Friday, February 29, 2008

The End Of A Crazy Work Week

Ahhhh!!! The end of a crazy work week! There has been so much tension between staff members, and entirely too much drama for me. It makes me very uncomfortable when people can't get along. Especially when it is adults behaving like children. I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend with my family. Dave and I just returned from our Friday evening Sam's Club date to stock up on groceries. We are in dire need of a "real" date night. We haven't been out by ourselves since before I left for Renfrew. We were supposed to go out tomorrow night, but Roman's basketball party was scheduled for that night, so hopefully we can go out next weekend. We rented a movie for tonight, and I'm already wrapped up in the new quilt that my awesome friend, Theresa made for me. Time to relax!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

~Silence Screams~Unlock The Silence!

Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men. In 2005-2006, there were an average annual 232,010 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. About 44% of rape victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30. Rapes are still not being reported. The National Crime Victimization Survey includes statistics on reported and unreported crimes in America. Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, with more than half still being left unreported. Utilizing services such as The National Sexual Assault Hotline can help encourage victims to get help and report what has happened to them so that more perpetrators can be brought to justice.RAINN

Silence Screams

The night, she saves
her silent screams
for awakening children
from their dreams
Shivering through
the empty streets
Hiding fright
in their shadows
of crimson
Comes the light
to sleep the day away
and beg the darkness
to fade
Her memories lie
in the shade
of the silent screams

she has saved

Angela Minard 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring Fever

I'm not sure what is going on with me lately. I feel so restless and dissatisfied. Maybe it is just spring fever. It has been a rough few weeks at work, and everything is just now coming to a head. All that I can really say is that school politics and dealing with adults is the most difficult part of my job. Thankfully the kids make it all worth while. There are only two more weeks until spring break, so I'm sure that I can make it through. Another thing that is bringing me down is this endless winter that we are having here in Kansas. It snowed again last night, and today was so cold and windy. It was actually painful to be outside. I don't even want to get out of bed in the morning, so I lie there until the last possible minute, and then rush around, trying to get out of the house on time. It is not the best way to start the day, and I know this, so tomorrow, I WILL get my ass out of bed! When I don't get up on time, then no one around here gets up on time. It just makes for an ugly morning all the way around. Nothing seems worth the effort, and that is such a bad attitude to have. I must work on this! Okay, enough of this complaining and whining. Moving on...

I'm still knitting lots of scarves. I just finished one for a student of mine. It is bright orange, pink, and lavender. The next thing I'm going to knit is a purse. A friend of mine knit one for herself, and it is so cute. I need to start moving past the scarves, because after all, winter will be over soon.
I just have to believe.Smiley Face Flower
My latest scarf.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I Love You!!! heart

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mother And Son Movie Night

Roman and I in our scarfs.
Last night I went to Mother-Son movie night at Roman's school. Every year they host a movie night, where they serve pizza, and then there is a choice of four different movies to watch. We then go cram into a classroom, sit on the floor, and watch the movie. This year we watched Transformers. At least this year, Roman actually sat with me. Last year we walked into the school, he found his friends, and I never saw him again! We had a good time, and I finished knitting his scarf while I was watching the movie. He was so happy that it was finished. This morning when he came down for breakfast, he had it wrapped around his neck. He had slept with it on all night.
My Baby!

This morning we went to watch Roman play in his basketball tournament. He did a great job, and scored two baskets. His team won the game, so he will also be playing tomorrow. Way to go Vipers!

It has been a really enjoyable day. This afternoon I snuggled up with Dave in the big leather chair and fell asleep for awhile. I love to snuggle and snooze! Other than that, not much going on. It is still very cold here, but is supposed to warm up some tomorrow.Tonight we are all going to stay cozy and warm here at home, and probably watch a movie.
Hope everyone has a wonderful evening!
Much love,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

"Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the REAL you." That is the central theme for the National Eating Disorder Association's (NEDA) 20th annual Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). From February 25 - March 3, 2007, NEDA and other eating disorder support and advocacy groups nationwide, will go public to spread the frightening truth about eating disorders. In a very important technological first, NEDA this year takes EDAW to the web, through its own myspace.neda page, inviting internet savvy youth to read and post stories, questions, and more on the NEDA eating disorder blog.

Poor body image and the endless cycle of dieting are things that many individuals struggle with at some point in their lives. For some, negative body image can trigger a downward spiral into unsafe dieting methods and unhealthy behaviors, resulting in a full blown eating disorder. For years, NEDA has promoted positive body image with its Great Jeans Giveaway, encouraging women - and more recently, men - to accept their real genes and their true body size by donating those never-to-be-worn-again too-small jeans.

Ongoing eating disorder research, highlighted on NEDA's web site ( continues to show that body size and shape are strongly influenced by biological factors. Influenced by polished fashion magazines, weight loss pills, and shelves of dieting books, many of us struggle against our natural, genetically-influenced size, determined to fit back into that pair of "skinny jeans." Fighting natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image, and sometimes to eating disorders. NEDA and research confirm that while each of us can work to adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for our particular body type, we cannot change our genes.

National Eating Disorder

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recovery Questions

the mask
So many questions in my mind regarding recovery. I just returned from seeing my nutritionist, and talking about the struggles that I'm having with following my meal plan. I was inpatient for 30 days. Not long enough to trust that my meal plan will not make me gain a significant amount of weight. Bottom line is that I haven't been trusting my meal plan. Consequently, since I have returned from Renfrew, I have gradually been losing weight. I'm clueless as to what that weight doesn't really matter. What is so frustrating is that I truly don't see it. In fact, I could have sworn that I've been gaining weight. There are many other questions and worries. One is that although I have asked my family to intervene if it looks like I'm going to skip a meal, I'm really only eating if they insist that I come to the table. I'm having a hard time doing it on my own. I'm still not in recovery for myself. I want it for my kids, my husband...anyway, all that matters at this point is that I want it. I would like to want it for myself, but maybe that will come with time.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Have I Done?

What have I done with my day off? (Thanks for asking!)

~President's Day 2008~

1. Awoke at 10:30 a.m.
2. Grabbed a big ass cup of coffee
3. Said, "Damn, these Kellogg's cereal straws are wicked good for sucking up my big ass cup of coffee." (the inside is coated with chocolate, and the heat of the coffee melts it while you suck, so how can that be a bad thing?)

4. Talked to my mom on the phone for over an hour.
(She lives in Florida, and just returned from an island cruise, while I'm freezing my ass off here in Kansas! Whatever!!!!)
5. Contemplated eating lunch while drinking a Diet Coke.
6. Finished knitting my husband's scarf. He is going to kill me. (See pic below)

7. Laundry
8. Listened to Broadway showtunes while still in my pajamas.
9. Knitting
( scarf for Roman, and one for myself.)
10. Contemplating dinner while drinking a Diet Coke.
11. Still listening to showtunes, and blogging about my super exciting day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Tears Of Winter

The Tears Of Winter

The snow floats
gently to the ground
collecting along the cracks
in the pavement
Sticking stubbornly
to the lashes of downcast eyes
Melting, mingling
with tears
waiting for so long
to be shed.
Embrace these sorrowful days
of winter's frozen heart

Angela Minard 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blogging Out Of Boredom

Today I'm just doing a little cleaning, a lot of laundry, and of course, knitting.Right now I'm working on a thin, fuzzy scarf. The yarn is so soft, in shades of pink, grey, and green. I have three scarfs going at the same time. When I get bored with one, I just move on to a different one. I'm trying to keep my mind calm, and the knitting helps. The past few days have been spent with Dave and the boys. I'm so thankful that my kids get along with each other, and enjoy spending time together. It would be one ugly winter right now if they didn't! It is still so cold, grey, and gloomy here, and tomorrow we are supposed to get some snow. Roman has a basketball game, so hopefully the weather won't be too ugly. This winter just feels endless.

C'mon spring!

Too Much


Sometimes it all is too much
Too much to feel
Reaching out
You try to hold on
when the world has let go
of your hand
So you stand
on the edge of the earth
Looking down
Too much is lost
and can never be found
The time's finally come...
so you say your goodbyes
and you fly

Angela Minard 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Not Too Late


Wednesday evening, before I saw my therapist, I stopped at the liquor store and bought a six pack of Mike & Ike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade, and proceeded to drink all of them throughout the rest of the night. Why? I don't really know. I made a concious choice that day, not to eat, and instead, to drink. I was feeling so tired of all of the anxiety that I had been feeling. I just wanted not to feel it anymore, so I took the easy way out. Now though, all that I feel is disappointment and shame. I talked to my therapist the next day, and told her that I had been drinking. She said that this is the part of recovery when the eating disorder really kicks in, hanging on for dear life, and that is where my obsession with weight, calories, and restriction is coming from. Through each part of the recovery process, I have been saying to myself, "This is the scariest part", and then something scarier comes along. I'm just so tired. I want to give up, but I'm afraid to give up. Nothing is making much sense. My therapist is out of town this week, and I feel lost just knowing that she is not nearby. I feel very dependent upon her right now, and it is hard not to turn that into feelings of abandonment. Especially when I feel like I deserve for everyone to leave me. I know that Dave is disappointed in me. I'm worthless,I let everyone down, and that makes it so easy to want to give up on myself. So, how do I pick myself back up when I have fallen? In the words of my therapist,"There is no such thing as perfection in recovery." I know this, and yet...I know that I must say no to giving up. That is not me. Stumbling is allowed, it just always takes me by surprise.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Help Along The Way

Ugh! I'm really struggling through my meals. It is so frustrating, but I'm doing as much as I can. I'm just feeling so anxious after I eat. I see my therapist and nutritionist tomorrow, so hopefully between all of us, we can figure out why. I feel like I am trying to deal with my emotions, but maybe this is my way of trying to avoid them and I don't realize it because it is so familiar. I don't know if that even makes sense, but anyway...I can't sleep, so here I am. I know that I will be able to work through it, and I'm trying to remember that I have come a long way. I have had these eating disordered thoughts for half of my life, so I realize that it is going to take time. I was able to talk to Dave tonight at dinner. He could see that I was having a difficult time, and helped talk me through it. Not that long ago it would have been too hard for me to accept the help, but now, I am just grateful for his patience and support. I will take all of the help that I can get, and that is just one more step in the right direction.

There! That was a little pep talk to myself:)
Now I must try to get some sleep.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obsessive Thoughts And Fears

I have been really frustrated over the past few days about my obsession with weight, calories, and restricting. I feel like it is a body image thing... That if I was happier with the body that I see when I looked into the mirror...but then I remember that even when I'm dangerously underweight...I'm not happy. My eyes cannot seem to recognize the truth, so do I just stop looking? Yet even if I stopped looking...I can feel it...the feeling that I'm taking up an ungodly amount of space, and it feels so uncomfortable and disgusting. I hate those feelings, but I know that restricting doesn't banish I just sit with the feelings...and wait...and hope for recovery. I feel sometimes as if I am spilling out all over the place. I worry any time my husband hugs me, touches my waist, my hips... I worry when I dry my pants and put them's an ongoing battle in my head.I think that is what gets to me. That I am always so damn conscious of my body. I think that it is part of not wanting to feel. I don't want to feel so connected to my body. I need to stop thinking of my own body as the enemy, waiting for it to betray me. I hope for a time in my life to be free of these obsessive thoughts, worries, and fears, and yes... I question whether it is even possible for me. Maybe for others, but what if... not for me? I suppose that is what I am truly afraid of. The fear that I will never be free.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wise Gladys

I need to be getting ready for work, but Christian used all of the hot water for his shower, so I'm waiting...and writing.
I'm feeling melancholy at the moment because I just read that Polly Williams from the HBO documentary THIN passed away. She was one of the women suffering from anorexia that was featured in the documentary filmed at The Renfrew Center in Florida. It makes me think of all of the wonderful women that I met while I was there, and who among us will die from our eating disorder. I want to go back and hug them all one more time. I want to tell them what Gladys, one of the wise staff members at Renfrew told me as she hugged me goodbye. She said, with her Jamaican accent, "No more of this bullshit, Angie."

May you finally rest in peace, Polly.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rock Steady

Ahhh! A cloudless, clear blue sky, and sunshine! I desperately needed some sunlight, and finally, here it is. I'm filled with hope, energy, and happiness today, with just an overall sense of peace. I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this day, but even if it is just cleaning the house, I am going to make the choice to do it with joy. In one of the group sessions at Renfrew, we talked about how we can make a concious decision to approach everything we do with a positive attitude, even the mundane chores of daily life, and how much that can impact the quality of our lives. Of course, that is so much easier on a sunny day! Sometimes I get down because I feel like there is nothing exciting to look forward to. Day after day, the same boring routine, and I think, to tell you the truth, that I'm just not used to it. Since Dave and I have been married, it has always been one thing after another. The birth of our sons, new homes, dealing with a child diagnosed with autism, Dave's brain tumor surgeries, my eating disorder and abuse issues... My life is steady and normal right now, and it just feels strange. It is almost as if I'm afraid to enjoy the calm too much, for fear of losing it. My ongoing battle to enjoy the moment. Today I will strive.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I am off of work today, and also have next Thursday, Friday, and the following Monday off due to student conferences. Yipee! I plan on trying to thaw myself out of these winter blues in which I have been frozen. I e-mailed my therapist about my isolation, and she said, "the need to isolate often comes when strength initially does.....the reason I think is because sometimes the strength and progress feel good but uncomfortable(that new house idea) so you just kinda "hunker down and stay safe." That really makes sense to me, and helped me to feel better about what I have been feeling.
I'm going to play catch up on all of the things that I have been neglecting around my house, so that I have the weekend free and clear for some fun time. Not sure what that will be yet, but how hard can it be to have some damn fun!

Healing From Sexual Abuse

Healing from Sexual Abuse by Dr. Sidney Langston

~The Process of Healing~
Healing for those who have been sexually abused is like a renovation process. All the old wounds need to be cleaned out and repaired. Truth must be faced, the sorrow embraced and grieved. Usually this cannot be done in isolation. It is best to talk it through with a trusted friend, pastor or professional therapist.
Abused individuals need to be gently led out of denial so that the truth of what happened to them can be faced. Acknowledging the truth is the initial step toward rescuing themselves from the bondage of powerlessness, betrayal, confusion and rejection.
When truth is faced they can learn to let go of dissociative behaviors which allow them to block the pain of abuse from their memories. Dissociation can be a useful survival tool because it allows victims to mentally escape to a safe place so they are not in touch with their pain. If they have developed multiple personalities, another dissociative defense against pain, these personalities, in time, can be integrated.
Abuse victims need to learn not to minimize or make excuses for the perpetrator or for parents or other adults who did not protect them. They don't help themselves or the offender by living in the darkness of denial. In the healing process, they need to come to the place where they can honestly say "Yes, I was abused and something was taken away from me that I can never get back." Giving living offenders a chance to face the damage they have done can be a great step of healing.
Abuse victims should never accept responsibility for the actions of their abusers. Neither should they feel a need to ask forgiveness for the emotions they might have felt during or after the abuse. Forgiving the offender, when emotionally and spiritually ready to do so, will enhance the healing process.
Another element of healing is for the victim to honestly look at ways they have tried to protect themselves from further harm. In order to manage their pain, most victims utilize dysfunctional ways to protect themselves. As understandable and natural as this is, it leads to more torment. These dysfunctional patterns of behavior need to be exchanged for more effective methods of coping.
Learning how and what to grieve is also necessary to the healing process. Facing pain and embracing sorrow with the expectation of finding comfort feels wrong. But it is the right way to deal with abuse. Victims need to grieve what has been taken from them. They need to let themselves feel their lost innocence. They need to mourn their lost childhood, their loss of trust, and their feelings of betrayal and rejection. Just as important, victims need to mourn the fact that they have hurt themselves, and perhaps others, by their dysfunctional protective actions. As they face their sorrow they can find comfort and healing as well as the strength to let the pain go and get on with their lives.
Victims need to take time to reflect on their spiritual needs and draw additional healing from that. Becoming well-informed about abuse and gaining insights about its dynamics enhances the healing process. It is helpful to keep a journal that records memories, feelings and events related to the past abuse and their struggles to deal with it. It helps to journal the steps taken toward healing, recovery and hope.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse, please take these steps of recovery in your own life. The journey to wholeness is painful and arduous, but not impossible. If you are willing to go through the healing process you will be amazed at the relief and freedom you will experience. Don't delay. You are worth it.

Reference Allender, Dan. (1982). When trust is lost, Healing for victims of sexual abuse
Grand Rapids, MI: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The "Shoulds"

I have really been struggling with isolation, and my confusion with the desire to just hide away from the world. I'm doing great in so many ways, and yet I feel sad, lost, and afraid. I know that I question my feelings when there really is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings. The "shoulds" get in my way, and frustrate me. I think that I should be feeling all of these wonderful feelings because of all of the progress I have made, so I feel guilty because I don't feel wonderful at all, and it always ends up coming back to what a horrible person I must be. I know that I'm not a horrible person. I just want so badly to bounce through life, filled with joy, avoiding the grief and pain, when the reality is that I must feel the sadness in order to also feel the joy. Going through this grieving process is painful, and I'm not very patient with myself at all. I am really going to try to make more of an effort to be patient and accepting of where I am, and not beat myself up for where and how I think that I "should" be.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Nightmares And Rage

I had the worst night I have had in a long time last night. I had horrible nightmares about the rape, and I would awaken from one, go back to sleep, and have another one. I finally got up and took a couple of xanax, which I just really hate to do, but it did help. The difference in my nightmares now is that I always fight back. My poor husband has been hit and kicked quite a few times here lately. A few weeks ago, he said that I yelled out,"I'm calling the police!" At least I am fighting back, although having the dreams are still very frightening, and are very triggering the next day. Today I am having flashbacks, and they come so quick that I'm not always able to catch them in time, which frustrates me. I did learn a great visualization tool that works for my flashbacks though. When they come, I just picture them as if they are being displayed on a television screen, and then I visualize myself picking up the remote control and turning the television off. It sounds so simple, but most of the time, it works for me.
Right now I feel like screaming and crying, and just pounding my head into a wall over and over again, although I'm not going to do any of that. Anger is the primary emotion that I am feeling today, and also probably the emotion that I have the hardest time dealing with. I used to direct all of that anger and rage onto myself, but I am fighting the instinct to do any type of self harm, so how do I release all of those feelings now? Maybe my dreams are the release, and they will just run their course, and time will give me my answer.