Monday, December 8, 2014

4 Years

Sometimes I miss my son with everything I have.

For four years my heart has ached.  The grief and guilt are sometimes too much to bare.  

Saturday will mark four years since I tried to kill myself to be with my son.

Sunday will mark four years of going through the motions more often than not.

3 years ago I was pregnant with Maddy.  I was determined to give myself the time to grieve before she arrived.  She had other plans, she wasn't going to let me have that time mourning.  We spent a good portion of the day in a labor and delivery room being monitored.

If I have learned anything about grief is that you are supposed to give yourself time.  But the children that come after, they don't give a damn.  

I was leery about going to the 1st candle light vigil after Maddy was born.  She was almost 10 months old and I felt awkward being there with my alive and healthy baby.  I remember how much it hurt going to the Share events seeing parents and their "other" kids.  I wanted to yell at them and say I just want one baby that isn't taken away from me.  I remember the stares we got, that 1st year we took Maddy.  I remember feeling self righteous and daring someone to say something to me about it.  I understood those other parents now.  Just because they already had or went on to have living children, doesn't make their grief go away.  In some ways it is worse because you can't deny that life goes on.  Maddy decided right then and there to discover how to raspberry, repeatedly through out the whole ceremony.  JD and I took her to the back of the group of people trying to be as considerate as possible.  Maddy will always know that she has an older brother watching out for her (and another angel baby) but I don't want her to feel like she isn't enough.  

This month I have been struggling to keep the grief from swallowing me.  I want to be present for the holidays.  I owe it to my family.  I have been having more PTSD episodes the last few days, where everything replays in my mind.  It takes me right back to those days four years ago.  I can hear and see everything all over again.

I know I need to process the grief and when I try and block it, it comes racing back at even less convenient times.

I want to be there person I once was, the mother and wife I promised to be.

I just need more time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mental Update

The a huge part of me is like, “Yay, the holidays!” but a smaller louder part of me is saying, “Holidays? You think you can handle that right now, you barely make it through a regular day”.

I got to thinking… how many times do I think to myself, this has to change, I have to change?  How much of my time is spent agonizing over what I should do and all the reasons why I won’t/can’t do it? 

I don’t like myself.  That is my harsh reality.  I am not an overachiever who thinks I should be able to accomplish more than I do.  I. DO. THE. BARE. MINIMUM.

I am still seeing my psychiatrist but I do think I have been able to articulate myself very well. 

I am scared of failing.

I am scared of trying.

I am scared of getting hurt.

I am scared of rejection.

I am scared my best won’t be good enough.

I am scared those I love will be taken from me.

I am scared those I love will choose to leave me.

I am scared that one day I will succeed at pushing everyone away.

I am scared that I am unlovable.

I am scared to be alone.

Sometimes I wish I had the kind of OCD that people would associate with a perfectionist.  Then I realize that if I was wishing for something it should be for my brain and heart to be aligned.  I should wish for no mental illness of any kind, not for a different manifestation of what I already have. 

This to shall pass, it has to, right?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Falling Apart

Easter has come and went.  I had a plan early and stuck to it throughout the weeks before Easter. 

Then the week before Easter (or week of Easter depending on how you look at it) snuck up on me.  I still thought I had an extra week.  I tried to recover, made a trip to the supermarket to get everything that I needed for the dinner and started fine tuning my plan.  But my head wasn’t into it.  I started to get anxious and felt like I was drowning.  I had good intentions for so long but failed to follow through with the intentions towards the end.  I got lazy and was overconfident.  I honestly felt I was robbed a week of THINKING about the holiday.

My mother-in-law came up from Oklahoma for the weekend.  Saturday we all went to the Easter Egg Hunt at church.  Then JD and I spent every minute we could cleaning the house for Sunday.  We went to church early Sunday morning and came back to the house for a quick nap and to start dinner. 

Once my sister-in-law and mother-in-law arrived everything fell apart.  As soon as I realized everything that had to go in the oven each was supposed to cook at a different temperature I started freaking out.  Do people have 5 ovens in their house?  How does it work?  Do I turn it to the lowest temp and adjust the time for everything else?  Can I pull this off?  I forgot to put mustard in the deviled eggs and JD told me it tasted great, was he just trying to make me feel better?  I wish I ate eggs then I could tell if leaving out mustard was a big deal.  Do I tell everyone I left out the mustard?

Then everything came crashing down when my mother-in-law received a phone call that her sister who had a liver transplant a few months ago had a massive stroke that she wouldn’t be able to recover from.  JD and his sister circled around their mother while Maddy and I stood there unsure of what to do.  The sobbing felt like it was taking over the house so I took my daughter outside in the backyard to play.  I didn’t know what else to do.  So we waited outside for a long time. 

JD came out and told me that his aunt was on life support but her immediate family was going to have the machines turned off shortly. 

My mother-in-law was going to lose two siblings within a month.

JD’s elderly grandparents had to bury two of their seven kids within weeks of each other.

My mother-in-law would leave as soon as my nieces and nephew came over from their father’s house after she said goodbye. 

She was in town visiting when her brother suddenly died a few weeks before, she had to leave her kids and grandkids early again for the same reason different sibling.

My head was spinning I didn’t have words, I didn’t have a place in what was going on.

I went into the kitchen and turned off the oven.  I announced it and pushed the button.  Easter was finished.  Everything now was tainted with the death of a relative that I never knew.

I wish I could summon compassion at the appropriate times, but that’s not the way compassion works for me.  My compassion is a delayed response.  My first response is to be practical and rational when others are hurt.  I am the woman who wants to help but doesn’t want to get too close.  I will hover and observe and provide tissues, water, and space.  I have been through immense pain and I know if I am not careful that pain will come back and swallow me whole.  I can’t let that happen again, I have a daughter that needs me.

My nieces and nephew arrived and everyone said their goodbyes. 

To me, Easter was over.  Maybe it was over before the phone call, I won’t know. 

JD picked up a rotisserie chicken from Walmart since I turned off the oven.  Everyone else still needed to eat. 

I hadn’t thought of that when I turned off the oven. 

Less than a week later JD, Maddy, two dogs, and I were on the way to Oklahoma for the funeral.  I was out of my comfort zone but I knew I had to be there for my husband.  It was a difficult trip all around.  JD was devastated by the loss of his aunt and the sudden death of his uncle.  Maddy was away from home, out of her routine, and meeting new people constantly (not to mention being in the middle of the terrible twos).  I was in a state of anxiousness for days. 

JD and I have some serious things to work through in our marriage if we are going to last.  I think we are both afraid to give it our all.  I’m afraid things won’t ever really change.  He is afraid of failing.  We had a huge fight the day of the funeral.  There wasn’t a way around it.  Marriage does not take a break because “it isn’t a good time”.  There is only so much that can be swept under the proverbial rug.  I am tired of rugs and dark corners.  He is tired of me being tired of it all.  I hate that he is too proud and entitled to change.  I want to work on our family’s future, he wants to live like he still has the security net of parents.  He wants a do-over for the amount of time it took to get is life in order in his twenties.  I want him to recognize that there is no such thing.  I want him to see his potential for being a great spouse and terrific dad.  I want him to be the man I dated and eventually married.  He wants me to be the woman I was before things took a wrong turn.  He wants me to be that trusting bright eyed bride that had her life straight and loved him without regret.

I hope making a family trip to Oklahoma helps us remember that in the end we can only do our best and to give the rest to God.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things Must Be Getting Better...

I decided to host Easter dinner!  Not only did I decide by I announced it to my husband and claimed it.  I invited my sister-in-law and her three amazing kiddos (she isn’t sure if she will have the kids that day), my brother and his wife (declined because he is working), and still need to invite a family friend.  So… there is a good chance that it isn’t going to be a big hosting event.  But you know what?  I would not have even thought about doing it a few months ago.  My husband would have had to beg me and begrudgingly I would have said yes, after I would have made him promise to handle the brunt of the work.

I even have a menu planned – I don’t know who I am anymore!!
  • ·        Ham
  • ·        Mashed potatoes (me and kids)
  • ·        Scalloped potatoes
  • ·        Deviled eggs
  • ·        Ambrosia salad
  • ·        Mac & Cheese (me and kids)
  • ·        Creamy cucumbers (if nice out)
  • ·        Veggie plate
  • ·        Southern green beans
  • ·        Rolls
  • ·        Chocolate ruffle (my husband)
  • ·        Cookies
  • ·        Chocolate covered strawberries
  • ·        Empty tomb rolls

The best part (for me) is I have given myself plenty of time to mull it over, plan, and productively stress.  Easter isn’t until the 20th so hopefully the weather will be warmer and nicer that way we can utilize our outside space.  I don’t plan on making everything from scratch.  Rolls and cookies will be bought for two simple reasons.  Store bought sugary pastel cookies will be more festive than anything I could bake and I have not yet ventured into the bread making territory yet.  A nice amount of food can be prepared ahead of time which should help me out. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Diagnosis

I went to a psychiatrist three weeks ago for the first time.  I have never noticed a huge difference with my anxiety with the meds I am taking prescribed by my general practitioner.  So after talking to the man for 2 hours (!) I am officially diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  I have a lot of feelings about this.  Most of them probably prove the psychiatrist’s point since it has been three weeks and I still don’t like the diagnosis even though the medication change for the most part has been fabulous. 

I can fall asleep like a regular person and wake up feeling normal maybe even well-rested!  I can focus easier throughout the day.  I feel more in control of my reactions and spend less time focusing on how difficult everything is.

What has my brain reeling is I don’t display the stereotypical OCD symptoms.  Even though the psychiatrist explained that OCD can be diagnosed with just obsessions or just compulsions (or both) I don’t like the label.  Logically, I know the label doesn’t really mean anything, getting help is all that matters.  I still feel caught off guard.

If you haven’t guessed obsession is the part I identify with… Now in my next appointment I need to ask how to cope with obsessing about being labeled obsessive!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Great Weeked

This weekend was a good mix of activities for my family. 

Thursday, when I picked up Maddy from daycare her sheet said that she played dress-up and her favorite costume was the firefighter jacket and helmet.  Right away I thought of my brother who is a firefighter/paramedic for a nearby city.  I sent him a text about Maddy’s affinity for jackets and helmets and he invited us to visit him at the firehouse over the weekend!  Maddy, my husband, and I loaded into the car Saturday afternoon for the trip.  I was crossing my fingers that Maddy would sleep in the car because our excursion was in the middle of naptime.  Maddy fell asleep for a short nap not long before we got there.  It took her a little while to wake up and warm up to her uncle and the new environment but once she did there was no stopping her.  My brother let her get into all of the trucks there to let her “drive”.  She ran around the big garage.  She got a plastic kids firefighter helmet.  Much to my husband’s dismay she swung around the pole.  She was really happy and my brother looked very at ease with her, which is excellent because he and his wife are expecting in June!  Maddy will get another cousin and I will be an aunt by blood!  I love my nieces and nephew but I will be an aunt to this nephew the moment he is born, I married my husband after my sister-in-law already had her kids.  After a lot of excitement at the firehouse, Maddy remembered she was almost 2 years old and started to throw a tantrum because she wanted to run up and down the huge staircase of cement steps.  Um, no.  We quickly said our thank yous and goodbyes because there were people sleeping in their rooms not far from where we were standing.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to get Maddy out of the house for a while.

Saturday night, I made my husband’s favorite meal – Pasta Con Broccoli.  It was horrible!  I have made it dozens of times but something went really wrong.  I know I over steamed the broccoli but the broccoli tasted rancid.  The sauce, mushrooms, and pasta didn’t cover up the awful taste of the broccoli.  It was over powering.  Thank goodness we had made garlic bread to go with the meal!

Sunday, we went to church in the morning.  Don Davis was the guest speaker and he had an inspiring message.  John 5:5 John 10:10 Colossians 3:12-13  The summarized version is that if you want to be healed, you have to GET UP.  Which is exactly what I needed to hear.  The message was clear and concise.  So concise we got out of church a half hour early!  When we went out to lunch the restaurant had just opened when we pulled into the parking lot.  I’m not sure if all Pasta House locations do this but at the location near us, kids eat free on Sundays (through Thursdays I think).  That is a budget lifesaver because Maddy is going through a stage where she either eats nothing at meals or she eats more than one portion.  After church I took a 4 hour nap – which was the opposite message of the Get Up sermon.  I am hoping I needed it.

It really was a good weekend for my family the only thing missing was not getting anything done around the house… Oops!

Goal 6

6.  Find Myself

No big deal, right?  The goal is quite a stretch but in the end isn’t that what all our resolutions are about?  I need to focus more time on ‘me’.  Not the laying on the couch time.  But actively finding enjoyment in life. 

Sometimes I feel like I am having a midlife crisis.  I will be 32 in June.  I have been in our “starter” home for six years.  My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this year.  I have been working at the same company for almost 10 years.  I have had 3 pregnancies and 1 toddler.  My husband and I are finished having kids of our own (too much backstory to get into the reasoning now).  Life is kind of stagnate for me right now.  I feel like I have hit all of the big milestones and the next milestones will be having grandchildren.  And that is hopefully 20 some years away! 

On Wednesday I am going to see a psychiatrist for the first time.  My primary doctor has been managing my meds for the last few years but we both think it is time to move on to someone specialized.  I feel like my anti-depressant sucks all my energy away.  Yesterday I took a 4 HOUR nap for no good reason.  I have an anxiety disorder that at its worst leads to depression symptoms but I don’t think treating the depression is working.  Actually my family and friends do not think it is working either.  Hopefully on Wednesday there will be a plan in place because I am tired of living like this (no pun intended).