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I left something behind in the hospital. Under pain and pressure my mind split and broke, but it's much more than that. I've been shaken to the core.

I feel like I should apologize for still talking about the affects of the hospitalization, like I should be over this. Anyway, what Dr. D and I discussed is how the medical events felt like my own natural disaster, my own earthquake. My entire world shook, right down to the core of me. It destroyed things I fear I won't get back. Further discussion brought out more on what part of me feels like it broke and was left behind in the hospital. What part of me was left behind in the hospital? We moved from the natural disaster example to one of home invasion w assault and robbery.

The medical events where sudden. No time to prepare for them. The events saw me lose my home, pets, possessions and part of my body and nearly my life. It's as if a robber came in and stole all of it and gave much physical pain while doing it. And much like a robbery victim, I am feeling a huge loss of security. That is what was left behind in the hospital, the piece of me I fear I won't get back. It is also a huge creative block as I can't seem to risk the way I did before. All I get out anymore is geometric shapes in color or black and white. If I can't risk, how will I ever truly paint again?

I know that I need to move more towards acceptance of my new life. I know that, but I grieve the loss of the old that seemed to be coming along better. I was losing weight! I was walking more, healthy enough to care for a dog. Yes, pain still consumed me but from where I am now, what I see is that the life was mine. It belonged to me and I had a sense of trust and security. The hospitalization changed those two things. While I don't worry daily that I'm going to die bc of a blood clot, I do struggle with it. I go back and forth between feeling super alive and feeling like I have one foot in the grave. It's as if I am running forward making progress, feeling good and I suddenly remember not to trust that feeling. And I'm right back in the hospital bed with the smells and sounds and the horrific pain. I'm back to feeling lost, insecure and shaken.

It'll be a process to get out of this spot and I know it. I just miss so much of what was. People pressure others to live in today, don't look back, accept what you can't change. I'm not there yet. I'm limping toward that goal, but I'm not at acceptance.

I go in to see Dr D next Tuesday. I was to go in Friday but that's not going to work.

We briefly discussed that my new CNA is testing her employer's patience to the limit. She has informed them that she will not return until May 2nd. I shake my head bc it's a bunch of bull why she requested the time. Due to her attendance issues she may get fired by the company. I'm also frustrated with her attendance problems.

Faith

1

Content - Extreme physical abuse, siblings abused, emotional abuse

We talked about the dream I had where my mother beat my sister without mercy. It was brutal. She did so in a separate room from me, my cousin and 2 aunts. It was so bad and went on so long that I risked myself by knocking on the door to interrupt it. It worked and she stopped.

After the mother and sister emerged the cousin told my mother that I had made negative comments about her. I denied it. The mother took me in the room behind closed doors where she questioned me under threat. I swore I didn't say it. She believed me and let me go unharmed.

When we left the room the cousin admitted she lied. Everyone flipped out and yelled at her, why, why, why? She said that what my mother did to my sister was wrong but that my sister shouldn't have to do it alone. She said if I was beaten too then there would be an equalizing. My sister and I would be on even ground, sharing an experience. She said that it wouldn't be that one sibling witnessed the humiliation of another but that both would know and so one wouldn't be in a higher position than the other.

The dream was interesting to say the least because it touched on how it feels to watch a sibling abused and what it feels like to have your abuse witnessed. Someone saw the emotional and physical impact it had and that in itself is abuse and traumatic, to have someone see you like that. It also touched on the trauma of watching the horror show helplessly.

In the dream we were all at the mercy of the mother. The answer to making sure my sister and I were emotionally connected was for me to be beaten. Never did anyone step in and say, "You can't beat them this way" or "What you're doing is wrong and we aren't going to allow it." No, the answer was to beat me so that neither one of us was alone. One would be alone in that she watched the abuse. The other alone in that she experienced the abuse.

Dr. D and I discussed how my mother rarely went off the rails and just started beating us. She was more focused. She beat the palms of our hands, our feet with a dowel rod quite often. She beat our lips with a wide tooth comb. Rarely did she slap us in the face. When beating us with the dowel rod while laying down it was focused on our back area: legs, butt, back. There were times we got punched in the face but it was rare. My mother's rage was focused on areas of high pain, with an item she said she used because it hurt.

Robert spoke to Dr. D today. I can't say it was a good session at all. Robert is still very protective of us after the suicide issues with the CNA. Dr. D asked why we didn't report the CNA sooner than we did. He then said, "You usually protect yourselves so well." Robert reminded him that the CNA his the 'mother cord' with her suicide threats. We felt responsible! We felt guilty! We felt small and like we were in fight or flight. When it got bad it got bad quickly and we were in fight or flight. Why didn't I tell? Well dang it.....(sigh) what kind of question is that? Listen, I have mother issues and this girl played right into them. I'd even look her in the face each morning to see what kind of mood she was in to see what type of day we would have, just like my mother. If she cried then I cried with her. If she (the CNA and my mother) wanted to laugh then we laughed. I did exactly what I would have done had I been in the presence of my mother because I still have mother issues. She's the only person in the world who could make my knees shake. I told on the CNA when I could, period!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. D and I talked about hallucinations recently. I've been smelling blood and urine even though its not there. There's been a bit of depersonalization as well.

You know what? I'm not strong enough. I'm just one person and I've been through a lot lately. I've had so little time to recharge from the hospitalization, the amputation and the new life I'm leading. There's been so little time to get firmly rooted, then for the whole suicide thing to pop up and her behavior to mimic that of my mother is just too much. So yeah, things are messed up right now. My head is messed up right now.

Robert and Jordan

1

Thirteen years I walked past my therapist's Christmas Cactus and never thought to ask for a start until now. 

The three spider plant starts from the surgeon are growing like weeds. They were so tiny when I got them.

I snagged a start from the hospital's bed of pathos. It's being rooted in the fish tank with the Betta fish I had when I was in the nursing home. 

I wish all these plants could go in one planter but they have different requirements.

Spider plant, Christmas Cactus, Pathos, Dumbcane, large Peace Lilly. These are my memory plants. 

Why on earth would I wish to remember one of the worst things I've ever been through? Because it has changed who I am. It's changed me for the better and the worse, with the hope of good coming out on top.

Today in therapy we talked about how I have a fear that I'm going to just drop dead. That my health isn't reliable and there's no sense in putting forth effort when I may throw a blood clot and die. I hope such morbid fears will subside in time. I'm counting on it. I'm counting on growing right along beside the green leaves that fill my apartment. 

.........A visitor asked if I'm trying to make a paradise out of my home. The answer is yes. 

Jordan

3

Not Strong Enough fma

Today is one of those days where I feel the weight of what happened in the hospital. I feel shocked, stunned, grieved. I can only describe it as a train wreck where I can still hear the sound of metal crumbling around me. What I feel today must be what I was feeling when I drew and painted in this image with the caption: There's more to do. I'm not strong enough.

We went over the image in therapy and talked about the butterflies included and how they symbolize transformation. Also significant is the green under the eyes which I used to stand for goals of growth and keeping focused on them. Despite that focus there's dissociation (figures in the tree) to fight as well as feelings of trauma and grief symbolized by the hanging figure between the eyes. Hanging on is my main focus. It's what's between my eyes. No matter what, just hang on. That's what I think the girl in the middle is doing. 

I look at the color of the dress of the girl hanging on and realize it 'should be' a shade of red, however, it is orange paint that drips into red. In my art therapy pieces, orange symbolizes ambiguity, mixed emotions, indecision. Then of course there's the spiral in the throat. I started that about a year ago when it became very difficult for me to verbalize my feelings. As if through a hole in my neck, the words escaped me.

Recently I've felt like an idiot trying to talk, so I just didn't. I didn't email or write on this blog for a number of days (never a good thing for me). I just got quiet. Today I feel better equipped to put two words together but I also feel worn thin by it all. 

Tomorrow is another much needed therapy session. Like every Monday, it's over the phone. However, I'll be going in to his office every other Friday to see him. In the Friday sessions, Michelle will get dedicated time where she'll talk about her own art and issues. The goal is for her to do some healing, too.

Faith

2

TakenMy physical wounds have healed faster than emotional wounds. There's a real fear that time will pass, I'll 'look better', and people will forget that on the inside I'm still struggling.

When all this first happened and for the entire 5 months, friends leaped to my assistance. I had more visitors than I knew what to do with. 🙂 I felt loved. Now that things are going back to my version of normal with Lupus, I fear being left and yet I know the fear is unfounded. My friends love me and I know it, and I know that they were there for me before all this happened. But there's this fear that all the love and attention is going to stop, and I'll fade right into the background and be forgotten. I like the feeling of being loved. It's not entirely new but its new enough that with a taste of it I don't want to let it go. ...continue reading "Don’t Forget Me"

2

I feel a quiet desperation inside.

I've had nightmare for the past few nights and have had a hard time waking up during the day. I'm exhausted.

I don't feel worthy of much. I sometimes hate myself enough to want to slice my arms to shreds. I have not and will not, but I recognize the symptom for what it is.

Sometimes I think the only reasonable thing to do is give up. Giving up doesn't mean dying.

I'm still creatively constipated! I've got a beautiful new art table that I have yet to use. I'm still working in my art journal. What's wrong with me that I can't paint? I'm depressed, maybe even lonely. ...continue reading "Desperation and Depression"

1

12 painful stairs to a tiny room. Each step felt like I couldn't cry any more than I did one step earlier. I made it up the stairs and laid on the air mattress with a slow leak and asked myself, "is it worth it?" can't I just stop taking meds and let nature take its course in a matter of days? Then the real me took a breath! I was reminded that this is very temporary. I'm with friends who, though of humble means truly love me. And honestly, I'd rather be here than in a nursing home with workers who like me but who don't do half of what they should. ...continue reading "A difficult start"

I take life for granted until I go head first into a moment that tangles with sobriety. My eyes are wide open to how fragile people are and how they too live life blinded, until they absolutely have to see.

I've got another blood clot situation. My fear is that it'll threaten the left leg.

The other day I was tucked in bed when it hit me - I miss popcorn. I miss homemade, buttery, kernel corn. I miss fruit drinks on movie night. What I really miss is life as I knew it. I miss the chaotic apartment, the art, the high and driven spirit that set goals, and wanted to live as more than a survivor. The more I let myself think about what I miss, the further away I got from acceptance of this new life and its possibilities.

I'm not emotionally strong enough to look back and think about what I miss. I have to focus forward. I have to work on accepting or letting go according to my abilities. It's hard to focus that much though. It's hard not to panic and scream, IT'S NOT FAIR! I know it's not fair. I absolutely know it but to sit in that right now isn't going to help anything. It won't help me focus on the things that are within my control. I need to focus on options and care plans not each piece of life I miss. If I do that I'll rob myself of much needed energy. I need all my energy because Lord knows I'm tired.

Faith

Dear Head,

We aren't friends today. Your behavior has divided us, putting a rift and a scar in an already shakey relationship. At this very second I can't tell the world all you've done because my body is attacking me with the strongest sleep spell I've ever felt. This half awake, druling, snoring, head bobbing, heavy eyed fight has been lost. I'm captive with no choice but to surrender. However, when I'm released, I'm going to tell them everything. I'm going to spill my guts and tell the world how you, brain, tried your best to depress, discourage and break me. I'm going to tell them everything as soon as my body releases me.

Lupus fatigue & depression, bites.

2

I would say I've hit a rough patch but this is no patch, this is a field. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to traverse this ground with its pits and stones.

Today has been difficult but quiet, manageable. Anxiety is high, still, and my body hurts from head to toe. That's nothing new. Pain is as common as flowers. I feel it everywhere I turn but, being a few days out of the thick of depression means I see a little light ahead.

What a nightmare it's been. Today isn't. Today has been difficult but manageable. Yeah, I'm in my field of "flowers" and I'm a bit worn down, but I'm still here. I made it. I made it through that cycle of depression.

Faith

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