Wednesday, January 30, 2013

when does it end

i've written this post before.  however, the issue has come up again and after discussing it with the counselor, she asked that i take a look at it and ask for input from my fellow PE sisters.

i am a fan of Downtown Abbey and this weeks episode had a preeclampsia storyline.  i knew this going in, but did not know what the true story would be.  i did not know that i would be left breathless as i watched lady sybil pass away from eclampsia.  i did not know the feeling of helplessness would crush my soul as i watched tom beg his wife to breath and stay with him.  i sobbed silently all while wanting to scream at the tv.

for the most part, i believe i have healed from my experience, however there are times when a flashback hits and i can recall details such as the light shining through the window, the beep of the machines, the squeeze of the blood pressure cuff every 15 minutes, the red in my urine bag and how fucking scared i was all while i felt removed from the situation.  i was present but not.  the mag was coursing through my veins and i am sure that helped the feeling of detachment in addition to the HELLP Syndrome that was starting cause a major decline in my body function.

usually as i gear up for walk season, i can get a bit emotional.  however, since i am a doer it helps to manage those feelings by walk planning.  yet on walk day, when i bear witness to the other sisters and families sharing their stories, it comes back.  i drive by the birthing center on a regular basis and 10 years later, it can shoot me back to those days.  i have been to the birthing center twice since P was born.  while things turned out well for him, i still had preeclampsia and with the abruption scare, it just added to the emotional trauma.  (i feel uncomfortable calling it trauma, but i need to call it what it is.)  the last time i went to the hospital was i think 5 years ago.  and i had what i guess i could call a panic attack just sitting in the parking lot prior to going in.  the pressure in my chest squeezing as i rode the elevator up to the 2nd floor.  and my footsteps feeling like wading through lead as i walked to her room.  it was a short visit.  i cried the entire ride home.  and i am uncomfortable even thinking about going back in.

i know several of my PE sisters have similar reactions.  but my question is, when does this end?  does it get better?  will the volunteering i do to ease the pain and efforts to help other avoid this condition make it hurt less eventually.  i know that i have cannot stop giving and doing for the foundation.  it is simply not an option, not when other families are experiencing the heartache of losing mothers and/or babies to preeclampsia.  knowing that i was one of the lucky ones, i feel it is my duty to serve in the fight against preeclampsia.  i just wish the feelings that sneak up would lessen.  and i don't know if that is possible.

fear vs love

in my session with the counselor this week I worked through an exercise that was another light bulb moment for me.  i mentioned in my first vomit-post that i have issues with feeling unworthy.  apparently the feeling of fear is strong in me.  many things that i may "feel" are really surface issues that are truly fear.  i may be frustrated with something, which in turn makes me angry.  and i feel helpless, which is an awful, horrible feeling for me.  but that really boils down to feeling abandoned, which ultimately means that i am afraid.  i want to be seen and validated which equal acceptance.  and i am fearful when i do not feel accepted.

we discussed how things at their basic level are based on fear or love.  and many, most to be honest, in my life are based in fear at the moment and have been for a while.  i am fearful of being abandoned.  if i look at it, i think "well duh."  i have a father who didn't want me at the start.  i just never thought i had an issue with it, but i never allowed myself to just simply accept it for what it truly was and move on.

i also discovered that i use surface feeling words to deal with my "problems" rather than allow and accept what the true feeling may really be.  i got this awesome worksheet with feeling words.  in part, it appears to be a grade school emotions sheet, but it had been great for me to find a different, more accurate word for what i may be feeling.  i am trying to be a human 'being' rather than a human 'doer.'  it is a challenge.  to let the feelings percolate and honestly feel them rather than tell myself i shouldn't feel that way or just plain stuff it immediately.  that song & dance is getting me nowhere.  and my journey is to somewhere other than where i have been lately.  i want to be healthier.  healthier emotionally, mentally and physically.  it's a package deal.

i love myself.  quirks, oddness, goodness and all.  i just need to remind myself of that way more often.

Friday, January 25, 2013


i have wanted to start another post this week so many times, but each time i sat down to write nothing would come out.  i guess it is part of the process, but it was frustrating to say the least.  nonetheless, i have working on progress this week.  sunday, after my purge post, i felt AMAZING.  i felt powerful and hopeful.  awesome combo, right.  monday, i had an appt with the counselor and it went well.  i was able to express things that i had written out and verbally speak them.  out loud.  scary and exhilarating at the same time.  i have several things i want to tackle for myself and i was reminded this is a process.  and one that will not take place overnight.  some days or weeks might be bad and others will be great.  there may be steps back while i make the steps forward, i just need to keep the eye on the prize....which is a healthier me.

things i have learned/worked on this week:

*one of my goals is to change how i speak to myself internally.  i am attempting to be more aware of what i say to myself and wow, that is #1 more difficult than i thought it would be and #2 when i said i was hard on myself, that was truth.  little shit that i make a mistake on or do in a manner that afterwards made more sense to do another way, i will call myself stupid or brainless.  i call myself a bad mom when something happens with the kids that i somehow say i caused it.  i do not feel sexy or beautiful which, of course, impacts intimacy with my partner and i tell myself i am unworthy of him or shouldn't matter because i cannot be with him more often.  and it's a fucking cycle.  i will hear myself do it and then i started beating myself up for doing it.  i finally said, enough.  and now i try to tell myself "stop it" when i hear the negative self talk start. 

*in the last year or so, i have become very uncomfortable with touch, especially in certain areas.  it sucks, but it is what it is.  however, since i have started this 'journey' it has ramped up.  the best that i can figure out is that it ties into how i feel about my body, but also what i have been storing in my gut emotion-wise.  i have also looked at myself in the mirror and told myself that i can no longer hide the pain, the emotions, and whatever else by eating and by staying fat.  i have told myself over and over that while i am not 100% happy with how i look, i am comfortable with myself.  what a lie.  what i weigh is a reflection of a protection mechanism i have created for myself.  i have told myself i am not worthy of taking care of myself or losing weight to be more healthy or to look & feel better about myself.  well, that shit has got to stop.  I am trying a new tactic of looking at myself in the mirror and saying out loud that i am beautiful and i am worth it.  and i know i want to make changes.  i am done being the fat lady who likes to laugh.  i want to be the healthier me who loves to laugh.

*the counselor identified something for me that while i think i knew, i didn't really get it 100%.  i am a doer.  i like to do something to ease the stress or emotion of what i am feeling.  i was feeling a bit lost after facing what shit i was stuffing.  lost as in i didn't know what to do with the emotion or what to do next about it.  and one of the biggest things she said to me was, "there may not be anything to do."  which made me very uncomfortable, but when i really looked at it i saw she was right.  for years i have channeled emotions into tasks rather than dealing with them.  however, there are times it is a way for me to process and work through what i am feeling.  many times when i become emotionally upset, i bake or clean.  i look at it like my way of taking that "count to 10 and then respond" break someone who is angry needs to do.  it works to deflate me.  but i also need to remember that i do need to feel some of these things and there may not be a way for me to do something about it.  i have a feeling this one will take some time.

*i am working on being more accountable right now.  i have a tendency when overwhelmed to lost track of stuff or forget things.  there is more to this that i cannot go into at the moment, but there will be a time i will.  hopefully in the near future.

this is a transformation for me.  i know i will come out different in the end and that is okay.  i want to be a better me.  and i believe i can do it.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

a post with no name

i have been thinking of this post for a week now.  and i just had nor made the time to post.  i think some of it was that i was not ready yet.  but it feels necessary at the moment so here goes.  this will be a long post, a painful post, but it is something i need to do.  i need to put this somewhere and this is my space.  i will be writing about things i have barely said out loud to anyone. ever.  and here i am throwing it out for the whole damn internet to see.

i recently started seeing a therapist to help me deal with some shit that has essentially bubbled up in 2012 and it was getting to the point where i knew i needed to work on resolving things or my life would be taking a serious turn for the worse.  i fully am aware that working on shit that is 36 (almost 37) years in the making is not going to be easy and this is a commitment for the long haul.  but two sessions in and it is way more fucking difficult to face some of this shit than i thought it would be.  turns out that i have been swinging my way to depression and i am much more closer to it than i thought i was.

last year was a year of change and those changes i felt at the time were good changes, which for the most part they were.  however, there are byproducts of those changes that i was not prepared for and it has compounded things.  i left the job that i thought i was going to do for years to come.  a job that was becoming very toxic for me and was harming my health (physically, mentally, and emotionally).  i enjoyed working with most of the clients i had, helping clients facilitate positive changes.  yes, some were not pleasant to work with and others were just a plain pain in the ass, but for the most part i felt like i was making a difference.  with changes that happened and the atmosphere changing, things became toxic there and i had the opportunity to resign and find something else.  a part time job that allows me time to work with the kids and make all of their appointments without missing too much work.  i have looked at it as a good change, even though it was a hard one to make.  what i have forced myself to really look at this last week is how i truly feel about that and it is way more ugly than i want or like.  i feel like i failed.  i went back to school and waited for that job.  and i gave it up.  i forced my family to adjust to a much less income on my part.  the positive is that i do have more time to focus on the kids.  but that's usually not how i tend to look at things.

i am sitting here and the tears are beginning to fall.  the sense of inadequacy is washing over me in waves.  and i am attempting to fight it.  but it is so fucking hard.

at the urging of the therapist, i watched a movie called The Shadow Effect this last week.  and it struck a chord for me.  there is a scene that literally made me freeze and have a choking sensation....a young girl is at a mirror looking at herself with a sweatshirt on.  and she begins to put on another sweatshirt and another and yet another.  each sweatshirt has a word on it and each one represents a mask that she is layering on.  boy, oh boy.  if i fully admit it, that is me.  i have discussed this with J before and talked about the mask of being "happy."  no one can see the pain, no one can see the hurt, no one can seen the joy either ultimately.  the joy has been stifled.  the negativity is weighing me down, it is crushing me.  talking with her and watching that film has encouraged me to really take a deep look at what the hell is going on inside me.  not just my head, not just my heart, but in my gut.  in the deep recesses where i let no one in.  barely even myself.  and what i find is that i believe that i am unworthy.  that i believe i am no one and i have made choices this last year that sabotages my relationships so those who care about me have an excuse to leave me.  it is a deflection of protection because i do not think i am worthy of that person's care or love.  fuck.  that is incredibly painful to write.  but it is the truth.  where does this come from?  it is something i have always done, i can remember feeling guilt over things not in my control for years.  for my entire memory.  i shoulder blame on things that are not my fault.  i feel ashamed of mistakes that i made 15-20 years ago, things that are on no one's radar anymore and are very minute, but i feel horrible about it yet today.  it is a crushing feeling i live with.  and it has crowded out the ability to feel joy on  regular basis, to feel things other than negativity and pain and anger and sadness.  i have to work hard to feel happy.  and that is really sucky thing.  but it what it is.

there is that phrase.  for most of my life, i have told myself that.  it is what it is.  but i have not allowed myself to truly live by that.  this is my discovery this week.  for the last year, i have started to feel anger over things in my childhood.  it sounds ridiculous, but please understand that i have never allowed myself to feel anger, bitterness, or sadness over it.  i have always told myself it is what it is and i cannot change it, so i have to make the best of it.  and by not allowing myself to truly feel whatever i need to about things that happened, i have kind of fucked myself up.  at least that is how i feel.  *gosh, this is the really hard part to write....the crushing panic in my belly is overwhelming.  but i need to get it out.  i must.*  for most people that know me, they know that i was a child of a teenage, unwed mother.  that we struggled for many of the early years.  for those that really know me, they know that i had to grow up at a very early age.  for those that don't know, let me paint the picture.  i am the product of an unwed teenage mom.  and in my early years, we lived with either of my grandparents or moved around a lot.  by the time i was 18, i think we had lived in approximately 18-20 different places.  i attended the same grade school during that time, but that was really the only true stability i had.  my mom never neglected me in the true sense of neglect.  but if i am to truly look at things and accept how i feel, there are times in my childhood that could screw with my sense of who i am.  i knew little about my sperm donor (whom i have mentioned before) growing up.  i was told  a few tidbits here and there, but there were not so great bits of information.  he's a drug abuser and had been in and out of jail.  he came to see me in the hospital after i was born, but that was it.  i was told his name when i was about age 10.  and a few years later, i was told he may have taken advantage of her.  years later, i was told that when things went to court for paternity, he had his friends testify that they all has sex with her too.  and years later, it was sexual assault.   for court, the decision was made by my family to not take things further.  this literally is the gist of what i know.  even as i close into age 37.  i know so very little.  and apparently it has affected me more than i could have ever dreamed of.  that fucker didn't want to have anything to do with me  my biological grandparents didn't want me.  my grandparents & teenage mother chose not to fight for me in court.  (while that certainly may have worked in my favor as i grew up, no visitation, etc, it still fucking hurts).  i was also told that i may have half siblings in the area of his.  i have this other biological piece of me that wanted nothing to do with me.  awesome.  i have always said it doesn't matter and i was better off without him.  but it does matter.  it matters to a little girl who had to grow up being a single parent child in classes of children who have moms & dads.  it matters that there wasn't another set of grandparents to kiss my boo-boo's or see me graduate high school and then college.  it fucking matters to me that they didn't want me.  and it hurts.  terribly.  and i have never expressed that before, to anyone.  i have barely allowed myself to acknowledge it in the deepest part of my soul.

i grew up as my mom grew up.  she was 16 years old when she had me.  a child herself.  and while i cannot hate her for the choices she made, i do finally feel anger over some of them.  those very close to me know that i held her hair while she puked from being drunk, went in the car the next morning searching for her glasses along side the road where she was sick the night before.  was with my grandma often so she could go out.  spent nights at her girlfriend's parents with her girlfriend's daughter while they went and partied.  for the very first years of my life, she had a boyfriend.  and in looking back, he was abusive.  he cheated on her.  but he was the first father figure in my life.  and one night while she was working, he touched me.  and i told her a bit later and she did nothing.  she brushed it away.  and i have always told myself it could have been worse and it was what it was.  but if this year it has bubbled up into one of those things that make me angry.  i don't view myself as a victim, but i am angry that when i was "hurt" she did nothing.  i accept that she may not have known what to do or was too scared, but i am allowing myself to feel beyond pissed about the situation.  that i have had to take care of her growing up.  remembering the time she had surgery when i was in 5/6th grade and i had to be the primary nursemaid, there was an ant colony that invaded our shit-hole apartment and i had to take care of it by myself.  that there were times she would have a male friend over and i would have to go to my room while she was with him.  or the time the guy wouldn't come over so we hopped in the car to pick him up from the bar.  that shit wasn't right.  and i am finally allowing myself to feel all of the feelings from my childhood.  that little girl who was scared and stability was sometimes an issue.  the woman i am today who struggles with control.  because when i am not in control i feel anxious.  but then i realize i'm not really in control anyway and i feel like i am about to lose everything.  and then i feel in my heart that i should lose everything because i'm not worth it.  i am unlovable.

i struggled greatly with perfectionism in high school.  i was very close to developing an eating disorder in my senior year.  i said that i let go of the perfectionist idea, but what i truly did was move it to a different avenue.  i became better at beating myself up privately.  i became a master at the masks. i have put on weight as a protection mechanism and while i have tried to become healthier over the years, i have not been successful because i don't believe i am worth it nor that i can actually do it.  i have sabotaged myself and made excuses.  and i have been afraid of taking a real hard look at why i gained it and why i don't want to lose it.  i have made my persona the 'plump chic who likes to laugh and make jokes" because it is easier to deal with others and what's inside.  laughter is used as a deflection tool for me sometimes.  i do not allow people to get close to me.  even my partner, who i pledged to spend my life with.  i drive him away sometimes, and at the time i am doing it, i am hating myself even more.  i have very few *close* friends.  it is easier for me that way.  while i am more of an introvert and recharge with time by myself, i also know that when i am feeling poorly emotionally, i shut myself down from many outside activities, especially if they are group activities.   even though in the days leading up to it, i want to participate...when the day comes, i just can't.  lately, it's because someone might see through the mask.  emotionally, things are bubbling at the surface for me and if sometime asks me how things are going, i cannot promise that i won't be able to turn on the happy face and say "things are great."  when it comes down to it, that's what people want to hear.  they don't want to hear that one is suffering or frustrated or whatever right now.

i sit here now with no tears, no snot streaming out of my nose, and the feeling of "oh shit, what are you doing" is gone from my gut.  i feel amazing that i wrote this.  that i expressed it.  and this is just the beginning.  i have a shit ton of work ahead of me, but i think i can do it.  i have to, there is no other option as i cannot keep functioning the way i was.

this is the end of the post with no name for now.  but i will be writing more as i make my way through the metamorphosis.  please be kind, please do not take what i have shared and misuse it.  please know that i am not, and have not been, suicidal.  i have kidlets i have to care for and simply cannot imagine leaving them behind.  should things become an issue, i will make the blog private and i don't want to do that.

as i covered with my therapist the first week, there appears to be a great deal many issues i need to work through:  childhood, pregnancy issues, trust & control issues, parenting issues, relationship issues, and whatever else comes bubbling up.  i wrote this post to express myself in what i consider my space and to work on opening up to others.  i am who i am, take it or leave it.  but i really don't want people to leave it.  i already have abandonment issues apparently, let's not add more.  :)   (see, there i go with the jokes cuz this is uncomfortable)

i am going to end each of these with a positive about myself.  and here is tonight's:  while i do not share my heart easily, i am a person with a big heart who is compassionate about those in need, whatever the need may be.