Thursday, May 16, 2013

i am a cutter...

most people dont know this... but back when i was 15, i was bulimic.  i was bulimic because i was constantly told i was fat, ugly, etc.  i couldnt make myself be anorexic, the drive to eat was too strong, so, rather than that i decided to binge and purge.  like clock work i was able to down an entire box of doughnuts, feel guilty 10 minutes later and end up holding onto the porcelain god.  i could make myself throw up without much thought or effort.  it came naturally.  this went on for nearly 3 years until i stopped because i was damaging my teeth and had no idea how bad it was getting.  part of the bulimia was to release stressors that i couldnt handle otherwise.  so, what did i turn to during this difficult time? i turned to cutting.  i found that by intentionally harming myself i could release the pain that i was experiencing with each little slice.  i did this for a good 4 years, once a week, sometimes less often as you begin to run out of space... but, about 4 months ago, it started again and i am having a difficult time stopping.  so in perusing the internet for blogs about self harm i found this little challenge, figured i'd work through it and see if it was therapeutic and could help me stop... again.  

so i decided to do the challenge...

1.  How long have you been self harming?  discuss why you started.  since i was 17 or so.  i had just given up bulimia and needed an outlet.  i had one of those foot razors to scrape off callouses and decided to use the razor (a fresh one) to cut the insides of my thighs.  i needed to fill the void that giving up bulimia had created.

2.  what part of your body is most affected by it?  my inner thighs.

3.  What is your motivation to recover?  my children.  summer is coming and i know it will be nearly impossible to hide every mark or make excuses as to why they are there.  i dont want them to know me this way, i want to get better to be a better mom for them.

4.  Do you consider yourself "addicted"?  Why or why not?  yes.  i think about it every day.  while i only cut once or twice a month when the stress gets really intense, i have the desire to do it daily.

5.  What part of self harm do you dislike the most?  starting the initial mark.  the first slice.  the first slight scrape down my thigh before the blood starts to flow.  thats when its the hardest.  thats when you know that if you stop, you've caused no injury, no blood has been shed.  i also dislike a few days after, when i look at it and wonder what the heck i was thinking.  looking at the scars makes you realize how bad the pain is that you feel inside.

6.  What about it do you enjoy?  the amazing endorphin rush when i see the first drop of blood.  the spinning out of body feeling, like im not a part of my own life, like my life is not my own.  the physical pain which for a moment overshadows the emotional pain.

7.  list 10 activities that help you calm down.  reading, watching a movie, going for a walk, watching my boys play baseball, used to be hanging with friends (but i have none anymore), cycling, taking a nap, taking an ativan.  i know thats not 10, but there isnt a whole lot that calms me.

8.  What is the most supportive thing anyone has said to you about self harm?  last night i told my ex girlfriend i cut.  she held me tighter and told me she loved me.

9.  Have you ever taken pictures of your wounds?  Discuss.  i have.  twice.  i wanted to remember what it looked like when the blood was flowing.  i also took them to show my ex boyfriend.  in hopes he would care.  he didnt.

10.  How do you feel about your scars?  i hate them mostly because summer is coming and i'll be wearing shorts soon, wearing shorts is hard when you've utilized most of the "hidden" places and have had to move down the thigh to find fresh skin.

11.  Strangest place you've ever injured yourself?  on my body i almost exclusively cut my inner thighs because its hidden.  i cut at work one time.  the pain i was feeling was too intense and i had to release it somehow.

12  where do you keep your tools?  how do you dispose of them?  well, i have a whole medical box full of things.  i bring them home from work.  dispose of them in the trash, under other things so no one will see them.

13.  what is the biggest realization about self harm you've had?  that it truly does only hurt me.   its one of those things that i can hide well and dont have to worry about hurting anyone else.

14.  Is there anyone you consider to be an inspiration in your recovery?  no.  right now im not recovering.  i still need the outlet.

15.  Do you visit any websites about self harm?  i've visited self harm blogs.  i dont relate in most ways with them simply because this starts at such a young age.  im much older than these girls.  when i was younger and cutting i could definitely relate.

16.  What advice would you give to someone about self harm?  its like a moth to a flame, it cant help itself.  you cant help but cut once you've done it before and you realize how it numbs you, how you no longer feel when you do it.  it becomes like a drug.

17.  Do you know anyone else who injures themselves?  no.

18.  Write a letter to the future recovered you.  right now i cant do this, because i cant see myself recovered yet.  i need to get over some of this hurt.

19.  List 5 reasons that recovery is worth it.  mostly just my boys having a mom who doesnt do that.  they are my only reason for breathing.  they are all i have.

20.  What is the most vivid memory you have about self harm?  the first time i did it i was in the bathroom at my then mother in law's house.  i used a callous razor.  didnt sterilize it first and i cut on the inside of my wrist.  i chalked up the bandage to burning myself with a curling iron.

21.  Have you ever tried to stop in the past?  What are you doing differently this time?  i have.  and i did.  for almost 15 years.  this time, right now, im not trying to stop.

22.  Where do you feel the most calm?  in bed, when im asleep.  its the only time my head turns off.

23.  What is your favorite inspirational quote?  “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

24.  What are some of your main triggers?  Why?  main triggers usually occur when something happens in my life that i have little to no control over, or experience extreme sadness over.  for some reason my divorce didnt trigger many cutting sessions, just one.  but the breakup of my relationship with john, the turmoil surrounding it, the lies, the deceit, i have been doing it at least weekly.  why?  well, i typically cannot cry easily.  not enough to express my internal sorrow.  cutting/pain helps release that.  it gives me a visual reminder of what my life has become.

25.  Do you know any statistics about self harm?  i know its mostly younger people, teens.  but look at me, a pathetic 36 year old who cant deal with her shit, who decides to cut to ease her pain.  yay.  go me.

26.  What is something that makes you the most happy?  my boys.

27.  Discuss any and all progress you've made.  i went a week without at one point, then hit a bump in the road and started up again.

28.  What short term goals do you have?  make it through tomorrow without hurting myself.  i have to take it day by day.  unfortunately my living situation is about to change on saturday and i wont have much if any time alone anymore.  i'll probably take to cutting at work during my lunch break.

29.  Do you follow any self harm blogs?  i've perused them on occasion.  i relate to the pain, but not the situations for the most part.  my situations are adult, different... but i guess we all suffer in our own ways, and regardless of why, we all cut for a reason.

30.  Post your favorite picture of yourself and a positive message to look back on.

you were happy at one time.  you will be again.  just give yourself a fighting chance.  you're left with the scars, the memories, but you dont have to do it anymore.  live one day at a time.  and keep living.  you're worth it and your boys need you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

how to win the heart of a woman...

its not easy to get to the heart of a person, to know them inside and out and to understand what they're feeling before they actually feel it or experience it.  i've learned over the last 9 years that the way into a woman's heart, a mother's heart, is through her children.  its through compassion, its through kindness, its through remembering the small things, like sending the kids a birthday card, making them smile, giving them the "perfect" birthday gift.  its in the look in their eyes when they see that child happy.  a mother's happiness is directly related to that of their children.  in seeing someone put another persons child ahead of themselves.  when a mother's babies are happy, they too are happy.  when their babies are sad... they too experience that sadness.  its not material things, its the small things...  the easiest way to win my heart is through my kids.  and the fastest way out of my life is to hurt them or disappoint them...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

always around the holidays...

have i honestly ever said that here?  i really do hate the holidays.  this usually begins after halloween, which is a holiday that i truly enjoy.  the drop comes around Nov 1st and lasts typically until new years.  yep, a long 2 months.  a long, agonizing two months.  long enough to need some pharmaceutical help, but not long enough to need full on anti depressants.  let me go back... so when i got divorced, almost 5 years ago, along came the custody agreement, and with that comes empty holidays.  this year i do not have my boys on thanksgiving, and it will just be me, my mom and aileen.  the rest of my moms family are going elsewhere.  while i love my mother and am grateful she's having us over, im saddened because i dont get to spend that quality time with my angels.  we do pick them up the day after thanksgiving at 9am and then are headed to NY to see Aileen's family.  which will be a much needed change of scenery.  that is if her sister doesnt drink herself into oblivion and davie doesnt make me insane with his strange commentary and odd behaviors.

this week has been exceptionally bad.  recovering from surgery, been home from work for 3 weeks, bored out of my mind, and then throw in that i lost a good friend because of facebook political commentary, she basically deleted me without even a note to say why... and her son is friends with my kids, so that makes it difficult.  we've agreed to not allow this to come in between their relationships, albeit difficult.

my paternal uncle basically "disowned" me because of my political beliefs and my quirky and dry sense of humor, then i find out today that not only does my uncle not accept me, but neither does the father that i've tried to reconnect with.  and my uncle was the one three years ago who tried to bring my boys and i into this family again.  i talked to my paternal aunt today, and while she and i will remain in contact, i have chosen to keep myself and my boys away from that toxic mess of a family.  i lived 33 years without the presence of my father, and i can live many more in the same fashion.  i will miss getting to know my brothers, but, i have to say, they've rarely made contact either, and the few times they have its been because they needed something.  my father's family are a bunch of fuck ups, crude, irrational and plain old mean individuals.  i should be happy to see them go for good, with a sense of closure, but rather i have a sense of loss.  not primarily for me, but for my boys.  i want a stable life for them, and no matter how hard i try, i just cannot get there.

i received a phone call yesterday from my first ex husbands sister, what i thought was going to be a friendly "how have you been call" turned out to be a "so i was going through moms stuff and she had a note that stated she loaned you money about 5 years ago... well, we need that money back..."  when my ex mother in law loaned me that money it was basically stated to me that i didnt need to pay her back, that if i could then that would be great but if i couldnt then that was okay too.  now my ex mother in law has early onset dementia and her daughter has taken her in and taken over her finances, goes through the old house and finds some note her mom wrote... and to top it off, threatens to take me to court if i dont start paying.  i told her i'd do what i can, but i cant promise anything steady.  you cant get money when there is none there.  there was no legally binding contract, i thought she was helping me... i thought she was being kind as she always had.  now, this women who doesnt recognize me, remember me, nor my children, who has let her house go to foreclosure and moved to NC, is going to take me to court?  highly doubtful, but saddens me just the same.  i lost her son as a friend a few months ago over some comments he made regarding my life choices... i guess i've lost his mom and sister too.  

then this afternoon.  relationships are hard.  sometimes i wonder whether the work "pays off" in the end.  with my kids, always.  hard work=good children who are loving, kind, compassionate and overall amazing.  romantic relationships are much more difficult.  this morning, spent some time with john.  it was great, breakfast, movie, laughter, and fun.  i left to go to the grocery, he had a commitment to attend to.  he promised to come over afterwards.  430pm came around, i knew how far away he was, and i knew there was no way he'd be able to come over and spend quality time because he has to work tomorrow morning.  so i told him to forget it, stay home.  im the type of person who an hour isnt enough, 30 minutes isnt enough.  not when you want to spend every waking moment with that person, so that quick 60 minutes goes by to fast, leaves me saddened, and heartbroken because i didnt get more time.  

i am the type of person who needs a set schedule with mapped out times for everything.  i need structure, a plan and rules.  i need boundaries, i need foundations.  i need to know that i have the time set aside for the things i have planned.  for example, i picked up some things to make for dinner when he came over.  figured i'd finish my cookie baking and then we'd have a nice dinner together and watch a show and he'd head home.  i counted on a minimum of 3 hours.  he couldnt give me that, so i panicked.  i felt let down.  i felt hurt that he scheduled something in between our time together which impinged on my evening plans.  and this commitment, was one more of hobby than of necessity.  i understand that he is passionate about this hobby, but to cut our only day together in little pieces so you could do ninja twice in a day?  either sketchy and not true, or to me, shows that our time isnt as important.  if you cant keep promises, dont make them.  these were plans i had counted on since i wont see him again until at the earliest next monday or tuesday.  and thats if he doesnt work... then wednesday, my reality of work returns and time will be minimal.  makes me sad.  i feel let down.  i know he loves me, sometimes i wonder if its enough though.  he's quite younger than me, i still have my doubts about his present living situation and his honesty with those he's closest to about our relationship.  most days i figure its just that we just havent figured out how to balance his carefree nature, and my need to have every second of my life worked out to a minute detail.    other days i wonder if we ever will get there.  

but you cannot help who you love, how you love and who you are.  i've had a lot of "loss" this week, and right now, i've not had a dry eye since writing this.  i hope i dont have this to look forward to for the next month... please Jan 2, hurry up and get here so i can start a new year, maybe this one will bring more smiles than tears.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

its amazing

how three little words can mean so much, change a mood, and change life courses.  those words are

"In a Relationship"

i hate seeing those words.  anger, fear, animosity, jealousy, sadness, despondency, and uncertainty.

i really dont like those words.  have i said that yet?

Friday, October 5, 2012

rashes left unnoticed.

about 4 weeks ago i noticed a red, unraised rash area under my left breast.  it was oval shaped, didnt itch, wasnt scaly, and looked just like some type of contact rash.  i figured it was from a bra that irritated the skin.  i left it alone, thinking it would go away... a week or so later, it was still there, and along side of it was another few oval shaped spots... again, no symptoms, so i left it alone.  last week i noticed my entire trunk was covered with these spots.  my back, my abdomen, my flank, and above my butt.  i then finally decided then it was time to get it looked at.  i spoke with a PA friend of mine at work who used to work for a dermatologist office, she thought it was ringworm... so she prescribed me a cream, i got it right away and applied.  where the heck did i get ringworm and why doesnt it itch were my first thoughts.  how can it be i've had this for almost 4 weeks and no one else in the house has come down with spots as ringworm is super contagious.  

at the same time, i've also been battling a sinus infection for about 3 to 4 weeks now.  started off typical for me, stuffy nose, discharge, no symptoms otherwise, no fever, or sore throat.  it then settled into my chest after three weeks and i decided to go to the MD for treatment.  while there, i had her look at my rash.  come to find out, its not ringworm, but a viral rash called pityriasis rosea.   this rash is caused by a virus, typically comes on after the onset of a cold, and takes 6 weeks to 6 months to go away.  there is no treatment.  generally occurs once in life and hits people aged 10-35.  go figure.  no long term sequelae, however, one of the biggest side effects is chronic fatigue syndrome.  i had noticed about a month ago that i had lost any interest of doing much besides lounging and watching movies.  i slept a lot... now i know why.  this rash has halted any desire to lose weight, exercise or socialize with the outside world.  

its been pretty miserable dealing with a sinus infection, the daily stressors of a full time career, a hectic kid schedule and the fatigue associated with this rash.  somedays it overwhelms me.  this week alone i have been leaving work as early as i can, just to come home to rest.  some days are better than others.  today i feel good... tomorrow, well, we will see then.  

i wish life wasnt so difficult and i could just get a break....  

Monday, October 1, 2012

I wish

I were lovable
I was not broken
A used toy, left to rust
I could smile again
Feel loved
Love without pain
Love without sorrow
Love and trust
Not be hurt, time and time again
I could pick myself up, start life anew
Find happiness and smile.
Like the 21 year old girl
Who first learned to live and love
Only to lose again.
She existed once.
Smiled and trusted.
She knew she was worthless, but she smiled anyway.
With each broken promise, with each vow renewed, she knew, this too will end.
Nothing lasts forever.
Nothing except for the pain
The anguish
The despair.
Powerful yet helpless

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Its All Alright...

 All Alright - FUN

And it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
Yeah, it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 

And I got the call soon as the day hit night. 
As soon as the headlights lit up the Westside. 
I stopped the car and came outside 
Cause I know that tone. 
I remember the first time 
We wished upon parallel lines. 
Waiting for a friend to call 
And say they're still alive. 
I've given everyone I know 
A good reason to go. 
I was surprised you stuck around 
Long enough to figure out 

That it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
Yeah, it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
[ Lyrics from: ] 
And now all my loves that come back to haunt me. 
My regrets and texts sent to taunt me. 
I never claimed to be more than a one-night stand 
I've given everyone I know 
A good reason to go. 
But I came back with the belief 
That everyone I love is gonna leave me. 

And it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
And it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all all 

And I know, ohh nooo, 
You've fallen from the sun. 
Crashing through the clouds. 
I see you burning out. 
And I know, ohh nooo, 
That I put up a front 
But maybe, just this once, 
Let me keep this one. 

And it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
And it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
Yeah, it's all alright. 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright. 
And it's all alright 
I guess it's all alright. 
I got nothing left inside of my chest, 
But it's all alright...

So this song pretty much reflects how i feel some days.  a few weeks ago i had a conversation with a good friend, and former husband, Keith about how things have been lately.  after almost 4 months, i finally got the nerve up to tell him that aileen and i have broken up.  he sighed loudly, and then asked me what the fuck was wrong with me, that i just lost the best thing in my life and that i am going to end up alone, just like my mother.  wow.  that was nice.  of course following this he stated he means no harm, but just stating what he sees.  then he recommended i seek counseling because i cannot make any relationship work.  i agree, i may need counseling (who doesnt?) but its not his right to judge my decisions when he is not a regular part of my life.  

i've pondered this information for about a week now (started writing this blog a bit ago...) and have come to the conclusion that its not that i cannot make "any" relationship work.  i most certainly can make them work, but for me, personally, it takes all different types of relationships in order to make me fully happy and i constantly do live in fear that if i get to close to someone they will leave.  for example... lets throw some things out there... i have aileen, my bestfriend in the entire world, my confidante, the person i can trust to see me when im a hot mess and loves me anyway.  shes there when i hit my perpetual bottom, and she's there to help me rebuild, or to build myself back up again.  she's my anchor.  she grounds me.  she is the one person in my life that i know i can count on... she is the one who has stuck around through all of my ups and downs.  fairly recently there is john.  he makes me laugh, he makes me smile, he reminds me of what its like to be young and carefree and he makes me remember how easy life was before obligations, before kids, and before careers.  he was fun to play with and be intimate with because he lived in the now, unlike me, who likes to plan my life 6 months in advance.... even if i may procrastinate about it.  

my life is by no means complete, i have a long way to go... but i dont believe that (i) can be fully happy with just one person, i cannot find everything i need in one human being.  call this poly if you wish... but its how i feel.  it seems to me that there is too much pressure to be everything to one person.  the pressure is unfair and unnecessary when there are so many other people in the world that can help complete you.  im not saying that sex with everyone is necessary, its not all physical, and that need may just be filled by one person, or two... but traits found in one person might not be in another.  i seem to crave different things at different times.  sometimes i want wild and free, other times i want to be grounded in family and home, then i hit my creative side and want to leave everything and start that coffee shop i've always wanted to own in seattle, and following that thought comes my dose of reality bringing me back to earth where i know that its not realistic and just stick to nursing... im good at it.  there is the person who wants to complete a long distance bike race, become a fitness professional and get in the best shape of my life... but there is the little devil on my shoulder telling me that it cannot be done, that im too busy and its not feasible.  there is a part of me that wants to start doing mixed martial arts, i find it exhilarating and exciting and would love to learn... but fear the failure that may come from trying.  

so reflecting on what keith said left me feeling less than "good enough" and i honestly did feel like a horrible human being... but over time, thinking about things... i realized that there isnt anything "wrong" with me.  im different, different from him, different from the republican, christian ideal that he lives.  we all have different families, we all have different ideas of what family looks like.  growing up mine was me, my mom and my grandmother, my kids have divorced parents and step families, mine is just a bit different than his, and thats okay.  my choice to end my physical relationship with aileen was a tough decision, but it was what i felt was necessary for me.  but ending the physical did not end the friendship.  she is still the best person i've ever known and will continue to be part of my life.  one day i will have all that i need, i truly believe this, and yes, that will probably include a few different people to fill different needs... but its "all alright."