The day my life changed. The day I lost my best friend and lover, and my daughter lost her amazing father. It started as a normal day. I went in for a mandatory staff meeting, at work, Megan got up, got ready for school, and Mitch (my husband) got up, and went to work.
I got home, typed up a bunch of stuff for Girls on the run. I sent Mitch a text message, and he didn’t respond. Sometimes, he didn’t read my texts, so that was normal. I figured out what I was asking him, anyway, so I wasn’t too worried.
I had a team of girls, but NEEDED coaches. I went to the school, and printed 400 copies, to pass out to every student, so every parent got the chance to volunteer. I was there until about 11:45 or so.
I left, and had sent Mitch a couple texts, just letting him know what I was doing. We were like that. “Hey babe! Heading home from the school.” And a joking, “Are you still living?!” He never responded.
Sometimes, he didn’t respond. I only started to worry when my brother (who is also his boss) texted me, and asked if he was responding to me. That wasn’t normal. If I couldn’t get ahold of him, he was with my brother, and if my brother couldn’t get ahold of him, he was with me.
Fear set in. But not that he had died. Oh no. Never that. He MUST have been cheating! (Lesser of the two evils here. Give me a break) I started to pull into my driveway, and said “f-ck it!” And drove straight. I was on my way to rip my husband a new one, for not answering my texts or phone calls. I was mad.
I got to the street his “hub” was and saw an SUV officer pull up, and park on the street, and walk into the hub.
I sped up, and flew into the parking lot, my heart was racing. I got out and walked around the corner of the building, to the entrance. I saw two more police cars with their lights flashing, silently.
I tried to get into the building, but you need a badge. The saw me, and let me in.
Officers were everywhere.
One grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me into the office and shut the door.
I knew. I didn’t want to know, but I already knew, before she spoke the words.
I am alone now.
Oh my God! I had to tell the family.
My brother came, and hugged me. They were best friends, co-workers, and brothers-in-law.
We cried together.
I told him we had to go tell his family. We stopped at his biological Father’s house first, because that’s what popped into my head first. Then drove to his brother’s place, to tell him. I could feel my heart shattering, and all the pieces hitting the floor.
My brother said no more. We brought my brother in law back to my brother’s house and theyvstarted making phone calls. I stared out the window for hours. I was waiting for the “JUST KIDDING! Gotchya!” But it never came.
I didn’t want to tell my sweet, beautiful, loving, caring, kind, STRONG little girl, that her daddy passed.
At some point, I pulled myself together and called a friend to pick her up from school. She did, without question.
Also, during my time of staring out the window, wishing I could wake up, we received a phone call, that they believed it was his heart, but would t know for sure, until after an autopsy.
Our daughter walked through the door and gave me crap about pulling her from her Mathletics party. I asked her to sit down. She sat down between my brother and I, and I told her. Well first, I pointed at her button, and told her “Remember this, always.” It said “kindness matters”. She started to look worried. I told her that her daddy had passed away, that morning, and they believed it was a heart attack. She cried. Her Aunt Katy, Mitch’s little sister, sat down and cried just a little, and Megan sat straight up, wiper the tears from her eyes, and wrapped her arms around her aunt, and said “Everything is going to be OK, Aunt Katy.”
I started to cry harder.
Somewhere between that and the transplant call, people had dropped off tons of food, and my brother’s house was full of family and close friends.
I got a phone call from Midwest Transplant, because my beautiful, perfect husband was an organ donor. I work in an OR and know how time sensitive it is, when it comes to donating. I say here, in front of many many family members, mine and his, and calmly answered the million and one questions, that come along with donating tissue.
I was numb. I felt like everyone was staring at me, expecting me to shatter into a million pieces, right there in the middle of my brother’s living room. I thought I should have. I mean. How was I still in one piece?
My husband was able to donate both corneas, bone and connective tissue, vessels, and skin. His donations will help 2 people see, and over 50 people in pain!
He was a beautiful, kind, funny, amazing man, and he forever changed me as a human. He was the best thing to ever walk into my life, and helped in the creation of our perfect daughter.
He will never be forgotten. He will never lose his place in my heart, or in the hearts of those he met. He brought so much joy and laughter to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.
He was taken too soon, from this world, from me, from Meg.
I talked, in my last entry about how I started meds and they take a few weeks to kick in. Well,, they’ve kicked in and I feel great. The racing thoughts aren’t there anymore. I don’t feel like I need to be attached to someone to feel validated. I don’t need or care for the approval of others.
I am a little peeved right now with someone who is sticking their nose in places and stirring the shit pot, but then again, I don’t really care, anymore. My statement was valid, and that’s that. In short, I dodged one hell of a bullet and I am thankful that someone else witnessed behavior that I thought I was crazy for seeing.
I’ve talked about so much stuff over the years of widowhood. I’ve talked about dating and not dating and narcissistic or toxic people. I have talked about my feelings as a widow, and how different things pull different emotions from me, than they would pull from someone else.
One thing about me will never change. I am one of the kindest, most thoughtful people out there. There are times when I say insensitive things and don’t realize I am saying something insensitive. There are times when I seem mean because I am defending someone or myself. There are perceptions of my personality that can and will always be skewed to whoever is judging.
At some point, I went from being the person who does everything out of the kindness of my heart, always trying to do the right thing and not worrying about what other people thought, because I was doing what I thought was right, and turned into the person who had so much anxiety about what one person thought of me. Even though, everything I ever did was because I cared about a misunderstood version of myself.
For about 3-4 weeks, I was in a state of perpetual anxiety. When I woke up in the morning, I had thoughts of unworthiness. When I was scrubbed in for surgery, I had thoughts of not being good enough. When I came home, after all day of running thoughts of unworthiness, I was exhausted. But my mind kept playing the tune, even as I fell asleep every single night. Some nights I would wake up in the middle of the night, and not be able to go back to sleep for a few hours because of my running commentary. I was very quiet at work for a few weeks. I only talked to a couple of people and I cried more than I have ever cried over those weeks. I wasn’t crying over anyone, just my own inability to control the thoughts in my mind. I was never secretive about my anxiety, either. I was very up front and honest about what I was going through, as I was trying to handle it.
I have never experienced anxiety like that before, and I hope I never do again. I am the picture of confidence when you see me in person, but in my mind, over those weeks, it was rough. I thought I liked someone, but I didn’t know, and the fear of even trying to be anything more than friends was rooted so deep into my core. I knew I wanted to find someone and have a relationship and THOUGHT I was ready, but the anxiety of fucking it up was too much for me to handle.
Yes, I understand. A lot of people have a fear of ruining a relationship. Sure. Everyone has a bit of anxiety when it comes to trying to date. But, the moment it invades your mind, and takes over your actions is the moment the line is crossed.
I’ve talked about my side of the “crazy” in me. So many people don’t know the whole story, because I haven’t told more than a few people about what was said to me, over the weeks I was in a funk. And I won’t. Not really.
And, honestly, my funk wasn’t the fault of the person who endured my anxiety. Not at first. It stemmed from someone before him and slowly trickled from little things that were said to me at the most random times.
Here are a few statements from a couple different people.
“I want a something more from you, than just friendship,” followed immediately by silence for weeks to a month at a time.
“You’re gorgeous, and strong and confident, but I don’t want to lose you as a friend,” followed shortly by “can’t we just have sex with no emotional attachment, and stay friends?”
“Haven’t you ever regretted kissing someone?” Seconds after kissing me.
“I can’t say if I like you or not. We just met.” After kissing me and hugging me and holding me like we had known each-other for years.
All while knowing I had anxiety and was experiencing a bout of it at that time. Little things that added up over time. I am not typing this stuff to bash anyone at all. I am sharing experiences I’ve had, that I hope to never go through again. I am sharing in hopes of raising awareness to others who may have been in a similar situation. And, I am not sharing to be a victim. I am not a “victim”, just a naive lover of people, who misses or ignores the “bad” stuff sometimes. I always try to see the best in people.
I’m over what happened and now that I know why I was in such a state of panic and fear, I can continue to work on it with therapy, blogging, private journaling and meds. My doctor, her nurse, and my therapist all agreed that what happened to me over a 6 month period would do to anyone what it did to me. It was helpful to know that experts agree on that.
I will be 100% honest, about myself, too. I had a few weeks where I was most definitely not myself. I had a few weeks where I didn’t like myself. I had a few weeks where I would text someone and say things that I regretted immediately after hitting send. Then I would apologize for the novel-long texts and came off as a completely crazy person.
I am aware. it’s why I sought help and medication. I stepped back and thought, “holy shit! I have become the crazy chick!” And, really, I am not that person! I can’t convince people who refuse to get to know me when I am myself, and that’s okay. I can’t control what others think of me. No one can. Some will love you (friends family, lovers, etc), and some won’t.
We aren’t meant to be loved by all, and that’s okay. I’m slowly getting back to who I really am, and leaving that scared, unsure person, who I had become for a short time, behind me.
I will never take kindly to people being rude to me, for no reason. I won’t allow anyone to walk all over me. I refuse to be viewed as a victim, and I refuse to victimize anyone else.
One thing that I believe wholly is that we should never leave a negative impact on someone, if you can help it. The hardest part of that is sitting back and allowing someone to dislike you and have a negative opinion of you.
if you made it this far, please, hop on over to the contest I am in to be on the cover of Maxim Magazine! Shoot a free vote my way and share the link with your friends!
Holy crow! That’s a long title! hehe. Okay, so, after my last couple of sessions in therapy my therapist suggested I talk to my doctor about getting me on a low dose of antianxiety meds, to help take the edge off, when it comes to my anxiety.
You know, when you repeatedly tell yourself over and over that the thoughts you are having are insanely far stretched, and nothing you do makes those thoughts go away, you most likely sabotage (In my case.) I have been reading and listening to so many things on anxiety, that I will be a freaking expert by the time my meds kick in. I can say, though, that right now, I am reading Gary John Bishop’s “Stop Doing that Shit” and I am LOVING it. There are so many things that he says that makes me do a double take at my decisions and how I think about why I am the way I am. HIGHLY recommend along with the first book “UnFu*k Yourself”! He’s a really smart Scottish man. (now you can read the book like me, in an accent. It’s a lot of fun that way) I am also about to devour a couple books by Dr. Brené Brown, because she is amazing, as well! You can check her out on Netflix, too, or youtube.
We (my doctor and I) decided to get me started on a low dose, daily pill, rather than Xanax or anything PRN, for my issues. Non-addictive, and considered temporary. Just something to help me get through the fear of talking when it comes to men I am interested in.
Yeah. I know. I talked in a couple other blogs about it. I think. Sorry if this is a repeat, but when it comes to telling a guy that I want to take things to the next level, or that I am interested in them, or that I enjoy this or that about them, I clam up, and my stomach hurts, and I get the pukey feeling. It gets worse and worse, the longer I hang out with them, and eventually, everything ends. Cool. Greeeeaaaaat. (that’s sarcasm). So, I got tired of it. I noticed the first signs of this anxiety within days of meeting the last guy I talked to, and I was a literal mess for the whole time we were hanging out (“taking things slowly”…. like snails… no kissing, no sex. nothing. just friends working out together, eating each-other’s food and hanging out almost every other day), and I managed to fucking blow it, because someone said something about it being “all about sex” and I couldn’t shut my brain down, from that point forward. It wasn’t about that for me. It didn’t seem like that from him either. So, I knew better, but my brain was on a hard core “fuck you” route, and I couldn’t get the car to flip a bitch. So I drove full speed into the wall.
I am not talking about this to talk about him, because that’s long dead and over. I am talking about it because it was with him that I realized my issues and really decided to get ahold of this before it got too far out of hand.
This is not like some “oh he quit talking to her and now she’s sad”. It is a hardcore, brain overloaded while we were “together” type thing. I’m not even sad. I was more pissed off, because I didn’t get a second chance, but now I am over that, too.
Who’s to say it won’t happen again if I don’t start an anti-anxiety regimen? Who’s to say this anxiety won’t topple over onto another part of my life, if I don’t take care of it now. If I quit dating, so I don’t freak out, will my mind look for some other way to be freaked out? I don’t know.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the meds.
been in therapy
listened to books.
started sleep meditation and hypnosis (nightly for different things including anxiety.)
talk to friends.
Sometimes, all the other things don’t work, completely. Sometimes, you need more. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I refuse to feel shame for falling on another method that works.
I am not sharing for sympathy or acceptance.
I am simply sharing to let you know (yeah you, that nodded your head while reading this), that you aren’t alone.
You know, when I started this journey as a widow, I looked at how well I managed everything, mentally. I thought I was doing great. No kidding. I felt like writing was helping me, so much, and that I was keeping myself away from a depressive state by working out on a regular basis.
In many ways, I was helping myself, as well as hindering myself.
I wrote about how writing became an emotional crutch. I am great at putting my feelings and thoughts on paper. Here’s why. What you don’t see? All of the OTHER stuff, that’s irrelevant to the topic at hand, that I ALWAYS add in, because that’s what pops into my mind, and my fingers click click click it out. You don’t see the disorganization of my thought process, because I clean it up before posting. You don’t see me cry because the things I type are so insanely deep, and painful.
You can’t see the mess. You see what I present to you.
That is basically where I have trapped myself.
Recently I was seeing a guy, and let me tell you, he probably thinks I am certifiable. On day two of hanging out, I realized a couple of my issues, and I SPOKE THEM OUT LOUD to him! I was literally just thinking out loud. Now, let me tell you, though, he had told me, many times, “I want to know all of you. The good. The bad. The beautiful and the Ugly. Will you show me?”
I thought, “Wowwww! That’s amazing!” I thought it was a big score. I mean, no man that I’ve met since my late husband has ever seen that many parts of me, nor has one REQUESTED it.
This guy, though… We met in the midst of one of my biggest self discovery phases. Considering how scary it has been for me, over those weeks, I can’t even imagine what went through that poor man’s mind.
It’s okay though. I am not going to talk crap, but it was very clear that we weren’t going anywhere beyond friends.
Over the last few days of us talking, all he did was respond to texts (never initiated) and when we talked on the phone he always sounded annoyed. When I would try to talk to him about stuff, via text, he would be cold and say “say it to my face.” Finally, I tried. I worked up the courage and fought the anxiety to go see him and talk to him about the things I couldn’t say, just days prior, and he refused to see me. He refused to even talk to me.
So, It’s clear we aren’t anything, and that’s okay. I have no hard feelings. I probably would have ran away from me a lot quicker than he did, to tell the truth. I called him when he told me “try saying it out loud. I don’t want a texting relationship.” He didn’t answer. So I texted him that I don’t think I even want him as a friend, because I don’t want another “friend” who ignores me. I put up with it for 6 months and refuse to do that shit again.”
The next morning, though… I felt awful and knew I ruined what could have been a fantastic workout partner, friendship. I texted him an apology (on Sunday) and left it alone. No word. I tried ONE last time, ordering edible arrangements and offering an apology and telling him where I would be if he wanted to give the friendship part a second chance (This got a biggest head shake and deep sigh from my girlfriends. I even deep sighed myself and kind of knew what would come of it.) No response.
I am complicated.
I am open.
I don’t lie.
I try my HARDEST when it comes to being a good person.
Do I hurt feelings sometimes? Sure. Not for fun, that’s for sure. I HATE hurting feelings, but shit happens sometimes and there’s no way around it.
I need someone who can hang with my ups and downs as I journey through my self discovery, but also tells me if I am being crazy. I need someone who won’t run at the first sign of a panic attack or if it takes me a day or two to organize and gather my thoughts and feelings, to speak them out loud. I need someone who can assure me that they only have eyes for me, and that they do every day, not just when I am with them.
Do I need that now? hell no.
Do I need that soon? Again. No.
But, when the time comes, and a man steps into my life, and thinks he actually wants to stay, he has to be strong enough to withstand my internal storms, and know that it’s not about him.
I workout for therapeutic release of negative energy. I journal privately as a form of therapy. I write, sharing my journey, as part of my therapy. I have an ACTUAL therapist, as a form of therapy, and I have stumbled into sleep hypnosis for anxiety, panic attacks, healthy habits, positive thinking and so on. I read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to overcoming anxiety and overthinking, and negative self talk. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to be working on myself. I am also not so naive to believe change will happen overnight.
I am okay with it. I am okay with steady improvements. I am okay with really taking the time I’ll need to find myself, and be comfortable with myself again.
And one day, I’ll meet a man who is okay with my process as well.
I am an over thinker. I have some pretty serious relationship anxiety. I tend to project my fears onto the men that I date, making it impossible to be with me. I tend to sabotage perfectly good relationships, because I am terrified of being hurt. My anxiety makes it hard to speak the words I want to say, to the people I wish to tell the most. The things I hear inside my head are not the things you would expect of me, because of my outer appearance or behavior.
“You’re too much.”
“They just aren’t that into you.”
“They’re still looking for a better woman.”
“You’re only good for sex.”
“No one wants to deal with your mess.”
And it goes on and on and on.
These thoughts override sensibility. These thoughts break me down and make me crazy. These thoughts cause me to run off some great humans.
When I talk to someone, I hear annoyance in their voice when they talk back. I hear impatience. I hear aggravation.
This could all be manifested in my mind, in the beginning, but eventually, people tire of my mind. It’s exhausting for me, so I can only imagine how exhausting it is for someone else.
I am working on it.
I am uncovering the things that are making me feel and act the way I do, and I am WORKING ON IT.
I don’t want to be a “head case” forever. I refuse to be like this. I hate myself like this. Okay, I don’t “hate” myself, but I hate the way I think, sometimes.
I should not talk down to myself or let negative self talk in. I may not be able to do certain things right now, but damnit, I am a god damn survivor and I WILL make it through this atrocious infection of the mind.
Writing has helped me in many ways. It helps me process. It helps me understand myself.
Until recently. Recently, I’ve discovered that writing is still helpful, but I lean too heavily on this crutch. I’ve leaned on this since a week after my husband died.
I haven’t had to discuss uncomfortable emotional things, using my voice and words, in over 3 years.
This blog, while helping me, has also damaged me.
This realization woke me up at 2am.
There are things I want to say to someone and I can’t get the words to form in my mouth, and I can’t get my voice to project it outward. All the while, thoughts and words float around in my mind overwhelming me. I can type and write until I’m dead. But now is the time I learn to let the crutch go.
I’m emotionally exhausted and I am seriously hopeful to be able to step forward, now that I realize how I’ve depended so heavily on writing, that I’ve hidden behind it, rather than just using it as back up.
It’s so strange when you finally want to do something, and can’t. Why am I afraid?
Why do I project my fears?
Why can’t I take things at face value?
I’m looking deeper. I’m digging. I am learning. I am understanding what an emotional recluse I’ve become. I am emotional, but not in a healthy way. I hide it deep and don’t talk to people about what’s really going on in my head.
Instead, I talk about things that aren’t necessarily helpful, and only damage relationships I have.
When I try to talk about important things with people I hope to have a good future with (be they friend or a more intimate relationship), I clam up. I swear. I feel tears brim my lashes. Right now, just thinking about it, I’m about to cry. My chest will hurt, and sometimes I feel like I’ll collapse.
Sometimes, I’ll feel all of that at once.
One step at a time. I want to say things out loud and have it make sense. I want to be “emotionally stable”. I want to not be so afraid to say things out loud. I want to not be so afraid of running people off. I just want to BE. I want these things and I’m going to work on it.
Trigger dates. Some of us know what they are and some of us don’t.
I am very aware of tomorrow. It would have marked 17 years of marriage to Mitch.
I am so aware of this being a trigger date, that my insides are twisting. I’m aching to do something stupid, but I refuse to give into the desire of the moment, and ruin things as they are.
My trigger dates usually cause me to have sex with someone, and that usually ends up emotionally damaging for me. I don’t want to keep moving along the path I’m on. I want to be able to relax and take everything slow and steady.
I have a tendency to ruin friendships and sabotage what I have, when these trigger dates arrive.
The last trigger date was Mitch’s deathday, where I hooked up with my ex, a few days before he decided to get back with his ex girlfriend. Now he and I aren’t even friends. Not really an emotional downfall for me. I didn’t want the drama that his life held on a daily basis.
I just wanted something “right now!” to soothe my mind. Ease the pain. Something that felt nice, but didn’t mean anything. And I went for it. Everything that I predicted would happen, from it, happened.
So now, as my anniversary approaches rapidly, I am trying to find the best outlet for me to find something nice and something that feels good but that doesn’t involve sex or another person, really.
I’m diving into myself and I’m trying my damndest to figure me out. It’s not easy. I don’t know what I need or what I should do during the trigger dates, so I’m going to hide away at home and avoid being weird, pushy, needy, or whatever else is exteriorly displayed.
No alcohol. This weekend. No fried foods, this weekend. Nothing crazy. No sex or men.
I realized, recently, that it’s so much harder for me to keep things silent, about myself. It seems I have gotten so used to sharing every single detail of my life, and I don’t even blink when someone asks me a question that might seem invasive or none of their business. I have a tendency to overshare and it started when Mitch died. I don’t blame his death for my over-sharing, and I think the oversharing helped me in a lot of ways.
But now? Now I’d like to keep things to myself for the most part, but words literally tumble out of my mouth before I realize they’ve been said. Talk about one hell of a bad habit to break, right? So, my answer? Therapy. I can still share things and talk about things here, but of course it won’t be in detail or drop names or give anything away.
I value my friendships, old and new. I have my issues and I am coming to terms with them. I have anxiety like I have never experienced before, and it’s literally being festering for a few years now, getting worse and worse.
I try to share everything as a way to process, but now it’s like the sharing isn’t helping me process a damn thing. It’s just making me seem like an overhearer, which is fine, but I need to get something from my own writings, or it’s useless for me to share all of the intricate details of my life.
I recently let go of someone who really damaged my self esteem and my trust in humans. We weren’t dating. He was a friend but he so obviously didn’t value our friendship, and it hurt me horribly. I let it go on for months, and I allowed and made excuses for his behaviors.
It’s okay, though. I mean, relatively speaking. It’s not okay that I was mind-fucked. It’s not okay that my anxiety and self esteem took a hit. It IS okay, though that I am aware, even if it took me longer than necessary to figure out. I sought help, and will be starting therapy tomorrow afternoon.
I have never been one to “need” therapy, per say. I fought it, tooth and nail. I was doing great until I wasn’t anymore.
Meeting new people and feeling a false sense of safety when they wrap their arms around me is dangerous. I realize that. I realize that and now I am ready to figure out how to create boundaries that are right for me, when it comes to the dating world.
I love feeling safe. I love feeling protected. I love and miss being able to trust someone with my whole world.
I am trying to step back, mentally, and create a healthier mind-set for myself.
I want a man who wants me as much as I want him, sure. Don’t we all want a person like that? I had one once. It was phenomenal. Great things take time to grow. Period.
So, in the aspect of therapy. The things I want from it, and hope to achieve are the following.
The ability to withhold from sharing every single thing.
The ability to create healthy boundaries, as I haven’t had any boundaries for a few years. This has everything to do with my desire to go all-in, when I should take one step at a time.
I would like to be able to understand my thoughts more clearly.
I’d like to be able to spot the things that are triggered by certain dates (my anniversary, my late husband’s birthday, and my late husband’s deathday, before they are irreversible.
I’d like to be able to speak my feelings without stumbling over thoughts or oversharing, when it comes to dating and all other forms of relationships.
I would like to overcome my fear of abandonment.
I would like to overcome my need to please people.
I would like to learn to handle my attachment issues, and really be comfortable just letting go, when I should let go, rather than trying to salvage something that’s been shredded to tiny bits, separated and dispersed into space.
I would love to overcome my fear of failing. I’ve said it before. We all fail, and failing is a way to grow. It shouldn’t be feared the way I fear it. It should be welcomed and expected. I know this, and as I type it, I understand it. But, when it’s most important, I fear it. I allow my fear to disrupt my life.
And finally, I would love to accept the idea of happiness in my life. I would love to get over the fear of being happy. I want to step forward and away from this fear of the rug being pulled from beneath me again. There’s a laundry list of how I grew into happiness and BAM, I was back on my ass, again. I keep getting up, but I am growing weary and don’t want to fall anymore. It hurts, and each time I stand back up, I may be stronger, but I fall farther from the happiness I originally sought before each fall.
For a while, I have been in denial about the anxieties I have had. In denying the problem, the problem has grown, greatly.
For a while, running helped. For a while, working out helped. For a while, writing helped.
They still help.
They just don’t help ENOUGH anymore.
I should have recognized it long before I did, but denial is a monster bitch. I’ve spoken about my horrible decision making near certain dates and I continued doing them. Those questionable decisions were GIANT red flags, screaming at me to seek professional help. (nothing dangerous, but just stupid.)
So now, I am ready.
Now I leap.
Now, I grow.
Now I heal.
Now, I put One Foot In Front Of The Other, after stalling out for a while, mentally.
So, Here’s to silence. Here’s to privacy. Here’s to self awareness and self growth.
Recently, I’ve delved into the dating world with a deeper idea of what I want.
Recently, I’ve been dismissed from the men I find myself attracted to, the men I wish to be around, at least to give a relationship a shot with.
That shit is painful. I won’t get into detail about anything but recently, I’ve connected with someone who is not who I’d have expected.l to see myself with.
I feel a sense of safety in this stranger’s arms, and I’m thinking it’s not real. I think it’s because I want to be wanted as badly as I want someone.
I’ve decided to sign up for therapy. I took my first step today and scheduled it for Wednesday. This person I’ve connected with may not be who I initially thought, or he could end up being an amazing ally. Since connecting, he makes me think deeper about who I am.
As I dive deeper into myself, and learn that I can’t say the things I type, out loud without crying, or the severe pit in my stomach, I learned that if I ever want something real with ANY man, it’ll only be after I have searched and healed myself from the mental issues I’m suffering from. When anxiety grows and doesn’t dissipate, it overwhelms my mind, and tells me I am unworthy and I can’t live like that forever. I can never manage a real intimate relationship, if I question every thing.
Now, I’ve thought about this, and I mean really thought about this stuff as deeply as I could, and this man may have been placed here, regardless of his intentions, to show me that I am ready for therapy. I am mentally prepared to talk to someone about the inner workings of my mind.
I won’t be able to take a step into a real relationship until I deal with my mind first.
So, I step away from being strong alone and am getting help.
I am not ashamed.
I am proud of this step.
I am still strong, but it’s time for me to lean on a professional, so that one day I will be able to be wholly with someone, again.
Without fear. With trust. Without questioning everything.
If I have said anything consistently for the last 3 years and 3 months it is this.
Everything Happens For a Reason.
I stand by that. I don’t want to gloat or brag or anything like that, so keep that in mind as I trace back through the years, that have led me exactly where I am today.
I work in health care, and I make very good money, with a pretty good security in my job, in all times of world happenings.
Why? How? Back when Megan was 3 years old, I went up to the worst school I could have possibly went to, and signed up for a $25,900 loan to get my associates in applied science. This was immediately after getting my GED, because I wanted to set a better example for my daughter.
Let me explain. I had such an urge to do this that I went through the entire process without consulting with my husband first. That’s not how we did things. He would have said “these loans are awful! We should look up another place to get a load through, before taking this huge step.” And me, I would have reacted as if he were telling me no, like it was a bad idea. I remember being at that school with the loan people, without his knowledge and the woman told me they were grants and that I wouldn’t have to pay grants back. I signed the 579,683 pages as she told me “what they said”, because I was in such a hurry to get started, so I would be ready!
I get my first job as a surgical tech and man! It was a $5/hour raise! It wasn’t what I expected it to be, but it was much more than what I was making prior. I went through absolute hell, with some of the WORST co-workers, but I held on. I trained and I stiffened my backbone, because I was SURE it was important. I would come home and cry to my husband about how awful my job was, and how awful the people were proving to be. I’d get written up for things that I never did, except maybe the times I rolled my eyes at coworkers. I always do that. Sue me. ha.
It was at that establishment where I learned not to trust anyone you work with. Sure, you can talk about your personal life, or listen to them talk about theirs, but never discuss anything about anyone you work with, no matter if it’s good or bad, unless you are praising them straight to their face, because even the kindest words could get twisted and turned and make you look like a bad human. I learned.
Most of you reading these posts know that I am a very talkative person, and that I am VERY opinionated. I learned to be different, because of that place. I went through hell, just to learn that I can’t trust anyone. I became the “watcher”. I got the urge, after 4 years in the same place, to move on. I wanted to do more than just the same surgery over and over. I knew I was good and I felt like I was being limited in my career.
So I vamped up my resume, and I shot it out to every hospital in the area.
First interview was a dud. I was devastated and scared that I would never be enough to move from the area I was at. All I wanted to do was scrub trauma surgeries. I wanted to be able to do anything that came through the doors.
Second interview. Flop.
Third interview, SCORE!
Trauma center, they were desperate, and offered me the job straight away! I took a pay cut, to do more and take more call. I was promised performance based raises. If I wasn’t promised that, I wouldn’t have taken the job. I am excellent at what I do, and I learn swiftly. I faked confidence in that interview, so hard, and it worked.
I started my career in a trauma center OR, and it was amazing! Everyone was like family, straight away! I sat back, though, and I listened. I watched how everyone interacted with each-other, and how each person spoke when another left the room. For a week and a half, everyone made jabs at how quiet I was. I was very reserved. I asked appropriate questions and didn’t fuck around. I was there for work, not for friends.
When “raise” time came around, I was informed that there were no performance reviews and everyone got the same percent raise, no matter how they performed.
I got a 30 cent raise.
I was pissed. I applied across the board again, in 2016, and landed an interview at a surgery center that was about to start doing heavy total joint surgeries, and they wanted me to lead the ortho team.
I accepted the position, with $4/hour raise, and turned in my notice only to my nurse manager and director of the OR.
My nurse manager grabbed me, that day in late summer 2016, and asked me what it would take to keep me. I told him what the other facility offered and he talked me up, so high, to the people in charge and got me up an additional $4/hr. So I stayed. I loved (hell I still love most of those crazy bastards that held my hand and showed me how to do trauma) my work family so dearly that I couldn’t leave. I got this $8/hour raise and was so excited! I finally felt like my bosses really cared about me, as a person.
That winter, we started getting caught up with debt. I even urged Mitch to let me set up autopay for my student loans so we could start repairing my credit. In late December, after much ado, he finally agreed. We were finally on an upward climb and I made great money. He made great money. We were getting somewhere.
Then, in January, he died.
I had to call my work and tell them I wouldn’t be back for a while, because I didn’t know how long it would take me to feel up to it. Because of my amazing work family, I was able to take 3 weeks off, completely paid with co-workers’ paid time off donations. These people were why I didn’t want to leave. Those people really took care of me. They checked in on me, daily and made sure I was doing okay. On top of donating PTO, they started a collection of money, to help pay for everything that comes along with death. Let me just tell you, dying is expensive as fuck for everyone who is left alive. (no hard feelings, btw. It’s just a fact) Please, make sure you have a life insurance policy. We had just renewed our insurance that previous November and the option for Mitch to have life insurance was removed. Either he didn’t keep it, or it was no longer an option, but that’s the fact of the matter.
Because I stayed with that facility, and kept the work family relationships I had, I was able to keep my job with them.
In late 2017, my boss, the director of the OR decided to call me into her office to tell me I was not grieving the loss of my husband properly and that I needed to go to counseling, and blah blah blah.
I was very offended that she thought she had the right to discuss my grieving process, considering she was a nurse. She knows everyone grieves different. I, Kindly, told her, “I’ll agree to disagree with you, right now. I am going back to my OR to get ready for my next total joint.”
For the next year she wrote me up for everything she possibly could. Even made-up things. I went from absolutely loving my job to dreading it every day, because of that woman. But I did it. I did it because I was the sole living parent of a 13 year old child. A child who depends on my income to eat and have 4 walls and a roof. I held my tongue. I never screwed up. Then, a disagreement and I was fired.
I was devastated. I had never been fired before in my life, aside from the time I was fired 9 hours after I announced my pregnancy at the bar I managed.
So here I was, the day before my scheduled flight to California, with no reliable source of income. What did I do? I shot my resume to every single hospital and surgery center in the metro area. I applied with a travel agency, for possible local travel positions, and drank beer and cried the rest of that day.
I drunkenly packed my bag for California and prepared for our long weekend in a state we’ve never been.
Friday, Megan and I landed at LAX, met our long time internet friends, face to face, for the very first time, and it was amazing. We went to Rodeo Drive and walked into some of the most ridiculous stores. Meg was DYING to see the inside of the Gucci store, so we went there. My phone rang. I answered. It was a hospital wondering if I could come in to interview on monday morning.
I apologized and explained my whereabouts and asked if we could do Tuesday, instead. She agreed and I tried to enjoy the rest of my mini-vacation. I received an email from another hospital and they wanted to set up a phone interview, so I set that up for another day that week.
It was looking very promising.
I get back to KC, and come straight home, and lay out my interview clothes for the next day. Nervous and excited and optimistic as always, I went to bed, alarm set and planned on nailing that interview.
I was doing amazing, until the HR lady asked me “why did you decide to change hospitals?” and I couldn’t answer. I am a TERRIBLE liar, and hadn’t ever had a problem with this question. “I was fired.” I managed to squeak out. She asked why and I didn’t know how to answer that. I just confirmed that it wasn’t a patient care issue.
She asked me to sit outside of her office and wait for the director of surgery and the charge nurse/nurse manager to come get me for the second part of the interview. 45 minutes passed by and no one came. The HR lady came out with the “I am so sorry, but they got super busy upstairs and aren’t able to come down and get you for the second part of the interview. They’ll call you when they have availability.”
I knew they weren’t going to call me.
Then, that weekend my best friend/coworker of many years called and asked if I knew this ortho rep, and I said no. She told me he asked about me in a surgery and the surgeon and her stopped working and proceeded to tell him how amazing I was. See, a director asked him if he had ever heard of me. He hadn’t, but he happened to be standing in an OR, with my best friend, and a surgeon who I loved working with, who enjoyed having me in the OR with her.
Everything happens for a reason!
I had the phone interview and that went so badly, I wasn’t sure I would ever get a job. I still hadn’t heard anything from the place I had the sit down interview, and I began to get scared. I saw unemployment, and my late husband’s social security and me having to change fields of work, because I couldn’t get hired anywhere, because no one wanted someone who had been fired.
Then, I got a phone call. “We heard about you, from this ortho rep, and he had a lot of fantastic things to say about you.” (thanks, buddy. Your words saved me!) I cried. I had never heard that man’s name before, and I had never gotten the pleasure of working with him at my previous job, but between my old co-workers and this man as the link between the two, I was offered the opportunity to come interview on the surgery unit, and damn near offered the position on the spot. I wasn’t officially offered it, because they had more interviews to do, but they said, multiple times, “we wouldn’t have called you like we did, if we weren’t highly interested in you. We were basically told we would be crazy not to hire you.”
When I first started I was scared. I was timid around the new coworkers. I didn’t say much. When they asked what made me change jobs, I just told them. “I was fired.” They were shocked. They all went to the director and nurse manager and asked if they knew I had been fired. They were reassured that I wasn’t a danger to patients or anyone for that matter, and that it was a disagreement between my old boss and myself that had nothing to do with workplace behavior.
One door was slammed and when the wind blew me through the open window, I landed on a cloud.
I will say it over and over again. Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. EVERYTHING!
I hope you understand that now, I make double what Mitch and I made when we first started dating, and triple what I made before I graduated college.
I am working hard at being a single mother. I never, in my life, imagined I would be in this situation.
A single mother?
It could never happen!
I was wrong, and everything has prepared me for where I am at, in this exact time in the world we are living in. If I can tell anyone anything, its to listen to that voice that tells you to quit being afraid, and to ACT. Don’t be afraid to get that new career, try new things, enroll into college for a career that will make you happier.