Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love and Respect

1. Despite my best efforts I am still exhausted from the social fest known as "The Holidays"

2. Crappy Christmas. Crappy interactions pretty much with every person I encountered that day.

3. Despite efforts to put aside previous incidents still had fight with Father and Brother. (happened on Christmas Day)

4. Tired of unresolved issues with family.

5. Tired of the fact that I feel as though my family doesn't really want to hear what I have to say.

6. Considering moving away from a city I love to just get away from my family.

7. Realizing that #6 is shitty, but still feel like my family just wants to see what they want to see.

8. Tired that I have pretty much no one except my therapist to confide in.

9. Crappy realization that basically I have pay somebody to listen to me.

10. Massive Blinding HEADACHE....due to all of this stress.
11. Filed for divorce today.

12. Tired.


14. I do believe in family bed. I am sticking with it, despite (mostly my family) people trying to convince me otherwise.

15. I AM JEWISH AND RAISING MY SON AS SUCH. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONVERT HIM OR MAKE HIM SEE "THE ERRORS OF HIS WAY" while I am standing in the room. IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISRESPECTFUL to me and him. In addition to the fact that I feel like it is taking advantage of a young child. It is one thing to talk about your own experience, it is another to tell a young child that it is wrong to believe what their parents believe. Yes, on this issue I am critical. It is MY CHILD! I never try to convince ANYBODY that their spiritual belief is wrong. It is a personal choice. I expect my son in time to do his own exploration as he gets older. He is not yet at that age, and until that time, I will raise him in my belief.  Do not cross me on this. I will have no patience going forward on this issue.

16. I have NEVER, repeat NEVER asked, or will ask any man to take Jay's place as Thurston's father.

17. I have NEVER asked or implied to anybody to parent/discipline Thurston while I am present.  Just because I am a single parent doesn't give you the right to believe that is my "unspoken desire"

18. Just because I am no longer married, nor making a lot of money, does not mean I am a)helpless b) an idiot c)incapable d)less of a human being e)less of a parent.

19.I hate asking for help, because it has been my experience that when I do I am a)made to feel bad at a (or any) later date b)open to unnecessary and unhelpful criticism and judgement (to be rendered whenever the giver feels like it) . I also do not like to "burden" people with my responsibilities.

20. I am a GOOD PARENT. My son is a good kid. Please stop making assumptions that because I am doing this alone that some how I am fucking my kid up. I was doing it alone when I was married. Now I just don't pretend about it anymore. 

21. I am tired of having people talk down to me. You can talk to me and not talk down. Talking down is fucking rude.

22.No, my life at this moment is not what I had dreamed it would be. 

23. You make the most of what you get, and try to make the best decisions you can with the information you have. At least, that is how I try to live.

24. Although I make a lot of mistakes, I AM NOT A BAD PERSON. 

25. I can be angry with somebody, and still love them. My family should know that I know they love me. Please stop using that as an excuse to disarm the negative feelings that I do have. For example, I know my Father loves me, but I do not believe he has respect for me. There is a difference between love and respect.

26. I do not feel like I have any person I can turn to just talk to. This is a painful painful realization.  My family feels the need to defend and justify instead of simply listening.

27. I am tired of people telling me and other people like myself that we are too emotional.  That is asking me not to be me. That is like telling somebody, "gosh, your hair is too black" or "gee, your nose it too big" All it does is put me on the defensive. In hindsight, a technique perhaps to disarm me, but in the long run, only fuels my anger and irritation.

28. Tired of trying to make everything positive all the time. It simply isn't. Some days and weeks are just really fucking crappy. I don't have the energy to lie or debate this issue. Or feel worse for not being a pollyana.

29. I have yet to meet ANY young kids that don't need help with their manners, including my own son. If you think that isn't the case, then the child that behaves perfectly has been literally beaten into submission, or you don't spend significant time with young children.

30. I  fear that I will never fall in love again. Or even greater, that no one will ever be in love with me again.

I guess this is the end of my crappy, shitty list. There is more, but I don't want to go there. I will try again tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow will have some small thing that will happen that makes me smile. I haven't smiled in a few days. Only fake ones when I have had to. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

breaking radio silence

December 20, 2011
Dearest Family and Friends,
It has been some time since I have sent out one of these annual family “newsletters.” Many of you have heard through the grapevine or from me personally of the great change that has taken place in my life the last couple of years. I am happy to report that Thurston and I are marching forward, growing and changing every day.
With out further ado, I would rather focus on all of the positive things that have happened in the last year:
Thurston graduated from preschool and has started kindergarten at Garfield Elementary School. He is doing quite well and is currently on break. His first report card was wonderful and he is reading and writing and working in general on being a good scholar. He has even lost 3 teeth in the last couple of months!

I continue to look for work in the area of finance, but have picked up work at Twiggs Bakery and Coffehouse. I wish that this job fulfilled my monetary requirements. I love working in this small business feeding people with an intense sense of community. It has been a very long time since I have worked at a job where I feel wanted and in turn I want to give back, not just to my employer but to the people who frequent this small establishment. The people in this community have offered friendship and support beyond what I would have ever expected.

In February of this year, Thurston and I moved into a small 2 bedroom apartment in an area near where I used to have a house. We have come to love our little space and continue to make it our own. I even have a balcony where I have put up lights and have started on a small potted garden. Unless something radically changes for us, I expect us to be at this space for a while.
I continue to read, cook, listen to music and build legos with Thurston. I have been reintroduced to a simple life in many regards and as more time goes by appreciate the merits of it. I wish all of you a Happy New Year and much love.

Nicole and Thurston.

We can be reached at:
4432 Illinois Street, Apt. B, San Diego, CA 92116
nhtellier@gmail.com and 619-992-2653

Annual Family Newsletter

It is late. I should be asleep, or at least trying to go to sleep.
I am a wee amped. Well, amped might not be the best word.

I have been over thinking a holiday card to send out. First I wanted to make the holiday card. Then this weekend, it became clear that it wasn't realistic. I told myself that I was going to take it  easier on myself. Meaning that I would be ok with letting some things go, and some events if I just was feeling too overwhelmed. I have been so anxious about the "letter". Last year my parents decided to tell everybody in their family card that Jay and I had split. Admittedly, in the moment,  I was hurt and upset with that. I wish that they had asked me first if they could disclose that information. But they didn't, and I still love them. I have since gotten over it. Still, in this small strange area of etiquette, there has been continued radio silence from my end.  I keep grinding my gears over the following:

What do I say in the letter this year?
How much do I want to disclose?
Do I talk about my single mom status?
Do I talk about the struggles I have with trying to maintain a cohesive family life for Thurston with Jay?
Do I talk about that I am still struggling severely financially?
Do I talk about the improvements of late with the relationship between Jay and Thurston?
I do not want to make Jay or myself sound selfish or like idiots.
Who do I want to send this letter to?
Do I even need to do a letter?
Why do I want to send a letter?

It isn't that I don't love everybody, but for years I have made the literal investment in sending cards to people who do not send them ever in return. I decided that I would send out 30. I found some cards on deep clearance the other day, that in better times would have bought at full price. I snagged them, and decided I could afford postage for 30. People who live in other cities will have priority. Those friends who I don't get to communicate with on a regular basis, but I couldn't imagine my life without. Then, those that do send cards every year and make that same effort I used to (and trying to do again).

I also decided I would focus only on the positive. Moving, Thurston starting kindergarten, working at Twiggs. Those have all been positive events that have happened this year. I can't get into too much trouble if I just take the "positive high road."  I also found some simple stationary in Microsoft I liked, and I had downloaded some free neato fonts not to long ago. So about 2 hours ago, it all came together. I hope that the letter remained positive.

Yom Tov. Candles lit, prayers said. Legos opened and made.
Ok. Now I do need to rest.  I will post the letter I wrote in it's own entry.
Sweet Dreams.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today feels like a sprint from one emotion to another and another and another.. My outward expression matched how I felt inside  (I wasn't just phoning it in) . I was pretty happy and content for 2/3 of my day. The mood maintained until I got the phone call from Thurston's school that he had gotten poked in the eye with a pencil, BUT HE WAS OK, but it was turning red. Could I go and get him? Anxiety, low blood sugar, fear all took over. I was in the middle of a short appointment, and concluded that and headed back to get Thurston, whom would have to join me on my next appointment. The day didn't go downhill, but it got progressively harder for me to keep myself in check, and control the waves of emotion that flooded me. Thurston really is ok. It just looks worse than what it actually is. He has this "pool" of blood in the corner of his eye that will take about two weeks to clear up. We, however, do NOT have health insurance and had to scramble to get his eye looked at, where it did not become an expensive experience making me choose between rent and my kid's eye. I will say this...Costco came through on this one. I decided I would go and ask for an appointment at my local Costco Optometrist department. They were absolutely amazing. They did not charge me, gave me free eye drops, and a list of opthamologists if he should show more severe symptoms. These folks were so kind and nice. I was shocked (which now made me sad that I have such a low view of people). Thurston and I decided to treat ourselves and went and had dinner out. It is a rare luxury these days, and we made the most of it. We colored and did word puzzles on the kids menu, even after we were done eating.  On Tuesday and Wednesday nights we have to go to bed extra early as I have to be at work by 7.30am. Thurston regularly, although tired, fights me on going to sleep. Despite an argument free morning, we had full on,  pre-bed time melt down. I was really irritated with Thurston, but maintained and walked away from his temper tantrum and told him that I did not want to be subject to his freak out. He FINALLY calms down to freak out again. Now I start worrying about whether or not his crying is going to make his eye worse. Then the cats decide to revert to feral status and rip open a bag that maybe had been on the counter for 10 minutes with a muffin in it. They get into the bag and the muffin and it's crumbs strewn across the kitchen. I barely was able to contain the anger. Then, wait for it, the coup de grace, was when, after cleaning up muffin maddness, I stumbling into a pile of fucking hot wheels and to keep myself from falling smashed my other foot into these tidbits of masochistic foot massagers. I  lost it and basically yelled/growled in pain and anger. Thurston starts crying again. I think fucking GREAT!!! The only thing I said after that (well really yelled) was PICK THESE UP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did manage to recover, and calm down myself. The swinging from emotional tree to emotional tree this afternoon/evening leaves me tired and frustrated. Frustrated that I couldn't regain the happy space I lived in earlier today. Frustrated period. I find that now, I am just tired. I could have done without the kid freak out on infini-play and the cats re-examining their feral roots all in a 15/20 minute span. I debated spending the time writing this, but in doing so, I now can see the comical in it. Maybe I can now end the day in the same happy space I started it in.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Day, More Items Crossed Off the List.

Today has been good.
Trying to revel in just that.

It was an early work day. Those tend to have rough starts. My son is NOT a morning person. He still struggles with early bed times.

What the early morning with Thurston looks like:
Thurston wanting to "sleep some more."
Being finickier about clothes than most women I know.
General grumpy uncooperative behavior that deteriorates into me yelling at Thurston.
I have been working really hard on the whole "yelling" thing. I am less successful in being mindful and changing that behavior when I am tired and/or stressed.

Today, however, both Thurston and I naturally started to wake about 6am instead of waiting for the alarm to go off at 6.30. I cannot site a special reason for this. Our bed time had been typical for this rise time. We both woke in pleasant moods, and I was willing to ride on that bus for as long as I could.

Good news...That bus was en route and on time all day.

Work at Twiggs was pleasant. No crappy customers, tips were good, co-workers also in good moods and fun to work with. Even started the work day with a customer who wanted a picture of my hair cut. She was gushing about how I have the "best" curly hair. I would have normally said no, but I am working on that whole "not hating myself" thing, and well, crap, I was having a good hair day. I will admit here...it was a little weird. She even left me a $5 tip. Don't laugh, it adds up!

Even got to talk books with one of my current favorite customer. That conversation left me pretty happy. He is getting a series of books for me that are based on Arthurian legend, but written within an historical context. Given my current (and periodically reoccurring) fascination with King Arthur, I am thrilled.

I got done with work at Twiggs and headed home to finish up work for a client. I was able to get all of that done before picking up Thurston. We headed to my client's business (a restaurant) for a meeting. What is cool about this client is that he comps me and Thurston dinner when we come in. Thurston and I had dinner out (a rarity these days).

Then stopped off at Blind Lady Ale House as we thought a birthday party for our friend Tatsuya was happening, but we missed Tatsuya by 10 minutes. We did visit with several from that party even though the party boy had gone home. Tatsuya is one of Thurston's best friends and turned 6 today.

I even got gas for the car and a bank run in today.

Remember the list from Monday? Well by tonight, many of the very important items have now been crossed off. The relief in my mind is palpable. The list isn't completed, but definitely on the way! It is easy for me to get lost in focusing on what hasn't gotten done yet. For some reason today, I can just be glad for all that I have completed. I am not ready to let that go entirely. I read a month or two ago that as an exercise in mindfulness, every night you should contemplate your day and acknowledge one thing you have done well, in that day. It is harder than you think. Or maybe I am just a freak. All to frequently I am only proud of the vacuum job on the apartment. Today, I think I have lived in the moment well. Living in the moment is a tremendous struggle for me. Today I did it, and enjoyed it.

Besides, I didn't have time to vacuum today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I had a full list for today.
I knew that I would never be able to get to all of it.

I did however get some of it done.
Not necessarily in order:
Got Thurston to and from school, therapy session, 2 loads of laundry, trip to North Park Market, made a beef bourguignon soup, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned my desk, got started on researching and organizing what I am going to do with Thurston on his winter intersession brake, looked for photos on an old hard drive (including looking thru boxes to find the right power cords), created a list of people and gifts to give, copied some music from one computer to another, downloaded to my android google+ (and on computer), started a play list that may or may not become a present for a few select folks this year, and lastly scooped the all important cat box.
Wow, doesn't feel like much at this point, but I assure you, it took time!

In my search of photos, I found a set of photos from a tour that Elyse and I did back in 2004. My friend Mara got us tickets for a tour of houses here in San Diego designed by sculptor/architect James Hubbell. I have found that I am quite enamoured with his work. He loves to incorporate stain glass into his buildings and as you probably know create this wonderful ambiance. I, also, was recently introduced to pinterest.com. It is an absolute TIME BURGLAR, but AWESOME! Kinda like streaming netflix. In any case I came across a photo somebody had posted of a Hubbell structure and I knew that I had even better photos from the tour. Although that was not the reason for looking on the old hard drive, coming across them, I knew what I wanted to post tonight!

With out any further ado....here are those photos from 2004. ENJOY!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day in the Life...Monday

And so the week begins. It is now 10.40pm. I am grateful to be laying in bed with my laptop typing this entry. Thurston has just fallen asleep. I have ambient music playing. Not sure how long I might last tonight.

Mondays are really long days for me. Thurston and I get up around 7.30 and get ourselves ready to go. Neither of us will get back home, usually, until 9pm or later. I trundle Thurston off to school, and get him settled into his kindergarten room at 9am. From there, I made a bank run for myself to ensure that my rent check wouldn't bounce. It is at this point that I get about an hour to myself and won't see any time like that until I go to bed.

With Thurston having been sick Friday/Saturday, I personally needed to recover on Sunday. I really struggle with giving myself that kind of down time. I am trying to look at what it means when I have no motivation. In this case, simply physical exhaustion and need for recovery. It eats away at me that I was not productive in a tangible sense for 2 days. The need to compile a list of what has to get accomplished was my first order of business. I got to Twiggs (the coffee shop where I work) poured myself some iced coffee and got down to business. List compiled. Relief starting to occur. Some how the act of making a list made it all seem so much more achievable. I even had enough time to help my coworkers for about 10 minutes with a mini rush, and dash off a 2 page letter to Melanie.

At 10.40 off to the bike shop to work until 1.30. From there, I went back to work my shift at the coffee shop from 1.30 to 8.30 or 9. depending on how busy it is. It was pretty busy, and I like to try to get as much done as I can to help the person closing. I got out of there at 9 tonight. On Mondays, I am incredibly lucky. My brother, Todd, picks up Thurston from school when he is done at work, around 5. This is wonderful time Thurston gets to spend with his Uncle and Auntie. They cook, walk the dogs, do homework and talk. I am so grateful for their help. They have been champs to commit to helping me every Monday. This evening when I called and said I was on my way...Todd told me dinner was waiting for me. Todd had made one of our family's favorite comfort food. Spaghetti. It was wonderful. We ate and visited, but due to the time, didn't let our visit go on for too long.

I was ready to get home and take a shower. If you have never worked in a coffee shop before, let me tell you...Coffee grinds get everywhere, as does chocolate powder. Steamed milk and flavored syrups splash you in the face. I was ready to wash the goo and coffee from my face and hair. That leads me to here. I am laying in bed, hair wet, feet warm, child asleep, squishy cats snoring on bed and typing this on my computer.

Here are some things I think about every day whether I am working or not.

1. what do i feel like eating? Will I have time today to cook something that is more complicated?
2. what do i need to get done?
3. How can i prioritize the list of #2?
4. I wonder what Melanie is doing right now?
5. I miss my grandmother.
6. I hope my son does ok today and everyday. I hope I am giving him tools to be able to do that.
7. I wonder if i will ever love somebody again?
8. what do i want to do with my life professionally?
9. I love my family.
10. what music will i listen to right now?
11. I wonder if others think these types of things every day too?
12. I hope I get to hear Thurston laugh today.

Sweet Dreams!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

what seems to becoming a regular friday or otherwise known as I HATE PUKE

Today started long before the alarm went off this morning. I had trouble sleeping last night. Over stimulated I suppose. I have been thinking about jewelry projects, working on them, envisioning new projects, thinking about projects that are in process and are to be done in tandem with another friend. I used to not be able to read home magazines or gardening books when I went to bed, as I would not end up sleeping and make Jay crazy by requesting that he dig lights out of the garage so I could garden at night (insert REM song here...from the very early days...when the stuff was good).

The day and night just keeps getting fucking better. While typing this Thurston has fucking puked for the 3rd time in our bed. I have NO more sheets, I do not have the luxury of a washing machine in my home. I am overtired and hate the smell of fucking puke. I turned from typing with a mother's intuition to catch this last round. I HATE PUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My hands cannot seem to be rid of the vile smell. OK. lavender oil seems to have masked the smell.
I feel bad. Thurston feels like crap. I am only one person and can do only one task at a time. He wants me to change his clothes, get his stuffed toy, get a blanket, i have to change the sheets, wipe up the puke that dripped out of my hands as i ran to the bathroom. All this time, operating on extremely little sleep, which is no fault of Thurston's. I just told him I couldn't handle putting on a kid tv show. He needed to let me have a time out to be irritated by more puke-age and the devastation it creates in our universe.

Let me go back to 15 minutes ago, when i thought maybe we were done with puke-age and he had fallen back asleep. I didn't sleep well last night, probably because I was over stimulated, but maybe due to change in weather, or my mom instincts telling me I was hearing the beginning of another round of sick. This will be the 4th time Thurston has been sick since the start of the school year. It is awful. I hate for him to feel this terrible. In addition, I lose time from work and earning money, and I become even more of a shut in (worrying about money). At about 4am this morning, Thurston starts this snoring/wheezing thing. I thought, "great, this doesn't bode well." He wasn't running a fever, just wheezy. I got up and got the humidifier out and got it running. After about a 1/2 hour, I could hear the relief in his breathing. I still however, now really didn't sleep. I was listening to him, taking his temperature. When the alarm went off at 7.30am, I was tired, but ready to try to start the day. Still no fever, and I selfishly wanted to get to my hair appointment (which are awful to reschedule) and to work. Thurston was perky, just a pesky barky cough that was diminishing as he was upright. I thought, "Well, I am going to be conservative with this. I will pick him up at 3.15 when school is out. Instead of having him go to the after school program till 5ish. I would leave work 1.5 hours early, but that is better than not working at all, right?"

Thurston had a decent day, but behaviourally was not his best. I knew right then what was probably coming. The dreaded SICK. I get him home after one scant errand that took maybe 5 minutes. I took his temp. He was 99. Ugh. Ok. Well I canceled the big plans for the night erring on the side of conservative, and decided that we would still go to the trunk show sale that one of my coworkers was showing his leather work for the first time. I really wanted to support him, and expected to only be out for an hour at most.

Thurston and I had a lovely time at the trunk show, a bit surprisingly. We saw a couple of people we know, got some bumpy water (what Thurston calls mineral water) and a cookie. All was good. We get home, temp is still 99, which is high range of normal for him. But still a possible indicator of what may come. Well as this post says...it did. Actually in the time of writing this post, Thurston puked 3 times. The time out and writing this helped diffuse my irritation. I am in no way angry with Thurston. I am angry that he has been sick every other week of late. I am angry at the fact it takes him 3 to 4 days to get well. I am angry that I become a hermit when he is sick. I get angry because when I run out of ibuprofen there is nobody to go and get it for me, and I have to take my kid with a high fever to Walgreen's to get more.

Blake told me before I had Thurston that parenting was best done as a team sport. It is moments like this when I absolutely agree. There is no pinch hitter. It is me for every puke, every temperature reading, every sheet change, every laundry load, every sip of water and every tear from my baby. This is a hard and lonely business.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The challenging first post

Alright, so this isn't my first blog, nor my first post. Yet it is. My life has radically changed since the last time I posted to my blog. I can't go back. That purple house is gone. But I do have a new one. OK. So I don't own it. I still call it home and it is riddled with my purple belongings. And it is absolutely smaller (by half). I have chosen to make this blog private. It is me writing about my life and the challenges it presents and my reactions to it. I write to process and process I must do to continue on my journey forward. I am not novel or creative in this process, but find it imperative for my personal growth. I have become a bit paranoid in my years, and have found facebook unsatisfying. I do not want to "unfriend" the people on there, as I do care for them, but I have felt at times to be "watched" by people that maybe had less than helpful motives in doing so. Also, I am an emotional person, and dislike the adult style "ridicule" of any emotional posts (on facebook), yet I still want to say those things, what ever they might be on that given day. So if you were invited to read this, please, most definitely, remember it was sent to you on a basis of trust. This is my emotional life that I am choosing a semi public forum to talk about, and I want to pretend to maintain some control over who gets to read this information (at least at this time).

I have spend the last 2 years keeping a journal in letter form to Melanie. If for any reason you don't know who she is, she is my best friend since I was 13. 2 years ago she was incarcerated for a crime I do not believe she committed. She is in for 20 - 50 years. Do not fear...I am still writing her, and even got to visit her in Sept. I do however, sometimes find it more convenient to journal in this format while in the dark in bed after Thurston has hit the hay, vs. the old pen and paper method.

Thurston and I are ramping up for what maybe a long but fun holiday season. The calendar is already getting filled. I am trying very hard to remember that although it is on the calendar, it doesn't mean that it has to happen. As my friend Noah said to me not long ago, "Sometimes you just can't get to every party!" This evening was the first night for us at the JFS Supporting Single Jewish Parents monthly meeting. I realized recently that I, not only have almost zero friends, who are divorced, but also single parents (and live in the same city). I struggle in being able to talk about my day to day trials with single parenting with other parents without getting, frankly frustrated, angry and jealous. It isn't totally a rational response in the face of friends being sympathetic, but is how I feel none the less. Things like the simple act of getting 45 minutes to work out becomes this giant mountain to overcome, as silly as that seems. I have no childcare for this important and supposedly daily act. Getting up an hour earlier does not resolve this issue of childcare...it is still there. I need to talk to people who have those same struggles. Most of the challenges come in the form of day to day management of time. There just isn't enough time. The compromises you end up having to choose turn out to be immense. If I "carve" out time for myself I feel guilt for all the "stuff" that doesn't get done. When I do get all the "stuff" done, I find that my legs don't get shaved, I don't exercise, and god forbid a social life where I interact with other adults while not at work or with a child attached to me.

To attempt to create some mental balance, I have been trying to recognize some of the upsides of basically tanking any adult type social life.(clearly my sarcasm indicates struggle with this) I do have time every couple of days to work on my hobbies. I do have time to remember that I don't have to multitask every moment, and can focus on what Thurston is trying to communicate. I am getting more sleep. With more sleep and less social interaction = a much lower and much more manageable anxiety level. The upside is there. I do still have a tremendous fear that I might never find a person to share my life with. It is my fear. I guess the only way to conquer it, is to put it out there and admit it. I could go into a tirade as to why I have this fear, but it is only a self deprecating tirade that isn't productive. I am trying to let go of that self inflicted negativity.

So here I am. Here is the new blog. Working on the new and hopefully improved me. Well, the in process me anyways.