Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Read This Article and I Cried

I read this today and it made me cry.

First, I cried when she wrote about how her parents immediately flew to be with her, and I thought about how last time I was admitted to the hospital, my mother stopped talking to me and un-friended me on Facebook.  And I thought about how I practically had to beg for someone to please please please come with  me to hospital when I had a breast biopsy because if there was no one to drive me home, I would have to be awake for the procedure.  And I thought about how, when I had to have oral surgery a couple months ago, I was unable to opt for sedation during the procedure because I couldn't afford it and because there was no one to drive me home.  And I thought about how, after the oral surgery, at home alone, I lay on the couch and cried and rocked myself through the anxiety and panic and terror and flashbacks.

I cried when she wrote about how every single person at the hospital treated her with compassion and respect, and I thought about how I was treated the last time I went to the ER, and I thought about how they might have treated me with compassion and respect if I'd had cancer, but since what I have is a mental illness, so many people, including those in the emergency room that night, think that means I am just weak and stupid and lazy and selfish and undeserving of kindness or respect.

And then I thought about how, when I was in that awful psych ward, held against my will for five days, a friend drove three hours (and another three hours home, afterward) just to visit me for an hour. 

I thought about how another friend, who lives in another state, said she was sorry she wasn't close enough to go to the hospital with me for my biopsy and offered to pay for a cab there and back for me so I could be sedated for the procedure.  The hospital was an hour away from my home, so a cab would have cost a lot. 

I thought about the time, 11 years ago, when I was hospitalized in a place that specializes in treating PTSD and then was discharged from the inpatient program and admitted to the partial hospitalization program, and I was saying in hotel in a city I was not at all familiar with, and was totally overwhelmed and alone.  I called a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey.  It was 9:00 at night and she said, "I'll come and be with you.  Let me go talk to my family and pack a bag.  I can be on the road in less than an hour."  She drove all night from New Jersey to Michigan and stayed there with me for a week.

I thought about how for the past month, I've really withdrawn from friends because I've been so consumed with pain there just doesn't seem to be room for anything else, but one friend has continued to call, to send email and text messages, even if I don't pick up the phone, even if I don't respond to the messages.

I thought about the friend that had asked for my address so she could send me a package for Christmas, and how she sent so much more than I'd been expecting, including treats and toys for both Isaac and Cayenne.  She also sent a gift card, and that money allowed me to go grocery shopping and buy the ingredients for the French toast I made on Christmas morning and the hot dog and cheese omelet I made for Isaac and Cayenne for Christmas.

I thought about how, a couple months ago, I posted something online in a forum for gastric bypass patients about it being hard to eat healthfully when you have to rely on food from food pantries.  Someone from that forum, someone I barely know, sent me a private message and offered to help me buy some groceries.  Someone else from that forum sent me a package with some vitamins, oatmeal, coffee and other stuff.  Someone else asked if I would like some protein powder that she wasn't going to use and I said sure, expecting to get a half-full tub of protein powder.  Instead, I got two full tubs of vanilla protein powder and one half-full tub of vanilla and one half-full tub of chocolate.  I haven't had to buy protein powder in a couple months and shouldn't need to for at least a couple more months.

Then I cried some more.

I read somewhere that adults that grow up in highly dysfunctional families often feel like no one loves them enough.  They didn't experience the unconditional love they needed as infants and small children, and no matter how much they are loved as adults, it never makes up for what they didn't get as children.  Because of that, it never seems like enough. 

I think that is true for me.


  1. I did some crying myself this morning but it was over forgetting my dumb food bag at work. I'm sorry you were crying. I hate crying because it seems unproductive. Getting angry and figuring out what to do is how I usually deal with most things. But sometimes it is so healing to accept that things hurt and they suck and we can't change everything and we just have to make do. I wish I could help heal your hurts from your family especially your mother and the circumstances that caused you to have PTSD. And also the physical pain you have to endure on a daily basis. I think you're right that even if you somehow get over the childhood trauma, nothing you do as an adult can fully make up for the absence of unconditional love and you will continue to hurt. I am hoping that isn't always the case and that you feel loved and valued as you are right now. I'm glad that some people have the privilege of trying to be of some comfort to you. I know you've offered great words of encouragement and support to me when I've needed it! It's OK to cry and to wish things were different and just try to carry on. Hugs!

    1. I don't think it always has to be terribly painful. I just think that if we are expecting or wanting someone now to fill that void, we're going to be disappointed, because all anyone can do is change the present, not the past. You can't go back and change what happened 40 years ago. But you can change what's happening now and you can make choices about what will happen tomorrow.

  2. I agree completely! Others probably can't fill the void of unconditional love that was missing from childhood. And we have the power to choose how to act today and tomorrow.