It’s Time to Tell My Story

Today is Mother’s Day, basically, my favorite day of the year. It’s not for the gifts, nor the appreciation that mother’s across the nation receive; although I do love to hear my children and their friends wishing me well and telling me how much they love me … but that’s not all.

Many don’t know this, but I almost didn’t get to be a mom. In a fit of confusion, impulsiveness, sadness and despair I attempted to end my life in 1992. Days later I learned that I was pregnant with my oldest child and chances were that the medication that I attempted to overdose on was in my system as my helpless child was beginning to grow.

The following is MY perception of what happened, others that were present may have a different perception and that’s fine, but that’s your story, this is mine.

I was 18 years old, in 3 weeks time I would be a wife to someone that I had committed to spend the rest of my life with. In a strange twist I began to see things as they were, I stopped looking at him through a lens of perfection and I noticed that everything that attracted me to him was built on lies that I excused when I found out the truth. Reality was that he probably didn’t have the motivation to do much with his life and everything that my mom warned me about was seeming to be accurate.

I was raised that your word is your word and you can’t back down. You stay loyal, you make a commitment and you follow through. Being a teenager I also had this hatred of proving my mom right … I couldn’t go to her and say, “You were right. Can I come back home?” After all, I had left when I was 17 and given up my car in order prove to my parents that I was an adult and could survive.

Now, 26 years later, I don’t even remember what our argument was about, but at that time it was obviously a life or death discussion to me. Quietly, I opened up my cedar chest (a graduation gift from my parents) where the medication was stored. I dug through the contents until I found a box of over the counter sleep aid, not melatonin, the real stuff, the stuff that takes you out in a … dream.

When he realized what I had done he went to tell him mother, whom we were living with. To this day I remember her words, “Get her out of here, I don’t want her dying here.” In that moment I realized that her words were a reflection of my worth; it wasn’t about keeping me alive, or getting me help, it was about her not having to deal with authorities coming into her home to remove my body.

I was taken to the hospital, I remember being to angry about being saved to talk to anyone … I just wanted to be left alone to die. A hose was shoved up my nose and fished into my stomach to pump out the contents of my wishful death. That hose cut off my ability to talk and I couldn’t have been more pleased, it was the closest that I could get to being isolated from the world.

Hospital staff were questioning my fiancé about the events of the evening, but he kept repeating the lie that he had told me to say on our way to the hospital. She has severe back pain from a car accident last year. She must have gotten her medications mixed up and in her tired state took more than necessary.

The nurse came to my bedside and told me that they would remove the hose leading to my stomach if I could promise to drink a glass of “charcoal” I agreed, not realizing that yes, they do serve charcoal in the emergency room.

I took a strong hard sip on the straw before I realized that I was drinking the real deal and charcoal is not a code word for a medicinal cocktail. I wanted to beg to have the hose put back in, that’s how nasty this experience was, but the nurse was too busy grilling me (pun intended) about what had happened to lead me to the emergency room half heartedly fighting for my life.

This poor nurse, she wanted to help me so bad. She asked me nicely, she asked me with compassion, and finally she tried anger, but I wouldn’t budge, I stuck to the story I was told to tell. If only the medical staff would have put a 72 hour psych evaluation on me, if only I had spoke up, if only, if only …. maybe I wouldn’t have spent years hating myself, and suffering in emotional turmoil.

When I left the hospital that night I still had a strong wish to die, I even said a bedtime prayer, “Dear God, please take me in my sleep tonight so that no one will ever have to tolerate me again.” When God didn’t fulfill my wish I spent days trying to find a way to escape this miserable world, but I had to plan better, I had to be sure that I wasn’t found until it was too late.

Before I was able to figure out a plan I found out that I was pregnant. Life became a gift, I was responsible for another human and the only way to take care of that life was to take care of me. This didn’t end my suicidal ideation, it only made them easier to fight back. Some days, even 26 years later, I wonder why I’m here or how worthy am I to have oxygen to breathe. I go on because I know that my experiences in life can help others to go on.

My Mother’s Day wish is for anyone that feels like I did, or sometimes do, to seek help, because you have a purpose. If you are reading this and know or fear that someone you know might be feeling these things, ask! Don’t be afraid to discuss suicide, you don’t have to understand the thoughts and you don’t have to get angry, just being there and breaking down the wall of fear regarding the word “suicide” can help someone get the strength to get help in surviving and overcoming their feeling of being unworthy.

; Sequitur Historia Mea;

;My Story Goes On;

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Destined for Greatness

What if I told you that each of us is born destined for some sort of greatness? That God created YOU to be an amazing individual, but from the moment that you were born your environment has catapulted trauma onto you, thus resulting in your lack of luster?

I’m asking you to consider the above, I’m not trying to shove my beliefs on you, I’m just asking you to consider it as you read this post.

In my last post I briefly discussed the death of my brother over eight years before my birth. I also discussed how my siblings often consider me lucky, because I didn’t have to try to survive during the horrific time in the lives of my parents and family. Or, did I? Did I in some way endure the consequences poured upon their souls by society?

Some will have an easier time imagining this than others, but for a moment … imagine that you have had to bury a child, specifically an infant; imagine the torture, pain, and questioning your faith in God.

Now, you find out that you are going to have another child. What if this one passes away? What if there is another investigation? Or if the children are removed out of fear that I’m not a good parent? What if … a million other things run through your mind?

In the midst of all of the chaos your father says, “You’re pregnant.”

You respond with, “Oh, Dad, I am not.”

“Don’t tell me, I know when one of my girls is expecting!”

With in a couple of weeks of this conversation your dad, your hero, passes away. You grieve, you deny, you hide and five months in you find out that Dad was right, you are pregnant. Three months later the baby is born a full month early.

Every stressor that you endure during this time is flooding your infant with cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal gland during times of stress. Stress, upon stress, and yup, more stress, and your baby is fighting this intense hormone that is being directed right to him or her.

The child’s environment is already changing the child before birth, the infant is ultimately fighting a war in utero. The destiny for greatness suffers, the child is born not knowing who s/he is, just a baby, already tainted by society.

I hope that you were born to achieve greatness, but the truth is … I was not. If you were, you have a fighting chance to find you, your true destiny, yourself. However, there are many just like me, born lost and fighting a war that no one knows about, we can reach greatness, we just have to put up a bigger fight.

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Unblaming My Parents

October 16, 1965, a day that forever altered the progression and growth of my life.

How can that be when I wasn’t born until December 8, 1973?

I always thought that I was spared the pain of my brother’s passing, by being born many years after his death in infancy, but was I!?

Trauma has followed me through out my life, and when I told my parents in a desperate attempt to get help I was told things like, “Well, if you wouldn’t dress like that …” “Don’t tell anyone.” Or even just the silent treatment. One thing was clear, police and investigators had no place in our lives.

I learned to sit down, shut up, and take the blame. For a short time I was very angry that my parents were unable to be more supportive and less blaming in these matters, but today I had an epiphany.

When my infant brother passed away the media found them guilty almost before they were even questioned, and the inquest must have been horrific to endure. Everyone was pointing fingers, all but one detective that took the time to not only hear my parents, but to fight for them. One person out of all of those that were involved in the case, the odds were clearly stacked against my parents. God willing, they survived the tension of that chaos and moved forward to not only raise three older children, but to have two more.

Now there’s me … repeatedly raped … but the odds are stacked against my family, so I go to no one, it’s a risk too great to endure.

I acted out in ways that made me pure hell to raise, when life got to be too much I even tried overdosing … having your stomach pumped is not for the weak. I ran from my problems, leaping from a cliff with no parachute into a valley of lava.

I tried everything I could to be the better person, to be stronger and more resilient than I was raised to be. With each passing trauma I realized a tiny bit more that my reaction is my choice, not that of my parents.

My parents must have been really scared during the loss and investigation into their son’s death … sort of like me … deep in the brush of the old race track during the state fair. No one to turn to, no one to help, no one to guide me … No one, but God, and I missed it. I was so busy blaming my parents that I forgot about the faith I’d been raised in, besides, God didn’t want a dirty hoe like me in His house!

Today was different though, today I was driving past a location where I had once been severely beaten by an ex-husband, and I experienced a flash back. I had one of my children in the car with me … and I realized I had to keep myself together, or risk freaking her out. I can’t blame my parents anymore, they are both deceased and can’t fight back, I can’t blame my ex, because if I got that close I can’t be responsible for my reaction. The only person to blame for how I handle this situation is me, and this time I turned to the faith I’d been raised in and somehow I just knew, it’s not what happens to me, but how I react … I own that, so I am unblaming my parents for lifes traumas.

Silent Aspirations

As I hear the stories of my dad aspirating as he eats and being downgraded to pureed food I am beyond saddened.

Dad was born into the Great Depression, where food was scarce, but his family didn’t know it, as food was scarce for them long before that. Later Dad joined the army during World War II, boot camp was set around chow, and the importance of food was further ingrained into Dad.

Now, it may not surprise you (if you have really imagined his life to now) that Dad has been known to lick his plate at the end of a good meal. Some may find this gross, but in his own way, it is the highest of compliments.

He has survived 89 years eating this way, but now his body is defying him as he aspirates while eating. You may think of a horrific choking spell, but these are silent aspirations, food slipping directly into his lungs with no indication of the damage it is causing.

My dad, the lover of all foods, never turning down a single one, now it could be the very thing that ends his life. Putting him at risk of pneumonia and all sorts of other complications. As if being diabetic isn’t enough.

Couple all of this with his advanced age and confusion and I feel like I have lost him already. Maybe this is how it is meant to be, to allow us to grieve with him rather than for him, but really!?

I want Dad to fight, to take back his life, etc., but the realistic side of me knows it’s too late … It is too late to turn back now … Soon the day will come that this is all a memory.

Saying Goodbye

As I look at life in general I realize that the past few weeks have been full of sacrifice, hardship, and general chaos, but the worst is yet to come. As I prepare myself and my children to say goodbye to the greatest man we have ever know, my father.

Dad’s health has been in significant decline in the past few weeks, it is all happening so fast that I haven’t even told him of my circumstances. He is confused, sick, and generally not okay. The part of me that remembers him pushing me on the swings, and playing Rummy 500 in the confines of a motorhome at some backwoods campground wants to rush out to be by his side during his time of need. Yet, the part of me that knows he would do anything for his family realizes that he would want me right here, in Michigan, dealing with business for myself and my children until the time comes.

This has not been an easy decision; to sit idly and wait for God to take him home, but God knows where I’m at and what I need to do. I’m sure that Dad will understand when his time comes and I am standing at his final resting place that he has always been the greatest man in my life. Dad and I are at peace with each other, we took the time several years ago to say our final goodbyes, and though I don’t have access to those written words I am well aware that when the time comes I will be in the right place, looking back over our time together … the many years of sacrifices that he made for my siblings and I. The camping trips, the Dad and me time. I may never know why he has to go so soon in my life, but I do know that at 89 years old, his life has been full of love, experience, and wisdom.

The strongest, most stable man in my life is about to leave me behind, and I ache for him to push me on the swings just one more time. Yet I know his purpose in my life … and that I will carry on to my own children and eventually my grandchildren.

As he enters hospice care for a smooth transition of his final days I know one thing … he is the only man that has ever taught me and loved me beyond a shadow of a doubt. I long to hear his words of wisdom in my time of need, but I know that he has given me everything that he can.

Dad, I will love you to the end of time.

So I’ve heard it said …

When a cardinal appears on a cold, lonely winter’s day, it is a loved one from Heaven stopping to say “Hello.”

As I was fixing a cup of coffee I noticed this cardinal outside of my kitchen window. I stopped what I was doing and had a private conversation with the winged fellow, and then I finished my task, still, he was sitting in the winter brush of our crab apple bush.

Placing my coffee on my desk I went to the sliding glass door and still he sat upon that bush. I slowly got the camera, and he posed for his photo opportunity.

I uploaded the pictures that I took and just checked again, still he is there. I consider the horrendous few weeks that I have had, dealing with depression, winter blues, and insights that I wish I didn’t have to have to gain wisdom and I wonder, “Mom, is that you? Are you watching out for me?”

Of course, I will never know, but a prayer, a wish, and a hope can’t hurt.

Cardinal

No filters used, just a straight up shot of a cardinal in our crab apple bush.