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Friday, January 30, 2015

When you're not coping with the loss of a loved one

I talked to a friend the other day who's been through some pretty tragic losses one right after the other.

Their life is almost on hold because of these losses, as if what was lost no longer validated what still is.

I was without words.  I got it.

That was me not too long ago.

My brother has been gone 7 years 5 months and 2 days at this writing.  Suicide.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.  I remember how I felt hearing that he was gone.  I remember how I felt for days, weeks, months - and yes, years after he died.

I was changed forever.

I know I'm not the only person on this planet to suffer great loss.  I know so many others have had so much more and sometimes worse.  I never want to feel that pain.  Never.  I can only speak of my own.  The hole in my heart that, as I said - changed me.


That pain turned me from someone who was secure in who I was - to being somehow needy.

I was always afraid of the "who's next?"  I didn't form close attachments, because they'd leave anyway and I did my best to push (or scare) away anyone I felt close to so that I was doing the leaving.

I got caught up in behaviors that were bizarre, then I got sick.  Stress was a major factor in the Lupus that was always underlying, but I never knew was there.  Stress flared the Lupus - making me so sick.  This brought on other problems and it snowballed.  My normal was abnormal.  My world was upside down in so many areas.  I'm so thankful to my husband for not only sticking it out - but kicking my ass back into shape.  I'm also thankful for this blog and those of you who read regularly.
THIS was the perfect way to process everything.  (without therapy)  The good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely bizarre.  Many posts I've taken down - because WHAT THE HECK??  At the time, though - I needed to say whatever it was I'd said.

Most people I surrounded myself with didn't know how badly I was struggling.  I'm not even sure my husband knew the extent I was struggling.  I talked to NO ONE about how I felt.  I surrounded myself with people who didn't really care all that much.  I mean I didn't, so why should they?  I began to accept treatment toward me that I would have never previously accepted as OK.  It wasn't OK.  On the outside - I was fine.  I could hold it together in group settings (unless there was alcohol involved).  No one saw the dark and twisty that was inside of me.    It took a while for me to realize that and to see things as they are.  Real friendship shouldn't be such hard work.  It should just be.

It was a long road.

Looking back now - and putting this out in print and reading it - I can't believe it was so long.  I can't believe how little I cared for myself or how much damage I did to myself in so many ways when all I really had to do was ask for help.

Never once did I ask anyone to talk with me about what I was going through.  I was ignoring it.  Trying to push through the pain.  Brave.

If you are here - don't be brave.

Don't let YEARS of your life go by in grieving.  TALK TO SOMEONE.  ANYONE.

Don't be like me.

I regret nothing in my life.  I look at everything as a lesson or a page/chapter in the book of me, but honestly - reading back, I wish there were more entries of joy and happiness than sadness and pain.

I want your pages to be filled with joy and happiness too.

Because what's gone is gone.  Truly.

Love with all you have and you will never have any regrets.

And if you're sad - talk about it.

Thank you for reading my blog!!

~Jenn


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don't call me when you're drunk....

Here's the thing....
I grew up with two alcoholic dads.
I loved them as I live and breathe and worshiped every single breath they took, but I'm scarred.
I'll always be scarred as the adult daughter of alcoholics.

I don't usually write about these things, but when things hit me in my life and bring back old emotion as they were freshly occurring - they come out here.

Yesterday I had a dealing with someone I KNEW was absolutely blasted.  Worse was that it was 1:40 pm.  More worse is that it happened during the work day.  Further worse is that it involved business - and par for the course - the drunkenness was denied.

I have many of you, whom I adore, who are recovering alcoholics who will know all the signs I go through.  I am so in awe of you for battling your demons and continuing to do so every single day.

Today I cannot be forgiving.  I cannot be kind.  I cannot turn my back for one more second.

Today I am feeling all of the emotions of a 15 year old girl whose dad just came home from work blotto.

Who shall I be right now??  What kind of mood is he in??  Is he going to yell at me??  Is he going to hit me??  Is the house clean enough??  Did I do all of my chores??  What am I in trouble for??

That was me, many years ago.  Uncomfortable & afraid.

Today, I am on the verge of tears feeling tension in my chest, in my arms - hot heat rising up through my back in a total bout of uncomfortableness wondering what tomorrow will be.

...and the situation does NOT directly affect my life

I remember the conversations of complete nonsense.  The mean words that come with a half assed apology because you "didn't mean it that way."  The slurring because you're "tired." 
Well bullshit!  I'm tired too.  Lots of people are tired.  I'm pretty sure I'm not slurring my words, neither are those other tired people.  You're not tired.  You're DRUNK.


Yes, Yes.... I know you quit drinking.  I know that "on the wagon" routine too.

Is there a bottle of vodka neatly hidden in the tank of the toilet for a quick hit later??  We smell the beer.  We may not smell the vodka.  You may think you're blowing it by - but you are NOT.
You are NOT blowing it by.  You are just drunk faster.  You are more drunk and less in control than if you had a beer.  You are meaner.  You are stupider and you are saying mean things and hurting those around you.

Yes, I know you.

I know who you are and I'm telling you that YOU NEED HELP!

I cannot help you and I know that you will not stop until YOU want to.  Until YOU hit your own personal rock bottom.

I'm here to tell you that you're not taking me with you.

I am an adult daughter of alcoholic parents.

I am speaking to you, who are hurting those around you.

Love yourself enough to love them.

We know.
We always know.
...even if we don't say so.

Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn


http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/need-help-with-a-drinking-problem


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Be kind and show love - especially to the "unlovable"

Rushing to judgement is not something that I do I like to do.

I had to revamp this a little bit, because I caught myself, yesterday judging a situation I knew NOTHING about based on very few things I was shown or told.  THEN I saw another side.  THEN I thought about how it felt when people judged ME on very little information.

So I decided to repost this from November of 2012.  A little something to think about...

Here is my post as it stood in 2012:

Who the hell am I?  Really?  WHO.THE.HELL.AM.I.??

Let's be clear - I may do good things in my life now and try hard as I may to be on the right path, but this is not always how my life has been.  I've been no saint, which is a huge factor in my non-judgmental attitude.  I've messed up more than I can put into words.  So much so in my life, that I'm positive that there are people from my past that would turn up their noses at the mere mention of my name.  Maybe they'd even recall a not so pleasant memory that I was a part of.  Something I said, something I did. Whatever.

I wasn't always the me that I am now.  I've learned a lot.

It's no secret that I sometimes lack proper social grace.  My mouth runs much more quickly than my brain more often than I can stop it and I sometimes embarrass myself.  You've read all this before.  It's the thing I wish I could change the most about myself and a one of the quirks I've been blessed with.  I'm silly, kind, loving and an absolute bumbling idiot from time to time.  It evens out, I suppose.  It makes me, me.

When I was very young, I wasn't held accountable for my stuff.  Mainly because I was so young and frankly,  it wasn't my "stuff."  It was other people's baggage that I carried.  Back then it made me appear, I don't know - strong and responsible?  I'm not sure.  I know some parents took pity on me & my brothers.  Felt "sorry" for me, for us.  Even back then, I never wanted to be pitied.  In that, I grew to learn how to hide the negativity that surrounded us - so others would have nothing to say.

As I got older, things got easier.  My brothers didn't need as much care & I had more time with my friends - but no supervision.  I was free to roam.  I did what I wanted to do.  No one held me accountable for my actions.  Probably because no one noticed.  I still did what I was supposed to do & then I ran wild.  If I was judged, I never knew it.  I knew how to cover my tracks.  Until I didn't.

In my late teens and 20's - things weren't so easy to hide.  I didn't live home.  I was on my own.  I was accountable to myself, to my job, to my life.  As much as I didn't care, I cared.  People tend to look more closely when you're a young adult.  They see everything.  The things you try to hide are the things they see the best.  Suddenly I was under a huge magnifying glass.

All of my screw ups were right there, in my face.  People talked.  People judged.  No matter how hard I tried to do the right thing, it was wrong & people sure let me know it.

It was awful.

In reality, I didn't know what to do in "life."  I was on auto pilot coasting along.  Tripping at every pass.  I took examples from other friend's parents, older friends - anyone I thought I could learn from.  People still judged.

So much I'd never put in print.  Stuff that I'm horrified over and don't have the nerve to come forward with. Stuff I'd rather have buried forever.

Things I'm sure this mask won't cover.

Everyone has things they hide behind the mask.  People they'd hide from forever if they could.  At least that's what I believe in my world.

Yes, it is true that I was no saint in my old life.  The person I used to be is dead and buried.  I don't know her anymore - but I do love her & wish that this me were around to guide her.  Because this me knows so much more.

So I don't point my finger, because I know - there would be so many more pointing my way.

How many fingers would point your way?

*How would it be for you if someone judged you forever on the worst thing you'd ever done in your life?  No matter how long ago it may have been.*

Think about that.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Be kind and show love.  Especially to that person who may seem unlovable.  You don't know who that person really is, was or will be.

Lots of love,
Jenn

*I'd like to credit Cathy Kobre at Mamapedia.com for being my "muse" for this post.  This line is from an email exchange we had a few months back & is the inspiration for this post.  So thank you, Cathy :)

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