When Everything Around You Takes You By Surprise…….

I know I am not as “regular” of a writer here on this blog as many of you are, but I tend to just write when something’s going on, or when something just inspires me to write. I don’t do the every day thing, but I really enjoy reading the blogs of people who are. Anyway, there’s no real reason for that little side note, other than the fact that I am stalling writing this next blog.

Everything I’m going to write about today may not make too much sense to you all. It may be a longer blog than normal, but I would still appreciate your feedback; whether through comments, or just simply liking the blog. Thanks.

So the last time I wrote was just a little over 2 weeks ago. I had just tried the support group for women victims of sexual abuse. I was so anxious that day, and I wanted to give a quick update on how the second one went. It went really really well. There were a couple people who didn’t make it to the first one, but are part of the group, and made it to the second one, and the mixture of personalities is really cool. I felt super comfortable with these ladies and the facilitators and I really believe this is a good thing for me. I don’t want to lie, I still took an ativan, and I was still crazy nervous to get out of my car and actually go in, but once I did, I was super glad. I have a feeling this next meeting will be a lot less anxiety provoking for me.

A lot has been going on in my life over the last 2 weeks. I had a group of co-worker’s over to my house for a BBQ and it was great. I love each and every one of them, and respect them all just as much. They are truly great people doing great things. The only unfortunate thing, however, is I found out the Thursday before this BBQ (which by the way had been planned for over 3 weeks), that the program these co-worker’s are part of at the organization was going to be going through some cuts due to budgetary issues. I didn’t know what to think when my boss told me this was going to be happening. I was angry, sad, scared, and just shocked that the organization let the budget get this out of control (I can’t say specifics, but it never should have gotten this bad). I decided after hearing the news to still have the BBQ and enjoy the time with all these people. It was hard though, knowing this budget issue would touch each of them personally, either directly or indirectly. Then the following week came, and we had to sit down and have a meeting with these people to tell them all the basics of what was going on. Some got really upset, others, just sat there in silence, and you could just see they were boiling. We met with them as a group, but would be setting up times to meet with each individually to talk to them about how it would affect them personally. We were going to be cutting the hours of the program in half basically, and go down to staffing for those hours being done by only one individual, and not two. So some of them would be losing all their hours in this program completely.

It was horrible to be in the meeting where our director and my supervisor were telling everyone what was going on. To see the faces of these people, who just 3 months ago, I was working directly with, I was doing the same job, they were not only my co-workers, but my friends. Now, I had to sit on the other side and be there when they all found out this news. It’s not easy for sure. I don’t want any of them to feel like I “went to the other side” or “ditched them” I just took on a new position and I care for each of them just the same. Unfortunately, some of them just don’t that.

 

My Grandpa has also been struggling pretty bad lately. He went into the hospital on Memorial Day because he was leaning to the left and saying he was sitting straight up. He was unable to lift his feet up to be able to walk effectively or to step up a 3 inch step into the house, and we as his family, feared stroke, and so did his doctor when we called him. We took him to the ER and from there he was admitted. After a couple days in the main hospital, he was accepted into the rehab program. He was over in that program until just 3 days ago. While in the program, he was so so confused. He also had dementia, and as part of that horrible disease, when you are taken out of your known environment, the confusion gets worse. Well, it did. He had no idea what was going on 99% of the time. Unsure of who was around him, where he was, why he was there. He believed at times he was at a hotel and he was insisting on making sure it was paid for. Every time he would get a meal to eat , he would ask for the bill and would want to pay it.

This is so hard to watch, as it is not my grandpa. He is not the man I know. He is in there somewhere, but this disease has taken over his mind and it’s horrible to watch, to see it affect my grandma and my dad, and the rest of my family, and it’s hard to be on this side watching pa get frustrated because at times I truly believe he know’s something is wrong.

 

Lastly, there’s my mom. I’ve mentioned on here before, she has a lot of health issues, depression included. The problem, though, is she doesn’t seem to be moving forward in her treatment. She uses her therapy sessions as a time to complain, rather than a time to let things out, and then challenge herself to change things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to just unload on your therapist, because I do that too, the difference is, my therapist listens, AND when I’m done, challenges me to try things differently in order to make things better. She doesn’t just say “oh I’m sorry it’s going like that” and then “I’ll see you next week”. So my mom has been super irritable lately, and no matter what you say to her, she snaps back at you. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’m standing up and speaking up, asking her why is she so crabby, or standing up for myself, or at times, I quit responding at all because I’m not looking to get into an argument and I refuse to respond to her when she is seeking an argument out. It feels like no matter what she’s looking for a  fight, and I’m tired of it. Dad’s tired of it, and neither one of us knows what to do anymore. We have tried going to therapy with her before for family sessions, but it ends up as as fight, with her saying “you are just teaming up against me” and other crap like that. We AREN’T against her, we are TRYING to get her to realize she has to be the one to make some changes in her own recovery to be able to move forward and feel better. SHE has to come to a level of acceptance that she at this point is refusing to do. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it just means you no longer want whatever it is in control of your life to no longer be in control. Acceptance is taking the control back into your own hands and preparing to move forward. Mom and I are always fighting it seems like lately, and I’m tired of it. I’m missing the mom I used to have, the person she used to be. I miss my friend I no longer have.

 

 

There’s No Such Thing As “Being Prepared”

I let you all know I was going to be going to the first support group meeting for women survivors of sexual abuse. Well…..this past Tuesday was the first group. The Saturday before, I had an appointment with my therapist and I was feeling really good about going to this group. I felt……prepared…..ready…….confident. Then Sunday came, and Monday, and my anxiety started getting to be more and more. I relied on my good friend, talking to her a bit, and I relied on Ativan too….I can’t lie. I was getting nervous, but still felt like I could do this, like I knew my nerves were going to be there, but they didn’t have to get in the way.

Then Tuesday came…….I worked and worked and worked. I didn’t take a break at all that day. I felt like if I kept myself busy all day then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t think about the group that night, or my anxiety wouldn’t get any worse. I took another ativan, which helped. Keeping busy helped to an extent. I got off of work at 4pm and the group wasn’t until 6:15pm. So I called my dad, who’s office was halfway between my work and the location of the group, and I told him I was going to get some dinner and just bring it to his office and eat it there, and then sit there for a bit before heading to the group. I did that. I got my food, went to my dad’s office, and started to eat. I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten lunch that day. However, it didn’t matter how hungry I was, my body was responding to my anxiety. I took a few bites and felt like I was going to throw up. So I gave my dad the rest of my food and just sat there staring at my phone as if I would actually remember what all I was looking at.

The time went soooo slow. But finally the time to leave my dad’s office and head to the group came. My dad knew where I was going and could tell how anxious I was. He gave me a little dad to daughter pep talk, letting me know he was proud of me and to take a deep breath, that it would all be good. I felt better after that. I drove to the group with my window down and my music up trying to distract myself and my mind. I got to the location and just sat in my car. Going back and forth with myself saying “you can do this, you are strong, you got this and it’s going to be good”  and then saying “no you can’t do this, you don’t deserve this, you aren’t worth this, it’s going to suck” and so forth. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, but was really only about 10 minutes arguing with myself and trying to gain the courage to get through those doors.

I finally got myself out of my car and into the building. I felt my face getting red, and I sat in the waiting room with 3 other women who at that point I didn’t know were there for the group also. The group leader came out and got us all and brought us to the group room where there were positive quotes and paintings on the walls, which I’m assuming were done by previous group members during some activity or something. I sat down, and when I finally found myself looking up, I looked across the table, past the person directly across from me, and saw a painting on the wall with the words, “Just Breathe”, and I knew I had to be breathing, but I wasn’t being mindful of it at all. I took a deep breath and finally was able to focus. I realized the group had started, but to this point I hadn’t heard anyone saying anything because I was so focused on my own anxiety.

We talked about a lot of heavy things. About our self-esteem and how the abuse had affected it. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I realized I didn’t have much positive self-esteem at all, that I don’t see my own worth.

We talked about the fact that the perpetrator of our abuse doesn’t deserve to have the power over us that we unconsciously give them. They were wrong, they were the ones who made the decision to do what they did, and we are not at fault. This was a really hard thing for me to even think about let alone grasp. I still am not at the point where I don’t blame myself for a lot of what happened to me, even though I was only a child, I feel like I should have stopped it. I know, it’s messed up.

When the group was over, I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and in some ways, proud. I was processing everything we had talked about. I was thinking about the people who had been there, who have also been to previous groups and are further along in there recovery than I am. I thought about how I want to get to that point, but I also realized those people gave me hope. Hope that it is possible to get through this.

I went home that night and literally went right to bed, and fell asleep the fastest I have fallen asleep in a long time. I was so emotionally exhausted from everything over the last few days. I still had nightmares, but I have a feeling over time with this group and the healing that will come from it, those nightmares might, just might, get better.

There’s one last thing I want to mention. On Sunday before the group, I was in my class at church and I brought up the fact I was anxious about this upcoming group and that I would appreciate prayer. I shared the reason I was going to the group, which I haven’t shared with a lot of people in general, and the whole class stopped right then, a few put their hands on my shoulders, and they prayed for me, in that moment. They let me know they supported me, loved me, and that they would be praying the whole time for me. I can’t tell you enough how much that meant to me. I haven’t felt the way I did in that moment before. I felt like I was completely wrapped in God’s arms and that He was 100% with me and in me. It was amazing. I can’t explain it. I appreciate my church family so much. I appreciate my best friend, who often will pray for me also, and who lets me vent and laugh and cry with her.  And my family, who may not understand, but they love me through it. I don’t know what I would do without any of these people.