Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Good Week

The Light
I'm just feeling really good this week, so I thought that I would share. Work has been busy, but also a lot of fun. On Wednesday's we take the kids bowling, and we meet with other lifeskills classes throughout the district. It is a time when the kids can socialize with other peers their own age. It is something that they all look forward to each week, and it is nice to get out into the community, where they can practice the skills they are learning at school. On Thursday and Friday mornings we go to A.W.E., which stands for Alternative Work Experience. It is a place where the students learn various clerical jobs, and how to act appropriately in a workplace environment. It helps in preparing students for real jobs out in the community. In the afternoons on Thursday and Friday, we also go out to the mall or a grocery store where the students can learn to shop, commnicate with store personel, locate various items, and practice money skills. The days that we are out and about go by really fast. I can't believe that tomorrow is already Friday! Yesterday I had a therapy session, and also saw my nutritionist. It was so nice to go and actually be able to say that I'm doing well. I'm beginning to see some light.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time To Heal

I finally feel that I am truly on the road to recovery. Until now, although it was something that I wanted, I was also terrified to actively pursue it. While inpatient, I was able to learn in a safe environment, that I could follow a healthy meal plan. I could practice using other coping methods other than restricting my food intake. Returning home did send me into a tailspin, and for awhile I was trying to find my footing. I feel as if I'm navigating through a whole new world where the rules have changed, but I am learning that they have changed for the better. In therapy, I feel strong enough to do more of the trauma work, and have had quite a few breakthroughs since I have been home. My sleep has been better, nightmares fewer, and less anxiety overall. The feelings of grief and sadness initially took me by surprise, and I fought to hold them inside, but last week the floodgates opened. For the first time ever, I actually sobbed in therapy! At the time, it did feel as if the tears would never end, but of course, they did, and I did not float away. I'm realizing that the grieving process could not take place until I could begin to acknowledge my own pain and loss. I also needed to stop blaming the little girl that I was for being raped. There too is finding the ability to forgive myself for not allowing that child to be consoled and comforted. She has been waiting for so long. The tears were a start, and I'm sure that I have many more to shed, but I no longer feel as if I'm going to choke on each and every breath that I take. I wrote a poem quite awhile ago about the rape, called A Child's Prayer To Herself, and now, even more than when I actually wrote it, the ending holds a deeper meaning for me, because now, I am truly able to take her hand. Together we can heal. Together we can become one.

A Childs Prayer To Herself
hand prayer
Dear God!
I can't breathe!
I can't breathe!
Please help me,
someone help me
I'm sorry,
so sorry
Please hear me!
Make it stop!

I still hear her voice
Pulsing and throbbing
inside of my head

I tell myself
just fly away,
fly away,
we'll be okay
Stand up!
Clean it up!
Pick your soul up off the floor
Close the door
Never let them in again
Never again!

Our soul is clean
We flew away,
we flew away,
so far away
So now you need to take her hand
Tell her they will understand
She was just a little girl
You were just a little girl
Close the door
and fly away

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

Sunday evenings always seem to leave me feeling a bit dispirited and gloomy, with an underlying anxiety, as if there is a reason to really dread Monday, which there is not. It reminds me of how I would feel as a kid during school, when I had left all of my homework undone until the very last minute. The weekends just never seem to last long enough. I am enjoying every last moment that is left of it though!
This weekend was really laid back and relaxing. Saturday afternoon was spent on a few chores around the house, but nothing too ambitious, and last night we watched the movie 3:10 to Yuma. I'm not really into westerns, but it was pretty good. This morning I made a cinnamon coffee cake for the boys, and played around with some poetry, and then we were off to Roman's basketball game, which they won. Way to go Vipers! After that was lunch, and then I snuggled up with Dave on the couch for a wonderful and cozy snooze. Heaven...Of course I don't want it to end!
Oh yeah, I also finished Christian's scarf after my nap. I snapped a quick picture, despite his protests. What is more adorable than a seventeen year old boy wearing the scarf that his mother made for him!=D

Only A Moment

I wrote this poem to give my friend at her baby shower.

Only A Moment

For this moment in time
I hold your world
in my hands
Safe inside
Our hearts
swoop and soar
on fluttering wings
of butterfly dreams
For this moment in time
You are mine

Angela Minard 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Soul Reborn

Closing eyes so weary
she dreams away the past
Pouring down her tears of shame
Cleansing waters heal the pain
This woman's soul breathes a sigh
and resting tattered wings
she gathers strength
She takes flight

Angela Minard 2008

Sorting Through Saturday

butterfly fairy
All that I have planned for today is to clean my house and do some laundry. Roman doesn't have a basketball game until tomorrow, so the day is free and clear. I'm thinking of walking on my treadmill today, even though I have been purposely staying away from it because it can become obsessive for me. I'm just hoping that some exercise will help to lift me out of these winter blues. My mom sent me some money so that I could start taking some yoga classes. The next session starts at the beginning of February, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm so used to hating and abusing my body, but gradually, I'm learning to take steps toward caring for it. My food intake is back on track, after some slips last week, and I have realized that when I actually do eat, and follow my meal plan, the eating disorder is not quite so loud. Strange that I just noticed this, but I'm so sick of that voice, so if eating is really what quiets it, then that is what I'm going to do.
I'm still busy knitting scarfs! Christian's camoflage scarf is almost finished, and I'm also working on a black chenille and silver sparkly one. My favorite student from school picked out some yarn at the craft store, so I'm working on her scarf next, and then I think that I will be able to branch out and start working on the baby blankets for my friends twins. I'm so glad that I was able to learn. I'm such a dork, but I'm really enjoying it. Well, I'm down to the bottom of my third cup of coffee, so I'd better get busy. Hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Angie butterfly

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cozy In My P.J.'s

It never seems all that difficult to make it through a Friday, no matter how crazy the day can get, and it did get crazy at times today. We are short staffed at work, so juggling duties and making sure that everyone is getting where they need to be can be tricky. The weekend is much needed. I'm cozy in my p.j.s and getting ready to snuggle in with my family and a movie tonight. We rented Good Luck Chuck. I have no idea what it is about. I'm hoping that it is a comedy, and that it makes me laugh. I'm really not all that picky. I'm just grateful that the weekend is here, that I have a warm roof over my head, and that I'm surrounded by love. I know that I am blessed with so much. I hope that I am never so overwhelmed and consumed by my own sadness, that I cannot see the beautiful life that I have been given. These gifts remind me of all that I'm fighting for, and the chance to live my life with renewed purpose.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Winter's Sigh

The days pass by with an aching sadness that I have resigned myself to feeling. Resisting the instinct to flee from the pain seems to take up all of my strength and energy, leaving me dull and listless. Is this grieving? Is this healing? The cold breath of winter descends, and I long for the sun to melt the shame and sorrow, so that forgiveness may grow.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Men, Sports, and Anger

Last night Dave and I went to Roman's basketball game. I would like to say that I had a good time, but then I wouldn't be telling the truth. I would enjoy myself more if Dave could watch the game without getting so angry when the kids mess up or when the coach does something he thinks is stupid. Even at home when he is watching sports on television and gets angry, it really makes me anxious and uncomfortable. I guess that I just don't understand getting that emotionally involved in a game. Especially a 5th grade basketball game! It's not like he is obnoxious and out of control or anything. Maybe I just don't understand men and sports. I just want to go and enjoy watching Roman running around in his cute little outfit. :D

Wintry Whining


I'm really just here this morning to whine about the nasty head cold that I have. I can't breathe out of my nose, and yet it drips relentlessly. It is only 7:00 a.m., and already, I'm restless and discontented. What am I going to do with myself? I can think of many things that I need to do, and nothing at all that I want to do. Maybe I will go take a nap and figure it all out later.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In The Midst Of Winter

I have been silent this week, I know. Unable to even express my thoughts and feelings through writing. The feelings, I suppose, have been difficult enough without trying to analyze all of them. Therapy this week was intense, as we are delving more into the rape trauma, and all of the emotions that are attached to that incident. Emotions that I have held or kept secret, even to myself, are beginning to surface. It is painful. I know also, that it is ultimately healing. Food has been a struggle through all of this, and meals have been missed, but I'm not using those missed meals as an excuse to give up completely. Before, at this point, I would have been ready to give up, but this is a fight that I feel I must win. Besides all of that, we are in the midst of winter here in Kansas! Spring feels too far away to even look forward to, and I have a killer head cold. I need to find some fun, so that is what I will be working on this weekend. Finding fun, making fun, dammit, let's all have fun!

Much love,

Friday, January 18, 2008



This flesh
that covers heart and soul
Betrays the mind
Warms to the touch
of filth and lies
Mouth, hand, breath, skin
Vanishing in silence
Scream the tears of shame

Angela Minard 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fun With Photography


Work was good today. Everyone seems to be settling back into the routine, and the kids seem happy to be back after the weekend. One of the students that I'm working with who has autism is taking basic photography this semester. She is fascinated with the camera, and loves taking pictures. She likes to arrange different objects and then photograph them. I wonder what it is that she is thinking about, and what she sees through the lens. I wonder what these snapshots mean to her, and what she wants to do with all of them. I tried to interest her in scrapbooking, thinking that she might enjoy arranging the pictures on a page, but that doesn't seem to be what she wants to do with them. I have a feeling that she is going somewhere with all of her picture taking, I just don't know where. I'm always longing for a deeper understanding. Maybe I like to think that looking at her pictures will give me a better idea of what is going on inside of her. Her secret world of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and all of the places that she just isn't able to take me. Anyway, the journey's I do get to go on with her are always a good time! Maybe that is why I want more.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Day

I am looking forward to this day for no reason in particular. Yesterday I did exactly what I wanted to do. I did some work around the house, did some baking, and was able to sit and relax in the evening without feeling guilty. Many times, the weekends are filled with such a long "to do" list, that I become overwhelmed and don't get any of it done, and then I feel bad about myself. I'm working on decreasing my expectations, and making my lists smaller. Making sure that I have something on the list that I enjoy really helps too. I also have more energy than I've had in awhile. Hmmm... Food perhaps? I need to recognize and remember how it feels to be nourished so that I don't want to go back to how I felt when I was starving myself.

This morning I was the first one up, so I knitted, had coffee, and listened to some 60's folk music. I'm sure that I was a sight with my wild hair, and fluffy red socks, sitting on the couch with knitting needles, singing along with Joni Mitchell. I enjoyed it! This afternoon Roman has a basketball game. I missed all of his games while I was away, so it will be fun to watch him back in action. He got a haircut yesterday, and luckily this time, there were no tears. You would think with boys, that there wouldn't be so much drama over their hair, but you would have thought that we were asking them to cut off their left nut or something! Everyone came home fairly happy though, so that was good. They are cute. I will have to post some new pictures. Well, I'm off to enjoy this day. Hope you all enjoy it too!
Much love,

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Pep Talk

I can have a bad dream and find my way back. I can use all of the tools that I have to make it to the top of the mountain. It just takes practice. I must love myself enough to have made it this far. I will just keep trying.

A little pep talk this morning to start my day on a positive note, and not let a bad dream color the rest of this day. It is beautiful and sunny here today, and I'm waiting for my boys to wake up. They all need haircuts. They look like little urchins! I have scarfs to knit, pumpkin bread to bake, and laundry to wash. I must get started!

Wishing all of you an amazing Saturday!

Much love,




Awakening darkness.
Startled, rattled.
Heart pounding to the rhythm
of their breathing in my ears.
Hands where they don't belong.
I don't belong in this space,
this place where the world is not safe.
I am here.
I turn on the light
and find the stone that keeps my body from floating away.
The surface is smooth and worn from fingers caressed,
pressed into my palm so hard,
and the pressure fills my body with weight,
and the strength to stay.
Just stay.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Temper Tantrums and Anger

This week has been really hard for me. I'm settling back into work with no problems. My job has always been the one place in my life where I feel confident in my abilities. I'm just really struggling with all of the emotions that are surfacing. I'm actually quite terrified of them, so of course, I try to avoid feeling or dealing with them. Because of this, I'm having a difficult time eating everything that is on my meal plan. I feel like I weigh too much, but intellectually, I also know that this is how the eating disorder tries to take over. My nutritionist tried to reassure me over the phone this morning that I'm not even close to weighing too much, but I find it so hard to believe. Recovery is so much harder than I thought it would be. One of the feelings that I'm trying to avoid right now is anger. I feel like kicking and screaming, and just throwing a huge temper tantrum over the whole thing. I'm angry at myself for putting up such a fight over recovery now that I'm home. I still feel angry with that little girl inside of me. I don't sympathize with her, and I don't find her lovable. I know that I need to get there, but I'm not sure how to find my way to that place. All I feel is anger that she wants to be comforted. I also feel a sadness because I just can't give that to her yet. I'm on the verge of tears most of the time, but I'm unable to shed them. I have anxiety over the fact that I know that they will come eventually. They will come, and then what? I'm afraid to find out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Dawn

I'm just here to remind myself that it is a new day. I am where I am meant to be. Each moment holds a new possibility. I can hold it in my hand, or choose to let it pass by. There is no wrong choice.

There is always another cup of coffee to be had, and I'm going to have one!
Cheers to a beautiful day~ Angie

Monday, January 7, 2008


I'm not sure what to say about my day today. I'm just glad that it is over. I couldn't seem to get out of my own way. My anxiety paralyzed me and I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Everyone at work was so incredibly kind and wonderful. I felt genuinely loved and missed, and all I could think was why? What have I done to deserve any of it? I went to see my therapist right after work, and she asked me why I felt that I had to earn affection. It is frustrating because it is just how I feel and I want to change it, but it is just a huge amount of effort right now. So, I've decided that right now I am where I am supposed to be. I can't do it all at once. I have to focus on taking care of my body, and following my food plan because the desire to restrict is so strong. Stronger than maybe it has ever been before. I don't love myself right now, and that is okay because I'm still learning, and it takes time. Maybe I need to stop trying so hard and accept where I am at the moment.

First Day Jitters


The smell of blacktop
freshly poured.
Your teachers name
above the door.
Heart pounding
Stiffly standing
Holding on so tight
to your momma's hand
Hair pulled up
with rubberbands
Itchy knee socks
Shoes that squeak
Tears that threaten
Quivering chin
Here you go
Life's test begins

Angela Minard 2008

Off To Work

My son took these pics of me and my newly knitted scarf.
My first day back to school.
A little nervous

Isn't it a fun scarf!
Everyone have a great day, and thanks for all of the love!

A Magical Monday

I'm awake ridiculously early this morning. I have the back to school jitters I suppose. I know that I worry too much, and especially about what other people think. Most people at work know why I left. I didn't want it to be a big secret. I'm tired of secrets, and besides, it is nothing to be ashamed of. I love everyone at work, and they were all so wonderful while I was away. My room at Renfrew was covered with cards that everyone sent. So, why the nerves? I just don't want any hoopla, and I'm sure that there will be some. Hopefully just mild hoopla, and then I can settle into my day, focusing on the present, and moving forward. To be honest, I'm just worried that there will be comments about my weight, and I want to be able to handle them for what they are. Innocent comments that I can come home and cry about later. Just kidding! :D
Anyway, I finished my fun and furry scarf last night. I love it, and will have Christian take a picture of me in it before I go to work. I have a few scarfs to make for friends, and then my next big project is to knit baby blankets for my friends Kelli and Tyler's twins that are due in April. I can't wait to go and look at more yarn! Oh yeah, and of course, my dad wants some hand knitted golf club covers! Just what he deserves for saying that I had better not knit anything for him:)
The goal for today...?
A magical Monday of course.
Let's do it!
Much love,

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My New Motto

My New Motto~
Eating is not an option, it is a necessity!

A Fun And Furry Scarf

Today I am doing laundry and knitting this fabulous scarf!
My goal is to finish it today. It is done with large needles, so it should go pretty fast. I love the colors. They remind me of Valentine's Day, which reminds me... I put out my V Day decorations yesterday.
A pic from my dining room.
I will post my finished scarf later tonight. This one is for me!
Have a great day. Much love,

The Gap Nightmare


Audrey Hepburn in a Gap commercial

The reality of gaining weight is bad enough. Why in the world would I dream of going to the Gap to try on jeans? That is not just a dream. It is a nightmare! This morning I did not want to eat breakfast, but I did. I just felt disgusted with myself while I ate it. Why? It is not about the food, but it does feel like it is about the weight, even though I know that most likely, it is not. It is about the space that I take up in this world, and feeling like I'm undeserving. I know that I have to keep challenging those thoughts when they come into my head, because I have every right to be here. I can change my world. Everyone deserves a chance to change the world.
There was a group at Renfrew called "Safety and Containment," where we learned how to contain painful memories, and create a place in the mind where we could go after we had contained the pain. A safe place. The picture in this post reminds me of my safe place. I think that I will spend some time there today.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My Knitting

Here are some pics of me and my scarfs~
PhotobucketMy first attempt.
PhotobucketPosing in my first scarf.
Photobucket #2
Photobucket This one is for my therapist.
Photobucket This is the beginning of the scarf I'm making for Christian. I'm hoping that it will look like camouflage when it is finished.

Planning My Day

The Plaza Lights Kansas City, MO
Plaza Lights Kansas City, Mo.

I'm feeling energetic and more like myself today. I have some things that I need to get done around the house. Number one, I need to take down the Christmas tree and all of my other decorations. I think that while I'm at it, I will put out my valentines decorations. I love valentine's day. Hearts, flowers, love... All of the good stuff! I finished my second scarf last night, and now I'm working on one for Christian. I bought grey, black, and white yarn, and am knitting it with small needles so that it will look like camoflauge. Cool, huh? It is a warm day here, so I'm thinking that tonight it would be great to go to the Plaza and walk around and see the lights before they turn them off. I wasn't home for Thanksgiving this year to see the annual lighting ceremony, and it really is so beautiful. When the boys were little, we used to pack them in the car late in the evening on Thanksgiving, turn on the Christmas music, and drive down to see the lights, hoping that they would all fall asleep on the way home. It doesn't seem that long ago. Now it will be Dave and I falling asleep on the way home!

Well, I'd better get busy.
Wishing everyone a wonderful day!
Much love,

Friday, January 4, 2008

Walking On A Tight Rope

I have been wondering why I miss being in treatment so much. I was replying to a comment on my last blog, and realized that here at home, I feel as if I'm walking on a tight rope without a safety net below me.* I miss the safety net. Right now it is just me on my own. I'm supposed to be the safety net, yet I don't always feel so safe. It is also why I have this sense of loneliness right now. As much as I have support of the people around me, and a team here at home to help me, ultimately, it is all up to me. Talk about pressure! I know that it has always been up to me, but before, I had the eating disorder to chum around with, and Claudia is not very thrilled with me at the moment! I'm being cussed out on a daily basis, but I'm determined that she is not going to wear me down. She wants me to think that she will be my safety net, and that she will be the one to catch me if I fall. No wonder I'm so afraid all of the time.

* When I was seven, I tried to tight rope walk on my grandmother's clothes line. I fell off and broke my arm!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I was supposed to go out to dinner and a movie tonight, but things didn't work out. A friend of Dave's came over to watch football. I've basically been knitting for most of the day. I'm bored at the moment and feeling a bit lonely. I am uncomfortable in my body today, but I have still stuck to my meal plan even though it has been a battle. Sometimes I feel as if my body is a war zone. I just want to make peace with it. I have moments when I can accept myself as I am, and for now that will have to be enough. I just have to push through the days like today. It is times like now that I really miss being at Renfrew. Surrounded by women who understood and were feeling some of the same feelings. There was always somebody around to talk to. Alone in my head is not always the best place for me to be. I'm so tired and hoping to wake up in a better place tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Couple Time

Dave and I had a couples therapy session this morning. It really helped, especially since I tend to keep my feelings from him. I was really struggling last night, and had an overwhelming urge to hurt myself. Instead I called my therapist and talked to her about it, but didn't tell Dave. I was afraid that telling him would scare him too much. Today in therapy, he said that he can always sense when something is wrong, and that when I say that I'm fine, it really makes him feel frustrated and helpless. His mind automatically starts to fear the worst, and he worries more. I'm going to try harder to share my feelings with him.
I go back to work on the 7th, and I'm hoping that having more structure in my day will help. As nice as having a vacation is, it gives me too much time in my own head! I am enjoying knitting though. I'm working on my second scarf, and I'm really happy with how it is turning out. It is brown with teal, periwinkle, gold, and burgundy running through it. I think that I'm going to give it to my therapist. She wears those colors a lot, and she has been so supportive through all of this. I have allowed myself to trust her completely, and am more honest and open with her than with anyone. Now I just need to give Dave that same level of trust. The difference is that I don't worry about hurting my therapist. I have to trust that being so open with Dave won't backfire. He deserves the chance. We both do.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I feel, I feel, I feel... My instict is to seperate myself from the feelings, but without the eating disorder, that is much more difficult to accomplish. I've made promises. So... I let the feelings wash over me, wave upon wave of sadness and despair, fearing that I will drown in my own sorrow. There are moments that I think the pain is too much to bear. The memories overtake me, and all that I long to do is run. Run until I can no longer catch my breath, and I cease to be... I cease to feel... I search for an ending in a world that is limitless. My soul forever connected to the sickness of strangers, and why is it that I'm still here...hanging on? We come into this world never claiming to exist freely. Impacting everyone that touches our presence. Never blameless, we will leave this earth.