Tag Archives: Family

Content: Brother's suicide, anger, powerlessness, the complexities of death

The day didn't pass without painting.  I tried to focus on something other than life issues and lay color on paper. It felt good to do so.

I'd been sipping Chamomile Bloom to keep myself calm which meant I wasn't in hysterics at the time of my appointment. We talked about my brother quite a bit and about how hard this has been to lose him. In the last 5 years this is the second suicide I've dealt with and the third of my lifetime. My brother's suicide, his death is unbelievably hard.

I said that I understand he was just human. I understand that he had a breaking point but I wonder if he thought for just a second about the students he left behind, about the suffering of anyone else? And yet I know when my pain levels rise too high I can no longer say I'm safe. I don't think about how others will respond. I don't think, I can't think. I only want to get out of my skin. So I can't say I'm without understanding of being on one's last bit of rope. I do understand. I also understand the complete betrayal one feels standing on the other end of death. It's complicated.

He asked if I think about my sister a lot. Yes, every day..but not every second of every day. I have given her all the space she needs from me. I have no updates on her though. I am still committed to an emotional divorce so I can heal from .....so I can heal. It's hard to walk away from a fantasy. I'm not going to get the sister I need and I have to walk away even when life is threatened. I can't swoop in and try to save her bc I'll be sucked back in to being her emotional punching bag and sucked back in to believing that somehow I can win her approval and we can be sisters and friends. That isn't true. It's a fantasy and I have to let it go, even when things get scary with her.

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Content: Physical pain. Physical torture as a child. Mother and uncle standing in the doorway. Being watched as I shower. Reassuring myself that I'm safe. Robert's session.

When my pain level gets really high I get confused about why I'm in pain. When my eye lids hurt, when it hurts to talk, when I struggle to breathe I forget it Lupus or CRSD. I forget I have a medical condition and feel trapped in the past. Yesterday I lay in bed, just on the sheet, the fan was blowing over me. I had my face buried in the pillow when I became flushed with dread. I expected to look at the door and see my mother standing there. I fully expected her face to become clearer, for her to fill the doorway. I pulled the covers over me and felt more protected. I had to tell myself she can't ever again stand in my doorway. I slept with uneasiness and woke feeling bogged down.

Dr. D asked the question: Can your mother come to your house and get in?
Me: No.
Dr. D:  Can she get in and stand in your doorway?
Me. No.
Dr. D. Can she ever hurt you again?
Me: No.

It's what she left me with that haunts me. I feel her hand from the grave touch my skin and make it crawl. I see her in my head but I try to talk to myself and remind myself that I truly am safe. As far as living family members, as long as I have a cat, no one is coming here.

This spring I was to decide if I could manage a dog which would help me sleep better but I am not able, sadly, I am not able.  ...continue reading

May is the one year mark of the death of my brother and mother. I found out in June of 2016 but they died in May.  This is another reason I'll be playing it really close to the vest. I feel so .... thin.....fragile.

Through this whole issue of grief, I will be many things. I'll be a minute to minute survivor. I'll be angry, grieved, at peace, wordy, creative, exhausted and a million other things. I wish I could say that things will go back to settled but they won't. It's impossible for me to fathom normal with that baby gone. I can't imagine normal but I can hope for settled with less gut wrenching pain.

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There's a blog magazine I read called What's your grief?. It helps me process some of what I feel in a more tangible way. Recently I saw an entry called 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief and immediately honed in on number thirty, “The last 24 hours of their lives will replay in your mind” and 36, “You lose yourself, your identity, meaning, purpose, values, your trust”.

I knew I'd go all over the emotional scale with grief. I knew I'd be in disbelief. I knew I'd sit shocked and trip over myself. I knew I'd bargain, that the world would look different, that I'd have memories so real it felt like I was standing there with him again. I knew these things, but I didn't know my ability to trust would be tested. I wasn't expecting that. I wasn't expecting to feel betrayed by the entire world for having the audacity to continue on without him. I was offended. How could you? How could you possibly keep spinning as if nothing happened? It's an insult.

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I called your name as I awoke.
You didn't answer.
Thank God!

My brother's birthday was the 14th of February. Of course I don't celebrate birthday's but it is the first anniversary of sorts after he took his life. I believe anger toward him is less intense and has moved to a great sadness.

I do not recall my sister ever taking care of my brother. I can't say for certainly but I can't remember her having him for a day or night. What I do remember is around age 3, when he was removed from the home, I woke in the early hours of the morning listening to her cry. The mother was in the room with her, hitting her. I could always feel her getting hit. My body cringed. Maybe it was just me remembering dowel rods on my skin and knowing what she was going through, but it felt like I was physically taking on myself each and every blow.

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I'm just a broken little girl crying at a brick wall too hard to be affected by my tears.

We were at the tail end of getting a few items from the store when my pain level spiked. I needed Betty to come help me get something off the shelf so I called her. When she got over there she told me since I was looking for a Thai item it would be on a different aisle, so she starts walking away. I said, it's right here. She objected and said, it's down here, I know it is. I didn't move. She came back but passed me to look elsewhere. I said, it's right here. I said, forget it, just forget it. Her movements were over stimulating for me as well as her refusal to listen.

She passed me twice going down the aisle looking for the item right in front of me.  It was too high for me to get because I was in the chair. Finally I said, forget it. I'll get it. I grabbed my cane, stood up and got the item. While standing she started in on me, got really close to me and kept saying, is that it, is that it? I saw her hand come to my chest ........and everything changed......everything........

She was in my face, literally in my face with her hand inches from touching my chest. Robert said in a very threatening voice, "Don't touch me. Do. not . touch. me." His threat had nothing at all to do with pain, nothing. She pushed too far today.

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I'm just a broken little girl trying to accept that a brick wall is a brick wall and nothing else. It will not become what I need it to be.

For my own record I write this out, stunned, pained, angry with her and angry at myself. I want to vomit.

I told her I feel she has a mean streak and her prejudice comments are hurtful. She passed it off as me being overly sensitive. She said, you hear things louder than other people (PTSD), maybe that's the problem. I said, I'm sensitive but you are insensitive. You don't see how your words and your behavior affect others.

When we got in the house I told her that we should try and talk again soon and not leave it where it is. She said, I'd rather do it now. Twice I suggested we wait but she said, no, lets do it now. I said, okay, I'll put on some tea.

I'm officially and old woman. Sit. I'll put on some tea. Here's an afghan.

above written 8:28pm EST

I thought it might be best to go back to our undercurrent, a place she hasn't thought of in forever, if she knew of its existence at all. ...continue reading

I heard a story about a man being treated for leprosy. The doctor came in the room, put his hand on his shoulder and the man began to weep profusely.  To be touched again, a feeling unexpected, needed and then there it is, what could he do but weep?

I took the blanket out of the basket Betty brought over, fresh from the wash. When I pulled it up and smelled the Downy I had a jewel moment, a true gem. That's what it felt like to have someone care enough to clean my blanket and make it smell good. To have Snow push my hair out of my face while vomiting was a moment that touched me deeply. When a person grows up with a tyrant, when all they do is survive then the small things people do that others take for granted, make life time memories for us. It was a nice gesture but it was nothing to her, just a toss of liquid in a wash she does all the time.

I'm that stray who is scratched behind the ears by a passerby. Now I believe that scratch means I get to go home and I can belong somewhere.

I want to belong to someone. I don't ever want to beg for it again.

Sometimes a blanket is just a blanket and a brick wall is just, a brick wall.............

9:39pm EST February 7, 2017

After we got back from the vet I gave Jane her medication and we both went to bed. She's beside me now purring like she always does only now it's with one less fang.

Dream: I woke from a dream about antique dolls with two faces. Hundreds of antique dolls at various levels of decay burst from the rotted ceiling and created a pile right up to the broken ceiling beams. Most of the dolls were from other countries, some large, some small. An Arabic man pulled at them with a rake to get the rest to come down. As they passed me I looked for any doll that looked like me, a black doll. From the hundreds that fell through the hole in the ceiling, I was able to see, but not keep, a few dolls that looked like me. These divided dolls were filled with sawdust or covered with porcelain. Some appeared to have been quite fine in their day. I woke from there. Mary Jane needed medication.

Here's how it started.
I went to the store Tuesday afternoon then came home to find Mary Jane bleeding from her mouth. Her chest had trails of blood and her paws were very bloody. She was frightened and crying. I was trying my best not to freak out. I called Snow to come help because I wasn't sure what was wrong or what Janie would need. I told Snow, if you can't stand the sight of blood on Jane and you can't stand to hear her cry this way then you will be of no help to me. I need someone stable. Snow manned up and put her superwoman suit on.

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I showed up at the vet's office a total and complete wreck, a wreck! First off, all this happened as I walked in the door from grocery shopping. I needed to sleep that off but I found my baby bleeding. Then I was holding my head looking at her and I started to panic. I thought, I have to come back home with this cat. I can't leave her there. I thought I was going to lose her. I wasn't sure of the extent of her injuries. What I did know is that a tooth was crooked, she was bleeding pretty badly, she started to snort kind of. I thought maybe her tongue got caught on one of her saber-tooth fangs and was torn. I mean, there was a lot of blood...blood all over my heart which happens to be in the form of a 15 lb furry cat. I was losing it. Finally I got myself together and the rest is what I wrote in part one of this. One fang down and antibiotics with a little cleaning up and I brought my girl home.

One last thing, a blogger asked about a mother's love. Today when I saw blood on my baby's mouth and paws my heart screamed. When I had to pick her up and look at her it meant pushing aside my emotions and doing what needed to be done. I examined her, knowing she was afraid. I kept talking to her. I was willing to pay the vet whatever it took to make her pain stop, to see her feeling better and to know I could take her home. My heart went through so many emotions, so many extremes.

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