Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting To Know Me

On one of the boards I participate, someone posted a "getting acquainted" thread. And I replied...with more info than I typically do. I figured maybe this would be a good place to re-post some of my information for people reading...to know where I've come from and where I'm at these days.

My full name is Amy and I am 40 years old. I was born in New York City. My parents were from Texas (dad) and Oklahoma (mom). Most of my extended family that I knew growing up still live in those states. I have one sibling, a brother, who is 2.5 years older than me.

I was married many years ago, and subsequently divorced, from a drug addict. I cohabitated, planned to marry, and was in the process of buying a home with my son's father...just to clarify, he is not my ex-husband; we were never married. Instead, we split up when I was 17 weeks (4.5 months) pregnant. Our son will be 8 in January and I have sole legal and physical custody of him.

After graduating high school, I began working full-time at NYU Law School both to earn money and tuitiion benefits. I attended nursing school at NYU, and eventually at Norwalk Community-Technical College, but never finished nor got my degree or RN. These days, I do not do anything even remotely related to the medical field for my work (or the work I've done for the past 9 years). I worked at NYU Law School, and then in their Graduate Housing Office, until November 14, 1988.

Something few people who aren't that close to me know is that I started out self-injuring at the age of 8. I spent most of my teen years trying to die or mutilate myself in some fashion. At age 16, I was thoroughly convinced I would end up dead or committed to an institution by the time I was 25. My father died on August 31, 1988. I hadn't seen him in over 4 years when he died as a result of his Multiple Sclerosis.

When my father died, I suffered a depressive breakdown. I was 20 years old. That resulted in a 6 month "short-term" hospitalization, which led to a longer-term hospitalization in a psychiatric research hospital (voluntarily). Total of almost 2 years. It will be 20 years ago on November 14th that I was first hospitalized for that. It was one of the hardest times in my life...but also the first time in my life I was allowed to start caring about myself first and not everyone else. It wasn't selfish to have my own feelings. It was a rare opportunity to get on the road to loving and learning to take care of myself. I know I would not be alive if not for that opportunity.

I can be somewhat of a hard ass with people...at least until they get a piece of my heart. Once that happens, well, I'm a complete and utter mushpot. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have dreams of being a childrens' advocate someday, and trained to be a facilitator for Parents Anonymous when I lived in CT many years ago.

My favorite color is periwinkle blue, and my favorite flowers are blue bearded iris. I love classic rock, folk, classical guitar (and classical in general), blues, R&B, well, just about any kind of music except for rap. Not a huge fan of country and western, but there are a few songs here and there that I really like.

I have no tattoos, but I've contemplated getting one of an iris and butterfly. I am a serious cookie monster...when it comes to homemade cookies, I have zero self-control. So when I bake, we tend to package the bulk of the cookies up and ship them off to anyone who will take and hopefully enjoy them. And I also bring a lot of them in to my coworkers...they're always eager to devour them.

I am currently a software configuration/release engineer. It's a new role for me after being a software quality assurance engineer for the past 8 years or so. Some days, I really enjoy my job and some days, well, it's a rat race.

I currently live in northeastern MA (known as the "North Shore") next to Salem, MA (yes, the Witch City). Rich with history and I love it here. It's the first place I've lived that really felt like I belonged.

I had weight loss surgery (laprascopic RNY) almost 16 months ago, and I've lost 135 lbs. between the cardiac risk reduction program I participated in and my gastric bypass surgery (July 9, 2007). I'm currently maintaining my goal weight of 120 lbs. I pursued gastric bypass surgery because I was afraid I would die before I had raised my son. This is a comparison of my "then" photos, and my now photos. No wonder when I would lay down at night I felt like I was being strangled/choked. I had so much fat around my neck.

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