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

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 Lost…Can You Find Me?

I am lost…..Completely…Totally….Lost.

I am 36 years old. It is almost Thanksgiving and if you believe all the radio stations and stores around here it’s also almost Christmas. My husband is working on Thanksgiving from 4:15pm to 1:15 am on Friday. So no Thanksgiving together for us. I now have to have Thanksgiving with my sister in law who I am convinced does not like me, along with her husband, my adorable and lovely niece and nephew (who make the whole ordeal worth it), and my in-laws who I adore but can sometimes be a bit much when everyone is together. Then I get to dash off to my aunt’s house with my brothers to have dessert before dashing out the door again to go shopping for everyone. I am tired just thinking about it and would like to spend the next 8 weeks hiding under a cover so I did not have to decorate, bake, wrap, shop, or even think about how the hell I’m getting through all this.

I work as a case manager for children with disabilities to find them and their families resources to help with their needs and authorizing therapy. Most of the kids are sick because it’s that time of the year. The parents are always upset, demanding, and sometimes downright cruel. I am slowly losing my love of the job and want to both cry and scream while simultaneously putting my head through a wall. My other option is to fake my death and run away forever.

I am Diabetic, have high blood pressure (100% from the job I do because when I’m off it’s totally normal), and recently have been told my cholesterol is high. Lately my heart has been hurting and so I have to find a cardiologist to go see. I want to be a mother but I don’t know if it will be physically safe enough for me to do so because I take way too many meds for my health and it may not be safe to be off them and also I have some womanly struggles that get in the way. So I will know more in January when I go back to the OB/GYN doc. I gave up school for this because I felt it was the more important goal at the moment. Now I’m doubting myself.

I have recently gone back to church and feel absolutely nothing when I am there. My pastor is awesome and a good friend of myself and my husband. The people at my church are warm and welcoming and lovely people. It really is a great place to be. But I come in, I listen, I leave and I feel nothing. No happy, no sad, no love, no hate. Just another freaking obligation. I’ve tried reading my Bible, praying, but nothing is working right now. But I’m going to keep trying because I really do love God even if I suck as a Christian most of the time.

I have completely failed at the fitness challenge I joined 8 weeks ago and am too embarrassed to go to the ending party on Wednesday because let’s face it I am the biggest loser ever and didn’t even lose like 2 pounds. So super failure right there. Total waste of time, money, and effort.

Nothing makes me happy right now. I feel like I’m just going through the motions of being alive on a daily basis. I feel empty, numb, tired all the time, constant slew of headaches, and just sick of life. I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I even went back to therapy for a few sessions and it has not been helpful at all.

I really miss my family. As much as my mother wasn’t the greatest person in the world we always had good holidays together. We always had fun as a family. I miss Christmas mornings together with my brothers and my dad and having cookies for breakfast and reheated McDonald’s sandwiches we bought the day before. I miss decorating the tree with them. I miss board games Christmas night because we always got a few new ones every year. I miss Thanksgivings at my aunt’s house when I was a kid and all the cousins were over. Now everyone is too busy, too far away, has their own family, etc.

I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel adrift in a sea of feelings I can’t sort out and with work don’t have time to do so. I feel so alone even when I’m surrounded by good people. Hugs are physically painful because they make me feel like I’m going to shatter into a thousand pieces. I have been retreating from everyone who loves me because I can’t take it right now. Isn’t that awful? The one thing that could make me feel better is probably sitting down and talking to someone and yet I can’t seem to do so.

I’m sorry this is such a bummer of a post. I just needed to vent. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully a better one.

 

depression

So Much To Say…So Little Time to Say It

I have been absent from this blog for a bit. I’ve finally realized I am never going to be a daily blogger. I would like to, but life at this point does not allow it. I have so much I want to say but so little time to say it.

I have made some decisions regarding my life and I’m still reeling from those decisions. I completed my grad school application for Social Work. All I had to do was make the payment and I would most likely have been accepted. But….I couldn’t do it. I tried, I stared, I cried, I argued with myself, but in the end I did not complete the payment. After much thought, reflection, a talk with my pastor, my husband, and a few close friends I trust my life with, I have decided that I am going to try to become a mother.

I……….AM…………TERRIFIED………….

I was miserable the day I made the decision even though I knew it was the right one. When I thought about grad school all I felt was anxiety, fear, and more fear. There was no peace about the decision, mainly due to being worried about affording it and also moving around my work schedule to accommodate all the work I would have to do. When I talked to the people closest to me and they all agreed I would completely regret not becoming a mother, I knew this was the right choice. I felt it deep in my soul. This doesn’t mean I was thrilled. Going to grad school has been a major dream for me for the last 5 years. But motherhood has been a dream basically my whole life.

I met with my therapist and we talked about it. I admitted that I was afraid I was going to lose my identity and just become so and so’s mother. Not even a name anymore, just “that kid’s mom.” I told her I was afraid I would never have time to do anything I love again and that I would never get back to school. I’m afraid I will turn out like my mother and be an abusive, miserable, life-ruining mother. I’m afraid we will become homeless because we won’t be able to afford a kid and all that comes with one. My cousin in pregnant with twins. What if that happens to me? How will we manage in this house?

Work has become hell on earth and I have multiple families that are so rude, so entitled, and so abusive to me I have taken days off of work to recover. We are now required to do something called “The Magic Seven” which I refer to as Seven Levels of Hell. Basically you have to visit with each child twice a month and call their parents every week you don’t see them, then call at least three other providers working with the child. So with my current careload of 16 children that is 32 visits, 32 calls to parents, and 42 calls to various other people connected to each child. Also every child must be seen by the 15th of the month at least once. While that may not seem too bad, keep in mind we are not supposed to work weekends (although with the time limits we get I always do), all notes must be in within 48 hours, treatment plan meetings take about 2-3 hours each then putting plans in takes another 2-3 hours. Parents like to cancel, not pick up the phone, or monopolize you for about an hour as they relay all the struggles their little darling is putting them through. You have to squeeze in supervision, team meetings, and one day a month a staff meeting during which you are not to do any work. Do you see my issue?!

I love kids, I love social work, but some days it’s too much. There are never enough resources for the kids I work with. The parents are NEVER satisfied. Success is infrequent and small at best. And yet I want to bring a kid into this whole messy, rude, crazy world. What am I thinking?!

Oh and as for the challenge at the gym. I have given up trying to win. I have achieved my own personal goals. I lowered my blood sugar levels and my A1C. I can now wear one of my bras without an extender! My jeans are fitting a little better. I am actually starting to love myself through this. So yeah I’m not going to win but I feel like a winner anyway!

 

~I Actually Did It~

After MONTHS of agonizing, scheming, planning, praying, and generally feeling as if I have an elephant on my chest, I finally did it tonight. I finished my grad school essay and I submitted my application for the MSW to Rutgers University. If accepted I will start school in January. If not accepted, well I don’t know from there.

This past week I had all but given up on my application. I was tired, I was stressed, and my boss was driving me crazy. My families I work with were driving me crazy. I was ready to quit my job and turn into a hermit who lives in the woods. During my supervision on Friday I had it out with my boss and told her all my frustrations and how I felt betrayed by her. She stayed calm and told me that there are always exceptions to every rule and that is just how the world works. When I told her I was no longer applying for school she got mad at me and asked why. I said I couldn’t do my job, go to school, and get everything done. She looked away and said “whatever.” Naturally this made me furious. I don’t like being dismissed.

So tonight I had some time to think while my husband was out. I am literally worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. If I don’t get this degree I can’t move up in the field and I will be stuck at my current job forever. If I go to school it’s going to cost a lot of money and time and possibly all of the little sanity I have left. But the time has come to move on because I can’t do anything else unless I get this degree.

So here goes nothing. Or something. We shall see!!

 

Am I A Defective Product?

Today after work I was reading a magazine article in Marie Claire magazine. I don’t subscribe to it but my father in law always gets free offers for magazines for doing surveys so I wind up with a lot of them.

This article was one page, and talked about three different women who are already executives or higher-ups in their companies. But apparently this is only the tip of the iceberg of achievement. All three women have done something else on the side that has taken off exponentially. While I admire that drive and creativity, I had a few small problems with the story.

One woman described her schedule as working all day, leaving work to get in a workout, spending time with her husband and kids before working on what I’ll call her second job. She is quoted as saying that if a client needs her at 3am she gets up and answers the phone. Super Woman personified! We should all aspire to be her, right? Eh, maybe not.

My problem is that this is not realistic for your average woman. I don’t even have kids (well my husband acts like one from time to time, but that is a blog for another time!) and I am exhausted by the time I get done work, do a workout, clean around my house, and make dinner. I need some down time to recharge my batteries, reset my brain and just give the world a rest for a few hours.

My second problem with this article builds off of the first. These women are being held up as ideals for women to strive for. It’s as if the magazine/article is saying “Look ladies you CAN have it all. They did it! Why aren’t you? What’s wrong with your lazy butt?” Isn’t it enough of an achievement that these ladies broke through the glass ceiling and became tops in their respective fields on top of being wives and mothers? But apparently not. It’s like success is not enough anymore, you have to keep piling on….and on…and on.  When is enough, enough?

Tonight I just want to say to all the mamas, papas, sisters, brothers, friends, and families out there: YOU ARE ENOUGH!! Stop trying to kill yourself for an ideal that very few reach and even if they do, they are probably so exhausted that they can’t enjoy it. If you want to strive for more, do it, but do it because YOU want to.

Much love, hugs, and kitten kisses to all of you (or puppy kisses if you prefer)!

 

Some Poetry from 2013

They smile and pretend
That all is well
But there are many secrets
A family never tells

A husband betrays
The wife he lies beside
All for a silly woman
Who comes and strokes his pride

A wife overwhelmed
Ignores a child’s cry
All because she feels
Her life has passed her by

The children curse and fight
Longing to be heard
But though they scream and yell
Never are they heard

We all agree
Something must be done
To bring together mother, father,
Daughters and sons

But how do you combat
Darkness so ensnaring
How do you not argue
But really show you’re caring

You pray for peace
You pray for love
You pray for wisdom
From Heaven above

And sometimes what is broken
Can not be mended again
But made into something different
And more beautiful in the end.

~Jenny Hansen 2013