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Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category

Insomnia

I’m not perfect, and I struggle. In my past, I made some truly horrible decisions, and sometimes today still deal with the consequences of them. I try not to judge, yet find myself doing so, especially when people make the same mistakes over and over, or the same decisions with the same consequences over and over…mainly because I try not to make the same mistakes more than once, and expect others to as well. I’ve grown more bitter in recent years, especially about things that seem so crystal clear to me but apparently are not to those around me. Even knowing in my mind that my perceptions are colored by my experiences, thus those around me are as well, I still am easily irritated. I seem to have conflicting values at times…I want equality for all, but I also want protections for those speaking their beliefs, because when we attempt to regulate individual thought, we walk a dangerous path. I find myself full of rage more than at any time I can remember in my life, and I’m not sure how to correct that. I do a lot of screaming into the wind on my bike to alleviate that rage and other emotions, but even that isn’t enough lately. I know I should probably be medicated (was taken off the meds in the hospital because I was vomiting so much, and when they forgot to start me back on them when I got better, I neglected to mention it because I was losing weight and was feeling better physically than I had in years), but I don’t want to gain those 60+ pounds back (yes, it really was all from the medication), and I don’t want the other side effects. I’m not a bad person, but I come across that way more and more often lately, especially in dealing with my parents, and my lack of patience with them. I have a lot of guilt because I can’t deal with their drama and “fix” them as they seem to want me to do, so I turn away and slam virtual doors in order to get them to leave me alone…not something the daughter of parents who are in their golden years with some fairly serious health problems should do. My brother is unable and unwilling to care for our parents, and it therefor falls to me…and more often lately, I shoot myself in the foot with my reactions to them. I know this is a big part of my frustration and resentment with them. I would kill for more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I would kill to be the happy person I can vaguely remember being, instead of just pretending or seeming happy during manic episodes (which are coming more frequently now). I would kill not to have the rapid mood swings. I would kill to feel like I actually still have a family, rather than these distant memories of years gone by. And I would kill to be able to enjoy my life without constant pain… and/or guilt trips from my…parent. I honestly don’t like this person I’ve become the past eight or so years, but I’m not sure how to change. Change takes desire and energy, and the reality is that I’m too exhausted most of the time to have desire for much of anything. I put on a good show, a good act, but those living in my house are seeing the real me more and more lately. One day I will wake up to realize I’ve reaped what I sowed, and that while I tend to shun my parents, my own little family will decide I too am not worth the frustration and shun me. Its a sobering thought. Its getting harder to deal with the real world and the very real people in it. There are many days I think of how I would end it all if I were only brave enough. And I think the reason I’m most frustrated with my parents is because I see myself turning into them a little more each day. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, after all. As my health has deteriorated over the past decade, so has my mental attitude. I hate most people, something that I wouldn’t have thought possible ten years ago. I went from a bubbly, outgoing person to one who struggles to get even minor tasks accomplished if it involves seeing actual people, or even talking to them on the phone. There are very few I truly open up to. If I’ve given you my personal number or chat with you a lot via email or private messages on facebook or AOL Instant Messenger, count yourself lucky. At some point you’ve made enough impact on me that I trust you enough to talk to you. Some of you I even confide in, as much as I’m able to. I keep my innermost thoughts to myself now, the darkest ones, the ones that would be really embarrassing and would horrify most who know me because there isn’t enough time in the universe for me to adequately explain the context or why I feel the way I do. Deep down, I feel like a horrible person, like a monster, and I don’t know how to fix that. I’ve always been a fixer…and lately I can’t fix anything. In order to make myself better, I need treatment. Counseling. Medication. Possibly hospitalization in a mental institution. But would I really be able to get help? Because I can’t confide in anyone anymore. When I went to a C&P hearing at the VA last week, I hurt myself. I knew I was doing it yet couldn’t shut up. All I could do was talk about my feelings of anger and betrayal over Dr. M (my VA shrink) and Dr. H back in 2011 or 2012. I haven’t seen either of them since I found out how Dr. M completely misinterpreted what my husband and I told him in a session, and then shared it with Dr. H, my primary care doctor, without my permission, but more importantly completely inaccurately, causing her to put “Munchausen’s” in her notes, despite my thousands of pages of medical records from other hospitals and doctors, my numerous post-operative reports and imaging reports, my actual, physical scars on my body. Both of them even questioned whether I’d ever even had cancer at all. So I came off to the C&P shrink last week as obsessed over Dr. M and something he wrote about me over two years ago. It *literally* was all I could talk about. Then I attempted to explain my paranoia and trepidation over opening up or even being there at all because I tended to think my words would be taken out of context, twisted, used against me. I was trying to explain, and only succeeded in making her defensive. Yeah, that was smart. I talk way too much. I can’t answer questions with a yes or no. I feel like I MUST explain myself all the time…that everything must be validated in some way. If I do manage to simply say yes or no, inside I’m raging because I’m convinced that my intent is being completely misinterpreted and my yes or no has in fact made my case worse. I know that I do this because of the accusations cast against me most of my life. Some have been earned, because I was just an idiot and said or did something that really made no sense at all. But most, most have come from my parents, more from one parent than the other, but people who should have been nurturing me, not hurting me. My childhood actually was a pretty happy time…then my brother was almost killed in a devastating car accident when he was 16, and my life as I knew it at 11 was forever changed. My older brother became my immature, younger brother in an instant. My parents were overwhelmed, and I was passed around to various family members for months because I was inconvenient, in the way. From that moment on, I think, I never felt good enough, never felt as if I mattered. I started acting out for the first time in my young life…doing things I KNEW better than to do, such as climbing up on the roof of our house via the patio trellises and jumping off because it was an adrenaline rush…sneaking liquor out of my daddy’s hiding spot that I wasn’t supposed to know about…and when I ran out of the fantastic ideas, I started embellishing my actions. By the time I graduated high school, I had two worlds…the one that I actually lived in, and the one I wished I lived in. A lot happened in between my brother’s accident and that time, a lot that I don’t have time or the energy to go into right now, but it all further reinforced my belief that my brother was the important child in the family, and that I was only there because it was too late to do away with me. If I made some accomplishment, my parents would briefly acknowledge me, so I began to embellish even boring, routine parts of my day..just stupid stuff. For a while, in the army, that stopped. Maybe because I was happy for the first time I could remember in a very long time. But even in the army, whenever one or both of my parents were around, the embellishments and outrageousness would resume. None were outright lies…there was always a kernel of truth at the center…but it always came out around them. Then in the past decade my life really did take on a surreal quality with all the things that just started happening to me…mostly the health issues. For the first time in years, I would tell the strict truth, and it seemed to backfire, make people think I was lying, or pathologically delusional. The irony was that I was relating things that were backed up with hard medical facts from my records or from witnesses to events…but most people didn’t have access to my medical records or doctors, so couldn’t believe all this shit happened to just one person. Looking at it from their perspective, I get it…but it really doesn’t make me feel better at all about it. So now…I sit in this cage of my own making. Regardless of why I felt I had to have attention from my parents in order to have any self-worth, regardless of why I felt unimportant and insignificant unless I was entertaining those around me or helping them in some way that really wasn’t my duty to do so, I’d become a person that I didn’t recognize…someone I wasn’t, but yet someone that was still better than the real me, the actual Kandy deep inside. Now that I’ve been struggling with health and not being able to work for the first time in my life, all I can really do on my physically bad days is think, and ponder on who I am. The problem is that I don’t know who I truly am. I spent the better part of thirty years pretending to be someone worthwhile, someone valuable in some way. In the process, I lost any sense of my own personality, my own reality. I make excuses. For everything. Even when I’m “owning up” I’m still, even if only inside, making excuses. Now, while I still don’t really know who I am, I really kinda hate the person I seem to be. I know there’s still hope for me, because I have helped some folks, my animals love me (and they’re pretty solid judges of human character), and I do really enjoy helping people. But my patience is gone. My empathy with those I’ve seen repeat negative actions and behavior time and time again, as well as for strangers, is gone. Rarely I can find some empathy, but its erratic at best. I have trouble letting go of the pasts and the hurts that have been done to me, and its not hurting those who hurt me so long ago, or even as recently as yesterday, its hurting ME. But, I don’t know how to fix it. I can’t say all these things and the thousands more that NEED to be said to a doctor or professional who might be able to help me, because the trust is quite simply just gone. No matter what I say, or how I try to say it, people misunderstand me. So the problem can’t be with all of them, it MUST be with me. Case in point. In 2011 I cut my arms up. It happens to be the last time I cut myself (the urge is there constantly though). While in the hospital, a doctor noticed my new scars (scabs were gone but the lines were still pink and obviously new), and after I told her that they were self-inflicted, she asked me if I’d ever thought of killing myself. At the time, I’d just learned my cancer was back for a third time, my parents were giving me literal FITS over various issues, money was really really tight, and I was in so much physical pain that I felt like I was going crazy. So I looked her directly in the eyes and said “Yes, of course I do, every day.” Did I mean I actually wanted to die? No. Did I mean I was suicidal? No. Next thing I know, I’m under suicide watch, not allowed to even go pee without a staffer going with me, and found myself moved to the psych ward. I probably could have benefitted from the experience, but instead the next day I went before their review panel and talked my way into getting to go home, less than 24 hours from the time I was admitted to the unit, which rarely happens. I laughed my way through the review, was funny and amusing, and lied my ass off about what I was really feeling because I felt betrayed about how I ended up there. I knew I could use some help, but I was pissed about being misunderstood and so was determined to say a big “Fuck you” and go home…and that’s what happened. In a way, that was the beginning of this long downward spiral that followed. Oh yes, I needed the help, and was in a position to get it…but too angry to take advantage of it, though I fully understood that regardless of HOW I got there, I was exactly where I needed to be. Yeah, I showed THEM alright. I guess I’m tired of pretending things are better than they are. I’m tired of pretending that *I* am better than I am. I’m tired of pretending, period. The problem is that I don’t know anymore how to just be me. When I was embellishing to make people like me, I was miserable. When I was brutally honest, I was misunderstood and was miserable. I really don’t know how to be anything more than miserable anymore. I wish I could still fix stuff. I wish I could stop myself from making mistakes, from saying truly horrible things that I know in my heart of hearts are outrageous (my attitude towards Muslims, for instance). I hate that there are days I can’t get out of bed, and I hate that more and more often my depression is so strong its almost like being physically debilitated. I wish that I could explain that to my husband in a way he can understand…that I am literally incapacitated by grief and depression. I wish I could be normal.

Yes, I know my punctuation and grammar sucks in this post. Yes, I know I should edit it into some paragraphs instead of one giant one. I’m leaving it as is because these were my pure thoughts coming out as I typed, not pre-thought or embellished, just my raw, hard thoughts. If I go editing it, I’ll start over-thinking things, changing stuff because it makes me seem horrible, adding justifications for my thoughts or actions that I don’t need, or deserve. I can’t edit it or even proof-read it because I’ll lose my nerve and not be able to publish how I really feel. Whether I’m right, wrong, justified doesn’t matter at all…only the truth does, and this is the truth the best I can tell it.

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My position on religion and homosexuality.  My God doesn’t make mistakes.  Therefor, either there’s nothing wrong with homosexuals, or they’re making a (sinful) choice.  One or the other, no in between.  However, how do I, or any “straight” person, know whether its truly a choice or not?  We can’t.  So I rely on my friends and loved ones who are gay or transgendered.  Watching the journeys they’ve taken, the hateful things they’ve endured, the feelings of self-loathing and insecurity before they accepted how they felt…yeah, I can’t see how ANYONE would CHOOSE to go through that.  Talking in depth with them, I’ve come to realize that it is truly not a choice for them.  So how can I, in good conscience, having no idea of the struggles they may have endured or are still enduring, judge them and say they’re sinning?  I know what the Bible says.  I also know that homosexuality wasn’t the only thing going on in Sodom and Gomorrah, the typical example used.  I’ve always taken that chapter to be about sins of excess, gluttony, greed, sadistic natures, murder, theft, etc.  The fact is that there are things in our Bible that were advocated back when it was written, that are glossed over or completely ignored today because they simply aren’t acceptable to most folks…slavery, multiple wives, a man taking his brother’s widow to wife, animal sacrifice…the books of our Bible were chosen by human men…men on a mission.  Men who wanted to share the Word with the common man, not just the rich and/or educated ones.  They picked and chose from the writings.  Back then, it WOULD have been considered an abomination for a man to be with another man…just as women had very few rights, slaves had none, and heaven forbid a woman wanted to dress like a man or cut her hair!

Judge not, lest ye be judged.  That’s basically what it all boils down to for me.  Am I right?  Am I wrong?  Dunno.  Do I love?  I try to.

All I know is that based on a few medical studies, which have found a genetic link to homosexuality, and talking to my loved ones, I just don’t believe its a choice any more than you choose what features you’re born with, what color your eyes and hair are naturally, whether you have freckles or not.

I don’t know a single gay person that believes they’ve made a “choice.”  I’ve met many “reformed gays” that are following a more “Biblical” lifestyle now…and every one of those I’ve met have said its a struggle every day.  Think about that.  Its a struggle maybe because they’re trying to deny who they are in order to conform to what they’ve been told they MUST conform to in order to be accepted, to go to Heaven, to be “normal.”  I don’t know, it just seems kind of “unnatural” to me to deny who you’ve been from the moment you had conscious memories…but hey, what do I know?  I’m just a straight chick.

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All of you who are Christians know the old saying…”If you died tomorrow, would you go to heaven?”

Since getting the first news of my cancer returning, I haven’t cried.  I haven’t stressed.  I’ve felt like its all going to be ok.  The stress I’ve had and the few tears I’ve shed so far have been for my kids, mainly, but overall, I feel like everything is going to be ok.  I’ve talked to my girls, who are taking this diagnosis really hard, and reassured them that no matter what happens Monday, I’m going to be ok.  I told them even if I don’t come out of that operating room, I’m going to be just fine.

The truth is, I don’t know what to believe anymore.  I lost my faith for a time after my stepdad Jay died.  I was so angry at God that at times I even questioned His existence.  Deep down though, I always *knew* I was just acting like a pouting child, trying to get my Father’s attention by denying Him.  The anger really didn’t last long, but it was still there, and something I still feel guilty about.

When I carried Ruby, I never got mad at God.  I prayed like I have never been able to pray before or since.  I had a lot of trouble praying for her at first, because I felt like it was a selfish prayer, but I got over that and prayed and prayed, cried, begged, pleaded with Him for my baby.  After she was born, and I could see evidence around me of how she’d touched people in her very short life, I was sad, even depressed a little, but I was ok.  However, along about what would have been her first birthday, I wouldn’t say I got mad exactly, but I was extremely bitter.  My health was continuing to decline, I couldn’t do any of the things I used to be able to, I could see the babies born around her birthday crawling, walking, cooing, looking oh, so adorable, and I wanted my baby.  I started realizing that when I went to church, I couldn’t focus on the message, all I could do was think about how much pain I was in sitting there, wondering what was for lunch, just weird stuff that would pop into my head.  I kept having to force my attention back to the pastor (who is a very good pastor by the way), and I was getting frustrated.  I couldn’t pray anymore.  I didn’t feel like I could ask for anything for me because again, it was selfish.  When I’d try to pray, my mind would wander.  I realized it was Satan trying to keep me away from God, but I couldn’t seem to do much about it.

I began to slip…I started letting swear words drop more and more often.  I got mad easier, at little things.  I deliberately got into arguments with my mother when she tried to preach to me.  For the most part, I quit “praying” altogether, although looking back, I realize that I never failed to thank Him every day…when I was able to climb out of bed, I’d say a quick “Thank you, Lord,” or something similar.  Whenever anything good happened, I would do the same thing.  So I always felt like He was still in my life, if not directly in front of me.

Since the cancer returned, I haven’t really been able to pray much.  I’ve said a few, “Thy will, not my will” type prayers, and a couple times I actually prayed that He would deliver me from the surgery and everything would be fine.  But I felt guilty…not worthy.  I don’t feel like I’m where I need to be.  People have assured me that it doesn’t matter, that He understands because of what I’ve been going through, that I was truly saved, therefor I’m going to Heaven if anything goes wrong…but honestly, its not the way I was raised.  I believe people can and do backslide.  I’ve been told that if you backslide, you were never truly saved to begin with.  I beg to differ.  I KNOW I have been saved in the past, and I KNOW that I have backslid, more than once.  I believe in God wholeheartedly…I try to do what’s right with my life, and I try to be a positive influence to my kids.  But I make mistakes…sometimes big ones.  This whole past year and a half haven’t been pretty.  I can’t seem to figure out what I really need to do to get back to where I need to be.  Justin thinks I’m holding myself to an impossible standard, but I’m not…I know I’m going to make mistakes.  I can’t explain it, but I almost feel as if God has turned away from me with my inability to pray and focus on that prayer, to the exclusion of all else around me.

Its something I’ve struggled with for months, but I pushed it aside because I was still firmly believing in God and his ability to answer prayer and provide miracles.   This morning however, I got scared.  I had one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had, but recounting it, its so rediculous.  I believe it was a message from God, although not as powerful a message as I received in 2006.  Perhaps it was more of a warning, a reminder, I don’t know.  All I know is that at the worst part of the dream, I told myself, “This is a dream, wake up now,” and I woke up.  The first thing I did was thank Him that I’d woken up.  The next thing I did was wake Justin up and ask him to pray with me.  As he was hugging me and waking up enough to pray, I managed to mumble, “I’m afraid for my soul.”  That man, I do not deserve him.  He prayed for me for over 30 minutes.  I was mad, because while I was praying along with him, my mind kept wandering.  I looked at the clock several times.  I cried a couple times.  I again had trouble focusing on the prayer, the nightmare, whatever message God may have been sending me…my brain started to rationalize the whole thing.  I started coming up with excuses, and that made me madder, and being mad made me have even more trouble praying.  I know I’m ADHD but dang, I’ve always been able to pray until about 3 years ago.

Basically, I’m not sure where to go from here.  I’ve been staying out of crowds because I can’t risk getting sick, and flu and everything else is ripe this time of year.  I’ve been hesitant to go to church, because I think that people will say “She’s only coming because she has cancer again.”  My brain will NOT let me stop thinking all these things.  I just want peace.  I think part of my problem may be that there’s a part of me that hopes I WON’T come out of that operation, because I’m so tired of constant pain, constant disability, constant nausea, constant weight fluctuations.  Its all just getting to be so much.  Everyone thinks I’m so strong…after every surgery, I don’t cry, I don’t even complain much.  I grit my teeth, get back on my feet ASAP, and do everything they tell me to do.  Admittedly, I do ask for the strong drugs after surgery.  I’m afraid to take too much pain medication here at home because of the history of addiction on both sides of my family, but in the hospital, I give in to the relief because its controlled.  I’m sure it doesn’t make sense, but it does to me.  Anyway, I’m not strong.  I’m very weak.  I don’t like this…I don’t like not being able to enjoy my kids and my life.  But…I deal.  Still, it makes ending it all a very attractive prospect.  I would never commit suicide (there’s the whole “hell” thing), but drifting away on anesthesia, well, it doesn’t sound all that bad.

So, I’m all over the place.  I need prayers, lots of them.  I want to be able to find peace with God, with myself, with my health.  I want to be able to “pray without ceasing.”

I know we can’t always get what we want, but I feel like that’s something I need.

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There will be many, many times in our lives when someone disappoints us in some way…hurts us in some way.  There will be just as many times, if not more, when we return the favor, intentionally or unintentionally.  When it happens to you though, how do you let it go?

I’ve had many difficult times through the years…and with cancer in my life, I’m sure I’ll have many more yet to come.  One period of my life stands out to me however as THE most difficult time of my life, the most difficult situation I’ve ever had to handle.  I’m not happy with the way I handled it…not happy at all, and for many reasons.

I’m speaking, of course, of Ruby.

I miss her.  I never knew her, never even really saw her because they knocked me out, but I miss her.  I miss what is supposed to have been.  I miss the cuddles and snuggles and the joy of watching her walk and talk and play.  I miss reading to her and singing to her as I tuck her into bed at night.  But as much as I miss her, I don’t want to let her go.

What I do want to let go is how I was treated when I was carrying her.  Several people hurt me deeply…some family, some friends, and as silly as it sounds, some “friends” that I never actually met in real life, but I felt an apparently false kinship with them.  I don’t know how to let their treatment of me go…and until I can let it go, I’m never going to be able to move forward.

I need to move forward.  The bitterness I feel when I think back on it affects me negatively.  I recognize this, but can’t seem to do much about it.  I’m less likely to trust, less likely to reach out to people, and that really bugs me.

Some have apologized directly.  Some indirectly.  Some not at all.  Some, I’m sure, never will.  I keep telling myself its their problem, not mine.  Still, when you have a night like I had last night, all those self-doubts and recriminations come back to haunt you.  All the old hurt feelings, the rejection, the harsh words, insults, outright lies, and accusations.  Its hard to let go, especially as Ruby’s birthday approaches, as I look at yet another bout with cancer (possibly a worse one, we won’t know for a couple weeks yet).  I want to find that happy place so I can focus on my family and my health and just…live again.

I used to question why I had to go through Ruby’s pregnancy…why God would do that to me with everything else I’ve had happen in my life.  I have no answer as to why…but He obviously knows what He’s doing, because it didn’t kill me…it didn’t break me.  He will never give us more than we can handle.  One of my favorite movies is “The Sound of Music,” and the line from that movie really does hold true: “When God closes a door, SOMEWHERE He opens a window.”

I’ve found my windows when I needed them.  Now I just need to find that peace so I can let go of all the things that are hurting me.

There’s this really nasty little part of me though that wants to seriously knock the crap out of some people.  It might feel good to do so, but only temporarily…then I’d feel even worse.  I guess if I didn’t have to see some of them on a near-daily basis it’d be easier, but it is what it is.

I will continue to reach out, to support, to love, even though I’m treated like dirt or having my warm heart taken advantage of.  If I lose the capacity to care, I’ve lost everything.

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This week has been a hard one for me.  The doctor’s appointments were ok, but exhausting to go to.  Things at my mom’s were very stressful with the added company and her getting sick again suddenly, not to mention her dog, who was Mamaw’s dog, and is 2 weeks younger than Jared, got hurt and has a broken leg.  All of our stress levels skyrocketed.  By the time I got home Wednesday evening, I was stretched very thin.  Not being on my meds doesn’t help of course.

Then it really all hit the fan.  I found out that it wasn’t enough to just call me a liar…someone actually stalked me to another place on the internet.  The things this person(s) did just make no sense to me.  What is so sadly lacking in someone’s life that they feel the need to find someone they think lied to them, provide proof that is nothing more than coincidence, then when evidence IS provided, they choose to ignore it…and more importantly, set out to deliberately make that person more miserable than they themselves are, and attempt to destroy new relationships that may have been formed.  It just…it doesn’t compute for me.

Regardless, it was the final straw.  I took steps to protect myself, my emotions, my mental stability, and I haven’t looked back since.  I was upset that day, of course, but after a few hours it passed.

Then I found out, after all that, I need a new motor for my van (did I mention we JUST paid it off a month or so ago?), and of course that isn’t in the budget any time soon.  We’ve borrowed my mom’s car for the time being.

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Saturday night we had a church social, to meet a prospective pastor and his wife (we’ve been without a pastor for about a year and a half now).   I went, and I’m so glad I did.  They seem so genuine and compassionate.  She talked to me for a while…Justin and some of the others in the church have told her of my recent (and not-so-recent) medical issues, and as we talked, I felt my tension from the week loosening quite a bit.  We continued to discuss things, mainly Miss Ruby and the things she’ll face when she’s born, if she survives her birth.  I’d passed around the best of the 4D pictures, and it was easy to talk about her for once.

I told her that one of my biggest struggles has been listening to that voice I continue to hear in my head…the one that says “Let go, I’ve got this.”  The one that at first I had so much trouble trying to listen to.  As each week and month have passed by, I’ve realized that I’ve steadily given up a little more of that control, day by day.  Justin and I talked about that on the way to Jared’s band contest Saturday.  But, I haven’t been able to let go of that last little bit, and figured I never would.

As I talked to the pastor’s wife, and I told her this, suddenly a weight lifted.  I felt my face do that “ooooh wow” thing that we’ve all done at times when we suddenly realize something profound.  I was amazed…and when I walked away I was almost floating, I felt so light.  I realized in that moment…I’d done it.  I’d given it to God.  Completely.  Yes, I’m still afraid.  Yes, I’m still terrified at times that I’m going to be burying my baby.  But the inner peace I’ve felt for the past few weeks, that whatever happens, it will be ok…it suddenly just expanded and filled me up today.  I know its ok now…God has it.  He has her.  He’s always had her…it just took me a little while to let go and realize that.  He has us all.

And with that realization…nothing else really matters.  All the heartache and upset this week, the mood swings, the crying, the pain, the discomfort, the doctor’s restrictions, the financial strains…none of it matters.  God has it under control.  I just need to listen for His guidance and let Him take the wheel.

I have a feeling I’ll be sleeping better at night now…

And, I thank God for wonderful, amazing friends, some whom I’ve never met, that continue to pray for usand lift me up, make me laugh until I cry, during the times I need it the most.

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I don’t like boycotts in general…I do my own personal little boycotts, but I don’t go along with mainstream ones unless I really believe in them.  For instance…I’m a Christian, and I love listening to AFR (Christian radio), but I’m NOT boycotting McDonald’s.  I love my Fish Filet and chicken McNuggets too much, especially during this pregnancy when nothing wants to stay down…not to mention, boycotting McDonald’s is only going to hurt the little guy…the people who have to pay large franchise fees to McDonald’s just to stay open.

I digress.  Melody wrote an excellent blog post here about the new movie “Tropic Thunder.”  I’d planned to see it, not realizing it was rated R, because the previews looked like a typical, satirical, stupid movie that would make me laugh.  However, after reading about the liberal use of the word “retard” in the film and the heavy marketing of said word, I’ve changed my mind.  I’m really disappointed that they chose to leave out the “N word” in a scene because it “felt wrong” but it was ok to leave many references to people with mental disabilities.

Carrie at Chocolate, the Other White Meat nailed it when she commented that the only groups its acceptable to make fun of in our country are “retards” and Christians. Couldn’t have said it better myself Carrie.

Anyway, go check out Melody’s post here and please visit the link to the online petition she posts about. This is a small thing, sure, but no less important.

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My dad has this character flaw…as do I.  I think it’s part of being bipolar (for me) and in his case, part of his mental issues (clinical depression, multiple personalities, self esteem issues).  We feel pain, we feel stress, we feel the world is out to get us.  If someone has a problem, we mean well by trying to share our experiences with a similar problem, but in the long run, we end up sounding like we’ve turned it into being about US rather than about THEM, whether intentional or not.  And really, it does end up being all about us…for a few moments, we can “relive” that experience.  Even the unpleasant ones are nice to relive…its…attention.  Validation.  The stress we felt, or the pain we felt, or the emotional distress we felt…it was real and it was validated because we can talk about it and share it.  Nevermind the person going through something similar (and those who haven’t but are there to witness the conversation) may not want to hear it.  They may just want a hug, a shoulder, a chance to vent and talk without having to listen to anyone else say “I know how you feel.”

Justin and I were looking through the care page tonight of a little boy born in 2003 with almost exactly the same issues our baby girl is going to deal with.  Justin got mad at me because I was “selling” the little boy to him while looking at the pictures.  “See, he’s so happy even after surgery, he has a good quality of life!”  “See, with clothes on you can’t even see the omphalocele, so people won’t be staring at her in the grocery store!”  “See, there is hope!”  I tried to explain to him that I’m selling it to myself more than trying to sell it to him, that its the only way I can get through the night…to feel there’s hope, or to feel that I’m doing the right thing…to know that the multiple surgeries won’t prevent our daughter from having a good life.  And, I realized…I was making it all about me.  It slapped me right in the face, and it wasn’t pretty.

I realized that I have to feel validation in every aspect of my life, or it makes me insignificant…a failure…worthless.  I didn’t like that realization.  I don’t have to be special to be loved…I don’t have to have absurd, outrageous stories to make people like me.  It doesn’t matter that they happened…I should downplay them because what I’m really trying to do is “sell” myself and/or the situation to those I care about, even total strangers.  It should be enough to say “I survived cancer” and leave it at that, but instead I feel the need to explain, in detail, just how much suffering I went through or how miraculous my recovery was, just how rare the size of my tumor was, or the fact that this particular cancer had almost never been seen to be encapsulated as mine was.  I should be content to just say “I survived” and thank God, and move on.  When someone shares that they have hepatacellular carcinoma, I don’t need to say all these things I just mentioned…I need to just hug them, pat their shoulders, say “I’m a survivor too…if you ever need me, I’m here for you.”  That’s the RIGHT thing to do.  Why can’t I do that?

The funny thing is…I HATE attention.  I don’t like standing out, I hate being the center of attention in any way.  I despise going to parties because someone may notice me and engage me in conversation.  So why do I do this?  Why do I draw attention by making darned near every situation about me in some way?

You regular readers will remember my pain and upset a couple months ago when I had some awful things said about and to me anonymously, and people I considered friends told me they thought I was full of it as well.  They thought I was making up the pregnancy, and were waiting for me to announce I’d miscarried, and how my latest revelation (of the diagnosis of ectopia cordis at the time) was so outrageous as to be unbelieved, even for me.  It hurt so much, but it also has been with me all this time, for the past several weeks.  I’ve been catty here and there in my posts about it, because it was like a thorn…just kept worrying at me.

The fact is, its opened my eyes.  Everything I say now, I look at “Am I going to be perceived as full of it?  Am I going to be believed?  Is this really necessary to say?  Is that really exactly how it happened, or am I embellishing it a little to make it more interesting?”  I’ve been able to joke about it recently.  Tonight really brought it home to me, but I don’t think it would have had this not been said to/about me a couple months ago.   I needed that dose of reality, even though it took me a while to figure it out…or at least to acknowledge it to myself.

So, you know who you are, but I owe you an apology for being so catty and blowing off what you said to me, especially after you came out and said it to me privately and in a respectful way.  We were both wrong in ways, and we were both right in ways.  I was telling the truth, but in a totally obnoxious and annoying manner.  You were concerned for the feelings of your friends who were getting emotionally involved in my stories.  I’m sorry I blew you off, and I’m sorry I didn’t realize sooner the truth of what you were saying and just how it all looks.   I asked you to be big enough to apologize to me when my situation is proven to you, but I never realized that I would be the one to owe YOU an apology as well.  I was so far up on my high-horse and full of self-righteous indignation, that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  I’m sorry for being bitter and full of anger, and I hope that you will forgive me and we can, while maybe never be friends, at least be acquaintances again.

Its hard admitting I’m wrong…but I handled this entire thing extremely badly, and I am sorry.

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