Posts Tagged ‘hurt’

 

“It’s Just Food”

That’s what “they’d” say/ Whoever the fuck “they” are. Eating with my host family has become awkward. I love everything about them aside from the food bit. Perhaps it’s my ED talking though I’m inclined to think otherwise considering my friends here have similar experiences without an ED. It’s possible that people here are just unbelievably strict regarding food and are somewhat hoarders in the food department. Anyway for me, the unsettling feelings around mealtime began about one month ago when I was restricted to a soft-food/liquid diet. I suppose because my host family was aware of this, I wasn’t “invited” to meal times. Though I imagine they had the best of intentions at heart, they likely didn’t want to tempt me with foods I’d be unable to consume.

When I decided fuck what the doctor says, I’ll eat whatever, things were still weird. Most nights I’d be around I wouldn’t be “invited” to dinner and meals were not cooked for me as had been in the previous weeks. I got sadly and uncomfortably use to this process and resorted to eating alone later, snacking on foods in the basement where my room is, or just not eating and missing meals.

Tonight, when I came home, I was asked if I’d be eating with them and I responded that I would. About 30 minutes later, I heard the usual plates clanking and laughter coming from upstairs. I believed that even though they acknowledged my presence for the meal, somehow they had forgotten. I began to snack on pretzels and cheese dip. About ten minutes later, my host dad opened the basement door and pops his head through, asking me if I was coming up to eat. Startled, and with half a pretzel stick in my mouth, I shook my head “yes”.

I was mortified, to the point that you’d think he caught me doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing, or something horribly inappropriate (insert fantasy here). Knowing or thinking that the adults upstairs (we have guests over) would be at least slightly inebriated (judging by sounds and speech heard), I decided that in order to be present at the table in the least uncomfortable way, I’d chug some sparkling cider alcohol prior to making my way upstairs, ease the nerves a bit you know?

Problem is, I don’t have a drinking problem, and rarely have I used alcohol to make myself feel better. The fact that I thought about drinking and followed through with the act makes me a bit uneasy, not now at least emotionally but in my logical mind. I felt embarrassed to be indulging in food that I “fixed it by indulging in alcohol. That does not clear things up. It’s just way messier. That is not normal, and it is not ok that I feel entirely embarrassed caught in the act of eating.

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I thought I could do it. I thought it wouldn’t matter since I’ve spent plenty of time alone in the past. The problem or difference is that usually, I find ways to numb myself to the pain of being alone. This time, I haven’t done that. I become depressed and in a state of despair when alone. I’m just speculating here that the reason I do can be attributed to a long history of abuse and neglect. Constantly on my mind is the fact that my biological family is not present for me in any form. Tonight seems exceptionally hard. Instead of inducing harm or numbing myself tonight, I think it’s time I convey my message in words.

According to ongoing recent research, people who have a history of severe attachment problems tend not to do well in life. I’m sick of my disconnect from the world. I want to immerse into the world, not hide from it. A pit of despair formed in me throughout the day. A telltale sign that I’m starting to feel unwell is when I seek out triggering videos. For the past few weeks (or months?), I’ve been watching these sorts of videos or clips online.

Tonight, I needed to cry, and I’m watching something that’s fulfilling that need well. Yet, it began to hit home in how relevant it was to my current situation and I began to think. My thoughts just take off to the moon once prompted. I was reminded of how I don’t have a family, how I have no relationship with even the one person I want to-my brother. He’s sick, physically sick. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for over 20 years for everyone. He believes I’m sick, except that it’s serious mental illness.

The places I’ve been in treat people like animals. After a while people will embody the aspect that they are treated as. I’ve acted like an animal in the past. My brother has no wish to see that I am no longer that person. I feel a bit crazy tonight, but hey, I’m starting to think that’s actually something many people experience. It’s only when it becomes chronic that maybe it can have an attribution to mental illness. I’m not mental, I’m in the process of repairing my insane past. It doesn’t have to define me. My history will not defeat me tonight.

 

My emotions are usually compartmentalized and I can shut them off; I do not have the same efficacy when it comes to the larger picture though, my brain.

My educational pursuits and eventual career path of becoming a physician is the sole reason I am alive right now I wish it were the only entity of life I had to focus on.

These privileged students who scoff at me for trying to make a living during the end of term by buying books through a national company are upright snobs. Yes, this is exactly what I want to do during finals week, go around to friends and strangers and attempt to sway them to sell their books to me for cash.

I feel like a drug dealer most of the day carrying around way more cash than I’ve possessed in the last year, that amount it took years to be built up in savings and burnt through in months for health care costs. If I identify how I feel at this moment it is somewhere in between a cloud over reality and a shield made from black-box materials. I am entirely detached from reality, I can’t even grasp my present reality and I certainly am not handling well the pressures of three inconsistent buys jobs and an accelerated physics course on the weekend in addition to a full load during the week. About ten days more. Sure I can handle getting 5 hours of sleep. I’ve built the strongest tolerance I’ve ever experienced to medications right now. No dose knocks me out, even the strong ones at least not for more than 5 “quantity” hours of sleep, entirely lacking quality. My eye is twitching, I want to sleep. My brain is on fire. It keeps going, thinking. Turn off brain.

I don’t understand it, I don’t think we only get as much as we can handle because if I could handle all of this, I’d be getting straight A’s setting me up well for medical school. I’m not. You know why? Because there’s not enough time in the day to study work and sleep, and the compromise begins and ends with sleep. Sleep is my worst enemy. I never liked the night, always believed I’d be kidnapped or murdered at night. I was not consoled when I approached my parents with these concerns, rather shunned. Locked into my own room, locked out of everyone else’s. I was the only one in the house who didn’t get to have a lock on my door. Let’s talk about privilege and right and exclusivity. You don’t exist for me, because reality doesn’t exist for me. And that’s my brain.

I’m starting to have almost chronic (daily) pain from my extreme tightness attributed to Cerebral Palsy.

I keep thinking about what the neurologist said a few weeks ago about how stress seizures are really common in people who have experienced pre-verbal abuse. To sum up, pre-verbal abuse, is abuse that occurs at an age before the child can speak. It makes sense though, considering I barely uttered a word until the age of three anyway.

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Growing up I was told that it was speculated that I developed CP as a newborn, probably a few days old. The story developed a bit as I grew older and could better conceptualize ideas. It was said to me that everyone (yes everyone) has clots throughout their body. The body is generally able to rid itself of these clots and there are no repercussions. Yet, since I was a preemie and came into the world at around 6 months, I was very tiny. Any clot that developed in my body could and most likely would be detrimental. That’s exactly what was speculated to have happened.

However, once my mother told me that she didn’t know I had CP until I was 1.5 years old, even though doctors said they mentioned it when I was a baby. It’s ok if you want to read that last sentence again, except no matter how I read it, or type it, it still doesn’t make sense to me.My dad has previously mentioned that doctors told him I COULD have a whole host of ailments, not that I did. I wonder if she’s confusing that with truth. No surprise there.

Might I mention that I went through my first two months of life and the concurring medical records for the first two months I was in the NICU. Every time something neurological was in the record, I paid special attention to it. I was given a battery of tests and had many many conditions charted in these records. I had a lot of diseases ranging from jaundice to severe hyaline,  membrane disease to apnea to bradycardia. You name it, I likely had it. The funny or ironic thing is that nowhere in these charts is there ANY indication of a neurological impairment.

I’m trying to play detective here and put pieces of the puzzle together. Yes, I know I over-analyze a lot of pieces of life a lot of the time. I doubt that will change. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out though. Look at this picture:

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Do you “see” any neurological issues here. Key word, “see”. A lot of babies have eyes that still need to play catch up with their brain A.K.A. one eye wanders, both eyes can’t focus on the same fixed point at the same time. This is common. Look at my eyes. There’s nothing abnormal there.

I’ve been told I was a handful as a baby (and many times thereafter). I cried often, barely slept. It makes sense for someone to have a sick baby and not want them around and try to hurt them. It also makes sense to have a caregiver get frustrated with a baby. I understand all of that. I’m not blaming anyone, probably because it would almost be Mission Impossible to find out exactly what happened 25 years ago.

Parents fighting all of the time. Annoying baby. Sick baby. Tired. Trying to do anything to make the crying stop. May have already taken it to lesser extremes in the past and resolved “issue” of finicky baby. Too late to go for a car ride to soothe baby. I don’t know, I’m just guessing in the dark here.

I’ve been looking at videos online of ways to improve the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy and am bothered because my mother seeks out every imaginable treatment for my brother and his condition (NF2-Neurofibromatosis Type 2). Why won’t she spend her time seeking treatments for me? My way of life could always be improved. After all, probably everyone’s could.

Maybe I developed CP from shaken baby syndrome, maybe I wasn’t. Either way, I’m still stuck with Cerebral Palsy and stuck looking at surgeries or advances or practices that could have improved my life had my parents sought out appropriate treatment for me as an infant. Why would you want to seek treatment for someone you didn’t want in the first place though?

I couldn’t fathom why K hadn’t texted me back after the text asking “4 on Sun?”. My thoughts have been:

1. She didn’t know what to say. She knows exactly what she did. That’s why she’s not calling me or texting me to see how I am.

2. She didn’t know I was affected

3. Even if she does know, she’s a really bad therapist (never mind the whole other situation) for not responding after some time of my not responding. She’s a pretty shitty therapist to not follow up after her last text on Wednesday considering it’s out of character for me to not respond. Why isn’t she responding?

4. I wish you (K) were my friend too. I need a friend. I need someone to check in on me, someone who I get along with, someone who can trade life stories with me.

Evidently, as of now, apparently she thought I was coming. Just received the following text:

Running Late K

The therapist at my school believes I should report K.

You know, up until the past few days, I’ve never experienced something like I am now. This wave, this rush of sadness and emotional pain that starts in the pit of my stomach and ends in my throat happens dozens of times a day.

I wish you were my friend.

Now that you’d technically be on the clock, now you’re texting me?

R u coming

I don’t think so, considering I’m an hour away, sitting on my laptop typing this. Are you ever going to step up to the plate and acknowledge what you did? How can you act like you don’t know? And hey, even playing devil’s advocate, if the numerous incidents that have occurred in the past week didn’t tip you off, there is NO WAY I can deal with this now, on break.

Even the mediocre doctoral students are better than no one around to run things by, and they have break too this week. The one I saw on Friday “applauded me” for “only” restricting and not resorting to other behaviors. I guess she thought that losing 8 pounds in four days was a no biggie. And so instead, I’ve been minimizing my emotional pain by restricting my intake. It’s overwhelming to even process all that’s happened even at this extreme restriction level, imagine full-fledged feelings and actually hearing things (including answers) I may not want to hear.

This will be an interesting next few hours. I’m going to try to remain as objective as a news reporter to the situation, yet somehow I don’t believe I can be that detached. It’s also interesting because I know for a fact that C will be seeing her today at 6:30PM, and I told C I’m not doing well (didn’t divulge the reasoning behind it though). I’m not sure if B has an appointment today as well. She and I haven’t been in contact aside from the one text conversation I mentioned in a previous post and one other time about her asking when I was coming to the sober living on Saturday night (yesterday). Apparently, the house manager didn’t relay the message to her that I wouldn’t be staying there. B didn’t ask how I was actually doing any of those short texts. Some people might say she’s too wrapped up in her own stuff to think about others. That might be accurate. Some would say that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t talk with her about what’s going on. The aspect I find most fascinating throughout though is that K, fully aware of how much B has been struggling STILL went to her house IMMEDIATELY after she was fired to tell her. Do you know how easy it is for someone not in denial of an addiction, but not wanting to change ways to completely immerse herself into another person’s life, another person’s drama, so that for a bit, their focus can be entirely elsewhere? I’ll tell you. It’s pretty easy. It’s great, it’s appreciated. AND IT’S DANGEROUS… AND B’s VERY GOOD AT REDIRECTING HER ATTENTION ELSEWHERE. I just want to flick K on the head with that decision because she knows B well enough to know that’s exactly what B did after K left. She shifted her focus to anyone’s problems except her own.

We’ll see what K makes of this whole situation today, we’ll see if she takes any action whatsoever beyond this last text. We’ll see if somehow she can recognize, acknowledge, and validate my pain. I wish it with all my heart that she’ll take notice, and yet, I doubt she will.

I still wish you were my friend.

Grand, evidently I wasn’t connected to the internet last night when posting, so those who tried to initially read the post, only got a subject line. And I get to write the post again and rehash my feelings over the past few days, focusing on two days ago (Wednesday). Since I need to put most of it out there and trying to figure out ways to heal, this post is going to be full of inserts. Hey, everything’s a little better with pictures!

I decided it would be beneficial if I started out with an e-mail I sent to K on Sunday, hours after our session where my lack of support was the main focus and K seemed to be annoyed that I was back at square one. I refused to believe I was back at square one and sent the following:

It wasn’t until later Monday afternoon I received this response, no doubt though K had been fully supporting B throughout this time. This is K’s reply:

I replied back in less than an hour, take note to the last sentence of the e-mail:

This was BEFORE I knew anything extra had been occurring between K and B. I’m practically begging for support, saying how much I need it, asking a direct question. I have yet to hear back from this e-mail. What I did get was this, on Wednesday afternoon via text from K.

There’s a lot I’d like to say to this, such as:

-What makes you think I want to talk to you?

-You think you deserve my money?

-Why would I drive two hours, using gas money I don’t have to come get a slap in the face?

-For what?

-Are you going to come to me?

-You really don’t see how your actions have affected me, do you?

Yet, I’ve not responded. I have a lot of negative energy festering within me. None of these responses would be particularly productive.

Every week I had a card that I give to K which outlines my emotions for the week, written down daily. This is mine for this week:

Yeah, definitely not ok, and haven’t filled the card out since.

To make matters even more confounding, I received this e-mail from the head of Study Abroad Wednesday afternoon:

You’d think going to a school with approximately 1,000 students and maybe 100, probably more like 50 (or less) of these students applied to study abroad this fall, that maybe, just maybe they could take the time to insert my name into this e-mail. I went immediately to the study abroad office after receiving this e-mail. Actually, first I started twitching and almost had a stress seizure and was on the verge of a major meltdown. I took some deep breaths, thought about how I wanted to come across to the director, whose shares the same name, to top it all off with K. How fitting, lies all around, withholding of truth, all around.

College K couldn’t even give me a specific reason as to why I wasn’t accepted by the school’s study abroad committee (done internally, not to where I’m actually planning on studying abroad. Everything she said to me was in blanket statements. She speculated that perhaps it’s because I’m a transfer and the committee wanted me to become more acclimated with this school. As if a full academic year isn’t enough? She also said maybe I wasn’t specific as to why I chose to study abroad in the fall. She said and I will, “fight for this” followed by, “I can’t promise you that the decision will change.” I will study abroad this fall.

I WILL PETITION THIS. I will study abroad. I will go to the supervisor’s supervisor. This WILL happen. School is the only thing keeping me alive. Without this study abroad experience, many things about school fall out of place; my decision and connections to attend medical school abroad, which ultimately leads to my career as a physician abroad.

You know one of the worst parts? A few weeks ago I asked a group of friends how long it usually takes to hear the committee decision to study abroad and was told by friends that though they didn’t know how long it would be until I heard the decision, they’d NEVER heard of someone not getting accepted. When I mentioned this “rumor” to college K, she said, “actually 25% of people weren’t accepted for the fall term” I’m thinking, “OH DID ONLY 4 PEOPLE APPLY?” You do the math.

My application was crisp, clean, and reviewed multiple times by my advisor and myself. In the application there are a few medical-related questions, such as allergies, ever been hospitalized, have a psych condition. It was also noted “Your answers to these will not affect the committee’s decision”. I checked yes to all three of these AND attached a one page, single-spaced explanation as to how I manage each issue, and how I’ve worked and volunteered for extended periods of time in the past.

Bullshit. Absolutely bullshit. You really want to tell me that my application, along with a GPA higher than 3.0 (3.0 is generally minimum GPA required) wasn’t sufficient? Then something else racks my brain. What if my recommendation letter wasn’t decent? What if it completely didn’t recommend that I study abroad?

I sent my petition in on Thursday morning, after my advisor reviewed it again, saying it was, “a good document”. This is nonsensical and unjust. I HATE THAT MEDICAL REASONS CONSTANTLY HOLD ME BACK IN LIFE BECAUSE OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT I CAN DO. This happened at the resort that I worked at too, and sometimes have cost me jobs. I hate that I am sooo honest that it hurts me, even when I think people will have only the best intentions. With all of my exposure to horrific events, you’d think I wouldn’t be so naive and trusting. Rarely can I actually imagine that someone is lying or evading the truth. And yet, they are. Most people can’t handle even hearing about what I’ve been through, so when a piece of my life is laid out on a piece of paper, it still comes with people applying their restrictions on MY life since it’s as though I’m a piece of crystal, so fragile, so in need of constant OVER PROTECTION that in actuality doesn’t benefit me, merely hurts my chances to thrive.

Considering that I’ve had a lot of things thrown in my face and continued to persevere, I can only hope I’ll continue to get my strength from somewhere. It’s getting harder and harder with each passing day. My initial instinct upon being deferred to study abroad was to self-injure. Problem with that is that it’s practically summer and the temperatures resemble that of a summer day. I hate being hot, and I don’t want to be subjected to the third degree by anyone. So what have I done? Well, the invisible self-injury. This one commonly goes by the pronoun “Ed” to play on words.

I’ve restricted my intake to the point that by Wednesday I’d lost 6 lbs in less than 2 days. Granted, much of this is water weight, except I haven’t wanted to stop restricting. It’s way easier to feel physical pain than emotional pain. At the moment, I don’t feel much of either.

I’m torn too because I want so badly to talk with someone who understands my situation. The closest person to that would be C. However, if I told C, there’s a good chance she too would be ripped apart, devastated, and right now there’s no need to spread the pain I’m feeling to another person. At least I have the decency to recognize that telling her would do more harm than good.

On to the good news of Wednesday. There was a pre-brief meeting for the Alternative Spring Break I’ll be attending next week. During the brief, a man from an organization in town working with the homeless came to speak to our group.

I absolutely despise people mentioning skin color as a factor, and even have said to multiple individuals, “You’re not black, you’re a shade of brown, we’re all just shades of brown. The only difference between you and me is that one of our skin absorbs more melanin than the other’s.  The only people who can say they’re white are people with albinism because they truly are, their skin doesn’t absorb melanin. Now if we want to talk about cultural differences, let’s talk cultural, NOT skin color.

In this briefing, we went around the circle talking about any previous experience we’ve had with the homeless population and our thoughts about those experiences. A common theme was that people worked in a soup kitchen one or two times, and had skewed perceptions about people who were homeless, often attributing it to mental illness. When it got to my turn, I mentioned my variety of work with homeless populations, concluding by saying, “I’ve also experienced homelessness.” Imagine the look on the faces of most in the room, most who are of “minority” status by skin color. It was something to the effect of, “WHAT? The white female doesn’t have a perfect life?”

Growing up, my biggest fear was becoming homeless. I was even told I’d never be homeless. Well guess what? It happened and I somehow made it through that period. It will likely happen again, I’m not going to pretend to shove it under a rug and store it there for decades. At the end of the meeting, people talked about where they’d be staying before and after our trip. One person didn’t have a place to go and someone recommended she talk to residential life to stay in the dorms for those periods. I wished her luck being that I had a big incident with residential life prior to winter break. Summing it up, I was assured I could stay there without any mention of additional fees. The week before finals I was told this was not a possibility and VERY LONG STORY SHORT, that’s how I ended up back at the sober living.

I went to residential life to see if my chance of staying may be favored this time by the fact that I was participating in alternative spring break. I got a harsh greeting from the director, and much attitude, except that after that, I was approved to stay in the dorms (which are otherwise considered closed for the break). This is a BIG relief because I was going to stay at another sober living that I was going to have to pay for and realistically, I can’t afford. Plus, I was going to have to sleep on the couch as they didn’t have a bed for me.

After this, I went to dinner and was sitting alone. I looked up and saw a girl who asked me to sit with her the other week. At the time I declined her request, saying that I was going to sit at another table since I hadn’t seen people there in a while. That was a white lie. In truth, I imagined our conversation to be really awkward. She speaks in monotone pitch, and that can be awkward. However, she was sitting alone too, and it didn’t make sense to me that we both eat alone, feet from one another. I joined her, and you know what? I WAS WRONG. She may have a monotone voice, except she has so much more to offer than that. She has a good soul, and she is a really good conversationalist. That’ll be hopefully the last time I jump to major conclusions and don’t step out of my social comfort zone in similar social situations. She is so kind. My own discomforts and assumptions held me back. You know what happens when someone ASSuMEs…

I still feel queasy and a bit uneasy. That is most likely due to the lack of nutrients I’ve consumed over the past three full days. Eating disorders, the invisible pain, the pain that even when you’re not eating, eats you… from the inside, out.

Though I still believe in Karma, a final thought:

I just woke up from a dream. I actually figured I’d have some bad dreams going to bed last night, and since I tend not to recall my dreams, didn’t fret too much on it.

I was in a parking lot, waiting to meet my family (first error because I don’t keep in contact with them). As I was waiting for them to arrive, I saw that I needed to lock most of my car doors manually (second mistake because I haven’t even owned that car in three years). As I was doing this, realizing I was in a sketchy neighborhood (third error), I saw a women holding up what appeared to be a gun to a group of people. Then when she shot them, it appeared like they were being tazed. At that point, I wasn’t able to locate my car keys to drive off and basically froze.

That’s when the lady approached me, asked me how old I was. I told her. Her reply? “You’re too young, just a baby, I’m not going to hurt you.” With that, she rested her knife in my car. She stood around, searching through some bag. Not wanting to do anything drastic, and eying the knife, wondering if I should just take it and stab her, I didn’t do anything. Next thing I know she slashes my thigh with the knife and tells me, “You’re going to need to go to the hospital”. I replied, “Nah, I’m okay.” slightly confused, and not actually in pain because the knife wound wasn’t deep enough to require sutures. Suddenly, she continues on, and slashes both sides of my neck, all with a big crowd around. No one did anything. I put my hand to my neck, said “hospital” and woke up.