What is love?

What is love?

Growing up I always had insecurities surrounding love. From the moment I was created I was told how no on truly wanted me. My mother battling her own demons at the time and my father addicted to drugs were incapable of being able to fully devote all love to me. When I was created my mother had found out that she had cancer. From what I’ve been told Melanoma is the only form of cancer that goes from mother to child and my mother prior to conceiving me spent 30 mins in a tanning bed for her first time and developed a 4-5 on her bottom. I don’t have memories of that time clearly with being an infant so I go off of the things I’ve been told through the years. My papa used to tell me he believes deep down my mother wanted to love me but guarded herself due to the fact that I wasn’t supposed to survive the cancer. My mother tells me she was the only one who loved me. The story I’ve been told and brow beat for years with is my mother father and great grandmother were the only ones who came to see me when I was born. My family, mostly Caucasian, didn’t want to accept a multiracial baby into the family. They had tried to convince her to have an abortion. That’s where my mother says her love for me came in. After a few days my family came around and I believe they grew to love me. But imagine the difficulty believing that you could ever be truly loved and accepted by someone hearing this story over and over again at a young age.

I remember falling into a dark and lonely place very often while growing up. I could be in the middle of doing something with my grandparents and randomly ask them, “do you love me?” They would always reply with a yes and list all the reasons of why.

That insecurity has followed me and has carried over into my relationships. I feel unworthy, not good enough, and unloved a majority of the time. No amount of therapy has been able to change that for me. I am very big on actions. Your voice can express to me a million times the love you share for me but what you do is what matters.

I had a partner who would tell me in this tone that he used only when expressing love that they loved me, but in the same breathe do things that weren’t love in my eyes. They would allow family members to degrade me, hit me, disrespect me and try to convince me that it was love. It takes my brain time to wrap itself around the idea that love isn’t a cookie cutter definition. It looks different to everyone. In his eyes maybe abuse was love. I could understand that. In another previous relationship I had paired love with abuse. He would hurt me and return with apologizes and flowers with cards that said I love you. Every hit combined with “I love you, why do you make me do this to you.” I had been convinced for 4 years that love was violence and fights. At the time it made sense to me. My father abused my mother, my mother abused me, my family degraded one another and they all claimed love.

The other night I was talking to a friend who referred to love in almost the same way. I think we learn love and it’s meaning very young. We see the people around us show love in their own ways and we are programmed that it’s how you demonstrate love. I know what love should resemble based on Disney and Romance movies, but that isn’t real life. So how do you truly know how to love if you’ve only seen it in forms of violence and half ass apologizes? How do you rewire years of trauma like that?

I look more and more to my grandparents. The way they interacted with one another is the type of love I yearn for. My Papa never forgot an anniversary or passed up an opportunity to make my Nana feel special. They had their arguments and tough times but when they looked at one another you could feel the electricity they shared. I try to rewire my brain to accept only love in a form as pure as that. The type of love you don’t have to water down. Love isn’t just in partners but love is in friendships as well. My friend tells me love is being your unapologetic self. It’s being able to be open and talk about the hard issues with one another. I look at her and wish to be as confident and secure.

I’m learning there’s no time constraint to heal that past trauma surrounding love. However; you shouldn’t demonstrate the false love you’ve been programmed to show on others and refer to it as such.

Sincerely,

Me

Changes

Changes

Index finger flexing on and off my fully lit screen. “What do I even reply to this?” I say to myself through the tears. I click in and out. Starting, erasing, and retyping my message. “Is there even a point?” My biggest insecurities being shoved down my throat by my own destructive thoughts. Im always the one who cares more, tries more, gives up last.

I respect your decision

One of the biggest lies. I didn’t respect it. I didn’t understand it. But I had to be okay with it.

In that moment I decided I would never give anyone the power to break me again. I’ve said this a million times…..but I meant it this time.I put to much into the people I care about most. In a matter of 5 months I had experienced some of the biggest heartbreaks while trying to heal from my past. “Now? Now is the time you want to walk out”, I think to myself, “This is when you decide to hurt me?” Timing is everything and at the time I thought this was the worst thing that could happen. Who Chooses to give up on someone they care about during times like these?

I could never do this to you

The same 7 words I thought to myself for each individual betrayal. “This is a permanent decision to a very temporary situation.” I spoke out loud as if I could be heard through the just sent message. This is something that I won’t be able to forgive. How could I? I know myself and as bad as I didn’t want it to be true……I knew in that moment my view of you had changed. I could never look at you the same way I once did.

After weeks of self pity and displaced anger I began to pick myself back up. There is nothing like a heartbreak to make you start your soul journey.

In 2015 after my life actually began to take flight I embarked on a spiritual journey. Derailment happened as it will and In November of 2016 I went through an Evolution course taught by Truth Irvine. It was one of the greatest things I could have done. I learned how to love myself, put me first, set boundaries, and let go of so much trauma. I felt renewed. I remember waking up on morning and thinking I had finally reached enlightenment. I forced myself to be happy every morning and I just knew that I had really understood the meaning of that insightful weekend. Do I have to say it or do you already know what’s coming next?

Yea you’re right….I was wrong. I didn’t know crap about enlightenment. Two failed pregnancies later and I was right back in the darkness that I was trying so hard to escape. I let it consume me. Drinking, partying, and all the escapades to numb the hurt that I didn’t want to address. If I push it down and don’t think about it then it’s not real. It never happened right? My idea of dealing with my shit was pretending it didn’t exist.

Years of doing this brought me to two tours in outpatient therapy due to a failed suicide attempt and on the verge of another. 5 days out of the week I was either in group, individual, or processing therapy and classes. It wasn’t until the second go around that I really understood the key ingredient I had been missing all these years. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be anxious.

It is what it is

Those key words. I can’t judge the emotions. What good is that going to do? I can’t change the people around me. I can either express myself and my feelings to the person at hand and if that doesn’t work then accept it or let them go. In the previous heartbreaks I spoke of in the beginning I chose to accept one and let the other two go. Learning that you can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick is something I find myself saying daily. I’ve taught people in the past how they can treat me by what I’ve allowed them to do or them see others do. I’ve allowed people to hurt me, walk away, and then waltz right back in again. That wasn’t healthy or healing for me.

This time around I feel so well rounded. Knowing that it’s okay to not be okay is so healing in itself. Just realizing the judging of my thoughts and emotions and letting them just be that. Emotions without judgement is so peaceful in a way. I’m not saying I don’t cry or get angry because I do, but I don’t root myself in it. I’m not living there any longer. An hour or two and then I wash my hands of it till the tomorrow when I allocate time for it again.

During the past 2 months I’ve said goodbye to people I never thought I’d let go of, left my job of 8+ years, strengthened some friendships with some old friends, made some new friends, saying no more….especially to people who don’t contribute to my growth, and started school for a career in a field I wanted to join right after high school. So many changes that I never would have done before. I’m a firm believer that rock bottom can be the solid foundation you can build up from.

I am communicating how I feel in a more productive way as well. Depression, anger and frustration can be brought on by lack of communication or understanding. I’m learning to admit when I’m wrong and stand my ground when I’m not. I express my feelings and don’t allow them to be diminished.

I think there is some type of ease in knowing that things will never be perfect, but they will be okay. You will be happy as long as you allow yourself to be the main source of happiness. At the end of the day you have yourself and that has to be enough.

Sincerely me

Finding My Way Back From OZ

Finding My Way Back From OZ

A mixture of lavender and over cooked corn tortilla shells was the scent I remember from that day. I can’t remember my thoughts before, the color of my shirt, the location of where I even found the pills, but I can remember the smell that filled the air. It’s ironic isn’t it. Lavender. The calming, stress reducing, essential oil. That’s what I smelt, yet there was no ounce of calm in my body the moment my mouth touched that orange pill bottle.

Reading my text messages from earlier that day nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Complaining to my boyfriend about what a stressful day I was having at work wasn’t off kilter seeing how everyday this year had been intensely overwhelming. I ate lunch with my usual lunch group, talked our usual talks, did my normal work routine. Yet my world went black at some point.

There are a number of things I told the doctors, but nothing after the fact that I can say was the true blue reason of why. I remember taking my father to the behavioral health center after a drug induced psychosis. One of the questions was, “why are you here?” My dad explained he felt like he was trapped in OZ like Dorothy and he needed help finding his way back. There are things that happen in your life that might not hit you right there in that moment. It might be days, weeks, even years later before you finally feel what you should have felt then. But sooner or later the pain you’ve pushed down catches up to you. I finally understood what my father meant by that. I’d clicked my heels a million times, but still couldn’t escape the confines of my own personal OZ.

“What triggered your breakdown?” I was asked. It could have been a number of things, but I do recall before leaving work a coworker stopped and told me that we would be losing our health insurance. Because our job has decided that we are not and I quote “their problem”. How lovely and compassionate. Before kaiser I had medi-cal. My kaiser OB reviewed my charts from my first pregnancy and came to the conclusion that it was indeed a viable pregnancy. Yet my medi-cal doctors didn’t have the time or education to figure out what was going on with my body causing me the pain. They just decided that the pregnancy needed to be terminated. So hearing that I might have to go back to these doctors broke me. I still hadn’t really dealt with the trauma of losing my angels. I just stuffed it deep down hoping it would disappear just ask quickly as they did. Driving home my mind started spinning, calling people to get comfort and understanding, but no one really knows how to comfort you when you cant explain to them what is making you feel the way you do. I have a tendency to have every bad thing that’s ever happened to me crash down upon me when I’m stressed out. It’s like I’m going through it all a new. No words were going to make me feel better. In that moment I had never felt more isolated and alone. I was sad, extremely tired of being this sad, and I just wanted it to stop.

Depression is an evil thing to live with. Most people don’t understand it or even try to grasp how you are feeling. In a room full of people you still can feel so alone. You can’t call into work on your weakest days with the reason being you are depressed without some snarky retort. It’s not an acceptable reason in their eyes. You can’t cancel plans with friends or family because you can’t stop crying without a cure all remark of “can’t you just be happy”. As if it were that easy.

Depression had consumed my souls once again and this time I was ready to let it have me.

I don’t remember much after that. I remember going upstairs to work on some shirts for a friend and that is about it. Bits and pieces of a heated conversation between my boyfriend and I. Then the blackness.

I don’t remember what happened after my world went dark, but I do remember coming too and calling my best friend to take me to the hospital. In that moment I knew I made a mistake. My heart began to race. Not from the pills, but from the thought of making a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My boyfriend tried to talk to me but I can’t recall a word he said. My mind was else where I thought of how if I were to die by my own hand that I wouldn’t go to heaven and see my babies I so desperately longed for every second of every day. I thought of my little rebellious ones and who was going to look after and fight for them if I wasn’t around. I thought of my best friends and how they would wonder why I didn’t talk to them more about the sadness in my soul. But most of all I thought of my Papa and how his heart couldn’t take another loss.

Regret set in around the same time as the nausea and foggy bits. They escorted me to a room with a guard where I waited to purge the poison I had ingested. With every heave I cried. Once again alone with my thoughts. For hours I tried to sleep but my nightmares consumed me.

I was given the option of inpatient or an outpatient program. I could do out patient if my friends agreed to sign saying they would ensure I wouldn’t hurt myself again. With the burden of my life being on my friends I knew I had to focus on getting my heart healthy. Over a month in a program called IOP and I was feeling better and ready to go back to work and be around the world again with all their harsh judgment and criticism. I had two more classes when I received a text saying I would be changing classrooms when I returned to work. Inside I was shattered. This would be the second time my job had decided to retaliate against me during a hard time in my life. But I just replied with excitement. Change is something people going through things can’t really handle. Those two more classes turned into another month in therapy.

Tip toeing through conversations. Every choice word well planned and thought out. I felt equipped to handle the world around me with my tool belt full of new knowledge and understanding of my emotional experiences with the stress of my job, the loss of my babies, and the broken ness of my family. “It is what it is” was my mind set returning to the real world. You can’t change people or situations…..but you can accept them and change the way you allow it to effect you. Catty remarks of “how nice of you to come back” were a great welcoming from a few. If they only could experience half the things I’ve had to maybe they would have a heart and not be so callous. But an overwhelming amount of love and support was also showered upon me from several people as well. For those people I am grateful. You never know what someone is going through so why not just be kind?

Life after a breakdown doesn’t feel like life at all. I feel as if I’m floating, just making it through everyday like a dream. I didn’t know how to quit interact with others. “What were they thinking of me?” “Do they think I’m weak?” So many thoughts creeping through my mind.

During these challenging times I’ve learned that I need to ask for help when I need it. My job is just that, a job. It’s not my whole life. If I need to take a day, a week, a month off to gain mental clarity then I need to do just that. Some people are cruel and I just avoid those people. Not everyone is going to understand what you are going through, but some are willing to try. I still look through my therapy notebook on trying days. I’m not fine, but I’m getting better. Stress management is definitely something I am working on. After the loss of my babies I was told often how strong I was. I didn’t feel very strong. I felt weak and bruised. With tears in my eyes and pain in my heart I urge you to hug your “strong friends”, Show people who seem distant a little more compassion then usual. You never really know what anyone is going through in life. The people with the biggest smiles and deepest laughs can be the ones hiding the most pain in their hearts.

25 things I learned before I turned 26

Inspired by Melissa Soule http://www.CandidlyMelissa.com

25. People may not understand the reasons you do the things you do, but people who truly care about you will support you.

24. Change is inevitable. You have to learn to roll with the punches. Sometimes the change turns out to be amazing.

23. One day someone who has loved you for as long as you can remember can suddenly have a change of heart, so instead of being fearful of that, make the time you have and share with them magical. The memories will get you through.
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22. Friends will come and go. Different circumstances in life will lead you down different paths. Try to be understanding of that. Its not personal, life just happens.

21. Break ups happen and they suck. Lean on friends that are empathetic. EMPATHY will get you through.

20. These are some of the best years of your life.  Cherish them hold onto the good, let go of the bad.

19. Don’t rush into college. Take your general education and really think about what you want to do.

18. Living on your own is hard. The struggle will mold you into strong, independent person.

17. Death is one of the hardest things you will ever encounter. Hold tight to tge people you love because you never know when you might lose them.
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16. High school isn’t really preparing you for the real world. Go shopping with your parents, watch them do their taxes, prepare yourself.

15. Be kind. You never know what someone is going through. Just a simple smile can make someones day.

14. Don’t compare yourself to the friends around you. You all come from different walks of life. They might have what you don’t but you don’t know how they got it.

13. Learn to enjoy your alone time. You need it.

12. Don’t believe everything you read or see on the internet. People let you see what they want you to see.

11. Think before you speak. You never know how the things you say can impact another person.

10. Racism isn’t something you’re born with. Its taught. You might start to lose some friends as you get older due to different ideas of what is okay to say to one another.

9. As much as you don’t like working, its something you have to do. Find a job you enjoy and work it well.

8. Learn to love Mondays, they really aren’t that bad.

7. Develop your own form of a self care routine. You might not think you need it, but you do.

6. You deserve more than what he’s giving you. Abuse isn’t something that should be acceptable. Sometimes sorry isnt going to fix it and “I love you” can’t be enough.

5. Having depression and anxiety doesn’t make you weird. You are not alone. Talk about it. Others can help.

4. You won’t always do the right thing, but its how you learn from it that matters. Don’t beat yourself up over thibgs that happened years ago.

3. Forgiveness isn’t something that makes you weak. It makes you stronger than imaginable. Its a weight lifted from your shoulders.

2. Your parents don’t always understand that they are the ones that are supposed to mold you into the person you are supposed to be. Your parents aren’t always right.

1. Cousins will be more like brothers and sisters. They will be some of the best friends you’ll ever have.
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