooters contest which put me in the finals for Miss Hooters BC. I got 4th in a Miss Molson contest. 3rd in a Miss Ocean Beach, which put me in their finals. I never won any, those were the ones I placed, I did a dozen others that left me feeling even more insecure and fatter than ever. There was always someone skinnier or prettier or both.

I worked at Hooters for 2 years, at the time in the picture below, I was closing the bar and one night 5 minutes  before closing time a guy came in, I was visibly frustrated as I was ready to go home. I poured him his pint and continued my closing duties, in his mind I suppose I was ignoring him. He paid and left. I found a note under his pint that read, ‘You are not as hot as you think you are , PS lose some weight your muffin top looks terrible over those shorts.’ I crumpled it and tossed it hoping my face didn’t show the pain I felt just in case he was out the window waiting for my reaction. I weighed 122 lbs. at that time the most I had ever weighed in my life- I was fat! and he just confirmed it.

Hooters

My obsession with my body image, the distorted view I became to have of what my body looked like was taking over my life, I fell asleep at night counting how many calories I had consumed that day. I ensured I was at the gym 7 days a week and through it all I smiled and pretended I didn’t care. Fast forward into my mid 20’s I struggled to maintain a weight that was not my natural body weight, I weighed between 121 – 126 lbs. constantly striving to be under 120 again. I look back at pictures and think wow, I was skinny, yet I never once felt it.  The next 10 years my inner demons fought within myself to maintain a body I couldn’t. Then I had my 1rst child at 25 and suddenly didn’t care, he was all that mattered. I wish I could say that it grew into a healthy mindset about my body image but no, it didn’t last, I did, after not caring for the 3 years whilst I had baby 1 and 2 but soon after rejoining the gym and learning very disgustingly how out of shape 3 years sans exercise made my body. I was even more ashamed of myself.

How did I let myself go? no, I never was actually overweight, though my new weight range was between 131lbs and 135- to me I was huge, that’s almost 20lbs larger than I always strived for. I got a personal trainer and got down to 128! then I got pregnant again. I was bitter, I just got my body back. I became depressed. I didn’t want another child, I didn’t want to get fat again. Then my beautiful little girl was born upside down and backwards not breathing with many complications. She died 51 days later.

I hated myself. It must have been my fault, I cared too much about getting fat and not appreciating what was growing inside me. I killed my baby. I sat with this pain and regret and guilt for many years. I also did not care what I looked like…is what I wish I could say but no, immediately after she died I hired another personal trainer my excuse this time? I didn’t not want to look like I had just had a baby, especially if I didn’t have one to show for it! Would you know it, a way some people grieve is sex, there are many, self medication, over eating, over sleeping and yes sex. Low and behold I was pregnant 2mths after my 3rd child died.

This is me, as big as a house, pregnant with my 4th child at 32.  I can honestly say I didn’t care how fat I got this time because this was going to be the healthiest baby damn it!

4rth pregnancy

The point of me needing to write about dealing with body image is that it is so incredibly unhealthy in the way it has literally ruled/ruined my life. I delete pictures immediately if I think I look fat, my mood is ruined if I don’t like what I am wearing or if something doesn’t fit right. I also feel that most if not all women struggle with this self imposed pressure. I constantly look at the small frames I always wished I was and think man they look good. But I bet they don’t think so. I still work hard at being healthy, I still go to the gym 5x a week, but I eat whatever I want and I try not to stress so much. I think with age it has become easier to let go of the “perfect” body.

I have kids who I pray see themselves as the beautiful little beings that I do. That I show them or have shown them how to be healthy over being skinny. I express to them their mind is much more important to work on than their body. I hope they hear me.

But I cannot lie, this picture below is  from only a few days ago. My husband said to me, ‘wow you look good’. I was excited to see it, I asked him to send it to me.  And I hated it. All I see is the paunch in my belly when I look at this photo. I want to stop this cycle. I  want to stop looking back and thinking wow I looked good, or skinny or fit. I want to feel it, now, but I don’t think there is an answer on how.

July 15 2018

Today, at almost 38, I weigh 137lbs, a very healthy weight for my age and height. I am trying to stop being my biggest critic. But I think with having it be an unhealthy obsession my whole life it might always be a demon that lives inside me. I wish there was a magical cure to how we see ourselves regarding our body image.

I just pray as a society with the shifts that are in place today we start appreciating our brains, our words, or acts of kindness as much as we have been taught to appreciate a ‘nice body’.

This post was inspired by this photo that I saw on FB the other day. It really struck me and stuck with me because it is how I have felt my whole life.

body image

Thanks for reading

Namaste,

Sheri

 

 

Time

I haven’t been able to write in a while, this time of year is a hard relief. I am trying to escape the reality of time. Time goes on. Time heals all. Time never stops. Tick tock tick tock. In acute grief time does not heal, nothing is in focus, nor does it feel like it will ever be again, all you want is for time to stop. So you can stop. Stop feeling, stop moving, stop going through the motions. You realize time is moving faster and faster,  your grief gets farther away and that makes you sad because there was a time when you thought (and it wasn’t a bad thought) but you thought that it would feel like this forever, so broken, so lost, so uncaring of and for the world. But time goes on and you cant stop it, you cant stop the world changing around you and your need to move on and keep going even though you don’t really want to, you wake up one day and see that it hasn’t been that dark lately. But that also doesn’t feel ok, that somehow feels like a betrayal to the one you lost. Like your leaving your grief behind, your leaving them behind, you bring yourself to look at things to feel that sadness again, and that too is a step, forever you couldn’t look at, not purposefully anyway anything that reminded you of the pain of your loss. But you can, you want to and that is a big step. A spring step;  may your journey through grief continue as peacefully as this angel watching the flowers grow. spring Angel 2015   ‘We never really get over devastating loss. In the thick of it, we almost stop breathing; sometimes even wishing we could. And we know deep within that we will never be the same. Yet, one day we feel the sun on our face again. We find ourselves smiling at a child or a joke or a memory. And at that moment, we realize we are finding our way back. Changed forever? Yes. But also softer, deeper, more vulnerable and more loving too. And we are breathing again. ‘  -Paul Boynton

Why I Hate September

Why I hate September;Fall and Winter….

Sept 2011– My nightmare begins. I was 6.5mths pregnant with my 3rd child. I started having terrible thoughts, feelings of anxiety and despair I didn’t know what was wrong with me- just that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

Sept 2012– My daughter has been dead for 7 mths. I should be planning her 1rst bday instead I am hiding my tears from strangers.

Sept 2013– My 2nd daughter was born 5 mths ago. My 1rst daughter died 1yr 7mths ago. I hate the Fall and Winter months. It will soon be my 2nds daughters 1rst Christmas…. my 1rst daughters 2nd b-day would be right after Christmas… her 2anniversary of her death 2 months after that.

Sept 2014 – I feel the dark clouds hovering in the back of my mind. So resumes my grief, rolling back into view. My anxiety returns full force. My nightmares make a nightly appearance. My 4am crying time return. Lily should be starting preschool this Sept. That is hard. Then follows my 3rd birthday without her. Her 3rd birthday without us. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Remembrance day is even hard, but Christmas, her b-day right after that and New Years are the worst. If I didn’t have other children I imagine I’d run away from Sept to March every year to live in a hut in Tahiti or anywhere far far away to escape. Escape the voices of guilt, regret, loss and loneliness. I hate September.

Dont suffer alone- call someone.

 If you’re struggling with some tough emotions or feeling lonely, don’t hesitate.

Across Canada

*** call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

***  Kids Help Phone  1-800-668-6868 http://kidshelpphone.ca

*** Canadian Mental Health Association  http://cmha.ca

*** http://www.letstalk.bell.ca

Across BC

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC

  Greater Vancouver: 604-872-3311
  Toll Free: 1-866-661-3311 
 

Through the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888   

http://www.vicrisis.ca

CrisisCentreChat.ca   

24 Hour Crisis Lines.

 ***Greater Vancouver • 604-872-3311
*** Howe Sound & Sunshine Coast • 1-866-661-3311
 ***TTY • 1-866-872-0113

 http://www.crisiscentrechat.ca

 

 

 

Time only gives you space to cope, it does not heal all things.

Aside

Don’t say time heals all, especially to someone that is going through a loss or tragedy you never have or do not understand.

You don’t know.

Time heals nothing, it simply passes, when you wish it would stop. Unbearable feelings become bearable – not healed. You can never fully mend whats broken. Nor do you want to. I am not choosing to be sad. The heart chooses when it wants to hurt. We can tell our brain the logic of a situation but it can reply with more tears.

Grief is  a never ending and very narrow spiral staircase, you slowly go up, it’s hard, it’s dizzying, sometimes you trip or stumble but you keep going forward and sometimes you fall backward, hitting your head the whole way down.

Time heals nothing it just makes it easier to get back up again and again because you have to keep going. All you have is hope that it will be ok.

One year ago today on February 11 2012 I had to give you CPR on my floor until the ambulance came….. One year ago tomorrow you smiled at me for the last time and then doctors surrounded you as you began to struggle, I walked away not able to bare the pain of witnessing what was happening to my child, my baby…. in a week- one year ago you died in my arms and took a part of me with you forever. I miss you my beautiful girl. I thank you for teaching me there is nothing to fear or worry because right now is all that matters.

One year ago today, February 18 2012. 1 year since Lilys death came and went the lead up to it was much worse than the day. I hate the word anniversary- as if we celebrate it. I prefer deathversay. I did spend most of the week purchasing any and all bouquets of Lilies I could get my hands on. My house was filled with beautiful flowers for you my beautiful girl.

She has been dead for one year and one month, I remember leaving the hospital, walking out feeling empty, feeling relief, and feeling confused, what just happened? I couldn’t look at her as she turned blue, after they took her breathing tube out, I was scared of having that image etched in my memory forever- so I didn’t look, I wish I had. I wanted to run out that hospital, I now wish I had stayed longer, held her longer, kissed her more. But I didn’t. I spent the following weeks in a daze- a zombie like state where I did what I needed to do, I avoided most people- they all looked at me with pained, pitied expressions anyways. I made pictures of her, I laid in bed a lot, I cried a lot. After five months the shock wore off and I think that is when it hit me…. I had a baby girl, I watched her suffer, I watched her brothers and her father suffer, and I then watched her die. What the?! I went on long walks, I hid my tears from all, no one deserved to come to the land of tears with me. Steve and I got incredibly close, and then drifted apart our grief taking separate paths. We are close again but we needed that space.  I have little triggers now that inevitable have me thinking of her, crying for her, certain songs, certain words –olive, trachea, February to name a few, some specific things, a rainbow, a lily flower, an ambulance, or even a sunset that ends the day. Another day gone without her.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste,

Sheri

My confusing thoughts almost a year after having a very traumatic birth and living through the death of my baby girl.

December 3rd 2012

Lily would almost be turning one –had she lived.

Last year this time I was very pregnant wondering when she would come out. I look back and realize that I knew something was very wrong even before she was born. I cried every day before she came, I was so scared to give birth. Why? I had done it with no problems two times before like a champ. So why was I so terrified to do it this time? I remember crying in my bathroom, just terrified of what was about to happen, and people asked- what are you afraid of?

I thought it over and over and all I could come up with was I don’t know? The sleepless nights that waited? Was it the fact that I would have three kids and didn’t know if I could handle it? I don’t think so? I was incredibly strong, nothing scared me. I lived on my own since I was eighteen, ultimately no parental guidance since I was twelve. I started working at fifteen, having to drop out of school, taking the bus to work everyday because I had to pay  rent for the  bedroom I rented from a stranger. I returned to get my GED on my own accord at twenty two. Then became the manager at my job at twenty four and when I became pregnant for the first time at twenty five I took it as the next challenge in my life.

So why at thirty one, having mastered being a stay at home for the last 6 years was I so petrified of giving birth to my third child? Why was I so afraid?

My counselor says on another level I was already grieving her death, I already knew she would die and its funny- not haha funny but odd funny that as soon as she said it I knew she was right. It explained so much, why I was depressed, why I was anxious, why the next months to follow I was a zombie doing what needed to be done but feeling nothing.

After Lily died I was mixed with relief and guilt. Relief that she needn’t suffer, relief that I wouldn’t have to take care of a very handicapped child for the next twenty years- yes that is/was a horrible feeling but I felt it. I felt guilt that I didn’t stay more every day at the hospital that I didn’t hold her more when she was home, that I couldn’t grow a healthy “viable” baby for a third time.

I was and am and will always be sorry to Lily for what she went through. In a way I know I do not have the power to control or make these things happen but on the other I was her mother.

I was supposed to protect her.

I couldn’t.

I didn’t.

She is gone.

 

 

December 25th 2012

As a family we have endured a very tough, trying year. Even though we have managed to find times of hope and joy together, the loss of our daughter/sister Lily has always been at the forefront of our minds. We want to say thank you to all the people far and near and some whom I have not seen for a decade for your support and kind words.

Showing compassion, offering love and to be able to share our sorrow has been healing. We have learnt a great deal about our own strength and weakness as well as the meaning of family and being there for one another.

The trauma of Lily’s death will sit with us forever, as it has changed who we are forever, she will always be a part of our family though not physically present. As we anticipate the arrival of our fourth child this spring we are nervously excited and cautiously happy.

We no longer live in a world of false positivity, naively assuming nothing could ever go wrong. With loss and grief brings the realization of honesty and truth but mostly it brings to us reality. In reality horrible things happen weekly, daily, hourly, in reality no one is spared, in reality we only need to survive.

At a time in the world when greed and selfishness have overpowered kindness and empathy we are brought back to what should be the honest truth of this world- to love each other, to take care of each other, to be kind to one another, to share.

To share our lives, our loves, our joy and our sorrow. Pretending that everything is wonderful all the time you are walking around blind, that being said it is more than wonderful to have moments of great and to appreciate them all. Out of sorrow comes gratitude, out of suffering comes strength and out of love comes honesty.