Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Letting out all the hurt

Hello there my readers.  I'm not 100% sure why i am making this post but i feel like talking but not sure who to talk to.  So writing it is. 

And just a warning to you sensitive souled people, i'm not intending to hurt anyone's feelings with anything i write.  I'm just trying to make sense of what is running through my head and to get my thoughts 'on paper'.  I'm sorry if anything i say hurts you, but if it does hurt maybe it's best to step back, evaluate the situation and see why what i've said as offended you so much.  Is it because there may be some truth?  i don't know.  Just some things to consider and keep in mind.  But again, i'm sorry if this hurts.  I hurt too. 

For a long time now i have been struggling.  Struggling with my self worth, struggling with my identity, with who i really am.  I struggle with how i react, how i'm supposed to react and what others think.  I spend a lot of time worried about what others think.  a lot of time.  I'm always worried about it and i hate that it bugs me so much.

Growing up i had a lot to deal with.  My dad was abusive (mostly emotional and verbal but some physical) towards everyone in the family (i have 5 siblings).  Just writing that down is extremely hard for me.  It actually makes me want to delete this entire post and forget about the whole thing.  But i feel if i can't explain where i've come from that you won't understand why i'm here.  So as my hand shake i will keep typing to try and help myself.

As i said, my dad is abusive.  And so i grew up in fear my whole life, always walking on egg shells.  I always was trying to be the best child i could be, the most perfect i could be so that he wouldn't be so angry, so that he would love me, because why would someone be so mean and hateful if they loved you?  I grew up not really knowing if i was loved because even if my father said it, he rarely showed it.  And then because of his actions i could not even believe what he said since it contradicted every thing it would say. 

I also grew up with a lot of guilt.  I lot from my father (If i could just do the things he wanted, if i could just not cry, work hard enough, be *good* enough then *i* would be good enough) but also from my mother.  If i expressed how i felt about something she would tell me that it really wasn't that way, or i shouldn't feel that way, or something along those lines.  She would say things in passing that would make me feel guilty about whatever situation it was.  Hard to explain, but lots of guilt.

So i have a hard time knowing how i'm even supposed to feel most of the time.  If i'm feeling sad i feel that i shouldn't feel sad and i have to stop crying RIGHTHISSECOND because that is what has been drilled into me from my father.  Or somehow my mother makes me feel guilty for the way i feel.  I really can't go into details but it's pretty much how it always goes.

I really hate me on the inside because i feel like i'm a complete mess and that it's effecting my relationship with those that matter most, my husband and my daughters.  Our marriage has really been stressed from the very beginning due to me being on hormonal birth control and how crazy it made me.  What kind of crazy you ask? 

well, major depression for one, then anxiety, and the anxiety caused me to start having panic attacks (which i had never had before) and then the panic attacks would cause more anxiety and depression and it was just a big hot mess.  Example.  We'd be laying in bed to go to sleep.  Just because DH wouldn't be cuddling with me my mind would be racing with reasons why he wasn't, until i came the the conclusion that he didn't love me.  I'd start crying and hyperventilating until i just couldn't stand it anymore and i'd lock myself in the bathroom while i proceeded to bang my head repeatedly against the wall and scratch my arms.  I actually had the thought many times that i had made THE BIGGEST mistake of my life and that i needed to get a divorce because i didn't want to end up like my parents.  But then i couldn't bring myelf to do that because i felt incredibly guilty and worried about what 'everyone' would think if i admitted i had made a mistake and wanted a divorce.  But then i was scared to be doomed in a marriage with a spouse who really didn't care about me and didn't love me which would then start the entire cycle all over again.

Did i mention it made me crazy psychotic?  And the worst part was i didn't know why i felt this way.  I knew it wasn't normal but it came out of nowhere and i didn't feel this way until after we had been married.  It wasn't until my dear sister suggested that *maybe* it was my birth control that i started to see the light (what really upsets me is my doctor NEVER said that ANY of those things could be a side effect!  so i never suspected!).  Needless to say i went off of it immediately and i am so thankful i did.  Unfortunately those 5 months really took a toll on our marriage.  A start like that is NO way to start a healthy marriage.

So yeah, pretty stressful start on top of all my baggage from my growing up years.  Then enter our 1st pregnancy.  Everything was going great until our 1st ultrasound when the tec could not find any amniotic fluid.  We were told we'd have to see a specialist ASAP but the soonest we could get an appointment was a week away!  So after a week passed we saw the specialist who told us our baby had cysts in their kidneys and would not live after birth.

Big giant blow in our lives. 

Here we are living 2+ hours away from all family and dear friends and i'm going through a pregnancy with my child who is not going to live.  Even worse we are in a college town and our church ward was full of young married couples.  so everyone in our ward was either A) pregnant, or B) had a child under the age of 3.  I was treated like i had a deadly illness that no one wanted to catch. 

We'd be sitting in class and the lesson would be on service, compassion and all of that and everyone sharing stories of how they helped so and so in this situation or when they were going through ____ trial they were *so* thankful that so and so came to help.  All the wile i am sitting in my row completely alone because no one would sit next to me and bawling my eyes out because i was basically ignored by everyone around me and i had no family or friends to help.  I would then quickly leave the room to i wouldn't make too big of a scene and then of course everyone would come out and ask me how i was and if i needed anything.  I really hated that.  I understand my situation made people uncomfortable but it really hurt for them to say one thing and do the complete opposite.  All i wanted was a shoulder to cry on, for someone to show me some love and compassion while i got ready to go through the hardest thing in my life and i couldn't get it.  I was all alone.

THEN i get misdiagnosed and told i *have* to induce at 32 weeks when really the problme was a misdiagoied bladder infection (which by the way went untreated for at least 1 week, if not 2 or more to the point where i was in INTENSE awful pain and running 101+ fevers even WITH taking vicodin which has fever reducing medicine in it!  I could have gone septic!!). 

So because i *had* to be induced we were robbed from our home birth experience that we desired so our daughter could be born in the most peaceful, loving environment we could have.  Instead i had to spend 3 days in the hospital being induced and then my daughter had to endure the birth with a rushed uninterested doctor who was in such a hurry for everything to be over that he pulled her out of me, i'm sure causing her harm in the process and then telling us that she was stillborn even though less than a minute later she tried to breath and tried again and again and again.  Never ONCE did that doctor check her for a heartbeat but instead insisted she was dead and that it was just a reaction that her body was having. 
So we never got to have the joy of knowing our daughter was alive and with us and able to hear everything we were saying.  She never was able to hear from her mother and father that we loved her earthside.  We were robbed from one of the most sacred experiences there are and there's nothing we can do about it since the doctors word is "law". 

Then again i had to deal with isolation and abandonment.  We had a total of 4 meals brought in to our home, one from a friend the day we came home from the hospital, and then 3 from our church after we had been home for 4 days and were told we'd have meals brought in as soon as we were home (even though they were informed we were home).  And we only had a weeks worth brought because we were told 'after that you should be feeling *much* better'.  No other friends or family ever brought us anything.  We were left alone with the day to day.  Most days i didn't even want to get out of bed let alone dress, shower or eat. 

I knew i was going to be depressed, i already was.  But also expected to be surrounded with love and support.  We had moved home 2 weeks before her birth and so we were with family and friends again.  We had lots of words of support but not much after that.  I struggled with my grief process because i felt rushed and guilty that i was depressed and upset.  I felt like everyone just wanted me to be better and 'get over it'.  And if i brought the matter up at all people would then say 'of course not, take your time' but then i'd feel the pressure again based on actions and things said.  It was a very hard confusing time for me. 

Then, to complicate things we unexpectedly found out we were expecting again just 6 months after our daughter passed away.  On one small hand we were excited but on the other big hand we were scared to death and worried.  It was hard to be happy when we still felt so much sadness, but the pressure from EVERYONE to 'be happy' again made it hard.  If i'd bring up my grief it seems like others would say 'but you're pregnant again!  Be happy!' as if having another child fixed everything.

If anything it has made things more complicated in ways.  Don't get me wrong, i LOVE my daughter more than i can even express.  She has brought *so much* happiness into my life and i wouldn't trade her for anything.  But it's not that cut and dry.  I still have mountains of unsettled grief buried deep inside me because of all the pressure around me to 'be better' because we have a healthy baby now.  I can't be sad because i have to be happy for her.  I also don't have time to grieve.  We've been blessed with a daughter who has silent reflux and we didn't find this out until she was SEVEN MONTH old!  7 months of pretty much non stop crying at night, never sleeping, never nursing well, crying crying crying.  And even after we found out it didn't fix everything.  7 months is a long time for a child to learn things.  and then throw in that we moved when she was 8 months we moved in with my parents for 3 months and then lived in a house we were renovating, her first year has been HECTIC and so she has no rhythm, no pattern, no way of doing things.  I'M her constant. So she doesn't sleep through the night (not even by a long shot!), struggles to sleep without nursing, and is just very high needs in everything in her life.  

and then the judgment i feel in this aspect in my life is huge.  I feel judgment from every single side of me.  Our circumstances don't seem to matter, only the outcome, and since we do not have the 'good' baby i am a bad parent and not doing things right, even though i'm doing things the best i can for MY baby.

I know i've been going on on a lot of different things but i just felt like i had to write about everything i've having to deal with because i've reached the end and i have taken all i can take.  I'm starting to sink and i feel like everyone is just standing to watch.  I get some sticks thrown at me that are thought to help, but i don't feel people are really listening to my issues.  I'm told often that i just need to pray, or read my scriptures, or go to the temple and it will fix everything.

But what these people don't seem to understand (even when i've tried to explain it) is it's not that easy.  Growing up those experiences were used as a way of abuse.  So instead of feeling the Spirit of God, i felt the spirit of contention, the spirit of the devil.  It's hard for me to get past these fears and to move on.  I feel very alone and small.  I feel uncared about and unimportant.  I don't like to feel this way, but i don't know how to not feel this way.  When i pray i don't feel like my prayers get past the ceiling, and instead of feeling the Spirit i feel the opposite instead, i feel cold, dark and alone.  And i feel like a bad person for even saying these things because Prayer and Scripture reading are the answer to everything in my 'culture' so to even suggest that i don't want to do them makes me an evil horrible person.  But i have a hard time doing something in my life that makes me feel so insignificant and alone.

And so, i've reached the end of the road.  I cannot stand my periods of break downs anymore (they are coming closer and closer together these last months).  My sister has been setting a path in front of me these last few months and i think i've finally hit bottom enough to follow her lead.  Today i called and set up an appointment to get counseling.  This is extremely hard for me to do because it makes me feel like a failure and i have a VERY hard time asking for help, even when i desperately need it.  I've been trained to put on a 'happy face' and to not let anyone know how things really are.  So it's very difficult for me to even say anything negative or say anything is wrong.  But they are, and they have been for a long time now. 

But i won't let my fears stop me anymore.  I want to be a new person and i want to change how things are.  And the first step is talking with someone who can help me.

7 comments:

Megan R. said...

Sending you a huge, gigantic, warm hug Jillyn.

Bean said...

Oh sweetie I'm so proud of you for writing this! I know how hard it is to say the truth. Especially about our family and how it connects to the church. It doesn't mean we don't have testimonies, but that we were conditioned to fear many things that are suppose to bring us peace. I'm sorry my love for all your hurt and pain. I know I've contributed to it in my ignorance of how to do our day the "right thing" and I'm so sorry for that. I'm trying so much harder to be here for you. I hope it helps you. But I'm so thankful that you decided to get into counseling! That would be all four of us sisters now in counseling at the same time. That's gotta say something, right? I just want you to know that I love you and I want to help you be happy and healthy. Please if there is anything more you need from me, just let me know. Love you.

Bonnie said...

It's always strange to see how many peoples lives mirror your own when a post like this comes up. Nobody from our family knows this, but a few years ago my lovely and patient husband talked me into going to see a counselor. It has made all the difference in the world to me and my healing as well as our marriage. Had I known what an impact that little known fact could have had on others lives in our family, I'd like to think I would have been more willing to share. I don't know if I would have been as brave as you for doing so! Good luck in this journey you are taking. Nothing is *cured* overnight and somethings will never fully go away but become more livable. It is worth it. You are already a lovely, brave, and good person. Hugs!

Hannah said...

Wow :(.
So sorry you went through all those painful things.
Prayers and hugs to you.

Honeybee said...

It amazes me, sometimes, to read things like this. Growing up I was so wrapped up in my pain I didn't (or couldn't) recognize it in another person. That happy face? You were really good at it. So was your oldest sister, from what I remember. And we learn from an early age to be that way. We're taught not to "air our dirty laundry." Be normal, happy, perfect. Don't be weird was my Dad's favorite saying for me. I am so proud of you for getting help, it is a braver thing than most people realize. /hugs.

Chels said...

I don't know you, but I just randomly found your blog today. I hope it's okay to comment. I don't have much to say other than your story really touched me. I've never experienced the loss of a child, but I have had depression and anxiety my whole life. It is such a struggle. I am LDS as well and am kind of a hippie Mom too (anti circumcision, extended-breastfeeding, going to have a home birth etc) but I live in a very conservative area so it's hard sometimes. It's very refreshing to read your blog, thank you!

Jillyn said...

Nice to meet you Chels! I've glad that you have found my blog refreshing! I don't know my purpose in having it, but it does help me a lot (when i do post). And of course you can comment! This is not a family and friends only blog (although it seems that way sometimes). Thank you for your comment :)