Monthly Archives: August 2017

These Scars are Not For Life

The Skies Alive – Remedy Drive)

 Note that this was composed from my phone as Mr. Lappy Pants was left behind last night…so there might be more typos then usual…or maybe less because I swipe to type on my phone so there is a lot lower chance of flipped around letters…

There has been a lot of hurt in my life, and sometimes it seems like no sooner does one wound heal but another cut comes deeper. I fight and fight and keep going through life…

Remember when I started a happy journal because of an idea in a book that sounded awesome…and wasn’t so awesome in real life? Well, the new awesome idea is that maybe I’ll make more friends if I don’t let anyone in on the pain and do a better job pretending everything is awesome…yeah…pretty sure that is not going to work very well. There are a few things that are legitimately signs that God is still present even if it doesn’t always *feel* that way.

Something I heard today is sorta related. “Disengagement is a refusal to risk any future loss.” I don’t think that is exactly what I do – a lot of my pretending is more related to my social prowess, or lack thereof. I do, however, stay super busy if I can as a way of warding off the pain. If I can manage to get engaged enough in other things the pain is much more dull and manageable.

But disengagement doesn’t completely take away the possibility of further hurt. Having no or low to negative expectations does decrease how much bad things hurt, but it isn’t fool proof. Some things are completely unexpected and just catch you really off guard. Like finding out today about someone I know in ICU trying to be stabilized enough to make it to a bigger trauma center. A few states away, I feel totally helpless, unable to do anything. I want to be able to help, but there is nothing I can do from a few states away, and even if I was closer, there’d be little to nothing I could do, because I am pretty sure at this point visitors would just be more bodies in the way.

It reminded me, though, about something someone said to me last winter about why he preferred pediatrics. His reasoning was that a lot of adult issues are at least partially self-inflicted and that it often seems like in adults we are sustaining life in circumstances in which living might not even be in the patient’s best interest because of what their quality of life will look like. I do agree for the most part on the second point with reservations regarding determining the patient’s opinion about what kind of life is worth it since I don’t think we as medical professionals can claim to know enough about any patient to make that decision for them. I don’t totally agree on the first point. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those look for the good in everyone and give lots of chances kind of people, but I really value treating people who brought their condition on themselves. I believe that for the most part people don’t wake up in the morning thinking about how they can harm themselves and ends up in the hospital, rather, it is more a breakdown of trying to do whatever it takes to get through life and not quite hitting the target. I really empathize with that struggle. I do strongly prefer treating children, but clearly it is not for exactly the same reason. And that is something really cool about this world. We all are totally different people who come from diverse backgrounds that shape us in such a way that even if we outwardly appear similar, our raison d’être can be utterly different.

So anyway, that wasn’t at all what I planned to write about and just became a kinda long tangent…but what else would you expect of me?!

So anyway, a few years ago when the word resilient was used to describe me, I was internally screaming “don’t you see what I am going through? Don’t you understand how hard this is? Do you think this is okay?” As the years have gone by, however, I have realized that I am resilient. I struggle, but I keep running towards the light. Although it seems to me like it I am just doing what I have to for survival, I guess I discounted that it is possible to stop doing even that. Recently, I have learned to be super proud of myself for how resilient I am. Resilience doesn’t mean not getting hurt; it means continuing to get up when you fall to the ground.

Y’know, I never thought I’d say this, but there are some jobs that I am kinda glad I didn’t get. I interviewed for a residency in Texas and it was one of my top choices at the time. I also applied for some jobs in Texas I didn’t get interviews for. And shortly after accepting the job I currently have, I was contacted by a recruiter from Texas to apply for some open positions. As enjoyable as those jobs may have been, I am so thankful I did not move to Texas and ends up losing everything. I may not be totally satisfied here, but I don’t think flooding is much of a threat…although I do live kinda at the bottom of a hill…so…who knows.

Yesterday I was driving to my parents’ house yet again and was thinking about the major contrast from the last time I’d driven up. Last time I was practically bouncing off the walls of my car with excitement. I could not sit still and literally more than once had to tell myself stuff like get your foot out of your face and watch where you’re going. I was thrilled to be about to get a call from my manager and reconnect and talk about scheduling and when I can come back (and see all my friends in person). This time the mood was much more sorrowful. I was still because the emotional exhaustion translates to physical exhaustion. I cried. But on the positive side, I did complete another life goal…taking a picture of this house…

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 Yeah, the front of that house is painted “blessed us he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Aside from how that reminds me of the donut man, I think that is really awesome. I’d I were talented, I’d love to have that painted on my house someday.

Speaking of driving, I think I’ve driven more miles in the past two months than I usually drive in like a year…and I don’t even usually drive to work or really anywhere except back and forth from my parents house to my apartment. I walk to the grocery store and almost everywhere else…except the gas station. I almost did that one day before realizing I couldn’t fill a car with gas from across town…but you know what, I am thankful that I have a car that gets me from point a to point b. I was just thinking about how everyday life is very doable without a car, but I can’t even imagine in some extenuating circumstances how difficult not having a car could be…yet people do it. (Though, mostly people who are a lot bolder than I am and don’t worry so much about burdening people by asking for help when it could make things easier).

I am very sad about losing my pediatric job. That has been hard, but I am so glad that I am getting used to the hurt. I think it is a definite sign of some healing from the grief that I am back to eating pretty normally again already, and so far anyway, I haven’t yet cried today! Score! That is not to say it doesn’t so hurt, but just that God is good and had provided some of the healing relief I needed so badly.

Also, God can be funny sometimes. I love how he is always working in such weird ways. I have now met two people in non-threatening friendship-inviting ways that are planning on becoming some type of counselor type person. I guess God knew that I maybe never was going to break the skepticism of people in that field by my attempts at exposure. It was always going to be too much. Instead, God seems to be sending people to me in a lot more manageable way that feels almost positive rather than terrifying. That is such a blessing.

Also, I just looked out the window and I can see the moon even though it is still bright and sunny. And also, here are links to two blog posts that are super awesome and I can’t remember exactly why I copied them here…so there’s that… Pretty sure the first one is about how it is okay to be hurting and need help and the second one is about learning to let go.

http://www.incourage.me/2017/08/youre-drowning-honest-motherhood.html

http://www.incourage.me/2017/08/the-house-that-built-me.html

 So yeah. I’m pretty sure there was a lot me that I wanted to say, but typing a blog post from a phone is a very long process so I’m signing off.

Love y’all.

Sincerely,

Wiggle Worm

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A Thousand Miles on Bald Tires

(Thank God For Country Radio – Stephanie Pauline)

 

This video showed up on my facebook feed today. This is so wrong. I was thinking…If I were the family of that girl I wouldn’t trust that entire school district…for that matter the girl’s teammates were involved in the abuse and hurt her and videoed her being hurt instead of getting help or trying to stop her from being hurt. It was a team effort to assault her. I’d be interested in moving somewhere far far away.

 

But would I, really? My track record doesn’t exactly show that I know how to escape; It shows that I get stuck and let people continue to hurt me.

 

It is a good reminder that there are a lot of things that keep people from escaping really difficult situations. I couldn’t just leave because at the beginning of third year I was two years into school but had really only taken one class that I hadn’t come into college with because the rest of my classes were repeats of credits that hadn’t transferred in. After third year? Well, pharmacy oriented classes are unlikely to transfer because each school’s curriculum is so different. Additionally, even if they did, because of the differences in curriculum it would likely make little to no difference in the continuation of my studies somewhere else. Outside of the lost years of schoolwork, I had made connections to people in the area. After third year a lot of people chose sides and weren’t my friends anymore, but I still had a lot of incredible friends that I couldn’t have gotten through it without. And while leaving may have protected me from the continuation of the abuse, it wouldn’t have taken away the abuse that had already occurred.

 

So yeah, if you caught it in my last post, I lost my pediatric job and all the incredible coworkers I had there. It is really hard. That was the one little light I was holding on for and now that is gone too. Sure, I *knew* there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to move into a pharmacist position and couldn’t legally keep a job title as an intern without an intern license, but I didn’t really think it would happen. I really honestly thought the reason I was talking with my manager was to figure out scheduling things. I got to my parents’ house and spread out all my schedules across the table and waited for the phone to ring…and waited…and waited…and discovered another loss. It hurts so much. The positive part of doing it over the phone instead of in person is that I could hide the fact that I was crying for a long time…although obviously the façade fades when I have to say more than one word and can’t control my voice enough to hide it, but I think she didn’t know I was crying for a while.

 

Speaking of crying, I would rather have someone overhear me repeating to myself that we don’t cry outside than for someone see me cry. I have a waterbottle that I thought back in March held like 3 or 4 cups but have since discovered is approximately two cups…anyway, I hadn’t re-filled it since Wednesday and it was still mostly full when I left work today…so I decided before I went home that it had to be empty…so I wandered the streets of my current city until it was finally empty…being in motion and outside does really help not cry, but it would have been nice if I had maybe thought about where I was and where I lived so that I didn’t run out about a mile from my apartment. I almost cried when I realized it was now time to go home (because excessive activity is also not ideal when you aren’t eating and drinking well…) and I didn’t know where I was and wasn’t 100% sure how to get from where I was to my apartment. Luckily I guessed right and took a relatively direct route home, but you know your head isn’t screwed on quite right when you see a sign that says Missouri and you almost sit down right there because you definitely can’t walk all the way from Missouri to your apartment. Umm, yeah, no, you didn’t wander across a few states after work.

 

There are a lot of really hard things in life and sometimes it seems like God doesn’t really doing a good job, but I can’t help but admit that he did a really good job today. The blender I ordered arrived today. I thought about doing a facebook live because it seems like all the cool people are doing that, but I decided probably no one wanted to watch me open a box and take out a blender. You’re welcome. But the novelty having a blender took away some of the hurt long enough that I was able to wash the pieces and attempt to make Nice Cream. Apparently “enough liquid to blend well” is a lot less chocolate almond milk than filling up the container so I ended up with a smoothie instead, but again the novelty was enough that I drank a pretty good amount of it. Yep, probably a serving and a half of fruit/vegetable and a serving of milk without a fight. That was such a blessing. Not everything me and God do is a fail. Kinda like last night. It would be pretty obvious to an outside observer that I failed to actually clean my car in the 45 or more minutes I was “washing” it. I actually had a very successful time. The goal wasn’t necessarily a clean car. It was more like giving my car a shower and using up plenty of time in semi-public not crying to that maybe I wouldn’t be crying quite as hard when I was trying to fall asleep. And it worked. More of the soapy water probably ended up on my feet and the ground than on my car, but I at least went to bed not soaked in tears and crying but not gasping for air.

 

And yeah, speaking of my car, it wasn’t the safest thing in the world for me to be driving back to my apartment, but it was a lot safer than some other times I have driven, and it wasn’t like I had a lot of other options. And more importantly, since I am writing this, I made it in one piece.

 

If I could have stayed overnight I would have because I know that the early morning is when I am at my best, but while there were extra clothes in my car, I can’t go to work wearing a logo t-shirt for a different hospital (Especially when it has salty stains on the sleeves from wiping off tears), and I also currently work somewhere that doesn’t allow sleeveless tops even if the straps are super close to being sleeves, and having to be at work at 7am doesn’t give a lot of extra time to go get a clean shirt from my apartment…and I didn’t have like a toothbrush or any other toiletries for spending the night. But I made it. The first almost accident I got in was only like 57% my fault. See, someone next to me was messin’ with his phone and totally not paying attention and started driving like straight towards me and I luckily happened to be looking out the passenger side window rather than the windshield (See, distraction can also be useful), and so I reacted by moving out of the way…without looking to see where I was going. Luckily the person driving where I was moving towards was actually paying enough attention to see what was happening and give me plenty of space. The next almost accident was, okay, maybe 61% my fault. Some brainchild in front of me came to a complete and final stop on the freeway for no apparent reason. And I didn’t…well, at least not until I was dangerously close. Apparently I screamed “What the he*k” loud enough that the person who had his/her windows rolled down heard me and made some gesture that seemed to be saying sorry. And then I felt bad because I shouldn’t use bad language and if I was going to talk disrespectfully I shouldn’t have said it so loud…and yeah, I remember there being more almost incidents, but I don’t remember them…but I didn’t run into anything, and that’s gotta count for something.

 

I was looking forward to seeing my coworkers one more time on Monday for another goodbye party, but then I got a facebook this evening that it doesn’t work after all. I still gotta drive most of the way there though because I already told my parents that was when I was coming home to work on my laptop.

 

And when life was getting better I was okay with a new laptop, but now that the world is falling apart again I don’t want a new laptop. It is way too different and I don’t really like it that much. Fujitsu makes laptops with incredible features that no one else can replicate…and they can’t be purchased at micro center. I know that you are supposed to buy a new laptop before your old one dies so you don’t lose information and that the fact that a couple keys stopped working wasn’t a good sign for my laptop, and I know buying used laptops isn’t the right approach, but it is frustrating that that is one more thing to deal with when my emotional plate is already overflowing and flooding the floor. I can’t do this. I know it isn’t the appropriate choice to just bring it back to the store and pay whatever re-stocking fee they charge if it is even allowed to be returned, but just having it in existence while I continue using my current laptop is just one more thing on my plate. I don’t even want to be alive. Why won’t God just take me home? I’ve been asking for so long. It doesn’t seem like there is anything left worth staying alive for. I know I have worked way too hard to just walk away, but I don’t know if I care. It hurts too much.

The Rain Keeps Comin’ Down I Keep Gettin’ Wetter

(Breathin’ to Death – Lecrae)

 

So, what I said yesterday about hope…yeah, never mind. Hope just creates more ways to get hurt. It is definitely not worth it. I want to give up, but I’ve gone too far to just quit now. The clock says it is past lunch time…my mouth says I’m not eating ever. Ever ever. I know I have to eat. I worked so hard and finally recently started getting to the point of eating normally again…and I know that even a few days of slipping is just going to make it harder. When you lose weight really fast you luckily can also gain it back really fast without even eating completely normally again, but obviously losing over 25 pounds (closer to 35) over just a couple weeks and then gaining most of it back in a month isn’t healthy and it definitely isn’t healthy to start losing it all again…not to mention that aside from calorie intake, my body probably needs some nutrition. For a while I was taking 2-3 multivitamins every day to make up some of the lost nutrition, but as I started eating better (and got busy) I went down to just one a day and now I only get around to one every few days…and I do know that multivitamins are not a substitute for eating actual food.

 

So yeah, all that to say I am super determined to not fall all the way back to the bottom functionally. Emotionally I might be at the bottom and stuff, but if I’m gonna have to stay alive then I am going to work harder than I’ve ever worked before to shove food in my face and not be a bad friend. I don’t want to be alive, but that is God’s choice, not mine, and it won’t make life as a whole easier to give up on eating. Not eating and drinking eventually leads to exacerbating the physical exhaustion of grief. It’ll probably help that I don’t have to worry about homework and studying and stuff anymore, so if it takes three hours or more of concentrated focused effort to get food inside my body then I can do that (although it does mean most of lunch will become dinner since I can’t have three hours off to try to get a bag of chips in my mouth…and that might make dinner even harder…but I’m going to try). And with that I am taking a break to try to get some food in my mouth. I am very glad I had some snacks before finding out I lost my job though (not the full time one, I lost the one I like) so this doesn’t have to be  a full meal yet.

Impossible things are possible now

(Finale – Fear NOT)

 

(This is another linkup with Holley Gerth…and it might be a little messy because my life is a little messy sometimes…)

 

Yep, I definitely have moved back to Christmas music…

 

Have you ever wondered if Bible characters were sassy in real life?

 

Gabe: I’m going to strike you dumb.

 

Eli: *How* dumb?!

 

Gabe: No, dumb as in silent, you know, can’t speak?

 

Yeah…I’m glad we don’t generally call mutism being dumb anymore. That is hurtful. I guess I kinda understand why dumb became associated with stupid though…when you don’t talk usually people get that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes (Things aren’t always what they seem, you’re only seeing part of me, there’s so much more that’s going on behind the scenes – Francesca Battistelli), but I think maybe once in a while they assume that if you can’t verbally show that you know that you must not know. And I did label myself stupid…it mostly became ingrained in my identity when Certain Someone labelled me that way and did everything in her power to make sure I knew how stupid I was and that if I were smart I wouldn’t be struggling with anxiety…now even though it is stuck in my identity, I know cognitively that being able or unable to speak is not indicative of intelligence. Having anxiety was NOT my fault and NOT something I chose. I was working hard to overcome and not being able to snap my fingers and no longer have any social difficulties didn’t make me stupid, it made me normal. No one gets over anxiety instantaneously by just deciding not to have it anymore. It doesn’t work like that. I am not a complete failure. I am a resilient survivor. And broken people are strong because they know they can survive…even if sometimes they aren’t sure they really wanna survive. Okay, well maybe I am a failure, but not directly because of anxiety.

 

So anyway, the topic this week is: Living fully Loving bravely.

 

I know these things are supposed to be hopeful. Hope is so hard. So you’re going to have to get all the way to the end of this one to find the hope…I really am doing a lot better…and in a few more hours I’ll have made it two days in a row with no tears, but my world is still in little pieces waiting to be put back together with some shards too small to be able to even think about putting back together.

 

But I am going to learn to hope again. I will. I even already have some friends and I even know their names!! And I will learn to trust again.

 

Trust and hope both are incredibly difficult…and make living fully more difficult. When all you can see is your pain and your loss it is hard to go on with life. Sure, I go through the motions, and I am getting really good at pretending I am fine, but underneath I am not really living.

 

I don’t remember where I heard it, but sometime recently I heard that wounds in our lives usually come from relationship and can only be healed by relationship…and I think it is very true. I don’t think it is just because I am an extravert that I crave relationship and have felt the best while with other people and the first few minutes or so after being with people. I believe there is a lot of power in *with.* We were not made to live this life alone. It is sometimes small comments that weren’t even much a part of the conversation that make the biggest difference. Sometimes just someone else understanding is huge. It means a lot when someone can identify connections that really get at my heart. Being brave and making friends is the biggest step I can take towards continued healing.

 

I am never really alone…’cause God made me and he loves me so and he is my friend forever

I was ruined by the world but I blamed it on the Son

(Take the bullets away – We As Human)

 

I absolutely love this song…I found when I was pretty close to the bottom, and it was a good empathetic cry song. Now I adore it because it is also SO hopeful. I was resistant to the hopeful message at first because from my perspective, hoping was just a way to be hurt more deeply. It felt safer and less painful to separate myself inasmuch as possible from hope. Now I am ready to slowly give hope a chance again. It is scary, but I think it is good and necessary. Being hopeless is also difficult.

 

I also really connect to the screamed demand in the refrain “Take the bullets away.” Once a bullet is shot it cannot be taken back. It cannot change course. The pain cannot be simply ended. Yet I ask God and pray that he will take it away. I so badly want to go back in time to that Friday in March and open my email to something that doesn’t hurt so much. I want my dreams back. I want hope back. I think it would cause more problems than it would solve for me to die right now, so I am no longer praying every day for God to take me home, but I so desperately long for God to come back so that I can leave this place of pain. But I can’t have what I want. The train left the station without me leaving behind only my now impossible desires and plans. I know God works all things to his glory, but I don’t understand how putting me in this place could ever be for his glory. How could the deep pain of loss work for good? How could rejection be his plan? How could completely severing all ties connecting me to my dreams be something he allowed to happen? I feel so hopeless, helpless, frustrated, and alone.

 

Today in my frustration I screamed that maybe God doesn’t even want me to pray. Maybe God really doesn’t want me. I know it is really bad to think that and totally not the Sunday morning Christian thing to admit it, but y’all know I’ve never really been very competent at playing the social game and believe that sometimes it is okay to just be myself. So what prompted this outburst besides just the grief that I can’t outrun? Well…I was listening to the VBS tape “Treasure Hunt Sing and Play” and had just flipped the tape over to side 2. The first song on that side is “Let us Pray.” (Let us pray let us pray, everywhere and everyway. Every moment of the day it is the right time. For the father above, he is listening in love and he wants to answer us so let us pray). Except it only got a couple lines in when it suddenly stopped. At first I thought maybe something had accidentally gotten recorded over the top of the tape or something, but when nothing was happening a few minutes later I investigated further and this is what I found:

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Yep, it’s broken. And I got frustrated. Sometimes it seems like everything I want gets taken away from me.

 

But I need to believe that God cares. I need to believe that he loves me and has power to work his plans in my life. He really has done a lot even though I still really hurt. Maybe I do still cry more days than I don’t, but most of the time now after a couple minutes I can calm down and be okay. And last week I was writing about how I wanted three things that logically shouldn’t be THAT big of a deal, but seemed just as impossible as everything else in life. Those three things were a decision on a church to attend, a friend in or near the city in which I live, and an opportunity to serve. I am now 97% sure I have chosen a church. I kinda sorta have a friend and I don’t think I am just her little charity project. I had an opportunity to serve. It might have only been a couple hours rather than a continuing relationship like I’ve had elsewhere, but considering God did all those things that seemed so overwhelming in a week, I can’t be too picky about how he did it. I am so thankful for what he did do even though it is super easy to see all that he didn’t do.

 

I am definitely still struggling and two hours on a Saturday of almost fitting in isn’t really enough to totally eliminate loneliness from my life and certainly doesn’t fix the grief, but when you are fighting to get through every day, sometimes even the littlest things can seem really big. A kind word on a hard day can make an enormous difference. Also, today I saw a baby who I would approximate at around 6-9 weeks old. Super adorable. Although I longed to hold her, even just getting a chance to see her made my heart feel good. Birth to 3 months is really my most favorite age, especially the first few days and weeks of life. I would love if someone wanted to share their infant with me. I super miss my infants in the nursery.

My aching heart tries to hang the stars alone

(Renovate – Christa Wells)

 

Linkup from: http://holleygerth.com/setting-down/ on traveling light

 

Recently I saw a post about waiting until 8th grade to give kids a cell phone and heard about it on the radio too. That seemed crazy to me. What in the world does an eighth grader need with a cell phone? They go to school…which is equipped with phones, generally with at least one or two dedicated solely to student use. They go to friends’ houses and their friends’ parents should either call when the kid is ready for a ride home, or show the kid where a phone is to make the call. They go to sports practices where there is a definite end point where the parent should show up to pick them up or if there is an emergency the coach can call for help. Until someone is driving alone frequently there really is no need for a phone…I know I am not exactly typical in terms of my communication skills and preferences – yesterday I forgot my phone at my apartment all day (7:30am to 11pm) and I really didn’t miss it…but either way I have always used observation of other people communicating to learn how to do it, and via observation I know that a phone isn’t really useful earlier than driving…I kinda wanted one sooner, but my reason for wanting it was really more of an avoidance of communication than a desire for communication. I thought maybe if I had my own phone I wouldn’t ever have to answer any other phone and I could talk on the phone at school without anyone looking at me.

 

There are a lot of things I don’t really need…lol, I travel light. When I go somewhere overnight, all I really need is clean clothes for the morning, a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner…the deodorant that stays in my car…and my laptop (and usually my phone if I remember and maybe my journal)…

 

But I don’t need to do it on my own. Monday I was crying and stopped to rollerblade because I needed a break (and I was smart enough to not go up any hills I wouldn’t be able to get back down…yay!!). Tuesday I was writing about how in addition to the grief itself I was struggling because I didn’t have any friends or community or anything within an hour of where I lived…Then later on Tuesday God finally brought me some community. It is amazing how two people taking at least a little interest in including me can make such a big difference. I am not yet ready to share with them about what is going on in my life, but having someone include me meant so much to me. It was exciting.

 

There are lots of other things going on in life right now, but there was at least a couple really awesome positives in my week. (Other one was seeing my super awesome amazing incredible best friend who is the best thing that ever happened to me).

 

But I am Fine

(Cool – Scott Krippayne)

 

I am always fine because protecting people is important to me. I am always fine because being vulnerable and trusting other people is extremely difficult after you’ve been through emotional abuse complete with gaslighting and pitting my friends against me. I am always fine because after living under a gag order for three years it is hard to remember the door of the cage is open and I can walk free. It is so weird that the little cage of isolation almost feels more safe and homey than freedom.

 

Truth is important to me, but it is true that I am fine. People’s hearts and lungs stop every day, but my heart is still pumping oxygenated blood…without ECMO or other high level medical support. Would I much rather be dead sometimes, oh yeah, but even then, I am fine…I’m not okay…but I am fine.

 

I am often not okay. I feel so alone sometimes, but I am fine. I am exhausted, but I am fine. The pain of grief is still an open painful weeping wound, but I am fine.

 

Sometimes I am more convincingly fine than others…some days I can’t stop crying. Other days I am so sure that maybe someday I’ll be okay…it is hard. So hard. Life is still so incredibly difficult.

 

I just ate a piece of chocolate and the wrapper said “revive the art of conversation.” It made me mad. I don’t have any friends close to where I live and I don’t know how to find friends and I crave connection but there isn’t anyone with whom to connect. And even with the people I do have outside of this area, grief took away my ability to connect and communicate. I’m not as silent as I once was, but I do know that stressors can take away my voice again, and it is frustrating. I fought so hard to be able to speak and then I was abused and made to feel that I shouldn’t use my voice. I fought so hard to be able to speak, but sometimes it feels like it was all in vain when I lose it again.

 

TBH, there is a positive in the grief…not really sleeping for so long has made it feel almost normal to be so sleep-deprived. That makes nights spent working until 11pm not feel quite so hard.

 

There are always hard things in life…Last Thursday (August 10), was 9 years from the day I went to “the new church at home.” One week from that day I met my best friend…that is awesome…but it also seems like circumstances stemming from the change of churches is the whole reason I started in counseling and ultimately ended up in an abusive relationship. I would be a totally different person if that hadn’t happened and maybe I would have a residency. Maybe someone would actually want me. But I can’t change the past. What happened is over and I hated that I couldn’t change it then, and thinking about it now certainly won’t change it either…but sometimes the days and years run together and it feels like all that was yesterday. I think I am connecting from the pain of this situation into the pain of that situation. On the positive side, it is not a re-experiencing flashback kind of experience, but more of a soulful longing for something different. A deep ache of reminder of the pain. Changing churches changed my life…but I survived. Yeah, this situation is different, but maybe if I survived that then I can survive this too.

 

Speaking of church, I have some bad news for y’all…it appears we have missed the rapture…

I found the rapture!!

lol…so I was screwing around on google maps streetview and look right there…the rapture started in 2012 in Farmington. It appears we have been left behind…how unfortunate!…okay fine, or google maps just randomly has a blurry section of the street…

 

Wanna know something else unfortunate? This…

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Yeah, my last 54 ounce bag of skittles got empty… I s’pose that happens when in the past few months skittles have been one of the few things that sounds good and have thus been used for both emotional support and caloric support. (Don’t feel too sorry for me yet…I still have a few smaller bags left…).

 

One last thing: I found a crawly bug on the floor in the bathroom when I was getting dressed this morning. I didn’t scream. Really, I am so mentally exhausted that it was just one more task for the day. I got rid of the bug in the toilet without even being too worked up about it. I guess there’s another positive.

But in your eyes there’s only grace now

(Lauren Daigle – How Can it Be)

 

I am a processor…almost always that means a couple days after a conversation I will finally be ready to respond…and sometimes that means that months or years later I start understanding things about myself.

 

I don’t give myself a lot of grace. I realized today that a big reason for that is because of how I’ve been treated in the past. When you deserve praise and instead are told how big of a failure you are, you learn that anything less than someone else’s version of perfection is absolutely unacceptable. You learn to put yourself down because it doesn’t hurt nearly as much if you have already started the verbal beating for someone else to finish it. That doesn’t make it okay, but it does give me some good understanding to work on changing that.

 

I need a lot of grace. I haven’t really unpacked yet…sure, it isn’t super obvious because most of my stuff is shoved in boxes in the closet so unless you open a box to find two pencils, a solitary sock, a pile of graduation announcements, a sponge, and a ball with a smiley face on it, you would never know that this isn’t unpacked…I also haven’t run the dishwasher since moving in. I haven’t chosen a church, and I haven’t drank any milk.

 

I look at my life right now and see so much failure. It is hard to believe that God sees me through the lens of grace and thinks the world of me. Sometimes it is hard to believe he cares or wants me at all. Sometimes it even feels like he has given up on me. I know it isn’t true, but when my world is disintegrating and I can’t find anything to hold on to, I guess the truth about God gets a little twisted.

 

On the positive side though…I discovered the social worker on rounds actually wasn’t the scary kind…as it turns out she really is the kind that is a discharge planner…she just got asked about a psych consult not because she was going to do the consult but because she needed to coordinate that happening prior to discharge…I was super thankful to realize that, and it made rounds a lot better. I wonder if that is what the ‘I’ in the middle of LCSW means…I tried to look up what the different versions of the social worker license mean, because I always thought if it had a C that meant clinical which meant the person was the counseling kind of social worker, but all I could figure out was that LSW was a social worker with a bachelor’s degree…all the rest of the licenses it sounded like were pretty identical and I could not figure out what the differences were…even the other one without a C looked like clinical was an option with that license just as much as it was for the ones where C was in the title…

 

Also, wanna be proud of me? I had to talk on the phone with a psychiatrist because I had a medication intervention to attempt on a behavioral health unit patient. I did it! It really wasn’t so bad…professional interaction…the fact that I recognize that as something that could be very hard for me on a bad day though is one more reminder that this isn’t just going to go away.

 

Grief is very intimately linked to the abuse, and grief is very unpredictable. Yesterday I was at the bottom. When I was alone I was only not crying for five minutes at a time. It was a rough evening. But this evening I am not rockin’ it or anything, but I have had my lunch leftovers (yeah, I know, corollary: I failed to finish lunch), dinner, and snack. I’m at least thinking about running the dishwasher and finding the dirty laundry and doing that…obvi it still depends on how I am feeling tomorrow whether it gets done or not, but the better days are really encouraging. They remind me that I am a survivor. And I definitely feel a lot better about myself when my life is in a little less chaos. Maybe not today, but someday I will be okay.

 

I did a really stupid thing

(Cage – Plumb)

 

So yeah…I did do a really stupid thing… so I’m too short to be able to see the numbers on my combination lock on my storage unit. So…ummm…my solution to that issue was to climb up and use the front of my car as a step stool…I am so stupid. Umm, yeah, I felt it kinda fold under my weight…I guess the more even pressure of wind or whatever is what cars are made to support, not the uneven weight of my feet. I am an idiot.

 

But, it is not the end of the world…there are a lot worse things in life than a slightly dented car…like having to stand next to someone who’s nametag says social worker on rounds…I really do know cognitively that I am not under any threat during rounds, but my body and mind don’t understand that. It was not an ideal first experience with rounds at my new job. I can say that while this job is not my favorite that the clinical shifts are definitely a LOT better than the order entry shifts though even if I do sometimes have to stand next to a social worker…I guess that kinda tells you how frustrating the order entry shifts are…if I could do only clinical it would be a lot easier to hold on…but anyway, I guess that was one more reminder that I can’t put the whole abuse thing behind me without actually doing some work to really get over it. I guess it really isn’t something I can just avoid forever.

 

Also, speaking of really stupid things…here are some of the things I have done today that were stupid…leaving bubble wrap with big bubbles on the floor in the kitchen – when you are walking to the shower in the morning and suddenly here “breaking” sounds it is a bit disconcerting and concerning. Also, skating while pulling a wagon behind me – it doesn’t give me much ability to slow down without running into something…lol…Also, standing on the hinges of said wagon to reach the lock since clearly I have now learned that I really really shouldn’t be standing on my car…

 

So, I guess that moves either a step stool or a lock with a key instead of numbers up the wish list so that I can stop being so dangerous…but on the positive side, I was smart enough to remove my skates and socks before trying to stand on the wagon, and I also was smart enough to not try to skate under the garage door as it closed…

 

Further in the song Cage, there are lyrics that say “why you tryna pretend that I’m fine that everything’s okay someday I’ll be alright.” I feel like every day I put on a mask and play my part in the play of everything is awesome, but it feels like it will never be true, that I will never feel okay again. I want to be happy. Not just superficial like momentary happiness from like a really awesome one-time event, but deep down life-happy.

Lotta Work to Be Done Here

(Renovate – Christa Wells)

 

Sometimes the grief comes in waves, and when the tide is high it is a reminder that although I have certainly come a long way, that there is still a lot of the work of grieving to be done. It can be quite discouraging that I’ve been working so hard for so long yet still hurt so much.

 

I read an article yesterday and the introduction stated that grief, like pregnancy is a whole body experience but without the cute baby clothes and due date. That summed it up so well. Grief is so hard, but unlike a pregnancy, there isn’t a date to look forward to when it will all be worth it. It just feels like an impossible pain that will never end. That is where I am right now. I almost couldn’t go to church today because I couldn’t stop crying.

 

The article went on to talk about how there are three things that are really important and really difficult in grief: eating, sleeping, and breathing. It was really validating to read about someone else who lost 25 pounds despite having access to plenty of food. I claimed a 25 pound weight loss in the first few weeks, but in reality it was more than that…I just don’t know how much more, but it could very well have been 10-15 pounds more than that…the person writing the article talked about how people make nurturing your body seem hard because of all the trendy diets our culture debates about, but it’s all about finding your balance and in grief that might be chocolate and I don’t remember the other thing she said most nights…I totally get that. Just getting anything in was so much work that while some people worry about whether gluten was trendy or to be avoided this week, I was busy worrying about whether I was going to break 500 calories today (or some days whether I’d even break 100). I had all my favorites: skittles, goldfish, animal crackers, jolly ranchers, peanut butter, Nutella, cheerios, and there were days I laid it all out on the bed just willing myself to eat something. I am doing a lot better now, but there are still times the tide comes in too high and I struggle. Today I had a package of three breadsticks in my refrigerator. I was having trouble with lunch and figured I’d heat them up and at least get the bread group in since that’s the base of the pyramid (yes, I know, nutritionists sa the pyramid doesn’t exist anymore. They can shut their faces. I learned the levels of the pyramid and I’ll use them). Three breadsticks on a plate was overwhelming and I just couldn’t, so after trying to figure out how I was going to get lunch completed, I figured even just one breadstick would be a start, so I heated one up and told myself to please just try one bite. You don’t have to eat the whole thing, but I’d like you to try…and I slowly ate the first breadstick…and repeat for each of the other two. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and if three breadsticks is too much you just have to slow down and have one breadstick three times. Nearly three hours later I have almost finished lunch.

 

Next was sleep. Also a huge connection. The author wrote about how at a certain point she would have done almost anything to get a full night’s sleep. Oh yes. I am doing a lot better with sleep, but I certainly know how it feels to desperately need sleep…and I guess that’s part of how I knew that I needed some time before I could continue counseling.

 

And just breathe. It is essential in life, but sometimes it is just so hard. Sometimes every day is a challenge just to get up and get through it. But I am brave. I keep doing it.

 

Switching gears a little bit, this morning after I finished a youtube video of a song about not knowing how to write songs, the next video youtube suggested was about kids from hard places. There were a lot of really good quotes.

 

“Your pain matters your story matters.”

 

It felt really good to hear that. Sometimes I still don’t feel like I am worth much, and I certainly don’t think my pain matters, but it was still good to hear even if I wasn’t ready to believe it yet.

 

“Pain that happens in a relationship can only be healed in a relationship”

 

I guess this means I’m gonna need to face counseling again, but not today. I can’t. I am terrified of trying counseling again…but I guess it is time to admit that someday I really do need to figure this out…I think I need to get past the grief first or at least get further towards healing from the grief, but I know I can’t just push it aside forever.

 

“When you understand a hurt brain you aren’t screaming “why are you doing that,” but gently asking “what happened to you” with compassion.”

 

I loved that. It is easy to see things that don’t make sense and just think I’m a little weird, when in reality I’m just doing my best with the background of my past experiences.

 

“Without a voice you have three choices, fight, flight, or freeze.”

 

I get it. It’s really hard to express upset feelings without words.

 

“The task for all of us is can I leave you and can I come back. The hurt in our lives is from one of those places being broken.”

 

I don’t quite understand what this means, but I like it.

 

“When I know what my needs are and they have been met now I know what yours are too, but I can never be empathetic until it has first been given to me.”

 

So true. You can’t fill someone else’s bucket when yours is empty. Until you fill your own bucket you can’t fill anyone else’s.

 

“If I can’t connect I at least need to survive.”

 

I guess it’s true. Another one that sounds really good, but I’m just no smart enough to get. The speaker went on to say that we are here because we are survivors, and I really liked that too. It is a good perspective to have. Yeah, life might be really hard right now, but I have survived. Every day is a success!

 

“When you’ve had trauma you are more sensitive to blood sugar.”

 

I think maybe this is true. The speaker had a super biological explanation for this that I totally didn’t follow…but I have noticed that during third year I was getting increasingly sensitive to my blood sugar level going down and therefore relied a lot more on sugar for emotional management. It was super funny though, because then the speaker said to make sure people who have experienced trauma are fed and watered every 2 hours. Lol…but it is important.

 

“God is a perfect parent and he has some pretty broken kids.”

 

I like this too…a perfect parent perfectly loves their children…even though we are super broken…