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.

 

 

When Looking In, Everything Is Going Right…….

This has got to be one of the most common questions asked by people with depression, anxiety, or any other type of mental illness. How can everything seemingly be going so well, going so right, but yet on the inside I feel irritable, sad, angry, alone, scared, and just like it’s all falling apart? What do I believe………the way things are to everyone else, or the way my brain is telling me things are……the way my emotions are? I hate this depression crap……I know I have things going well for me……the new job is coming along. I am getting a hold of things, starting to pick up a routine, and picking up on some of the tech things I didn’t know before. I still have a LOT to learn, don’t get me wrong. It is still a bit overwhelming with the amount of things the person in this position before me left unorganized and wrong, or simply didn’t do at all even though he was supposed to be doing it regularly. I basically inherited a mess when it comes to records of things and it’s going to be a process to clean it all up. I think in a way, the depression I am experiencing lately probably has a lot to do with the stress factor from the new job, but I have to find ways to relieve this stress other than ways I would use in the past, or have used in the past. I can tell you right now, I haven’t had the urge to self-injure like I have over the past week, in a long time. Don;t get me wrong, those urges have never fully gone away, but I’m just saying it hasn’t seemed as appealing of an option as it has the last week or so. I haven’t done anything……trust me…….and I don’t plan on using that as a relief tool…..I’m just saying it isn’t making it any easier.

The past few weeks/ months, my therapist and I have also been going deeper into the sexual abuse experiences I had as a child. Therefore, the nightmares have not been getting any better either. In fact, they have gone up. It’s rare to go a night without waking up at least 3 times because of a nightmare having to do with my Uncle and the abuse. It’s like  a combination of being on a roller coaster, when your stomach drops, and being a kid who wakes up from a dream trying to scream but nothing comes out. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Along with those things, it takes a minute or so to realize once I have woken up, that it’s not real, it’s not happening again, that I am safe. Imagine having that 3-4 times every night, over and over again. This in itself is a life stressor I deal with, and have dealt with for years. I can’t remember the last time I slept through a night without having nightmares.

I just feel like I should be so happy, and in many ways I am, because I am so grateful to be where I am in my life. I am so happy I am not where I was just 5 years ago, in the hospital over and over, and unable to work at all. But at the same time, I feel like because I’ve come so far, to have a bad day is moving backwards. Now, I logically know that isn’t true, everyone has bad days, but for me, bad days are not just one day, it’s 2, 3, 4, days and I find ways to push it all down inside, and pretend like it’s all good. All because I don’t want to move backwards, I don’t want people to see me as a failure, I don’t want to see myself as a failure………heh…..I already do. I want to succeed, I want to move forward, do things the world says a 30 year old female should be doing. I want to have a boy friend, I want to get married, have a place of my own, support myself, all while at the same time feeling ugly, unworthy, and pitiful. I feel like no guy would ever love me …… because of my illness, my weight, and the “baggage” that would come with me. I just feel like I can’t even love myself, how could anyone else ever love me? I truly believe this is why I put so much of myself into helping others, because I can’t love myself, so I may as well love and help others to be happy and the best they can be, because THEY deserve it……me? I don’t. I have said this to people before and a few have tried to convince me otherwise, but words are not enough, it proves nothing, the actions of the world prove things. The way guys treated me in high school and college. The way guys treat me now. The way people who are close to me say things like, “relationships aren’t for everyone” or “you don’t need a guy to be happy”. I get that, but it’s to the point where I’ve started saying things like “I don’t want to get married, a guy would just hold me back” or “There’s no way I’d have kids” as a way to cover up the fact that on the inside I am just longing for it, Jealous of my sister and cousins who have these things. Feeling even more alone, and unlovable because it’s just come to be expected by my family that I’ll be single.

I can say one thing that is really good, and I’m truly happy to have, is my friendship with a person from work who I feel like I can call and just bitch to, or laugh with, or just talk about people from work with or anything. We are often sending texts to each other just to say hi, or checking in, and I hope she knows just how much I appreciate her, her friendship, and her honesty with me. She makes me laugh, and we talk about everything. She has a diagnosis too so I know she fully gets it. I just smile when I think about our friendship. She is an amazing person, friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I saw my psychiatrist the other day, after I settle into this new job a bit more we are going to work on changing up my meds. She didn’t want to start a med change when such a big transition was going on in my life. I’m continuing to do ECT every 2 weeks, and I think it’s best that way. My therapist is off this week and next so that doesn’t make things any easier. I guess I just needed to vent things out today, sorry for the unorganized post.

We shall see what tomorrow has to bring………………just one day at a time.

The New Job, Life In General, And Trying Not To Forget The Little Things In Life

Hello all who read this. I just wanted to first  give a quick update on how the new job was going. It is going really well. I am learning a lot, and the days are moving fast as I am keeping busy with all there is to do. There are definitely both positives and negatives to the new job, but overall I’m having a good time and growing in a lot of ways. I am still trying to get the little quirks of my boss down, even though I know her really well, and she was my supervisor for the last job I had, the position I am in now is more directly under her and she has more direct input into what I am doing each day. Basically I am her assistant now, and everything I do is to help her and to make her role a bit easier. All while at the same time organizing and planning things within the resource department. I hope that makes sense. She has had me make some flyers and different “blurbs” for newsletters and things. She asks me to write these things, but then every time so far she has looked them over and changed the wordings, or edited them to the point where I almost said “why don’t you just do it then?” I am a person who is fairly good at grammar and writing in general, and to have someone tell me “that’s a run on sentence” when I know I have used appropriate grammar so it may be long, but it is not a run on, makes me a bit frustrated. I have had to bite my tongue a few times because she is correcting my English/ writing skills and the majority of the time her “corrections” are not grammatically correct. It’s driving me a bit crazy! Otherwise, things so far have been going pretty well. I am really happy I took this position. The hours are great and the people I am working with each day are great too.

Life in general:
Besides the new job, life has not been all that interesting. The same types of things have been going on as before. My family is doing well, however, my dad told me the other day he was really close to just divorcing my mom, even though he knows she would never make it on her own. She wouldn’t survive, but he is so frustrated with the way she treats him and things she does. I don’t blame him, but at the same time it scares the shit out of me. I love my mom and dad both. I wouldn’t know what to do if dad ever left her. I wouldn’t know if I should go with him or take care of my mom; even if it meant losing out in my own life. I don’t think he’d ever actually divorce her, but their relationship is on edge for sure. Dad has emotionally separated from her in most aspects already. I believe that is his way of staying stable himself.

Therapy has been going well. The process of going through my experiences of sexual abuse is not an easy one to say the least. Most of my sessions end up with me in tears and feeling very anxious and even scared, but 100% safe at the same time. I feel comfortable with my therapist and she has a way of making me feel secure and safe, even when we are talking about the most difficult and scary parts of my life. This process as I said is not easy, but it is definitely a necessity. I have to do this. It may take time, and that’s ok, but it needs to be processed through and talked about so hopefully I can get to the point where I don’t have nightmares about it, or thoughts about it everyday, or times where I dissociate in order to feel safe. I trust my therapist and I know she will never push me into any place where I am not ready.

With everything going on with the new job and getting into that new routine I have found I haven’t been doing the little things I was doing before in order to just take care of me. I haven’t been taking the time to call grandma every day to just check in and say hi. I haven’t been coloring mandalas, and I haven’t just been spending time with my dogs, snuggling and being mindful. All these things are important to me, and I need to make them a priority, even while adjusting to the new schedule and responsibilities of my new job. I can’t let these things escape my daily routine because I know if I let them go for too long the balance that is so important in my recovery will be thrown out of whack and things will spiral downward.

 

I Said My Final Goodbye To A Friend I Thought Would Never Die

I wrote in my last post about a good friend who died about a week and a half ago. He was 74 years old, a fireman in town, and he was a best friend to my dad, and like family to my sister, mom and I. He was a guy who could make you laugh, but also scare the crap out of you too when you did something wrong. He would never hurt anyone, but he knew how to intimidate when needed. I remember times when I was little running around the shop and making noise, and he would sometimes come and play but others make sure we knew we were too loud. He gave amazing hugs, and I would always go up to him and kiss him on his cheek when I saw him…….all the way to the day he died. He was a guy who had the tough outside but on the inside he had a heart of gold. He was a guy that you just always knew would be there. The guy who you could call for anything and he’d be sure to help you out. He was the type of guy that people looked to as someone who would ALWAYS be there…..we never thought about the day he would pass on. We kinda held him to an invincible standard. And now, now he’s gone, and it hurts like hell, and it seems so so weird that we’ll never be able to call him again just to say hi, or to ask a question. He will never dress as santa clause again and light the town Christmas tree, and he won’t be there anymore to lead us during the steak frys and corn boils. This past Thursday was his wake, and I looked down at him in the casket and I cried. I cried because it’s unbelievable, shocking still. I cried because I feel like I lost a piece of my heart, my life that I will never get back. I lost a dear friend and I feel empty. Saturday was his Funeral. It was a beautiful service. Dad got up and spoke along with 5 or 6 other friends and family members. They all did a wonderful job. Then from the church we walked behind an antique fire engine that had his casket on the back, over to the cemetery, had a few words over there and then we all put rose petals on his casket before they lowered him into the ground.

I can’t imagine what his daughter and step children are feeling during this time. I can’t fathom how much it hurts. I know how much it hurts for me, and I am just a friend. I want to hug him again, I want to kiss him on his cheek and I want to hear his booming voice telling us all that we need to do better. I just want him back here on earth, and I know that is so so selfish, but I miss him so much. He was such an amazing man and he impacted my life in so many ways. I just want to give some of that back to him, have an impact on him too. I feel like I owe him so much that I won’t get the chance to give him.

I love you Stuart, you hold a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget you and all you’ve done for me and my family. Rest in Peace buddy.

So Who Thinks Time Moves Way Too Fast? A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That.

So I just realized it’s been almost an entire month since I wrote on here and I can’t seem to figure out where all the time went! Christmas happened…….it was good. We were at my Aunts house and we had a pretty good time. My sister wasn’t her full on bitch self…..though glimpses of that were definitely evident…….and we all seemed to relax and just enjoy each other. That was our 1st Christmas celebration……2 of my cousins who live out of town were not able to make it to our get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but they were both able to get up here the weekend after new years, so we had our 2nd Christmas celebration on the 8th, when we opened presents and ate lots of food.

Not too much has really happened since I wrote last on December 22nd, other than the holidays. Except …… my grandpa ended up going to the hospital the Friday before New Years. He had a 101.9 degree fever, and my grandma said he was a lot more confused than he usually is (He has dementia). So at the hospital they ran blood tests and found an uncommon bacteria in his blood. They had to find out the source of that bacteria, and so they ran more blood cultures. They, after a couple of days came to the conclusion the bacteria was coming from somewhere in his gut. Pa wasn’t complaining of any pain or anything like that, so they did a scan of his gut area and saw there was a lot of fluid surrounding his gall bladder. They decided they were going to do surgery and take out his gall bladder. They did the surgery, and the doctor said it was the most severely infected gall bladder he had ever seen. They had to put in a drain after the surgery to get all the extra fluid out. All this time Pa was laying in bed, not getting up or walking and therefore becoming weaker every day. Grandma couldn’t take him home unable to get to the bathroom on his own etc. so after a few days of recovery from the surgery, he was transferred to the rehabilitation portion of the hospital where he is still at today. They are doing physical therapy with him daily and helping him gain strength. He is a stubborn, grumpy man, and with the dementia on top of it, he is really confused as to where he is, why he’s there etc. It’s definitely hard to watch. They are hoping he will be home this coming Saturday.

Throughout this whole process of Pa being in the hospital, and at one point not being sure if he was going to make it through, things for me have been a bit of a struggle. I tend to put my family first, help them all I can, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when doing this, I stuff my own emotions down, and don’t really take care of my own emotional health. This then leads to frustrations, irritable days, and increase in impulses to self injure because I feel like there is no other way to let out all the emotion I have going on inside. I talked to my therapist about it. She helped me a lot, but while she gives me good ideas of things to do, and good advice etc, it doesn’t really make breaking this pattern any easier. I did NOT use self injury as a coping skill, though there were times when the impulses were so high I had to go to the bathroom and just cry until I could pull myself together enough to go back in the room by my family. I have been finding myself more irritable because I am fighting my own self on the inside while trying to help and deal with other people’s problems and emotions all at the same time. The outlet just isn’t there.

On top of all of this, my therapist and I are still diving into the sexual abuse of my uncle when I was little. We are working our way through the book “Courage To Heal”, which I highly recommend to others who are dealing with sexual abuse in their lives. It’s not an easy process, but I know I have support of my therapist, my dad, a co-worker, who really pushed me to look at how this abuse is affecting my life, and to start the process of dealing with it in a healthy way, and I have support of my cousin, who also experienced sexual abuse in her life by another person. I know I have this support, but I also know it’s not going to be an easy process at all, that this process will bring up things I have tried to forget, it will bring up anger, and other emotions I may not expect, but that can’t be an excuse to not explore it and take back the control.

I’m sorry to you all who read my blog that I am not the most consistent writer, but know I think of you all often, and love that you are all a part of my life. Keep on keepin’ on, and smile today, you never know who will see it and keep walking forward because of it.

 

Blast to the Past

So I know it’s been about a week since I wrote last…..but there’s good reason for that…….I didn’t know how to write what I needed to say. So here I am, sitting in the computer room at home writing this still wondering what’s going to end up written down.

This past week has been interesting. A few weeks ago, my therapist had me write a letter to my dead uncle who sexually abused me when I was little. I did, and up until last Tuesday it was sitting on my visor in my car. I wrote probably 4 pages typed single spaced telling him how much what he did hurt me, affected me, and has since left me with some very very hard emotions. Last Tuesday I gave the letter to my therapist and we decided that this week or next week we will burn it together. I don’t want to hang on to it. I have to get rid of it, but just tearing it up doesn’t seem sufficient enough. This is all fine and dandy…..I have gotten to the point where I was able to write the letter, and now to the point where I am going to burn the letter. I have been moving forward. Then Thursday happened. I opened my facebook messages and there was a message from a cousin of mine…..Archie, my uncle Bob’s son. I haven’t seen or talked or even heard from this cousin in YEARS….like probably over 15 years since any contact has been made. He wrote in his message how he has been doing, asked how I was and how the family was…..and said he wanted to stay in touch, that family is very important. Ok, I get that…..that’s nice and all, but immediately all I could think about was his dad, my uncle, and all the things he did to me. My initial instinct was, no way, I am not staying in contact with him. Then I thought about it some, told my dad he had contacted me, and then told my mom. Mom was excited, she loves those boys and would give anything to see them again, but she’s always left it up to them if they wanted to be in contact, and until now, none of them have. I realized I can’t blame him for what his dad did to me…..who knows maybe he did it to him too. I have to give him a chance right? or do I? I have these conflicting emotions going on and I’m scared. I’m anxious, and overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do.

Time is precious

I got to my grandparents house today around 11 am. Usually on Tuesday’s I have therapy at 3:30pm and then head over to pa and grandmas for dinner with my cousin and them and then we watch dancing with the Stars together. It’s just time to be together. But today I didn’t have therapy or anything else going on for that matter, and I decided to come on up here and just spend the day with them. I got here and the speech therapist from home health was here working with pa as he just got out of the hospital a couple weeks ago. I sat there watching, listening, just taking it all in. I realized how hard of a time Patty was having with some of the things she was asking him to do. I realized just how poor his cognitive skills are and that pa isn’t the same pa as even just a few years ago. I realized all this, but I also realized how lucky I am. Lucky that he’s still alive that he’s still living in his house and just lucky to be so close to him and grandma that I have the opportunity to just spend time with them. I love the relationship I have with pa and grandma. I love that we are so close, in distance and in our relationship. I love them to the moon and back and I want to just soak it all in. I never want them to die, though I know it will happen. I don’t want to have regrets when it does. I don’t want to say I wish I had spent more time with them, or that I wish I had asked……

I want to know I loved them to the fullest and that I gave back to them just as much as they gave me. I want to just soak in their mannerisms, their smell, their laughs, and their quirkiness. I want to be able to close my eyes and feel their touch, see their faces and know they’re alive within me. I say all this as a reminder to myself to live each moment I have with people to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.