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Oh … so that explains the kitten

I had horrible dreams last night – meteors crashing to earth and creatures coming out of a mire – of course, I was trying to photograph them.  I’m always taking photographs in my dreams.

And then I dreamed of an abandoned kitten in a desk drawer – I rescued it.

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Other than that, I tossed and turned mostly – denied my dog’s request to go outside and tried to snatch some sleep back that was taken from me.

When I got up, I looked up the significance of meteors – and was surprised to read that they represented success in a project.  I then looked up kitten …

‘To see a kitten in your dream represents a transitional phase toward independence.  You are ready to explore new things that life has to offer.  Alternatively, the dream symbolizes innocence and purity.’

Well, let’s be realistic, I had to assume the first interpretation applied to me.

Got ready, fed the dog, caught up on the news, packed my lunch and went to work.

I spent approximately an hour there before I received a phone call telling me I was laid off.

Just – like – that.

Damn kitten!

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I liken the collecting and packing of personal items at work to that of a child packing to run away.

It’s usually done under emotional and stressful circumstances and you end up leaving important things behind and taking things you don’t need.

It wasn’t until I was driving home, realizing my key chain was one key lighter,  that I remembered I forgot to grab my lunch.

 

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There really isn’t much time to say ‘good bye’ or to leave a place properly when you’ve been asked to leave.

And this isn’t my first redundancy rodeo.  This is the second time this year I’ve been laid off.

Not fired.

Let’s make that clear.  I give 110% in all I do.

I won’t share the reasons or the company – just suffice it to say, changes were inevitable, I just didn’t expect I was on the chopping block today at all. 

Blindsided by that damn kitten.

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I am blessed though.

I am feeling positive.

I have proven to myself that I am capable of rising from the ashes and making the best of a situation, and this time will be no different.

I am not a ‘why me?’ person – I am an optimistic, realistic ‘why not me’ person.

And I have learned many lessons over the past few years and one of them is that you just stay in motion and  keep showing up with a smile on your face and your hard work and attitude will be noticed.

And it was.

I am very fortunate to have some options that I am weighing.

I am very fortunate to have a healthy son.  Loving family.  Amazing friends.

I have my sight, my hearing, my voice – the use of all of my limbs and am pain-free.

Today.

And all I have is today.

With a determined eye to the future and a willingness to change and learn.

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The stained ceiling.

I will never forget my first night in the home I now occupy.  I lay on my bed, staring up at the water stains on the ceiling with tears running down my face into my ears.

It had been quite a road to that night.

Long story short, I went from owning a two-story home in Nevada and making amazing money at a job I loved – to renting a single wide mobile home that I could afford with my unemployment stipend.

When I was laid off due to the mortgage/banking debacle, I was married to a man who adored me – I had two step-daughters, a dog, a cat, and of course, my Nic.

I was the main bread-winner.  The home was mine before the marriage and so, when the income wasn’t just cut in half, but quartered, there wasn’t enough to sustain the household.

I lost the house. 

We moved across the river to Arizona into what we could afford to rent as a couple. 

And then I lost myself.

My drinking had increased after I found myself made redundant.  It was a trigger for the inevitable.  I already used alcohol as an escape – it was already escalating, and before losing the house, I found myself confronted by my husband and heard myself telling him I would quit. 

I did for a little while.  Then it became my secret.  Who did he think he was?  I drank when we met?  It seemed to be okay when I was supporting the family! 

I told myself that, and it seemed to make sense. 

I was lying to myself. 

Because really the black outs, the arguments, the misery that was my drinking problem, had never been okay.

In our rented home I hid my drinking.  I couldn’t buy obvious amounts of what I liked, and I’d heard that vodka didn’t have a scent – so I would buy purse sized bottles (plastic so you couldn’t hear the ‘tink’ of it against my keys as I snuck it in the house) and hide it in various spots in the house. 

I would then dispose of the bottles in public garbage cans.  Outside of grocery stores, fast food restaurants.  Where ever I could look nonchalant tossing a small brown bag. 

This went on for over a year, give or take. 

I couldn’t stand it anymore!

I quit drinking, got help and came clean with my husband. 

I also told him in no uncertain terms that I didn’t want to be married to him anymore. 

While this is my blog – and these are my truths, it’s also public.  I won’t go into much more detail about why I didn’t want to be married to him, that’s not fair.

(There’s so much more I want to share with you all, about many things!  One day perhaps – but find myself having to edit myself a lot more here than I had anticipated).

In quick succession – my husband left, I never saw my step-daughters again.

(On my 21st day of sobriety I had to have my sweet dog put to sleep). 

I looked for work.  I was ‘over qualified’.  They ‘couldn’t pay me what I last received’.  Or, there just plain wasn’t work in our area. 

My son and I found ourselves on food stamps and public health assistance.

Friends and family came to our aid from time to time.

I fought and fought to find a way to stay in the home we were renting at the time – and finally came to the conclusion to LET GO!  This was after selling my nice furniture, my appliances.  Anything I had of material value was sold piece meal to make it one more month.

We found something I could afford.  No washer, no dryer, no dishwasher.  But it was shelter!  It was do-able.

Came OH so close to losing this place too.  I sold my wedding ring, my engagement ring.  His wedding band.  I even sold our DVD’s to a local pawn store for gas money. 

Then I found a job. 

(That year a dog adopted us and I had to have my sweet cat put to sleep).

I haven’t had a drink in over a thousand days now.  And in less than two months, it will be two years since I started that job.

But back to that first night. 

I looked up at those ceiling stains and felt like I was in some sick motel.  I felt like I had let my son down.  I felt inadequate, scared, alone, angry. 

I realize now, it wasn’t so much the actual state of the home, but what seemed to me at the time to be a representation of my life.  I was that ceiling.

I was still sheltering my son, but I was stained.  I was in need of repair. 

I’ll glance up from my bed from time to time now and notice the stains.  But with my imagination back to its healthy overdrive,  I now see pictures in them.  They’re oddly beautiful, their shapes have become familiar. 

It has been well over two years since I that night I cried into my ears – and I have repaired myself.