Reach

This week has been rough.  In between the smiles and the grieving through joy, there have been two celebrities that have died by suicide.  This means my Facebook feed has been filled with the public outcry of “please reach out for help” and “check on them they can’t reach out” as well as the quick, re-shared blogs and blurbs of suicide helplines and text lines.

Compassion porn filling my screen like some sort of virus.

These conversations need to be had.  Those numbers need to be prominent and saved in everyone’s phones but the question is, how many people who shared those numbers actually saved them in their phones so they have them quickly available if they, or someone close to them needs them.

Not many of us who struggle even save the numbers until we are in trouble.  We always think, not us, never us.

And when it comes to reaching out, or reaching in, it’s a two way street.

image011

I am responsible for my own shit.  And Parker was responsible for her own shit.

Six months before she died we had a fight.  She came out of the room and I happened to see her grab the box of medications, I checked on her and she told me she was getting the homeopathic anxiety medication.  The next day she checked herself in to the inpatient crisis unit and admitted that she had been planning on overdosing.  I found a hoard of medications while she was inpatient and I trashed them.

There were more fights between that day and the day she died.  None of those triggered that response.  The day she died, the medication was in the room and I heard her take them, but I had no reason to suspect it was anything more than her regular night time meds.

It was her responsibility to reach out while it was also the loving thing to do to reach in.  It was not my responsibility to save her, that was only something she could do.

And now, here we are 2 years later.  I’m fighting these thoughts most days.  I’m living with an amazing woman who is in the exact position I was in.  It’s my job to reach out and it’s the loving thing for her to do to reach in when she’s in a position to do so.  If in the end I lose my battle with this damn list of labels, that’s on my shoulders, not because she didn’t see the signs, or do enough, or check on me.

My shit is my responsibility.  It’s wonderful when the people around me support me as they are able, but they have their own shit, and that is their responsibility and unless I speak up, they don’t know what I need.

Unless I dig my way out of my black hole long enough to hold a hand up, they can’t reach down and grab it.

Now, go save the crisis numbers in your phone, you don’t know when you or someone close to you will need them.

Yes, you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number
1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line
741-741

 

 

Two plus one

At one point yesterday I told Wonder Woman, “I’m ready to get this day over with so I can start looking forward to the next date.”  This major one is over and the next one is a happy one, the day I met Wonder Woman online.  I jump from date to date in my life, a whole list of them stacked up.  I _know_ that need to learn mindfulness and it’s something I’m working on, and in ways I’m succeeding, but also, going from one date to the next has been a survival mechanism for so long, that unfortunately old habits die hard.

When you are constantly fighting suicidal thoughts, as each major milestone passes, you are looking for the next one, and when traumas start happening, those dates, unfortunately, get added in there too.

But mindfulness is happening as well.  Driving to the beach yesterday I started thinking about and talking about some string of things that needed to happen and mid spiral I stopped and said that that would stress me out so I just didn’t go there.  That’s something that’s hard for me because I need to have my plans and my lists and my ways of knowing that I have everything taken care of to make it to that next major date without everything falling apart.

And why wouldn’t I need, or at least feel like I need, all of those things in order?  I mean, in reality we have very limited control, but the feeling of control is what keeps us moving forward.  If we had no control we would throw our hands up and give up when things get hard.

Self Saving Warrior Princess does all of the things, but learning how to do them and not try to over think and think ahead of every spin and twist and turn is a big difference.  Staying present right now but still keep on top of what has to be done, and let go of what I can’t handle . . .

That’s some serenity prayer shit right there.

And even twelve step programs count how long it’s been since you last relapsed, even they fluctuate between one moment at a time, and focusing on how far you’ve come.

Two years plus one day since I last saw her.  And maybe now I can focus on counting something else for awhile.

Maybe.

And if not, that’s okay too, I’m working towards accepting me where I am.  It’s so damn helpful that I have a lot of other people doing the same.

Two Years

I made it.

I survived.

Two years without her and I’ve made it.

Not only that but I’ve thrived and done well, and I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.  Yesterday I sat at the skating rink, beside someone who spent time telling me how amazing it was that I had sat with my emotions and grief and worked through them.  And here I am spending time in PHP and kicking myself because I haven’t done enough.

A year ago I listed off this huge, way too long list of things I had done in the year before that since she died.  This year I’ve done far less, and I’m sitting in a hospital for most of each day learning how to be a functioning adult again.

But, I got myself this far.

Not alone though.  I’ve had a huge huge support network since day one.  Ever changing and rotating with people coming in and out of the picture as their own lives rotated around with different stuff.

And I also got myself this far because I reached out when I needed it and I kicked myself into gear when I needed it and I rested when I needed it.

And I survived for another year without her.

One of my songs at the beginning was “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, and there’s a line in it.  “It’s been two years, I miss my home,”  and I remember at some point in the first year I heard that line and wondered how I would ever make it to two years and if I would ever make it that far.

I made it.  So did Kidlet.

But Damn it, Parker . . . you were supposed to make it, too.

I miss you my firefly.

Crying on the sidelines

The next 48 hours are officially cancelled.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve cried today and it’s not even the beginning of the trigger day.

I’m sitting off to the side at derby because the idea of focusing long enough to participate seems foreign.  I know I just need to get through 48 hours and then I’ll be okay, for at least a little while.

Today at PHP I felt like my parenting was called into question.  In hindsight it may have been in my head, it may have been nowhere near as bad as it seemed.  I may have overreacted and blown it out of proportion, or, years of being told that was what I was doing could mean that now I’m minimizing what happened today.  But either way, things today were hard and bad and as it ended I walked away from the building in angry, defeated tears.  And I don’t want to go back, but self care means going back because self care isn’t always bubble baths and pretty things.  It’s the hard fucking work that means healing and making it till tomorrow.  

I miss Parker so much right now.  Normally, I want her back in this world, while also realizing I’ve grown to a place where we would probably not be a good match, knowing we would not work the way we were.  I love her as part of my past which doesn’t conflict with where I am now.  But right now, it’s this feeling of wanting her so badly to be here with me now as part of all of this.  I don’t want to go back but I want to bring her here without losing what I have now including my current wonderful woman, my Wonder Woman.   How do I reconcile that in my own mind.  Not that I have a choice to make any of that happen.     

And then Kidlet and I talked, I feel my thoughts spinning, tattoo ideas, memorial ideas, how can I properly mark the fact that it’s been two years.  I know that it’s going to spin past and I will be fine but first I have to survive the next 48 hours.  I started crying on the phone with him for the first time since he left and my kid was telling me how he wished he was here so he could console me.  

I just want to live in the moment but that’s impossible when I’m worried about everything I did wrong yesterday and everything that could go wrong tomorrow.

Today, they had us do some worksheet and list 3 challenges we overcame.  I just wrote out, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  But when we were sharing, she asked me if I could list somethings that I’d overcome,  I asked where she wanted me to start.  I wonder when people start thinking I’m full of shit.  Too much trauma, None of it has really been overcome though, it all still haunts me.  I just survived the actual moment of it.  It could still kill me.

Then we did three things I’m good at, One of them is getting back up over and over and over again, because I’ve seen the alternative and it leaves so many tears behind.  

Parker didn’t end her pain.  She passed it on.  Today at PHP I stood up for Kate Spade when someone was upset about her leaving her daughter when she died by suicide.  She had no idea what she was doing to her daughter, her daughter either wasn’t on her mind or she thought she was doing the best she could for her.  Depression is a hell of a liar and creates a black hole that you can’t see out of.  Parker didn’t do this to our kid or me, it had nothing to do with us in that moment, she just wanted to end that blackness.

Unfortunately, what happened is that those of us that are still here are picking up the pieces of what she left behind.  That means the pain she left behind as well.

Now I have to figure out how to heal it and live with it or live in spite of it.

And it isn’t easy.  But I’m doing the best I can, and sometimes, that means crying on the sidelines at derby.

For our future children…

A friend told me to check out her Pinterest for some easy cooking ideas while I’m in PHP.  I hadn’t even looked at Pinterest since long before Parker and I moved to Maryland.  I finally figured out my log in information and realized I was already following most of my Facebook people.  Today I started following the rest of my favorite cooking sites, too.  Finally I started going through my old boards from 6 years ago, the last time I used it.

I found a board I had created, called, “For our future children”  It was filled with pins of cute wooden toys, and 100% cotton clothes, and monkey and frog themed toys, and room designs.

It was from when Parker and I were trying to get pregnant.  She wanted more than anything to have her own bio child because as much as Kidlet was equally hers, she wanted another.  We had a donor and had even tried a few times before she started with the headaches.

And here I am on a trip where there has already been a joke about me coming back with baby fever.

Except I was already hesitant about starting over again when we were trying.  I was totally in it with her, but at the same time, we had an 11 or 12 year old who was mostly self sufficient and left for 3 months at a time to come up to his dads.  I was already starting to enjoy the freedom.  I got my baby fix through doing daycare.

But I wanted to give her the world.

Sometimes I really do question our relationship.  Things got clouded by the horrible circumstances we were in the last half.  It was never easy, but the trauma on top of trauma in 2013 just destroyed who we were and who we were as a couple.

But here I am staring at a Pinterest board reminding me of the hours I spent looking at all of the future things for our child or children that would never happen because one thing let to another, which led to another, which led to her losing her grip.

Today I deleted all the pins, and renamed the board Grief.  I’ll use it to pin all of my articles and blog posts that speak to me.

It’ll be a good way to remember the larger family that never was.

 

Just a date on the calendar

Yesterday was June 1st. While everyone was posting happy pride messages, and I was being all excited about this trip north and seeing Jess and her son (pictures later I’m sure) . . .

I was also constantly realizing it’s now June. It’s now “that month.”

Yesterday Parker mom changed her profile picture to the Parker ribbon, which I’ve been thinking about doing myself and I was torn between changing mine and staying positive and in the moment because I’m on a vacation and damn it aren’t I supposed to be happy.

But I am happy. I did a lot of great things yesterday. Nothing on the way up here really went as planned which is typically a huge trigger for me, but I made it anyway and I honestly was okay. Right now my grief is there but it’s manageable.

Jess pointed out that last time I was here I couldn’t have been on the floor with the baby crawling around but now I absolutely can, and that’s a big deal to me.

And it’s also June 2nd, and it is crawling ever closer to 2 years since Parker died. And it’s horrible, but it’s also amazing that I’ve made it, and that I’m doing all of the things. And that I’m riding the waves of emotions that come with living life. And that I’m doing it in a way that is so uniquely me.

I don’t dream of Parker often, and the last time I saw her in a dream it was shortly after she died and I was angry because she kept running from me and leaving me. And this last time I was yelling at her but couldn’t see her.

I dreamt of her last night and it wasn’t angry, it was loving, I could see her and touch her and hear her, she actually said she was just hiding and wasn’t actually dead, and when I woke up I knew it was a dream and I expected a wave of dread and sadness, but instead I was at peace.

I’m sad, I’m so sad that she’s gone, but I really do love where I am in my life. I want her back in this world. I wish I could have parts of who we were back, but I don’t want to go back to who I was.

It’s the month of June which means we’re creeping ever closer to the date that changed my life, but that day was 2 years ago and who I am now won’t change just because the day passes on the calendar again. That’s getting easier for me to say and I’m hoping that eventually my anxiety catches up.

Personal Space

The person beside me on the bus seems thrilled that I take up my amount of space.

Guess what, I’m allowed to sit here and would prefer my own aisle too.

Yep I looked before sitting beside you. You can stop huffing looking up and down the aisles, I’ll happily move so you can get out and go sit somewhere else though.

I’m allowed my space.

I’m within my allotted seat area. I honestly looked for someone small to minimize the chances of touching cause I know that gets uncomfortable for everyone.

Although we are probably both just anxious as fuck cause sharing a seat with a stranger sucks no matter who it is.

I’m allowed my space though. I’m tired of apologizing for who I am and the space I take up.