I love you so much APB

Guilt
A feeling of having committed wrong or failed in an obligation – Oxford Dictionary

Failed in an obligation. This is what I am feeling in the face of so much death in the past nine months.

The feeling that I could have done better. Been a better granddaughter to my both grandmothers and a better mentee and friend to my friend APB who passed away last night.

I am not good with sickness and this keeps me away from people. I cannot see strong people I love ill and wasted away. A part of me wants to keep the healthy image I have of them alive in my mind. I cannot see them weak in body.

Is this right or wrong? I’m not sure I should judge myself for this, just own it.

Looking at some of the pics posted of my friend and mentor I do wish I had not been such a coward…yes I’m calling it cowardice…and shared more of my life with her. And shared in her illness and the life she still manged to live inspite of it. It didn’t define her. Yet it defined how I acted.

I loved her so much I don’t think I ever told her how much she meant to me. To my recollection she is the first person who saw my good and bad and didn’t make me feel like I was not good enough. She called me on the bad she saw and advised me on how it could bring me misery. Then she drew from her own life for advice on how I could turn my bad habits into good.

She told me I reminded her of herself. I think this is the part that breaks my heart. That I didn’t take the time to show her what I had become. And I didn’t tell her thank you for the care and love she put into me.

I found myself praying and begging God to let her see my life. To let her see my kids. To tell her what is in my heart. All the hurts and fears and hopes I could have shared with her but didn’t.

These deaths and guilt are teaching me so much about taking time for granted. And I am hoping I can change.

Sigh

I’m also thinking of how profound one’s childhood truly is. See my dad nearly died when I was a kid. I don’t remember what happened all I remember is there is a hole during the period he was in the hospital and left the country for treatment. I remember feeling like I had no one to protect me and a sense of pronounced dread. Also, the man I considered a grandfather died. I remember his smile, his smell and feeling comfort and warm around him. Also dying was another woman I considered a grandmother. She taught me that where I was born did not define the person I became. She had parties that made me feel grown up. She snuck me books my parents would have killed me for reading. She introduced me to classical music and Christmas! Finally my best friend who was very ill, Christopher. He was picked on in school and my mom encouraged me to make friends with him. He had an illness which caused his organs to gradually shut down. When he missed school my mom took us to his home. He taught me to build puzzles. He died the day before we were to go back by his house to play. We were going to play in a blow up pool. He was smiling when he died. My heart broke.

Am I tired of death? Tired of loving and losing?

I never realised till this writing how much death I have been through. My psyche was probably protecting the tired child in me. I don’t know.

But I acknowledge this all, and again, hope that I can move past these fears.

Sigh

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Inevitable Masks…..(yet I will trust)

One of the difficult results of self-awareness is seeing the signs of my depressive periods approaching after my good days or weeks. At times I cannot even enjoy my good days because I can somewhat predict the depressive periods.

These depressive periods affect every area of my life and the hardest thing is not having anyone to talk to. I cannot afford therapy. I cannot afford medication. Every one around me is either rightfully busy or uninformed and judgemental or battling their own demons.

Maybe it’s wrong to generalize and say ‘everyone’ but the reality is who has the time to hold my hand through this? People have to work, people have to see about their kids. Life doesn’t stop when the depression comes crashing down. My kids still need food and a clean home, they still need a mom that cares. My husband still needs his wife and support. My friends need encouragement and support as well.

The world doesn’t stop spinning no matter how much you wish it can. And the alternative my mind gives me to make it stop doesn’t end well for anyone.

Is it possible then to not have a mask when you have depression? To seem ok so you can fool yourself and others for a while so the status quo and equilibrium remains?

So how can I cope and keep my mind?

I’m going to try to make a to do list and get at least one thing done so it doesn’t seem so hopeless. And I’m going to put on some music. Even if my body cannot move my mind and heart can still rejoice in the truth:

God is with me

God is my strength

God is my shade

God will lift me up on His mighty wings and take me through this

Some tracks from today’s playlist:

MercyMe – Flawless

Sharing from my playlist. Both are songs I have found from a band I have listened to from my youth, MercyMe. Their music over the years has helped me when the depression is becoming overwhelming. Maybe the music or lyrics can help another.

Flawless

There’s got to be more
Than going back and forth
From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody
Thinking there’s worth in what you do

Then like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to amazing grace

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Could it possibly be
That we simply can’t believe
That this unconditional
Kind of love would be enough
To take a filthy wretch like this
And wrap him up in righteousness
But that’s exactly what He did

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Take a breath smile and say
Right here right now I’m ok
Because the cross was enough

And like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to grace grace
God’s grace

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

No matter what they say
Or what you think you are
The day you called His name
He made you flawless
He made you flawless

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Songwriters: Barry Graul / Bart Millard / BEN Glover / David Garcia / Michael Scheuchzer / Nathan Cochran / Robby Shaffer / Solomon Olds
Flawless lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group, Moon And Musky Music, Universal Music Publishing Group

Even If

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Songwriters: Bart Millard / Ben Glover / Crystal Lewis / David Garcia / Tim Timmons
Even If lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Music Services, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Not destroyed

I have not been writing my feelings out as I should.

And it has built up and is erupting.

Sigh.

I reach for the no time excuse but that honestly is not going to cut it.

I have not accepted my reality. Home is it. For now.

I am not praying or reading my Word. Again. No time

(Scoff)

Let me see if I can find the words.

Heavy

Weighted on the right side, pinning me down. Looking around and seeing all to be done and I become utterly consumed.

Cluttered mind of all to be done. Pressing against the inside of my head. Ringing with urgency each one. Nothing done. No plans. Nothing accomplished.

Distracted. By things beautiful or things sought out of desperation. To change the one track in my head of all that has to be done. Just so that it stops, or still, or dulls. So I can close my mind and forget. For one moment.

Meditation and prayer leaves me heaving with tears. Unable most tines to get up again.

I beg, make deals with God. I face the reality that I do not know what love from God is. I look at my life and always ask what have I done wrong to live like I do. I can’t shake the feeling that something is amiss in me that makes this love conditional.

That is the core. Conditional love is all I have known.

My soul knows He is good, compassionate and kind. I have lived with His forgiveness in my heart giving me strength to try again. I have felt His arms of comfort, of redemption. But I just cannot tap into His unconditional love. I will not. I have lived for so long feeling not good enough, being told I am not good enough. I don’t know how to let that part of my soul heal.

So I am left broken. Trying to win the love and affection of others. Thinking I can do the same with God. And I build walls just to leave enough distance to prevent further breaking.

My mind cannot stand more brokenness.

I’m in a valley of my own making. Hoping for a way out. How do I overcome all that I have learnt at the knees of those who were supposed to love me? How do I not pass on this brokenness?

How can these lies in my mind be broken?

Slowly shattering.

And life must go on.

My desire is to live with joy

This year I am hopeful that I can make this year more fulfilling.

2018 was hard and the continued situations continue to press on my mind and my sanity.

And I don’t use the word sanity lightly. I have lived everyday making consistent choices that enable me to get up and move and breathe. I have had to deal from living my dream to living my nightmare. I have had to accept so much that I never wanted for my life. Deal with it, work through it, accept it and live with it.

That quote sums up my 2018, this year I want to define what it means to live.

1. I started this blog with this quote. At the time all I imagined was good mental health – the ability to want to live, to not cry or sulk or bemoan my life. I wanted to look at my life and accept it. This year I would like to do more, to live it and enjoy it! To not see duties but choices, to see new opportunities in closed doors and to wait, be patient….

2. I want to believe this scripture and to live it from now till the end of my days. My eyes have been opened to the many lies the Christians around me lived and indoctrinated into me. Now I want to know God for myself, not through the eyes of my confused father, my strict unwavering judgemental godparents, nor my unforgiving victim mentality mother or the congregation and coffers building church leaders. I want to know Him for myself. I want to live believing that the Bible can make sense, that I can understand God’s many promises and live them fully. I want my own faith. So I can pass it on to my kids…and maybe my husband.

3. There was much bitterness in most of my posts last year mainly because I used this forum to vent my frustrations like a journal. While that will not stop because it’s just damn enjoyable to get out of my system the things I really wish I could say to others, I want to go a step further and forgive and let go of my hurts and pain. I want to stop complaining. I don’t want to give my depressive thoughts negative perceptions to feed off of, I want to let go. Let people be who they are and learn to live with their presence because they are not going anywhere. However I don’t want to give them my bare heart to hurt anymore. I want a tougher armour and to do that I need to let go. For example, my mother in law is a meddling woman who is always attempting to undermine my parenting. I need to forgive her, accept her warts and all and stop measuring my successes as a parent against her benchmark. That way she no longer gets under my skin, causing conflict because I feel imferior. She is nuts and it’s not my problem anymore.

4. I do not want to put limits on myself anymore. I have worked hard to recognise perspectives that have clouded my judgement and informed my fears. I have seen the shackles of tradition. Now I want to use these insights for good, put into practice what a very expensive therapist has taught me. I want to see, expand my mind, my perspective of life so I can live with joy and compassion. I want to hear God’s crazy plans for my life and say yes and walk in faith that what He says can be done! I want courage to do this.

5. Two Disney Princess quotes which I can live by. I have dreams I need to accept them and make them a reality. For I have come through a hard journey to find who I am and I cannot take anymore steps back, so, as I learn about me I need to take my dreams, make some plans and live!

My other alternatives are misery death and for a person who struggles with suicide that is not a statement which I just throw out lightly. This is my reality.

Living for me now means finding my dreams, taking the lessons I continue to learn in my mental health journey and putting them to work so I can understand the purpose for which I was created and fulfil it. This is living. This is my destination.

I no longer want to say I could have. I want to say I freaking tried and either conquered big or failed wildly! But either way I did it!

For now, my life is determined by my mental health journey, and for this season, that is fine with me.

And I will keep going no matter how dangerous! I am excited to make my own story, my own adventures! Make my own imagination come to life, live my defined fantasy as it were.

A blessed New Year to all who read this! Take care of yourselves.

Slowly dying

What I want is a partner

Someone who understands my idiosyncracies,

Their histories.

So I don’t repeat myself everytime

We fall into a familiar routine

We complement one another

We accept each other’s strengths

And get things done together

We talk

We confront one another

We work it out and get to a better place

Beyond compromise

Beyond just keeping peace

I want to go under the surface

Everything right now is shallow

No depth of feeling

No depth of emotion

Doing our duty and surviving

And we slowly die

Right now,

That’s the only thing we are doing together.

Hard to forget

I’m putting my kids to sleep while writing this post. My mind is in a bit of turmoil as I am dealing with some very negative emotions.

Context

I had a baby nine months ago, my third and last. During the pregnancy my depression was terrible and affected every moment of my life at that time. I was in a constant war to control my emotions.

I was dealing with a very unplanned pregnancy. Unplanned to the point of the day I found out I was pregnant was the day I was heading to the hospital to begin the proceedings to get a tubal ligation aka tying my tubes.

The Friday before I had given away every single stich of my daughter’s clothing to a client who had given birth to twin girls. The day before I had given away all of my son’s baby clothes and shoes to another client who had been raped and ended up pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I was in a great state of mind as I had come to peace with my decision to do the surgery.

My husband was not thrilled but he supported me. The few friends I had shared the decision with were very supportive and my therapist was glad as my depression was very severe at the time and I had given in to using antidepressants to help with my coping. Another baby was not an option as my job was also very uncertain due to my country’s economic situation.

Fast forward a few months, my marriage was at a breaking point. I had no job and our family was struggling financially. I was acting terribly due to withdrawal from my antidepressants as there was no time for easing off the drugs. I was self harming every week, crying everyday. My emotional state was so bad that my sugar and pressure levels were going up at every doctor appointment. I also started spotting, swelling, to the point of having to rush to a jewellers to cut off my wedding band so I did not lose my finger, and everyday I did extrenuous house work just to keep my mind busy but that choice was putting my pregnancy in jeopardy because I was supposed to be on bed rest.

I was a damn mess.

I did not want the baby honestly. I couldn’t see myself dealing with another child having lost my mind in my last two pregnancies – my depression gets severe during pregnancy then I have postpartum depression. But I was working on these feelings because the baby was already in existence.

The Question

At the time it came to light that an Aunt in my husband’s family was looking to adopt a baby. Seeing as I worked as a Social Worker and had been formally employed at the agency which handled adoptions, I began assisting in gathering information for then on the process.

The out of the blue my husband asks me if I would consider giving them the baby.

His request left me speechless. He went on to say that his cousin had asked him to ask me but he wasn’t willing to do it. But it was my choice – So what say me?

Sitting at the edge my bed all my mind kept saying was “are you fucking kidding me”.

It never ceases to amaze me how much my husband does not know about depression. He is a kind and good man but utterly hopeless in my struggle. He does not seek information about depression, doesn’t read or listen to anything I have given him in the past. I guess this is why he could not then and even now understand how much that question affected me.

I wanted to scream, I wanted to throw things. I wanted to vomit for the umptenth time that day. I had been struggling and praying everyday to accept the child growing inside me. A child who I could not speak too. I could not touch my stomach or feel her movements without feeling anger. I barely paid attention when we did ultrasounds. I cried every night I could not sleep because of insomnia. I cried everytime I had to take medication to control my vomiting. But I had been working these things out. I couldn’t afford therpy so I had to do it alone. I couldn’t talk to friends and my own husband had removed himself from my healing process a long time before. All I had was God, the tools I had learnt in therapy and my desire to be a good mother and give my baby love by the time she came out. I wanted her to feel love on the inside of me. God knows I struggled but I was doing it.

I wasn’t happy but that baby was mine. Ours!!!!! How could anyone in their right mind see their wife suffer through everyday or her pregnancy, learning to love the baby then casually ask if I would give it away?

The gall of his family to ask also left me disgusted at them all. I could not understand how anyone could think it ok to ask a woman to give up her baby out of the blue.

After a good cussing I told him to go to hell along with his so by so family.

I eventually told a couple of friends after I realised that my husband and his family thought it was ok to ask such a request of me and that I would get no understanding from them for how they hurt me

They were taken aback as well and helped me through my hurt. After I met with the Aunt who made the request I finally exploded on my husband. I became physical and the fight ended with him telling me to leave. I called a friend to go by her. However, after a doctor’s appointment the day after I had to reconsider my decision. My pressure and sugar levels were high enough for a miscarriage and my doctor did not condone my leaving as my friend lived too far away from medical help. I had no choice but to go home. And deal.

So I did. I dealt. I talked my emotions out with my friends. Forgave my husband for his blindness. Made my ammends for my behaviour and moved forward.

I thought.

Tonight’s Conundrum

We have been invited to a family get together with the side of my husband’s family with whom all of the bachannal happened. Thank God the Aunt has left the country but I am no longer comfortable being around his family.

Other things have occurred also with his side that have caused tears and fights in my marriage.

The sad thing is the persons who have invited us had nothing to do with anything that has happened but I just cannot seem to separate them from the idiotic, hurtful and hateful things said by other family members. I feel like I am under a microscope. I don’t know where I stand or what they think of me. I just don’t want to be around people I also not sure like me or respect who I am

And I do not want my baby around them. I don’t want a picture getting back to that disgusting woman who wanted to take her from me.

It’s easy to forgive sometimes. It’s harder to live with the memory of the hurt and the fear and animosity another’s unthinking actions can leave behind.

Is it bad to say that all I want is an acknowledgement that they were hurtful and disrespectful to me as a human and a woman? Is it wrong to say that my husband disappointed me by laughing along with them as they mocked my reaction and told me I was over reacting?

So I sit in my kids room and ask myself and maybe soon God if I can be around his family and keep my peace?

Sigh.