Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sleepless in... Just Sleepless

Instead of sleeping, as I should be for my day shift Labor and Delivery shift tomorrow, I'm laying here in bed with my mind racing.

I let Best Friend know that I need to be friends, and nothing more, because I am having a hard time. He took it rough, but he seemed gracious enough. Next day, he asked me over. He was in a terrible mood, looked exhausted, and he snapped at me a few times. I knew I shouldn't have gone over, but I was confused when he invited me, so I went. Bad choice, I should have trusted my gut.

He keeps texting me every once in a while, trying to pretend like he's not hurting. I know that he is. I am too, just not in the same way.

He brought up that I don't seem okay tonight, as we were casually texting. I wish that our conversations didn't just happen over the phone, where we're just reading words on a screen instead of able to listen to inflection and be able to clarify things as they come up. Instead, we choose the stupid route of sending off sentences at a time, then waiting minutes, to respond with a few more sentences. A 30 minutes conversation could go was faster, and way better in person, but we drag it out over a few very painful days.

He doesn't understand why I can't just "let my walls down and let him in". Dude, I don't even know why I can't do that! It doesn't make any sense! I don't know why I can't figure out dating, why I can't get past this shit, why I can't just be normal and have a fucking relationship where I don't end up in another level of PTSD or I end up hurting others because I'm in my survival PTSD brain. I can't figure it out! That's why I'm in counseling.

I guess I have an attachment disorder. Who'da thunk it?

Maybe I am supposed to just be single. I came to terms with that until Best Friend decided being friends wasn't enough, and then I slowly talked myself into thinking about dating again. Then I told a couple of friends that are always worried about me finding someone so that we can "double date" that I kissed Best Friend and they got all excited.

I know that relationships are NOT about making my friends happy, but somewhere along the line, I got confused and stopped thinking. That ended me in an "almost" relationship and that's where I shut down again and started regressing down the wanting to smoke line again... My anxiety came back... I started having worries and nightmares again... I started in with other self-destructive behaviors (I did not start cutting again, don't worry)...

When I told my counselor about Best Friend, I was excited, but reserved. That was about 3-4 weeks ago. When I told her about him this week, and how I was regressing, she confirmed that it was not fair for him and that for my sanity, I needed to talk with him. She encouraged me to do it face-to-face, and I fully planned to do that. But he started texting me after my counseling session, and instead of just taking my "it went okay" text, he started probing for details. I know, it's none of his business. However, I shared with him that I was struggling. He asked if it was because of how we were progressing, and I said "kind of". Then he started apologizing, and he was convinced that he caused me to have flashbacks and caused all of this damage to me. I reassured him, it was not his fault.

His mom shared with him, just an hour before our conversation, that she was depressed. Had I known that, I would have handled my problem differently. I did not, however, know about their conversation about her struggles, so he got double dumped on by two ladies in his life. This sweet kid is very caring and it was just too much for him.

Therefore, when I saw him the next day and he looked exhausted and was snappy, I had a pretty good idea of why. And, unfortunately, he just confirmed my suspicions, all on his own. He's having a rough go of things right now.

He mentioned that everybody gets hurt by me, and it's true. I honestly don't think that dating is a good idea for me because it doesn't end well.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

All the Disorders

Turns out I am getting diagnosed with a new type of mental disorder every few weeks. PTSD (complex), of course, generalized anxiety disorder, and more recently an attachment disorder.

I spoke with best friend yesterday about how our friendship... flirting with relationship (plus kissing)... has caused me to regress a bit. He's upset, as is to be expected. Now he's thinking he did something wrong, even though I keep assuring him he did nothing wrong. But he's been pissy all this time. He still keeps talking to me, instead of just taking a break, but he's obviously angry and hurt and sad. I don't blame him. I told him not to go down that road and to leave me be and let me try to figure things out because I know I'm broken. Him, in his gentle hearted way, decided to not listen to me and to try to fix me by being as nice as he possibly could. He got me flowers, made sure to respect my boundaries, and did everything RIGHT. And still, I am so broken that he still ends up hurt. I'm just not a good person to try to date.

Meanwhile, I really like my counselor. She and I see eye-to-eye on many things and I trust her ability to lead me through some healing. I hope the rest of my time in counseling with her goes well. Boy do I need help!

Work is okay. The NICU is still giving me grief, but mostly they are a place I can go and snuggle babies because they only give me the feeder/growers. Labor and Delivery is still so wonderful and exciting. I don't know how I will ever get to the point of feeling like I know what I'm doing, but I'm hoping it will come. Judgement and care task abilities came with the NICU, it just took a lot of practice and questions. We shall see how everything goes...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Quick Update

Grandpa died Sept 19 - I got to be there during his 3-4 days in hospice, and G-d performed many miracles. Major family drama went down. I never have to see grandma ever again!

Grandma went into the hospital shortly after and they won't let her out because of the neglect charges and APS (adult protective service) calls I (and several others) put in about her. Heard this from my aunt.

Counseling is going well, I really like my counselor and G-d gives me exactly who I need when I need them.

I kissed Best Friend. Yeah, Best Friend from freshman year of college... He still really likes me and I'm digging him a bit right now too. I'm trying to figure out life and dating, so we're technically "pre-dating", but pretty much there.

I'm still working 2 jobs, but not for much longer. My NICU job is being ridiculous, but I absolutely LOVE working L&D. My preceptor says I have about 90% accuracy rate when checking cervixes and really just don't predict that moms are 9-10 when they are. Usually I guess they are a 7...

I bought a car. It's the exact one I wanted and it's so pretty. I think G-d saved it for me and waited until the last minute, as He typically does, then gave me the exact one I wanted. I'm a little spoiled, but I searched and searched for it too!

So, what's new with you?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Unnecessary Finger Wagging

My grandpa is in his last days. He's grown so weak, tired, and he's largely given up. It's hard to watch. He hasn't been able to go visit his family/siblings down in the south, because my grandma won't let him go. He doesn't technically know that the doctor knows he's dying, because my grandma won't let the doctor tell him. He's not eating things that he can actually stomach, because she won't let him eat anything but "Boost" shakes.

You have no idea how much I despise what she's doing to him, but I've exhausted my list of resources and they have all proven to be USELESS. Nobody is helping him at all!!!

So, my mom is the black sheep of the family. She is "unwelcome" because she doesn't buy into my grandma's scheming, manipulation, and hatred. However, my mom pushes my grandma's continued abuse aside, so that she can go check on my grandpa, and see if she can do anything for him. Recently, my mom's sibling that live in other states decided to come and visit grandpa before he dies. We all went over to my grandma's house and that's when things went downhill.

Let's start off that grandma has nobody that sticks around. She has favored one particular son, we'll call him Buddy (ironically kind for how mean he is). Grandma has Malicious Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The only attention she knows how to give, is evil attention. She is out to get everyone, and I'm not even kidding. There is no way she is not controlled by a terribly evil spirit, there's simply no way she's not straight evil. All she does is steal, kill, and destroy.

Anyway, we were all there, none of us like her, but we were there for grandpa. My aunt wanted to have a small family discussion, to see what grandpa's last wishes are for his funeral, burial arrangements, etc. My aunt brought it up gently, spoke just to grandma, and kept it civil. Grandma kept skirting the questions, like I've never seen anybody avoid questions. And exfiance was a master at it! I'm not saying he was particularly smart in his answers, but he sure didn't answer any question.

So, grandma was avoiding the questions, then she realized we were all watching her and listening. That's where things really took a turn for the worst. I wanted to stand up for my aunt, as my grandma started to accuse her of meddling. But then my mom asked a very simple question, even in a nice way. My uncle Buddy turned on her! He started yelling at her, for literally no reason (other than the fact that he was already drunk). He tried to start yelling at her for staying away from the family and how she kept my brother and I away from our fucking crazy, evil grandmother and him (who beat his wife and raped her on a regular basis, and has a serious drinking problem causing him to lose all of his teeth over a decade ago).

This is when I couldn't take it anymore. I jumped in and told him "I'm glad she (my mom) kept us away! Grandma's a bitch and I don't want to ever know you! You didn't even know my name or who I was!" I continued on, but because of my dissociation, I don't remember what else I said. I called grandma out for lying about everything. She was trying to tell me what the doctors were doing even through 1) what she was saying makes no medical sense and 2) I have already heard from the doctors and 3) anybody with a pulse and half a brain know that he's not going to live another 1-2 years and that he's actually getting better. Ugh, her lies are just too much to handle. I can't believe she is so ridiculously crazy, that she thinks we're dumb enough to listen to the lies that spill from her mouth. We call her out on most of the lies she feeds us every time she talks. And yet, because of her personality disorder/demons, she thinks we believe her. There's really no way to make this shit up. Oh, and I used a lot of bad words this weekend that I hadn't used in months. I'm not proud of it, but it happened.

So he had his finger in my face, I could have reached out and broken his nose. I was sitting, he was standing over me and yelling. His best comeback? "You mom lies!" Homeboy, you're fighting with grandma too and everything my mom has told me about you and grandma has been proven to me... by you and grandma. I am old enough and smart enough to make my own decisions about you. You guys bragged about me being a nurse when grandpa was originally in the hospital, but now you want to tell me I don't know anything? Little kids know when their grandmother doesn't like them and yells at them (the little kids) and when the only memories I have of grandma and uncle Buddy are of them yelling at my mom, I'm not going to soon forget those memories.

He continue to yell at me and get up in my face until his son came out of the house and and yelled at him saying: "Dad! What are you doing?!? You're yelling at BedpanAlley!" Obviously he used my real name... but the rest of it is real! Buddy proceeded to sit down, but got up quickly and started talking over grandma who was trying to tell me all these lies about trying to visit me when I was a kid and how her and grandpa tried to drive by and essentially stalk my brother and I. Her and Buddy then started yelling at each other because he kept talking over her. Hahaha, that was pretty funny.

He got up in my mom's face again, blah, blah, blah. More fighting. Blah, blah, blah. Then another one of my uncles stepped in and called her out on not visiting his kids or caring about them either. He had a really great speech, directed straight to her about how ugly she's been, how terrible she is, and how much she lies. At the conclusion of that, I leaned over to my mom, whispered "Mic drop, we gotta go" and all of us left.

I wish I could have said different words. I wish that my arguments were better thought out and less emotionally charged. However, I am so proud of myself for standing up for my mom and getting to yell at grandma and my uncle Buddy. I wanted to yell at her dad (great-grandpa) for him yelling at me when I was a kid, but he up and died before I got the chance.

I spoke my peace instead of getting scared and avoiding the situation. I wanted to get up and leave, but I couldn't leave my mom. I didn't back down!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hauntingly Familiar

As you might well know, from my many posts, I have moved back to the city I lived in during college (a.k.a. College Town, as named for my blog).

This also just so happens to be the city in which I lived through the worst year of my life, 2015.

2015 was a terrible year, filled with 2 relationships that were exceedingly toxic and abusive. I was sexually assaulted/raped, mentally imprisoned, physically abused, and otherwise harmed in most ways possible. Through these occurrences, I developed terrible depression, complex PTSD (which was made worse by my friend's suicide the year prior), and I participated in smoking and self-harm as ways of attempting to cope.

Often, in my experiences as a nurse, and general experiences as a human, I have been slapped in the face with comments, made by unknowing people.

Usually these include jokes about suicide or self-harm. Other times they are people lying about sexual assault and rape in order to remain out of trouble or to get attention. And still, there are instances that fall in and out of that range.

Recently, my ability to cope was tested as someone mentioned to me that "they don't believe most rape victims have actually been raped. Most of the time these girls didn't say 'no' strongly enough or contributed to the drinking and merely had sex that they regretted in the morning."

*deep breath*

For those of you who don't know my full story, just know that these are two very triggering statements for me 1) that the 'no' was not forceful enough and 2) that because the girl was drunk, it is automatically her fault because she was drinking.

Let me preface this by saying that sometimes people lie. Maybe someone is lying about having sex and regretting it in the morning and they feel that claiming it as "rape" is going to lessen their guilt or somehow get them sympathy. Let me also say that I have a tendency to believe people if they claim they have been assaulted, because if it's false then it'll eat away at them as they meet true victims. If it doesn't, then hey, not my problem. I would rather believe people and treat them with extra gentleness, than to assume that everyone is lying.

With that being said, the details of my story often keep me up at night. I have worked for years at grounding techniques and trying to remember all of the events that I unfortunately survived over the course of living through the hell I experienced in 2015.

My attackers were boyfriends. With 1, I question whether my "no" was strong enough, because I froze. I told him "no" about 50 times, maybe more. However, my body was frozen apart from moving his hands away and trying to keep myself safe. There are about 15-20 minutes that I cannot account for because my brain shut off and I had a sort of "flashback" but I didn't go into the past, I just went somewhere else in my brain. I remember my thoughts through that unaccounted for time, but I cannot remember reality.

I struggle with knowing I could have done something, but I couldn't, all at the same time. Especially after taking self-defense, I know that my desires to kick him in the face and run, were absolutely acceptable and encouraged behaviors because of what he was doing. But I didn't do it, because I couldn't grasp the gravity of the situation in that particular moment.

My second boyfriend got me drunk. We had been planning to go out dancing and drinking. Like a fool, I told him my limit was 3 drinks, and asked him to hold my drink when I went out to dance. It was a night where we were given 2 free shots of various whiskey to encourage people to buy these brands. This, along with him getting me refill after refill (without my knowledge) and then encouraging me to chug, ended up causing me to drink too much. He knew I trusted him, and he knew I wasn't able to keep track of him being gone when I was dancing with my friends. He had been charming and fun for the few months we were together, until that night. The next memory I have was waking up next to him, naked, in a hotel room. I didn't know where I was, what had happened, or how to get home.

This is a struggle for me because I was counting my own drinks. I know to not drink too much. I know when to cut myself off. I trusted him. He claimed he wanted to help me after having been hurt by my first boyfriend. He claimed to have "over-the-moon" feelings for me. He claimed to want to marry me... after only a couple months of dating. We had had our fights, but he typically ended up working out a decent deal to "compromise" with me. After that night, he fought with me on religion, virginity, giving my body to him (he even claimed scripture for this, even though he is not a believer), and he fought me on everything.

With the two comments made about rape/sexual assault victims in relation to lying, saying "no", and drinking, I am at a war. I war within myself nearly every day whether I was truly abused the way I have had to convince myself I was, or if I'm making these things up and merely regret having sex with guys I hadn't even planned to kiss. Which, is a form of assault in it's own right, technically. But those are stories for another day.

And so, I lost hours of precious sleep, that I don't get enough of, in a battle in my own head over words spoken out of unknowing. In the conversation, in which those comments were made, the person I spoke with prefaced the conversation saying they "had not had anyone in their family raped" and that these were just their findings in their limited control group of people who had claimed to have been assaulted/raped (a group of maybe 2 people). So, at least they acknowledged that. But it still stings.

It stings to not even believe my own memory, because of somebody's opinion about something that has never personally effected them or someone they love and know dearly. It stings to have to battle in my own head and lose sleep over such small comments. It stings to not be able to easily discern reality from nightmares, because your life is worse than your worst nightmare.

Grounding is exhausting in these situations and for someone who has been working 6 days a week, between 2 new jobs and learning all of the "new", it is especially difficult to bring myself back to the facts. To prove to myself that the labels of "rape" and "abuse" given by my counselor truly fit the relationships I had. Then, for days, my brain is recounting and dredging up all of the examples it can muster, and even some I had forgotten, in order to prove to me that I am not "crazy" for believing in my traumatic past.

And so the past haunts the present. It lurks in the corner of every new adventure. It tests out every new friendship, and holds it to standards that are unbeknownst to me. All I get are the results of the test: don't trust anyone and keep it to myself.

I don't talk about my past anymore. The more new people I meet, and the more I go on with life, the fewer people I tell. I told nobody in Small Town, and I don't plan on telling anyone here. The only people that will know, already know, and those were even probably not great choices. Thing is, it's not fair to keep it to yourself and it's not healthy. Counselors can't be the only people to ever know things like this, but I can't go around telling every random person I befriend about my traumatic past either.

The "discussions" started, the fights I wage, and the debate about what constitutes rape and abuse are conversations I simply try to avoid. Changing the subject or nodding along and zoning out seem to work the best for me. However, it seems that's all I do anymore...

And so it goes. I bandage those hurt feelings and move on. I don't blame the lips that spill the words. I don't abandon the people who think that way to begin with. All I can do is hope to recover from my many returns to the deep pits, and keep on pushing along.

Maybe one day things will get better.

Utterly Exhausted

For those of you that don't know, I am currently in the process of orienting to 2 hospitals. 1 hospital, I interviewed for L&D but got told that I would need to work Mom/Baby for awhile. The other hospital was scheduled for an interview the day I got the Mom/Baby offer, and that was for the NICU. Me, being my greedy self of not being able to see myself stay in Mom/Baby with no NICU baby interaction, I decided to propose working part-time at both places to the managers. Well... they accepted that bargain.

The manager for Mom/Baby told me I would work in that department for a year before being able to switch over, I told her that was absolutely too long. She countered with saying it might just be a few months (like 3-6ish months). This didn't sound great, but it sounded do-able with me also keeping my NICU critical care skills up to par.

Well, Tomorrow is finally my last day of charting class, a.k.a. my last orientation piece before going to total floor orientation. I can do floor orientation all the day long! It's the classroom nonsense that'll kill ya... slowly...

Well, I went to talk with my Mom/Baby manager about some scheduling troubles, and she offered me a L&D position, starting at the end of the month!!! OH. MY. GOSH!!! Thing is, it'll be full time instead of part time. My insurance is through the other hospital, and I can't leave the NICU, I just can't. So, am I crazy for thinking I can do 5 days a week between 2 critical care areas? Plus, the on-call shifts taking me up to 6-7 days each week!

I'm sustaining this crazy 6 days a week schedule right now, but I'm working days. I already know that working nights is a much bigger challenge when working so many "days" (shifts) in a row. That messed up circadian rhythm will actually slowly start to kill you.

I just don't know if I can do it. But I sure want to try it for awhile. Worst case scenario is that I go to PRN for NICU and keep full-time with L&D. Plus, I don't have on-call days for L&D until I complete the 3+ months of training required to begin in L&D. So, that helps for a few months to get my feet under me and my schedule ironed out a little bit.

I guess we'll see how it goes when I talk to the Mom/Baby slash L&D manager on Tuesday. She seems pretty excited to get me over to training in the field I actually wanted to be in an originally interviewed for. She actually took a similar road to me and started in Peds/PICU and transferred to L&D, but she worked both jobs at the same time for about a year or so! I think she liked that I was trying to do that and she understands the whole process and desire to do that "double specialty" type of nursing. It's like double majoring in college, except everybody thinks you're insane and you get even less sleep.

Problem is, I've been trying to find a house to rent so I can bring my dog with me. I would also need a roommate (or 2), so that my dog would have a friend while I'm working. She is currently staying with a friend of my mom's, who has another dog. This lady takes my dog for walks with her dog every day. She has a roommate that is home most of the time, except for maybe 3 hours a week (it seems like anyway, he doesn't work I don't think...). So, my dog has friends and another dog to hang out with all the time! Sometimes she even gets to go on a "field trip" to the lady's son's office because he owns his own business and hardly has customers to the office, he mostly goes out to remote locations for quotes and stuff.

So she has a really good set-up, compared to living with a night-shift nurse, who's exceedingly lazy on her days off and doesn't even get to play with her dog because she's too tired. I really feel like the worst puppy mom in the world! But I also feel terrible for leaving her at another person's house because I don't want her to feel abandoned. She gets so excited when we come to visit her! And then she goes into a depression when we leave again!!! It's too much for me to handle.

Times like these, I start to get upset that my parents aren't living together and able to house her and my brother. I get it, they were having lots of problems and it's not economical to afford a house with a backyard, just for the dog. But still, she's my dog. I picked her out, I have cared for her. She's been my best buddy since I was about 10 and I'm now 23 1/2.

I guess I'll talk it over with the lady keeping her, and I'll try to work it out with all of my managers to see what will happen. Mostly, it's a wait-and-see type of situation. The lady keeping my dog says she loves having my dog with her dog and it's not much different than her normal routine to have an extra puppy around. Plus, she appreciates the extra money every month. My current living situation is wonderful and is great while I am working so many crazy hours, and I don't have to do much since I have a roommate that does most everything around his house.

My heart says YES!!! My brain says I could probably make it work, but I'll be beyond exhausted, but I need the experience and my resume will be beyond great! My body says are you insane? I'm barely running as it is, AND WE'RE ON DAYS!!! So, mostly, I'm leaning towards the hard YES!!!!!!!!!!! But I'll talk with my manager Tuesday and discuss it a bit more.

Time to go pray! This will be quite the interesting adventure, should I choose to embark.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Trigger Happy

Today was a rough day. Work was not bad, I had a nice preceptor. I learned a lot, and orientation is going well, considering it was only my 3rd day. However, I swear that every trigger I have was hit today.

Dealt with domestic violence reports all morning. Talked about the local domestic violence safe house/counseling program that I was able to go to for counseling. That discussion took me by surprise. I didn't tell anyone that's where I went, but first thing we did in the morning was order a consult so that one of our mom's could be referred to that program. Knife to the heart.

Dirty jokes at the nurse's station almost had me in tears. Deep breaths as I suffocate in the wide open.

We had a baby born from a sexual assault. Another jab.

My friend's nephew died by suicide today because he couldn't handle life after his dad had passed away a few months ago. Flashback to Country Boy, and my heart nearly stopped.

First thing that came on t.v. was a show about a girl who was being abused by her boyfriend, and it almost sounded just like my story with ex-fiance. What are you doing to me L-rd???

I change the channel to find something a little less triggering and one of ex-boyfriend's favorite movies comes on. Just let it be done, let me escape this life.

From the people, to the smells, to the sounds and songs, to the jokes, and everything else that happened today; I was bombarded with triggers. I excused myself during some of the conversations to go get my aromatherapy, but it wasn't the one that is strong enough to get me out of my flashbacks. I don't know if I will be able to work postpartum if this is going to keep up.

A couple days ago I had a drink with a friend and learned that ex-fiance (who told me he was moving to another state "because I called the cops")is actually still here. I haven't even started the other job where ex-boyfriend has family working, who know me and probably despise me now. That probably won't be a good situation if they are still working there.

I don't know what I was thinking!!! How am I supposed to be able to survive living here, with all of my past a part of my every day journey to the bottom of a deep chasm that I had climbed out of when I moved to Small Town last year.

Survival was barely feasible there, 8 hours away from this place. What on earth would make me believe I could survive by facing my dark past at every turn of every day?