Well kind of helped!

Yesterday I wrote a blog of the nightmare I have been dealing with a few nights a week in the hopes that it would end the nightmare. Well it kind of worked. I did not have the same nightmare last night, but I was not free of the nightmares. I don’t know how much longer I can continue to try and sleep every night not knowing if I will have a night free of nightmares.

I did have a new one last night but this one is something I am not sure if accurate. I hesitate to write about this one because of the fear of it being not true. It’s a new nightmare/memory. Normally I don’t hesitate to write things here but there was another person who is part of this memory. This person was much younger then me and I don’t know what to make of this. I will say I am glad this person did not suffer the same fate but might have witnessed something that may have confused her. At least that is what the memory is telling me. I know this probably isn’t making much sense but I am trying to process this in the only way I can at this time.

I need to process more before I can put this down and I need to figure out if this is a real memory or my mind playing tricks on me. With being so tired I can’t completely trust myself.

Why don’t it end!

Lately the nightmares have been coming back again a few times a week. I have tried to ignore them and push through my day but I know better so I turned to my coping skill making a post.

I am sure a lot of it has to do with stress. Working my normal job plus trying to get my new business off the ground is taking its toll. Ok I think I’m ready to put my dream down in writing in the hopes that the nightmare ends.

For the last few weeks the same nightmare finds me in the dark. It’s my first memory of being molested by my groomer. Please know that I was 13 and already suffered tears of being molested before this day. I didn’t know any different or better. When my groomer first came into my life I was very cautious about getting to close. This changed fast not because I wanted it to but because I had no other choice. Living in a very, and I mean a very small space didn’t allow for me to keep my distance easily. Have you ever lived in a camper? I don’t mean a camper that sleeps many people. I am talking a camper on the back of a pick up truck. There wasn’t a lot of room to escape.

Being 13 I am not sure how things really started to evolve, I wish I did maybe I would be able to save someone else but I just don’t remember. What I do remember is the first time it went past that line. I don’t remember how it started but I remember the first time he touched me. I remember how my body reacted and I think back on that now and I want to vomit. The worse part of all of this is we were not alone. He didn’t care that we were not alone. My brother was there, he already thought the sun rose and set because of this guy. He was also so young he wouldn’t have understood anyways. Even if I wanted to tell anyone how could eye. No one would believe me once they learned that it wasn’t in private. No one would believe that this guy who everyone loved would do such a thing. That really doesn’t even matter at this point because he had been preparing me for this moment. He know what to say to my insecure self who had been molested for years. He know that I wouldn’t tell anyone because it was what I wanted. After he finished touching me he told me he loved me and that this is how dads show love. Shit I didn’t know any different so he was able to twist everything and make me think I was special. Ya I was fucking special alright.

I have worked so hard to deal with this but now it’s all coming back and haunting me again. How much more work do I need to do? How much more do I have to suffer before I don’t have to think about him. When do I get to finally live a life free of the torment that I loved for so many years. He is dead but he still holds power over my life. Not during my waking hours but during the darkness. Just like all those times he would sneak into my room at night. He would sneak in take what he wanted and leave me in the night feeling that it was my fault that I wanted this it was me who caused all this. He is dead but I still feel violated. I want to feel free. He is dead and I pay the punishment!

Everything keeps changing

The last couple of months have been crazy. Between Covid-19, my mom being sick, and my realization that I do not enjoy my job. Once I decided that a change was needed I did not let any grass grow under my feet. I have 3 other partners and we are moving forward very quickly with starting our business. Life’s a Beach Counseling will be opening in August of 2020. This Friday we sign our lease and they will start the renovations on our space! This week I am off of work and I am working on getting our loan, getting our bank account open, and starting the process to get our insurance paneling started. It has been so much work but I know in the end it will be great and I will be able to walk away from a job that I do not like and start living out the dream that I had put on hold for so long.

It makes me so happy that my husband is being so supportive in this adventure of mine. I do not thinking I could do this without him. He has always been my being supporter and not matter what I know he will be right there pushing and cheering me on. I am writing this today because I want to look back on this in one year and see where my life is at. I hope that my business is successful and that all of mine and my partners hard work is paying off. As we move forward I will keep posting updates on where I am in the process!

2020 Reflecting

I hate these nights where my head just does not want to shut down. There is so much that I can’t stop reflecting on of this year which is still so early in the year. There has been so many changes in these few short months. In January I made the decision to move to Monroe never realizing just how important that decision would end up being. Then came February when one day I get a call from my mom who is scared because there was something medically wrong with her. She drive home that night and this set off the next big change. With in 24 hours we learned she had cancer, she went in for a biopsy and ended up in the hospital for a week. I feared I would lose her that week because of her lungs being compromised. Finally she was released and it was time to move mom in With me so she wouldn’t be alone hundreds of miles away. This lead to waiting for a couple weeks and scrambling to get everything in place to start treatment. Now she goes three weeks in a row for chemo and she does her best to keep smiling and fighting! She is truly the most amazing woman, I hope to be half the woman she is! Then comes March and the Covid issues start and I was left worrying about my people at work, my consumers, my mom, and my own fears of getting sick. This was hard but also eye opening for me. It made me look at my life and realize I was not happy. I was going through my life doing what was expected of me, not from any outside influences but of my own. It was than I decided I needed a change but what I didn’t know. Then one day sitting in the parking garage of the UW Hospital it came to me. I STOPPED DREAMING! I was settling I stopped having goals and dreams. April became my turning point I was ready to make big changes and new dreams I realized I wanted to be my own boss, help who I wanted to help, stop playing politics and just do what I love! I started bulldozing my way through my thoughts and figuring out how to get my dream. Now it’s May and I realize that already in a few short months I have come alive again. I am ME again and I will no longer just do what I think is expected of me but do what I know I need. Everything that has happened to this point has been a wake up call this year. The best part of all of this is my amazing mom is fighting and not giving up! She will be here to see me through my dream and remind me to keep moving forward because that’s what she has taught me. Happy Mother’s Day mom I am so glad you are home with me again. I love you! I am also lucky to have an amazing husband who over the last 21 years has supported all my crazy and cheered me along. I know that Jamie will continue to cheer for me and be proud of me. I love you more than you know! So while it’s Mother’s Day I wanted to honor what my family is going through because we are all in this together and both are important to my dreams, my life, and my happiness!!

This week ugh!

This was a tough week for me. I have been dealing with a migraine all week and then last night I dealt with stomach issues and didn’t sleep.

Mom had chemo again yesterday and she continues to do well. I’m wondering if I am getting all her symptoms so she can continue to do well.

There has been so much on my mind this week. Some great things and some of the usual struggles. it’s hard to be in here and writing and having to sensor myself but for my own good I need to do this. I will say that new adventures are exciting and difficult but I can’t wait to see where life continues to take me. I can’t wait for the world to get back to normal again. I don’t like being isolated and stuck at home so much.

At least I am still working out of the office and not from home. I would be completely crazy if I was not able to go to work. One day at a time just taking it that way.

Cancer Journey Continues!

Today I am at UW again sitting in the parking garage while my amazing mom is inside starting the next round of her chemo. The first 3 weeks of the first round went great for her. It was that last week when she was off that I watched her suffer and struggle more. That fourth week she was so tired and had no energy for anything. She wasn’t eating or drinking. We ended up shaving her head that week. It was so much in such a short time frame. Watching her last week I waited to hear her say to me that it just was not worth and that she would rather just live whatever life she has left. I am so glad she did not do that.

We were sitting at home this morning before we had to leave for the hospital and I could see she was not herself. I asked if she was tired and she reported she wasn’t but didn’t say anything more. I asked her what was wrong. She finally admitted she was nervous for treatment today. She did not want to go back to feeling how she was last week. I can’t say that I blame her. On the way to the clinic she had her phone call with her nurse and they talked about how they can make adjustments to help her. They are willing to make adjustments ya right away but mom has decided she wants to go another full round to so she has a better idea how it will continue as she moves forward. She did allow them to make a small adjustment and they will be adding extra fluids during her treatment. They also talked about she can better manage her her nausea with the meds they have her own. Hopefully these changes will help her.

Once she got into the clinic she texted me, but I can’t be in the clinic with her and she updated they were having a hard time getting an Iv in this time. It took over an hour before someone was able to get her ready to start treatment. At least they were able to finally start her about a half hour ago. I hope the rest of the treatment goes well. She has the weekend to rest and I will also be home with her on Monday. One day at a time! It’s hard watching my vibrate mom go through all of this but she is strong!

New Adventures?

When is a good time to rethink the direction of your life? Some people feel it’s never a good time when things in the world are uncertain. I am not sure I agree with that. Uncertainty should be a great time to rethink priorities, dreams, and goals.

I wonder if it is normal for changes to happen every few years. Is this a sign of never being satisfied with life or is this a sign that there is continued growth and maybe an adjustment needs to be made?

There are certain things in my life that have been stable for years that I do not want to change. The biggest one is my husband, my partner, my best friend. Our marriage is not perfect and will never be perfect, but one thing I have come to learn is that neither of us is giving up. We always fight our way back to the one constant and that’s us.

Then for years I struggled to figure out what my purpose was in life. It took a long time but becoming a social worker and then a clinical social worker opened up a whole new world for me. It got me to my current job and I’m the four years I have been with my agency I have learned so much more. I have so much passion for mental health and helping people recover and live their best lives.

Now I wonder if this was not a stepping stone. Is this as far as I was meant to go. Is running a program for someone else really the direction I should be continuing down. While in school I made goals for myself. First I got my generals down, then did my undergrad, then went to get my masters, took myself through the steps and became a LCSW, worked my way up in my program and became a supervisor. These are all great goals that I accomplished and am proud of. Do I stop here and just go through the rest of my life right here? Is there more out there for me? Can I take my experience and knowledge and build more?

These are the questions I have been asking myself for the last few months. The last month has pushed these thought even more forward in my mind. I feel like I’m being pushed along because I have stopped believing there was more for me to do. How old is too old to start a new adventure? Can I be selfish and ask my husband to take this adventure with me? Will he think I am crazy?! Yes he probably will but at the end of the day he would cheer me on as he always has.

I figure what is the worse that could happen at this point. It’s not like I’m out of a job or leaving my job. What would be the harm in exploring a new dream and finding out if it is an option? Who says I can do the research gather the information and go from there. This is the perfect time to consider what’s next, before life comes back full force and I no longer have the time and option to make new dreams and goals!!!

The Lowest of the Low

I know there is so much uncertainty in this world right now.  I wish that I had the capacity lately to look outside of my own world and really say I care about those around me.  I can honestly say that I can’t remember at time where I wake every morning and wish I could put the covers over my head and ignore everything.  However, I know the real world does not give two shits about what I need at this time.  I need to figure out how to move forward on my own.

I have never been a person who cries over much.  Lately I am so overwhelmed and isolated and scared.  I am not scared for me, I am not scared of covid-19 for myself.  I fear for my mom who just learned she has cancer and is in treatment, I fear for my husband who is out there delivering to grocery stores, I fear for the people I work with, and the people I work to support. 

Everyday I come to the office to see my consumers and assure they are doing well because that is what I am suppose to do.  When I say I am suppose to do, I do not mean that my agency is forcing me to be here.  When I took this job I took this job knowing it would not be an easy job.  I knew I was the person who had to keep my team doing what they need to be doing to protect our consumers, and I know that it was my job to be there for my consumers.  I took this job know that it would not always been in the best ideal circumstances but the way I look at it I am not allowed to let them down.  I am not allowed to let my consumers fall apart because I am to afraid to be there for them. 

This is not to say that I do not do everything I can to assure that I am keeping people around me safe, because I am doing that as best as I can.  I will not hide away and not take responsibilities for the needs of my consumers. 

This is all taking a toll on my in many ways.  I am not eating as I should be.  While I am losing weight it is not in the way I would like to be.  I am either sleeping way to much or not at all.  By the time I get home I have nothing left to give my husband, my mom, my pets, and lastly myself.  I am numb and I have come to a point where I just question myself about why I continue to get up everyday and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I question why I even get out of bed.  It would be so easy right now to just give up on everything and walk away or hope not to wake again.  Please don’t think I am saying I am going to hurt myself that is not where this is at.  I just need to be able to express that I just don’t care anymore, I just don’t have a lot of fight left in me, I just want to be left alone.  These are all things that are not possible for me. 

Remember when you are looking at a person you think is strong and has it all together, WE DO NOT HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER!  We just smile through it and hope to make to the end of the day.  If I can make it through 8 hours I can then go home and lay on my couch and be numb again.  I favorite thing to always say is “Strong Like Bull” one day I hope to believe that again. 

Most important in all of this is remember to love yourself, love your neighbors, lets build each other up because I know I am not the only who is struggling right now so lets help each other. 

Does it ever get easier?

Trauma, it’s that thing that no matter how hard you try never seems to let go of a person. Many days I get up and go through my day a different am ok. Then suddenly things come back and hit me in the face and don’t let go.

I hate the place that my trauma sends me down to. I hate that this place sends me down the path to blow up everything in my life. It’s not like I wake up one morning and say yup today is the day I push everyone and everything as far away as possible. I don’t want to do that but I get to that place where it is so much easier.

Lately I have had to much time to think. I have used this time to think about different things in my life. Starting with my job. I’m at a place where I don’t know why I keep busting my ass. I don’t feel like I can trust anyone and I don’t feel like anyone respects what I do. Why keep going back to a place I don’t feel confident in anymore.

Then there is the health issues with my mom. I’m so glad that I am in a position where I can be there to help her and support her as she goes this new situation. It is so hard to see my mom struggle with all of this. I feel helpless and know I have no control over any of this. I’m so glad I get to be there even though it’s going to be hell for her. Even though all of this is going on and I know that note then anything I need supports around me. I don’t want them though. I find myself pushing everyone away. Why? Because no one ever completely ever stays anyways. Move people along now because it’s easier at the end of the day. Trauma has taught me that no one is ever really 100% there anyways. There is always a catch or something else.

You know who you are and you probably want to stop reading here. It really sucks when someone calls themselves your friend, that friend who says they have your back. That friend who says no matter what I am there. I think this person probably means all of the things said, but what about the fact that actions are not always the same. I get it having a friend of the opposite sex is not easy. Fuck it causes a lot of problems! Its not a situation that can ever just be easy, but when you have so much time to think about things and analyze things a person starts to wonder.

Writing this maybe I am fucked up. Maybe the problem has always been me. Most people don’t stick it out and the commonality is really me. Trauma allows me to always be scared, skeptical, untrusting, and leaves me feeling out of control. Maybe instead of thinking about the fact that my life isn’t easy I need to think about how to make things easier.

I use to be the person who stayed home, never left the house unless I had to. Being the person who to protect never trusted or believed anyone would really want to be around me allowed me to just rely on me. I couldn’t be hurt if I didn’t allow anyone the chance to mean enough to me to ever hurt me. Jamie he has always been that one person that I never felt the need to push him away. He came into my life and took his spot in my world and wouldn’t allow me to push him out. Instead he pushed his way in. I’m so lucky Jamie didn’t just run away. No matter how awful I have been to him he still stayed. Jamie is my life and my true love because even when my trauma takes over it can’t take Jamie away from me. I’m so lucky to have this amazing person in my life who loves me, protects me, cheers me in, and loves me without boundaries. Now if the rest of me to find this I would be unstoppable.

How do I bottle what Jamie has become in my life to eliminate the rest of the crap in my life that trauma has control over? One thing I do know for sure if I can everything else in my life I can’t change my love for Jamie. I can change anything and everything else but that. Think instead of using all the down time I have to worry about work, friends, and insecurities I need to figure out what is next for me…

That was a lot of rambling but sometimes this is my best outlet for processing. Plus I am sure I am not the only one out there who deals with the crazy affects of trauma. Many will think I’m ridiculous but I know many will understand in ways no one else can.

Who do you trust?

No mater how much you feel that you do the best you can in all areas of your life, but things are not going well it is clear that others will never feel you are good enough. I work hard in all things I do in my life. I try hard to keep my marriage good, I work hard to assure that I am doing the best I can, I try hard to keep relationships good in all aspects of my life.

One day when things are at they’re worse you learn really fast that there is not a lot of people in many aspects of your life that you cannot trust. I am so thankful that my husband is my rock. We have had our struggles and we have had to work hard to keep our marriage strong in the last 21 years but one thing I am sure about he will always have my back and I will always have his.

I also have some really amazing people in my life who I really did not even realize they had my back, but with the things I have dealt with over the last 6 months I have come realize they are there. I do not have to pretend to be okay with them. I can have a bad day or 6 and they will not judge me. Instead they will do what they can to pick me back up when I am not able to do so myself.

Then there are the parts of my life where I thought people were true and had my back and I have come to find out that is not the case. People who like to pretend to my face that they are there and they are people I can trust, but when my back is turned they are the people I have to watch out for the most. Now I have to deal with my mom being sick, struggling with my mental health, and dealing with my PTSD and second guess what I should do with my life because I have enough to deal with and now I have to watch my back. My job has always been stressful, duh I have expected that I work in the mental health field, but now I realize my job is more stressful because I have lost a lot of trust in those I work with.

I always went to work and felt that I could trust and know that what was needed would be taken care of. Now I find that I have to watch to assure that things are being done, that people are doing what they need to do, and the worse part of all having people undermine and question me at every turn. There is a lack of respect for my job and my position and it makes me question myself. This pisses me off more than anything because I know my job and I know what I am doing. My license is on the line so I always question and think about what I am doing. This apparently is not good enough for most anymore. I fear this is only going to get worse now that I am committed to taking care of my mom and will to be at my job as much as I would like to be. This has led me to thinking I may need to reconsider where I am going from here.

As I sit here writing this post and processing, as this is what I use this for, I realize that if I give up that I really give up on myself. I realize that I need to find away to make a change and take my position back. One thing that will change is I will no longer confide in people. I will do my job, make the decisions I need to, and put them into action without anyone else’s thoughts and opinions. I also need to work on not caring what people think about my policies and guidelines. One day, one minute, and one second at a time. This is my new normal for now…..

Forever a child

The last few weeks have not been easy! In February my mom called me and she told me that she was not doing well. She wanted to come home but her doctor did not feel that was in her best interest at least until they ran a few tests. They did an ultrasound and found a mass on her pancreas and also on her liver. She was very yellow from jaundice because the mass was pressing on her bile duct and her liver was not functioning properly. Her doctor did give her the okay to come home and while talking to my brother he told us to get her straight to the ER. He was concerned because she had been jaundice for so long.

When mom got here we went straight to the ER and from there she was admitted into the hospital. They admitted her and the next day they did put a stint in and also took a biopsy of the mass on her pancreas. This started the scary part of this for me. The procedure went well and mom was ready to rest. I ended up going home and planned to work for a little while the next day. I got an update from my mom that they were treating her for pneumonia and a fear. She said she was doing okay and told me to keep working as I had already planned to do. Later that day I went to see my. It was clear that her asthma was not well. They had been treating it with her inhaler and also breathing treatments. I watched her over the next few hours decline more and more. My brother was on the way down but I was all alone watching my mom struggle to breath. When my brother was about 45 minutes out I called the nurses because I did not like the way things were going and asked them to call the doctor. I updated my brother who told me they would probably be putting her on Bi Pap and to keep him posted. They did end up doing this and I continued to watch my mom decline and I knew her cognition was also declining. She was fighting the bi pap and the nurse at this time said to me, “The next step would be a breathing tube but your mom has a DNR.” I again reached out to my brother who was now a few minutes away and told him what was going on. My mom also started to fight the bi pap thankfully my brother arrived and he was able to get her to keep it on. It was at this time that they prepped my mom to move into ICU to be monitored. I have never been so scared that I would loss my mom. Once the Bi pap was starting to work and my mom was coming around and was with us we were able to have a conversation to lift her DNR so we could make the decision. Thankfully she agreed. She spend the next 3.5 days in ICU on Bi Pap but she did get better. She came home a Tuesday and for the next week she struggled to do anything without feeling so weak and struggling to breath. Thankfully she got stronger every day and was able to have her last biopsy. This last week we got her treatment plan and we are ready to get started. She is so strong and we will all take it a day, a minute, and a second at a time and help her heal and fight.

You just never know!

It’s easy to go through life and think that things are good and that it’s okay to not worry about things. Until it’s not. I’m writing this post while sitting in the hospital with my mom. On Tuesday my mom called me to tell me that she was at her doctor’s office and that she is jaundice and they fear her kidneys are not working. I wanted her to come right then so she was not alone but her doctor wanted to get an ultrasound first to make sure it was okay for her to drive. Told my mom to call me after she got the results so we could figure out what is next. Later she called me and told me they found a mass on her liver and her pancreas. They told her she could come home but to seek attention when she got here. She came up that night and while talking to my brother he was more concerned and wanted her to go straight to the ER in Madison. She got in at 1:30am and we went right to the ER. They ran some blood tests and a CT scan and learned that the mass was pressing down on her bile duct which was causing the jaundice. They admitted her from the ER. They knew they needed to do a biopsy and also put a stint in to allow the bile ducts to drain. We left her at the hospital last night nothing was going to be done until Thursday. This morning I got up and came to sit with her and at 12:50 she went in for the stint and the biopsy. She did well and is currently in recovery. The results of the biopsy will be back tomorrow or Monday. The surgeons are already saying pancreatic cancer. Now we wait unt the biopsy confirms so we can figure out what the treatment plan will be. In the mean time I am making plans for her to move back to WI and move in with me. She can’t stay in MO with no family. So much to figure out and so much still up in the air. We are taking it one day at a time right now.

Remember to love yourself!

I have this tattooed on me and is a great reminder. The last few days I was not remembering this. I am glad that I got out of the house last night with my husband. Being new to living in my community and starting my new life here off to a rocky start I am ready to let last week go and enjoy exploring my community.

Im NOT going to hide away and avoid my life. Last but helped me get our if my head. I have been struggling to sleep most of the week. I did find myself avoiding my bed last night as I have been, but I finally went to bed around Midnight. I snuggled underweight blanket next to my husband and my dogs and was able to sleep for a full 5 hours!

Looking at my tattoo today I am remembering how different this situation would have been for me a year ago. A year ago I would have stay hidden away and have done everything I found to stay hidden. Being asked to pull myself out of that dark place with in days instead of weeks makes me so proud of myself! This gives me hope that one day I will not have to hide or fall into my desk place at all. This will be the ultimate sign of my post and my strength! This week was a huge sign that I am getting stronger every day and NO one can take that away. If you are reading this and going through your own journey use this and know that you can do this!

Should of came here sooner!

I know that my blog helps me so much and this week I should have came here. This week was one of the worse weeks I have had in a long time. Let me explain…

With not going to deep into the situation as this started at work. This week I dealt with being threatened while working. I am the type of person who works hard to keep my shit together when dealing with a stressful situation. I don’t like to store my vulnerability because that is not safe, at least not for me. I let myself break down in front of people at work. Don’t get me wrong I have those very few people at work that I will be completely vulnerable with. This day it was in front boss and other members of my administration. Not only did I break down in front of people I was not about to pull myself together after the fact either.

I ended up leaving work scared to drive home alone. I got home put my car garage hurried into my home locking the door behind me. I was shaking, scared, and completely in high alert. When I got house I closed my house up tight! Curtains pulled tight buried myself under a blanket and completely broke down. My dogs got on top of me and wouldn’t leave my side. I realized at summer point I couldn’t do this alone. I sent a message to my therapist and asked her to call if she had a chance.

While waiting I found myself having flashback to things I have not dealt with in a long time! My dogs needed to go outside and I couldn’t make myself do it. I had to put them in their kennels I just couldn’t do it. I hated myself that I let myself fall back to this hole. My therapist did call me and we talked for awhile and she told me to stop beating myself up that wasn’t helping. We made a plan I could stay locked up and closed in but only until my hubby got home. I had to go outside with him and take the dogs out so I was taking the first steps. She also told me to give myself a minute and to not be so hard on myself. So my first step was going out side with my safe person. When my husband got home I did go out but couldn’t stop looking over my shoulder. I was shaking and sweating. It hurt to breathe and I just became more upset with myself. I did finish thought I did stay out side.

The next day I did stay home post of the day again but before I left the house I took another step and opened one curtain in my house. That made me feel I was in control again. Then I went to work. At work I had so much support and I made it through my half day. I still had not slept because I was afraid to close my eyes the flashbacks were more then enough without the nightmares.

Friday I went to work for the whole day. I started to feel stronger. I was tired but at least I was taking my power back. Friday night I used my weighted blanket and I did sleep but made sure I didn’t sleep too deep. Even though it wasn’t s good sleep I woke up this morning feeling a little stronger. Tonight even my hubby got find I decided it was time to go out into public. We went to dinner and I felt myself relaxing and enjoying myself. I think tonight I may be able to really sleep. I am feeling like me again. I am not a victim but I am a survival and I will keep living!