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All posts for the month May, 2016

Winds of Change

Published May 30, 2016 by dividinguplife

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized not only that I’m HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) but I am also an Empath. I’ve never been one for labeling, so I never really knew to give myself the name “Introvert” ….but those three things are exactly what I am. 

I have my first therapist appointment next Friday. I figured it was time to get thirty years worth of shit out in the open. I’m not very good at verbalizing my feelings; I have always been able to write them down better. But maybe this therapist can shed some insight into why I am the way that I am. 

But, will I sound crazy if I tell this woman that I can literally feel what other people are feeling? Being an Empath has been a very strange thing for me, especially because I grew up in such a turbulent home as a child. Not only did I have to take on my feelings of situations, but I also had to take on the feelings of my manic mother in the process. I always felt like I was half a step away from the edge when I was around her. On the rare instances that I do see her, I still feel that way. Being around her makes me feel like I’m going crazy – and I think it’s more to do with her mental state than it does the fact that she just aggravates the hell out of me. 

She was supposed to come over this weekend. I haven’t seen her since my uncle died last July. Prior to that, I hadn’t seen her in a few years. I decided to bite the bullet and ask her to come up for the weekend just so she could see our new house, stay the weekend and relax a little. She was all for it until Friday (the day I’m supposed to go pick her up) and then she called to tell me she was too sick to get out of bed. 

It was like a flashback to my childhood. Everything I ever asked to do was always promised, up until the day came that we were to actually do it, and then my mother fell ill. Beach trips, outings to lunch, going to stay the night with a friend – all promised and all with zero return. But she always felt well enough to go party with her friends and come stumbling in at whatever time she felt like, if she even came home at all.

To say I wasn’t disappointed this time around, would be a lie. I expected it to happen, but I really hoped that she would come through this time. I was going to drive the hour to pick her up and take her back. All she had to do was get her ass up and get in the car … and she couldn’t even do that. It’s hard enough that I don’t have a dad, but I also hardly have a mother and it has always been that way. 

And because of her (or at least a huge part) I feel that maybe therapy may help me. I mean, to other people I seem perfectly fine. I’m quiet, I’m funny once you get to know me. I keep to myself, and I have very few friends – none of which I really see unless it’s a get-together for someone’s birthday or holiday. I prefer it that way. I’m content spending all of my time with my husband and my kid when I’m not at work. My friends are always kept at arms length, and there have even been a few of them that have betrayed me, but don’t know that I know they have. It’s better to just let them pretend to care about me. It’s not ever worth starting drama. I just keep my distance. 

People tell me all of the time how strong I am. They just don’t realize how fucking broken I am on the inside. Two dad’s abandoned me, my mom neglected myself and my brother, I lived with an abuser for three years, the one man that was a constant in my life, my uncle, was killed last July in a car accident by a seventeen year old kid that didn’t check his blind spot. I’ve taken care of two grandparents in my home, one of which passed away in 2010. I watched her die. I told her it was okay to go home to God. I miss her every day. My other grandmother lives with me now and has Chrons disease. I hope that she will have many years left with me, and until she goes, she will live with me. I will probably watch her die too. 

And these are all things that I just keep locked away, and I deal with them on my own, in my own time. But I fear that one day all of these suppressed things will come to a head, and I will have a meltdown. 

Coming Out

Published May 22, 2016 by dividinguplife

When I was little, religion wasn’t really a big thing until my mom married my step-dad who is Southern Baptist. Suddenly, we were in church every Sunday. I was saved and then Baptized by the time I was seven years old. My step-dad’s parents were old school baptist, far right wing Republicans. They still are. The Bible has always been their guide to live their life in a way that they believe will please God. I don’t know where they thought the Bible told them to judge everyone based on what they wore, the company they kept, who their family members were, or by the position they held in the community – but that’s what they did. I remember we had a man walk into our small, judgmental church wearing jeans, a shirt, and he had an earring in his ear. Good-looking guy, but unfortunately he wasn’t dressed the part of what the congregation considered “worthy”. When we went back to the grandparents house for Sunday lunch, the entire conversation dominated around what that man was wearing, instead of dominating around the fact that he even came to church to learn about God in the first place. At a very young age, I decided that a church like that wasn’t for me. 

As I grew older, I kept my relationship with God, but I didn’t follow the Bible to its complete standards. I always had a hard time believing that an all-loving God would condemn homosexuals because of who they loved. I have always believed that homosexuality is something you are born with, not something you just choose to do because you want to be ridiculed for the rest of your life by people with closed minds. I never appreciated the sermons of homosexuals and suicides doomed to hell simply because of a choice they made. But if you kill someone, as long as you ask for salvation, you’re golden to go through the gates of Heaven. That makes absolutely no sense to me. It never will. 

And so, as of recent, I have termed myself a Theist; I believe in God, Heaven, and Hell. But I also respect other religions and believe that every religion holds some form of truth to the afterlife. I also don’t think God would punish people because they were raised into a certain religion, and so that is the one they chose to follow. How can you be punished for thinking your religion is the right one? How can God expect you to just ‘know’ which one is the correct one? How about you do good in life, treat others with respect, and be the best person you can be? When this life is over and we move on to the afterlife, we will be rewarded accordingly to our deeds. That is what I choose to go with. That answer seems best to me. 

My daughter is in middle school. She hit puberty last year, her emotions are changing, hormones are all over the place. A couple of weekends ago, while we were in the car on the way home from her friends house, I asked her if she liked girls. She was very quiet at first. Then she told me she liked people for who they were, not their gender. She also told me the girls house she stayed at, was her girlfriend. 

I told her that I love her no matter what. I also told her that in being bi-sexual, gay, or Pansexual, she is going to face a lot of obstacles from people that don’t understand – especially because we live in the bible belt. My job is to help her navigate her teenage years with as little damage as possible. Even without being Pansexual, she is going to face a lot of obsticles (and it has already started) from her peers, her changing body, the emergence of her sexuality. I want to be there for her no matter what, but I’m scared that I’m going to fail her. I have a feeling the next six years are going to be full of tears, laughter, heartache, and fulfillment. 

Family Tree’s

Published May 13, 2016 by dividinguplife

This weekend, I found out that my father has stage 4 colon cancer. At 48 years old, he has a cancer that they don’t even start looking for until you’re in your 50’s and beyond. And not only does he have a cancer, he has an end stage cancer that has spread to his liver. He has said he will do surgery, but he will not do chemotherapy or radiation. Why? I’m not sure. I have enough patients come through our office that have had chemotherapy literally kill them. I’m not sure that I entirely blame him for his choice. 

How am I feeling? I don’t know, really. This man hauled ass from the hospital the second I was born. He signed his rights away to my step-dad when I was five. Despite the fact that his mother lives with me, and has for years and years, I have only seen him a handful of times in my life. Never more than a few hours at a time. He’s a nice man. He’s a good-looking man. I’m sure it’s weird of him to think that he is 48 with an almost 31 year old daughter. Biologically speaking anyway. I have a half-sister that is in her mid twenties. He is a lot more involved in her life. She and I have seen each other a few times, and we keep in touch via Facebook. Nothing more or less, and I’m okay with that. 

Tonight my grandmother was sitting in the sunroom with me, talking about my dad’s cancer. She said that she was going to have a serious talk with him about who his beneficiary is, because she doesn’t want everything going to my half-sister.She said it isn’t right. I told her I didn’t care. I reminded her that by law, he isn’t even my father. He isn’t on my birth certificate anymore. I don’t care about his life insurance, or his house, or his things. I care about him. And I have sent him a text message to tell him that if he needs anything at all, that I am here. 

But I don’t know how I am supposed to feel about a father that I have never really known. I’m empathetic to him, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to lie there and know that you have this cancer invading your body, unwelcome as it is. I feel like I should feel some sort of devastation. I have always wished that he would want me. I have always wanted a relationship with him. It just wasn’t in the cards, and it may never be for us. 

I love him despite his abandonment. I am part of him. I will be sad when he dies. I will grieve the relationship we will never have. But maybe when he does eventually die (he may beat this, you never know) … I can always imagine the relationship we could have had, had he not have died. 

Childhood

Published May 1, 2016 by dividinguplife

I grew up in a trailer. As a result of that, I didn’t have very many friends. It seems that where you live is somehow a direct reflection on who you are as a person, even if you’re merely a child. 

My father split when I was born, and signed his rights over to my step-dad when I was four. My step-father legally adopted me, and then when he and my mom divorced, it was as if I didn’t exist anymore. Only my brother, who is of his blood. 

I have a middle brother that was adopted when I was three by a nice family because my mother fucked a married cop, and when she ended up pregnant, the cop decided he wasn’t going to leave his wife. My mom had no money, and we had no way to raise a newborn. She gave him up to an old family friend who raised him. He is currently a teacher in Spain, speaks seven languages and has just recently come out as bisexual (he was molested as a young boy by a neighborhood babysitter who was also male) … and his sexuality doesn’t bother me; he’s an amazing man that is using his potential to its fullest. He got the hell out of here, and he is living his life. He is having a wonderful time. 

My mother is bipolar and a narcissist to boot. If you have a headache, she has a migraine. If you have a cold, she has the flu. She has always been through what you’ve been through, except worse. She has done more drugs than I can remember or count. She has been through abusive relationships with drug addicts, and had no problem raising her children in it. She uses men to her advantage until they are no longer useful to her. When I was 15, she had a guy friend that lived here and then moved out of state. She somehow convinced him that I had cancer and she couldn’t afford my treatments, and he was sending her tens of thousands of dollars. When I found out, I blew the lid off of her scheme and destroyed her primary source of income. She cheated on her first husband with the cop she got pregnant by. She cheated on my her second marriage (my step-dad) with a crackhead drunk that lasted for seven years. She cheated on her third marriage with his brother-in-law. While she was allowing ex-husbands brother-in-law to pay all of her bills, she was dating a cocaine addict behind his back. Eventually she married the brother-in-law and then claimed he was crazy, and she left him to go live with some cop until she couldn’t stand him, and now she’s living in a trailer with a construction worker that smokes pot all day (not that I have anything against pot) …. 

I don’t know how my youngest brother and I didn’t turn out completely fucked up. I had a stint of depression amidst the men and the drugs as I was growing up. I tried to kill myself and got sent to a mental hospital for evaluation. Nobody seemed to care that my home life was absolute shit. My mother put on her game face and said I was telling a lot of stories for attention. Everyone believed her except for those that really knew her. 

When I had my daughter in 2004, I swore that I would never give her the life that I had. There were a few years that we did live in a trailer. I never went to college because I ended up pregnant my senior year of high school. And even though we lived in a trailer, I have never done drugs, I’m not a drunk, and I have always made sure that she has what she needs. 

And I don’t have anything against single-wides. There are some really nice ones out there. But I attach the stigma of my childhood to those kinds of homes. I see a trailer and I remember stepping over my mother, entangled naked with a man, a line of blow on the coffee table. I think of the lonely days and nights I spent outside, just because I didn’t want to go home. I think of how, at seven years old, I had to raise my brother because my mom wouldn’t get up and watch her child. I missed important parts of my childhood because I had to be a parent. As a result, my brother and I are pretty close. He has no relationship with our mom, and I don’t blame her. I speak with her on the phone, but I don’t see her. The last time we had an argument, she threw in my face that I wouldn’t let her live with me. Never mind the time that I did let her live with me and all she managed to do was run my bills and my stress level up. Or all the times I gave her money because she had none. Whenever I rebuttal with the fact that she threw me and my daughter out of her apartment because her drug addict boyfriend didn’t want us there, and I had to sleep in hotels and in my car, she says it’s because I always had men over at the house and she couldn’t afford to support us (the brother-in-law paid all of her bills and I worked a full-time job while she didn’t work at all) …. and not to mention there weren’t ‘men’ … I was dating one man after being cheated on and thrown out of my house by the abuser. 

My main goal in life is to make sure that I always have a full-time job so I can support myself and my family, that my daughter grows up in the most stable of homes possible, and that I don’t ever end up like my mother. Last year my husband and I were fortunate enough to move into a nice two-story home …. but with that comes the bills of a nice two-story home. But I don’t mind being a little broke if it means that my daughter can have friends come stay the night without me having to worry that their parents are going to think we are poor white trash. I don’t think it’s fair for adults to assume the worst about children based on the income of the parents. I have worked very very hard to get where I am, and I hope that one day, when my daughter is older and on her own, that she can appreciate the life she had and where she grew up. I don’t mind doing without as long as she has the life that I didn’t get. I want her to be afforded all of the privileges that I didn’t get.

I’m not the perfect mother by any means. But I really do try my best.