Broken…. A Poem

Please, don’t judge, there is really no structure to this poem, but it’s not a story, or a “post”.  But tonight was a really bad night, and I let my pen just scrawl along. 

Broken.

I feel the familiar “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” of the blood in my ears.

My heart is racing, pulse is 120.

There’s a buzzing in my body.

I’m sweating, everywhere, even my legs.

My brain is going to dark, dark, places.

I want to see the red blood coming out of my arms.

I want to see the raised skin of the scratch.

I want to feel the sting and burn of the cuts.

I want my brain to stop.

FAT, UGLY, HIDEOUS, GROSS.

Bad mom, yeller, ineffective.

Bad wife, “makes” hubby do all the cooking and clean

up from meals, undermines his discipline.

LOSER, CAN’T FINISH ANYTHING, STUPID

Will never change.

Always a victim.

Don’t SHINE, am a disappointment.

Not good enough, NEVER enough.

Undermines my own dreams.

I sit, tears brimming, threatening to spill over.

I sit at my desk all the things I used to use to cut at my disposal.

But I can’t cut, no matter how much I want to, I’m on blood thinners. I don’t want to ruin my kids’ life any more than I already have.

So I push it down, down, down.  The whooshing, shaking, and sweating gets worse. My head pounds too.

How long can I do this? How long will I have to do this?

No one is going to save me, or the little girl inside.  Together we will drown and choke on our labels; the labels of rejection and the labels we give ourselves.  Never truly happy; never truly whole—

Broken.

Title…

I don’t know if I ever explained why I used the title I did for my blog.

I come from a community of people who are constantly telling me to smile. And well meaning people who tell me to “think positive”.

So, for the most part I hide my feelings inside.  I pretend everything is ok, even when my arms are cut up, or I have spent the morning crying.  It also refers to my signature move- stuff and avoid.

There is so much junk hiding in me, so many scars, and fresh wounds inside it would probably scare people away…. so those are “the things I hide inside”.

Even now, I have backslid in terms of depression, but I am keeping it hidden inside. No one knows I am constantly on the verge of tears, I am irritable and have a low tolerance for everything….

PollyAnna’s Spirit Lives on….

Apparently, it’s not the act of practicing gratitude that I had an issue with when PollyAnna assigned it, it was the fact that I was being told what to do.  And apparently, I have a problem with that….. who knew?

This morning I pulled out the old gratitude journal and added a couple of entries of things I was grateful for yesterday- my daughter having an amazing day at school, her being awarded quiet seat in her after school club (anyone who knows my little girl knows that’s as rare as a unicorn for her to be quiet), my son having a good time at his first lacrosse practice, and his being nominated into Upward Bound.

And if I am honest with myself, finding things to be grateful for is a tough one.  But the other night as I was brainlessly scrolling through my facebook feed I came upon this that Lysa TerKeurst had posted:

Bad attitudes breed bad attitudes.

Grumpy Hearts breed more grumpy hearts.

Ungratefulness breeds ungratefulness.

On the flip side, praising God breeds more

Reasons to praise God.

Thankfulness breeds more thankfulness.

And a person who practices both praising and thanking

Has a rare joy that very few people possess.

Today, let’s choose to be people who give praises

To our God so we can become people overflowing

With joy from our God.

~Lysa TerKeurst

Ouch! It’s true, I can rarely see things to be grateful for unless they are “huge” in my world like the things above were.  So I am working hard to be more mindful of the things I need to be grateful for, the little things that are a blessing.

And at the other end of the spectrum is my dad.  He calls me just about every day (and sometimes multiple times in a day).  I almost always pick up.  Occasionally I am having a bad day so I don’t answer, but in the past week I have talked to him 1 time on Tuesday, he called 2x on Thursday but I only was able to answer 1 time, I talked to him 1 time on Friday and he called on Sunday.  I just didn’t have it in me to talk so I ignored the call.  he called yesterday while I was teaching my co op class (only one more YAY!!!) and he left me a rude email about the fact that I must be mad at him because he has called me 3 times over the last couple days and I don’t get back to him blah blah blah.  So I get that pit in my stomach- the same one I used to get when I was a kid and knew I was going to be in trouble, and punched in the numbers.  Now let me explain- he lives in a nursing home, he refuses to pay to have a line put in his room.  So I have to go through 2 menus, get the nurses station, ask for him, they have to transfer me to a portable phone and bring the phone to him.

So- I go through all that, and when he gets on the line he proceeds to berate me for not talking to him in a long time, that he gets my voicemail too much, that I never call him.  I explain to him that it’s not an easy process to get through to him, I can’t just dial and he pick up the phone, (what I don’t explain is that I HATE talking on the phone with all of my being).  I remind him that I talk to him almost every day, and that my brother and sister don’t talk to him nearly that much.  He then moves on to being ranting and raving about how one of the nurses there looks like his step father, and does his bandage on his hand too tight, and how everyone is sick so they have locked down the floor, and how angry he is that he has to get up at 3:30 in the morning in order to be ready every day (he only has dialysis 3x a week so technically he could get up that early 3x a week and sleep in the other 4), and honestly if he weren’t so vain he wouldn’t have to get up that early.  He HAS to shave, he refuses to use an electric razor and won’t let anyone do it for him… well he is right handed, he lost his right ring finger, and has necrotic tissue and may end up losing his hand as well… so he has to do everything left handed, and he was yelling at me about it.  I wanted to ask him how all the Pepsi and devil dogs tasted now, but I held my tongue- and let him make me feel small like I always do.  He then tells me that I am volatile- what does that mean?  I asked him, he said he feels like I could have a nervous breakdown at any moment (now let’s stop here- if he feels this way WHY on God’s green earth would he provoke me, and treat me like that – oh yeah he’s a narcissist).  I told him I had a nervous breakdown two years ago, this is the aftermath.  After that he decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and hung up.

Why?  Why can’t I just cut him out of my life?  Why do I care that he’s mad at me?  Why do I listen to his condemning words and believe them?  He is alone because he drove everyone away.  We all left him at some point- me when I was 17 I left home and lived with friends of my husbands (literally strangers to me I met them for the first time the night I moved in), my mom, my sister keeps him at arms length, his long strong of girl friends after my mom and he split up, his last girlfriend/fiance of 11+ years.  He’s alone because he’s a miserable, mean human being.  And so maybe I keep answering the phone because he’s my dad, the only biological father I will ever have.  Maybe it’s because I know he’s lonely.  Maybe I still have this need to please him deep in my bones. But why do I let his words hiss in my ear, reverberate in my brain for days.  “you’re not good enough”, “you’re doing things wrong”, “you don’t love me”…. on and on.  His words are echoed by satan day after day after day… I’m all wrong.  I’m not good enough, I will never enough……

I think a big part of that is the reason I struggle with understanding the love of a Heavenly Father.  I get Jesus.  I understand His love.  But from a very young age from my father I received ridicule, condemnation, hurt….the scars are there- honestly they aren’t even scars they are gaping open sores, that he aggravates every time we talk.  It’s something my counselor and I are going to explore- how to have a relationship with him, whether I want to, the pros and cons etc. (PS new counselor still doesn’t have a name).

I have been trying to be more mindful of that nagging gremlin voice in my head that convinces me that all the bad thoughts are true- but as much as I notice the gremlin, I am still listening to him.

Another thing that my counselor and I talked about today is the fact that I can’t understand emotions.  I get the extremes- happy/joyful and angry/irritable/sad/anxious.  But everything in between I don’t get it. We were talking about her wanting me to track my moods.  I told her I have been, since the first of the year, but that I am struggling right now, because I don’t really know WHAT I feel.  The best I can explain is blah. She said that’s depression.  I guess you don’t have to be angry/irritable or crying to be depressed.  I told her for me it’s like a skein of yarn that you are trying to unravel because it’s all tangled.  I have one end untangled in a small ball and that’s happy/joyful and the other end has some untangled and rolled in to a ball and that’s angry/sad/anxious and the two are connected with this huge mess of string between them that’s everything else, and that being in the middle is confusing and uncomfortable for me.  That I would rather stay where it’s ordered, comfortable (because of familiarity not because it’s comfortable) even if that means I am sad and angry.  This blah business is hard.

Well I guess that’s all for this time.  At least I had something good to say.  Something positive to share. And I think that this new counselor and I are going to get along good- she doesn’t touch door knobs either 😉

Until next time…

Memories

Memories- Things that sometimes remind me how lucky I am to have the life I have, problems and all.

I said a while back my goal for this year was to read 52 books. I am a little behind where I should be to meet my goal, but I am not really too concerned.

Today I finished Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I cried at the end.  Holding back the ugly cry as best as I could because my little one was here and she always gets upset when I cry.  And I can’t honestly tell which tears were tears of sadness at the book, tears of happiness for how lucky I got, or tears of relief for the fact that I… that I got my cake and can eat it too.

Eleanor and Park is a book I assume set back in the 1980’s given the references they use and the words like “Walkman”, “mix tapes”, and so many other references .  Without spoiling the book for anyone who might want to check it out, Eleanor is a girl round the age of 16.  She lives in a house with her 4 siblings, her mom and her abusive step-father Richie.  She had been living away from them for about a year because Richie kicked her out, but she eventually was able to come home. She started back to school and immediately, on her first day, on the bus ride to school no less, people started picking on her- teasing her about her wild red hair, the way she dressed, because she wasn’t toothpick thin.

No one would let her sit with them on the bus, until finally a boy name Park told her to sit with him. It took a while for them to become friends, and even longer for them to be more than that.  Eleanor had so many walls up inside of her from being mistreated and unloved her entire life.

The book chronicles their journey in first love.  But this book also reminded me of my story.

I lived with my mom, my dad, my little sister, and my half brother (from time to time). My dad was a mean, cruel, controlling man.  He physically, mentally and emotionally abused all of us.  Even my poor brother when he would visit.

I also didn’t have many friends at school.  I was picked on through elementary school, junior high and high school.  I don’t look back on the times spent in school with fond memories.  Most of the time I think of the worst days of my life.  The days I would cry myself to sleep, the days I would try to make myself invisible- because if I was invisible they wouldn’t pick on me mercilessly.  I think of the fact I became anorexic and lost a huge amount of weight because maybe if I wasn’t “the fat girl” they would like me (they didn’t).  Maybe if I lost weight my dad would stop making fun of my size – he didn’t. It drove me into depression.  Into even worse anxiety, and into self harm.  I had a couple friends in high school, but I didn’t talk to them about my life at home.  There was one friend, I spent most weekends at her house for years.  For years I wished her parents would adopt me.  I wanted her life.  Her house was my safe haven.

Until I saw him.  Somehow I knew the evening I saw him in my high school cafeteria, that it would all be ok, somehow. We became friends, then more. I was desperate for him.  I craved his love.  I couldn’t breathe without thinking of him.  He made my life worth it.  He loved me, unconditionally.  I had never had that before.  He saved me from my father, from my tormentors, from myself.  People still made fun of me, be sure of that, but it didn’t matter so much.  I had someone who loved me, all of me, battle scars, bruises and all.

We were almost immediately inseparable. The friends we each had felt displaced, but we just couldn’t stand to be apart.  It didn’t help we went to different schools, but we saw each other as much as humanly possible.  We talked about everything.  He knew everything about my past, things I had never told anyone.  I shared my hopes and dreams with him- dreams that somehow included him the minute we met.

People thought we were too much.  Too obsessed. Spent too much time together.  We were just “infatuated”.  But we knew; we knew even then that we would be together till death do us part.

And now, almost 23 years later, I still have all those scars, all those bruises, and some new ones, but he still loves me.  I loves me 100+ pounds heavier, when I’m sometimes broken, when I’m sometimes angry (at life really), when I am envious of others and their apparent lack of bruises and brokenness. He loves me with the purest, most unconditional life I have ever experienced in my life.

I still need him.  I am still desperate for him.  I still crave his constant companionship. And while our life hasn’t turned out exactly as we planned I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  He is my best friend, he is my first real love, the first person who really SAW, the real me, not the person I show the world I am.

Sometimes I think back to the nights we were teenagers making plans for our future, despite everyone telling us we would never last.  Telling us we were just kids. Yes, we were just kids, only a couple years older than our oldest is now, but the minute we saw each other we realized we completed each other.

What does all this have to do with the book?  There were so many similarities between Eleanor and Park and my husband and I.  Reading through it, brought up so many memories and feelings. I don’t think I have related to a character in a book like I related to Eleanor- ever.

This book definitely gets four stars from me. How could it not?

What’s New?

Let’s recap the last week…

Last week was… I don’t even think there is a word to describe the last week.

I feel like I spent the entire week going from one appointment to the next. Little one started counseling, which gives me anxiety. I hate not being in control of what’s going on with my kiddos. I know that sounds ridiculous. I have to admit that I am a control freak. I know it comes from my past. I had to always be prepared for any situation that might arise. If I wasn’t prepared, if I wasn’t three steps ahead of dad there was “hell to pay”.

Tuesday we had an IEP meeting for big one. I spent the entire meeting pinching the skin of my left hand, because I was anxious about the meeting, anxious I would say the wrong thing, or… I don’t know. It was the only coping skill I had at that moment. It had already been a day filled with anxiety, what’s a little more… apparently a lot. The meeting itself went well, though, I will believe the plan when they actually do it, when they do what they promised to make his life at school what he is entitled to as a special education student.

Earlier in the day I fired my new counselor. Did I mention Polly Anna left and left me in the “capable hands” of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. I hadn’t come up with a name for her until just now. I don’t know why that is the first thing I thought of, but she and I just didn’t click. It was SO HARD for me to do. I was worried, and still am, that she was upset with me, or thought bad of me. I still get knots in my stomach thinking about it.

And then I had med management. My resting pulse was 129, too high. So she increased my antidepressant and if that doesn’t stop this constant anxiety she will add another med. I have noticed two distinct times that my anxiety goes through the roof.

1. When I have to leave the house.

2. Around 4 or 5pm.

I can guess why leaving the house would cause me anxiety. Having to be around other people, germs, etc. Today when I was at church, and then at the movies with a friend, I think I used an entire bottle of santizer. But as for the 4pm/5pm timeframe, the only thing I can think of is the dinner/bedtime rush. But I get shaky, my pulse races, and I feel like I want to throw up. Heck right now I am feeling sick.

I feel like so much of our lives is at a stand still because of other people, we are waiting on other people, our lives are in their hands so to speak. We are STILL dealing with the foreclosure of our old house. It’s been over 3 years now. My husband is still waiting to hear about his disability case. We are so tight with money. We haven’t yet gotten to the point of robbing Peter to pay Paul but we are headed that way. We have racked up some credit card debt wait let me rephrase that. I have racked up credit card debt.. I have 3 coping skills- shopping, overeating, and self harm. All of them are bad, but which one is worse? The cuts fade, but debt and fat haunt you for years. I am currently the biggest I have ever been- even when I was pregnant.

This week I meet up with my new therapist, I might ask hubby to come with me, I am really quite nervous. I have to start all over, she won’t know anything about me. And the final thing? I have been diagnosed with an “unspecified personality disorder”. I am just full of diagnoses now- Major depressive disorder, recurrent episode, severe. Generalized anxiety disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Fun fun fun.

Did I mention that I have a case manager now? I am not sure what she is supposed to do for me, I mean both my kids have them, but I have no idea what she will do for me. I asked her to look into a weighted blanket for me, and where I could get one that isn’t too expensive, but I don’t know is she will/can. I haven’t heard back from her.

Well I need to go to bed, another week starts tomorrow. Bleh.

This is no way to live….

Since sending my kids back to school things have definitely been different around here.  Little one loves school, it’s perfect for her- she’s so social, and so eager to learn.  She’s made more progress in the past couple months than I was able to make with her most of last year, mainly because big one took so much of my attention and time.

Big One however, seems to hate school.  He feels like he’s getting bullied by everyone, and works so hard to hold himself together all day then comes home and is verbally aggressive to myself, my husband, and his worker.  Today he was so angry that after an hour of ranting and screaming- using profanity, and being completely disrespectful, he slammed our glass door hard enough to break some of the panes- thankfully he didn’t.  But then he kicked the baby gate we have at the bottom of the stairs so many times he broke one of the rungs.

Tonight’s outburst was brought to you by Circle By Disney.  He is extremely angry that we are using internet security and protections.  And we are closing the loopholes of him getting more time than he is supposed to have in a day. We haven’t changed anything, or taken anything away we are just making sure the internet is safe, and that your time limits are respected.

I had to give him his as needed medication because he was out of control.  I hate doing that. But I didn’t have a choice.  I also sent a letter to his counselor for any advice he has. I can’t live like this for the next 4 years.  And I don’t have a lot of hope of it getting any better because this same behavior happened when he was in school for K-3.

However, bringing him back home to homeschool isn’t an option either. Him being here all day wasn’t a life that was good for any of us either.  It’s no wonder I am depressed and anxious all the time. I am living with a mentally ill child- and it’s making me even more crazy than I was to begin with.

Faking It

I hear it all the time- “fake it till you make it”.  And that’s what I have been doing the past couple months. Faking it.  And I think I do a pretty good job, only those closest to me know the truth.

In fact last week I was lamenting to my husband that I think all my friends hate me now, and that I don’t have any friends.  He told me that I am lost in my own head.  He’s right.  My brain never stops.

I am convinced I am doing everything wrong with my children, I am scared for Big One, he says he’s being bullied at high school, and his doctor’s and therapist say I need to let him try to work it out.  But I don’t want to, and I am worried about him.  I am worried he will be bullied so badly he will become a statistic- I almost did in high school, until I found a group.  So what if they were just 4 of the nerdiest boys in school.  I had a group where I could feel safe.  I want that for him.  Little one is reading now.  I should be happy right? Im not.  Im not happy because I didn’t teach her, I tried- oh how I tried.  But I couldn’t do it.

Sometimes I miss homeschooling, I miss my homeschooling tribe.  But I also know I am in no way capable of homeschooling at this point.  And may never be with Big one, and  Little one- she loves school. It would be selfish of me to not let her go.

I am tired of being sore.  My ankles are still sore and I am still in PT for those. And my hips still need help, I can’t sit criss-cross-applesauce.

I am concerned about finances.  We pretty much put this whole Christmas on credit. Not good.  I am praying with all I have that hubby gets his Social Security approval so we can pay down our debts.

I am not sure I like my new counselor, no particular reason I am just not sure I like her.

I am worried ( when I say, worried, concerned etc what I really mean is extremely anxious) about hubby and his medical issues.  He slept a good 8 hours last night and now he’s sleeping in his chair snoring- it’s 10:32am.

I am worried that this is as good as life gets.  I am sick of being poor, sick of hubby being sick (not because I am annoyed with him, but because I feel bad for him and me, we can’t do the things we used to), I am sick of Big One being emotionally and verbally abusive. I am sick of the way he and little one play off each other and fight.  I often consider running away, and have thought a lot about a crisis unit.

Basically my life is a mess.  A complete mess.  And I don’t know how to clean it up.

Until next time.