Posts Tagged ‘love’

What did I do wrong

What happened to my life? I started to get better over here, at least emotionally. I was welcomed by a most amazing host family, and felt a part of their home within the first 24 hours. We had ups and downs, mostly ups and downs were external forces for the next four months. We shared secrets. Then I got sick. They visited me every few days in hospital. Then I got well. Then I got sick after the first day, and was re-admitted. Fortunately, I was discharged days later after fighting a severe infection.

I moved out of the house as planned, to start another term. They had already planned on having family friends move in, before I decided I’d stay the whole year. Ever since that point, I have made the effort to go see them on at least half a dozen separate occasions, on public transportation mind you, while they own a car. They said they’d visit me and never once made the effort to do so.

Graciously they lent me their extra bike for the term. My youngest host sister and I have begun to exchange daily texts. The one I received from her today was odd. She had just asked if I was going to be coming by to see them before I leave and I wrote that I have to see her so yeah.

She responded in a rather adult way saying I have to confirm because I have the bike. The bike. Not me. Why see me? Why make an effort to come out to see me? I have not once seen them even attempt to come to where I live. Never mind the fact that finals, packing, and reverse culture shock are looming. Never mind I’ve been in hospital six times in the last four months. It’s always about monetary value, not people. People don’t matter. I don’t matter.

This is a mere extension or reflection of what I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks. Being neglected at the hospital that seemed to be the only decent one left here (I’ve been to four in this country), literally the hospital doing nothing but observation after I found blood in my tube.

The friends I’ve made where I live suddenly became absent from my life a few weeks ago as well. One, he was going through some stuff and wouldn’t let anyone in. He wasn’t responding to any of my texts and had very little contact with anyone. The other, I’m guessing it was his girlfriend who has been occupying his time over the past weeks. I just found out about the girlfriend over the past weekend at a gathering for a friend’s party.

The person who organized the party is at the same level of friendship as the person who the party was for. I hope this makes enough sense to get across. My birthday also was a few weeks ago, the organizer (friend) said we’d do something for my birthday. That never happened.I went to this party not bitterly, attempting to celebrate the special occasion for the friend. It was hard to not feel slightly jealous.

The cycle of neglect and abandonment and utter devastation surface and replay. Broken promises, broken heart, no family.

My father who only has contact with me for financial reasons as he has no emotional availability for me in his life just sent two horrifyingly nasty e-mails to my home school. You see, my home school is attempting to charge me their tuition even though I’m abroad and received a significant discount on tuition. If I don’t pay, they won’t give me my grades, will de-register me from classes in the Fall, and yes even remove my ability to check out library books. The money they want me to give them was to be my housing money for the summer. Hello homelessness, goodbye life as I knew it, for those few amazing months.

I’m going through some crazy medical adventures and a lot of people are bewildered at how I can handle this.

Support is key: when support is diminished, mentally sink.

Even if it’s one person, one smile, one kind word, I am helped, uplifted.

I struggle a lot and apparently the medical challenges are not getting easier, perhaps will become more complex in the future.

Yesterday I was told by my somatic practitioner to take it one month at a time. She didn’t say second by second or day by day as most people often relay to me. She doesn’t negate the future because let’s face it, the future is a likely reality. A month seems practical. She says things seem to fall into place for me eventually-I don’t like how that tends to be relatively last-minute.

Spirituality. No I’m not gonna go on a rant about what’s best or what to believe. Knowing/believing something greater than yourself exists may help. I’ve tried to not have my spirituality falter through these times, and truthfully (what else?), that’s been rough.

I feel happy today though and I’m gonna leave it at that. I’m grateful for this day and this feeling.

If I don’t care about my life why should anyone else? I once heard that you learn to love yourself through the love others show you, namely the supposed unconditional love one is meant to receive from their primary caregivers. This is bullshit. I don’t think I’ll ever love myself, because the people who conceived me can’t seem to do so. Fuck this and fuck my current mindset because I’m so fucking sick of rejection. Whoever said that all it takes is one person to believe in you must have had a superhero who checked in on him or her a lot. Someone who truly cares about me would do that right? It wouldn’t take money for caring to ensue, would it? I’m so damn sick of this game of life and the rejection and the pitiful looks from those around me when they get a peek at the life I have to live day after day. Why didn’t I die at birth with my twin? Why am I still here? Right now it’s fucking painful and I don’t want to bear it much longer. It’s not fair, who’s there to reach out for me when I need help? I’m in a state of despair right now and yet I know I’ll keep fronting that optimistic attitude I hope one day to actually embody, not fake

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When I was six years old, I went to the neurologist. It was a simple check up and ended neutrally-nothing better, nothing worse. For all intensive purposes, it was a good day, a reason to celebrate. It was also the day I had to grow up immediately.

Following my check-up, my mom, step-dad, brother, and some aunts, uncles, and grandparents from my mom’s side went out to lunch. It was a boring lunch and my brother and I were the only kids present. As such, we sat next to one another, giggling at my brother’s finger.

For some reason, unbeknownst to our six and eight year old brains, his finger had begun shaking really fast. We laughed throughout the meal. By the end of the meal, his finger did not cease shaking and it was at that point he declared, “I think I’m gonna go tell Mom now”. I shrugged my shoulders and continued on with my meal, while observing my brother walk over to our mom, show his finger and see my mom’s happy face go frozen, almost like “into war” mode.

She made a call somehow (this was before cellphones were common to carry though she may have had one since she’s been on top of that technological advance) to a doctor. Little did I know it was my doctor. All of thirty minutes later, back we were in my doctor’s office, and my brother was seeing the doctor with our mom while my step-dad took me for a walk around the neighborhood. I remember glancing up at the trees in that neighborhood, it was a beautiful autumn day. The sun was shining through the trees, and to me it looked somewhat like this:

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During this walk, I remember thinking to myself, “Today is the day I have to grow up.” I don’t know how I knew this, I certainly didn’t know what this would entail, and yet I distinctly remember knowing today was going to begin a new way for me. Already being robbed of a “complete” childhood (free from worry or despair), I knew childhood was now a thing of the past.

Coming back from our walk, I found out that my brother was to be admitted to the hospital that day. It took two years for them to figure out what disease he was afflicted with. Neurofibromatosis Type II was the catalyst in completely tearing my family away from me.

Every time I complained about having Cerebral Palsy and how kids would make fun of me or how I couldn’t make the Junior Olympics in gymnastics because I wasn’t flexible enough or my legs not strong enough to perform certain maneuvers, I was invalidated by my parents. My dad always yelled at me to pick up my feet (my loud shuffling embarrassed him). He insisted I didn’t have Cerebral Palsy (CP). Barbara always told me to not complain, look at my brother, he has it worse. Yeah I suppose spending the first two months of my life in a hospital where I almost certainly lost my twin to premature labor and birth and having three major reconstructive surgeries before the age of 7 just wasn’t severe enough in her eyes. After all, we’re talking about the woman who had breast cancer and made no big deal of it because my brother and I both had incurable conditions and she knew hers had a cure.

If only it were that simple, to think oneself well. I want to think my brain damage will go away from her negligence of not seeking immediate medical attention when she began bleeding 3 MONTHS before her baby(s) was due. Whenever I had any sort of negative thought about my affliction with CP, I was told, “You don’t have CP, you have Spastic Diplegia”. What? I shrugged this off and it wasn’t until the internet became a common place to look up information that I realized that Spastic Diplegia is a form of CP. Really, who knew? Certainly not me…

Throughout my childhood, I formed the belief that my brother’s disease didn’t impact me and that I should be grateful I don’t have hundreds of tumors growing at will throughout my central nervous system. Thinking about it now I realize how irrational this train of thought is and how often my emotions were invalidated, how often I was invalidated.

I’ve been seeing a Somatic Experience Practitioner for a few months now (thanks to internet, I continue to have video sessions with her while I’m studying abroad). In our initial session she explained how the body stores trauma if there is no way to release it. She expanded upon this concept, explaining that we can react in 4 ways to trauma. 4? The conversation went as follows, with her asking me to list the ones I knew of:

Me: Fight, flight, freeze.

Her: There’s a fourth, can you guess what that is?

Me (very quietly with a smirk): Party?

Her: Nope

Me (again quietly): Dance?

Her (smiling): Closer… it is an action of sorts.

Me: (shoulders shrugging) I don’t know.

Her: Inquire. Ask why someone is doing something. However, kids don’t have the capacity to do this, they…

Me (interrupting her): No, no I did. One time I asked ______ (evil ex-step-mother) why I was abused and why ____ (brother) wasn’t. Evil ex-step-mother said it was because, “he’s too sick”.

The abuse I’ve endured, the hatred, and utter anger that has been projected unto me is something I’m able to understand now. The trouble doesn’t lie in my rationalizing this though because I believe there is no justifiable reason(s) people willingly choose to hurt a little kid. Back to basics for now though, at least to understanding defense mechanisms.

Defense mechanisms are often employed when a person’s capacity to cope is beyond his or her tool belt. There is no screwdriver to fit into the square peg, so what does one do? He or she tries another tool and another, until the tool that works is found. Sometimes it may not be the optimal tool, yet often at this point a person is overwhelmed and tired because finding the right tool is a difficult task. So, one takes what they have.

I think this analogy applies to the family dynamic I grew up in. Distancing myself from my family throughout the years, first physically, then emotionally, then pretty much all together, I have been provided with the chance to look inward and at the family dynamics, particularly while studying abroad.

The day before departing, I found out that my brother was to have surgery to remove a tumor from his brain stem in no more than four weeks from that date. There wasn’t much I could say or do as the only communication he and I have is the occasional text or e-mail. He’s essentially deaf and anything I relay to him immediately will be told to our mother who I have had no contact with in over 1.5 years after a messy ending. My brother and I are not close, and he sees me as crazy and not part of the family. I understand where he gets these thoughts from, though I must say I don’t agree with him. I simply responded to my environment the best I knew how to and my environment was not the model of Utopia, especially when it came to facing stress and dealing with emotions.

I recall at the point of my brother’s first hospital admission that Barbara lost a lot of weight and mentioned something about not being able to eat. Hmmm, wonder where the eating disorder evolved from (that’s a story for another time though, particularly because this is merely one of many factors that contributed to my animosity towards food).

You’d think it was clear that NF2 affected my life. My college application essay was entitled “My Brother’s Finger”. Barbara reviewed the essay as did some of my teachers. If I were asked even at that point if it affected me, I’d deny it, because denial and avoidance of emotions is what I’d become majestically acquainted with.

Fast-forward to present day and my first few weeks studying abroad. I wanted to prepare myself and have support if the outcome of my brother’s surgery was up in the air. During the time before and after his surgery, I somewhat relived my childhood and I began to unravel the intricacies of my past, one reminder at a time.

Prior to the surgery, I told my brother I couldn’t make it, wished him well and loved him. In an angry text to our dad, he wrote:

“I don’t know what you said to Laura, but she’s not coming to visit me. These games you play with your mentally ill daughter to get back at mom, have backfired and now have really hurt me, as well.”

I asked our dad to not mention anything about me being abroad, as it is my life, and they are not involved in my life and them knowing wouldn’t affect the situation in any way. He told me he wouldn’t tell and broke his word. He did leak that I was abroad and even then, it wasn’t believed by everyone. My cousin who I don’t often speak with messaged me on Facebook:

Yeah we heard your randomly in Denmark

 Pretty shitty timing to be going there knowing your brother was having a major surgery
 
And from the female person I am progeny of:
I don't know if you really are in Denmark 

Please remember if I have hurt you in the past it was NEVER intentional
And this lack of communication you are choosing hurts me to the core of my being

 

It’s like my childhood friend said, it’s like deciding between manslaughter and unintentional murder, end result is that someone’s still dead, intentional or not. I’m still hurt. From the male I am progeny of:

“I can’t make the two of u work anything out. U r being to cryptic and secretive to pass it off as just not lying. U r putting me in the middle of the crap your mother started which is not fair to me… U can be a bit more empathetic to ____ (brother) considering what he is going through…

And something I can’t post on here as it was on the phone was Ken screaming at me for how selfish I am after I told him “I wish you would have told me that you were going to tell him that I’m here before you did; it’s your opinion that it was going to make things better, and you didn’t respect my wishes.”

It’s things like this that I realize that all they all know how to do is blame me, use me as the sponge to absorb the mess that they’ve created. Yeah, we got dealt a pretty challenging hand of cards. Many people have shitty cards, and many people still manage to have happy families. There is no need for them to bash me and yell at me and torture me because they can’t deal with their own shit.

Yet, I constantly turn the negativity onto myself in the form of some negative behavior, and sometimes to other, never daring to hurt another lost child’s soul. I do believe I can and will heal, without my family. All I need is love, a healing touch, and a compassionate heart. Hopefully I learn to provide myself with that sooner than later. The darkness is seeping in again.

 

You twisted fucks. You attempted to raise my guilt levels and ultimately succeeded in doing so. I was about to utilize my travel break to travel to a nine hour time zone difference and back within four days to visit my “ailing brother”. I don’t know how ailing you can be when you continue to compose jackass e-mail messages from your bedside.

I’m fucking sick and tired of being everyone’s punching bag. Enough is enough. Don’t just contact me when you need to blow a load and transfer your insanity to me. I’m fucking done with you bastards, you good-for-nothing imbeciles. Leave me alone you crazed bullies. Don’t attempt to twist my fate and my reality yet again.

You ill people continue to use me as the scapegoat so you don’t have to look at your own damn problems. Well it’s time you take a good hard look and stop fucking with my life. The moment I try to do as you say, to contact him, to communicate with him, you say, “Did you actually expect him to jump for joy when he finally heard from you?” Well maybe not jump, but judging from other people’s messages, I figured it would at least do some good.

I’m not going to sit around and pretend like nothing happened. I don’t care how sick someone is, no one and I mean no one has the right to be an evil pompous prick as he has been displaying. Fuck, I can’t even put into words how damn angry I am for falling for the trick, for allowing you to mess up my brain, yet again.

Family, what fucking family do I have? All this incident has shown me is how unhealthy and irrational all you people are and how honestly, I wish you were all dead.

It’d be a lot easier to justify not having a family if everyone was deceased. Instead, I get to look at reminders of how dysfunctional you all are and how you all hold Adam on a pedestal and how the crown prince of Neurofibromatosis Type II continues to be the diamond of everyone’s eye. I know you will likely never see his faults, and you will constantly put your hurts and fear and horrid feelings onto me. I am being who in your mind doesn’t matter and is so fucking ill. I went through unnecessary and dangerous testing because you believed I was at fault. I was sectioned off from society for years. And for what and why? Because you thick people can’t bear to think that you do anything wrong. It’s not all on me. I wish you’d show me the compassion and love I deserve. Since that won’t happen, I will continue to displace myself, and struggle on my own. Struggling on my own is better than being terrorized by you.

I sit in my bed, typing this, hearing my roommate’s phone constantly ding. This is not an environment conducive for sleep, it’s constantly jarring me more and more awake, and into the realm of insomnia.

sleep marilyn monroe

I’m not ok with this. I want to not be my only consoler in life, I hate myself, I hate the person I am, the gender I’m not (I identify as neither gender. I am just a baby in an older person’s body, completely separated most of the time. I want someone to tell me it will be alright, because I don’t believe it is alright.

Why did I not receive the love and affection I craved and deserved as a child? I recognize myself as one of those dogs left out on the street without love from anyone else. Today was rough, the house mom from last night broke confidentiality rules this morning by telling other clients that she had a rough night with me and elaborated by conveying the whole story to people who do not need to be made aware of the situation. That is rude and distrusting and I do not respect her. Someone needs to have a stern talk with her and that someone should not be me. The house mom on tonight used to be cool, she’s not as awesome as I thought she’d be and she wants me to have respect for the house moms.

When I’m lied to, I will not pretend that I wasn’t and go about interacting in a non-nonchalant manner. Miss attitude needs a check of her own. That was yesterday though, and today, or this moment is a new piece in time, and with that I’m supposed to fall asleep crying like a baby, waiting for someone to come tell me it’s gonna be alright.

I sit in class, amongst people, most younger than myself by at least half a decade.

What was I doing when I was their age?

Oh, yeah that’s right, I almost forgot.

I almost forgot the reason I didn’t graduate on time. Why it will be more than 10 years after high school graduation when I receive my college degree.

Almost.

I was in college at their age.

I was in college, part-time with an entire continent separating myself from the rest of my family.

My family who sent me to the first program.

I was excited at first when I heard I may be going to California.

It was two weeks after I was discharged from my first psychiatric hospital stay.

The stay that according to Conroy, the social worker who admitted me was supposed to last between 3-10 days.

I stayed 18 days.

No outdoors. No light aside from the fluorescent ones beating down on me in the halls, in the rooms, in the showers.

After discharge, no one knew where to put me. They said it would only be once that I’d be in the hospital for things like this, that I was just going through a “transition”.

I guess I have a lot of “transitions”… 8 hospitalizations, 3 residential treatment centers totaling 2 and a half years and half a dozen IOP/PHP and 3 attempts later.

I remember sitting in class half a decade ago wondering if I’d make it to college graduation.

I remember thinking that I would get in trouble if I was seen chewing gum, not by the professor but from someone also in program going to school seeing me. We weren’t allowed to chew gum in the lower levels.

I remember not being able to accept rides from friends at school, even from my professor the night that it was pouring rain, pitch black, and I was all alone at the school bus stop with nothing or no one around late on a Friday night after class finished.

I remember begging my parents to get me out of the first place, saying, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.” They told me it was either the program or the streets.

I didn’t even do anything wrong to deserve long-term residential “treatment”.

I was severely depressed, I needed love.

Love is not what I received.

I received way more fake hugs than I’ll ever get in my life real hugs.

I saw people try to kill one another.

I saw other people struggling, constantly talking about suicide and the next attempt.

I saw people attempt.

I saw people relapse.

I got abused, mostly verbal and emotional abuse.

I thought that was in the past. I thought the abuse was done.

It was thrown in my face constantly.

My current classmates have an average age of 20.

At the age of 20, I was taking 20 prescribed pills a day.

Once, someone from the program had to call my professor prior to the school year beginning to let him know that I was heavily medicated and may fall asleep in class.

My classroom experiences at a traditional college age are skewed.

So, when I sit in class, a bit ashamed that during the working hours I’m in a classroom at a desk, I wonder what happened, I almost forget what went on.

I know others wonder why I’m in class at the ripe old age I am.

If they ask, I tell them, usually surface-level things.

Usually, I just say I did the college route backwards, went to work first after high school and now I’m in school.

If only they knew the real story, the fucked up shit that I was locked away for, years of my young adulthood taken from me, because of depression stemming from abuse, neglect, and in-affectionate beginnings.

When I sit in class, I start to think of all these things. I think about what I was doing when I was their age, what I was exposed to, what was going on in my life.

Absolute madness.