(That’s Why God Made Tears – Matt Hammitt)
I don’t know where to start.
I still feel like I’m drowning, but I also feel so grateful for what I have.
I’m falling, but knowing there is a safety net below me of people who care.
Most days eating is absolutely no problem…not that sugar is a good way to tell since that is what I am most likely to be interested in ingesting, but I was thinking a couple days ago that the phrase “would you like a cookie” is kind of silly…the correct question is how many cookies would you like, and the answer is I would like to take a 15 right now and eat as many cookies as I can shove in my face in 15 minutes while messing around on my phone. Sometimes I pack and eat a meal like a normal person (or as normal as my meals ever are). Other times like this evening I had to admit that the best I was going to be able to do was a chocolate granola bar, a bag of butter popcorn, an orange, and skittles…yes, the protein group was missing, but I worked really hard and got at least the carbs, fruit, and calories in. That is still a lot better than some days earlier in this grieving process. Plus, I am weight restored.
On the positive side, I haven’t cried in front of people in a week…and that last time barely counts because it was my parents so I think it really has been 9 days. I still occasionally cry in private, but I don’t even do that every single day anymore. I KNOW that it isn’t “bad” to show emotion, but that doesn’t feel true. Being someone who has never wanted the spotlight and who would prefer to be as much a chameleon as possible and who avoided situations requiring communication like the plague, I learned to keep my emotion well-hidden to avoid stares and inquisitive comments. Although now I crave connection, community, and caring people with whom to share the burden, after spending way too much time with my abuser who made it very clear that showing emotion was something I definitely should never ever do, it became even more second nature to do whatever was in my power to hide what was going on behind the mask. I became even more fully an always okay person. Additionally, not being allowed to talk about what happened or the fallout and not being allowed to tell anyone I wasn’t allowed to talk, I further refined my hiding skills as those years ago I was so upset and there was so much chaos in my life yet I couldn’t let anyone find out because if anyone asked any questions I’d be stuck in the trap of not even being able to say that I couldn’t talk about it…and I’m not a liar so I couldn’t say I didn’t want to talk about it, because I did want to talk about it. I wanted that so much. I hated that my voice was taken away…so even the get out of jail free card people sometimes offer of just suggesting one may not wish to speak about something was an out I couldn’t accept for fear of losing the coveted prize of graduation, and without that, all the struggle would have been in vain…although it still kinda is since I can’t find a job anyway. But anyway, yeah, showing emotion wasn’t safe for a long time. It wasn’t safe because it intensified the abuse and then it wasn’t safe both because it gave her ammunition (not an emotionally stable student…not able to control herself…etc) and because it just wasn’t safe for anyone to know I wasn’t always happy all the time. I’ve always been sunny, but now it was survival.
I will be the first to admit, too, that not crying doesn’t exactly mean a lot…I also haven’t brought a water bottle to work which means that I am always dehydrated which is a skill I learned in high school to decrease the chance of crying. And the reason I don’t have a water bottle is two-fold. First, there definitely is the component of not wanting to cry in front of my coworkers again, and then there is also the comfort issue – bringing a water bottle exposes said water bottle to germs and also means that I’d have to be more careful with the headphones in my lunchbox. I also am working full time on top of trying to catch up on sleep, unpack, get all the proper forms turned in to take my licensing exams, applying and interviewing for jobs, and stuff. Staying busy with work is so good for me. Although wearing logos aside from the ones on my nametag still is outside my comfort zone, it doesn’t hurt so much to come to work anymore, and I do honestly still LOVE my job and my coworkers. It will be really hard to leave someday. I don’t want to ever have to leave. I want so badly to have the job I have been working towards since fourth grade. I know that ship has already sailed, but it hurts so much to let go. Right now I am able to mostly compartmentalize though, and come to work and pretend that everything is awesome, pretend that nothing has changed…until I take the licensing exam and become a licensed pharmacist the game of pretend continues to work.
When does this end? I still feel so hopeless. I want a job because having a job is what people say comes after college, and I do want to be responsible, but it seems like getting a job just makes things more complicated, because it is one more thing to deal with in the process of trying to get my life back on track and I don’t think any job will really satisfy me. Nothing can really offer what my dream job could, and even if it could, that wouldn’t take away the pain of the betrayal and loss. Will life ever feel okay again? Does the pain ever go away? It clearly isn’t as intense as it was, and I am learning to function better despite the pain, but I am so exhausted. I don’t want to live this way. It is so frustrating. Everyone says I am a strong candidate and then they don’t hire me. Don’t lie to me. Either tell me I’m great and follow through by hiring me or don’t bother getting my hopes up.
I had my first non-residency interview (in my life…) (okay, not true…there was also the scholarship interview at Drake way back when…and the interview into third year that barely counts since showing up meant success) on Thursday. It was okay…but I don’t feel like I have much of a chance against the people who actually have experience. They have a residency program and most of their pharmacists are those that stayed after completion of residency…why would they pay me as a pharmacist when (if I’d applied) they could have me for half as much as a resident, and why would they choose me as a pharmacist when they could choose someone who actually has experience? The position does have a lot of the things I want with the biggest negatives being not being the one job I really wanted and not being pediatric, but it is hard to be excited about a position that one I probably won’t get, and two even if I get isn’t really what I wanted in the first place. It feels like my whole life was a throw away if after all that I can’t have the one thing I wanted. It hurts so much.
I wove a really good network of support back at school over the past couple months and then I went home and I know I still need help putting my life back together. I still need people to speak truth into my life, people to encourage me, people to just let me coexist. I don’t really have that anymore. I really only have one close in-person non-circumstantial friend in this state. And mostly at this point everyone everywhere expects me to be over it and moving on. Grief lasts a lot longer than does the support even without moving across the country. I call this state my home, but heaven is my real home and I am so homesick for a home I have never visited. I still struggle with why my eternal daddy doesn’t want to bring me home and hug me until the pain goes away. To me love means wanting to be with someone and it feels like rejection by the one entity who is supposed to love me no matter what. What could possibly ever make this feel okay? Haven’t I been through enough yet? I want this to end.