-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero
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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3, 2009

This was really hard to write. I beg forgiveness if anyone who knows my mom misunderstands any of this content. I sincerely write out of love and respect, and I know aspienado sucks sometimes, but this is my journey from my point of view.

Watching my sibs do friends-only Mom memories on facebook. Here is my fave ever pic that I took of my mom.

If you don't want a trip down another memory lane, dive outa the moving vehicle NOW. #tuckandroll

Those of you who are staying, fleeting reminder that I finally went public 2 months ago about why I disappeared out of the Lexx fandom all those years ago.
on this day- Memory Catacombs, and surviving another Burst of Life

October 3rd through the years.

2007- Still pre-loss, but I was DPOA and Mom was already living in the nursing home. I was getting a little snappy.

And that was nearly a mess and a half.  I've noticed some of these new Walmart kids coming through the registers aren't always savvy on sacking strategies, but when a young lady turned my HOT deli chicken sideways to slip into a sack right next to a gallon of milk, I did that "uh-uh-uh" thing you do automatically when a 3 year old gets into something really scary and you know you can't reach them in time and the words don't come out fast enough.  I know I embarrassed her half to death, but if I hadn't immediately rescued that chicken, the juices would have leaked all over that sack and my jug of milk, not to mention warm up my milk and cool down my chicken.

I still have this cookbook and even found a replacement in good condition.

I was reading in my mom's super old gigantic recipe book the other day, always find something surprising in there.  This time I ran into "alligator pear salad".  ??  Turned out to be avacado.  That is the coolest book.  It's nearly 900 pages and missing the cover and the first 50 pages, so I don't have a clue who published it or when.  Wanna make a pidgeon pie?  It tells you how.  They start off with fine table settings (that not even 5 star restaurants adhere to any more) and ends with basic food preservation and pressure cookery, but you can find *anything* in between.  Well, I haven't yet run into anything on how to kill and eat a bear, and it was obviously published before the States had food franchises and international cuisine on every corner.  They've got a whole chapter on coffee service alone.  There are at least 10 different ketchup recipes.  I mean, this was even before bottled ketchup.  Wild, huh?  People used to make their own ketchup.  And there is a sauce for just about anything.  You name just about anything unpalatable, this book will tell you how to cream it or make a sauce for it that sounds out of this world.

Had my 2nd progress exam with the chiropractor today.  I've made it up to 56% improvement.  I went in for the back injury, but I'm getting help healing now from other old stuff that I've tolerated for years.  This is the first time in 25 years my neck hasn't hurt. It just suddenly quit hurting a couple of days ago.  I have lived with that so long.  I can even kind of bend my neck back now and look up without feeling like I'll faint.  I haven't been able to do that since I flipped out of a car when I was 19.

2008- We didn't know we still had one more year to go and we were all very exhausted.

I got this corn bag from a girl I worked with years ago at Kohl's during a Christmas gift exchange.  She was a single mom of 3 boys and very poor, but she made the cutest corn bags for everyone.  Her uncle had a bag of seed corn or deer corn or something, and she used scraps of material and her mom's sewing machine to make 'corn pillows' to put in the microwave.  This is the BEST gift I have ever gotten from a work gift exchange.  I didn't like her much because she was kind of a trouble maker, but I am grateful for this gift every time I use it, which lately is several times a day.  I even heat it up and take it in the car with me.  I know I've had it at least 5 or 6 years.  We've never run into anything in a store that even compares to how versatile and tough and easily moldable this is.

Might go ahead and send Dad an anniversary card to take in to Mom.  After the big deal he made last year to me about stop sending cards and flowers for everything, (....) I keep hearing from Dad about everything Mom still gets on her birthday and whatnot, and I'm like- this is crap.  Why list everything other people do for her if I'm told not to do it?  And their 50th anniversary is coming up either this year or next.  Waiting on an email back from the other sister on that now.  But I'll have to get that mailed by Monday.  (confirmation, this is the 49th)

I think the hardest thing to go through, besides losing a child, is watching your parents go down.

2009- The year Mom finally left us.

First of all, hopefully on a funny note, this is the year of the wacked out greeting card fiasco.  I had started a sympathy card to M when school started back up in August, wrote a whole sentence and laid it down, walked off.  Last week I ran across it and suddenly HAD to finish it, HAD to get it off into the mail, wrote something under the sentiment inside that I was using up one of my dumb cards on her.  Didn't find out until later that (her other gramma) died that ~same day~.  Just a tad awkward...  So C's birthday was coming up, and bless that kid's heart, I have been uber late on her birthday every single year since the Bell's Palsy.  I decided that's not going to happen this year, got a card with $10 off, and the day Mom died (her gramma), she opened a card that said, "Celebrate!" with a big balloon on the front.    Awkward, awkward, awkward...

As for hanging out with Dad, man.  That man is weird and a half.  Before Mom died he came back to the nursing home with some brand new pajamas in a sack, have no idea if someone had left them at their house years ago, he said we should bury her in those like she was asleep.  They were 3X, she was 130 pounds...  That argument was so aggravating and senseless and stupid.  Everyone else blew him off, guess they're used to him.  Then the next day after she died we ran him around doing final arrangements and signing papers with the funeral home, and he argued up one side and down the other about the payment method, because it was insurance paying the nursing home a huge sum of money, and Dad getting the leftover check, which will actually be fairly large because the burial was so cheap (just over $3000).  Dad was doing everything in his power to push them into dispensing the money his way so that (and here he didn't outright admit this was his goal) he wouldn't have to report it on his taxes.  The way he planned it out, the nursing home would be helping him to commit tax fraud, but it would all be perfectly legal if they would just listen to him.  By the fifth round he stood up and told this lady to "Just be quiet and LISTEN", and dang if she didn't find a way to make him shut up again.  I think she'd been through this before with other old men.  It would have been pretty embarrassing if people all over town didn't already know him so well by now that they're used to it.  Fortunately, I was drugged out of my mind and didn't get pissed off at him.

The rest of this is how the world looks through the eyes of someone who has just lost a parent after many years of continual care and phone calls. It's outrageously both funny and stupid, and if you think about it, a blessing.

On the other end, G. is calling us every half hour driving us ~crazy~.  R. went to Minnesota with her instead of Scott, but as much as she calls, Scott may as well be with her in the car.  Her nerves are so racked with the upcoming game, rumors going around sports message boards that someone on the Packer team is planning to break Favre's knee during a play, and Scott had to calm her down, it's just crazy fan talk, yada yada.  I *told* her to take her xanax.  Wonder if she left it home. 

A few days later during the memorial service, she kept texting Scott the football scores. I've been thinking for years how I need to get someone set up to text me something trivial throughout her memorial service when it's her turn. I'll be like my husband and forget to mute my phone. Ok, I'm kidding. I hope some of you reading this know that humor is how people deal with hard stuff. It's just that memories of my mom passing will be forever tied to memories of other people eyeball deep in football fever. Whatever gets us through our days. It's all good, and there are way worse memories in this world, so I'm cool with this. Besides, my mom was keen on irony. I'm pretty sure I got my love of irony from her.

The main thing is that @bonenado and I survived each other.

And it all kinda balled up on me in Walmart today.  My entire nervous system suddenly just fried, and I was unable to get past the frickin' pain for a solid hour.  All I could do was just sit real quiet waiting for it to pass over.  Scott got me home, I took a pill and laid down, slowly coming out of it.  I think I'm going to be ok.  I think what happened was my body demanded to know what the f*#k we were doing in the car again...  It's been a LONG weekend.  I'll be glad when Scott finally figures out he doesn't have to emotionally knee jerk react to it.  He's doing better, but at this rate, I'll be 90 before we truly synchronize with his brand of empathy.  The man just doesn't know how NOT to hit every single pothole or have me bracing against sliding toward the windshield at every stoplight.  And when he says to stop everything and we'll go home when my pain maxes out, then suddenly whips down another road to go get a danish, then drives around the parking lot twice unable to decide what to do because I question that, then leaves without the danish which utterly wasted the crap he put me through, yeah, I'm gonna be grouchy.  Grouch happens, deal with it.  If I were a dog I'd have bitten him.

2010- I'm about to disclose some hard stuff. No offenses intended, but this is how I'm able to understand that going through the death day of a parent (especially the first one) can make everything look ridiculously outa whack, especially if a person has an emotional challenge or cognitive difficulty to begin with. (Experience makes us wise.) I myself don't empathize well at all, and I can come across as a very hateful person when I have no idea that's how I look. This is why aspienado doesn't talk to family and friends very often and blogged privately for so many years. I can look back now and feel very blessed to have so many caring people in my life, but back in my egocentric heavy painload days, I was secretly pretty awful.

Today has been a year since we buried Mom.  I wouldn't even have thought of it if my uncle hadn't texted yesterday at 8 a.m. with a basic 'thinking of you' reminder.  Good way bring down the weekend first thing, right?  I've never understood social 'niceties'.  I see stuff like that as intrusions that disturb my little pond.  I have no idea how my sibs are feeling about it, and I'm not in a very good empathy position feeling so gross like this (glands ~really~ hurt behind my jawbones), so I'm just keeping to myself in my cave, hoping no one calls.

Poofing is molting, like a poof of feathers exploded out of a feather duster.

Dooney poofed this morning.  Macy stopped laying a few days ago, wonder if she'll poof soon.  Spencer is nearly done growing back.

Skip loads of personal stuff.

I'm in xanax taper, my glands hurt like hell, I've lost my fantasy game 4 weeks in a row now, and I have to deal with Scott going mental on me while I drag around doing the laundry and dishes by myself.  I am so tired of this.  We will be arguing about Twink until the day one of us dies.  I'm so sick of their mentality I could scream.

That was actually about comparing his kid to someone else's who was in our house for awhile. Skip loads more personal stuff. I know this is extremely passive-aggressive, but I was using my blog back then to NOT fight with him. I would clean out my head, dump all the baggage, and then engage later in a somewhat nicer way. By nicer I mean not eating his head and spitting it back out off the deck.

First of all, Scott, I'd appreciate your timing being better.  Today is the anniversary of my mom's death and burial, do you MIND????????????  My entire family would disown me if he pulled that crap.  I don't care how idiotic his own family is, he's NOT smashing the fragile ecosystem I barely have with my siblings.  It's all I have left.  Maybe he hates his own family and refuses to go to his mom's house when they're around, but displacing his crap onto my family is going to get him hurt pretty badly.  By moi.

He doesn't hate anyone, I was just blowing off. But that really is a picture of my whole marriage from my own point of view, no matter how important something might be to me, something else ridiculously popped up and became consumingly more important because I'm surrounded by very in-the-moment people. Aspienado married ADHD and was juggling way too many things at the wrong time when that first anniversary hit. The fact that I could intellectually understand what that setup was underneath everything is probably what has helped saved this marriage many, many times.

But, at any rate, my mom's first death day was horrible for me in ways no one ever knew, because everything I needed to deal with got mowed over by a plethora of other way less important stuff. Other people's dramatic emotional crises are why I have always wanted to be Vulcan since I was a child. I'll get really super honest here- I'm one of those people who, if everything went all wrong one day for me, IF I happened to be the sort who blew up over stuff accumulating, would have no problem blowing up buildings and going on shooting sprees. Yes, I've brought this up with my psychologist. Given that I actually don't dwell on these things as a problem solving method, and given that my first real life instinct is always a super nurture response, he's not worried about me and I'm not either. BUT, that is how unempathetic I am about other people having bad days, especially on top of MY bad day. You guys want school shootings to stop? BE NICE. Notice how stupidly and awfully you mow other people over with your tantrums and snide remarks and poor me and angry at the world dramas. The quiet ones might just be corks about to pop, but you'll never know if you don't just shut the frickin hell UP.

Very few people have ever seen me lose it. The ones that have actually told me later I scared them. I scare people. I found that difficult to believe at first, the incredulity of me actually hurting someone seems so laughable. But after a few years of thinking, I have to admit that just underneath all that pent up emotion is an actual trained killer skilled in dismemberment, and I do realize that scares me sometimes. Thank goodness for private blogging.

I'm not particularly upset or depressed.  Just sick of it.  I don't even have the energy to be resentful.  Used my energy doing the biggest pile of dishes you ever saw and several loads of laundry.  Have been surprised at how much I'm able to keep getting up and doing even with my glands hurting this badly.

2011- The year I actually snapped and had to be supervised by 3 doctors crashing down off two hormones, which took several months. By the time Oct 3 rolled around, I had lost 50 pounds and was in a somewhat controlled hyperthyroid condition. Mentally- both cognitively and emotionally- despite my psychologist helping me get through and stabilize (amazing how much body chemicals can affect the brain), I was in no shape to handle thinking about my mom, so I simply didn't.

I think I'm rounding another corner in spinal nerve trunk healing.  Last week chiro bubbled out how he was able to get as rough on me now as he does the high school athletes that come in.  I doubt that, but yes, I'm handling adjustments 150% better than ever, after-adjustment nerve reverb and fibro rebound is so much less and easier to tolerate now.  Except after last Thursday, I woke up around 1 a.m. in a brand new kind of jaw spasm on the right side, lasted several days and started wearing me out, although initially I slept even better for a couple of nights.  I've noticed nerve responses after taking pressure off them sends me through a variety of sensations, especially around my head and face if it's my upper neck.  I think those sensations are a lot like the Bell's, nerves realizing communication is restored and running diagnostics, Hey, Ed, blink that light switch over there, etc.  Usually calms down pretty quick.  But I slept so hard and good Thursday night that I think I had a fibro seizure take over and squeeze back down on the nerve again, so by this morning I sure was ready to get that popped out and take the pressure back off.

Distraction is always good when you can't handle something lurking beneath the surface. This kind of blogging is me practicing distraction. I was experimenting with changing how I blogged, turning the dumping into storytelling.


You know that noise you dread hearing when your guy is on 3 story scaffolding and the extension ladder sounds like it plummets over and scrapes down the side of the house, and you know you have to go outside and look just in case, and there is this horrible dread you'll find his unconscious broken body laying in some horrible twisted shape?  **He's ok!**    My nerves are shot.  I can't even be out there watching him.  He was trying to get one more platform on the top bit of scaffolding, which I couldn't help noticing is on WHEELS... and that platform is what went crashing down the side of the house and tried to take the ladder with it.  "You couldn't rent more scaffolding with feet???"  "It's ok, the wheels are locked."  omg, just turn around and walk back in >now< before you lose it and freak out...

Here it's all done, put together and the show off is ready to start staining.


2012- Still staunchly not dealing with my mom's death day, but had come back out public a few months before. I was double blogging, publicly at grandfortuna and bluejacky, and privately on yablo. After years of cognitive and memory challenges, my brain was coming back on and I was working on staying as busy as I could (distraction approved and encouraged by my psychologist) as a way to handle severe depression as I continued to taper off meds and improve my overall health.

Back to my usual shorter sleep night. Been awake since around 1.  Made myself lay there and wound up getting up around 4:30 with the beginnings of a neck headache. Guess I was in town too long yesterday.

Got C's birthday card off ahead of time this year, yay! Well, barely ahead of time. I like to mail cards at least a week ahead, but her birthday is Saturday. She's 16 this year. She's already on probation at school for winding up in a fight with someone. I told J at least she'll have good stories to tell. And you know how they are nowadays, a 'fight' isn't the good old fashioned slugfest it used to be, all you have to do is look at someone cross eyed any more to get in trouble for 'violence'. I don't think they even had the chance to pull one another's hair. When I was in school in New Mexico, I saw kids beating the crap out of each other in the hallways every little bit, and girls got pretty nasty.

Scott dropped down into the 170s over the summer, now he's packing it back on, and he doesn't seem to care any more about his blood sugar. We went out to Celito Lindo's for lunch yesterday (I took a packed lunch), and wow, he cleaned up. And then last night he ate two grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, which is super carby. I had him trained to avoid carbs for awhile because spikes made his heart beepy, but now that he's getting used to it again, he says he doesn't notice it any more. And if his doctor says anything next checkup, he's just going to try going on the metformin. I'm just going to sit back and let him get fat again. His choice. He's talking about joining the fitness center with me, though.

Meanwhile, I'm still holding around 187ish. Better than gaining. I'm too old to gain.

Need to do a lot of cooking today. Got dishes done yesterday morning before I went to town. Really need to get the new spray bottle filled up and going in the bathrooms. Need to do a lot of stuff. Staying home today, guess we'll see what gets done. Working on an article to post, plus I have the Halloween survey I want to get done, plus I'll need to start another Lexx post soon. Started looking through my notebooks thus far, going to have to sit down and just grind down on the work. I WILL NEED A COACH. I have many questions about how you did your stuff, so next time we chat, remind me, just whenever. Little technical details.

Plus I have 4 library books to read.  Finally caught up on a month's worth of Dr. Who shows piled up on my dvr. I can't get over how burned out on tv I am, I couldn't wait all summer for those to start, then I just never watched them.

Ok, already up and down doing stuff, better post this over before I forget about it.

That was one of the emotionally healthiest blog posts I'd written in a very long time on October 3rd.

2013- By this time I was blurbing publicly at syfydesigns and all over twitter. I hadn't yet committed to public blogging. I think I might've liked my sibs' mom memories and photos on facebook but I don't think I acknowledged my mom's death day any other way, even four years after.

2014- I finally hinted at accepting it on my mom's birthday in June, but I was still unable to handle dealing with it in private and reclused, barely hinting that it was an important day at all in this public post.

2015- That's today!

It's been six years. After years of watching other people spill their grief over losing and remembering lost parents on facebook, twitter, and blogs, here I am finally making a public post after working all year on a book that will begin with this tagline.

A lot of parents out there are raising kids like me, on the autism spectrum. You are probably at your wits' ends half the time wondering if they'll ever come around and understand how to share that they love you, or even acknowledge that you love them. I know your feelings are hurt because a parent's deepest instinctual need is to be loved by their children, and you might not be getting those signals back.

Please know it's all getting in there. As someone a little deeper on the Asperger's spectrum than most that I see online, I can tell you it's all there.

I've actually blogged quite a bit about my struggles growing up with my mom, and some of her struggles emotionally coping with the world telling her she wasn't a good mom when the question of me came up. I even dealt a little with the loss here and there. But the first time I really came out about my personal relationship as an aspie kid with my mom in public was in a survey on August 18, 2012.

Has anyone ever made you cry just by saying I love you?
This has way deeper significance when you know that person literally cannot say anything else and hasn’t been able to have a conversation with you in over two years, and you know it’s getting close, and they look you in the eyes and tell you they love you, and you know they mean it, and there are millions of unspoken words that come with it that let you know everything is forgiven and nothing is in the way any more. Yes, you go home and bawl your eyes out. ****Ok, I let this one sit awhile, and I keep coming back and reading it, and it comes across weird and creepy, so I’ll clarify a little. My mom died a long slow death from several big strokes that left her very deficit both physically and cognitively. I was not close to my mom growing up, felt rather picked on continually for what none of us realized was Asperger’s, never felt forgiven, and never really felt loved, although I’m sure she never meant for that to happen. When she started having strokes there were so many unfinished emotions that never got resolved, and despite the relief I felt that I no longer had to tolerate her unceasing judgement, years of taking care of her and watching her slowly spiral down were anguishing. I learned over that time that nothing means more to our lives on this planet than resolving our relationship issues before it’s too late. There is just nothing else comparable to the real meaning of life that goes round and round your head, if you don’t get those solved you feel like you failed somehow at why you were here. During her last couple of years I was seeing a psychologist for help with my Asperger’s and social skills and whatnot, really eye opening stuff for me, and I began to realize and understand what it must have been like for *her* to raise a child like me. She’s not a bad person, but without her own social safety net and support system, she was lost and flying blind, and made ever so many mistakes. My memories of my childhood are fairly tragic in places. By the time she reached her last summer, I was reaching a place where I could let all that go, where I wanted God to erase it all and just make it ok, because we really had made it through our stuff, and I no longer wanted or needed validation or recompense or some kind of understanding or forgiveness. I just loved her and wished I could go back in time and give her lots of hugs and tell her everything was going to be all right. And that is the magic. The last time I saw her awake and somewhat responsive, and I guess this sometimes happens when people with brain problems near death seem to snap back into momentary coherency, she suddenly locked eyes with me and grinned so big like she was not only glad to see me (that had never happened in my life), but like we had a big fun secret just between the two of us. And for the first time in my life, as well, especially with the Asperger’s, I locked eyes right back at her and grinned right back, and every bit of it was “I love you, too”, no hesitation, no baggage. That moment, as in a previous question further up, was PERFECT. And then I went home and bawled my eyes out, because one moment was all we got. She went blank and never looked at me again, and died a couple of months later.

I woke up this morning with this song in my head. I can't help thinking my mom would've really loved Heath Ledger. I know my family might not see it, and I know she herself might never have admitted to that and many other things, but this represents the common ground between her and me (I knew her longest of all the kids), a link, a love of good guys and bad guys and entertainment. She pointed me in the directions she could not and dared not go, because I am the Elephant's Child and never stopped asking questions.

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