Tag Archives: Grief

I am emotional in most GP visits because the doctor has to touch me and it hurts. Also, sitting in the doctor's office feels like my denial blinds have been lifted. At least outside the office I have a measure of time where I'm not thinking of my body and what has been lost, but being in that office is different. I know why I'm there. I know that faking a smile isn't going to work. I feel vulnerable and I cry. I chatter on when I'm nervous but I can tell you what hurts, where and how it feels different from the normal pain.

I've been told recently that expressing clear needs to medical doctors can be problematic. I used the word recently because this isn't news to me. I've heard it a thousand times. I've also hear it said, 'You're more involved in your health care than we're used to seeing."

What's interesting is that I no longer have faith in you. How do I put faith in a community that has no faith in itself? Doctor's constantly put down their peers down. I've had GP's tell me to stay away from pain specialists. I've had orthopedic specialist talk bad about other orthopedic specialists and rheumatologists. Nurses in office will talk bad about the doctors and tell you what medical practices they think are quackery. If you can't even agree among yourselves how to treat the basic needs of a patient then how do you expect me to put my trust in you? You don't even respect each other.

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Strange Sisters - Young Children in the Sun Well, that was heavy. I felt relieved after writing that story. Reading over it I'm able to see how close I stuck to reality. I'll put this to bed after I process why I said there's a reflection of me in each character in the story Tea for Christopher.

Content: Physical abuse of a young child. Processing the previous entry. No sexual abuse mentioned or discussed.

Christopher
I'm primarily Christopher in the story who tries to manage the unmanageable. I had Christopher leave home just the way I did, an unplanned exit on a night of routine abuse. I couldn't do it another night, not another second. I left Feb 2, 1992 at 10:30 pm and I never went back home. I went to a hotel that evening then got up to go to work. I never went back home.
Just like with Christopher, I did watch my little brother beaten with a dowel rod. Just like in the story, he was held down with one hand by my mother and beaten with a dowel rod until he was no longer even screaming. I walked away and left him with that monster. A few days later he was removed from our home by Child Protective Services. I felt so broken by that loss.
It is safe to say, the story Tea for Christopher was triggered by what happened the other night outside my window.

Ruby, the mother
It's interesting that the mother wasn't given a name until about the middle of the story. I realized I kept calling her 'his mother'. I didn't think too hard about a name for her but I immediately rejected Diamond. Now, the name Ruby seems appropriate only because of the color.
Why am I the mother in the story? I see how much my life revolved around creating situations that would appease my abuser while ignoring myself and my needs. An abused child is always at the beck and call of the abuser, there is no time for anything else.
I never told her, but I apologized in my heart for being a bad daughter. Though my mother left us repeatedly (a few days tops) there was a constant threat of being sent to the orphanage where my grandfather grew up. She was neglectful in criminal ways. Abandonment issues are still a huge problem for me. ...continue reading

My style is to just write and only correct spelling once I've completed it. Even the names of characters are made up as I go. I write until I feel I've released enough.

Content: After reading through it, I realized I'm all the characters, all of them, without exception. The story includes domestic violence, child abuse, the death of a child, blood from an accidental cut on the hand, physical violence towards a male teenage child. No sexual abuse is discussed in this quick write. Spaces are added to distinguish one speaker from another. I used a phrase taken from congressional hearings but left out all other sarcasm or humor.

"Christopher, your father will be here any minute, please set the table. Get his tea cups, please." Christopher rolls his eyes and says, "He''ll be here just a minute?"
"Not now, just finish setting the table, please."

He sighed heavily but very carefully pulled down four small, black Japanese cups with a red flower he couldn't identify. He sat them beside four square black plates and utensils he just figured out how to use. He's frustrated.... no, offended. His father will be home soon so his parents can begin their ritual of pretending to be happy. In the blink of an eye the tide will change from a perfect brew to boiling lava spilling from his mouth burning his mother to the core. She lets him and she won't stick up for her son. Her whole world is a man who comes home angrier each night and stays only to start another war. He leaves the carnage on the floor and goes out for the night.

Christopher's mother begins to bring the meal out to the table but upon seeing the settings she gasps and drops the platter. "Why would you do that? Why are you so cruel to me?"
Christopher feels the weight of what he's done and turns his head away from her. "Do it right and quickly!" she demands, but he's firm in his resolve.
"No. The table is set. You wanted a family dinner and I've set the table for us all."

By the end of her teenage son's sentence she has become a quivering ball of tears. "Why? Why would you do this? I just wanted a nice night for once. Help me clean this mess. Help me get this off the floor before he gets here." Christopher's eyes begin to well with tears, his breath is heavier and his heart has moved to his throat, but he leans next to his mother whose tears now mix with the ruined dish. He cleans the broken glass from the floor. Mother is still crying, heartbroken that she won't get it right, again. She can't seem to do anything right. She's a failure, a disappointment, again. As she hears the same old argument of worthlessness, she notices that Christopher's hand is bleeding. He continued to pick up the pieces one by one, leaving drops behind as a witness to his loyalty, to his love and exasperation for the woman he calls mother.

His mother grabbed his hand and looked at him, "You're bleeding. Honey, you're bleeding. Don't you see?" He dropped his head and shook it in disbelief that she for once saw that he too bleeds. "Christopher, what are you doing, go wash your hands, you're hurt." Christopher pulls back and continues to pick up tiny shards of glass. He pauses and says, "You never make special tea for me."
"What? What are you talking about?" She's confused. I mean my goodness, her husband is going to walk in the house and they'll both be on the floor cleaning up her hundredth failure of the day. Her mind is cluttered, she tries to prioritize. Clean this up, get something else, get a reason for the delay and stay calm.

Christopher places the last of the glass on top of the pile of broken pieces. His hand drips a steady stream and shocks his mother back to the person standing right in front of her. She says nothing this time. Still crying she looks at him bewildered then holds his hand, wiping the blood away with her dress, the one she put on for her husband who will come through that door any minute. She wipes away the blood, but can't stop his steady stream of tears. "What's going on with you? What's all this about? Tell me." ...continue reading

It's not pretty - this meadow of mineI posted a photo on my FB page about PTSD but later when I visited the page it linked back to, I erased it. There's probably valuable information on the page so I do not fault it for that. I removed the link because of the memes and quotes....and how they landed this hour of the night. In other words, they didn't do anything wrong......it's just hard right now. I'm ranting, anxious, triggered and tired.

Set off......

I completely object to the idea of showing PTSD as pretty, the same way I am disgusted by people showing Lupus in a dreamy way. I assure you, when I'm in pain I don't think about purple butterflies with trailing light. When I'm up this late I don't think about anything other than running from the brain vomit produced by PTSD.

I've been up too long, and I'm mad....at everything. I can't get myself to go to bed. It's hot and sticky. My brain won't shut off.  Why do I only think to take something for the anxiety when I'm far gone, like this?

I hate this world. I've thought recently of just walking away and living quietly in some place...who knows where......just some place. I'm weary, worn out and appalled by the human condition. I'm appalled by the lack of reason, the abundance of openly hating one another and purposeful harm in action and words. It's like there's blatant behavior to inflame and keep communities unsettled. From top to bottom people seem to want nothing more than to upset and destroy each other. It's hard to watch.

I want no part of loving anyone....or hating them.  ...continue reading

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Dinner is cooking and my taste buds are smiling. There's leg of lamb cooking in there. I'll eat part of the lamb tonight and save the juices for an onion soup I have in mind.

I've always eaten dinner late. I'm up until 2 or 3 am so an 8 pm dinner isn't new for me.

I do love to cook. Dr. D mentioned that I haven't made myself real dinners like I used to. He's right. I was in survival mode with my health and in crisis mode with family which saw me eating frozen dinners and cold sandwiches. That's not me at all.

I think back on my culinary training and how I felt this amazing sense of doing what I was born to do. I knew when I was 8 that food has power. Food is an awesome gift to give someone. It touches the heart, not just the stomach. I knew at age 8 what I was born to be.

For many years, some not so distant, I was troubled by the need to quit working as a chef professionally. Imagine a potter having to give up the wheel and take on a fall back profession. Imagine a rose gardener putting down his craft. It feels like a part of you has been taken. It makes you mad. ...continue reading

Emancipation - digitalI didn't know that grief would be accompanied by desperation to fill empty spaces. I used to require silence. It helped keep me calm so as not to be overwhelmed by stimuli. I now need to hear some type of program, film, theater, something. I need background noise to break the silence. Now, in silence, my head goes on and on. I go over all my mistakes and failings. I think and think some more.

It's not just that I need noise in the background to break the stream of thoughts, there's a specific noise I need. I need to hear a male voice more than a female voice. My anxiety remains sky-high and my attention span is short so I do well with 45 min TV shows and such. Two hour films feel like a commitment. Most of the time I don't sit and watch the show, I'm up tinkering with this and that, cleaning, pacing.

I didn't realize how much blame is added to his death. It's humorous that his grandmother (not my mother) feels no guilt for the cruelty she slapped him with before he died. She's smoothed it over in her head. Nope. You can't cover that up. It was profoundly immoral. ...continue reading

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'Denial - I Can't Accept This' digitalContent: suicide, anger, autopsy discussion, grief

The world moves forward but I feel stuck.

I can't call my aunts or my sister or cousins to share the grief, to encourage or be encouraged. I often feel alone with this. I feel broken. I've vomited out my heart. I no longer have one.

I tread waters of criticism when I say I can think of a hundred people who should take his place in a coffin. I have a hard time thinking that he's in a box decaying. My brother!!!! My boy is decaying!!! Really? Somewhere I read about a woman blogger whose mother died. She talked about how undignified death is. I can't remember which blogger it was, but she talked about how her mother's autopsy discussed her in ounces and pounds. To think there was an autopsy done on my boy is mentally terrifying. You cut up my boy? You weighed him like a pound of meat, sewed him up, put him on display, locked the lid then put dirt over it. You left him to the bugs. I'm mad that such barbarous acts were perpetrated against my loved one.

It's confusing and huge. It weighs down my shoulders and makes my eye lids heavy. I slightly drift to the left and rock just a little, back and forth. This death, this self murder, this selfish act haunts with a force powerful enough to freeze me in my tracks. ...continue reading

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Dr. D wanted me to think about the dream from May 22, 2017 that we discussed in our session. I went back and highlighted words for us to discuss in our next session. This dream brought up quite a bit.

Dream:
In the dream I got off an elevator and walked down the hallway to my apartment. As I did I saw a man leaving my apartment with a big box. He'd robbed me. He didn't try to hide his face. He left the door open. The thief took my cat Mary Jane. He took every piece of art I have including off the walls. He took all the stamps I handmade and my tea collection. When I saw that all my art was gone I laid on the bed and cried. He stole my blankets and pillows and left the bed with just a red sheet. He took everything, and got away with it.

Comments:
Dr. D asked what I think the dream means. I told him it's exactly how I feel right now, robbed and at times powerless. The red sheets are interesting though. It's a power color, primarily positive for me. Even when a person is stripped and knocked down it doesn't mean they are without hope. However, in the dream, I was devastated and felt targeted. The man stole all my art. That hurt so badly. By stealing my art, he stole my voice. The theft felt personal. The brazen, unmasked robber took my comfort and security and he got away with it.  (cue mother issues).

Writing about victimization makes me wonder if I feel like a victim in my day-to-day life or powerless? Do I feel exposed, without security? ...continue reading

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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Concerning my brother's suicide

For a self imposed insomniac, the night is early at half past ten. It still has a chance to end well if I get this off my chest and get back to watching old movies while eating over buttered popcorn.

The thing is, I can't stop crying when I hear stringed instruments. I've always loved the cello, it's my favorite with the violin next. I just wonder, am I going to cry every time I hear the violin? I want right now to say that this is pure grief, but I'm angry. I'm angry that strings make me cry instead of proud that he played so well. I'm angry that my brother taking his life means not even music is the same.

I realized something, every suicide I hear about brings up my brother. Chris Cornell was a total and complete shock. I didn't even read an article about it until the other day. I couldn't look at it. For right now, I can't read blogs that touch on this subject. I am far too maxed. It doesn't mean I don't care or that bloggers should change their subject matter. It's just that I can't do it. It's the same as not being able to read blogs about mother / daughter sexual abuse. It doesn't mean I don't care, it means I don't have the strength to offer. I'm really sorry.

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