I’m Hurting and Broken Inside

Hey, I’m alive. I still have to catch up with a post about the funnery of last weekend and some other miscellany I’ve been meaning to get to, but here I am already at Friday once again. But I have some other things on my mind, and they’re getting in the way of my life. Maybe putting pen to paper (or cursor to screen in this case) will help…

So when I passed out on the 8th of this month, I had a TIA–basically a precursor to a mini-stroke. My brain pretty much hit its own reset button and knocked my ass down for a little while. I’m still dealing with the after effects of it all—still a little bit unsteady, sort of shaky motor skills when I get tired, having a harder time focusing, and I still have a slight migraine (currently I’m on day 29 with this migraine…almost a month straight with a non stop headache that no meds can fix, even the rx migraine meds). The doctors say that the TIA and migraines aren’t necessarily related, but both are caused by stress.

And stress, or anxiety to phrase it better has been sitting on me like the world sat on Atlas’ shoulders. And it’s brewing inside of me and it’s got me paralyzed. I need to break free somehow. Even with attempting to put on a front that I’m okay, people keep saying I look BEAT. Even people I’ve never met are asking if I’m okay when they see me. I guess my face doesn’t hide anything. Smiling or not, the mess just shows up on my face. I don’t normally put all my shit out on front street like this, but I’ve got to let it out to someone other than D (God bless his soul for being such a good listener) and the walls. For some reason, I feel like I can’t go to them with my issues. I really feel like I can’t go to ANYONE, save for D. And he’s not a therapist, so I can’t just let it out on him. No one wants to hear where I’m coming from or what’s really going on with me. They just want me to fix their issues or be the comic relief. I barely have it within me right now to shower, let alone be funny. So this is why I’m feeling lost right now (this might get long, sorry)…

My mom retired a short while ago, or so I thought. Really she just stopped working and had no plan. She’s a nurse, but injuries made it hard for her to do clinical work, so she got out of that game and was trying to get in one of the health insurance companies as a nurse case manager—it’s a great way for nurses to still do what they love but without the hustle of the hospital or doctors offices. Anyway, she didn’t find anything right away so she took a temp job at the insurance place. After the contract was up, she tried to get hired permanently there, but no dice. She sent out maybe 4 more resumes, but no dice again. She went on numerous interviews, but no dice. She didn’t seem to realize that her making self-deprecating jokes and smelling like a chimney (she smokes a LOT—like almost 2 packs a day) isn’t a good look in an interview. She does the self-deprecating thing to be funny (even though she’s a DAMN good nurse), not realizing that the interview is the time to sell yourself. So she gave up and stopped working for good. That’s how she retired. She.just.stopped. Mind you she has no savings, and never started a 401K because she didn’t understand it. My stepdad is retired and gets a pension and disability, but it’s really not much. She figured she’d be okay because she had pensions from her former hospital job. Well it turned out to be less per month than what I make in a week, and less than what she was used to making in about 3 days as a nurse. So she’s not okay. Now I have her applying for public assistance and D and I are covering a lot of her bills. My brother (my only whole blood sibling) has a fucked up relationship with her and really wants nothing to do with her, so that leaves me to take care of her. She’s only 59, but dementia is creeping in, so I have to take power of attorney and begin to collect the rent from her apartment (she has a 2 family house that she rents out a portion of), and pay her mortgage with the proceeds and put the remainder in the bank because she won’t enforce the rules of her lease. Her last tenant walked all over her and paid when he felt like it, and I can’t let her go out like that again. It’s hard for me to see her so desperate and so depraved. I’m crying now writing this, I can’t take care of her by myself from 350 miles away and I can’t go back to living there when I’m doing my best to make a life here. I need my brother’s help, but him and I are estranged also—he lives 20 minutes from me and I speak to him once a year—so he may give a word of advice then wash his hands of the situation. My stepdad is 74, so he can only do so much because he’s partially disabled and plus he’s just getting older. I worry about them, and wonder if they eat every day. She’ll find out on Monday about help from social services, until then I’m doing what I can.

On the inside, I just feel like I’m not enough. And I’m ashamed of me. I’ve retreated into myself and now I find it hard to make the effort to go meet new people, deal with the ones I already know, keep commitments, etc etc. BK, that’s part of the reason I haven’t been to your classes (outside of being on the injured list). I’m ashamed of what I look like, how I talk, how I dress, just everything…my self-confidence has eroded to the point of almost nothingness. And it’s no one’s fault. I’m rapidly losing myself. D assures me daily that he loves me, and all of that, but I just don’t feel like enough—not for him, not for myself. I’m literally paralyzed by my fear and feelings of inadequacy. I want to go shopping, but feel like I don’t deserve it because I’ll just look bad in it anyway. I’m hiding from invites from my friends to go out because I know I’ll just be the fat friend tagging along. I feel like people only feel sorry for me because they know I’ve had a rough go at it health wise this year, not like they actually want to be in my company. I watch people having fun and don’t know how to even get back in that game again. I’m always feeling unpretty, and say fuck makeup, why bother when I look like this. I’m so unhappy. I’ve always fought with this problem, but in the last 2 or 3 months—since July or so, the sound of negativity is deafening. I just want to feel like someone other than D gives a damn. I know my family doesn’t, I feel like my friends don’t—I secretly envy the fun and confidence they have, and just sometimes wish I didn’t have to live like this. I want to know what a real friend feels like, not just ones who use me cuz I’m knowledgeable or who are needy and want me to rebuild them until they don’t need me anymore. I struggle to give off the air that I’m okay. But I’m hurting inside and I’m raw.

I want myself back. I want to get this weight off my shoulders. I want to enjoy my life again, cuz I’ve only got this one try at life. I’ve got sooo much goodness around me; blessed with a beautiful place to live, nice cars, a great great great man….but I can’t enjoy it cuz I feel like I don’t deserve it, like I’m not enough. And I feel like I’m raising my mother. It’s too much for me. If I could get myself back, I could be a blessing to the people who need me the most. I don’t know what to do. I’m so anxious about everything, I’m scared about having had a TIA. I’m only 25…I shouldn’t be dealing with this.

It feels better letting out there 100%, so maybe this is a start. God help me.

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9 thoughts on “I’m Hurting and Broken Inside

  1. hugs Tasha.. You can come sit on my couch and watch tv with me anytime you need to get away.. I’m only 15 mins away.. We can go for a walk together if you want.. remember I’m only 15 mins away.. I’m not judging you.. I’m not just being nice cause you have been through a lot.. You KNOW how to reach me if you ever want to make good on the offer.. hugs 🙂

  2. I’m not exactly in your situation, but feeling less-than-stellar when others are depending on you to be their rock definitely resonates with me. I’m sending up a few prayers for you and your family.

  3. You’re really having a hard time, too (the door swings both ways on the emailing or IM, if you need it). You’re in my prayers. I know how that feels and I’ve been so low that I wasn’t sure how I was going to rise again, but there’s something about us. Intelligent Black women. May be it’s in our genetic code or may be it just has to do with history, but we are strong. We persevere. We always seem to rise above. You’re lucky you have “D” there to cheer you on, but you’ve got to cheer yourself on too. I’m not trying to be preachy but, in the wealth you’ve written here, your an amazing person. Take some time to look at the good things you have going for you. That’s the first step to getting past this low.

    And from your own words? Take care of yourself. You’re in a physically fragile state. Even if you’re not up to venturing out with new people, why not venture out alone to rediscover you? It may sound hokey, but when I had my weekend by myself. It did a lot of good. Some personal, mental growth (even a little) is never a bad thing. 🙂 Take care and, again, you and your family are in my prayers.

  4. I have a read your blog for a minute and this is my first time commenting. From what I have read, I can tell that you are a beautiful person inside and out. During this trying period, I can well imagine your frustrations and feas. Know this, you are still beautiful, and never give up, God is and He will see you through. True friends will come when you least expect it. Be comforted and I really pray that everything works out with you and yours.
    I have a few verses of comfort that I hope will be helpful and inspirational to you: John 3:16 and John 3:34; Philippians 4:13, I Peter 5:7. Take care

  5. That is so much to deal with, I can’t even imagine, especially with you not feeling well. It’s too bad your mom didn’t really have a better plan for her future and I pray that things go well so that she is able to maintain financially. I hope your brother puts aside his bad feelings and realize that she IS his mother too and decides to help out as well.

    I hope things get better for your mom. Try not to worry and take care of yourself FIRST.

  6. WOW

    I’m not sure but I know that felt someone good to get off your chest at least from my end I let out a sigh….I know how it feels to feel as if you have the world on your shoulders and folks expect you to hold it together when you cant.

    Like BK said I’m close you can always come relax at my place I do nothing lol so that would be great.

    I also know what it feels like to think folks are just being nice cause your the “big” friend…..

    Know that folks love you and the crazy part is you think you look a mess and someone will always find a way to holla at you LOL

  7. Oh Tasha! A big hug to you! How scary about the TIA! (I had to google it – so scary for you!) This is supposed to be your time, planning your wedding and enjoying life. I would say force yourself out for a good long walk or run just you yourself – I find this helps me so much. But it sounds like you need to take it easy from that kind of activity too for now though? So hope you are feeling better soon, both physically and emotionally.

    Have you checked into having some sort of property managment company assist with your mom’s renters? What a headache trying to manage that long distance! I hope you can get some help having to deal with her. That is heartbreaking to be put in that position and so unfair to you. But I know I would feel the same way, like there was no one else but me to hold things together.

    If it doesn’t interfere with your recovery or treatment(?) for the TIA, I would advise you to consider asking a doctor about a low dose anti-depressant. I had mild post partum – I just felt off – overly emotional (not that you are overly emotional AT ALL!!) and like I just couldn’t deal with the littlest things (again – the stuff you are dealing with are HARDLY “little things” and a half of a 15 mg zoloft made a HUGE difference. It wasn’t enough to feel any side effects but enough to take the edge off and make me feel normal again, like I could deal with life. Just something to think about. I can’t say I liked it – I felt like I was giving in to our overmedicated society but at the same time, we need to take advantage of any little thing that can help get us through a tough time. I never felt dependent on it and had no problem stopping when I felt I didn’t need it any more. You might just try talking to a Dr. about it and maybe trying something to see if it can help.

    But your best bet, if you are up to it, is get out an walk. This time of year is a great time to do it. It will boost your energy, give your mind some time to wander – people watching on a walk is a great way to get your mind on something else. Also, consider taking a yoga class – the medetation and stretching are low key but make you feel great – also some good quality you time that you can feel good about.

    And feel free to vent here any time! If you want a break, come out to Oregon for a few days or a week! We have 10 acres and lots of beautiful countryside. October is usually still sunny and warm here.

    -Amy

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