I’ve Become So Numb

My Pop-Pop passed away on Sunday, December 8th. He was not my bio grandfather but he was the only grandfather I knew on that side of the family. My bio grandfather died when I was two years old. He looks like he was a nice gent. But my Pop-Pop I grew up with was a spitfire. He could make you laugh and ten minutes later make you cry. My grandmother married him when I was 8 years old and I remember him wearing a sombrero and starting a conga line all around the bar they were having the reception at. He always had a joke for you or a sarcastic comment.

He has not been doing well in the last couple of years and has kind of been a cantankerous brat to my grandmother. He made it to 98 so I guess I have to give him a break for that. It’s just weird that he’s gone. The funeral is on Wednesday this week and I don’t really know why I’m not sad. Maybe because he was suffering so much and causing my grandmother so much heartache? I just feel numb. Like okay this is one more thing we have to get through before this year is over.

Add all of that to my job and the crying, screaming, meltdowns galore, and being on call this week as well. I am literally crawling over the finish line of this year. But I am going to finish and so are you. My Pop-Pop has a new glorious body that isn’t aching, breaking, or taking the life out of him so that’s something to celebrate.

Sorry for the randomness here. Tired and just needed to get some thoughts out.

poppop

This is my Pop-Pop and Grandmom at my wedding in 2010. Aren’t they adorable?!

Lost In The Darkness

Friday, September 27th, I said a final goodbye to my Aunt Marie. She lost her fight to a rare lung disorder that snatched her up faster then a kid grabs a cookie.

My heart physically hurts. I have been crying on and off since the viewing on Thursday and the day of the funeral, naturally, I was a tearful mess. I went through 2 packages of purse tissues. My husband hugged me and didn’t say much which was exactly what I needed at that moment.

The priest for the funeral looked and acted like someone had woken him from a nap to go and perform a funeral. He actually fell asleep at one point! Then he wound up going to the wrong cemetery so the funeral director wound up doing the grave side service. In his defense, this priest was new to the area so I guess we give him a pass.

My job does not give time off for aunts or uncles, only parents or grandparents (including step-parents and step-grandparents). I took off Friday for obvious reasons and Monday because I need it. I need to be able to wrap my head around the fact that she is gone along with my Uncle Peter a few years ago.

Every time I think about going back to work, my heart pounds out of control, I feel sick, and I start shaking. I feel the same fear I would feel if someone was chasing me with a chainsaw and not because they were excited to get to my lawn. My job has literally driven me to the brink of insanity. My boss changed my time sheet without even consulting me before turning it in which in itself made me angry. Then there are the twenty or so e-mail waiting to tell me how wrong I am in everything and how I’m not doing enough. Just typing this I feel ready to burst into tears.

I know it is long overdue for me to leave this company. While I love what I do, the pressure to complete more and more within the same amount of time per week is overwhelming and exhausting. It has caused me to spiral into a deep depression that I can’t seem to get out of. All I want to do is sleep or kill myself.

I’m tired of losing people, I’m tired of bills, I’m tired of going to church and feeling so empty and hollow inside. I’m tired of feeling like a failure. I’m tired of not having any energy to do anything, even things I love. I am just tired of life. And I’m really tired of trying to explain depression and anxiety to people that don’t understand and think I should just “snap out of it” “think positively” and my favorite “you just need to have faith.” My faith is dead. I know God is there but I don’t think he cares about me anymore. I have no more faith that things are going to get better and I’m too tired to try to get off the ground. If I wind up dead it is because I gave my all and I couldn’t give anymore. I feel that I am doing the world  a favor by going away.

But  I don’t even think God would be merciful enough to let me die. He’d rather watch me be miserable and hurt and cry. Sometimes I think he gets enjoyment out of it. But maybe I’m wrong. Sorry if this is bleak. This is my only safe outlet to say these things because I work in the mental health field and you can’t talk to your co-workers about it, definitely not your boss, and all my friends are busy with their children and their own lives. Nobody wants to hear this because nobody knows how to fix it. So if you read this thanks for being there.

The Last Words You Ever Want To Hear

“There’s nothing more we can do.”

These to me are the worst words you can hear from a doctor when you love someone.

They said them to my mom when they called to tell her my father passed away from a heart attack.

They say them in countless hospitals in countless places countless times a day. I can’t imagine having to say those words to someone. I can’t imagine seeing faces filled with hope when you walk in the room and then seeing the light in someone’s eyes as you destroy it faster then a boot can kill and ant.

Today these words were spoken to my cousins about their mother. My Aunt Marie was the most favorite of my aunts because she was so kind and loving. She always made me feel special and loved. She had my wedding shower at her home so both my mother in law and my mom could invite all the people they wanted. My cousins already lost their father and now they are losing their mother. Their kids will not get to know my aunt the way I did or her kids did. They will never hear her great stories or taste her home made pierogies (although my cousins make them well so maybe they will get to taste them after all).

I am so mad at God right now I could spit. I don’t deny His existence but right now I wish he would end mine. I’m tired of losing family. In a few days I will lose my aunt. My cousins will lose a mother, and four grandchildren will lose their grandmother. Where is the righteousness in that?!

Aunt Marie and Family

My Aunt Marie is the third one in from the right. This is her with my cousins Kim, Steph, and Peter and their husbands, wife, and grandchildren. WHY?! Why God Why?!

Heartbreak On Top Of Heartbreak

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this life. I can’t even try to pretend I have faith anymore. I know God is there and that He loves some people but I think I must have done too many things wrong to be loved anymore. Or perhaps I am just a joke to Him.

My job is killing me. Literally. Like my stress level is so high I am having physical pain in my chest and I constantly am stress eating which is awesome when you have Type 2 Diabetes . Parents I work with are abusive to me, they lie, and they don’t want to let go of services so it all falls on my head. I’m the bad guy. I’m the jerk saying hey your kid is stable, time to go. Even though the damn therapists say the same damn thing I am always the one getting blamed for “not caring.” My whole freaking job is caring. But I am starting to not care anymore. I am tired of putting out effort with no return except constant abuse. And when you try to explain to your boss how stressed out you are you just get “just don’t take it so personally,” “stop being sensitive,” “you need to reset yourself.” Some days I seriously consider ending my life at work and leaving a note on my chest that says “Please find the positive in THIS.”

My Pop Pop is not doing well. He had a stroke about two months ago and has been in a nursing home ever since. He is mean, cranky, and abusive to the nursing staff and my grandmother. He tells her she doesn’t care about him and has abandoned him to die Even though she visits him five times a week). Then he begs her to not leave and to bring him ice cream. He’s 97 years old so I get maybe it’s his time to go, but why couldn’t God just let him go to sleep? Why put his daughter Linda and my grandmother through all this abuse? My grandmother is practically a saint in my eyes. She has stood by me through so much. She believed me about my mom abusing me when nobody else would. She encouraged me, helped me to believe in God even when I wanted to just give up. Now even she is questioning why all this crap is happening.

Today I found out my Aunt Marie is probably going to pass away soon because she has an infection in her lungs and she needs a lung transplant but it’s not looking good. She is currently in an induced coma to keep her body calm. She just retired this year in May after 42 years of teaching! And this is the thanks she gets. Dying when she would finally have more time to be with her grand babies. I guess I should be grateful that God allowed her to have one final vacation with all of her kids and grand kids this summer before he snatches her away.

My mother in law let my husband and I know last night that my husband’s sister is probably getting divorced because her husband is potentially cheating on her and also he doesn’t want to do anything in the house to help her or their two wonderful children. These kids are like perfect, no lie. So on top of being sad for her, now I’ve lost my mother in law as a support because she is going to be all wrapped up in my sister in law (as she should, don’t get me wrong).

I can no longer attend my church because one of the grandparents I work with has decided to attend there and will not stop harassing me at church for things. I need this. I want that. Give me this. Give me that. When are you doing A-Z for me? I’m not supposed to have work conversations in public due to protecting the child’s privacy. But she doesn’t care and now I can’t go there.

I am destroyed emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I don’t even know how I’m going to get up tomorrow and put up with work on top of all of this.

 

broken heart

Life Goes On

So it’s been a few weeks since my father in law passed away and I am doing a little better. I can’t say the same for my mother in law, but she’s taking it day by day. The evenings are hardest for her and it truly sucks I can’t do anything to ease the pain.

This latest death has me thinking, really thinking, about my life. I mean let’s face it, anytime someone close to us dies or even a favorite celebrity dies,  it makes us consider our own mortality.  If I were to drop dead tomorrow for some reason I’d like to think I left behind a legacy of kindness, support, and genuine love for those I encounter. I would like to be remembered as a patient person, who tried to never give up on others, even if I didn’t extend that courtesy to myself.

The truth is, I don’t know how anyone else sees me. And you never really can truly know because most people aren’t going to say to your face the things they really truly think. When I look deep into myself I see a lot of fear. I see so many chances not taken in order to have a sense of safety. But in that safety is disappointment, and it’s not a fun place to live. I want to be bold. I tell myself to fling myself head first into something, ANYTHING, at this point because I am not really living so much as existing at this point. But then fear tells me no, don’t do that, you’ll get hurt, you will fail, people won’t like your idea or you. And I shrink like a flower caught in a cold breeze.

I recently read a book called My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. It is a fabulous read about a young lady, much like myself, who is constantly living in fear of doing anything. So after seeing a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt in a local cafe (“Do one thing every day that scares you.”) she takes it as a personal challenge to do so. She takes acrobatic classes, she swims with sharks, and she does a lot of other little things. The book culminates with her climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

Until I finished the book I did not realize that this was a memoir and that this was a real person that did all of these things. For about five minutes I thought about doing something similar. But after those five minutes, financially and physically I realized that tackling some of my fears would be next to impossible. Still it got me thinking that maybe it’s time I just tackle some of them. I can write and submit my stuff to places. I can reconsider school again. I can reconsider becoming a foster parent again. Maybe I can’t do one scary thing a day but I can do some scary things.

So with that I will say my goal for the rest of the year is to simply try. Try to do some things even though they are terrifying. Put myself out there just a bit more. We shall see what happens.

eleanor

Death Can Be Brutal and a Blessing

On March 21st I woke up and got ready for work. As I was getting ready to get in my car my mother in law (who lives around the corner from my husband and I) asked me to check on my father in law who was not feeling well. She said if he seemed really bad to call 911 and have him taken to the hospital.

My father in law’s health has been declining for some time, but he has been really bad the last month or so. He had a stroke 26 years ago and has not been the same since. He also has had a myriad of other health problems including COPD which is from smoking like a chimney and also working on the smoke stacks on the ships while in the Navy. But the thing is, no matter how bad, this man always bounces back. Maybe not as strong, but he always somehow manages to do it.

So here goes me thinking I’ll be in and out and on my merry way to another boring staff meeting where they drone on about stupid stuff and we all nod and smile as a day is wasted talking about stuff that could just as easily be sent in an email.

I never made it to the damn meeting.

I came in the house shouting my father in law’s name and asking how he was feeling. I think subconsciously when I first glimpsed him sitting on the couch I knew because I froze, calling his name a few more times. He did not greet me with his usual “same shit different day” when I asked how he was feeling. He did not move, he did not respond, and he had no pulse.

So I called 911 for help. They told me to get him on the floor and do CPR. I got him on the floor but on his side and could not move him to his back. Dark red blood oozed out of his mouth and that was when I started hyperventilating and freaking the hell out for real. The 911 person told me to go get a neighbor so I pounded on my neighbor’s door like a madwoman and begged him to come help me move my father in law.  He came and then the paramedics came and I was doing CPR and then they took over and told me to give them a minute and leave the room.

Five minutes later they told me he was gone.

My husband was asleep and did not pick up his phone after 10 tries. I called my mother in law at work and told her to come home. She asked why and I couldn’t tell her. I didn’t want to be the one. She said she’d be home in 20 minutes. My husband and her showed up about 45 minutes later. I didn’t know what to do. There were police, ambulances, coroners, medical examiners, and a host of other people in the house. The undertakers from the local funeral home came about an hour later. We had to go to the funeral home a couple of hours after that.

I had to sit and listen to the police tell my mother in law and my husband what happened. I watched as they cried and held each other. I listened as my mother in law called my husband’s brother and sister and told them. There was screaming, crying, and plans made.

And now we are here. Ten days later and it all feels like it happened two seconds ago. The funeral was nice and he was buried in a veterans cemetery. There was a 21 gun salute which was a little frightening. My husband and his brother each received one of the shells. After the service we went to my sister in law’s house where there was more food then a hundred people could eat. People came and went. Some of my husband’s friends came. None of mine did mostly because it was a work day.

I remember feeling very sad when my parents died. I cried for weeks and months and eventually it became easier to breathe. But with my father in law I don’t feel sad so much as happy for him. He was stuck in a body that would not allow him to do all the things he wanted to do. He couldn’t use his right arm at all and his right leg just kind of dragged because it was painful for him to walk since he had broken his leg several months ago.

I bet the first thing he did was dance, jump and leap when his soul left his damaged body. Then he probably asked God to give him some projects to do because he was very good with his hands.

Can you imagine being stuck in a body that does not allow you to do the most basic things like holding something in both hands. To have to use a cane that further limits you because now you can’t even hold a cup in the good hand? To be constantly depressed because you see how hard your wife works and you can’t do anything to help her?

My father in law could be downright mean and cruel at times because the part of the brain that tells you “don’t say that” was damaged so he kind of just said whatever he wanted to. But underneath all the brashness and the sarcasm was a man who loved his family deeply. Heck he even allowed me to use power tools and taught me how to hang a picture on the wall and make sure it was level.

I will miss my father in law, but I am glad he’s free.

Save A Place For Me By Matthew West

I Am No Longer Tubthumping

There is no point in trying
No point in getting up
Stay down on the ground
Don’t make a sound
And maybe the storm will pass

Put on a happy face
Smile, Smile, Smile
They say share your troubles
But then your sadness doubles
When no one wants to listen

Every day is the same
Every minute, Every hour
Bills piled high
Days end with a sigh
And you wonder why you even bother

Be still, be quiet
Hear the ache
Of a heart that’s sad
A soul gone bad
And the desire to try is abandoned

Emptiness screeches
Like an owl gone mad
Loneliness encroaches
Death approaches
And you run open armed to him

They try to pull you back
But you pull away
There’s nothing to do
You are through
Trying to make everyone happy

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

This week has ended on the worst note possible. This morning I found out one of my friends passed away. Same age as me, only 36. I am not really sure of the details of his death at this point as nobody is really sharing anything, as is their right.

I can’t even begin to describe what a sweet, kind, caring soul this man was. He had a heart of gold and was always trying to make people laugh because his true passions laid in comedy and singing. He loved Boyz To Men and sang their songs like an angel. We were never super close but I knew him well enough to know the world is a little less bright now without him. He came to my New Year’s Eve party two years ago. We had not seen each other in awhile so I was super happy when he decided to come at the last minute. He had moved to Wisconsin recently to be with his family but I always assumed that he would be back when he got some things straightened out.

Lately I have been feeling a lot of anxiety about my mortality. I lost a friend a month ago who was just a little bit younger then me and now my other friend. A third friend has cancer and I don’t understand what is going on. I am 36 and my husband 39. We should not be losing friends at this age. That should be reserved for our 90’s.

Please hug your family and friends close tonight. Let them know how much you care and how precious they are to you, for tomorrow is not promised. RIP my sweet friend. I am glad you are no longer in any pain and can share your voice with the heavenly choir.

The picture of my friend below was created by Angela Capel. I take no credit for it because I can barely draw stick figures.

Royal Scott