The machine is at the shop. No, there's nothing wrong with it, it just needed to be serviced after so much use. It's not my machine, it belongs to the kids' grandma (Noni). We're calling it the "in town" machine as Noni lives 45 minutes away and comes into town on Thursdays for bible study and quilting. It's so nice to have such a beautiful machine to work with. The Brother machine The Dad gave me as an engagement gift 16 years ago is a simple machine that can't be calibrated for the precision sewing required in quilting. One day I'll have the money to buy something of my own that is nicer but for now, babysitting the "in town" quilter is perfect.
I've got a few quilts in the que, two Orlando moms have requested I Spy quilts like the one I made for the auction. If you haven't followed up on the status, the auction raised more than $3000, enough for 17 moms to get scholarships. That's amazing. So hats off and many, many thank you's to my readers that supported the cause by either bidding or donating fabric or resources so I could make the quilts. In total, the quilts I made generated $130.
I will be changing gears to generate some personal cash with the quilts. AB's dentist has prescribed an appliance for his mouth to correct an under bite. Medicaid deems the procedure as elective so we're stuck with the $900 bill. We don't consider it an option. If AB's jaw continues to form improperly through puberty, not only will it impede his speech, correcting the error after he is done growing is a painful, long process that begins with breaking his upper jaw. Clearly, the simple appliance in his 10 year old mouth today is worth the preventative cost. More information to come but I'm not opposed to making a made-to-order quilt if you are interested. Just email me using the link on my profile page.
I've also considered compiling my poetry into a book and pursuing a vanity publishing. I'm not sure of the initial cost or if I'll recoup the outlay in addition to making a profit from the sale but it's an idea rumbling in my brain.
I saw Sissy last Thursday, enduring one more meeting to staff her case. The hospital has done precious little and has just barely begun to address the "wish list" I had for her at intake. Of course, my wish list isn't the same as a Christmas list. I have asked that the hospital take advantage of the resources available in the metro area, mental health resources that are not an option here. In other words, I'm asking them to do for her that which we are unable to accomplish at home. Which is the point of hospitalization, right? Apparently not. She's only had two individual therapy sessions. TWO?!? And my one-on-one time with Sissy was spent with her spinning one yarn after another. I don't think she said anything that was true.
So, on the drive home, 60 miles in, I had to pull off at a truck stop because I was in a full blown panic attack. *sigh* It is so frustrating. All of it is. My health, her health, our family, the state of health care, our state's inability to adequately support our daughter, this double-jeopardy position we're in, all of it. Thankfully it was a Thursday, the day Noni is in town so she talked me out of the crazy tree and I made it home safely. Then I spent the weekend taking slow deep breaths after the hospital called me back on Friday to say that medicaid approved another 30 days of hospitalization.
I forget, as I live this life, that it really IS overwhelming, that I'm allowed to be stressed out. I have reasonable cause to be anxious, it's not contrived or exacerbated by my own mental incapacity. Rather, I suffer these bouts of torment because of our situation. I would be free of it altogether were our life less messy. Currently I'm actively working on giving myself permission to be tired, anxious, angry, stressed and grieved. It's hard to do, oddly enough. I've been in self-last-at-all-cost mode for so long that it takes a concerted effort to put myself first. It takes even more effort to avert life's attempts to redirect me on the self-deprecating course. Feels like I'm paddling up stream nearly every day.
I called Sissy last night and addressed her lies. The phone call was cut off by staff that intervened after Sissy began screaming into the phone. I got an odd satisfaction in knowing that I had the opportunity to call her out on her behavior without having to deal with the aftermath. I called back an hour later and she claimed that the staff hung up the phone because someone ELSE on the unit was in crisis. I tried to redirect her to the truth about her own behaviors in our previous conversation but she wouldn't own it. Then I told her she was staying another 30 days at least and she bemoaned that she would be missing Thanksgiving.
And that's where I get stuck. I think she truly doesn't have a concept of the time frame so I feel bad that she is too challenged to understand such things even after I explained to her that 30 days from now is the beginning of October and Thanksgiving isn't until the end of November. But I know unequivocally that she is a master of manipulation and she played me for a fool last Thursday when I was there. Relating with her is like sitting on an off-kilter see-saw. No amount of juggling the weight and positions will make the plank stable. Every time I bend my heart toward her, I get burned. It's too easy for her to hurt the ones she loves because she's learned by experience that no matter what she does, we'll keep loving her. So I concluded our conversation by telling her that the choice is up to her. She can choose to learn a new way of dealing with stressors or she can continue to live her days at a hospital but she can't keep hurting and trying the trust of the people that love her.
Then I breathe slow deep breaths, I close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me, I collect myself once more and I quilt or read "Charlotte's Web" to WG or help AB with his cell model science project or watch a Netfl!x movie with The Dad or put an E-collar on Grace the dog so she won't chew her paws. I take a soothing shower and snuggle under a blanket with coffee in hand. I say hello to friends on faceb@ok or wash a few windows, blog or volunteer in the resource room at the kids' school. I just keep on keeping on because there is nothing else I can do. Life, it seems, has a mind of its own.