Journaling, Grief, Life….

Fair warning, this one’s been kicking around in my head for a while, so I decided to go with the brutally honest approach. Not something we humans do often or well… look away if that’s too much. I hope you won’t because I think we all could use a little introspection sometimes. I know I can. And maybe you’ll learn something, or ….well, I dunno something good.

Oh, but first updates:
Dr Lungs has given up on me. I got the results of my PFT (“normal” or whatever that means), and got told “dysphasia patients have this issue sometimes. The coughing, the breathlessness, the productive cough; it comes with the swallowing dysfunction. Your next step would be a speech therapist for occupational therapies. Good luck.”
Yeah, same to you too buddy. So, this is how it ends. I guess I choke on a spoonful of frosting or fall down the stairs. (Or both! I’m an overachiever!)


Appointment with pain doc next month, appointment back to neuro in May to keep an eye on the tumor. And now it’s time to go bug my PCM because 2 of my other docs have told me I quite possiblely have EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). It fits. With my prior dislocations and hypermobility (I can cross the bones in my forearm), it’s a distinct possibility I’d finally have some answers.

Now on to the harder stuff to write about and the reason for the title. In the cold light of day, I’d pull my sleeves down, look at the floor, and mumble “I’m fine.” I’m a solitary person, terribly introverted, and unusually prone to stoicism.

But in the quiet dark, late at night, away from too many questions and judgements, I am self destructive. My arms bear the scars of me trying to take my pain out on myself. Those scars are from many, many years ago but when I am overcome with grief and pain I hear the girl responsible for them whispering to me.

Last week I put out a post that was password protected because I needed to get pain out and away. But I wasn’t sure I wanted those words just out in the public eye. And the next day, the cold light of day spoke up, and I deleted it. I guess you could say this is the follow up.

Because I have been chewing on, pondering, turning it over and over in my head, contemplating grief and mourning.


Thirteen months ago, on January 20th, I got the phone call telling me we had lost my sister in law Brenda. But what I would come to learn by the end of that day is that I had lost 2 people.

Brenda died, and someone I love very much walked out of my life….threw me out of his life, without a discussion, or an explanation, or a chance to apologize. He was angry, he still is angry, and for the last 13 months I have staggered through denial, and bargaining….pleading with him to talk to me, along with depression weaving its way through the days and weeks and months. Bouncing back and forth between 3 of the 5 stages of grief. Mourning a loss because of a change, not a death.

I have spent 13+ months now turning the whole thing over and over and inside out, trying to understand. Patiently waiting for a chance to talk, to straighten it all out, to apologize. I’m trying to understand.

I know my culpability in the whole situation. I would be the first one to tell you how profoundly flawed I am. The mistakes I have made stay with me, the times I made the wrong call, the moments in time I wish i could go back to and make it right, make it better. I know I am flawed. I know when I’m wrong.

But I also know that when I know better, I try to do better and be better. I learn. I work at it. I try. I hope. And I love completely and unconditionally. I am not perfect, but I am real, and I am honest, and the mistakes I made were never deliberate, never meant to hurt someone, never meant to hurt him.

I spent a long time angry at my mother for my childhood. But as I grew up and went on to have kids of my own, I realized in the process of letting go and forgiving her that 1)when she knew better, she did better. No one can fault someone for not knowing better. and 2) I wasn’t exactly the easiest kid in the world to raise. My mom did what she could with what she had.

I got caught up in the searing pain in my chest as I heard the words that my son didn’t want anything else to do with me. The agony of watching him “block” me on all social media, refuse any contact, or allow me any part in his life. I got lost in denial, bargaining, and depression swirling around me and through me.

The pain, the hurt, the visceral agony in my chest gave way to disbelief, bargaining, pleading, hoping, writing to him, apologizing. Months rolled on, I survived 2016 (mostly), another holiday season…a little more rejection.

The anniversary of Bren’s death reminded me I had lost him too.
And oh Gawd! this hurts.
The clock marches on, the sun rises and sets, another cycle of the moon, I keep thinking.

After 13 months I move forward, just a little bit. baby steps.
I forgave my mother. I own that I was not the easiest damn kid to raise. I forgave my father for walking out and choosing over and over to stay gone. When he died, I was at peace, because I had forgiven him.

My husband cannot seem to get his relationship with his mother to move forward at all. She can’t or won’t grow or try. She won’t apologize. They can’t connect.

I am living with an inoperable brain tumor, but that’s not what drives me to try to learn to be a better mother. I try to learn how to relate to my kids as they get older and my role changes. I apologize when I’m wrong. I try. I hope.

I know I have made mistakes. I know I made the wrong call sometimes. I know I am nothing close to a perfect woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend. I do know that.

And I guess embracing that means I move just a little bit further as I grieve a change. Is it anger? I’m not sure. What I do know is I have reached a place that tells me, that even with all of my mistakes and imperfections, there are some things I don’t deserve.

I don’t believe that I deserve the way I have been treated. That’s not an easy sentence for me to type and put out there. But it is the truth.

4 responses

  1. I struggle putting some “things” out there as well. I think it’s important, primarily because it can help us sort through a mess of emotions while indirectly telling others it’s okay to not be okay, if we choose to share it. The whole notion that we heal and move on after grief is completely false. We’ll never be the same and must learn how to live as a new version of ourselves.

    I don’t have kids so I can’t claim I understand what you’re feeling. What I do know is what it’s like to be a kid who’s pissed off at a parent enough that I hated him. It did take me a long time to better understand him and in the process, myself. My relationship with him isn’t awesome, but I do love him (and forgive him), which is something I don’t think I would have been able to say 10 years ago. My hope is that your son is able to work through it and reach out to you before it’s too late. Our time on this earth is limited.

    I’m sorry you’re hurting πŸ˜˜πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I know, in being afraid to put it out there, I forget that I need to say it’s okay not to be okay. We need more of that.
      You might not have kids, but you have parents and siblings. So maybe you can understand my son better than I can because you’re just looking at the kid view of the parent. I know part of it is just growing up and separating ourselves from our birth families . Guess that might be why it took me so long to reach anything but bargaining and denial.
      I hope so too. 2 major choking incidents and one event of hubs not being able to wake me up already. The clock is ticking.
      How are YOU? Is it bad I have 2 sets of scrubs? I could bust you out whenever you want a ride home! Or maybe to….crap, I don’t have a clever thing. But I’m here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Grrr, WordPress ate my comment. I don’t remember what I wanted to say. Part of it, I wonder if your pcm will be willing to prescribe an inhaler to help with the cough?

        Eh, I’m alright. A lot of stuff needs to fall into place prior to discharge. They’re having a difficult time finding a medical supply store in network that delivers on base. I need supplemental oxygen for the time being. If I have to rely on MC for o2, I’ll f’n suffocate. πŸ˜† Tricare is also being a pain in the ass about the wearable cardioverter-defibrillator that they tried to order weeks ago because an ICD is actually cheaper. I love that insurance companies believe they’re qualified to make medical decisions. 😏


        1. That’s my next stop. I actually have a couple of weeks between other specialist and meds refill week, so I’m going back to my pcm to update her. An inhaler would help. And a diagnonsense of EDS (so I can have another pretty name to include in my list, right? πŸ˜‰ )

          I actually had in-home O2 a few years ago, but our housing wasn’t on base. After my hip it was fun getting in-home nursing, in home PT, and “durable medical equipment” cleared. I wish MC would jump in and fight for you. >:/


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