Talkin With Grandma

It’s difficult to write. I know it helps to sort stuff out in my brain but that’s only if I write about things that I am trying to process. Or to let other stuff out so there’s more room in there.
I do well for a while and writing isn’t that bad. Then when my brain starts being an asshole again it gets increasingly difficult. By the time I’m really in s dark place it seems impossible to write which is when I need to release my thoughts the most.
I guess I’ll do the back story before getting to the now. Growing up my mother made a point for us to see blood relatives. Once a week we would go to my grandmothers house and my 3 great aunts house (they all lived together). My mother tried to take us to see my fathers side of the family as well. My father wouldn’t go with us but my mother would take is to see his mother and his father when he was in town. My grandfather on my fathers side used to drive tractor trailers and didn’t live in the same state but we saw him regularly. Then one night I remember the fight my parents had about how my dad didn’t want us to go see his family anymore without him, that it was making him look bad. He didn’t want us to see them unless he went. My mother fought back that we would never see them again if we were to wait for him to go. That was that. We didn’t go back unless my dad was in the car. I think we saw my grandma on Halloween one year and for Christmas two years. My mother would make comments about how he never saw them or called or took his children to see them. He would brush it off. They never made the effort to come see us. That’s just how it was.
Now to present day, well close to present day. I graduated in May from undergraduate majoring in psychology and sociology. My mothers, mother helped me move to my new apartment, helped with funding some of my expenses, got a smartphone so we could text, ect. My fathers mother doesn’t know what college I went to. My father didn’t know my cell phone number until a few months ago, I’ve had the same number since high school.
Now to present day. The week of Christmas my mothers father found out that she has cancer. The sentence my mother keeps using is “she’s eat up with cancer and it’s growing fast”.
I don’t know how to process this or how I’m supposed to feel. I know that whatever or however I feel is acceptable but I don’t know how I feel. Maybe it’s empty. I don’t really have any connection or fond memories or memories in general.
I don’t live there and probably won’t get to know her any more now than I did growing up.
She has asked for the grandkids to come see her so why not? I made a plan to go to my parents house and go see my grandmother. It ended up being a whole day event. My father made breakfast, we went to my mothers mother house, then to my fathers mothers.
When I was sick I asked if for family medical history. My mother was able to go back to great grandma had high blood pressure and probably diabetes but they didn’t know it was that… My father was able to say everyone is fine and always has been. I ask specifically do you have…does your sisters have…nothing. So when I was at my grandmas house my dad wanted to show me how he fixed the bathroom floor, shower and sink. While I was in there, on the shelf, was anti anxiety medication with my grandmothers name on it. I was so pleased with myself. I knew it I knew it! It is genetic for me! Muhahaha. I has so very proud until I left. Then I was disappointed with myself and my family. We don’t talk about this stuff. We sweep it out the door in hopes the wind will blow it away. This is the very subject that is incredibly dear and close to my heart and I didn’t speak up. I didn’t say a damn thing. I still was alone in my knowledge of something I wasn’t even sure about.
I tried to let it go. I tried to forget the feeling. I thought about calling to ask but it just didn’t seem like the right way to bring it up. I wanted to know more. If I knew more maybe it would help me understand. Or have support or closure or hope or guidance or anything. This opportunity had laid itself in front of me and I let it stay there. Not doing anything which is the very reason I’m so frustrated with my family. Damn it.
On Monday, I was driving back to my apartment just thinking about how I wouldn’t know if I didn’t ask. If not now then when? When would I decide to ask? On her death bed? After she dies? After or before a chemo treatment?
She lives right off the highway I was driving on so I took a deep breathe in and decided I’d go ask for myself.
I’ve never just stopped by at her house. They saw me pull up and didn’t know who I was until I was at the door. They didn’t know I had a new car maybe they didn’t know I even had a car at all, I’m not sure. She seemed confused and excited that I was there. I explained that Bella was in the car so I didn’t have long but I wanted to talk about something. I wanted to ask about mental health in our family. I straight up asked my grandmother if she has or had anxiety or depression. She calmly but abruptly said yes. I told her that I’ve tried to ask Dad but he doesn’t know about any of the family history. She then proceeds to tell me about other family members and their bouts with mental health. I learned that she is currently on medication ever since her husband found her with his gun. She said she just didn’t want to do it anymore. She said that the only people that knew about that was her husband one of my aunts and her doctor who prescribed the medication. She also told me about how she really noticed the change when she found the Lord. She believes the Lord delivered her from her depression.
I am so glad I stopped to ask. I wanted to know and now I do.

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Christmas

I’ve been avoiding writing about Christmas. I’ve dreaded it for about a month. I dislike Christmas soooo much. For some very simple reasons. I don’t like getting together with my family in an environment where we all try to act like we are on our best behavior then the moment your free to release you abuse substances.
The hostile illusion of togetherness has an awful taste. Why do we have to get together on two days in the winter to act like we don’t have a dysfunctional family. We’re just like the idealistic tv versions of what family should be. God! Can’t you tell by how together we are? And all the food? This is what your supposed to do! And come hell or high water we do it!
Thinking about family gatherings makes my muscles tense. If I fixate on the idea I have the urge to cut.
Until this year both my parents would get hammered after we came back from any family gathering. Not one family gathering but we had to go to my grandmas from 10am-8ish then on the 26 or 27 to my great aunts from 11am-7ish. Then the weekend before or after go to my other grandmothers but the other weekend was for my grandpas side. No worries though grandpa would come to grandmas but grandma refused to come to grandpas because they’ve been divorced all my life. Oh and don’t forget great grandpa while he was alive. And all this needed to be done before the new year or it wasn’t Christmas and didn’t count.
Yes, I’m glad I have family but hot damn that’s too fucking much.
I tried one year to get at least accepting of Christmas, help decorate and listen to Christmas music go to church and such. I only did that once. It didn’t really help.
The last two years I’ve participated with my friends from college. That’s not nearly as bad but it’s also not something I look forward to.
This year I decided that I would try to not let it rule my life. Unfortunately, it didn’t work like I thought it would. In the end it wasn’t too bad. I had to “leave” to take care of Bella.
I think the best parts of the holiday this go round was, as always, the sausage balls and having the pets to help me through.

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I didn’t go home for thanksgiving

This year I decided to not go home for thanksgiving. I had the option to take off work or to work. I wanted to stay here. I didn’t want to go home. I have the opportunity to be useful and make money at work. We are short staffed this week because of the holiday and it’s not “fun” but it’s my job.
I actually have a job which is something incredibly awesome to be thankful for. I do have a family which I am thankful for. I also live 2 hours away and have a choice.
My family is upset but won’t say it. They moved it to Saturday but I am still not going. Then they said they are going to come see me Sunday.
Instead of dysfunctional family that I end up feeling worse about myself when I see them then if I don’t I went to my friend/coworkers house. I got to eat and have wonderful company. I enjoyed myself. I really really did.
I feel guilty for not going home but I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in like a week. I’ve been stressed out and upset but today got me to a place where I smiled and laughed and felt whole. I got through a whole thanksgiving without wanting to kill myself or cut or do anything that would harm me or others AND with no medication. Which is so freaking awesome I can’t even explain how awesome that is!!
Maybe it’s okay. Maybe I’m okay.

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New Used Car

I bought a used 2014 versa note last night.
I’ve been looking for a new car for a while but I kept getting really overwhelmed. I’ve felt backed into a corner for a while. One dealership tried everything short of forging my name to get me to buy from them. I had around 17 calls from them in three days.
A different dealership just wasn’t that great. I went after work one day and their website information had been entirely wrong and the windshield was cracked.
The last dealership I refused to give them my number until I was 78% sure that I was interested. The guy who was selling me the car was super nice and was willing to let me think. The manger not so much. They tried a scare tactic by saying at 2:54 some woman had an appointment at 3:00pm to look at the same car. I held strong and thought about it over the weekend.
Then this morning while driving to work I got all teary eyed. I did this. I saved the money. I bought the car. I found it. I signed the papers. I have it in my name. I had a lot of help but it was a majority of me doing it. I called and got insurance in my name. I didn’t have to put my car in neutral at stop lights. I actually have breaks again. I have a rear window windshield whipper. I also now have a car payment but I also have a job that I make enough money for my car payment. I didn’t have to ask my family for money…yet. No! You know what. I didn’t ask them for money for this and that’s awesome!
I like the my car.

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Renaissance Festival

Today I went to the Renaissance festival. I enjoyed myself. I went with mother, father and brother. Even though I’m having rocky terms with my parents I’m really glad I got to see my brother.
I think I’ve decided to take my therapist advise and try to come to terms with my relationship with my parents. I want to morn, I need to morn the lose of the perfect parents. The parents that I dream and hope for them to be. The parents that want to protect me. The parents who show they care. The parents that call because their baby girl has been sick for over 7 weeks. The parents that I keep trying to hold to the standard that can’t be met. I want to be able to have a relationship with them. Maybe that’s possible maybe it’s not. But there is no way in hell they can be the parents that I keep trying to dream them to be. They can barely be the parents that they are. I’m difficult I know that but it would help everyone if I could lower my expectations. If father text after a month saying hey just wanted to check to see how you’re doing. Take it as face value don’t try to make it something more or less. No he didn’t text for a whole month or try to see if I was okay. But fuck it. I’m taking care of myself. Maybe try to be grateful that he even said anything. Maybe try not to be upset that mother still plays as if nothing’s going on. Just be glad that I was strong enough to call her and ask if they wanted to come to the festival.
This isn’t settling well. I feel out of control. Not too far out of control but enough that it’s bothersome.

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Being Sick- Update #3

Okay so I’ll admit the last post had a lot of shitty things in it. I realized there aren’t only bad things that have been going on, there are also a lot of really neat things going on too.

Work has been so super supportive. They are excited when I’m there and check on me if I’m there or not. If I need to come in late, no problem. If I need to leave early, no problem. I missed an entire week, no problem. We’ve got your back. We got cha covered. Just know we want you to feel better. Take care of yourself first! Those are the things I’ve been hearing from my coworkers. I could never have dreamed of a better group of people to work with.

I had a dentist appointment during all of this because I was super nervous about my teeth because of all the vomiting. They were incredibly nice while I was there. Very patient oriented and showed me what they were talking about. They even helped with giving me something to play with in my hand so I had something to focus on instead of my mouth. I told them when I walked in “Hey, I’ve been vomiting, I have a lot of anxiety, I’m very apprehensive about coming to the dentist but it’s been over two years and I’m worried my teeth are getting really messed up.” They were wonderful. Then!!! I had a follow up/lets start drilling your teeth visit that I canceled because I was vomiting a crazy amount and knew I wouldn’t be able to let them play in my mouth and I was really anxious about it anyway and I don’t really have the money for it now…I felt so terribly guilty for canceling. I didn’t go. I did call and explained. Then two days later I have a letter in the mail from them. I thought it was a bill. I walked in and opened it. It was a card. “Emily, We are sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well. Please get well soon!” Hand written! Signed by everyone in the office! I broke. I broke down. I cried. It was the sweetest thing. Especially with all this other crappy medical stuff I’m trying to deal with. That was so nice of them. They didn’t have to do that but they did. I had gone to the ER to get into the psychiatrist office earlier than the end of October because my referral from my PCP could get me in at the beginning of October but the ER was able to speed up the process and get me in two weeks earlier. But the dentist I picked out on google sends me hand written card. I was sure it was going to be a bill with extra charge for canceling my appointment, I was so positive that’s what it was going to be. It made my day, my week, it restored a part of myself that I lost. I felt cared about. That someone had remembered that I didn’t feel well enough and took the effort to send me a card, the whole office has taken the time and effort to sign it. That’s impressive! I’m blessed. I’m so blessed.

While I’ve been sick Pretty Lady (my roommate) has been keeping apartment things in order and walking Bella a lot! She is the best! I couldn’t imagine anything better. She is working 2 part time jobs, going to school as a Junior for engineering major and minoring in math and taking care of me.

My friend have been great. Wednesday I normally line up someone to walk Bella because Pretty Lady has four classes that day and it’s a really long day for her when she is normally gone from 8:30 am to 9 pm. I had completely forgot to line someone up for the midday walk with Bella. Bella can wait that long but I hate for her to have to. When I was driving home was when I remembered. I pulled up, parked and was prepared to run up the stairs and grab Bella for her walk. I walked in and Bella is sleeping on the couch and the light is on. Someone had walked her. While I was at work. I cried about that too. I was just so relieved and filled with a sense of friendship that I can’t really describe.

My partner took a week off from work to come take care of me. He took a weeks worth of vacation and dealt with me and my cranky self. I hadn’t been able to keep anything down in 17 days. 17 days. Nothing. Not food or liquids. I had already had two iv bags. I was fighting everything in my body to not have a third. It was no good. It was cranky self times 17 times 10. I didn’t want to be in the same room as myself. He stepped up. He made sure I knew someone cared. He doesn’t do these kinds of things. He bought me flowers. I’ve never had anyone buy me flowers but Aaron bought me get well soon flowers that were perfect. I cried. He made sure I had something to drink at all times and a wet washcloth. He handled the vomit bowl so I didn’t have to get out of bed ever 10 minutes to go to the bathroom to vomit. He kept a steady supply of popsicles. He really stepped up. I really, really appreciated it.

My brother has been texting me to check up on me. My sisters tried to start calling more to check on me. She called me yesterday and asked me to please not commit suicide. I explained I didn’t have a plan to right now. Then she said some things I didn’t agree with but she was trying to be supportive. My family is trying to be supportive in their own way. I did go to my twin great aunts 80th birthday party…that was a living hell I’ll just give you the highlights

“I hate to tell you but no one expected you to show up. You don’t have to be here.” Great Aunt by marriage right as I walk in the door.

“Is that the same boy?” “OH! It is? He looks different.” “That’s a long time for you, you normally have a new boyfriend every time I see you.” -Mother’s friend from elementary school asking about Aaron

Arm outreached “Emily? Is that you? I didn’t recognize you since you’ve gained so much weight! Your voice is the same though” -Great aunt who I responded with “Happy Birthday! I’m so glad I got to come see you!”

Mother said two words to me while I was here “Okay” and “Okay”

Father gave me a really awkward hug and started to look like he was going to cry and told me he was really glad I was able to make it

Grandmother tried to guilt trip me into staying longer because I obviously feel better after I vomit I should be able to stay longer since I already threw up. Then later she texted me “Are you telling the doctors what medicine you’re on? Some medicines can make you sick.” I explained yes I have and they thought for a while it was the Effexor but I’ve been off that for a while now and I’m still vomiting. Her response “I hope you’re keeping the doctors updated on how much your vomiting and how you are feeling.” I told her no, I like to keep them guessing. Once I calmed down I texted her back that I heard her, that she is concerned for my health and wellbeing but she doesn’t know how to word her concern. She texted me back say yes that is what it was.

Everyone is trying in their own way and I appreciate it. My friend SW has been incredibly supportive and  is trying her best to keep up with everything that’s going on. I don’t know what I would do without her.

Bella has been glued to my hip. She barely leaves a room even if someone walks in to the apartment. She doesn’t let anyone near me without her in between us. I had my partners mom watch Bella while I went to the birthday party and she said Bella was having some hard core anxiety trying to find me. Oops I didn’t know she got upset when I wasn’t there. I don’t really know how to help with that. I don’t think she was this attached to her previous human. She would come spend the night and would be fine. She didn’t eat for maybe half a day but then after that she was okay. Pretty Lady said when I would go to the ER she wouldn’t eat but would normally eat a little if I was just at the doctor. I had no idea. She is literally sleeping under my elbow right now with her back half touching my hip\side. She is wayyyy too cute. I love her.

Being sick- Update #2

I’m watching Ellen DeGeneres stand up comedy on NS amazon prime account. It was really funny. When she got to the point about making jokes about how we don’t just focus on one thing at a time. “If you need both hands for something your brain might need to be in it too.” I decided that it was better to take a moment and just enjoy watching the show.

I’ll keep going with the update now.

After I graduated I was still didn’t have a job lined up. Then I clicked all the buttons and got an interview then a follow up interview and a job offer. Then I had two weeks before I started a new job. –Regurgitation

Then I forgot to take my Effexor one morning before work. That was fucking hell. It was my first week and I would have to leave training to go loose my cookies. I called my previous psychiatrist and asked her if this was normal. She said she was surprised I hadn’t missed a dose before then and yes it was normal.

So you get the picture that I have been vomiting a lot.

When I vomited my breakfast I work I decided I would go to the doctor. Now it’s been 32 days today since my first doctors’ appointment to find out what’s wrong. They can’t find anything, nothing, nada, zilch. I’ve been to the emergency room three times and had a billion doctor appointments. I’ve been on about everything they are willing to give me for nausea and vomiting. I’ve only had 52 hours without vomiting in the last 4 weeks. Before that it was 28 hours and then 18 hours before that. I’ve had three iv bags, an MRI (of my brain, to make sure it wasn’t migraine related), an ultra sound, an upper endoscopy, urine test and several blood tests. Nothing! They have said that it could be abdominal migraines, cyclic vomiting or psychogenic vomiting. Which all just means that I am vomiting.

It’s been a new level of hell. A level I’ve never experienced before. I hate going to the doctor, I hate waiting rooms, I hate hospitals, I hate vomiting, I hate that I keep getting medicines that aren’t helping, I hate not being able to work my 8 hours 5 days a week for 40 hours at my kick ass job.

Rent comes out of my bank account soon, student loans are asking for money, medical bills have started pilling up and when I got to work 10 hours they took over half my paycheck to pay for insurance. I have threatened to stop taking my medicines. I don’t think that’s such a good idea any more. I know that my brain is a little off. It’s not balanced in a way to allow me to function. I’m so frustrated that I have anxiety, depression, migraines, and have been vomiting. I’m pissed that every medicine they have given me has the potential of making something else worse. Headache medicine has side effects of vomiting and nausea. Vomiting medicine has side effects of headache. Depression medicine has the potential of making the depression worse, increasing anxiety, and if you start vomiting seek immediate medical attention. What the fuck?! Then everything cause constipation! Then one causes diarrhea? But one doctor gave me more fiber…so how do I know what side effects are because of the new medication or just normal body things. BUT IT’S NOT NORMAL TO VOMIT FOR 32 DAYS!!

All of this has been going on physically and emotionally for me. They keep switching everything. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m wanting to just go back to my normal mood swings. Not this awful shit. Everything says if you are vomited more than 72 hours seek immediate medical attention. If this medicine makes you vomit contact you’re doctor or pharmacist immediately.

I might have mentioned that Mother hasn’t spoken to me since April. I know she wasn’t talking to me before that but that was when I finally was like alright this shit mess is shitty. Since I’ve been sick it’s gone from not talking to me to calling me four times a day and then not speaking to me for a week, sending emails that say I haven’t called her with an update, she won’t answer the phone…anyway it’s really stressful and makes my vomiting 20x’s worse when I try to deal with it.

My father has tried. He’s really trying the best he knows how. When I called to ask if someone could come down to go to the ER he said he would be here just as soon as he could get here. It only takes an hour and a half to get here if you speed. Even with traffic it would take maybe 3 hours. So when it had been two hours and no one was here yet and I hadn’t heard anything I called. My brother answered and said mother had just gotten out of the shower they hadn’t left yet. I drove my happy ass to the emergency room. I didn’t feel well I had already pushed it out as far as I could. Aaron was here but left because he needed to go to work. Pretty Lady (my room mate) offered to take me but I didn’t want her to because she needed to finish writing a paper. They showed up 3 hours after I was in the emergency room. I was so over it. What do you do at that point? Then mother didn’t speak directly to me the whole time and just kept talking about food -_- what?!? I asked both of them if they could find something else to talk about…no they couldn’t. Then four days after the emergency room mother screams at me that she wanted me admitted into the hospital but I wouldn’t let her. I won’t let her help me.

I also had a screaming fight with father during all of this. I have been wanting to get a newer car for a while. I’ve brought it up at least 4 times at dinners with them. Even when no one is speaking to me. Anyway, Father claims he didn’t know anything about it until two weeks ago. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea. He agrees with my grandmother and mother that I don’t need a new car. I need to focus on feeling better. -_- What the fuck have I been doing?! He and Mother decided on their own that they were going to bring me mothers old car, get brother a new car since he just turned 16 and got his license, and get mother a newer car and mine isn’t worthy enough to be driven anymore but I’m also not allowed to sell it, trade it, anything with it. Father and Mother decided to tell me once they were already on they way down to swap cars. I lost my freaking mind. I don’t want mothers car. I wanted help, advise, guidance at finding something more reliable.  During the yelling match with Father on the phone he said that he didn’t wanna hear a damn thing about the neon again then if I wouldn’t take the Kia rio. He doesn’t want to hear me bitch or complain about it then. I told him then I guess he doesn’t want to talk to me anymore then. I ended up getting off the phone told them I was going to NS house. Don’t bother even coming the rest of the way down I wasn’t going to be here. They called back I texted them it wasn’t a good time I was too worked up we would talk tomorrow. So after having 3 more calls and 3 text messages I turned off my phone. I still have the neon and my brother who got his license, Wednesday, is looking at used cars on craigslist.

When I had the upper endoscopy my partner, his mom, my (maternal) grandmother and my grandmothers boyfriend (who happens to also be my great uncle on the other side of my family) were in the waiting room. When I filled out the paper work of who I wanted to come back there to see me after it was done I put my grandmother and my partner. The GI doctor was trying to show sympathy when he explained that it wasn’t a GI problem but rather a stress/anxiety related issue. He tried so hard. He even was talking about how he read my chart the night before and saw that I had been in the Female Sexual Survivor Group at college. He asked me how old I was when the incident happened. Luckily my partner tried to step in and ask some kind of question. Then he asked me again how old I was. So I said 17. Which is true. Which sucks. Grandmother didn’t have a freaking clue. Grandmother went home and told Father and Mother. Father called and confronted me about it. It was the most awkward but grownup conversation I’ve ever had with him. He asked me if I had been molested. I explained no it wasn’t that but don’t let that answer fool him that I was in group because of stuff that has happened in my past. He asked what happened, I explained that I wasn’t comfortable enough to tell him but I was willing to answer questions. His questions were “Was it a family member?” “No” “Was it a teacher?!” “No.” “Was it one of your boyfriends?!?” “Now I’m uncomfortable answering your questions.” I already judge myself for the plural boyfriends part and I know it’s in my head but the judgement that I heard with the one of your boyfriendS the “S” really stood out. Mother called my sister and asked her about it who in return called me to let me know that Mother knew. Mother didn’t call about anything from the emergency room situation or GI doctor…none of it. Father called and said he really wanted to be there but had to work, keep him updated, I had my partners mother texting him the whole time.

What else has happened…? I told you I’m vomiting, lots of doctors, missing a lot of work, family is still being my family, more doctors, more poking, more meds…maybe that’s good enough right now for Update #2