Can I?

I don’t know if I can…

I’ve been planning for my service dog for the past 6 months and now I’m panicking.

Can I do this? Is this the right choice? Am I being selfish? Will Avery be okay? Do I have what it takes? Am I worthy? Will this be a crutch? Will it be worth it? Can I do this?

These questions…constantly swirling in my mind.

I’m terrified.

This dog could either be a beautiful thing or a horrible mistake. Or is there grey area?

Could it be hard but also worth it? Can I make mistakes but not fail? Will Avery be jealous but still be okay?

Am I doing the right thing? Will I ever know? Is this one of those moments where you say you only live once and take the plunge?

Or do you back out knowing logistically it’s a huge commitment?

How do I know which is the right choice?

Am I a bad person for doing this? And am I also a bad person if I back out of doing this?

Are all of these questions my wise mind or are they coming from my insecurities and fear?

The exhaustion, it’s real, it’s here…

I just want the questions, the doubts, the fears to go away…The anticipation is killing me.

A part of me wants to back out and waste away…ohh the anorexia is so appealing right now. She is calling my name and it sounds so sweet.

Can I do this? Should I do this?

Am I changing my life for the better or am I turning down a path of no return?

I’m exhausted…

 

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I Know Pain

Pain.

It doesn’t scare me.

In fact, pain intrigues me.

This wasn’t always the case.

At 16 years old I was suddenly in such constant, excruciating pain.

I didn’t have a choice but figure out how to deal with it.

After two brain surgeries, five spinal taps, a fractured spine, an infection in my brain, too many needle pricks and IV’s to count, fear was known. I knew pain so well I could practically call him my best friend.

People fear the unknown. Pain was no longer the unknown.

I know that pain will come and go and I know that pain won’t kill me. I know that pain is temporary and relative. I know that pain is more in the mind than of the body.

When in the hospital they show you a chart with smiley faces ranging from 1-10. Number one has a big smile and number ten is grimacing in pain.

Number 10 couldn’t do justice for the pain I experienced as a 16 year old.

But I survived, I lived through it. So what pain that is to come can I not handle?

I know I can handle pain. I know pain. Pain does not scare me.

In fact, I take much pride in my ability to conquer pain, to not fear pain.

Because I know pain.

 

The Black Hole

I think feeling alone has to be one of the hardest feeling for me to handle…

I sit here, in the dark, alone.

So alone.

So alone that I can’t think of a single person I can reach out to to help ease the pain.

That is terrifying.

And what makes it even worse is that I don’t even know how I got here. How I got to a place of having nobody. Because I certainly used to have plenty.

My life has become a spiral of nothingness. I go to work, through which I find no joy. I go to school, through which I find no joy. And then I sleep. I sleep because I have nothing else to enjoy. I sleep in hope of easing the pain. I sleep because sleep is my only friend. I sleep because I have no other option.

And yet I’m exhausted. I’m tired of having no joy, no hope, no goal to strive toward, no purpose.

It’s an emptiness in my chest that resembles a black hole. So large, so dark, so void of anything that signifies life…

So where do I go from here?

Something has to change, but what? I’m stuck at my job, I go to school online, my options feel so limited.

So here I sit trying to think of a single person I can reach out to as my mind crawls towards the darkest corners of existence…

I’m alone.

So alone.

Fragility

January 1, 2017 my father cut me from his health insurance.

It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for for quite some time. I have looked forward to severing this last form of connection but I’ve also dreaded it.

With it comes freedom and with it also comes pain.

The pain and fear that I may never connect with my father again pierces my heart.

I feel fragile. I feel broken. I feel the anxiety and the sadness creep up on me inconveniently throughout my days.

It’s a pain I can’t seem to articulate.

It’s a kind of pain that I just want to numb out from.

It’s an exhausting type of pain.

It drives itself deep into my being.

It makes everything ache.

And there is no band-aid or ice pack or medicine that will make it go away…

I miss him..I need a father..or a mother..either would be nice. I just need someone. Someone to tell me it’s going to be alright. Someone I can go to and feel safe to fall apart in front of for just a moment before I have to pull myself together and present strength to the world.

I need family. Something I’ve never really had…

 

 

Sacred Connection

Sometimes I get to thinking about how much I miss treatment.

I say that out loud and realize how crazy that may sound to others. But the reality is that the connections created in and through treatment are unlike anything else. At least for me..

I never had much of a family. Don’t take me wrong, I absolutely adore and love my mom and sister but my family is so filled with disfunction and suffering that the bonds we have always had have been very unhealthy.

Through treatment I found my family. I found people who heard me, listened to me, and understood me. I found people who loved me despite my pain, despite my past, and despite my mistakes. I found people who helped me identify, embrace, and cherish the most beautiful parts of myself. I found people who encouraged me to honor and love the little girl in me who never felt loved as a child. I found people who wanted to help me carry my burdens. People who wanted to be with me at my best and my worst. I found people who would never leave.

So sometimes I find myself daydreaming about the beautiful people who I would have never met had it not been for treatment.

It’s crazy how the most beautiful things in life can also be the most painful. But without the pain meaning is lost.

We can’t appreciate the light without darkness and we can’t endure darkness without the hope of light.

So thank you to my family. I miss every single one of you who has offered me your heart.

My love and gratitude is beyond explanation.

My Father: The Rapist

Dear Dad,

I’ve thought long and hard about what I would say to you if I had the chance or the courage… And I don’t know that I will ever send these words to you but maybe one day you’ll run across this letter online and discover the things I’ve wanted to tell you for years…

It’s January 11, 2017 and I’m sitting alone in my apartment that I worked my ass off to achieve by working two jobs and never giving up. I am where I am today because of me, because I have put in the work and fought tooth and nail for a life beyond the crap you gave me. You tried to bring me down, to ruin my life but I made a choice to never let that happen. You will never win. I am successful in my job and at school and I am surrounded by beautiful, loving people who are walking this journey with me.

You lose.

I remember, dad.

I remember the times you tied me to my plastic play slide in the basement so you could rape me. I remember when you would make me undress and take pictures of me in sexual poses. I remember when you threatened to do bad things to my sister if I didn’t comply. I remember you laughing in my face as I cried out in pain. I remember having a knife held to my throat so I wouldn’t move. I remember being pulled down the stairs by my ankles and being raped on the cold, hard tile floor of the kitchen. I remember the weight of your body on top of mine, unable to breathe. I remember your hot breath in my ear. I remember the grimace of pleasure on your face when you saw the fear in my eyes.

I remember.

You never got caught.. but one day the truth will come out and people will know who you really are. You are far too good at getting people to believe that you are a poor father who loves his family and was betrayed and hurt by lies. But one day…one day people will see that you are not who they think you are…

You say you love me but I don’t think you know what that really means..

You say you miss me but I don’t think it’s because you care..

Well I want to say that I do love you..because I know what that really means..and I do miss you.. because I care..People don’t seem to understand how that could possibly be after all you’ve done, but in the end, you are still my father. You still gave me hugs goodbye and came to my ballet recitals. You still played fun games with me and took me to dinner. You are my father…the only one I will ever have and because of that I love you. It’s so painful to think that I may never see you again in this lifetime..

And while all of that is true, it’s also true that I hate that you are my father..I hate who you are and what you’ve done. I hate the confusion you’ve caused me and the pain you’ve inflicted upon me. I hate the lies you’ve told and the games you’ve played with my head. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…and I hope that I never see you again…

You’ll never see me graduate college or get hired at my dream job, you’ll never meet my husband or walk me down the aisle, you’ll never meet my kids or even know their names…

I hope you are okay..wherever you may be..and I hope you have a nice life…I really do..

I just need you to know I remember.

I remember, dad.

Goodbye.

 

 

 

 

Internal Demons

You know when you are lying in bed at night, lights out, thoughts racing, and you can feel the flood gates locked, the tears that need to be released so desperately it hurts, but somehow the gate keeper is no where to be found to unlock the gate?

You can feel it behind your eyes, in your throat, the tightness in your chest, the ache all the way down to your toes?

It hurts, it’s painful and you lie there wondering how to possibly let out what has been kept locked inside for decades. Is it possible?

You go to work each day, you do what is required to make it through but behind it all, you are dying inside. And nobody knows because you are so damn good at putting on a face of joy, laughter, and love. You go to work and try your damn best to put a smile on others’ faces, and yet you can’t even do that for yourself.

Behind all the laughter and jokes you spend hours in therapy, reliving what has happened to you, so that maybe one day it won’t haunt you and ruin your life. So maybe one day you can live an okay life (dare I say a good life).

I think what is more painful is holding it all inside while you go through the motions of life, with each person passing you by with no idea what demons you are facing inside. No one will ever know.

You really never know what someone is going through. I don’t care how rude or disrespectful someone may be, all I can think about is how much pain they must be going through.

Every day I spend hours making people coffee, smiling, asking them how they are doing, thanking them, and wishing them a good day. Hundreds of people. Hundreds. Including those I work with. And none of them will ever know what I am going through. THAT is painful.

I don’t even know if I can explain why that piece of it is so hard but it is and I know that anyone who has ever gone through a trial in life understands the pain of holding the weight of something so painful while also having to pretend it doesn’t exist in order to do what needs to be done.

The pain is immense. And sometimes I fear it will never go away.