When your family doesn’t want to see you

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster that has mainly had stomach churning dips that are never ending. There’s been a move, my husband’s surgery, my husband still jobless two years later, and my brother getting engaged. I feel like I can’t fully exhale because something else is just looming to punch me in my stomach for good measure if I try to catch my breath.

There has been a plan to visit my family that got dashed because it was my idea when to see them because I could get cheap plane tickets. Now, I’m staying in the city so that I can explore it for the first time ever while they can either decide to see me, or not see me. Yesterday both my mother and my father told me to cancel my hotel, plane tickets, because what was the point of my trip? It’s a lot of money to waste on sightseeing and that they didn’t want me to come.

My emotions that were well tied up for awhile broke at the seams. I was angry, hurt, sad, and told them that my original plan was to see them and this was my last chance to do it. With my husband being out of a job for so long and his 401K officially used up my plan is to pick up every weekend to make the most money I can. This is my last chance to travel until a time I just can’t see right now. But, since they didn’t plan for me to come and this was my idea I have had them attack my plan time and time again. 

My mind teeter-totters on the edge of just doing what they say, yet my stubbornness fights against it. I have this weekend and two days off for this trip and I won’t get put on the schedule at the last second. And I want this trip for myself. I need it as a break from the relentless working and stressing loop I keep falling deeper down. But, unfortunately, I end up doubting myself as my family tries to get me to disengage from this vacation. It’s a negative feedback loop that keeps getting fed every time I talk to them.

I think I need this for my own sanity to travel and enjoy a city I love and coincidentally came from.

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Eating causes me pain

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Deceptively delicious…

The act of eating something generally causes your brain to signal a pleasure response, telling us that we did good finding food to eat for our survival. Even though we aren’t struggling to find food nowadays our brains aren’t hard-wired to feel any differently so eating is pleasurable and releases the happy feeling endorphin. My brain still says, “Good job for eating and surviving another day!” but my stomach doesn’t share in that sentiment.

I don’t know when it started hitting me when eating equaled pain but I believe it coincided with my teenage years and how I dealt with stress. For a long time I accepted how my stomach was a battlefield when food was added, since I always believed there was nothing I could do to remedy it. I would go for weeks, months, with intense stomach pain especially in periods of extreme stress.

022The pain I dealt with was eventually filed away in my brain with my tmj pain with my jaw. It was unwanted but impossible to avoid so I tried to numb myself to the discomfort I was experiencing. Their was no solution to my problem, so I’d resolved to ‘live with it.’

The solution happened with our move and my upheaval of everything I knew and did, and adapting to the life of a house wife. I gathered cook books, with no hopes of actually cooking something edible, and surprisingly not only cooked edible food but delicious food. Now I’m cooking five, sometimes six days, out of the week and my stomach has never felt better. Dinner and eating is something I look forward to, instead of dreading how I’d feel later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack where I used to live I ate out every single day of the week, I only ate one time out of the day, and when I didn’t eat out I’d eat frozen meals. I never once was taught how to cook anything from my mother, and my brother and I were set out into the world with no knowledge whatsoever how to make any food for ourselves. The only things I could make was grilled cheese, tomato soup, scrambled eggs, an omelet, minute rice, and that’s pretty much it. My brother still generally doesn’t cook and I only tried to out of a whim to evolve into a wife who could take care of her husband while she didn’t have a job.

I’d never would have guessed cooking for myself would reap so many benefits, that I’d love it as much as I do, and how much I’d miss my cooking on trips. Now when I eat and feel pain it’s because I have to eat out on vacations, and I need to be extremely careful what I eat or else I’m suffering again. It’s a relief to enjoy eating and especially to appreciate what I cook, but if I didn’t cook it, my stomach seems to revolt against it and it makes my traveling quite inconvenient when I chose wrong.

Release snakes on a plane

You may think that the idea of a scary movie, or a nightmare, would be snakes on a plane. On a recent flight I went through I wish I had something like random snakes on a plane than what had happened to me. And, it felt like the worst nightmare that I was living in real time, and where I lost track of minutes, seconds, hours, I was trapped.

I was completely and totally trapped within my body, inside of a prison of pain stuck within my own head. My hands went numb, then my arm went numb, and it really made me flip out when the right side of my face went numb. This is when I panicked and they sat a nurse next to me to check my vitals, my heart rate, and get something to test my blood pressure. I was asked if I get anxiety attacks, but I knew I was panicking when my face went numb. And, I tried to calm myself and get my breathing back to normal when I felt my mind get caught up in panic.

It was like living in a tunnel, with movements happening in your vision you knew wasn’t exactly happening but your eyes aren’t working right. I could hear the other passengers talking about me, what was wrong with me, but their voices painfully echoed in my brain, yet they sounded so far away.

I know my body wanted to pass out, the pain was so much I don’t know how I didn’t pass out for hours of the pain I was in on that plane. My body turning numb, especially my face, was absolutely the most terrifying thing ever. People were trying to be nice to me, to talk to me, to engage me to make sure I wasn’t going to pass out but I couldn’t form words and I processed what they were saying through a heavy and painful fog.

Here I am days later, weak, tired, and unable to walk and stand. I get lightheaded every time I try to walk I can’t walk straight and my head feels so heavy. I have a doctors appointment which I hope will give me some answers, and allow me to get back to living a normal life. All I’ve been doing is sleeping, not walking, and eating very little. You would think after a vacation you would feel improved, rested, and that it wouldn’t cause the worst attack on your body and mind of your life.

I’m lucky to have a great husband who takes the best care of me, my new work who have been very understanding about me needing time off and not being steady enough to stand or walk. I want to get back to work, I miss it and my coworkers, and to be able to stand without getting dizzy or needing to sit down.

An Icy Adventure

058Isn’t it funny how you mention you’re going someplace warm, or tropical, or a place with warm waters that no one asks you why you are going? Yet, when you chose to travel some places that are cold, and sometimes bitterly cold, you get that strange look attached to the question of, “why?” I think that my family thought since I was going to go to someplace cold, and not tropical, for our recent vacation that we were crazy. Oh, and I’d be freezing, which luckily we had some days where it warmed up… A bit.

I was even a doubter of our trip, I’d never really willingly decided to go to a cold place in the dead of winter. My husband wanted it for his big birthday, and I made sure to pack many, many layers of clothes. And a heavy coat, scarves, and two sets of gloves that became quite useful.

One of our first days involved getting up and outside, which we did immediately when we first arrived and we got off the plane. We talked about currency with one of the hotel staff, and learned about new plastic money. I thought the plastic money was a very neat idea, who hasn’t ripped paper money before and then have to put it back together with tape? Yet, the lady at the front desk told us that the new plastic money stuck together so you could end up giving more money than you meant to. I’ve always been fascinated with different currency, which is almost like an oxymoron because I’m great at money, yet I’m awful at math.

We went out in the bitter cold and I ended up doubling up everything I wore. I had a headband on, and ended up wearing a hat over the thick headband. I had not one, but two pairs of gloves on as my husband and I walked into the wind. The wind felt like it was trying to tear off any open skin we had left out for it touch.

The walk was bitter, but the reward turned out to be great. I saw the Niagara Falls for the first time in my life, while my husband was seeing it for a second time. The landscape was like a winter wonderland, and definitely reminiscent of a Christmas postcard. Snow and ice drenched the area, giving it a diamond-like quality as the sun hit it. The deep rumble of the Falls left you with your mouth open just long enough for your teeth to hurt because of the cold.

The American Falls and Canadian Falls seemed so close, and yet so far away from each other. On the American fall side rainbows rose up from the mists of the falls and the sun shining down. I was able to catch the rainbows, and even double rainbows, with my camera. The Canadian Falls were even grander, and the mists they created made the bottom of the Falls impossible to see.

091All I could keep on saying was “Wow” as I was spellbound by the natural beauty. And, of course, I was intensely freezing as I took off my gloves to take pictures and was rewarded with my fingers, and my toes, going numb. Even though the air made my lungs burn because of the frigid air I wanted to stay there longer. I’ve never seen a more beautiful scene in my life of wintertime and just love it. Trees hung over from the weight of heavy icicles, seeming to bow their branches to the sight of the Falls.

We finally had to leave and catch a cab because I stopped feeling my toes, and my feet, and so we made it back to the hotel. I promptly removed my socks and hoped this would give feeling back to my toes and found out tis wouldn’t work. As a last ditch effort to feel my feet again I out my feet in the tub and put lukewarm water in it that seemed to do the trick. I’d never felt so cold in my life, and my hands would later break out because of taking pictures for so long, yet, I’d do it all over again.

An investment worth the price of admission

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy way of spending money is actually to save it to the best of your ability for those things in life that will totally change the way you look at the world. You might be asking what can change your outlook on the world? For me at least the answer to this question has always been to travel, especially to places outside of our comfort zone. Once upon a time I had a guy I was with who made travel easy to do, but the experience would happen to be a headache sometimes.

My husband gets me and my need to travel, and he has luckily been very understanding with my trips back home to visit my family. Traveling with him is fun and can challenge us as a couple.

An example is our honeymoon where we went swimming in the ocean and I came face to face for the first time with sharks. This was about the most experience of my life and I was so excited! Unfortunately, my poor husband didn’t feel well swallowing way too much saltwater. I was having problems with foot cramps so I prematurely crawled back up on the boat and found out my husband had gotten sick. I rubbed his back and asked him if he wanted me to stay with him, but he shook his head no. He said that he knew how much I loved swimming in the ocean so I should go back in, and he was going to sit and relax on the boat.

That’s the thing about travel sometimes, the experience can be made that much more amazing when you can share it with a person you love. Every time I’ve traveled with my husband it’s been so much fun, so little stress, and I love how it can change us as a couple. We learn more about each other, or fall even more in love because of their selfless acts. Our honeymoon was a lot of money, yet it was so worth the investment.

Traveling for me can be made into an experience of relaxation if you visit a tropical paradise, a state of exploration, or even a history lesson depending on where you visit. Connecting with other travelers, locals who live there, or if my husband and I are traveling, other couples is what makes a trip for me extra special.

The places you visit where you can have that connection of meeting other people is a favorite of mine for the reason to travel. I love the differences we have depending on a certain location, or the opposite with our similarities being a fun thing to compare. I even have come to love flying because I always end up with a travel buddy on the airplane and we get to talking about our lives. This has happened a lot with me taking trips back to visit with family and I always seem to pick up a travel buddy when I’m by myself.