Tag Archives: talking

Spinning Brain Dump

To say that a lot of things are going on with me would be a gross understatement. Perhaps even the understatement of the century. It’s been trying to say the least but I am hanging in there and working pretty well I think. I always feel guilty when I whine on twitter and then disappear, but it’s kind of all I’ve got at the moment and I appreciate everyone sticking by me and with me.

I am currently at my Mom’s house and have been for over a week now, while trying to remotely hunt for an apartment in New York City that is within budget, near a certain train and that has a kitchen I won’t feel disgusting in. We seem to have found one at this point that I am not thrilled with, but can make work. So. That’s a bonus. Now to figure out the financial aspect of things with cross-border banking yaddah yaddah yaddah. Seriously. I hate this stuff.

Being at my Mom’s has been great at times and…simultaneously the WORST. I love her. I swear I do, but holy ever loving is she critical. We have spats while I’ve been away but I think I have forgotten just HOW critical she is of me. Of others. Of just about everything.  Then the best part is when I speak up and call her on it, she scoffs and makes it seem like everything is my fault and she is just trying to help or have an opinion. There literally is NO comment that I can make and stand up for myself. Somehow, she always wins. She always comes out on top. People will say, “Well stand up! Tell her that’s not okay!” and I have. Trust me. It just somehow doesn’t work. She’s an evil magician that can turn anything around to make me look like a whiner, a weak person, a negative Nancy when all I want to do is just be comforted.

I want to be able to cry and be validated. To hear that yes, this sucks and it’s okay to be upset. I don’t really want to hear how I’m not looking at this right, it should be an ADVENTURE. I don’ t really want to hear that everyone has anxiety, when I say my father WITH CANCER is anxious about the future. It’s not supportive or helpful. It’s just…ugh. It’s cold and annoying and it feels so dismissive of every feeling I have worked SO HARD to allow out in the open. Honestly, it’s no wonder I am so worried about others’ opinions. It’s no wonder that I have trouble speaking up for myself or believing in myself. It’s really no wonder that I am so uber, highly critical of my appearance and self. My eyes are just blown wide open when it comes to understanding where all this negativity has come from in my life.

I feel anxiety and stress when Mom comes up the stairs. I tense, wondering what she wants from me now. She comments on when I eat, what I eat, how much I eat, how often I eat and what I eat. SHE only eats one big meal a day, so…I must be a pig to eat so often or so much. Honestly folks. She truly comments on this. Just today, my grandparents took us out for lunch and an ice cream afterwards. I came home with an iced coffee and she commented on the fact that I had ice cream and iced coffee. Uhm. Well. They serve different purposes. She remarked that it was all “in between meals” as far as she was concerned so, oh well!

I just hate how weak I feel against her. A dear friend on Twitter said to respond with, “I Love you Mom.” and I think I’m going to have to start doing so because man, this is just eroding my sense of self. I’ve worked SO HARD to love myself. To not be critical of others, of myself, of my relationships. I’ve struggled with anxiety and oversensitivity – knowing that I am not abnormal and it’s okay.  All this to come home and feel crushed and absolutely helpless against her, at thirty three years old. It’s humiliating. It’s painful and I just can’t handle it.

On top of that, as I mentioned above, my Dad has been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. It’s been really hard on me and I haven’t said much about it but have been SO GRATEFUL for all your prayers and love and support. So thank you for that. Truly. He has had many tests in the last week that I’ve been home and the results today say that he has cancer in the lymph nodes in his throat, armpits and torso/groin, as well as some cancerous cells found in his bone marrow. He will have 24 weeks of chemotherapy and will have to stay at the hospital for three days when treatment starts. He’s having to not go fishing with his friends, for fear of getting a fish hook in his hand and getting an infection. Dad lives in a cabin on some acreage, with a HUGE garden and lots of house projects. It’s extremely difficult for him to rest and be still, so already he is worried about this.

Icing on the cake? Dad has no health insurance. Yeah, let that one sink in for a while. The next time someone wants to argue against socialized health care, I’m sorry, but I will tell them RIGHT where to go. Just for his local visits he is in for over 10k. This does not include any body scans, bone marrow biopsies or anything like that. Already. I just am not sure how he will pay for all of this and I cannot imagine how that is weighing on him even as he is fearing for his own life. How can someone heal when they are so stressed about how to PAY for each treatment? I just…I lay awake at night thinking about this.

It’s been so hard to hear my Dad with such worry. Such anxiety. I can hear the tension, the fear in his voice everytime we speak and it just wounds my heart. He hugged me yesterday, what he thought would be a goodbye for a few months, and I felt his sadness. I felt his person clinging to me even as he released me physically. Thinking about that moment now, I am tearing up. I wanted to hold onto him forever in that moment. We had just spent a few hours at the local fair, showing me his blue and red ribbons for the vegetables he’d grown, eating fried dough and ice cream – his favourite. The way his person lingered, the way he looked at me really broke my heart and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

There is a lot more inside me but I just don’t want to overwhelm anyone. I’m worried about finding a job. About furnishing this apartment. I’m worried about being qualified for jobs after not working for a few years. I’m scared of not having enough for food and necessities. I’m just…scared. I apologize in advance but for a little while my posting will be brain dumps. Spots for me to get out the feelings that I’m spinning on and worrying about. I understand if you step back for a while, I’m cool with that.

I wish I could step back for a little while.

All that said? I honestly think that I AM handling things pretty well. I need to have a big ol break down at some point soon and cry it out but for now? I’m doing okay. I’m trying still to talk about things even if I’m getting shut down. I’ve exercised a bit (I can’t wait to get back to regular working out – good LORD I can’t wait!), I’ve gone for walks, I’ve eaten what I”ve wanted and not what I haven’t. I’ve really been trying hard and am pretty proud of myself for the most part.

I AM excited about this new chapter. It’s not where I thought I’d be a few months ago but here I am and I am making the best of it. I have already started the reading list that is required to become a certified Doula. I am hoping to take a course in November that would satisfy two out of three coursework requirements for the Doula certification. I am excited at the opportunities that New York will provide me for this certification and have plans for the next four years at least when it comes to my future and career. I feel confident in that and I am looking forward to the undertaking itself. The end goal is to become a Midwife and I truly feel in my heart that whether or not I have my own children, I will be a great support, resource and ally through birth and beyond.

So yeah. Lots going on. So much up in the air and uncertain but…I’m hanging in there. Thanks for hanging with me.

Leaning on People

I’m awful at reaching out to people. AWFUL. Horrible. I just don’t do it.

Then I end up being so alone and struggling by myself, wishing I had someone that I could talk to. When the truth is, I think people willing to listen are right there but I have to actually ask. I have to initiate.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about why I don’t reach out. What stops me. A friend asked me yesterday, “Why didn’t you tell me all this was going on SOONER, Sarah?” and I didn’t really have an immediate answer for her. I thought for a bit, tearfully, and finally said, “I didn’t want to be judged, and I felt guilty laying it all out on someone.”

Her response was sweet and kind of course, but it really got me thinking. I have isolated myself. I’ve spent years, shutting out the past when I’ve moved for fear of judgement. Misunderstanding. Just out of FEAR and that, ladies and gentlemen, sucks. I hate living by fear. I hate people being controlled by fear. I just hate it, but there it is. Bam. In my face.

The worst part is? As soon as I have talked to people about what is aching inside me, the weight has lifted. There have been moments that I’ve just prayed for something to take the weight, the pain off of me for an hour or two and everytime I’ve opened up to a friend, it has lifted. Maybe not permanently, but it has lifted and allowed me to breathe and to move forward even half a step that day.

As much as I have no problem and in fact, encourage people to lean on ME, I have never felt like I could open up to them. I’ve always felt awkward going past a certain point with someone, no matter how much I have actually wanted to.  I have felt important and trusted when friends and others have come to me with their issues. I haven’t judged them. I’ve been able to listen, to talk to them, sometimes give a little tough love. It has felt good to be there for people. I’ve just never given the benefit of the doubt to others. I’ve never trusted others to not be judgemental or to not shame me for the choices I’ve made in life.

That just isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to me, but it also isn’t fair to those around me that have WANTED to help me.  I have to trust people around me to tell me when they can’t take anymore. Or to tell me the truth when I need to hear it.  I need to trust that people don’t offer help or aid if they can’t do it. (I think this comes from me offering myself even when I am drained and exhausted…worrying that others will do the same)  I need to trust that when someone says they won’t judge me or are happy to listen, that they really are happy to help. They may be compassionate and sympathetic, even empathetic and they may be able to offer perspective that you might not have seen otherwise.

Afterall, when you’re in the thick of things, you don’t see things clearly. You panic. You make rash decisions. You make assumptions that are often incorrect. Unless you reach out to someone else, those assumptions may never have a chance to be corrected.

So I’m going to try my hardest to trust those around me.  Thanks to those who have been listening to me lately. I am so, so grateful and dare I say blessed.