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aperson

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Blog Entries posted by aperson

  1. aperson

    Life
    This grieving thing is way harder than I imagined it would be. It is harder than other people portrayed it to be. I have had other deaths before, grandmothers, aunts, cousins but I have never experienced grief in this manner. I have never felt the grief that comes with the loss of a parent. When I thought it would happen was another 15-20 years from now. Time enough that I could say that she enjoyed her life and got to have a long life. Instead, she was gone before she could even get to old age. There were things I needed her to know but I wasnt ready or prepared to tell her those things. As I have gotten older, I have gotten better at the I love yous but there was so much more that she needed to know and understand. She never got the chance to say goodbye and while we were there when she took her last breath, I feel cheated in not getting a chance to say goodbye as well. She wasnt there by the time we got to see her. The only thing keeping her alive were the machines, breathing for her to keep her heart pumping the toxic blood through her veins. And admittedly, I am just not happy with how she left us. the timing, the cause, the lack of the hospital being accommodating to allow us to get her anxiety down when this could have been a life or death situation. 
    But knowing all of that, I am still left with trying to handle where we are now. And I just cannot do so. It is a separate hurt to have to utter words about her in the past tense. Most of the time I avoid it if I can. When I do use past tense, i do it for other people. To shield them from the fact that I dont accept the past tense when it comes to her. Shortly after last seeing her, I decided that my mental state had already been fragile in trying to deal with this and I was going to need some assistance. During a pandemic, I just didnt know how that would work. I was already uncomfortable with the thought of being around other people and exposing myself. it has always been an issue to verbally express feelings to a stranger. it didnt matter that I sought them out for that reason. So I knew that my job offered services like this. The service they offered presented me with options for online therapy. it gave me the ability to choose chats, phone calls and video. This was perfect for me because I do much better when I can write it down versus speaking it. I have been attending these sessions sporadically since March. There are things that i have made off limits. It is a boundary that I needed in place in order to not feel the added pressure. The more that I do the sessions the more painful it was becoming. So i purposely took a small break. I tried to shut off my inside voices and avoided the outside voices as well. Was I always successful at it? No. But I needed to be able to remain functional in the world and that was the best solution I could for what felt like a very immediate and urgent need. They were screaming for attention that I could not give.
    I went back to counseling. it probably wasnt the best day to go back. The weekend had already been bad and that carried over into the next day as well. I wasnt sleeping well to start and had already been up for over 36 hrs. I had a question about the things that I had placed off limits. I needed to know that because I had such emotions about that as it related to her if getting through grief was possible without resolving those really big emotions as how they relate to her. The answer I really felt was a no. You can get by but would you ever move past it without resolving that? And that is basically what she told me. She said that depending on how big the emotins were and how much I felt comfortable with what grief looked like without addressing that were the determining factors. If it was big enough and couldnt be overcome, then the grief would be managable but not resolved. I had to determine if that would be enough. She has no idea what the emption is but I do and for me it is big. At that moment I couldnt breath. She kept reminding me to breath slowly and remain present. That was all hard to do but now I was unfocused. I could no longer see a viable path to an end and it was all too much. It took nearly 20 mins to compose myself to a semi-functioning and coherent person. And since that time I have remained in that semi-functiong coherent state. I exist in the world because I must at this point. I dont want to talk to anyone but I have to work. I only got about 4 hrs of sleep last night and my brain is mush. I am physically drained from lack of sleep. I am emotionally drained by life. 
    As with most things what i want and what I seem capable of never match. I want to be a mentally healthy person. It just doesnt seem like that is possible. Everything feels so....big and heavy. Some days the act of having to open my eyes and welcome another day of that mental weight is enough to make me want to close them again. Writing is not helping. I have become so inconsistent about too. Talking aobut it seems hard. It is hard to utter those words. It feels like a poor excuse for attention. Thinking about it just makes me upset with myself because the thoughts or voices in my head only can repeat the negative things. it just feels like no one understands and I am doing this alone most days. I keep trying to be strong. Everyone is battling something and my something is no worse than their something. When you have a whole family that is grieving, who do you get to talk to aobut your grief without it becoming their grief?
    Even now I am sensoring myself. Why is that? This is only for me. I expect no outside judgement and any judgement i place on myself was there long before this. So why cant I just allow myself to say what I want and feel whatever it is i feel? This is why I feel like I will always be grieving.
  2. aperson
    I keep trying to deal with her death and it is a struggle. I started therapy a couple of weeks ago to yry and prevent some severe depression. I have had 2 sessions and I cant say it is helping or not. The time until her services was horrible including the day she passed. The time sense is a fog.
    I spend much of my day trying to ignore that she isnt here any more. The rest is spent thinking of her. My home phone we never use so I havent checked the voicemail in years. I was going through it and found a message she left from 4 years ago. Of course I listened to it and then I realized I almost forgot what she sounded like. I havent heard her voice in over a month now. Tears immediately formed and because I am a glutton for punishment,  I playedit 4 times. The message wasnt even for me. It was for my niece. This is 1 of 4 messages I have saved. Another is on my cell phone and it is from the day she found keys after not knowing where they were for almost a week lol. The last 2 are not so great but I can delete then. The first is when she was home before going to hospital and she was calling me to come help her get back in bed. The last is 2 mins of her crying another day because I didnt hear her needing my help in the middle of the night. She was tired and her crys are soft but I hear her and then hear when I came in to help her. The last 2 messages I cant listen to any more but I cant delete them either.
    See it isnt just about losing my mom. It is losing her and me being at fault for that. I was so certain I would make sure she was involved in her own care that I didnt do everything I could to keep her safe. I am normally the mean one and can get her to a dr. But I knew she was feeling depressed because of the strokes and not being as mobile has she was so I was attempting to give her some control back. I didnt take control soon enough though and now she isnt here. One of my aunts says I failed her. My siblings say I took great care of her. If I took good care of her she would still be here and this pain wouldnt.
    So now I try to remember the good things and see her face but all I remember is the last month of her life where she needed an advocate and I wasnt there. I remember seeing her in the hospital with more tubes and IVs going through her than I ever have before. The blank stare she had knowing there was nothing we could do for her now. Knowing that sbe said she didnt want to die and I was about to watch her do just that. I had hoped that the viewing before her cremation would erase those horrible memories but it didnt. When I see her, I see the day she died. 
    I keep trying not to focus on her too much because I am afraid I will break. I will fall apart and I dont know if I can recover from that and the other stuff too. So I keep trying to hold it in and let it out in spurts. Pieces of the whole. But it never seems to be enough. I am afraid to speak about her because the gates may open and it will all just come out. I also dknt want to be the broken down one. So they call or text to check on us and I am always ok. They cant bring her back.
    I say it alot but this all seems so unreal. Like I fell into some alternate world and I dont know how to get back to my world. In my real world she is here and ready to celebrate her 62nd biryhday and Mother's day. We are begging her for gift ideas that she will magically think of a week before each so we scramble to fulfill her wish. I would be teasing her about matching her underwear to her clothes. I would be complaining that I called her and she gave me a dry hello but would hear her grandkids and her attitude changed. Telling her for the millionth time I am hers and she should always greet me like she misses me. I miss her smile. I miss her laugh. I even miss her fussing about something as stupid as me not wearing socks or as serious as my hygiene. I miss her. I cant look at her pictires which my sister has conveniently placed all in the house. 
    I got her ashes on Friday for our keepsake jewelry thinking it would help. I remember being surprised by the fact that it really didn't look like I thought but not being comforted having them with me. I want to go to her grave bit again I am afraid I will breakdown and not want to leave. And I know I have to. 
    So I have blocked feeling the emotikns to the point that I am becoming numb. And I know that isnt a good place to be either. But I am lost on what to do and how to do life without her.  I know that the thing to say is it will take time and it will get better. I dont want to take time and I dont want it to get better. I just want it back the wah it was.
  3. aperson
    Because a really great friend sent me something to lift my spirits today and it helped, I think I should list the positives for the day (no matter how small)
    I laughed today - I genuinely laughed and smiled. I dont even remember what for (probably a silly TikTok) but I did it and that is what matters.
    No tears today -  It hurts and I miss her still but I didnt cry and that is ok. It doesnt mean I dont miss her any more or less than the day before or that I have forgotten her.
    I was productive - I finally did someone's taxes that I have been holding on for about 3 and a half weeks. I sat done and did it even though it only took about 15-20 mins to do. It is one less item on the to-do list.
    I ate and drank today - I didnt have to think about it. I didn't have to wonder when the last time I ate or drank. I just did it and I didnt need someone to sit with me while I did it. Something I havent done consistently for 2 weeks now.
    I watched a TV show and actually paid attention to it - I havent done that in nearly a month and I enjoyed the show.
    I got out the house - It was just to the store but I did it without feeling like it was a burden to even get dressed to do it.
    I woke up on time - Getting to sleep is a task so waking up with enough time to actually start work is a job well-done in my book.
    I sat outside and enjoyed it - LOL this one will change when the weather really heats up and the bugs come out but I sat on the porch and enjoyed the fresh air.
     
    It's a short list but they are things that have been hard to enjoy since that day. I know that tomorrow may not be this good. I know tomorrow could be even better.  One day the list will be longer and then I can look back at it as that being an accomplishment too. For now, these things give me hope that one day it wont hurt as much.
  4. aperson
    Her husband seems to want to erase her from his life quickly. I just dont understand it. I know everyone grieves in their own way but he seems to want to erase every trace of her after her services. I am trying to hold on to every memory I can. Most of the time I am trying to keep her alive. Her things, I want them. Her pictures, I want them. Her things, I want them as she left them. At least let me accept that she is gone first. 
    So Sunday I am going to pack up her things. I am going to pavk away my mom and what we dont or cant keep will be donated. Strangers will have parts of my mom. Strangers. If I could keep them all I would. I would hold on to them all anc not let them go.
    He has to handle it his own way. He has to live in the house they shared and sleep in the bed they shared. He has her things as a daily reminder and I have to remember  that is a different kind of hurt. One I may never understand. I just am not ready to let go so quickly. I could probably never touch it and be ok. 
    This grief thing is complicated. No one seems to be on the same path or even going to the same end. It is so lonely walking this direction alone. My sister wants her facr face everywhere.  I cant look at them. She is on a different path. I am not sure about my brother. He has been the most stable of us which is funny since we worried about him the most. Her sisters are all about this is God's will. I think God got sidetracked.  
    I know there really isnt a wrong way to handle grief.  I just we were in more similar spaces. 
  5. aperson

    Life
    I hate to admit it but i am struggling. The days between my mom's death and burial of her ashes were manageable.  There was something to do each day. Now that is done, I find it harder to cope. I feel like I failed her on the last thing she asked of me. Daily I think of reasons to call her and each time is followed by she cant answer. I wanted to call her to share that her first great grandchild was born but I couldnt. He was born the night of her viewing. 12 hours before we were to put her ashes in the ground. She was so excited to be a great grandparent even though she would always be known as Memaw to them. They had the babies first name but never had a middle name until the day he was born. She would be jumping for joy knowung the last time she asked for a namesake, she got it.
    At her viewing I panicked first time looking at her. I left the building trying to not hyperventilate.  I couldnt breathe and had to escape. She looked like herself just sleeping with a smile on her face. When I composed myself, I just went in and sat with her. I tried to hold her hand one last time but she was cold and hard and I immediately pulled back. She didnt look cold or hard so it startled me. I didnt want to leave her. She spent 18 days alone in the hospital. The 19th day was her last and I spent that last 5 hrs with her.
    The night before her services, I talked to her for hours. I showed her the shoes I bought. I knew she would live them because it was her style. I told her how my brother was trying to dress her in some god-awful sweater that didnt match anything. I told her I was sorry and one day I would tell her the truth of why I am the way I am. I waited for her to answer but she never did.
    The evening after her services, my cousins got together at my brother's house.  I was ill through mist of it and laid in my brother's bed listening to them. I kept thinkung how she would live seeing all of them here and having a good time together. She would smile knowing befire they left to go home, they would come see her first. And knowing none of that would happen again hurt my heart.  
    I miss her more and more every day. I started therapy because I needed tools to keep me safe. It's early but I am ready to give up on it. I am trying not to because I toldmy brother and sister that I would be there for them day or night. If they cant give up, neither can I. It's so hard using past tense for her. I feel like that means all hope is lost and she is gone forever.  I cant let go of the small hope this is the worst nightmare ever and I just cant wake up. I cry at night because the nightmare happened. I cfy when I wake because the nightmare is still happening. I just cant believe she is gone and this was the plan all along. 
    I regret not seeing the signs or not understanding what they meant. I thought it would be someone else. I never thought it would be her. I have reached out to one person. She lets me cry. She sits in silence. She talks and lets me be silent. She shows kindness and is thd only person I have honestly and fully answered the question of how I am doing. But I have been relying on her for the last few weeks anf that is unfair to her. I know I am a lot without yhis and eith this I am emotional overload as I can get stuck in a thought and not let go. I appreciate her more than she could ever know or imagine. So I will give her a break. At some point I will have to learn to handle these feelings on my own. 
    If I could rewind to Dec 2020 and stop the things that led to this, I would. I would stop the strokes. Then she wouldnt need someone at her home 24hrs a day. She wouldnt need physical and occupational therapy. COVID wouldnt have found its aay into her home and into her system. She would still be here giving me hell about talkjng to her granddaughter.  I could ask her what dhe wanted for Mothrr's day and her birthday and she would give the same line, I dont want anything. And like always last minute she would think of something she wanted. And the 3 of us would make it happen.
    I just dont know how I am supposed to continue. How are we suppose to go through her things and erase her presence from the world? Like how does the sun still rise and fall like my entire world didnt just fall apart 2 weeks ago? How does the world not stop and try to fix what is now broken? 
    And in dealing with this, the other things come up and I just cant process it all right now. I am failing her again because she cant be proud. But I cant easily block this out. I cant easily pretend that this didnt happen and continue life like normal. So I am admitting, I am struggling and need some help.
  6. aperson
    I have 4 days until my mother's services and every day is like a rollercoaster. It doesnt take but a small thing to send me ready to cry like a big baby. I know that grief is a process but I dont know that I fully expected this. The closer it gets the more irritated and annoyed I get by just about everyone and every thing. Sad part is i feel like I am in a battle between supporting her husband and her siblings on what they want/expect. They are not that fond of him because he doesnt really tolerate their nonesense. Her husband and my siblings have worked very well together in getting things taken care of and ensuring that we give her the best that we can during COVID. It isnt what we would want but it as close as possible. My aunts felt like they were being left out so I talked to them all individually. I explained how their behaviour affected us when she was in the hospital and we just wanted to get things done. I also explained that we are here to support he husband too because he is technically her next of kin and the only person that has to make any decisions. They all said we are here to support you all (my siblings not her husband). That is fine just know we are supporting him. I thought that would be then end. I even let slide the hurtful things one of them said in regards my care for my mother before her death. Trying to be the bigger person and knowing my mom and I have talked about this and she asked me to not go off on any of them. Again, i thought it was good but I thought wrong.
    When the her husband and my siblings talked about what we wanted to see for her services we knew 2 things. We wanted to have a viewing for those who didnt get a chance to say goodbye like we did. We also knew that my mom wanted to be cremated. My brother also wanted a burial of her ashes because he wanted a place to go to and pay respects instead of just having an urn. No problem. We also agreed that due to her kidney failure causing a significant amount of swelling in her body, we didnt want a viewing where she didnt look like herself. The funeral home assured us that wouldnt be an issue but her husband said I just need to see her beforehand. I wasnt worried but if that is what he wanted then I would go along with it. I understand where he is coming from. My aunts on the other hand couldnt get past that. Last week, we had a discussion with all of them to let them know the plans and covered the viewing. he again reiterated his stance. At the end of that call we were on the same page. We also discussed not having a repass because of COVID, we couldnt meet inside and we could not be assured about the preparing of the food. Sounds good, right?
    Fast forward 2 days late, I receive a text message from one aunt. She proceeded to ask about the viewing again. I told her what we already agreed to on the last call which is fair. She proceeded to say that it isnt fair to her kids or grandkids or anyone else that they cant view her. Then she proceeded to ask if he was on her life insurance policy becuase then it wouldnt matter what he thought. Ummmm maam not that it is any of your business but he is. He last text to me that day as I had then stopped responding was that there would be a viewing if she had to pay for it herself. Oh? So just screw anybody else and do what you want? Got it. I proceeded to my uncle's to pick up some flowers. My uncle then tells me that everything is set for the repass and we will do it in his church's parking lot and all the food will be pre-packaged. The look on my face probably gave my thoughts away. I asked him who decided on that? He says the sisters called him to set it up. Oh so when were you all going to inform us? The day of? Oh ok. He says it is ok, right? and I told him does it matter since you all have decided and it is all set up? Does it really matter what we think? he started to explain why he thought it was a good idea. Well, sir guess that is that and I left. Mind you I had already spoken with 2 of the sisters that same day and neither mentioned it.
    Then another sister called to confirm that she had the posters ordered and she just needed the money. Cool, sent it to her via CashApp and we are done. She asked me another question about what colors we were going to wear because the siblings had decided to wear all black and red flowers. I said we hadnt discussed color coordinating. I guess that wasnt the right answer because she said ok girl bye and hung up. After the conversation with her and the conversation with her sister about visitation I was done. I put my phone on do not disturb except my siblings and her husband. I was done with them for the time being. This was all before seeing the brother and hearing about the repass.
    My brother and sister said they werent going to any repass because it isnt about the dinner it was about them deciding for themselves and no input from anyone else. We then move on and I slowly find things that I just dont like. One sibling calling the funeral home to discuss and add charges to the bill without asking us about it. Or she was making arrangements regarding my mom's viewing and flowers that we were paying for. Then there was the obituaries. I told them they had full range to create them and while I didnt want to see it, the others did. So what happened, they made the programs and sent to funeral home with no one else having seen them except them. So we dont even know what pics were used in these programs. Then there was today. The same aunt called to say the person that was going to do her wig wasnt comfortable doing it n a deceased person. I am ok with that and prepared for that with a wig that my mom used and was made by this person so I knew it would work. She says well let me see it so I can see what it looks like. I simply replied ok. She said do you have it or you have to go get it. I said I have it with me. She said well just bring it by and I will wash and condition it. I replied it is ok. I will take a look at it and then take it to them. Again, wrong answer I guess because she said well s ince you have a problem bringing it to me then just send me a picture bye. Have I sent the picture? Nope. Am I going to send her one? Nope.
    I keep telling them they have a take over spirit. If you allow them in once, then they feel like that is carte blanch to take over every and anything. So no, I wont be doing any of that and if I really want to, I can go buy a new one for her. I felt bad before about always saying my mom when talking to them because I understand how that can sound. But i dont any more. I think they have forgotten that she is my mom and they get really no say so in any decisions. This is why we had to have a security code added at the hospital because they couldnt stay in their lane. If I had my say they never would have been jincluded on a phone call but her usband is trying to be nice. He knows how they feel about him and he is just trying to make sure that they dont feel abandoned in the process but the truth is, they are and they should be. they dont understand or respect boundaries at all.  So i am no longer responding to any of them. I dont have the patience to do it any longer. I feel like I am trying because my mom would want me to but I cant. They have already said in their actions that we dont matter and one in their words that we were not good enough to take care of my mom in the first place. This would be prior to her being diagnosed with COVID. and yes the exact words were, I could have done a better job than you.
    You see I have guilt about that already. I already felt like I didnt do enough when she got sick so for her to say that was hurtful. i apologize to my mom every day several times a day from the moment she was admitted in the hospital to today. I will always hold that guilt even though my siblings and her husband have said differently. i will apologize to my mom until the day i die and when I see her again, I will apologize to her for eternity. I just am no longer willing to be at their demand of what they want. They have gone so far as to discuss the balance and cost of the funeral even though they are not chipping in one red cent despite their early insistance that they would. Hell, the one who called aobut the posters didnt even contribute to that and it was just 130.00. again, i was prepared to pay that and was already aware of what the cost would be from my own research beforehand. But if it were my sister, I wouldnt have asked for the money from either of them. I would have gotten the posters done and paid for and moved on. Why? That is my sister and if I have the funds to help out in her untimely death, i am going to do so. And it isnt really about the money, it is about respect. How would they like it if I called someone they had a contract with and discussed the provisions of that contract? 
    After the services, I am done. These are the ladies I called my other moms but they are just proving that really isnt the case. They owuld have never treated anyone else in this fashion and neither would I. I may talk about it amongst myself but I would never go behind their backs and do what i wanted because that is what I wanted. I even now have a text form one explaining why they did the repass. it will get no reply because they obviously dont understand the disappointment and cant even when explained to them. After the services, if her husband wants to go, I will support him but none of those people really care about supporting him or us. They have their own plans and intentions and I dont have to be a part of that. I wont be reaching out to them for assistance on anything after the fact. I wont be calling to check up on them. at this point we need separation so they can continue to do their own thing while we continue to do our own thing. i still love them and if something were to happen to them I will be there but in the appropriate support role because I respect their kids and tose that have spouses, their spouses too much to step outside my place.
    It is almost like I cant grieve appropriately for my mom becuase I am fighting daily battles with them. It is turning into anger and bitterness. They still forget that I am a whole grown adult with nearly half a century on this earth. My father keeps telling me I am wrong but on the same breath will say I dont have to do everything they say. Talk about mixed signals. For now, I am keeping my distance until Saturday when I have no choice but to be in attendance. Rant over (I hope)
  7. aperson
    TRIGGER WARNING FOR DEATH/GRIEF
     
     
    My mother is gone and it is so hard to believe that right now. She went peacefully with her kids and husband by her side. We held on to the hope that additional treatment would give her time to heal her body but when we saw her in person, we realized that the only thing that was keeping her here were the machines that were breathing for her. I have so many conflicting emotions about that and a lot of guilt about how I handled the situation from the time she was ill until we got her treatment. My mind tells me I did all that I could to get her to go but my heart says I could have done so much more.
    When I think back to the first day she wasnt feeling well, and what I did to try and help her I allowed myself to relax. She was running a fever for just a day but the next day she was ok and I thought it is just a cold. She is up a bit more and moving around and she is eating something. But the next day she declined again. It was the weekend and I couldnt get her to the dr and she was refusing to go to the ER. I regret that so much. I can usually get her to go but because it was just fatigue and she had been feeling that way to some extent since her strokes she blew it off. When it got worse I did get her to ER on Monday but they sent her home. She wasnt sick enough then. When Tues came she said she felt worse but she wanted to wait for her dr followup the next day. I should have gotten her to go then.
    After she was gone, her sisters kind of expressed how they felt left out of the process. Individually I talked to them. I needed them to see where we were coming from especially with the whole take her her phone so she can hear our voices. As it turned out, the hospital wouldnt have even allowed it because of her state of mind when admitted and because she was later sedated. We attempted to get a phone to her for another reason and they declined stating they didnt want to be held responsible for it. It also turned out to be a good thing because eventually the hospital said they would allow us to FaceTime her but they only had an iPad. My mother was the only one locally that had an Apple product. I use to tease her about being the only one for so long but I guess she knew what she was doing. Because she did that, it was the only way until the last day that we could have talked to her and seen her. I think the only thing that hurt me in my talks with my aunts is that one said she was upset with me because I told her she couldnt come down and help take care of her. I recall the conversation right after y mom's 2nd stroke and what I heard and what she meant were 2 different things. Mama would say if she is ok then they dont need to come down for a day to lay eyes on her and see for themselves. That is how I took my aunt's request. She just wanted to see for herself. It wasnt made clear that she wanted to come and assist with after-care. But the thing that hurt was that she said she could have done a better job than I. That stung. It was honest of her but it hurt. It hurt because they didnt trust us and it hurt because I already felt like I hadnt done enough. There is one thing about feeling like you failed. It is another for someone to confirm that you failed. I dont think I will ever tell them that I feel that way ling before they thought it. I just pray that my mom knows we only did what we knew how to do and to the limits we felt we could take it without pushing her away from us. My aunts never have to know that I agree that I failed her in the situation that mattered the most.
    We jsut never thought this would be us. All 3 of us in our early and mid-40s and our mom gone at 61. Every waking thought is filled with her. Every non-waking thought is of her. If I am not actively doing a task I am crying or trying not to cry. Being in her home is painful. Being around her siblings is painful. Being on Facebook which is the only social media she has is painful. Talking to her friends is painful. I know that it is still knew. it has been almost 48 hours since she passed away and it is all just too much as the days go on. The closer we get to it, the less I want to have anything to do with it. I just want to call the whole thing off and tell them we will hold a private ceremony with my siblings and her spouse to get her buried. But I also realize that is extremely selfish of me and just part of my emotions  on how to try and handle this without a full nervous breakdown. Every day is some little thing that some one needs to know for something. I no longer want to have to make these decisions. I just want to see a final draft and give stamp of approval.
    It is hard just processing what I am feeling aside from sadness and guilt. Trying to console other people is hard. Trying to comfort myself is hard. Finding a reason to not curl in a ball for the rest of y days is hard. Eating and drinking is hard. Sleeping is useless. I go to bed crying and I wake up crying. And then there are those random moments you think you will be ok but some little thing comes up and I am crying. Today's first little thing was what to put her name down as on the programs and the plot. Yesterday it was seeing my aunt. No reason that these things should have been a problem but they were/are. There will be another. Many of my family have changed their profile pic on social media to her alone or her with them. Those are painful and I am limiting my time on there. I want to thank everyone who has offered their support but there are no words that I have to express that and I just cant say it. There is nothing wrong iwth it but I just cant put that in writing. 
    I have her cell phone. I want to call it but she didnt put her voice on her voicemail. I have a voicemail from her 2 days before she went in hospital. I listened once and cried but I cant delete it because of how weak she sounded. I dont know how I am supposed to do any of this. There is so much I hope she knew that I never got a chance to say. There is so much I should have told her but didnt because of my own pride and ego. She has her first grandchild on the way and she will never get to see and hold him and he will never get to know how much she loved him even though she never saw him. 
    This just not real. I keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare but that never happens. I wish that someone was playing a very cruel joke and she would call but that hasnt happened either. I would be pissed but to know she is still here and doing ok I would forgive them. None of that seems to be happening. Every day that goes by just cements that this is life now. Somehow we are supposed to go on living life without one of the most important people in our lives. I dont know how that is possible. 
    I am tired. My eyes are puffy and red fro crying all the time. I am trying to keep strong for the rest but even that is starting to falter. I prayed for her to be well. I negotiated me for her. I begged her to keep fighting. I begged God to help her. I promised that I would be a better person if she could remain here to live the rest of her life. All rejected.  People always ask how are you and it seems like the stupidest question ever. The dont really want to hear the truth. They just want to hear I am ok. Then they can continue in their own grief. So I give them what they need to feel like they have helped in some way knowing that it is a lie but there is nothing they can do to help. Unless they can bring her back.  
  8. aperson
    My mama is still in the hospital in serious condition on the ventilator. Some days are good and others seem like just one more thing going wrong. The pneumonia is still present but slowly declining. Then there are the other things like fluctuating blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar. Then there is the monitoring of her kidneys which are also declining. She has been on a ventilator  for 8 days now. These are the most nerve wracking 8 days ever. 
    I havent heard her voice in 11 days. We did get to see her 1 day. It was hard seeing her connected to all those tubes. I kept watching her breathing because at the time I knew they hard reduced the ventilator down and she was having to do some of the work to breathe. It was so irregular. A few quick shallow breaths then nothing and then deeper breathe which was machine doing the work. We all talked to her and did our normal sibling playful banter. Inside I wanted to cry. When she opened her eyes and turned toward us I hoped she would fight the meds and just look at us and half smile.
    She isnt gone but I sometimes feels like I am grieving.  I get angry at the disease that put her there. I cry because I know the chances of survival are lower. I say I miss her mostly to myself. I have bargained with God. Next moment I have full faith that she will survive this. Then there is the thing I wont tell anyone. I am afraid that if I say it or write it, it will come true and I cant handle that.
    At night and early morning seems the hardest. Possibly because those are times I call the hospital to check on her. I have had just a couple of nights I slept through the night and was asleep before 2am. I wake a few times in the night and when I do, I just want to call up there. Then I cry quietly and hope I can get back to sleep. 
    Right now, I feel sad. I feel like it is my fault she is where she is. I didn't force her to go to hospital sooner. I should have. When she stayed asleep the 2nd day, I should have forced her to go. If she dies they will blame me. And secretly I would agree with them. I dont know how she got it. I spent a lot of time with her and was very up close but I still tested negative. I wish I knew where she got it.
    I just want her to be ok. I want her to recover. I want things to go back to the way they were a month ago. 
  9. aperson
    I have been trying to make a post for almost a week about where I am mentally and emotionally at this point and I just haven't been successful. So maybe I start from the last entry and see where this goes.....
    I have been taking on the care for my mom since Feb. She wasnt incapable of caring for herself but she definitely needed assistance. The last stroke affected her mentally and physically more than before. She needed assistance to walk and comb her hair. She wasnt capable of fixing a full meal but could make toast, or a quick sandwich and she could do things that would allow her to sit and do them. But she did need reminders on taking her meds and what meds to take and when. The biggest issue for her is that she didnt just bounce back like she wanted and that was starting to cause her some depression. I always reminded her that this one required her to take her time. She isnt a burden to us and we always got her back. But about 2 weeks ago she started to take a downturn. she began sleeping more, like all day. At first I thought it was depression but later the first day I felt her and she was burning up. I took her temp and she was running a pretty high fever. I got it down with a little persuasion with fever reducer and cold compresses. The following day she was still sleeping but not eating and no more temp. I thought maybe a cold. She hasnt gone out anywhere but I do go outside and at the time we were dealing with some really cold temps. Over the weekend she kept getting weaker and not eating except applesauce with her meds. I knew I would contact her dr on Monday to see when she could get her in. I did call the dr and it just so happened her physical therapist also came by. Even though she was in no shape to do the therapy she wanted to check her. She felt the same as I and also contact the dr for next steps.
    When the dr followed up he wanted her to go to an urgent care. My mom had 1 other virtual dr appt that day with her endocrinologist. When that was over I got her ready to go. On the way her dr called back and said give all the reports from the dr and the PT she wanted her to go to the ER instead. Mama wasnt happy but she went. We then found out she had COVID. My heart sank. My mom was already an at risk patient with the strokes but she also has diabetes so that just made it worse and one reason that we have stayed in and away from people. Because she wasnt in a critical state the ER sent her home and her dr followed up with more instructions including getting a pulse oximeter to monitor her oxygen. I got it and that evening her oxygen was dropping with her activities. But when she was still it was in an acceptable range. Because of this she refused to go to ER. So I did what I could to keep her comfortable but I knew she was not getting ay better. But we had another virtual visit with her dr for the next day as an ER follow-up. I knew what the dr would say. but that evening on Tues was rough. My mama cried off and on all night. She was not comfortable and in pain. She wasnt resting well. I just needed to get her to the follow-up so the dr could convince her. When the dr did see her it was completely what I expected. She said you need to get her in an ambulance. I told her she would need to convince my mom of that because she isnt going until the dr says she has to. nd that is what happened Wed afternoon. EMSA came and took her off to the ER. No visitors because she is COVID positive. Cant even go to waiting room because we have been exposed. 
    And here is where the battle started. My mom was in no condition to have her phone that day. So her husband and I kept it until we knew she was better. I spoke with her sisters and explained this to them and they were all ok. The dr called on Wed to get background info because  my mama was completely out of it. He then said that she showed signs of slight pneumonia and that she was in diabetic ketoacidosis. Basically her blood sugar was so high it was turning her blood acidic. I told him that was not the case less than 12 hrs ago and wasnt even close to it. I told him I had not checked her blood sugar that day but she was in so much pain it made it hard to. He said she will go to COVID ICU for her diabetes and they would continue to monitor the pneumonia. I gave everyone an update about this. As we get to day 2 of her hospital stay the nurse and dr say her blood sugar is back to normal but her mind is still out of it and the pneumonia is advancing.  Another heart drop for me. They also said she appeared to have anxiety and was agitated and pulling off the little bit of oxygen they were giving her. I told the nurses she has never been to hospital let alone ICU without someone there with her all day to offer support. She was probably feeling that because she wasnt really aware of where she was or what was happening and there was no family allowed so she couldnt see a familiar face. Mama and I had discussed before she went to the hospital how scared she was. She felt like she was going to die or that the hospital wouldnt be able to save her. I spent a couple of nights assuring her that we wouldnt let that happen and would stay on them about her and make sure they did everything to help her. I understood why she felt that way given her prior conditions and how serious this one had become. Anyway, her husband and I felt that when she was more aware and could operate a phone. That would help her feel better when they got her coherent. 
    Well her siblings, specifically her sisters were not liking the idea they couldnt talk to her. It started very simple with trying to force me to take her phone up there to her. I knew from talking to the nurses she was in no condition to talk to anyone or operate a phone. I tell them this much but it doesnt seem to be enough to convince them. I got a message that it is beneficial for her which I agree but they 'suggested' I take the phone up there. No me being me I just replied hear you. But they couldnt see that was my I am done with this response. So I got back a message that said basically take her the phone. So I respond with I understand but dont you think we have considered these things. Been thinking about it since when she was admitted but she is incapable of answering a phone let alone holding a convo. Plus everyone calling up there when they feel like it is a disturbance and can only agitate her more increasing her anxiety. My polite way of saying still not doing it.  Well these crazy people (not what I called them at the time) decided they would just call the hospital themselves. They called to try and get details on her condition, speak with the dr and to get the nurse to take her the phone so they could talk to her. When the nurse told me I laughed and then apologized to her. You see it isnt the first time they have tried this which is why my mama specifically listed myself and her husband as the only people to get her medical info. The first time they tried they were going to transfer her to a hospital across the country because they thought the dr wasnt treating her right. Little did they know that she was the one not following orders. It was when she first found out she was diabetic about 8 yrs ago. She has been totally insulin dependent from the start but she was not taking the insulin when she should and she didnt modify her diet. To the hospital she went. 
    Anyway, the nurse nor dr provided them with the info and they told them that no she cannot talk mainly because she cannot talk. She cant hold the phone to answer it and she wouldnt be able to hold a conversation in any way. She cant even tell you if she is in pain or cold. Since that didnt work (mind you one is a former nurse so she knew it wouldnt work) they decided another way. They went to her husband to have him add one of them as authorized people. He asked me and I said my mama wouldnt want that. She didnt want that which is why they never have been. He said you are right and didnt do it. There is a reason they went to him and not me because I would have said no and ignored anything else. By Friday of last week, mama's condition was getting worse. The pneumonia was advancing and she was requiring more and more oxygen to keep her oxygen levels up. Now my mama is stubborn. She hates thing over her face. So when they had her on the oxygen through her nose, she would rip it out. Nurse said ok let's do the mask. Foolish nurse because she took the mask off too. Oh and she would try to get out of bed. They had to put her in restraints in order to keep her still. Internally I know she was pissed at them but it kept her from taking mask off. But even with that and giving her anti-anxiety meds she was getting to the point that she needed the ventilator to get the oxygen at the right levels. The nurse and I talked about this Friday and she was certain that Saturday would be the day. Well my aunts heard this and decided that they needed to come down and hold a prayer vigil in the hospital parking lot. Cool let's do it. Saturday morning my mom is put on ventilator. I reach out to the aunts in the afternoon to see what time they are going because of course I want to go but my nephews are in town because they are having a small baby shower for our town's people and I need to go to that as well. The time comes for the vigil, 2pm. My sister gets there first and said when she got there the first thing they said was did you bring the phone. She said um no I dont think she did. the looks of disgust they had lol. My sister was done with them. When I get there no one mentions it except my sister. Apparently while I was driving they sent the message of should you bring her phone. Good thing I didnt see it because she is fully sedated so the answer is a Heck NO. But we do the prayers and I am preparing to leave and my eldest aunt says we are going to get her a phone and take it to her. I said nothing. Again I dont care about their need for a phone and contact. I leave and come back later with my nieces, nephews and my siblings. We do our own thing. In the middle of that I get a message  from an unknown number that this is how I can contact my mama. Ummm, excuse me? My blood was boiling. Her husband called me to say he offered them a conference call with him and the nurse to ask whatever they wanted and he would do the evening check-in. Great you do that and let me know. But then he saw the text and he flipped. we were both done. I went to my car angriest I have been in months and then I went off. Apparently my nieces and nephews never seen that side of me but they didnt know what was going on. I told my sister I was going home. My head hurt, my blood pressure was probably through the roof and I couldnt take anything else. I needed to decompress before I completely lost control.
    At the end of Saturday, her husband had raced to the hospital, blocked any access except me an him from anyone. So much so the hospital will deny she is a patient. Well that ticked them off and no word from them for remainder of the night or Sunday. I had to let it go. I remove myself from any conversations that look like they talking about bringing her a phone. I must stay well for my siblings and the grandkids and her husband. He is older but sometimes he doesnt understand and doesnt really ask. I did get a call yesterday from the youngest aunt who had her own list of things we must do moving forward. My response was a simple ok. Those kinds of decisions should be discussed with my mama and her husband and I can tell you neither of them take kindly to other people's demands either. My sister said when my mama wake up she is going to cuss her sisters out. I told her I wont be relaying any of these events to her while she is still healing and I hope they dont either because she needs to be focused on her recovery. The frivolity of those conversations are just that and she needs no additional stress. Our intentions were to never hold any information from her siblings but we had to do what we felt was best to make sure she got the rest and care she needed without being bothered all the time by people with good intentions. They received all information good or bad or no change everyday in great detail. They never asked any question that I hadnt thought of and covered in my texts to them. I knew this hospital had a plan in place in case the situation was terminal that would allow a visitor. If we needed to allow people to communicate then we would have someone physically there to help with that. 
    But as of today all is calm in my soul. Well, at least how I deal with them. My mama is started to get reduced from the ventilator so she can start breathing on her own and maintaining her oxygen level. I know that is a process but I pray every day that she improves no matter how big or small those steps are. Because aside from the drama with my aunts, we are all trying to deal with this. We are all trying to remain positive and be strong for someone else, our siblings or the kids or just so someone has a level head about them. I will not lie. I cried every day from a few days before she was diagnosed with COVID until yesterday when we finally got a decent report from the nurse. As the oldest child, I have been tagged to update all the family and that can be tiring. My mom has 3 living sisters and 3 living brothers. That does not include friends and her first cousins or my elder cousins. Before I could give them updates, I would cry for about 5 mins. Only then could I gather myself to send them what wasnt the best news every day, 2 times a day. Sometimes I think that people who are supposed to be your biggest support system forget that. Like I am here if you want to talk but this has to be equal ground. There are situations not in your control and you must learn to accept that and how to move forward with no control. I had to learn that lesson with some other situations with my siblings and it was a hard thing to do but I had to. Luckily, I did have support outside of them. Her husband has been great. He asks my opinion but I always let him know he has the final say as her spouse and I will go along with it whether I agree or not. I also have 1 friend who has been a great support for me. I probably worked her nerves as much as I work the nurses nerves but those late night texts, the virtual car ride alongs were good. I could express myself or just be silent and not have that offend anyone else.
    The question I always dreaded was the how are you doing. Now dont get me wrong, it is a normal question to ask but the truth is 99% never really want to know the real answer.  What it inevitability meant is they wanted to tell you their hurt was greater than yours. Or there are the times they used it to try and manipulate the situation to affect your decisions. Or they really dont care at all but they have to ask. One of my uncles asked me how I was doing and I said ok. He then asked if I took the COVID test. Now I had already told them I had and would have my results before the weekend which I did. I then appeared with all of them at the hospital. If I were positive do you think I would have been out and about with others potentially exposing them? It didnt make sense to me so I didnt answer. I may have still been a little angry from the previous day as well lol but still. If there was a concern on me being positive then you shouldnt have been within 6 ft of me and we were on more than 1 occasion that day. Then there were the questions of how she got it. The honest answer is we have no clue and may never know the answer. In the entire time I was there my mom had 2 visitors aside from her nurse and she approved those visitors. None of them tested positive either.
    This has been one of the hardest times to deal with. My grandmother's death and staying by her side while she transitioned is the other one. I never want to go through either of these again and I hope that if I am in the support role in the future I look back on both of these events and remember how I felt and can do what I wish others had done for me. I still have fears because I know this virus is crazy and things can change in a second but I also remember that mama will fight. Her body may initially betray her but her desire and faith are what she uses to hold on and not give up. I cannot wait until I can see her face and ultimately hear her voice. Soon we will do that and I will breath easier and sleep more peacefully. The recovery is going to be a long road but we are here for it.
     
  10. aperson
    I thought being a caregiver for my mom after 2 strokes, a seizure and watching her diabetes would be simple. I take care of her needs and get her to her appointments and make sure she takes her meds and gets her home health physical and occupational therapy done. I watch for signs of her diabetes acting up and signs of another stroke. It's hard but simple, right? What I didn't expect is theneedto handle her mental health.
    I mean, I barely know how to manage my own mental health, how do I manage hers. And I saw the signs forming. Even during her hospital and rehab for 2 weeks, I saw it. The longer she stayed and the less answers the could provide, she was starting to falter. Now that she is home, she isn't just bouncing back and the new meds keep her tired. The more she wants to be back to normal, the less she is. So how do I help her with that? She doesn't have stamina to be out for longer than 30 mins and physically she cannot walk more than 5 ft without being fatigued so taking her places is out of the question. Plus we are in the middle of a potential winter storm so we cant go out and no one can come by. So what do I do? I am working during the week and her husband works overnights. 
    I don't know how to do this part. I am a fixer but I cant fix this. They didn't show me how to handle her emotional health but people tell you how to manage mine as a caregiver. I dont know what to do. And I am trying not to let it show but it is starting to show. I watch her closer. I sleep for as little as I can especially at night. I can feel myself getting helpless to care for her needs. Because I am her child she doesnt feel comfortable confiding in me that way but I know and I see it and I feel like my hands are tied.
    I need to figure out my next steps or she will not recover well.
  11. aperson

    Life
    My mother has had another stroke/TIA. They are not sure why. She now has a pronounced limp with her left leg. And at this point I will probably need to move in with her so she has care while her husband is working.
    At this point I am just scared. If they dont know the cause, how many more episodes will she have before a major stroke? Just terrified and no one else can know. 
  12. aperson

    Life
    So this is one of those times that I really wish I was completely different type of person. Instead of sheltering everything inside, I wish I let everything out. Well at least most things. Right now I feel anxiety swelling up but there is no one to reach out to. I shelter so much of myself that I have shut the world out and people I have known for years.
    Now there is no one to reach out to and say I need a safer space. No one to reach out to and say I am not ok. No one to reach out to and say can you just sit while I try and process these feelings that I cant verbalize. 
    Dec has always been a difficult time of year. This year proved no different. 2 weeks before Christmas, I receive a call from my mama. She sounds off. Her speech is slurred and broken. She believes she has had a stroke and says I dont need to come over. If she didnt have a stroke she had definitely lost her mind saying that. She tells me her symptoms which includes decreased functionality on her right side. Inside I panic. So I check to see if she is tired. She is a diabetic and has a history of diabetic ketoacidosis.  Some symptoms are the same but she gets extremely tired. She says no. I am awake and alert since 9am. It is now 11am. Not DKA. Is it possible my 62 yr old mother had a stroke? Internal panic. Strokes can be deadly. How long she been this way? I got to tell my boss. Should I call ambulance? I got to go. So I tell her well I need to finish a few things and I will call you in 20 mins and hang up. 20 mins my butt. I message my boss, throw on some clothes and head there.
    I call her while driving to see if anything changed. It hadnt. Still the same. Lord please dont let me get stopped for speeding. While talking to her I let her know I am 10 mins out and if sge had stroke we are going to ER. She said no, let's call my dr. Lady are you freaking crazy?! Call your dr for what? To meet us at ER? Yes mama we can call but I think they will agree to go to ER.
    I am there and start to access her. She is moving slowly and with a limp. Is the right side of he face drooping a little? Mama can you smile? Yep there is a droop. I call her dr whose nurse said go to ER. My mother says I have to fix my hair. Mama no one cares what you look lik. Dont she know time is of the essence. She wont go without her hair combed. Fine. Let me do it then.
    Finally, we are on the road. Lord dont let anything happen while we are driving. Lord let this all be ok and we are wrong. I know what happens with DKA. ER is packed. All these people cant be sick enough for ER. I explain to checkin nurse and they wheel her back immediately. An eternity goes by, well like 20 mins , and they say you can come with her. We will take her for CT scan in a few. Sure enough they come and she is back in 5 mins flat. Then we wait. And wait and wait. 9hrs. That's how long before a room was available. So I guess she wasn't serious enough. 10 mins and dr does assessment. He says we also believe you had a stroke but not sure of cause. Good thing is there is no bleeding. I guess that explains the 9hr wait. He says you will be staying with us for a few while we try to determine cause and treatment and monitor you. Lord please dont let there be a 9hr wait for a bed. 90 mins later she is in ICU. She explains that she has had symptoms since 4am. WTH?!? I want to fuss at her but dont. If she is as scared as I am it wont help. Both dr and I notice her speech isnt as slurred but she still has to think about how to say a word. Her weakness on right is still present but stronger now. The droop in her face is visible but not as crooked. Her body is recovering. She spends the next  4 days at hospital showing progress.  The cause is a blood clot possibly cause by atrial fibrillation. It isnt constant as never showed up in hospital. Physical therapy and speech therapy needed. Of course blood thinners as well.
    So that should be the end, no. The dr advises that although this was mild the likelihood of another in 90 days was high. Excuse me sir? So she could have a bigger one soon? That is when the anxiety set in. She cant be alone for awhile. Not just because of that but she is still unstable on her feet.  So I send my niece to stay with her until Christmas Eve. I tell her what to look out for. She already knows what to look out for on her diabetes. Now she knows for a stroke. My mother is married but her husband works nights. So do I need to move in for a few days? She doesnt want me there but I may need to. She is not going to take Life Alert bracelet. She also diesnt want me to move in because she wants to be independent. So I am giving her leeway. But I am internally panicking everytime she calls.  Does she sound ok? Why she didnt answer my call? Why she not answering my text? She got 10 mins then I am going over there.
    This is my daily battle on top of everything else. And right now I just want to cry those feelings away with a safe person in a safe place. I have the place but not the person so it looks more pathetic than anything. For now, it will hve to do.
  13. aperson

    The process
    I didnt know you have panic attacks and remain sleep. What the heck is that? 
    So here I am sleeping what I thought was peacefully. I am in a dream. For some reason I have left home and taken in by another family.  The are kind and have kids already of their own. I asked the mother a questiin that at this moment I cant think of. The answer given was one that suggested that was not my real question. I am confused like yes it's what I want to know. The mother says to call her back when I am no longer afraid to say what I really want. I am lost. I go outside to thibk and approach the father. The mother has told him what happened and he agrees with his wife. I am still slightly confused by both because I dont get it. He continues to look at me and then proceeds to hug me. Innocent enough right?
    This hug however set a question in my mind. That question instantly lead to me trying to escape his touch. I hear myself saying let me go and dont touch me. I run form him. No desitnation in mind. I run into a few other men who caught me running down a hill and they touch me and boom...panic attack. The family finds me still in the grasp of one man. The father cgasing him away and the proceed to try and calm me. I didnt aeake until I wasnt hyperventilating and we were on the way home to talk about things.
    The thing is I felt this attack but didnt wake up until it was over.  I could hear my breathing as it is now with a little congestion. I could feel my heartbeat. It was racing. My body was shaking. If it wasnt real it was too close to real. When I woke due to a ringing phone, I could still feel the panic inside. What I lost is the question that apparently want to know the answer to. Like will this question and answer be the beginning of the path I want to be on? Is it my key to finally release mysrlf from jail?
  14. aperson

    The process
    When I heard about people healing from trauma, they made it sound like a journey with an end. You reflected and learned and grew as a person. You learned forgiveness and healthier habits. What they didnt say or I never heard, is that healing is ongoing. It begins from the moment the trauma ends until the day you die. 
    I never heard them say that even when you think you have made it past the large hurdles, hurdles pop up all the time. Sometimes they are small. They show in the form of brief triggers that you work through. They show up in larger hurdles that are sometime unexpected. You have a nightmare that triggers a flashback that spirals you into a hole. Sometimes it is brief other times it lasts for days. I wasnt prepared for that.
    I thought at the beginning of this I would get counseling and get healed. When that didnt work I thought I am just not ready to get past the trauma. So years later I tried again and failed again. No sweat right? Keep going. Third time is the charm? Yeah it's not going so well either. In many ways I think this time is worse. The steps I took to grow seem to be falling to the waste side. I actually think there is more regression than progression now. Not quite what I bought in to. 
    So I battle with keeping it up or just giving up. I am not prepared for a lifetime and am still hoping for the magic they told me about before. I stopped thinking it would be a year or 2 and am ok with a 5 year plan. What I have not come to terms with is a til I die plan. I am not sure my sanity can handle that battle. I am not prepared for having peace and then fighting battles with it. That feels like it where I am now except there is no peace. Every day is a battle to control the thoughts and urges. A lot of the times I lose. I am tired of losing.
    Not sure what to do now. I guess I have to come to terms with this before I do anything else. Just not sure how or where to start. 
  15. aperson

    Venting
    I blocked him years ago. So why is he on a new page trying again? We havent talked or seen each other in over 10 years. Nothing has changed. I dont want to see him in person or virtually!! I dont ask about him and I will never ask about him!! The only thoughts I have about him are about what he did to me. Family or not, I dont need or want him in life! Stay in the shadows you sick m*****f*****!!! I am blocking your a** again! Leave me alone! I hate the fact that we are even related and I am close to one of your sisters and her kids and grandkids. I wish I could erase your presence from my life!! And that pisses me off because I cant. You haunt my past but you are not allowed to be a part of my present or future. Go back to the pits of hell you have been in or wherever the f*** you have been. I didnt send for you. You are not forgiven! You will never be forgiven! 
  16. aperson
    So I have been trying to write this for a few days now. I dont know if it is fully shame or shame and embarrassment but I dont get to far. It starts off as a rambling mess of excuses and apologies to anyone who may read it. And here I am again going down that path. Maybe I should just start somewhere. 
    I have struggled a long time regarding consent and non-consent in my past. While I understand the very young me couldnt provide either the older me could. The problem is I didnt. I have never verbally said No, Stop. For a long time I understood that to mean consent. It meant that I wanted it although I couldnt ask for it. It meant that I led the situation to this end. I led him on whether that was through non-verbal queues or by showing affection and being intimate without sex. Throughout my teenage years and through additional experiences I felt this must be true. As I listened to people discuss various aspects of sexual assaults, I learned that majority of people who would hear my synopsis would feel the same way. I laughed too hard. I kissed him for longer than I should. I had him at my home without my parents there. I went without resisting. I walked a certain way. I talked a certain way. I was alone with them longer than allowed. I placed so much shame on myself for what I saw as my role in what happened.
    As I got a bit older and found myself in a situation where I actually consented, I began to questikn what consent looks like. When I did consent, it looked much the same but the way I felt during was different. I am not sure I can explain that fully but the internal fear was there but in a different way. I was fearful because of what I knew could happen but not fearful of what I wanted to happen. I wanted to replace a good experience to replace the bad ones. I wanted to be with this person. That experience had me questioning what non-consent looks like. The sad part is it can look the same as consent but feels way different. For many it is actual verbal queues and outward physical resistance. But for many more, like myself, it is a nonverbal queue. It is being physically present but not mentally present. It is not being a participant in an act that I should be. It is not fight or flight response. It is a I just need to not make this situation worse response. It is a if I can just get past this moment then I can avoid them every moment after this. It is if I make a scene or report it someone will think I did this on purpose and ruining someone else's life for nothing response.
    Non-consent can and does look like all of that. But that internal battle of did I consent or not continues. I exam it from all angles and switch back and forth from it was nothing you did to it was entirely your fault to somewhere in the middle. I was responsible for this part and them for that part. The fact is despite what my elders said on what assault looks like they didnt tell me what it looks like with the evil monster who was a beast with the strength of 1000 men. They didnt say that it looks like normal but you know it isnt right and cant escape from it. They didnt say that the damage from not resisting in a visible way feels just as bad as when you resist visibly. The damage you keep for the remainder of your life has to be treated the same as the other. They didnt tell me that yoou still feel shame with the added aspect of doing nothing to stop it. Even when others feel that something occurred and try to get you to talk about that same response will cause you not to speak. Because you think that they will believe you caused it too. They will say you did something the lead them on and the only thing thag that changes is that you feel worse for believing someone would help you.
    So that's the battle all these years later. Did I consent by not resisting? Is that such a thing? Or is it just my scapegoat so people, and myself, dont see me as a promiscuous young girl who wants to cover it up by claiming assault? I know this less extreme exists but getting others to see it and know it applies to me is much harder.
  17. aperson
    Asking for help is so freaking hard. I mean the little things are easy. Can you help me move this table? Can you open this jar? But the big things...whew. Can you help me understand why this happened to me? Can you help me express myself feelings in less harmful ways? Even at work I find asking for help at certain levels is difficult. Again, the small tasks are no sweat. But if I feel like the expectation is I should be able to do it then the asking for help is harder.
    This isnt something new. It has always been like this. I have found at times that I could to a degree. Like I am having a hard time and need someone to sit with me. But dont ask me details on the issue because I cant do that. I cant even say this is a result of what happened. Both started from the time I can remember. Maybe it was the result of other childood traumas. Having a drug addicted father at a young age will do that too. I took on roles I shouldnt have in both cases.
    But why is it so hard? Why do I feel lesser than when I have to ask for help? Why does it feel like I am not living up to my potential when I ask for help? Society pushes the narrative at times that you have to do things on your own. That people can do things on their own and not rely on anyone else to help you. If you do that then what you accomplish is worth more. You earned it without needing anyone else. You will even value it more because you did it yourself. Which is crazy when you are then taught to help your fellow man. You are taught to be compassionate and empathetic and sympathetic. Seems contradictory but I guess life is full of contradictions. 
    So I/people suffer in silence because they dont know how to handle a situation but cant reach out either. So I/we turn to drugs, alcohol, anger, bullying, inappropriate relationships, develop mental healthand physical health issues. All because we live in a hypocritical world that wants to decide when someone deserves assistance rather than assuming we all need help at some point. Even the person at the top of society needed help no matter how small it was. 
    So how do you do it? Ask for help without feeling ashamed and trusting it will be provided? How do you get better and not feel weak for needing someone to show you the way? That's the struggle today.
  18. aperson
    So I stopped writing because I felt I wasnt writing anything new. Just repeating the same old same old. The problem is my mind didnt stop thinking the same old stuff. It still thinks and functions like the thought is new.
    I am losing at this battle. I have turned further inward. I am cutting people out. I am losing trust and faith and hope. I didnt have a lot of any to start with so losing a drop of any is something I cant afford. I cant/wont speak/write about it. I just want to cry them away. Cry out what I cant put into words. Cry for those things I blame myself for. Cry out of frustration. Cry out of sadness. Cry out of secret depression. 
    I have lost myself but I think I lost that before I ever knew who I was. Life changed me from finding that to becoming this. Victim mentality? Probably. But in many ways that it what I feel like. Who I was feel victim to what happened. Who I am is trapped by that. Trapped in negative thoughts. Trapped by no progress. That is probably why therapy hasnt worked. That is why I lose those that I get close to. They see my trapped situation for what it is. A person living in a past that they wont let go. And they dont want to be sucked into that hole with me. They dont want to be trapped by a situation they didnt experience. I get it. I understand. I just wish escaping that easy was that simple for me. Even when I am not consciously thinking about it, I still feel it hovering. I then realize that something set that in motion. A movie scene, someone's words, a smell, a touch, a seemingly random thought.
     
  19. aperson
    What does healing look like for me? I ask myself this question often and the answer is pretty much the same. I just want to be content. Happiness seems like a goal of perfection. I want it but I know it isnt really possible. So I settle for what is possible. I dont think that is asking too much. Like I just want to be sure that I learn and grow from the past.
    What does healing look like? It means I sleep like a normal person. Bed at a decent hour and up at a decent hour. Most importantly, I stay sleep. I actually get rest. Rest that isnt either deeply troubled by dreams or interrupted 3 hrs in. It would mean that I am not constantly fighting sadness and depression. Hell, bordering suicidal at times. The hurt from the past gets its chance to be fully felt and it doesnt hurt as much. The physical hurt from the act cant be felt anymore. I no longer feel the act. 
    What does healing look like for me? I like myself. I know who I am and want I want and I am ok with it. I am ok which makes mostly everyone else ok too. I dont feel disgusted by what I see. I am not ashamed by who I presemt to the world. The world sees me with no filter or masks. I forgive me. Forgive myself for being too young to understand. Too young to know the right thing. Forgive myself for being scared to do the right thing when asked. Forgiving myself for blaming me for not being able to speak. That my mind and body couldnt move past the shame to speak my truth. I forgive them. First, I gotta blame them but then forgive them. Accept that I will never know why they did it and forgive them anyway. 
    Whew...I think writing these down and seeing what I want is hard and it's not all. That's hard to see the broken parts. There's a lot and it all feels impossible. It feels like playing the lottery. You play knowing you will never win but if you do the rewards are immeasurable.
  20. aperson
    I really just want to be a good person. Be a good sister, daughter, aunt friend and worker. I just want to help others. But you cant do that when you need help yourself. But that's what I want. I want to be normal with feelings. I want to be able to relate to others in a genuine way.
    That's what they took. My ability to be any of those things. My belief that I will ever be any of those thing. Nothing will ever be the same. Even after all these years, I am still grieve the loss of the future that I wanted and never got. And I am afraid that a positive new future can never be. I am afraid to let it all out because I dont think I  can stop if I start. 
  21. aperson
    I feel like I am getting close to a breaking point and there is no one I can turn to. I am being swallowed by the pain. There are storms building up inside and they will merge into one soon. I just dont know that I can stop what is coming. 
    This pain is so unbearable. Living with the hurt and shame is unbearable. I just want to not feel this bad so much. I want to stop remembering and feeling. They haunt me. They taunt me by living life like I didnt exist. Enjoying their days and building more relationships. I sit and try not to feel them touching me. I feel the shame. I know everyone else sees it too. I need to visit the river. To sit by it and listen to it rush by. 
  22. aperson
    I am broken. Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with that fact. Being broken and trying to grow is pointless. I cant grow because I will always be broken. I cant move on because I am broken.
    I dont like these feelings. I dont want these feelings. I am sorry that I have these feelings and cant move past them. I am sorry that I learned to protect myself too late. I am sorry I am not brave. I am sorry I brought shame to myself and my family. I am sorry that I allow this to affect people I care about. I am sorry I cant live up to the expectations that others want for me. I am sorry I am not strong enough to handle all of this. I am sorry that I allowed people to come in my life who meant me nothing good. I am sorry I broke someone else in ways they probably dont even know. I am sorry that it ever happened. I am sorry that I dont know how to express the hurt well. I am sorry I cant forget it. I am sorry that I feel more at fault than a victim or survivor. I am sorry I am not good enough. I am sorry that I cant handle good self-care. I am sorry I am not strong enough to protect others.
    I am sorry for everything. 
  23. aperson
    You know, I started this journey because I needed to make an effort to deal with my past. But I am no better off than when I started 11 years ago. I thought I would eventually be able to say the words. That I would learn the skills to deal with this in a healthy manner. But I fear I am in the same position. I am still holding on to it and holding back from others.
    Just when I believe I am making progress, something happens and I realize I am not. I still push away everyone. I stop calling. I stop texting. I stop trying to be a part of the conversation. Sometimes there is something that I believe justifies it. Sometimes I justify it as necessary. There is no way I will be that vulnerable again. Itxs not fair to those I push away. They are clueless to the reason. Hell, they may even be happy to not have to try so hard too. At the end of the day, I am still in the same spot as I was, holding on and holding back.
    I am trapped. Trapped in my mind and my past. Both are breeding negativity. Both are a prison that I built but I also hold the keys. 
    I just want to be able to look back and say I forgive me and them. I just want to say 'this is how it made me feel' instead of 'this is how it makes me feel'. It feels  like every day it happens again. Every day still feels like the first time. Every day brings the same hurt and pain. Every day it be comes harder to take care of myself. And everywhere I turn, there are reminders. Reminders that these things still happen. There are still people who exert their power. There are still people who take away things they have no right to. They take away things that dont belong to them. Once they take it, you may never get it back. I miss having innocence. I wish I knew what trusting someone felt like. I am working on understanding love. I want to know what it feels like to give it and receive it. I want to know the path I could have taken if they hadnt come along and changed it. 
    And it's a dangerous path looking at what could have been. It's also hard not to.
    So 11 years and here I am. Friends gained and lost. Steps forward to go all the way back. Feeling just as sad as I did when I started. Feeling just as hopeless as before. The main goal now is to not get committed to a hospital. I dont think I could fake my way through it. There are others that count on me for support they need.
  24. aperson
    A bit of honesty? A bit of truth?
    The fact is I am terribly lost in this huge world. I am surrounded by people but still totally lost. I keep trying to follow the rules but the rules keep changing. I keep trying to make a path to a happy life. There are all these...detours. And they can bring so much pain and hurt. They change the the path you were on.
    I want so bad to be free from this 'thing' that happened. Some days it doesnt even feel like it happened to me. Like that isnt possible to happen to me. Then there are those times when I cant escape that it happened to me. I cant escape the emptiness it created. I cant escape the shame. I cant escape the fear. I wish I could even speak the 'thing' but I cant. Not for myself at least. How do you put words to a thing you werent even old enough to understand? How do you explain the need to be even more invisible? Undesirable? How do you put that into words for someone who hasnt experienced the 'thing'? 
    So to avoid the 'thing' you do everything you can. You run. You hide. You ignore the 'thing' and anyone associated with it. You add an invisible shelter around yourself. Never letting anyone too close. Never being too open. Always keeping the most scared part of yourself sacred. You know that this is wrong but how else do you keep living in this life if you dont. Because when you look out at the world behind your invisible wall you see nothing good. You see danger. You see hate. You fear everything and everyone.
    I can tell you what happened but do you really understand what that means? What that does to a person? Do you know that moving forward is hard? It's even harder when you feel unsupported, unwanted and unloved. It doesnt matter if you helped contribute to some of it. You cant always see that. All you can see is that you are alone in this. You are the only one who can feel the unspoken.
    There are days you can 'forget'. You can move through the world. There are times where you must wear the mask. You havent forgotten but you push through the day until the end so you can take off the mask. Then there are the rest. The days you cant even pretend anymore. Yo sit and watch the world moving on and wondering how they can. How do they no see the danger? Why are they not hiding and trying to be as invisible as you?
    You head hurts from all the chaos. The chaos in your mind and the chaos in the world. The more I try to make sense of it the more chaotic things become. You try to fix one thing and 6 more come up. And fixing those you realize you never fixed the first one so you must start all over. Now you dont know where to begin.
    It's all so hard. It's all so draining. I keep thinking now may be a good time to try therapy again. But what does that look like during a pandemic? Virtual sessions? No, I cant. The pandemic is an excuse. I probably wouldnt go anyway. And if I went once, I would never go back. I cant even discuss with the people I am closest to how do I tell a stranger? I cant admit it to myself even. 
    I really dont know what else to do at this point. Like I am at a complete loss. I cant move past it. I cant do what is needed to begin the process to move past it and that hurts. That maybe one of the more painful things. It means I am stuck this way forever. Stuck in misery and fear. Stuck in a past that blocks any future. Stuck alone. That's what I have to learn to accept. The living with lonliness and fear in a world that many times I dont want to be a part of. 
    I havent taken one of my drives. The ones that allow me to think uninterrupted by home. I think given my current mindset, it may be less productive. What do I want? For someone to see the unspoken. For someone to be able to comfort those unspoken words. I dont think that is possible though. I guess I feel like the answer that will be given is no one can comfort me but me and I just dont know how to do that. So the sleepless nights will continue. The pushing away will continue. The silence will continue. The misery will continue. Will it continue because I want it to or because it just cant be comforted.
    People say there is no one beyond help although everyone feels like they are. I am not sure I fully believe them. It feels like I am an exception to the rule. I am the square trying its best to fit in a circle. Trying to shave the corners so she can fit in with the rest of the world. Trying to pave a way from a past that I just am walking in circles. 
  25. aperson
    My 11 yr old niece is taking a master class in this I believe. Example, I am person who is allergic to bug bites. I have been my entire life. When most people get a bug bite, it is a nuisance. They itch a while and move on. Bugs seem to be attracted to me though. They bite and invite their friends and I itch for weeks and blister. This means that I end up with horrible scars at times. I currently have terrible scarring on my ankles from flea bites over 2 years ago. They itch daily. My ankles are discolored from it. Tonight before going to bed, my niece saw them. She is terribly bothered by them. She covered them in order to avoid seeing or touching them. I removed the cover because I was hot which is why they werent already covered. I am extremely self-conscious abouth them. Anyway, she puts the cover back and says yuck. 
    Another example, I am overweight. I know this. I have always been heavier than most. She proceeds to tell me that if I lose weight, I may finally get a boyfriend and have kids.
    This is a weekly thing for her and I seem to be on the receiving end 80% of the time. I try to explain to her how sometimes this can be hurtful. Even giving examples of how someone could say things about her and hurt her feelings. That has little affect. I have tried telling her how these things hurt me. No change. So tonight, I am fighting back tears that a child has triggered my insecurities once again. She sees no issue because to her, if she has something to say she should just say it. I am trying not to resort to hurting the self-esteem she has. And I must say, she has confidence I couldnt imagine. No one knows where she got it but she was born with it.
    While I love this kid to death and would do just about anything for her, right now, I wish she was someone else's kid. Or at least I didnt live with her. Right now, I wish I could be petty enough to break her spirit like she does mine. 
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