Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Grandpa

It was a very cold Thursday in late December.

 One of my very best friends had come to stay with us. She is 2 yrs younger than I am. My Aunt J. 

I was 15. She was 13. My  brother was 7. Grandpa lived on our basement. 

My mom had left for the evening. To her weekly bowling league. 

My brother was asleep. J and I were laying in bed. Talking about boys and school. I missed her. When we moved to Wisconsin from Illinois there was a huge loss. We had lived next to my grandparents for years. And now we were 100 miles away. 
We both heard the crash at the same time. And then we heard a low mumble from my grandpa. 

When I was 5 my grandpa, my hero, had a stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side. I was his princess. He never called me anything but Princess. And it was ok. 
The crash was the inevitable...he had fallen.  J and I laid in bed trying to decide who would go first down the stairs to check on him. It wasn't her grandpa. We were afraid to find him naked in the bathroom. Her mom, my grandma, was my grandpas first wife. Even though he wasn't her grandpa she always called him Grandpa. 

We decided to go down stairs together. We would find out if he fell in the bathroom together. 

He wasn't in the bathroom. Instead he was monkeying with his fish tank and fell on the tank. Little did we know at that time he had a small heart attack.  J and I earned up the mess. We were able to save a few of his fish. He had broken the tank and we were able to get the glass taken care of before my mom came home. 

Mom stayed up with him all night. She was a nurse and was able to care for his wounds and get him comfortable. 
The next day we went to town to get KFC. It was his request. It was New Year's Eve Eve...Before we left my mom made certain he was comfortable and okay. 
When we came home there were fresh snow tracks going up our lane. 

My mom immediately panicked. She was mad. Very mad. He called an ambulance and didn't need one she thought. There was a message on our answering machine from her boss at the hospit she worked at. She needed to come right away. She got the 3 of us situated and left for the nearest hospital 30+ minutes away. 

My grandpas dying words were "Win (my mom) you have for to call My Princess. I have to tell her what channels to tape so C can watch his shows. I need to talk to her.'

  My mom insisted he rest and not talk. He needed to rest. Instead he became agitated and upset. My mom called the house to see if we were still up. 

She didn't share that he was going to die. Just said 'G your papa needs to talk to you. Keep it short. He needs to rest and save his energy to breathe..'
She handed him the phone.

  'Princess turn tv to channel 8. My fish food is on floor by my chair. And always remember how proud I am of you for choosing to be baptized. And for making a choice at 14 that most children wouldn't consider...'  There was silence. And he was choked up and crying. 'Princess...I love you.'  He handed my mom the phone. He closed his eyes and never woke up. His last breathe was around 11:45 pm on New Year's Eve. 

I never heard my grandpa call me princess again. He was my everything. He was the first man in my life who loved without hurting me. He was there everyday after school. I didn't know it then, but the hole left in my heart would be unbearable for years to come.
What happened after I returned to school was a blessing and heart wrenching all in one. 

More on that in next post....

Until then Happy New Year. 

I am off to see Sinbad in Chicago and celebrate my 20th anniversary. It was almost a year ago when I wasn't sure this day would come...

Monday, December 30, 2013

End of Chapter...

UPDATED to change the # of therapist...I was a 'few' short.  

This isn't the first time I have walked down this path in the last 15 yrs. I pray it is the last. And somehow, my gut says it isn't anywhere near the last.  However, it is by far the hardest.

  Changing therapist sucks.

There have been many twists and turns along the way. Just as many roadblocks. Each have taught me something about myself, my relationship with my husband or children, and life in general. I'm going to venture to say that along this journey I've taught her a few things, also. 

I know I've spent a great deal of time testing her. Somewhere deep inside I've needed to know she wouldn't leave. I had 7 individual therapist in the 6-7 years before I started seeing her. Two of those therapist I had relationship for 18 months or so.  Two couples therapist. The 15months prior to beginning therapy with J there were 4 separate hospitalizations in 9 months. This doesn't account for the time I didn't see anyone bc I was burnt out on therapist leaving or retiring. So the testing was really about setting boundaries, but also finding out if she would jump ship like the previous therapist. I needed to know that J would stick with me when things got rough. When my true self started to let down my guard. I needed to know that through all of this she would be able to show her own humanness within our relationship.

By staying consistent with her reactions, regardless of wht I brought to the table, a safe space was created without me being fully aware of it. This allowed me to slowly share and show things abt me/my personality that no one had ever seen. 

There have been many roadblocks, when I couldn't communicate, and in some instances she has helped me make the connections. Begin to see a bigger picture. 

The connections have not been easy. They have been downright brutal. I've left pissed. I've heard words I didn't want to hear. I've heard words that make me cringe. And words that hurt so deep even  writing  them here are tough. A truth I need to hear. Words such as abuse, shame, hurt, and the worst of all - trauma. I've lived for many years in denial that my 'story' whatever it was - was. OT trauma. A truth I would still rather avoid. A truth, that deep down in my heart of hearts, I try to deny and don't realize it really is a truth. 

In the safety of her office, I've began to face that truth. Albeit not so much with J directly, but in general, have been able face the truth. Speaking these truths out loud so I can hear them...so her ears hear them is extremely hard to do. This is the reason I have verbally spoken so little about these truths. It is hard..it is devastating...and crippling for me to hear. 

There is a little hope that the little girl inside will have a voice one day.  That one day I will be able to acknowledge it loud and clear. And will not be afraid of the crippling truth within. 

I'm struggling with finding hope as this chapter ends and a new one begins. 

I know as the ending of this chapter comes to a close it isn't the end of the book. I know tht J has helped me in ways I can't begin to express. Most of a creating a place that was safe and trustworthy. 

I am grateful that J provided a place to 'just be'. That was safe. For the gentle guidance she's given. I've had to work very hard to letting her in. And still have a rather thick wall. However, it had been chipped away. 

I'm a different person than I was 6 yrs ago.

As I start this journey over with someone new in a few days...the range of emotions are huge. I'm paralyzed with fear of the unknown. And having to built the trust back again. 

I guess I could end by saying the next chapter is a new journey. 

A journey of healing...

Of learning to trust again...

And of discovery...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

No Words

There are not many words that can describe the amount of pain, frustration, and complete brokenness of my heart at the moment. It's been brewing for months. Even years. 

Instead there is a montage if pictures that kind of speak if wht is racing in and out...

He is tired of dealing with me. With this illness.  With me not being what he expected. If I had cancer would he say same things that are just as hurtful?  Would he stop telling me he loved me?  

I've slept less tonight than any other. Ight in last year tht was a direct result from surgery. 

No explanation needed. 

I should have know ....

I will never be who he or my children need. I will never be good enough to fill the shoes that they need. He didn't need to tell me. I could read between the lines. And that I did. And then some. 

I'm not fine. Farthest thing from it. I will continue to do wht I do almost every day. Get up and wipe tears away. Say 'I'm fine'. Never mind the friendships lost. Those who've left because it was to much to stay. Never mind my husband is tired and ready to leave just like everyone else. 

And to add insult to injury...in 3 weeks my insurance changes. And I haven't found a new therapist or psychiatrist. Every clinic I've called either doesn't have a female therapist or isn't taking new patients. I've narrowed it down to a few. However they either don't have a psychiatrist on staff or the one they have is a man.