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These are a few thoughts on the behaviors that come through this house and how I've been handling them.

As I've noted, the CNAs bring a lot of drama to my house by telling me their problems and acting up. I still learn from them though. While listening to one in particular, I see she is yet to learn from her mistakes. I know some of her history and see her dating the same type of individual. I see a desperate heart yearning to be rescued from herself, from her own demons.

As I watch this young lady (especially w knowledge of her diagnoses) I see a very hurt child trying not to drown, trying to survive herself. As a survivor of abuse w PTSD, I know well what it feels like to try to survive myself. What I didn't know was how it feels to watch a person make the same mistakes, w no power to help them get on the right course. This frustration must be what doctors felt when I was her age making wild, unstable decisions. Like my CNA, I was predictable in that I was going to rush into things having no true foundation.

I hope I don't sound overly critical of her as I point out the stage of life this young woman is in. I can see parts of my young self in her which teaches me the viewpoint of older onlookers at that stage in my own life. The shoe is on the other foot now. As I watch and listen to her I am learning to do what older ones did w me. I'm learning more patience for one thing. Lol. I'm learning when to speak and when to listen. And I'm willing to learn from mistakes she's making now so that I don't suffer the same lasting consequences.

I didn't ask for new life lessons. I didn't ask to be the adult in the room that offers a bit of sound advice, tinged w sarcasm. But here I am, a middle aged woman, sitting w a younger me (wild CNA) trying to talk sense into her emotionally trampled heart.

Who knew all this abuse and history of mine would be of any value to someone else? If I am to have this history and if I was forced to learn those lessons, at least now I can attempt to pass them along to another survivor in need.

Even though I talk to one of my CNAs on a very personal level, I still have to set boundaries concerning subject matter. She knows she can't come here threatening to kill herself. She has a therapist and family members to assist with that. I'm not able to manage that symptom of hers. I talk to my friends about their suicidal feelings but for many reasons, I refuse to go there with her. There's one other subject that I won't talk to her about unless there are steps forward in helping herself. These boundaries protect my sanity and prevent unnecessary triggers. After all, this is not my daughter and I am not a therapist. I'm a survivor in therapy and there is only so much I can take. There's only so much energy I can expend for her.

After saying all that stuff about her, I have to admit that I really like her. Despite issues, she's pleasant and funny. You pretty much know where she stands bc she wears her heart on her sleave. 😊 She's a good kid, ya know? Just kind of lost for the moment. Just for the moment, though. There is hope for her future.

Faith

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I buy something small for myself each month. I spend less than $20 on the gift. This month I've treated myself to Patchouli and Lavender Hemp soap and Sandlewood soap. This is to be added to the collection of Lavender scented soaps, milk soaps and bars for facial cleaning and exfoliating. I truly enjoy my shower time. 😊 I figure I should come out feeling absolutely beautiful and refreshed!

Last month I purchased the small wheelchair and the month before that was a bottle of lavender essential oil.

I'm sort of obsessed with lavender. I've even got lavender soap for my carpet and lavender sachets for my laundry. Honestly, I should be the chillest girl around, very relaxed and low anxiety, yet I have to still put it in my nose several times a day. Lavender aromatherapy definitely works for me, so I'll keep it up.

Jordan

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While in the hospital I gained a terrible habit. I started eating potato chips and Cheezits. Of course this is a terrible addition to my diet so I'm starting a new way of eating this month; no chips and no Cheezits.

Today I went to the grocery store for 2 weeks worth of meals. Oh man, it was so hard not buying these two items. I've been buying them for months now, but not today.

This is one of my life upgrades, letting potato chips go. It was much easier letting ice cream go. This one is hard! I'm going to do it though.

The reason I'm letting them go 100 % instead of eating in moderation is that I can't eat these things in moderation. I pig out eating ice-cream, potato chips or Cheezits. There is little control. If there was control I'd keep them in my diet. A life upgrade requires that they go.

The last life upgrade for awhile is to decrease the amount of pop I drink. I'm trying to get it down to one 7up a day instead of two.

With all my health issues, what I don't deal with is high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. I'd like to keep it this way for as long as possible.

Jordan

Content - Fear of dying. Suicide of brother. Domestic violence.

I was able to make it in to his office today for my session. In addition to having a bit of spring fever, I have a new Betta fish. She's the final fish for the apartment. When I first moved in I said I wanted 3 and that's what I now have. 😊

In session we talked about how there's still a bit of shock associated with the foot. I have quite a bit of phantom pain which feels like the toes are still there. At that time I don't do anything about it because for just a bit it feels like I've got two full feet again. I like the feeling so I don't try to ease the phantom pain.

We talked about how the 10th of this month I entered the hospital, for the major nightmare, one year ago. August will be the one year anniversary of leaving the hospital, with May 7th being the one year anniversary of the amputation. I have no plans to recognize or observe these anniversaries. They'll happen and I'll go on.

We talked about feeling more comfortable that I'm not going to fall over and die from a blood clot at any minute. I don't think about dying every single day like I did when I first got out of the hospital. That is a major change right there. I used to think, what's the point of starting a project when I'm just going to die?

We talked about stress w the CNAs. One keeps showing up suicidal which is a serious trigger for me. I had to tell her today to stop telling me about her issues and treating me like I'm her therapist. She told her doctor that I'm part of her support system. I told her I'm a client not a therapist and that I'm in therapy myself. I gave her resources for domestic violence and resources for therapy. I didn't think she'd take it but she did, and she acted on the resources. She's set up with rea support, support I am not qualified to give. Also, I'm the patient. She comes to my house to help me. She can't come crying for a full hour each morning, I talk her down and then we go on like everything is OK. It's not. I'm triggered. It's exhausting.

The other CNA had to go! I'm over it. I can't seem to forgive her for laughing hysterically at how a person w no toes walks. She laughed at me and mocked my walk. She said I look funny and laughed at me! I got past her sexual comments and my appearance but this went deep! I don't want to hobble next to someone who will laugh at me so cruely! So she's fired and rightly so.

Here at home we work on walking several times a week. This spring we'll get out of the park and walk. For now we do so in the excessively long hallway here at the apartment complex.

Jordan

I didn't get to sleep until 9 this morning bc my pain levels were too high. I tossed and turned and laid here looking at the wall. Finally I slept and woke at 6pm. The entire day is over. I'm not discouraged by this today bc the bigger picture is this - I've got few immediate responsibilities which allows me to have the time to be sick. I'm grateful for the position I'm in that allows life to stop and let me recover. Today is a day of recovery.

Good stuff that happened this week:

I sold 2 dolls and an original art piece.

Warm dinners were made all week here at home. I loved it.

I had pancakes 2 times this week. 😊

Homemade hot chocolate during the cold snap was wonderful.

I've been able to avoid prolonged emotional triggers by processing them and letting them go.

I bought a tiny wheelchair to sit a doll in. A friend of mine is having heart surgery and I can't be there, so I'm sending a representative. Froggie will go for me.

Faith

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Today my CNA referred to me as handicapped. I was offended! I thought, You're gonna tell me that bc I sit in a wheelchair I'm handicapped? After further thought I'm like, oh hang on, there's a little more to it than just being in a wheelchair. There are weeks when I can't get up. There are days when keeping my food down is a joke and coordinating thoughts is nothing but tiring. Yes, I have in home nurses and aides. There are quite a few limitations but in my mind I don't think of myself as handicapped. I think disabled, but not handicapped.

Honestly, the two words are about the same in definition. It's the stigma of handicapped that gets under my skin. There is no dignity w that word. It feels like a stripping of abilities and value. Saying I'm disabled only recognizes limitations but handicapped says to me that I have lost my ability to count in society.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I think too much. I just know the two words feel different when used.

In another shock, my other CNA asked me how I can be expected to have faith in God the same as a person not sitting in a wheelchair. (crickets) Dear CNAs, Y'all realize my life isn't over, right? You do realize there are people who have it worse?

Losing a body part is not the same as losing yourself. And despite depression or hating my life from time to time, I still have a bit of fire in me that won't allow me to give up! Sometimes I lose sight of things but mostly I remember that I have hope. I have a future!

My final thought is this. Sitting in a wheelchair hasn't weakened me, nor has it made me stronger. It just is. It's a page turned not an ending.

Faith

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Wow. Since the weather changed to 'bury y'all in snow' I've done nothing but sleep. I can't wake up. I'm not in a lot of pain but I can't wake up... or keep my food down. This happens from time to time though I'm not certain why. I get nauseated and nothing sounds good except toast or saltine crackers.

I'm in bed, too lazy to reach and turn on the heated blanket. Lazy! I'd rather roll right back over and go back to sleep. Lol

My ideal evening would include pot roast, garlic bread and beer with some painting to cap off the night. However, it's reasonable to conclude that crackers and hydration are on the menu. Turning in early is a certainty.

Faith

6

Gracious! These people are going to drive me crazy! First off they don't show up but when they do, they can't take me anywhere or run errands bc 9 times out of 10 they have no car insurance! The last CNA sent had no license and no insurance. You know the level of irresponsibility of that? My goodness!

So today the woman showed an hour late w no car insurance, so she couldn't even go to the store for me to get a few items. Then she complained that it would take her too long to do the laundry so she asked to go home instead of stay and work. Soooo, no shower, no laundry, no mail and no meal prep. What are they doing other than charging my insurance for work not completed? I'm so mad today I can't see straight.

You know what I don't get either? I don't understand these young people who don't know how to use measuring spoons and cups. It is foreign to them. Completely foreign.

I'm so irritated right now I can't even see straight. Before this is over I'm going to be huffing lavender straight from the bottle!

Ok so therapy went fine. We talked about the triggers from my upstairs neighbor who finally moved. He's gone but the upset is deep. It was hard listening to him scream for hours deep into early morning hours. That's over which means I may get some peace from my neighbors here on out. I hope so.

Me

1

hate life renewed energy Sundrip

I Can Keep Going was drawn by Robert (19) with writing by Michelle (12).

What stands out in this piece for me is the brick wall on the shoulders of the largest figure. We are feeling a lot of pressure right now.

I like how Michelle processes things: This is how I feel. This is the reality. This is supporting truth.

I've not been suicidal but life has felt like a burden, emotionally and physically painful. Several factors played into not getting enough sleep so that was a problem, too. Each day is a struggle that feels like a losing battle but the reality is I've made progress and I'm moving forward in many healthier ways. I slip up, like the other day with self harm, but I also put in place safety plans and try to find ways to help myself. Lavender in the nose and on my feet has helped tremendously, so has the art sketchbook. It feels like a losing battle but it is not. I know I can keep going, and I will.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98lb paper.

Robert

words fma

Content: Suicide. Blood. Emotional angst.

Cruel Words was painted by several of us. What strikes me is how affected I was by the suicide of the CNA's friend.

In the drawing there are heads blown off the people in the trees. That's a first for drawings and hopefully the last. I know the kids inside were very affected by the suicide. Having her cry in our arms that way was very heavy.

I fired my regular CNA who had cruel words for me. Anxiety is already high for us, we don't need to worry about the mouth of our CNA and what she will say that'll hurt.

The grumpy CNA is pregnant with three weeks left. It is entirely possible that her change of attitude is purely hormonal, however, the irritability and weariness she caused couldn't be tolerated. It is also true that I can't justify asking an 8 month pregnant woman to lift my wheelchair and take me to the doctor. I feel horrible asking her to do my laundry or run the sweeper. The girl is tired and irritable! Dang!!!

I like her but the change in her isn't safe for my personal issues, ya know? I talked to her about why I fired her and she said she knows she's hormonal and understands. I even told her it's about time to take maternity leave because she can't be at my house when her water breaks. lol. I can't handle that. I don't know nothin about birthin no babies.

Firing my CNA was the right thing to do. I was walking on eggshells in my own home and that can't be. So, on to the next chapter in the CNA Saga.

The art piece was created in watercolor and is 7.5 x 10 inches on 98 lb paper.

Robert

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