Posted in Emotions, Uncategorized

Comfort in Distress

Recently, I have had a lot more free time than I have ever experienced during my life.  That should be a good thing, right?  The thing is…it has not been a good thing.  I have had so many bad things happen, that I seem to have buried them deep within me.  I have kept busy constantly to avoid facing those demons. That has been my lifelong strategy.  I rarely cried, because I was too numb to cry.  I wish I could cry, because what a release that would be!  Staying busy has been key to getting through things.

Now that I have this free time, I wanted to organize photo albums and scrapbooks. It’s killing me! I have anxiety anyway and this has become a major trigger.  Memory lane is not always as happy as it should be.  Every  happy event seems to be overshadowed by this dark shadow.

Free time has caught up with me and I have to face all of that stuff I have buried. I try to tell myself that other people have it worse and such. It is true, but that does not really help me.  My experiences might be different, but the pain feels, well, ….painful.

I feel like the only comfort I have is when I am distressed. Distress has become my normal.  Distress is what I know…what I can relate to.  I don’t want to pause and have to deal with “me.” I do not want to feel.  Every time I feel a little joy or happiness something slams it down my throat.  I am afraid to be happy now.  I do not like feeling sad either. I am stuck in this “stay busy and keep your mind occupied” mode.  The thing is, you cannot keep that up forever. At some point, you are going to face those demons.  It is similar to finally having time off from work and then getting a cold or sickness of some sort.

Now, I am stuck.  I truly am not sure how to deal with this pain and anxiety. I do not know how to move forwards and I cannot look backwards. I need to find comfort, peacefulness and contentment in the midst of life.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Relationship Endings

I find it very heartbreaking that often times a relationship, marriage, ends due to either lack of communication or failure to understand the communication given.

I have experienced and seen really good people get dumped, because they didn’t know what to change about themselves. Now I realize a lot of you have the idea of love me or leave me. I agree with that to an extent. However, sometimes there are things one really needs to change about themselves in order to be a better person, as well as, improve a relationship with someone you love. We are all a work in progress. If a person you care about suggests there is something you need to change. I would truly take a step back and look at yourself. I have seen too many relationships fail because a person was not happy with a behavior,etc. of the person they were with. That person didn’t even know what they did wrong. Had that person been told, perhaps they could have tried to change. But, if one is not even given an inkling of what they are doing wrong, that behavior will more than likely continue on into the next relationships.

On the flip side, sometimes people are told what they need to change and they either try for a week or ignore it altogether. Because, after all, who are you to tell me I need to change.

Truthfully, all of us need to change for the better. There is always room for improvement. A wise person wants to be all they can be. Like I said, we are all a work in progress.

Be patient with one another, keep trying to improve yourself, be kind and considerate of one another. Forgive as you want to be forgiven. Try not to be defensive or too offensive. It seems so easy and yet it is so difficult. Remember change takes time.

Postscript: If someone is verbally or physically abusive, that is a different level. Get away and seek help.

Posted in parenting

My Daughter’s First Year at College

It can be very difficult to send your child off to college.  For me, I was very excited for my daughter to attend college.  She was going to be attending my Alma mater.  Therefore, I knew the large campus very well.  The college was only 2 1/2 hours away and I looked forward to taking trips to go visit her.  However, her first year of college was ridiculously terrible. Her 18th birthday was on move in day.

Semester 1:  My daughter had a roommate from hell. I realize adjusting to living with someone can be difficult. I was thinking along the lines of disagreements, etc. but being able to work things out.  Nope. This roommate would not allow the windows or curtains to be open…EVER and she would turn off the lights at 7pm.  She was afraid of spiders so she would spray the dorm room, heavily with pesticide spray, daily. This girl’s family lived in town; therefore she would go home on weekends and instruct my daughter to not open the windows.  My daughter would say hi to her in the halls and she would get snubbed.  The roommate would let the door close on her, etc and on and on it went like that. She was just very mean, to the point of abusive, to my daughter. My daughter began having nightmares of being killed by this girl.  They sat down with the RA on their dorm floor several times.  It would seem like they made progress during the sessions, only to have the roommate walk out of the counseling room and immediately ignore my daughter, as well as, continue with her nasty ways.  This girl had no intention of even trying to get along with my daughter.  Therefore, we requested to get a new single room assignment for the spring semester.  It was a very long winter break, waiting to see if a room would open up for her.  Thankfully, one did open up.

Semester 2:  My daughter is now moved into her new single dorm room.  Whew, what a relief!  Not so fast though.  The first week of classes, my daughter is sitting in her biology lab lecture and she begins to have a headache and partial blindness in one eye. This was on a Wednesday. By Friday the blindness is getting worse.  My husband had that Friday off, so he drove to the campus and took her to the hospital walk in clinic around 9am.  They sent her to an ophthalmologist that same day.  She had a vision field test done, which confirmed blindness in the superior part of her vision in her left eye.  The same day she had to go back to the hospital for an MRI.  It was a very long day. My husband calls me at 2 am to tell me that she was diagnosed with optic neuritis.

At the time, I was not that worried because it sounded like her eye was inflamed for some reason.  I thought she would get an anti inflammatory medication and be good to go.  However, my daughter would go on to need 5 days of intense IV steroids to try to get her vision back.  I slept on her dorm floor, so that I could try to get her to the hour long appointments and to classes so that she wouldn’t fall behind in them.  Plus, we were both pretty scared.  She needed to make an appointment with Neurology.  We were in limbo not knowing why she had to go to see a neurologist.  The neurologist informed us that the MRI showed lesions on my daughters brain consistent with multiple sclerosis.  We were all quite devastated by her diagnosis. Thankfully, my husband is a pharmacist.  He was very helpful when it came to deciding on a medication and asking good questions.

What a Freshman year, huh? My daughter ended up taking that semester off with approval from the dean. She had a difficult time adjusting to reading with one eye and she did fall behind.  Also, she (we all) needed that time to get ourselves regrouped.  Ironically, her major was neurobiology prior to the MS diagnosis.

After that, it was very difficult for me to not worry about her.  She is now 22 and I still worry about her.  It was also difficult for me to be a part of the parent Facebook page.  I would see parents getting so upset over the pettiest things. Things like, “there isn’t a hook or shelf in the bathroom,” or some sort of clothing issue, etc.  They were not just getting information, either. They were really upset.  To me, it seems like people who get upset over the little things. have never really experienced something truly horrible.  I was never really one who got upset over minor things. Well, maybe as a child I did. Life manages to give you perspective, though.

One thing is for sure, you can only take one day at a time.  Life is a step by step journey. Although one needs to plan for the future, one also needs to live in the now. Take a deep breath, enjoy what you can and please do not waste your time getting upset over petty situations.  Be kind to people and patient with them, because you really don’t know what they are going through or have been through.

Posted in Emotions, Uncategorized

The Circle of Emotional Pain

I have great memories of my Dad when I was a young child and he was a young Dad.  My dad had a good heart and he liked to be goofy.  As the years went on, life took it’s toll on my Dad.  Perhaps I should say, people, took their toll on my Dad.  Bullying doesn’t end in high school.  There are bullies throughout life.  I think most of us, if not all of us, are bullied or treated unkindly throughout our life. It takes a strong person to rise above this and to either not become a bully or try to escape somehow.  My Dad chose the escape route.

Alcohol, was the escape route of choice, that my Dad decided to go.  It worked at first.  However, over time alcohol took it’s toll on my Dad and our family.  My Dad became quite mean verbally.  I remember coming home from cheerleading practice and my Mom would tell me to go to my room, because my Dad was on one of his rants.  Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in my bedroom.  I would not have friends over, because I did not want anyone exposed to Dad’s behavior.  I could not wait until I was old enough to move away from home.

The point is that over the course of my life, I watched my Dad go from a happy, loving and funny man to an emotionally destructive man.  A man so wrapped up in his own emotional problems that he drowned those emotions in alcohol which overflowed to others; namely his family.  In that sense, it was a very selfish thing of him to do.  If he had coped effectively or found a better way to find help, other than burying it in alcohol, my Dad might not have harmed us in the process.  I do still love my Dad and he has recently passed away.  I coped by moving away for awhile and also by trying to understand. Sometimes, one has to step back and look at the big picture and not just at the horrible moment one is currently experiencing. This is much easier said than done.

When one is in this moment of selfishness, one might tend to do things that harm others unbeknownst to them.  Drinking alcohol or taking drugs alters your sense of those around you, but in the moment you are too selfish to care. It is destructive. As you can see, getting help for yourself is not the selfish thing to do; not getting help is the selfish thing to do.

Admitting or realizing that you need help is another challenge.  Some things might seem insignificant; If they are, then let them go.  They aren’t worth it!  Be conscious of it though, and do not just bury it. Truly let it go or seek help from worthy counsel; a professional or someone not close to the situation that can be objective.  It is amazing how many people actually need counseling or medications, because someone close to them did not get the help that they themselves needed and became jerks.

This sounds like a circle doesn’t it? A big destructive circle that needs to be broken. Love, finding healing, letting go and forgiveness can break one of these destructive circles.  These are often not easy things to do.  That is why it takes a strong and selfless person to choose to do them.  It is a choice. You ARE CAPABLE and you CAN do these things. Say right now… ” I am healed, I love, I forgive.”  You are strong, you are selfless and you CAN be healed.