Smile through it…

One of the things that hits me over and over again as my memories come up, is not just how often we had shitty things happen, but how often Kidlet is smiling in the pictures I took of him . . smiling in the face of really shitty stuff.

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That really became apparent after the accident. He wanted pictures of everything, from the wounds to the Xrays, to the various casts, he had a plan at the time (and it needed to be documented for insurance anyway), but it meant lots of opportunities to have the camera out. We have so many pictures of him in various stages of healing, throwing a grin for the camera.

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And the truth was, he was laughing and happy through most of it. There were shitty moments but we found ways to be happy.

I talk about resilience and grit and how I have a sense of humor in the face of all this. I talk about finding the joy and laughing when I want to cry.

Sometimes I wonder which one of us started that, did I learn it from Kidlet, or did he learn it from me?

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I know he went through a lot and I know these smiles weren’t just for the camera. I remember the first time after each major thing where I’d hear his first real belly laugh. Mostly it was with his online group of friends through the computer or the Xbox, and I’d finally release the breath I’d been holding. By the way, these are the same friends he still has, some of them have been commenting on my posts and holding me up now.

But the smiles typically came within moments or hours. Even while he was still laying on the ground after the accident he smiled and cracked jokes. Even in the trauma room he was making jokes through the morphine . . .okay, that was drug induced probably. In the days after, figuring out how to get him into the house and how we were going to make it work, he was joking about how crazy our luck was. And smiling.

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We fell apart, we screamed, we raged, we cried, but we came back together and smiled.

We found the joy in all of it.

Dirty Poetry

Really real widow post. Although I swear, right now, widowhood and mental health and relationship and love and life and all of the every things is just who I am.

One of the things about being a widow is the way my heart is torn between the past and the present. As amazing as it is to remember the love we had, it’s also so so painful to know she’s gone, to know everything to led to it, and sometimes, when I’m hurting as much as I am right now, I seem to feel all of those emotions at once.

And then, add in my feelings for Wonder Woman and my life now, and my belief that I wouldn’t be where I am now without everything that I’ve been through. And feeling all of that at once. It’s overwhelming, and when I’m hypomanic, everything is intensified so my already strong emotions are put through an amplifier.

Today I’m cleaning out a room, making space for Wonder Woman, and I come across a poem Parker wrote. Her handwriting, talking about the good days, the earlier days, of our relationship.

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I don’t remember when she wrote it.

And by the wording, she probably wrote it during one of the harder times of our relationship when we were fighting to find the good again, which we did so so often.

She mentions dirty fridge poetry, and I remember when we bought fridge magnets, and every time Kidlet would go to his dad’s we would put the “dirty words” back out for those 2-3 months, and then when he’d come home we’d put them away. Each time he we be a bit older and could handle stronger and stronger words. I was so excited when we bought those magnets because I’d wanted fridge word magnets forever and couldn’t justify buying them.

Why didn’t we ever buy them again when we moved up here?

Things that I thought were so important to bring back from this latest trip to Florida, now aren’t as big of a deal and have been thrown away, something I painted years ago, that I don’t even remember painting. But at the same time, I wish I still had those stupid fridge magnets.

I forgot how many times we wrote things, how many different people came through the house making sentences.

I’ll end up buying another set, do they have it in unicorn, roller derby, fart jokes or pickles? They all seem more appropriate for my current relationship.

Quit Smoking.

Really real post about the flying motorcycle with insight into my brain and my world if you want it.

Five years ago today I wanted a cigarette and was having a hard time leaving the porch.

It was 5 days after Parker and I got out of the homeless shelter. My anxiety was in full swing. I finally had a safe space again and was having a hard time leaving it.

Kidlet had come to stay with us. Our first time having him for more than a few hours in 6 months. It was like his 3rd day with us.

Parker finally agreed to go to the corner store to get me smokes after I drove her nuts. She didn’t want to go but you know… telling me no typically ended in melt downs and being out of smokes didn’t make it any better. Kidlet went with her.

They were walking down the sidewalk. How much more freak can an accident be?

Motorcycle gets hit by car, goes airborne, hits Parker in the head, lands on Kidlet. Kidlet caught a flying motorcycle cause he’s badass like that.

I still hear his screams in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I still remember the driver telling me “as bad as the screams are, it’s worse when they are silent.” And how much that both comforted me and chilled me to the bone.

Kidlet got through that like a champ and started showing his nature of resilience and grit and smiles in the face of bullshit challenges that are totally unfair.

Parker had a “moderate” concussion that I don’t think any of the doctors took seriously enough. It’s one of many things that I kept fighting and advocating and “what the fuck-ing” in the midst of all of her head problems but…. yet another “overweight emotional woman” situation and I won’t get on that soap box right now.

All cause I wanted a cigarette.

And yeah yeah . . . Not my fault, could have happened to anyone. But if I would have gotten my own damn shit, or not have smoked in the first place.

And you wonder why sometimes it’s so so hard for me to ask for help or accept help….

Or tell people no. Or not offer help to others when they are having a hard time asking or blah blah blah.

So so many layers and I know why I do a lot of what I do. And knowing so many of the whys make it harder to untangle.

Impostor Syndrome

Some people have impostor syndrome when they are doing big positive things like presentations or working or, you know… adulting.

I have impostor syndrome when my mental illness flares.

“I can’t really be this person, I mean, it must just be for attention. I should snap out of it”

“Am I just trying to start drama and seeking attention like everyone says we are?”

Where are those boot straps I’m supposedly able to pull myself up by?

And then I stand outside at the corner of a building panting and texting Wonder Woman inside just to let her know I’m okay but can’t even walk across the rink. Feeling like a fucking asshole for leaving the way I did.

I did what I needed to do after I left. I walked. I texted Mickey. We walked together. We got ice cream. I stayed safe.

And the whole time I questioned myself. Maybe I’m making it all up. Maybe I’m faking it.

But who the fuck wants to feel like this? Who wants to talk themselves into this? Why would I think that’s happening?

The whole world keeps telling me to pull myself up by my bootstraps. And I will, but it’s not something I can do by will alone. It takes work, and not just running away from the emotions like I’ve spent the last two years doing (well duhhhh who didn’t see that coming, I did).

But this isn’t fake, and I can’t exercise it out (but it’ll help) and I can’t lose it through weight loss (healthy eating helps though) and I do have to push through some things but sometimes I’m going to walk into a situation that’s too much and I’m going to fucking bolt.

Thank god I don’t need anyone else to tell me that’s okay (external validation is helpful but yeah, I’m totally valid.)

But I’m letting you know that I feel this way because chances are, you do too. We just never talk about it.

Strange Little Beings

Really real mental health lunch time post.

Psych doc in this place: “ if you’re having any thoughts at all of harming yourself at all we will have to put you in a crisis unit.”

Me in my head: “dumb fucker, did you even glance at my chart, even a little. Even a glance? Did. I. Stutter. any of the dozen times they’ve asked me that today?”

Psychiatrists are strange little beings. They really don’t know much of anything except medications and count on the nurses and the social workers to do the actual work.

Don’t get me wrong. Medications are super important and therefore so are the pdocs but holy shit.

Just saying.

And no, I’m not heading to the crisis unit. The social workers and nurses seem to know what they are doing though.

Thankful for Friends

Considering how spectacularly shitty the last 36 hours has been in my brain, it’s also been pretty incredible to see how much my people love me.

Everything from the way Wonder Woman just keeps being here. I keep expecting to be too much and she’s just here and doesn’t seem to flinch. I’m perplexed.

To the friend that just keeps showing up and asking if we’re walking or gym-ming tonight. It’s like she keeps twisting my arm and reminding me to take care of that part too. Gah.

To the friends that are helping figure out logistics and listening online to my trains that keep derailing and helping me pull them back in so I can keep it together long enough to let the process work.

The friends who are keeping games of words with friends going in their spare moments . . .I don’t know if they realize how helpful those games were tonight while I was trying to make some order out of my house again.

And then all of the people who publicly and privately reminded me how making the call was the bad ass self care that needed to happen.

Thank you all.

I made it through one more day.

Making The Call

Sometimes being a self saving warrior princess means making the call to get help, even if it feels like failure.

I made that call this morning, and this afternoon I started at a mental health partial hospitalization program. While the mundane world is working I’ll be in many different group therapies and medication management and coming home at night to cuddle my girl and all of the four legged things.

I am back to going from fine and productive to lethargic to angry to suicidal to so anxious I can’t breathe at a moments notice, often it’s a combination of all of them.

I hate this.

But at least I’m alive to hate it and right now that’s what’s most important. I’m sure at some point I will fully realize that this is okay but right now being back in this program feels horrible and I want to fight it but I know I can’t.

The only way I see to fight it is to end it and that isn’t an option either.

I need to be healthy again.

Not only is this caused in part by trauma, but the whole situation feels triggering and traumatizing.

This is so much harder now.

I. Hate. This.

I want my badass self back.