Closure

When my ex boyfriend died by suicide I was sent into a gigantic tailspin of emotions, as expected. At fifteen you are supposed to be worried about school dances, playing in this weeks big game or if you should try to get a cash pay job to help save for a car. Instead I was trying to find something to numb the feelings of grief as we buried the boy that I was building my entire life around. That boy was supposed to be my happy ever after, my end game. Instead, we were picking out caskets. His family was amazing for letting me be a part of everything after he died, from reading at the funeral to helping clean out his room. I got to be there as they spoke of memories over and over from him growing up. There was something that I was able to do though and it is something that bothers me to this day.

Twenty years later and I am still battling for closure.

What I have learned is that I am now extremely fierce with making sure that I have closure in every other part of my life. I will cut people off with no chance of me talking to them again when I notice that we are struggling too hard to keep going. When someone does wrong by me, it’s done. No conversation needed. I am well aware there is an extreme level of bitch here but I can’t seem to soften the edges. I need the closure more then I care how bitchy I come off.

I sit sometimes trying to decide what I would need from my ex to get the closure I feel I need. The reason he felt he needed to end everything is clearly at the top of that list but there is more.

Why couldn’t he confide in me? Why couldn’t he see past the things going on at that point? Did he honestly believe that we would be better off without him? Why wasn’t I enough? Did I miss the signs?

I have dedicated twenty years to reading into mental health struggles, tactics, and roads to recovery. I will never question that things go deeper than anyone can understand. I fully understand that it is impossible to answer those questions most the time. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to ask. I think more and more about comments he said to me over the years, wondering if he was trying to get me to see it. It makes me over analyze words coming from people around me, especially my children. One of his hardest problems in life was an incredibly opinionated, overly strict parent. This leads me to pull back when I go for the bad cop approach with all of my kids, nieces and nephews. He struggled with learning disabilities that went under the radar and I feel like I am super quick to suggest to people that bad behavior may stem from a learning disorder the child is embarrassed about. I never realized that it may have stemmed from that until my therapist said something. There are so many other things that I notice could directly stem from him, or even the recovery of him, that I can’t help but smile.

Here he thought that he was trouble and we would all be better off without him, but over twenty years from when we buried him and he still influences decisions that I make now. Those influences keep me working to make sure that everyone around me lives a slightly better life then they would have without me in it. Not being egotistic in the slightest, just meaning that I work to make sure they smile as often as possible all while knowing someone is here looking out for them. Through anything. I will talk openly, as honest as I can, without holding judgement to them when they struggle.

I, of course, will judge a little if they choose to wear socks with sandals. 🙂

I like to think that he know’s he deserves the credit. I know for a fact that his family members are all on similar missions, with similar reasons.

He mattered.

Secondhand Trauma

A very close friend of mine was cheated on by her long term boyfriend last year. I have made a few cryptic posts all over my social media accounts because it was her story to tell so I was waiting for her. She spent almost a year recovering from this trauma. I think she spent the first six months sitting in shock. This was supposed to be her good guy. Her happily ever after guy that fought through her walls that she put up after the last train wreck. This girl has been through the ringer for sure. She has always been a rockstar, but this womans battles put mine to shame.

This last month she has been much more vocal about it now that she is working on the recovery. She has told her parents and siblings finally, giving herself a support system that is bigger then just her and I. I watched this woman rebuild shattered pieces while hiding the truth from everyone near her. She knew that she was going to stay with him. She knew that her family and other friends would annihilate him and pressure her to leave him. She for whatever reason has chosen to stay and is full-heartedly leaning on me to help her get through it anyway.

There have been a lot of things that I have done in life that I classify as hard, but this is getting added to the top of the list. Seeing as I am not in that relationship, I have zero feelings to get tangled up in. Well that’s wrong too isn’t it. I stood up at their wedding for them. I was there the night that she met him, it was me that drove her home from the school dance that was their first kiss and it was me that helped her get through the traumatic start to their relationship. He has grown on me over the years and their babies are some of the best joys in my life. So I am emotionally involved. There has never been a question as to who’s side I will always be on however. I would still be beside her even is she was the one that cheated, lied and broke him to a million pieces like he did to her. So I do have to take that into account.

The sex, love and happy feelings for him keep her in that relationship, but it doesn’t keep me. I am resentful of him, for breaking my rock. I am bitter and making comments under my breath constantly and am now getting worried that my feelings will come between us all now. He wasn’t there to see her having to rebuild because she did it in private. She told me that he cheated because of his own self esteem issues and she couldn’t hammer down on him without being scared he would break more.

So her whole damn world IMPLODES on her, but she has to hold back so his doesn’t?

She makes excuses not to go to therapy, thinking that she can handle it on her own. She writes him letters and burns them because I told her that was what I did to get over the death of my ex boyfriend. She now even writes to herself but I can only imagine she is tearing herself apart in those to explain how he could do that to her. She spends a lot of time talking about the things that she could have been doing better with over the years with him. While in no way am I telling her that seems unrealistic, I am further stressing his role in this instead. He should have pushed harder for whatever change to happen between them long before he looked elsewhere. He should have explained how important those things could be before EVER looking elsewhere.

This man stepped out of his marriage. He started simple, using porn as an avenue that led to more. He had so many warning signs that he was well aware to be stepping over, still ultimately making the choice. What started as innocent enough, turned into verbal communications leading to video chats before finally meeting up in real life. The fact that he was paying for it with money that he could have been using in so many better ways bothers me. She says at least it means he wasn’t in love with her.

I think that he has himself convinced that it wasn’t so bad because he knew this way it would strictly be sexual, not emotional which he considers to be worse.

Over a year in and I don’t think that I have made it an entire day without a phone call or text from her falling apart. I can’t go a single day without hating him. Her entire world is still in shreds and she acts strong in front of her family, their children and other friends.

She hides in kitchen pantries and showers to fall apart but then hides them in a beautiful package to show to world.

When does he break down? When does he have to worry about crying or showing too much emotion to his children or family? How often is he having to lie to everyone around him about things that he had no participation in? How often is he having to lie just to keep those around him accepting of her? The little decisions that she has to consistently make to go along with his deception in mind boggling.

I watch the process play out in her head in almost every conversation with anyone around her and I get infuriated more.

The two of us have given each other a wide berth, taking turns with her time and keeping ourself distanced. He told me he understood why I have such strong opinions here but that it is not my relationship and I need to respect them enough to let them handle it.

Of course I know he makes absolute sense.

My problem is HOW TO DO THAT.

Are they worth it?

Addiction and the recovery from it is a lengthy process that is super daunting when you face it alone. Yet so many people don’t have any other choice.

More often then not they are dealing with it alone because they have pushed everyone away with their behaviors.

Here is Alcohol Anonymous’s 12 step program. These are the steps every addict has to go through. Some skip a few or don’t do them in order, however they are all significant.

These steps can easily be adapted to any addiction process. Drinking, Drugs, sex, eating, Etc.

No one is perfect. I am surrounded by addicts of all sorts, in varied states of recovery. Some I had to give up on. Some I stayed too long. Some are worth the fight.

The 12 Steps, as outlined in the original
Big Book and presented by AA are:



1. Admitting powerlessness over the addiction

2.Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help

3. Deciding to turn control over to the higher power

4. Taking a personal inventory

5. Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done

6. Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character

7. Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings

8. Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs

9. Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person

10. Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong

11. Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation

12. Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need

Little piece of advice

To all beings that are able to read this blog….

Don’t be an asshole!

This doesn’t seem like the hardest thing to accomplish right? Excluding specific experiences that deserve that response of course.

I mean in general. More specifically to what brought me to this topic I will acknowledge that I really mean in a relationship.

When a person has chosen you, and you have chosen them, to build a life with, why would you wreck that by being petty? It’s one thing in the beginning before things get too serious, however years down the road when there is so much invested.

Houses, kids, cars, pets or the simple peice of paper that you both stood up and signed in front of witnesses. Any combination of those listed options works too.

When you can not choose to respect your partner, to CHOOSE your partner every day, in almost any situation then there is a problem.

(Disclaimer before people come at me- I believe in choosing yourself and possibly your children first all of the time. I am in no way speaking of situation that involves people safety, physical or mental.)

I AM however speaking about cheating. If you are unhappy in your relationship, leave. If you are unsatisfied in your relationship, speak with your partner about what could change. If you settled for any reason whatsoever, and you meet The One, and you are sure, leave your relationship.

If you are the one switching from one social media site to another constantly because your partner is catching on, I am speaking to you.

If you are the one deleted texts, calls, DM’s, or changing peoples names in your phone to not get caught, I am talking to you.

If you just can’t help yourself from going to the bar, flirting with people and taking things too far, I am talking to you.

I am sick and tired of having to pick people up mentally, morally and yes sometimes physically because you suck as a human.

You are pathetic and do not deserve the people who dedicated stretches of time to you.

Do better. Be better. Better yet, go the f*** away.

Never meant for that to happen

Have you ever felt as if the people around you sometimes throw you to wolves?

It has been a long long time since I was made to feel like that. Especially by people that I hold so dear.

The worst part is that no one seems to feel like they could have prevented the weird set of circumstances that transpired. It was as if it was a perfect storm had all clash together in a brilliant strike that happened to have me dead smack in the middle of it.

It’s hard to even figure out who to be upset with. All I know is that when it happened I suddenly felt so small and insignificant. I was quickly reminded me of what it felt like to be a child between fighting parents who were caught up with their emotions.

Thirty five going on five apparently.

Closing old doors

I recently had an old friend send me a message telling me that he is very aware of the pain he caused in my life. The constant drama, the pain of lose of friendship by a person I called my best friend for many years.

And I find myself at a loss.

I have forgiven him before after a different seperation of friendship, just to have him do the same thing again.

I know better then to fall for this again.

I felt nothing however and I thought I would.

I felt no relief, no concern, no worry about how he has been.

Have I grown that much that I have figured out how to shut the door permanently on people who have shown constant negativity?

September is Suicide prevention month

September is Suicide prevention month. After being very personally affected by suicide during crucial growing years I feel as if I will always dedicate whatever I can to help prevent anyone from having to go through the loss.

Mental illness is still considered to be a thing people think that we chose.

Who in their right mind decides to spin the wheel and have it land on an invisible -illness?

From a chronic pain patient to a schizophrenic with bipolar tendencies and all things in between the reactions of disbelief are the same. No one believes that either could be a real thing. As if a person sees a tv show where someone acts a certain way so they are going to attempt to mirror their life around them. Don’t get me wrong, there are assholes out there that must do something like that. But the few that do should not be considered the normal.

Normalizing mental health awareness is something that has been long coming and should be held at the utmost importance.

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Reach out. Find someone that is willing to listen. Make sure they understand how important it is to you. You don’t have to fight alone.

Learn the cues. Find out how to see the signs. Let them teach you how to help.

Find a support group on social media. Find a group in your community. Make the call. Send the text.

1-800-273-8255

24 hours a day.

 

Her story sounds like millions

Everyone has stories they don’t tell. For some, those are the stories that need to be told more then any other conversation that they have in life.

Today I listened to a woman tell me the story of how she learned to believe she deserved the fists that pummeled her on a weekly basis. She talked about how she would much rather take the abuse then allow those said fists to harm any of the beautiful creations of love that had been born to this relationship.

Now just a few short months ago I lived in this ignorant bubble of peace that allowed me to beleive that these things were not common life around the area I live. Maybe I focus more on them because of that alarming moment in my life. Then again maybe the weather has kept people inside more this year then normal, and these are some of the consequences.

I find myself staring at this woman and questioning who she was before. Was she always this weak? Was she a people pleaser that went along with the crowd? Had she ever had a backbone?

She spoke of the good times before the anger. Explaining a wild love that swept her off her feet. She told of laughter, joy and love. She spoke of the exact moment that the car they were in got blasted by a another car that blew a stop sign and sent them tumbling.

The batlle of addiction started there. The pain pills while fighting for full usage of his body. The depression when they realized he would permentantly be disabled, unable to hold down any physically demanding jobs. The behavoiral change that came from the jobs he attempted and failed over the next few years. The pregnancies that started happy only to be a quick reminder of why he needed to make more money. Pain pills seemed to work less the longer he was on them, so alcohol was his next solution.

Everyone can see the writting on the wall as to how we get to this woman in my care today. I cant help but wonder if computers hadn’t taken over our record system, would I even be able to lift her chart?

So I ask the question that is rolling around in my head. I am positive that she has been asked before.

“Are you ready to leave yet? Are you ready to show your kids that you love their father, but you love them more?”

She stares at me for a full minute, unblinking.

“I cant leave him. I love him.”

My soul aches for her. So I do the only thing that I can. I help fix the problem she came in for today. I look her in the eyes and I tell her that I am here. Even when I am not physically in this building, I will give them permission to call me in if she needs me.

Then I watch her grab her things and leave.

There are days that go by that you get to just enjoy everything that goes on.

In comparison there are days that it seems like you are making choices that feel like they shouldn’t be yours to make.

As a parent there are times where you find out things about you children that takes your breath away.

Maybe its an anxiety diagnosis to a young child who has stopped sleeping and eatting like they had been. The realization that this will be a long term fight that your adorable little child will face. Hours of research on your behalf to find ways to handle the behavoirs and prevent anything from worsening, all while having medication pushed on you that you are just not sure if they are safe for your baby.

Maybe its your elementary aged child coming home talking about how they have been being bullied at school for the color of their hair or the glasses they have to wear. Obviously there is nothing off the table when it comes to bullying, so the reasons will always be different. It’s impossible to fully prepare them for how this will feel, and how to handle it. Their tears will rip you apart and make your soul growl with the urge to protect your baby cub.

Maybe it’s finding something in your teenagers bedroom that reminds you that no matter how close you think you are with them, they are still a teenager. The fears of the unknown comes on strong when you think of how the future will go as you stare at those cigarettes or drugs. Maybe its condoms, or money that they shouldnt have. One way or another it is something that serves as a smack in the face that could be the wake up call you needed to start helping you and your child figure out where to go from there.

Maybe its taking your adult children with you on a weeklong vacation to a relaxing place to reconnect, and they bring their girlfrind who cant handle her liquor that she insists on drinking everyday. The idea of listening to your child trying to keep them in check in front of the family or kids that are there. How do you discuss domestic decisions your child has made that you dont agree with? What do you do if your child has chosen someone that is horrible for them or for there children? At what point can you intervene or chose to stand back and see where they plant their feet?

Or maybe no matter what age you are when it happens, you find yourself burying you parent or parents. The devastation is the same whether you are 10 or 60 when this happens. Obviously there are more complications the younger you are, however the void in your heart is the same. How does ones heart handle the hole thats just been punched thru it? How do you make the decisions you need to make in the middle of those feelings?

I watch another side of this in the hospital I work for when the conversation of when to allow them to give up the fight happens quite often. As a worker bee in these situation my heart is not on the line, but watching others break during this process never gets easier.

How do you handle having a day that this type of decision looms over you?

I have seen everything from relief that the persons pain will finally be gone, to refusal to understand that the basics of the situation.

Old, young, sick, healthy, planned or sudden.

I’ve watched selfishness as people can’t face living their life without them, and I have seen selflessness when people realize that the other persons pain is more important then their feelings.

I’ve watched elderly family member peacefully check out after a full life, and I have seen a young child fight for every breath after a car accident, just to lose the battle.

I’ve seen everything from heart attacks to suicide, and the families that have to react and make decisions they never saw themselves making.

Those days, and heart-renching feelings, make the days that I dont have to make, or see, any decisions being made even better.

Sometimes you just need to breathe.

**All stories here are things that I myself have seen or dealt with this week. Respect your medical feild people that you find yourself dealing with. From the CNA that shows compassion, to the nurse that seems to be always running. From the person that answered your emergency call to the person that shows up with flashing lights. The social worker that helps the decisions being made to the secretary sitting behind the desk at the station of the hospital or nursing home. They see you and understand you better then you think. Yes they are busy, sometimes TOO busy. Most have your best interest at heart, even if they can’t take the moment to tell or show you because there is so much else on their plate.

Blew my mind

I was watching a youtube video the other day of Jason Segal and Bryan Cranston when they stumbled upon an interesting topic. 

Not many actors find themselves qualified to talk about suicide in front of a camera. These men are no different, however they were speaking on behalf of an author/director that they both knew. 

 David Foster Wallace. 

To be honest, i know none of this mans work. I know very little of his story. 

What i do know is that in September of 2008 he committed suicide after a lengthy, likely life long, battle of depression. There are plenty more specifics that I will chose not to add in here, but that information helpes me understand who would be able to blow my mind with just a few sentances in book. 

As Jason Segal says it, there is a woman who had attempted to hurt herself. She finds herself at the therapists office afterwards and this conversation happens. 

Therapist: Why did you want to hurt yourself? 

Survivor: Laughs and says “Youll never be able to help me if you think I was trying to HURT myself. I was trying to STOP the pain.” 

I’m not going to lie, this blew my mind. Please understand as a person deeply affected by suicide in my life, i felt as if i understood the mindset of someone leaning towards this decision. While I am sure this knowledge is out there, I suppose I have never heard it said in my language until then. 

I have always felt that they were running from demons that were bigger then them. Some maybe are unable to keep up with lifes demands, or find themself heavily relying on a substance. 

I watched the battle in my best friends eyes but NEVER understood it. I couldn’t see the signs, I couldn’t understand the feelings, and I flat out missed the pain behind the walls. 

I vowed to never again miss the signs, but it continued to happen to other people around us and we were startled and devastated every time. 

The masks they wore changed. 

The pain ate away at them. 

Until they only could focus on the relief. 

What are you to do, when the thing that hurts you the most is invisible? When your own body attacks you. When your mind never takes that break, and gives you that ability to regroup before the next big thing hits. 

At what point does it become socially acceptable to seek help? 

At what point do people understand that this is the same thing as any other medical diseases or disorders that you could have been born with? 

At what point is it socially acceptable to admit defeat? 

Every day you see people quit their diet, their relationships, their jobs and their schools. 

How do you quit your mental illness that you didn’t ask to be born with? 

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