There is a list of things that run through my head every day. They are not nice. Ergo I am not always nice to me…
I know where the majority of if stems from, where I learned it, the fact that it’s bullshit, and what I should be saying to myself each day! But I do not…
I am not who, where, or how I expected to be at all! I was pretty sure that I would be married, two kids, full time job, expert gardner, loving mother and wife, exercise fiend, and volunteer! I had my struggles with self image through high school and college, but thought that would be a thing of the past when I got married, and it was relatively true until the birth of my one and only child. 11 1/2 years ago, my life fell apart!
I would like to note, that I need to say what happened for me, to acknowledge, and deal with what happened, as I really do not think that I have. I do not need sympathy or pity, I need to be able to move on. I need to let people know I have good days and bad days. Lets enjoy the good, and acknowledge I am still me, and lovable during the bad. I do not want anyone to make it their mission to fix me, but I welcome information on things that have helped you. I would like to know that I just may not be the only one, and neither is the person who can relate!
Upon the birth of my first child I was elated! I road that emotional roller coster with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes 24/7! I breast feed in public, got outside every chance I got, scoffed at hand sanitizer, and started making preparations for running my own daycare. For exactly four weeks…
When my child was starting her 5th week on this earth I thought I had a stomach virus, within 3.5 weeks I had lost 70lbs, and was passing blood. Two doctors, a mid-wife, and several emergency room visits later, a surgeon was finally called for an emergency consultation. The ER nurse was a Vietnam Vet that told my husband, he had only seen something like this due to shrapnel damage after I had left the bathroom. They prepped me for a colonoscopy (highlight of my life after 4 weeks of diarrhea), and that day was 9.11.01 All I could think was, is this is the world that I have brought a a child into, and to die on her?!?! NO!
They found that I have UC (ulcerative colitis.) Thankfully the medications worked for me! I could no longer breastfeed or run a daycare, but I was not leaving a newborn alone in the world! They needed to play with what medications worked best for me, initially they were sulfur based, and I could not remain on those. When medications were switched I started having achey hands, knees, and swollen feet. Everything was written off as stress, medication side effects, and just being sick. One morning I woke up to find I could not even walk down the stairs, my feet would not carry me, and my hands and elbows would not let me hold my baby! Two doctors and a specialist later, I could add Lupus to my diagnosis.
I barely remember my child’s first year, I have flashes of when pain was not so bad, and when things came to be more under control. I worked at a local grocery store at night, and on the weekends to make ends meet. I remember Shawn making meals, I could not, doing dishes I had all day to do, but I couldn’t stand long enough to do them. Reading to Ky all day, and sleeping with her during every nap. Having to call Shawn to come get me from work, because I hurt so bad I could not shift the car.
On her first birthday my memory is clear! I was finally getting better and stronger!
I thank God that she was so young that laying with me for the first year, she never new that anything was wrong!
Since I was not able to work a regular job, we moved to where we are now! Closer to his family so that if I needed help it was there, and it cut our expenses in half as we could live entirely off of one paycheck.
We started redoing the house, minding a toddler, and just becoming playful! I started running again, and met a woman up the road I had much in common with. I continued to have minor flares of UC and Lupus for the next three years, but enrolled Ky in daycare to socialize and was hired as an ed tech in the local school. I was not feeling well enough to run my own classroom yet. Oil started to get more expensive at that time so, me finding a job was very timely, as it was no longer an option. Unfortunately the school systems here leave a lot to be desired, especially in the special education department! They are a good, 10-20 years behind! And everything is just blamed on funding! I rocked the boat too much, and walked away after having the woman who ran the districts program swear at me.
It’s funny, while I was struggling I never doubted myself, only later did the feeling of being “broken” come about, while so much more healthy physically, depression does some awful things to a person.
I did several odd jobs, needing the money to make ends meet once again. But, I also started wondering where on earth I had moved to! I cleaned and cooked for the elderly, half of them didn’t want me in their homes because I was from “Away.” Lost people who I thought where my friends because I expressed confusion at this attitude towards people from “Away” because it is basically telling people that you are not accepted because you are not from here!
Also, I had many people in the community in an up roar, when my daughter talked about Buddha after another child talked to her about Jesus. I felt like I was in hell for a good six months! Apparently Buddha is from “Away” too!
Thankfully I found a new job, case managing for people with developmental disabilities. Found a new group of people with similar belief systems, or a least would not run a way screaming, and I got to work with people from all over the state, not just locally! Started out part time, I grew my side of the business quickly, and was made full time in a couple of months. Then it hit the fan. State cutbacks, I was doing the work of 2 people working 60-80 hours a week, missing all of my child’s school functions, on call 24/7, and being given more by the day! So, my body did what it needed to, anxiety/depression with a few panic attacks thrown in for kicks and giggles.
I this point I knew something needed to change. I was living on one item on a list after another, having to do with home, family, work, volunteering for my child’s school, and taking medication to function. (Wait a minute! Isn’t this what I stated I wanted to be able to do!? Sans medication though! Who gave me that idea? We will leave that for another day!)
I started to take time out for my spiritual side. Did lots of reading, learned Reiki, and dowsing. Took time to meditate, and said goodbye to medication, I went back outside and got my hands in the soil, used my hands to start creating with fiber once again, ordered chicks, ducks, and walked the dogs regularly! My energy and strength began to return!
One day after working out, mowing the lawn, and feeling like is was all starting to go right again, I felt a stitch in my side. I called my Mom to tell her how I was feeling, kinda like a pulled muscle, and was a little worried about a Lupus flare. By the time I went to bed I could not lay on that side of my body, and I awoke about an hour later to a pain that I can only describe as breathing glass. Off to the emergency room we went!!! On the way I’m giving my last will and testament to my husband between breaths, crying as silently as I could, and trying to answer my child’s questions calmly.
This time it was a blood clot in my lung! Really, at this point I have a effing enough! I had never been so angry or felt so betrayed by my own body in my life! It was found that I have a blood clotting disorder, APS, and a couple other markers for things that clot as well. It took 6 months for the clot to dissolve, I will be on blood thinners for life, and I can only take tylenol for pain, or opiates (not even a consideration for me.) Scared, depressed, anxiety back, more medication for that, no garden, chickens and ducks had to be given away, I think that I was in shock for nearly one year, my uterus needed to be ablated because I had my period for almost 6months straight, and now I really cannot have any more babies…
So, in just over a year of getting all of this under control, and another year learning how to function again without medication, and over 100 pounds gained. I quit my job, we have been cut down to the bare essentials, I spend every moment I can with my family, continue to develop my spiritual side, slowly I am getting my strength back, I have my chicks, garden, very small knitting business…it is a year and a half later, and I feel like I am just coming out of the fog. I am still trying to do everything the way I have always done it, and folks this just is not working for me!
Thank you for reading along, now that I have put all of this out there, it is no longer hidden within me! It cannot fester there, threatening to come out at the most in opportune time! I am not “broken.” I am me, and I have to learn to love me as I am so that others may too.
I need to acknowledge this has all occurred, so I may move beyond it, instead of fight with it!
Thank you for coming! And for those who needed to hear they are not alone as well, Namste’