Am I Important?

My  husband and I had it out a little last night.  I’m still dragging and depressed and it doesn’t seem to be easing up at all.  I tried to talk to him about how I’m feeling and what I’m going through.  It did not go well.  When I asked him if there was a possibility he could get the night off to stay home with me, he bit my head off.  He could have taken another route in saying that he wasn’t going to be able to get a Saturday night off on short notice, but instead he snapped at me.  It left me feeling diminished, like I am nothing but a pain in the ass, an inconvenience.

I ended up snapping back at him a smartass remark and the fight was on.  Midway through I tried to explain how it made me feel when he talked to me like that.  He told me I was wrong.  Just flat-out, “you’re wrong.”  Talk about making me feel unimportant.  I flipped and told him he might think my perceptions are wrong, but my feelings are not wrong and no one can tell me that.

We talked a little more and I tried to explain what I was going through and suddenly he had to turn it around and suddenly it was about what he was going through and how dealing with my mental illness and problems make him crazy.  I could feel myself start to shut down on the inside.  I told him that we were talking about me and he got mad and said then who could he talk to.   Well gee, if you need to talk about you, I’m always available and here for that.  But I needed to talk about me and have him understand what I was going through and he was flipping it around so that it was about him.

Eventually it was just dropped because I couldn’t handle the conflict on top of everything else.  I let snappish comments slide over me and did my best to ignore the pain they caused.  I don’t think I snapped at him, I could be wrong, I walked around in a fog the rest of the night.  I was sleeping by the time he left for work or shortly thereafter.  I don’t remember.

I just want the pain to end.  I want to feel important to someone, because I don’t know how to be important to myself.  Sometimes I really wish I would just die.

Words

I have so much turmoil locked inside of me right now.  I’m finding words very difficult, which is also distressing because words have always been my thing.  Today is the day I mark as the day my baby died.  It’s the day of the surgery that ripped her lifeless form from my body.  I found myself unable to order the memorial stepping stone for her.  I submitted the design and what I wanted on it to a company, they sent me a proof, and it was beautiful…elegant.  But I couldn’t bring myself to order it.  I don’t know why.  I showed it to my husband and he said it was nice and gave me the “whatever you want to do” line.  I know it hurt him too, but it doesn’t seem like he feels the loss.  I don’t know.

After being in the hospital and then sick with the flu, just as I was recovering, my son got sick.  He was nearly admitted for IV fluids because after six days of fever and vomiting he was beginning to dehydrate.  Thankfully we avoided that and he went back to school yesterday.  He lost four pounds while he was sick.  He only weighed 61 to begin with.  Why couldn’t I lose four pounds when I was sick?

At Wal-Mart last night I ran into an aunt and cousin from my father’s family.  It seemed unreal to hear about the dysfunction of that family.  My father has been causing problems (as usual) and just being crazy.  It only seemed to cement my decision to have nothing to do with him and make it seem all the more right.  I know he is mentally ill, but so does he and he has been treated many times and won’t stay on the medication needed to be normal.

I have no energy.  I am so tired and worn out.  My husband was angry with me yesterday because I dosed off in the evening again and with the kids activity schedule I didn’t plan one dinner.  It was more of an “eat when you have a chance” type thing.  As such, I didn’t cook a normal meal.  Every time he gets angry with me for things like that…me napping really pisses him off for some reason…I feel like less of a person.  I feel like I’m lazy and no good for anything and I can’t do anything right.  Those thoughts lead me to thinking it would be better if I were dead.

The mask I wear so people don’t see inside has been slipping more and more lately.  I hate it.  I feel so weak and stupid.

I guess I found some words today after all.  I don’t know if they make sense or if they are coherent or if they even say all I wanted them too, but there they are nonetheless.

Trying to Organize My Mind, Part 2

I am finally starting to feel better.  Today is a week since I was released from the hospital and after a visit to my family doctor on Thursday and four prescriptions later I am starting to overcome the flu and bronchitis.  My house and bank account have definitely suffered for my illness.  The house is a complete disaster and we only have clean dishes because by the Grace of God I managed to run the dishwasher two days ago.  I’ve come to realize, as well, just how expensive fast food and pizza can be as we ordered in or got take out the entire week when I was too sick to stand and cook.  Thank goodness I’d had a little extra stashed back in hopes of paying the car insurance early.  That won’t happen now, but at least we’re not behind because of all of this.

I also found out a few things since my last post.  The day I went into the hospital, March 6 (the 8 year anniversary of the death of my cousin who was like a sister), we had quite a storm come through.  My mother-in-law was involved in a car accident that day that totaled her vehicle.  She is fine, but was left without wheels for a day until the rental company came through with a car for her.  The following day my sister-in-law’s vehicle went into the garage for inspection and she didn’t get it back until late in the afternoon.  While this doesn’t let them off the hook for the way they treated and then proceeded to ignore me and my family after I was out of the hospital, it does explain why they weren’t in to see me.  The thoughts from my first post still apply though, and I’ve set my boundaries and I’m sticking to them.  In fact, I’m quite proud of myself when my sister-in-law told me she needed a letter for her husband to get out of jury duty and I told her she would have to bring the paperwork he was sent over here and then I would write it for her.  I’m not going to try to take information over the phone and make a guess as to what needs said.  That was three days ago and she hasn’t shown up with the papers yet.  She’ll probably show up a week before he has to report…hope I have time to do it then.

Okay, update finished.  There is more on my mind right now, of course, than the petty soap opera that runs throughout family.  For the past 7 years this month has been about the death of my loved ones.  Eight years ago my cousin, who just three months younger than me was more like a sister, was killed in a car accident.  The following year, less than a month from the first anniversary of her death, I lost my baby.  I hate that phrase.  I lost my baby.  I didn’t lose my baby.  It was exactly where I put it (sort of).  My baby died.  It was and remains the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life.  Being molested and abused and losing my childhood as a result doesn’t compare with the pain I felt and still feel over the baby I never had a chance to hold and love.  Dealing with my mother in her various stages of addiction and self-destruction, while stressful, does not even come close to the anguish that haunts me.

I think part of the pain comes from that phrase.  When people say “oh you lost the baby” it assigns blame to the death.  I blamed myself for a long time as well.  I played the “what if” game.  What if I’d stopped smoking before I’d found out I was pregnant instead of waiting until I was pregnant?  What if I hadn’t let my daughter’s friend come over the play?  What if I hadn’t ignored those cramps I’d had in church instead of thinking I was just being dramatic?  I know now that no matter what I had done differently, that baby was not meant to live.  But the combination of that destructive “what if” game and the blame placing phrase put me in a bad place that I seem to revisit every March.

My thoughts this year are also centered around death for other reasons.  My husband lost his father last year on February 9th.  His step-brother this year on February 9th.  Two very painful deaths for him.  We just had the funeral for his step-brother on March 5th because he died in another state and it took that long to get his remains back home and have things arranged.  That funeral made me realize that there was never an official goodbye for a baby who had never been born.  That makes me sad all over again.  Just because she never took a breath (my belief that it was a girl, not a confirmed fact) doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be remembered and mourned like any other dear person gone from us.  I said goodbye to her in a poem a few weeks after I miscarried and I shared that poem with my husband at the time.  Neither of us can read it, even now, without crying, but it doesn’t feel like enough.  https://invisiblescars.wordpress.com/poetry-2/holding-you-in-my-heart/

I’ve never been a big believer in visiting cemetaries and crying at tombstone.  Does wanting some kind of memorial for my baby make me a hypocrite?  Maybe.  Do I care?  Not really.  At this point, I want something tangible to remember her.  I want her very short life to be known and appreciated, even if her life never included drawing a breath.  I don’t know how to accomplish this though.  I don’t want it to be something morbid and depressing either.  The few short weeks she grew inside of me brought me great joy.  Knowing there was another life inside of me made me more euphoric than I can imagine any junkie with a fresh needle could ever have felt.  I need something to celebrate that joy she brought to me and something to show that I feel her death and mourn her.

On a side note, my baby rat (Temptation) has brought me many smiles and happiness.  She does seem to be fulfilling a need to have something to nurture and care for.  Not that I don’t nurture and care for my children, but it’s different somehow.  My children are also enjoying caring for her and playing with her.

I’ve rambled enough for one post I think.  More later.

Trying to Organize My Mind, Part 1

I have a lot going on right now so I’m going to break it down into several posts.  Putting it all in one would just be too draining for me I think.

First, I suppose, should be to update on being sick and feeling used.  Used.  It’s an ugly word sometimes.  It’s a word that I associated with my friend whom I cut ties with.  She died at the beginning of this year, just as we were beginning to reconcile.  I regret that and grieve for our friendship that didn’t have a chance to grow again.  But being hospitalized, even though I still adhere to nothing being wrong with me, has made me see that I have to learn to set some boundaries and enforce them.  However after my experience with S. I also realize I need to do this tactfully and not severe relationships that I value.

Step one in this is to take responsibility for my own part in all of this.  So here it is.  People use me because I let them.  I have allowed my past and my insecurities to influence my relationships and how I see them.  I have to begin to see that I have worth beyond what I can do for people and the people I care about will care about me even if I’m not babysitting their kids or writing their letters or doing their taxes or shoveling their sidewalks or taking them to the doctor or running or their errands or…okay enough of that.

Step two is to outline my boundaries.  I’m going to begin by having two weeks, as per doctor’s orders, where the only responsibilities I take on are that of my immediate family.  My husband, children, home, and myself will be the only things on my priority list barring, of course, family illness or emergency.  If my grandmother has a heart attack I’m not going to tell her to call her own ambulance.  Then I am going to start setting guidelines.  If you want a letter written, you need to give me at least a week and you have to be present.  I’m not just going to do it, print it, sign it, and send it for you anymore.  If you want a babysitter, I need some notice.  But don’t expect to ask me a month in advance and then forget about it until the night before.  Plan things out ahead of time, coordinate with me.  It is my nature to help people, to fix things for them.  But if I drop over dead from a stroke because everyone has run me into the ground and I let them do it, well I guess we all lose don’t we.

Step three is another one on me.  I guess this should probably be up there with step one.  I have to figure out when it’s okay to be selfish, when it’s okay to say well I’m not really busy this second, but the rest of my week is really busy and I was using this few minutes to finish my laundry and get the dishes done.  I have to learn that it’s okay to just say no and take the time to read a chapter in a novel or write on my blog.  Saying no is a huge trigger for me and I cannot do it in most circumstances.  A big part of the head game for my grandfather was to tell me I could say no and he would stop what he was doing.  Of course, being 7 years old, I couldn’t tell a grown up no.  Especially not one I loved and respected.  I see and understand this now, although this is something that has only truly come to light in my recent therapy sessions.  But even the knowledge and understanding is not helping me to overcome the block I have with that word.  I think maybe, even if I have to make something up instead of just saying no to avoid the guilt and shame, I will do it.  I don’t know how healthy that is, but hey baby steps are better than no steps right?

And finally, step four would be consequences for crossing the boundaries.  Consequences for me are obvious because I would be putting myself back into situations where I am not taking care of myself and risking my health.  But what should I do about people who try to cross the boundaries I set?  I don’t have a clue.  I don’t want to punish anyone, that seems a tad immature.  Although I have to admit my immature side would like to see them suffer a little for what they put me through.  But what do I do really?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sour Grapes?

I was hospitalized over the weekend for presenting stroke symptoms.  I had one of my fainting spells followed by a complete loss of strength in my left arm.  I also had some trouble articulating.  I knew there was nothing wrong with me, but my husband insisted on taking me to the ER and they admitted me for tests and observation.  I had a CAT Scan, MRI, EKG, EEG, arterial (sp?) Scan, and multiple blood tests.  They all came back normal.  Surprise, surprise.  Officially they are calling this a TIA, transient ischemic attack.  It’s basically a warning stroke.  You get the symptoms but not the permanent damage and you are at risk for a stroke later.  I’m not worried.  Of course, before I left the hospital I ended up with the flu and have spent the past couple days sleeping and sweating out a fever.

I went to the hospital around 11 am on Sunday and I wasn’t released until 7 pm on Monday.  My grandmother called twice, my one aunt made an obligitory phone call to see if I needed anything, and my sister-in-law called once.  My husband and children were there as much as possible, of course.  And my mother stopped by once.  I think my neighbor is pissed off because I was supposed to take her to her doctor’s appointment on Monday morning but I was in the hospital and she had to find someone else to do it.  She hasn’t called or stopped over at all.  That really upsets me because I do everything for her from shoveling her sidewalk to taking her to the doctor to trips to the grocery store.  I haven’t heard from either of my aunts since I’ve been home, my mom either.  My gram has called a couple of times at least.  None of my friends have called to see if I’m okay.  And considering it was posted on Facebook that I was in the hospital, everyone knows.

Now, I really hate fakey, fakey bullshit.  It makes me sick.  I don’t want a lot of attention or to be fawned over.  That just makes me uncomfortable.  To be honest, I feel like I have to be “on” when people are around too much because no one really wants to know how sick you are or what your problems really are.  But it hurts to know that they don’t care enough to even bother pretending they care.  Does that make sense?  Maybe this fever has burned up too many brain cells.  The last time I felt like this was when I was a kid and wished I was dead so they would all be sad and realize how much they loved me.  Let me clarify this though, I AM NOT SUICIDAL.  I have a lot to live for and a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is my husband and children.  Still, it hurts that I’m okay to call when they need a babysitter or a ride (my sis-in-law called me Monday evening, just out of the hospital, to ask if I could babysit the next day) but when it’s about me they can’t even muster the energy to pretend to give a shit.

I hate bitterness.

Philosophy

When I was a kid I thought about some crazy things.  Sitting at the funeral for my husband’s step-brother today some of those things came back to me.  He was 46 and committed suicide.

I used to wonder if I would still be me if I were born to another family.  Would I still feel the same way about things?  Would I still view the world the same way?  Would my life have been different?  Would he be alive right now?

I also used to be afraid to go to sleep because what if I never woke up.  What if I was just part of someone else’s dream (a giant) and when I went to sleep they woke up?  What if they never went back to sleep and I ceased to be?  Or would I die when the giant woke up?  Did his giant finally wake up after 46 years?

Pretty heavy and strange thoughts for a third grader.