2015 In Review

This past year has been a completely different kind of year for me.  It saw a lot of turmoil, health issue’s, heart breaks and angels I never knew we’re watching over me.  I started out the year knowing I had to have surgery, and knowing before I even went in that I would be putting in my notice at work because several doctors were pretty much screaming at me to quit my high stress job and concentrate on my health or  I’d be dead in a year.  I was already terrified of my boss’s wrath and to have to a) tell him I’d need at least 6 to 8 weeks off to recover and b) knowing that after I left for the surgery after some time I’d have to put my notice in had me in a state of unbelievable stress.  If you know me then you know that I am a worker and the thought of not working was/is terrifying for me, and you’d also know that despite my hardened shell I truly do not like confrontation.  I’ve had to fight my whole life.. I’m kinda tired of fighting.

I had my first surgery of the year on Jan 23.  The doctors believed that I had a twist in my intestines and had to go manually check all 5000 feet of intestines… okay okay, I am sure it’s not 5000 feet but I know it’s a lot!  It was a very painful recovery period and for the first time ever I actually took the needed time to recover.  Before this surgery I had had 3 abdominal surgeries in less then 4 yrs and ALWAYS went back to work within a few days (totally against doctors orders.. but hey my boss wouldn’t allow the time off w/o find a reason to fire me and we needed the money) so I did what I had to do, and that was work.  After my surgery the first few weeks were not overly stressful as I was in a great deal of pain and wasn’t thinking about the mounting bills and looming reaming from my boss when I put in my notice, that was until after the second week off and I quickly discovered that asshole was not going to pay me medical leave.  He is the owner of a small business so the “rules” don’t apply the same way as if you worked for say Verizon.  He doesn’t have to pay medical leave, he doesn’t have to have a valid reason to fire anyone and he’s a spoiled little rich kid whose never had to work for anything so he doesn’t know the meaning of the word struggle.

By April my anxieties had gone through the roof.  Not only was I going out of my mind not working, watching the bills pile up but I was still having issue’s with my stomach/intestines.  My surgeon had been removed from the clinic and put in the teaching part of the hospital so I had to see a new surgeon and pretty much start over again!  I already had severe issue’s with my left arm/shoulder.  I have been fighting frozen shoulder for 3 yrs, plus a bulging disc in my neck and Ulnar Nerve Damage.  Now my left leg was having problems and my left hip was killing me.  So it was off to more doctors, more clinics, more tests.  Long story short I now have Poly Nueropathy in my left leg, no reflexes in my left ankle and arthritis in my hip plus something is going on w/ my sciatic nerve area.  I had a spinal injection to help w/ the pain but it did no good so I’ve been in physical therapy for month.  I’m scheduled for another injection in January to see if this will help.  This one isn’t a spinal injection and it’s for the muscle over the sciatic nerve to see if that’s the problem.  If it doesn’t work I’ll be going to a Spine Doctor (which is what my PT wants me to do)

By September I had to have another abdominal surgery where they removed a mass that had been bothering me for some time (I referred to it as my alien) and fixed an “indented” scar that I had.  I will say I have to giggle when I think of my first few encounters with the new surgeon.  The first time she saw me I had a cup of coffee in my hand.  Well she just laid into me saying Gastric Bypass patients aren’t supposed to be drinking coffee. After a few minutes of listening to her rant about the dangers and evils of coffee I finally said “If we aren’t supposed to have coffee, then please explain to me why it is that every time I am a guest here at this hospital I’m not only asked if I’d like a cup of coffee but it’s actually on the Bariatric menu?”  she of course could only reply with “Oh.. I didn’t realize it was on the menu”.  So after that every time I had to go see her I had to wear one of my many coffee shirts and have a coffee in my hand.  She finally gave up!  I’m a red head.. don’t argue with me.

After the second surgery in September, the spinal injection in October the holidays were here and just stressing me out beyond belief.  How was I going to do anything for my kids?  We were barely making ends meet (and even they weren’t all meeting.. some things have not been paid in months).  How was I going to be able to buy all the stuff for the Thanksgiving meal, the Christmas meal?  My kids have been denied a lot in their lives, love never being one of them but still, every parent wishes they could buy their kids things and not have to tell them no every time they walk into a store.  My son who is 18 and recently graduated High School had finally found a job and honestly did not want much for Christmas because he understood that we are struggling, but the now 13 yr old just doesn’t grasp it yet.  I know she will one day, I hope she never has to live this way when she goes off into the world and lives her life but I know that when she is out there she will be armed with the knowledge of how to stretch a dollar.

I had stressed myself to a point of fever blisters and sick to my stomach.  I was completely dreading the next 3 months.  My husband’s GI bill was running out in December and honestly that money was keeping our heads above water… All I’ve been able to focus on is Feb, Mar, Apr and all of 2016.  With me not working and his GI bill out… will we be able to make it?  Will we be living off Ramen Noodles?  Can we pay rent?  My stomach hurts pretty much daily now, my alien spot still bothers me and the injection didn’t work.. so yeah.. I’ve been pretty much bah humbugged for months.  Then out of no where and beautiful angel contacted me asking me what my kids wanted for Christmas.  She wasn’t going to take no for an answer, she wanted to help and she wanted to take some of the stress I’m under off my shoulders for awhile.  It truly was a blessing as I could finally breath a little knowing my kids would have some stuff under the tree.  Words cannot express the gratitude my heart feels for this angel.  I hope to one day be at a point in life that I can do things like this to help others.  To be a secret Santa and pay someone’s lay away off, or support a family for the holidays… one day.. maybe.

Now that Christmas is over and this long crappy year is over I find myself reflecting on what I’ve managed to make it through.  I’ve survived 2 surgeries,  multiple injections, it feels like hundreds of MRI’s and medical tests.  I know I have a very long road of recovery in front of me and pray daily that it won’t take the “Up to 2 years” to get a court date for disability.  I try to live day to day and not think about the coming months because honestly I can’t see how it will work and thinking about it all just kinda makes me shut down.

I have also thought on those I lost this year.  I’m not talking about people who have died as I’ve been lucky and not lost a loved one this year to death.. but I have lost some in other ways.  I had one person that I loved dearly.. looked forward to spending time with her and considered her a sister.  We always laughed when were together and I would do anything for her.  When we would see each other we would both light up with smiles and give each other big hugs…. we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas’s together, our families united together.. then suddenly, with no warning no nothing… it all stopped.  She no longer calls or texts.. she makes no effort to speak to me… and the last time I saw her she said there was nothing in this county to keep her here… forgetting I guess that I am in this county.  She’s moving soon, but she’s not even told me that she’s bought land and is building a house.. I am no longer in her life and I don’t know why.  My heart is broken.  I’ve cried over the loss of her friendship.  The day she told me that my son was with me.  When we got in the car he said “mom.. that was really mean.. but don’t worry.. I’ll be your friend and I’ll never leave you”…. yup.. the tears fell.

I’ve also realized that no matter what I’ve sacrificed and how much I’ve tried my step kids will never accept me, remember me or even think of me.  So I am deleting them from my life too.  I have to rid my life of stresses that are hurting me.  I’m not saying that my husband can’t have a relationship with his kids, on the contrary I want him to have the best relationship he can possibly have with them.. I just can’t be a part of it.  It just hurts to much when you know all you’ve given and given up for them and they can’t even remember to say Thank you for gifts bought, happy birthday, Merry Christmas.. nothing.. When you are just completely not thought of at all.  I wish them well.. I know they have great lives and always have because we’ve sacrificed so that they would.  May life bring them nothing but happiness and success… I just can’t fight to be a part of it.. if I’m not wanted I won’t fight to be there.

So 2016 will be the year I concentrate on myself and my family.  My kids and those that bring positive vibes and love to the table and will be severing ties with those who think it’s okay to just throw my love and friendship away..only to be used when they want something.  So if you are reading this and your first thought is “Oh no.. I hope she doesn’t delete me” then maybe you should think about why that was your first thought.  I try very hard to not upset people, I don’t delete people and I let people live their lives.. but I’ve decided that doesn’t mean I have to be people’s 2nd or 3rd choice.. I don’t have to be their “Well I can’t find anyone else so I guess she’ll do” person or the “I never talk to her but I”m going to be nosy and find out what her status is about and whats going on in her life even though I never include her in my life”…. 2016 is about me and mine.. getting my health in order.. hopefully getting my back/hip and leg fixed so I no longer have to use a cane.. and showing the world that I am worth more then most people like to believe.

 

Sorry this was so long… but it’s thoughts I’ve had to get out for awhile.  Life is to short to stay miserable because of other people.  I have enough in my daily life to deal with, I don’t need to live with the pain of feeling like those I loved and cherished couldn’t even manage to find time to say hi to me in months.  So to all those who’ve shown they care, know that I’m always there for you whenever you need me.. I love you all and I wish you all the very best in the coming year.

 

 

 

The Road to Healing begins with Hurting.. session 6

images (2)

 

 

So last week’s session was kind of a break from “facing the demon’s” and more of a “lets deal with how your feeling right now” kinda day.  I had had a manic day the Sunday before, even though I didn’t realize it until Monday that I was in manic mode.   I spent the entire day in the kitchen Sunday.  I roasted 2 sugar pumpkins then made puree’ out of them.  Then I roasted the seeds. I baked banana bread, banana muffins, pumpkin muffins, bread and made spaghetti sauce from scratch!  Then I made dinner.  I was going full force from the time I got up until the time I went to bed.  Monday wasn’t much different for me except I realized that I was in manic mode.  I did a lot of stuff at work, started a new class, got all my paperwork done ect.  I also found that I was sexually charged up, even more so then normal.  I’ll explain why this was important to tell in a moment.  By time Tuesday rolled around (appointment day) I was tired.  I was coming down off the manic high and heading for the inevitable crash afterwards.

From the moment she saw me in the waiting room she knew I was aggravated.  I told her about my week before and about my 2 manic days and how even though I was running and running and going I was extremely horny and frustrated because my husband and I were unable to take care of the problem (life sucks sometimes).  She started telling me how most bipolar people are hyper-sexual people.  I had never heard that term associated with bipolar before.  She started talking about it and how not being able to fulfill that sexual need in that moment it added to the chaos already in my brain.  I’ve inserted a link to an article that will help you understand the connection.

http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/522/opening-the-door-on-hypersexuality

If you’ve been reading my blog, especially these concerning my therapy then you’ll remember in the beginning I had to write a letter talking about how the rape affected me then and now.  One of the things I’d talked about is how I had never been faithful to any man before my current husband and always had to have a back up guy.  How I crave the attention and approval of other men.   I found another article that talks about the symptoms of Hyper-sexuality and guess what??? yup.. it’s me!

http://www.hypersexualdisorders.com/hypersexual-disorder-signs/

We talked about ways to try to deal with my sexual needs and desires.  I told her how they seem to be getting more severe with age.  It’s hard to function sometimes when you constantly feel like your vagina is plugged in and electrically charged all the freaking time!! What’s even more confusing to my already messed up brain is how I’m constantly wanting the same thing (sex.. not the violence) as the very thing I was in this intensive therapy for.  How does a sane person crave sex, literally thinking about 100 times a day or more when they’ve been so violently assaulted in the most private of ways?  Shouldn’t I not want sex?  At least not every freaking minute of every freaking day?  Just writing about it is starting to get me pissed off again!  I just want my brain and body to work normally for once.  Is that too much to ask for?

Anyways, tomorrow’s session is probably going to be like last week’s.  My homework was the ABC worksheets, which I haven’t done.  I mean I have in my mind I just haven’t written it all down.  Until then…

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

 

My Mind is Running Faster than NASCAR on Sundays

I hate days like today!  I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to run and hide from the world because day’s like today make me feel like the world just doesn’t want me here.  This is what Bi Polar disorder is.  I didn’t have a bad day, in fact I had a good day. Work went smoothly even though it was a class start and a testing day.  I chatted with a friend who made me smile. really a good day so what does my brain do?  Well it just says “nope.. not going to let you just have a good day because that’s not possible”  I have so many thoughts running through my head it’s hard to just grab one and think about it. Everything everyone is posting on Facebook is just annoying me to no end, I’m upset with the way my life is going.  I’m thinking about the mistakes I’ve made, the choices that lead me to where I am.  The what if’s driving me mad.  SOMEONE PLEASE STOP MY BRAIN BEFORE THE WORDS ESCAPE MY MOUTH!  I truly hate being bi polar.  I really really hate it.  I just want to disappear.  My mouth wants to tell people off but I can’t do that because they’ve done nothing wrong. At least I’m not so severe that I do go through with every thought in my head.

bi bi1

bi3

The Road to Healing Begins with Hurting. Session 5

NoMeansNo2

My last session was so very intense and difficult.  If you remember my homework was to write a detailed description of the rape and the feelings that I had then when it was happening along with the feelings I was feeling while writing it.  Then I had to re-read the paper every day (which I didn’t.  I couldn’t).  Let me start off by saying that this was like ripping the top layers of skin off exposing the putrid infected sore beneath.  I know, that’s gross sounding but it does describe it perfectly because honestly that is what is below the surface.  An infected putrid sore that I never tended too, never put anything on it to heal up before I closed it up over the top.

Like I said last week I would not be posting this story as I have my previous homework assignments.  It’s to graphic and I just don’t feel like I need to share the details with the world in order to heal.

While reading it out loud I found myself wanting to hide.  When I had really long hair and had the urge to hide I would pull my hair down in front of my face.  It was my escape, my coping mechanism if you will.  Well I don’t have the hair to do that anymore so while I was sitting there reading this I felt just as exposed and vulnerable as I did that night.  I had to stop several times and gather my composure, get a good deep breath in, wipe away the tears and force the rest of the tears back down. I tried very very hard to separate myself from the story I was telling but I couldn’t.  I was there.  I felt the first punch to my face, the second and the third and so on.  I was back on the bed being forced out of my clothes, I could hear his voice, smell the Jack Daniels on his breath and feel the terror rising in me.  I wanted to run out of the room as fast as I can, just like I wanted to run out of that room when it happened, but just like then I couldn’t.  This time though I forced myself to stay.

Being older now I can see all the tell tale signs of him being an abuser all the way back to when we first started dating.  I was so desperate to just be loved by anyone I ignored them, tolerated them, allowed them to continue.  It started with small things, a push here, a shove there.  Him becoming angry at something I did or said and then storming off, cheating on me and leaving me to wonder where he went and if he’d ever be back only to have him come back and manage to make me believe it was all my fault that he did cheat.  That somehow because I was overweight and trusting I deserved to be cheated on, pushed around.

I remember the day I married him.  My brother and I were standing in the foray of the church waiting for the music to start down the isle.  I was holding his arm and we were looking out the doors that were in front of us where my car was parked.  My brother told me “Baby, we don’t have to do this.  Your car is right there, we can get out of here right now”.  I should have listened, but hind sight is 20/20 isn’t it?  I remember thinking to myself “if it doesn’t work out I can just get a divorce”.  What kind of screwed up person goes into a marriage thinking that?  Obviously there were problems before him, I just hadn’t figured that out yet.  That night, our wedding night was the last time he was nice to me.  From the second day on it just got worse and worse.  The name calling, the cheating, the hitting, the STD’s then the abandonment but with being controlled.  What i mean by that is he disappeared, he’d stay gone for days on end but he expected me to just work and go home and have no life.  He didn’t want me but he didn’t want me to have a life either.  Just stay locked up for his use and abuse when he felt the need. The night the attack happened he had been gone for several days, almost 2 weeks.  This was the longest he had stayed gone and I felt like he wasn’t coming back.  I knew our marriage was over, it had been for a long time but I just didn’t admit it to myself fully yet. I had been out with friends doing my own thing, I was slowly venturing out finding my footing.  I got off work that night at 10 but didn’t get home until almost 2 am.  I was completely caught off guard when I walked in and found him sitting on the couch in the dark smoking a cigarette.   It only took 11 words to ignite such anger, 11 little words.

“The same thing you go out and do all the time”

    Twenty plus years later those 11 little words still haunt my memory.  They ignite such a barrage of what if’s in my mind that it drives me insane.  What if I hadn’t said that?  What if I had said something different?  What if I would have ran out the back door instead of fighting back?  What if, what if what if?  It’s easy to tell someone that what if’s don’t change anything so don’t drive yourself crazy thinking that.  It’s not easy however when your the one reliving it over and over again.  What if I would have left him while he was gone?  Packed my stuff up and left and he’d never know where I went.  I didn’t though.  I said those words, I fought back with every ounce of energy I had, I didn’t leave him before it was too late.  Now I have to learn to look back at all those choices differently.  I have to train my brain that even though I’ve told myself all this time it was my fault, I deserved it… I was WRONG!  I did NOTHING to deserve such anger, such hatred.  I didn’t deserve the name calling, the punching, the lying too, the STD’s, the cheating…. I didn’t deserve to be raped.  All I did was love him.  All I asked of him was to love me back, and even though he didn’t do that it doesn’t mean I didn’t deserve to be loved.

    When I walked out of the office this past Monday my body ached.  I could feel every place I was bruised that night.  I felt drained of all my energy and I just wanted to curl up and become invisible.  It’s been several days and I still feel the effects of it all, like my body is healing all over again.  When it happened I went to stay at a friends house after that for a few days.  He let me cry, held me when I shook and rubbed my back when the vomiting would start in.   He tended to my wounds and wouldn’t let me just go away.  I remember asking him, well begging him to let me take a bottle of pills and just go to sleep.  I didn’t want to live anymore, I couldn’t tell my family what had happened, couldn’t face all of them and tell them I let them down by having this happen to me.  We are all fighters, raised strong so how could I tell them I was too weak?  I couldn’t break my mothers heart.  She’d been through so much in her life and I didn’t want to add to her troubles.  I wanted to die.  My friend wouldn’t let me.  He helped me hide it all shove it down and not let the world see the scars.

    At the time I thought I did a very good job of hiding it all from everyone, but looking back I was screaming a very silent scream for the world to see.  I invited trouble into my life, I was careless and reckless.  I put my room mate in danger on a very regular basis bringing anyone home that I could get to come with me.  I spent a year trying to fill up that enormous hole he slammed into me that night.  Nothing worked and sadly I ended up marrying another abuser.  This time bringing two innocent babies into the picture.  I can tell you all that I am now out of that abusive relationship, in therapy and doing everything I can to help my kids be a better stronger person than I was.  My son treats women with respect and my daughter has had 3 yrs of Tae Kwon Do training to know how to protect herself.

    I know that I still have a very long ways to go.  I have to erase the negative thoughts of myself that are etched into my minds eye.  I have to remind myself on a daily basis that I’m worth so much more in this world.  I have to show the world as well as myself that I am what I’ve said I was for years.. a survivor!

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

The Road to Healing begins with Hurting. Session 3

rape-cases

 

Session 3 went a little differently.  We didn’t really discuss the previous session very much.  You see I had had a very bad day that day and was in a bad mood. I was angry and irritated with life and wasn’t hiding it.  So this day we had just discussed the day and the few previous days and what had happened to get me so annoyed.  At the end of my session I gave her my list of core values that I had to write during the week leading up to my appointment.  I’m sure we will be discussing these things during my session on Tuesday.  Below is the list of core value’s that I wrote down.  I a sadden to say that I truly believe these things to be true and I pray that one day I can change the way I think.

 

1)  I am not meant to have peace.

2) It seems I am meant to fail, always.

3) I am strong.

4) I am scared of happiness.

5) 1 step forward, 2 steps back.  Every time.

6) I survive everything, only because I have no other choice.

7) I am hard to love.

8) I will never be one of “those” girls.

 

My homework for this past 2 weeks is an ABC worksheet.  A is to write about something that happened.  B. is “tell myself something.  C. is “I feel something”  The example given is A. I build a porch and the railing comes loose.  B. “I can never do anything right”. C. “I get angry and kick the railing.  I also feel down and sad because I can’t do anything right”

Are my thoughts above in “B” realistic?  “No.  It wouldn’t hold up in a court of law, because I do SOME things right”.

What can you tell yourself on such occasions in the future? “There are soe things that I do all right.  It is not true that I “never” do anything right”

 

I’m still working on this one… the dead line is almost here.

The Road to Healing Begins with Hurting, session 2

Every2mins

 

    When I went back for my second session I had to read the letter I wrote out loud.  Normally I have no problem reading or speaking in front of anyone, or even large groups of people but this was harsh.  My throat was dry, my eye’s threatened to over flow and my hands shook.  My therapist asked “Why is this so hard for you to read aloud”.. my answer was simple “if I say it out loud then it’s all true and I can’t run from it anymore and I can’t hide from it anymore”.  I’ve talked about the rape before, to a few people, I’ve even blogged about it but that’s as far as it goes.  I’ve never delved into the feelings left behind, the aftermath.  Like telling a story that you’ve heard before, it’s just a story until you live it and then tell it.  Then it’s your soul.  As I read out loud all I could think of is how sad my life has been, how I’ve been betrayed and lied to to the point of believing it all.  Then I started to feel angry followed quickly by defeated.  I slumped in my chair and just sat there, listening to her talk to me about how I felt and what was going through my mind.  I wanted to crawl into that dark place in my mind that keeps me protected but she wouldn’t let that happen.  She made sure to force me to answer the questions, gently but she gave me no choice.  

   One of the things we talked about that day and previous sessions (but not in great detail) was what I refer to as Angry Shannon.  “Who is angry Shannon?”.  Well, she’s mean.  She will cut you down with words in an instant. She will rip your head off and chew up and spit it out.  She will shred your heart into a million pieces and will never bat an eye doing it.  She doesn’t cry and she gets angry when I try to cry.  I keep her pushed down and locked away.  She tries to come out every now and then but I fight her every step of the way.  “Why do you keep her locked up?”  Because if I let her out everyone will know that I’m a horrible person.  

Another one of the questions she asked was “If you had answered his question differently, do you think what happened would have still happened?”.  I thought for a moment and then answered “Yes”.  “Why” she asked.  “Because I deserved it”.  I heard myself say the words but my brain started screaming at me.  YOU DIDN’T DESERVE THIS!!!  But how do you convince yourself of that after you’ve believed for so long that you did deserve it?  I guess that’s something we will work on in future sessions. 

   We talked more and more about angry Shannon and when she would come out.  She asked very specific questions and I started to see where she was going with them.  Angry Shannon really isn’t angry, she’s protective.  She’s only ever out when my anxieties are through the roof and or my fear is rising.  She comes out to protect my body, my heart and my mind.  Looking back over the years she’s only ever come out when I needed the extra strength to get me though something.  This made me feel better.  I said something out loud I hadn’t let myself say ever, even to myself.  I really am a nice person who didn’t deserve the pain that I have endured.  That I only strike back when someone strikes at me first.  What I said to him did not warrant what he did to me and me fighting back didn’t mean I deserved more of it.  Maybe this is a step in the right direction.  Maybe one day I can look in the mirror and not see what I see now. 

 

    My homework for the next week was to write down some of my core values.  I thought about them every day.  I thought about how most people would say “I am nice” or “I am beautiful and smart”.. my list is completely different.  

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

 

If you have been sexually assaulted, even if your not sure because you might have started it, or your married to your attacker and by being married you think it’s not rape.. please call them.  There is help.. and even if you are married… NO MEANS NO!

My Crush of the month for August.. (oops I forgot to do it)

If you’ve followed my blog (yeah yeah I know I really haven’t written much this year but you’ll understand why soon) then you know I have thing for blondes.  I love blondes… they are just so… freaking hot.  So for the month of August.. again I know I missed it and it’s September now… I’ve decided to chose a hot blonde for the hot month.

 

My crush of the month for August is/was

 

Cameron Diaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron-Diaz

 

My crush on her started when she was in the movie “The Mask”.. there was something so sultry and sexy about her… yet carefree and silly.  Traits she has kept throughout her career.

MSDMASK EC009

Her movies have never been super big block busters but I still absolutely adore her and everything she’s been in… So enjoy the photo’s and just know.. blondes will always have a spot in my heart… 

Cameron_Diaz_3 Cameron-Diaz4