Friday, April 8, 2016

Lost times

Lost Times

Not being honest to myself
I've let me go
What am I doing
besides existing

haven't been writing
no poetry or prose
no letters to friends

haven't been creating
pieces of art
or visions on screen

been taking care of everyone
everyone but me -
so what happens?

I am an irritated ball
an anger enthralled
and it is all me

how is this teaching
my beautiful girls
to be true to self
in times of struggle?

the best of me
is the all of me
the writer the poet
the warrior the peacekeeper
the beast of lens
and the soul seer

No more lost time
No more ignorance of self
time to schedule
instead of just floating in sea of day.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Prednisone Clarity


So it was one year ago that I decided it was time to leave managerial retail. With every fiber of my being I do not regret that decision. It was not a decision I made lightly.
After my concussion in 2010 and subsequent dealings with post concussion syndrome, I believed I could go back to that life and tow the corporate line. I believed I could balance. I loved the staff, the customers. I loved making people's day. But, I lost me. I lost my connection to my family. I gave up my martial arts because it was too many requirements, or so I thought. And so, the last 3 to 4 months of my job, I just survived.
In a lot of ways, I was doing a disservice to everyone in my life. I couldn't be my best at my job, I had lost that fire. I couldn't be there for my family due to my work life.
Fast forward to one year later. Lots of changes and I am working my way back to me. I've had missteps and tribulations. I have failed and I am succeeding. I have realized that I am happiest taking care of my family and photographing.
Just tonight I discovered that part of my foundation that I forgot about, my martial arts, is an absolute necessary part of me. A giant blinding flash of the obvious. I had forgotten, that mind, body and soul are connected. My mind and soul had been restored, but my body wasn't happy. So, we are signing up for the family class and all four of us are going to train together.
And everyday I continue to try to be worthy of my family's faith and love, of my friends continued support and of standing tall and being able to look myself in the eyes.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

#callthemout


#callthemout

Reading all the media reports of a family hiding abuse within its midst is heart wrenching for me. On my Facebook feed, I have friends and family on both sides of this media report.  One side talks about forgiveness of past mistakes and the other side is supporting the victims. Everyone has their own story. Here is mine.

I was five years old when the sexual abuse began by my cousin. He was 8 years older than me. This was someone I loved, I trusted and he wouldn't hurt me, right?

This went on for 5 years. I didn't see him except for a couple of times a year. When I was 8, the parents of my cousin, my aunt and uncle, sat us both down on the living room couch and told us that what we were doing was wrong. He was 16 and I was 8. Let that statement sit for a while.


Yep.. the parents knew and blamed me as well, at the age of 8. I believed that I was to blame, that there was something wrong with me, that I should be ashamed of myself. I carried this within me and I was sick.

The abuse ended at age 10. I stopped it. I made sure I was never alone with him. I had realized that I didn't want to add to the immense weight I carried within. I had started moments of self harm.I have a few scars indicative of that time. I just wanted something physical to show my pain, to ease my emotional pain. 

I didn't tell my Mom until I was 16. I was reluctant to do so, but after revealing the truth at a truth or dare party game, I felt I had to tell her, before anyone else did. Her first response was for me to not tell my Father, because My Dad would kill him. She arranged counseling for me and we didn't discuss it again.

I was angry for a long time. Angry at the adults in my life for not stopping it, anger at myself for causing it (took a bit of therapy to move on from that thought), anger at my cousin and anger at his family who KNEW.

Thank God I had an amazing man in my life who helped me through some of the toughest realizations with the abuse. My husband saved my life and helped me heal, emotionally and mentally. He helped me to see that forgiveness is about myself, not the abuser. He has shown me what a healthy relationship is.


My cousin died in 2004. He was killed in a car accident. 
His name was Art, short for Arthur. 
#callthemout

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Letting the Light Shine

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

I am at the one year anniversary of my concussion so I thought I should update, reminisce and speculate, even philosophically, on my state.


The quote by Mr. Cohen, sums up the year for me. 

I spent the first part of recovery, existing in a pain filled fog, trying to push myself to get better, to return to what I had come to accept as 'normal'. As stated in a previous post, I lamented what was lost, trying to recover/go back to 'before'. I knew in my head that a part was missing, was gone. Unable to access, password unaccepted, admission denied. Of course, I focused on what was my past, instead of what was my present. 


Learning to live with a loss is tough on everybody. Besides myself, this effected and affected my husband the most. I am so very thankful, every day that I married a very patient and understanding man. We had to learn to communicate again. We both had worked hard before children to get the communication thing down and after my concussion, we had to learn some new techniques. It has been frustrating, painful and tiring- and worth every minute of careful conversations that we have endured. We are always working on us, individually and together. My concussion didn't change that, however it reminded us of the importance of our friendship and of our deep respect for each other.


Letting the creative juices flow. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a fighter and that I don't let my struggles keep me down. This concussion has taught me more about myself than I ever knew possible. I've learned to let go of what I thought I was versus what I want to be. I 'thought' I wanted to be a career woman who lived in the corporate world. I was scared of taking life by the horns and living it my way. (Although, Jen would say that the song,"My Way" is my theme song and has been since HS.) 


I've begun to listen to that gut of mine, the intuition that whispers to me. Opportunity has come knocking and I find myself employed for the first time since October of 2009. I've returned to music, which has always been a passion of mine. The job fits my life with the flexibility and the part time. It allows me to give nourishment to the other creative parts of me that have been languishing for attention.


I've realized that my creativity has been sparked since that day a year ago. I've always had a creative side, but the business, type a, side of my brain always seemed to get in the way of my creativity. The part of me that was impacted the most was the stressed out, type a business woman. It is like I was hit on my head in just the right place to loosen up the creative juices. Prior to my injury, I followed paths set before me by others, namely businesses and bosses. The loss of that side of my thinking has forced me to let go of my fear and to stop being scared of being who I really am, to live each day and to go for my dreams.


Inspiration I've been inspired by so many people that I've met through the pcs page on fb. I realize, I am not alone - with the daily head aches and tinnitus, the barometric pressure meter living inside my skull, the forgetfulness. I have become accustomed to my dear brain, built a tolerance to the twinges and learned techniques that help me to cope. As always, I continue to be a student of life, with bits of inspiration tingling at every corner, from Rebecca, my cousin, who is shooting for the moon with her own dreams(inspiring me to do the same), from Evan, my husband, with his amazing patience and gentleness, my girls, with their amazing zest for life and the drive to laugh. The list of inspiration is too great to complete.


I can say that I have improved and I know I will continue to heal.


Life is too short and it has taken me this long to finally understand. Now, that I have lost, that I was lost, I am now found. I am cracked, but that is how the light gets in. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abilities

Day by day, I discover what my capabilities are.
Back in April, I sat down to file our taxes. My husband was nearby to take over if I needed him to. I started using Turbo Tax last year. This year, I sat at the computer and was able to enter the information, step by step. I completed our taxes and became very happy. I felt proud of myself that I had accomplished this task for my family.

One of the issues with post concussive syndrome, is the relearning, the adjusting to what is the capabilities of the person/brain -NOW. The feelings of uselessness can be a poison that seeps into the soul that is already weeping at the loss of abilities. Knowing what I once could do and then being in the situation of not knowing what I could handle or accomplish has been unnerving, unsettling and frightening.

Being able to step back and see what are pros and cons of any situation in regards to how my brain is handling it has only begun recently, thanks to my medication. I've realized that if I have a task, such as the taxes, I approach with caution as a Lion Tamer with a whip and a chair and approach gently. I am surprising myself, pleasantly so.

I've become accustomed to you, my dear Brain. Instead of berating, and feeling distress at what isn't- I've realized that I must handle you with care. Firmly, but gently-With patience, lined with strength and understanding.

So dear Brain, lets continue to surprise one another and I will work on my biggest challenge, patience.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Staying positive

Staying positive in the face of adversity is...difficult.

Medication helps.

I mean it reallllyyyyy helps. As does counseling and therapy. I've known people who have stigmas attached to antidepressants and to any kind of mental health action. We see a Doctor when our bodies hurt, we see our Priest/Rabbi/Pastor when our Soul is in need. The mind is just as important. We take a pill for blood pressure, a pill for cholesterol so why not a pill for a chemical imbalance in the brain? The mind, body and soul are connected. We need to nurture and care for all parts. Which is where I say that I am on medication which assists me with my imbalance in my brain.

I have a family history of depression. Both sides. Despite this, my parents raised me to pick myself up after every fall and keep going. They raised me to be a fighter. I mean what is the alternative? I'm not going to curl up in a corner, but there are a lot of days I would LOVE to pull the covers back over my head.

Prior to my 'chandelier moment', I had suffered from some post partum depression after the birth of my second child. I was already on medication when I became "close" with the wrought iron monstrosity. As with most post concussive syndrome cases, my emotions were affected. I didn't feel 'right', I wasn't me and I didn't know if I was ever going to return. When was 'normal' going to happen again? I was frustrated, angry and feeling out of my usual control. My primary care physician increased my medication. I also increased my appointments with my counselor who I had been seeing since 2008. A pill is not the cure....still have to do the work, to look at the truth and to try really hard every day to be better than yesterday. The medication gave me a base to work from.

A lifetime ago, in the first instance that medication was ever suggested to me, the physician said," Due to life events, the floor was ripped out from under you. The medication will give you something to stand on from which to deal with the issues." My medication gives me a base, a focus to stand on without being distracted by the serious ugliness of depression.

Staying Positive..... Medication does help....so do puppy dogs, rainbows, laughing kids, lollipops and a brand new CD. Of course, one of my favorites that I keep with me at all times is Juicy Fruit gum.
Awesome stuff....ever been truly upset chewing gum?
Yepper.....calms me right down.
I need all the help I can get which is why I am not ashamed to say that I take medication.
And I see a counselor.
And I am a proud chewer of Juicy Fruit gum.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time Frame

"So, are you fully healed?"

This was a question that I have been asked a few times and I have replied with my stock answer of, "I don't know." It has almost been 9 months since my 'encounter' and this seemingly gestational cycle is giving way to a new me. This "unseen injury" is a journey in which I have no map. I am continuing to learn my limits along with new abilities.  No one has any answers as to how my healing will progress. This of course, frustrates the crap out of me and gives me levels of self consternation that surprises me.

I have come up with two analogies to best explain me and my brain.

1. To borrow from Star Trek, everyone around me is at Warp Factor 8 with their thinking, rationalizing and verbal skills. I seem to be at Warp Factor 1 and on bad days, I manage to be on impulse power.

2. My brain is rewiring itself. Not the exact same way as before, DIFFERENTLY. My thought processes are different, my interpretive skills are different and my emotion chip is different as well. 

Due to the above- I may appear to be physically the same person before the 'encounter', but I am not. I've had to come to an understanding with this Brain of mine. Healing will take as long as it takes and in whatever form it takes. This doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated. What can be so frustrating is remembering how my brain used to work and knowing that it does not function like that - now.

Day by day, step by step, easy does it.
Inhale Exhale and let it go.