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!

Merry Christmas or not

For most people this time of year is their favorite. I use to be that person but not so much any more. I think many families have that one person that is the glue. When that person is no longer there and there is no one there to step up into the role everything changes.

I remember so many great things growing up in my large very loud family. Christmas Eve was one of my favorites. That was always the night we were at grandma’s house. You would walk into her house and it smelled so good! She would make the best sugar cookies and so much candy. She would have a spread of food and we would eat and talk. My favorite time was after dinner. We would sit down and play Royal Rummy. We would play for hours and some of the best stories would be told during these hours.

My second favorite part of the holiday was Christmas Day. After our family had their Christmas morning together it was time to go visit the rest of the family. My mom was one of 10 kids. There say was busy going from house to house. There would be some kind of yummy items to taste and enjoy. The kiddos would show off what they got for gifts. This would go on all day. So much fun and memories made.

I wish I could say it was always great but there is a reason this didn’t continue once my grandma was gone. As I got older I was able to see that not every person in my family provided great memories. In fact some of my family was down right scary. I made the decision to separate myself from my family. My family is not a safe place to land. I hate that I had to make that choice because on days like today I’m pretty fucking lonely. These are the days I think about reaching out but at the end of the day i know I would regret opening myself up to this again.

Please if you are lucky enough to have a great family please hold on to this and appreciate how lucky you are. For me I keeping moving forward and can’t wait for these days to be gone.

Feeling stupid!

Relationships suck no matter which way you look at it. You think you find this one person who you can let your guard down with only to eventually realize your an idiot!

The person who called themself my BFF showed me once again just how much better I would be alone. This person showed me very clearly that I don’t matter. I know when you make friends at work you have to keep the two relationships separate and I can do that until the person you trust shows you just how much you don’t matter.

The people in my life know how hard it is for me to leave people in completely. I let this person in on a lot. This person knows how much my program, consumers, and workers are to me. Yet when it comes down to it actions always speak louder then words.

This person got a new job and that is great, I want what is best for everyone. I never thought my “BFF” would give me a two week notice, hardly come in those last two weeks and be 7 months being on notes. This is not professional. My program is suffering, my consumers are suffering, and the team that is left is left behind to pick up the pieces.

If this person loved me and cared about as they claim then this would have been handled better. Now I am left angry, disappointed, and sad. With my history this leaves me in a place of remembering why I don’t give my whole self to anyone. In left raw and stupid and right back in the place of not trusting anyone. I will move on but I also know I have to grieve this loss and figure out if there are any pieces left to pick back up. All I want to do though is close myself back off. Go to work and come home where I am safe. Leave all people behind so I can feel comfortable again. Ugh

Life is a journey

Have you ever going through a time in your life where nothing seems to work out fit? Lately this is where I seem to be. I get one area of my life feeling normal and then a different area seems to follow apart. My marriage it’s feeling in a great place which I love.

Now I feel like my work life is falling apart. Just when I feel like I have things figured out I get a new smack in the face. I have been in this job now for almost 1.5 years and I feel like I am at day two. I’m an trying to find the right balance of being a flexible boss and a boss that people respect. I struggle to get people to understand that their job is more then seeing people the back end stuff is just as important. I didn’t even get to take my weeks vacation because my backup person has had to pick up others slack.

Then there my other relationships that I fear losing so I act a fool and try and push people away before they can figure out I suck and leave me anyways. Why do I have to do everything the hard way. One thing I have not learned is to just live in the moment. I wonder how different my life would be if I could learn to do that. Maybe if I stopped looking six steps ahead I could see all the great things and people who are there wanting to experience these things with me.

Crap writing this just reminded me of something. Last year or actually probably two years ago I attended a DBT training and something happened but I moved on and have not thought about it until this moment. The topic was radical acceptance. Suddenly during this topic I broke down sobbing and I mean sobbing. Room full Of people who did not know what to think or do. I couldn’t explain it to myself let alone them. I pulled myself together and pushed it to the side never thinking about it again until now. Think I need to go through my own training and figure out what I need next. I guess I am being guided so I will follow. Stay tuned we will see!

Reflection

I am glad I have started to blog again. It has been helping me process lately. Last night and this morning has got me reflecting on my life and what I want moving forward.

I look at my life with my husband and think about how much changes there has been over the last couple of months. While it has been many really hard conversations together I love the fact that we have kept working together and fighting for our marriage. No matter what no matter how hard it has gotten we are both still in this marriage and want to make it work. For the first time in a long time I feel loved and wanted again. We both have had to make a lot of compromises but so wealth it in the end. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

I have also been reflecting on my work life lately. I have to make some changes at work. My program is amazing but I have a lot of changes I need to make so it runs better. I have been to relaxed with my expectations of my people and that is something I need to work on. I need to be able to walk away at the end of the day and let it go and know that everything that needed to be done was done.

I also reflect on my relationships. I wonder how I need to find a balance of not giving so much of myself with little return. I can’t work harder at my relationships. I need to remember to trust a little less and I protect myself. One day I will find my way. My reflections of late will allow me to come up with my own expectations.

So many positives and I just need to keep building on them!

Frustrated!

Do you have a person in your life that just knows what buttons to push to frustrate you?! One of the things that drives me the craziest is when you know a person very well and this person says one thing but the tells are all there that the person is full of shit. The part that upsets me the most is that a person will play it off and make you feel like you are not bright enough to know the difference!

The part that pisses me off more then anything is that this person likes to say we are best friends but nope that isn’t the case because if it was true then people would be truthful. Sorry I know this is very confusing but if I don’t process I will never sleep! These are times when I again wonder why do I care so damn much? Why do I put the effort in? Why do I trust completely with this person without the same trust being there for others.

The new year is coming up quickly maybe the problem is me. Maybe my new resolution needs to be I stop putting so much time and energy into my so called “friendships”! Maybe if I stop trying to prove I care and trust I will see everything for what it truly is.

At least this isn’t the issue with all my friendships! I am actually laying on my best friends couch right now because I couldn’t be at home alone any longer and she told me to come to her house! We didn’t do anything exciting but just hang out laying on the couch watching tv. It was the damn Hallmark channel but for her I was okay with it. I guess everything else will be what it will be! Okay enough for tonight!

Thankful!

Let’s first reflect back on 21 years of marriage. I think about our lives and it shocks me we are even still together. We have faced so many challenges in our time together. I remember one of first big struggles and this was us learning that children would not be possible for u. This took me a long time to deal with it myself and the fear that

As I sit here before midnight I find myself reflecting back in the day and the years before. Today my husband and I celebrated 21 years of marriage! I don’t know where the time has soon because I don’t feel that I am first that old or second have spent so many years of my life with this one person.

Looking back at the last 21 years it’s amazing to me how much we have dealt with and manages to survive. First thing I reflect on is the time when we realized that having having children of our own was not going to be an option for us. I dealt with so many emotions during this time. First thinking that what kind of wife could I bet when I can’t provide the one thing that woman dream about. Second thought that I dealt with for many years and I think still struggle with it that guilt that Jamie did not get to be the amazing father I know he would have been.

I also remember the times where I was a stay at home wife (honestly this was still during my isolation time) and I would travel with Jamie. Damn I remember how badly that ended! The fights we would have because we would each other crazy!

The biggest struggle we have had lately is our huge fight a few months ago. For the first time in our marriage I walked out in my husband instead of staying and fighting I walked away. Yes it was only for a night but if I did not walk away I don’t think we would be here today. Every day is still a work in progress. We still spend a lot of time taking about our problems, which is not easy! The hard part during this time is the fact that my husband told me that he misses the woman I was when we first got together and is finding it hard to deal with all my changes. I got that and with uncharacteristic patients I kept talking and explaining. Then hard part was finding the way to explain it so he would understand it. Thankfully I found the way to explain it and he is working hard to except all the new parts of me! I love my husband totally and completely and while things are not completely fixed so are certainly moving in the right direction!

Another thing I am thankful for is that for the first time in many years I had a family Thanksgiving. Today was a good reminder that it’s very precious to meet people who become not just friends but friends who become family. Having a family thanksgiving was amazing and heart lifting. It was also a good reminder that the important people are there when you need them those are the people who are family. I have many friends and those people are very important in my life but they are just that friends. I love and appreciate my bestie Ashlee no matter what she is there. Thank you for being my person Ashlee!

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for my marriage, my friendships, and the continued change in myself! Happy Thanksgiving!