Tag Archive | sad

Am I Here?

She sat in the car. Feeling numb and sluggish. Thoughts floating in and out of her mind. How did it come to this? How had her life ended up here? She was a young girl once, with dreams and ideals. She had goals for her life. Ending up a useless, sick middle-aged nobody wasn’t one of them.

Growing up was hard. Her parents weren’t ready for such a monumental job as parenting. They were young and immature, but it’s not their fault her life went nowhere. Yes, there was the almost constant physical and emotional abuse in the house thru the years, but she had good coping skills. She was a people pleaser, always trying to do the right thing, be the “good girl”, the “good student” the “good” everything. She didn’t always succeed, but more often than not, she did.

She wanted to be a lawyer. She wanted to do family law, so she could help children from abusive homes, help women break away from controlling husbands. But as senior year came, the reality of needing either alot of money or huge scholarships, slapped her square in the face, and life happened instead.

She got married, to a controlling and abusive husband. Had three beautiful little boys, who she loved with all her heart. Not having a career, or a loving relationship, left her alot of time and energy to place all her love on those boys. They were her life. They are who she lived for.

She stood between them and her abusive husband when he wanted to instill harsh discipline. She made sure things stayed “just so” around the home to keep the peace. She made excuses for the boys when their rooms weren’t tidy or their grades weren’t stellar. She made sure to always scrape together enough money to give the boys wonderful birthdays and Christmases! Seeing them open their gifts or blow out birthday candles with the glow of pure innocent happiness…made all the bad things in life worth going thru.

The years passed, the boys grew. The older they got, the less they needed her. She still stayed the “buffer” between the kids and the rest of the cruel world. Sacrificed all she could to make sure they were happy. The oldest, Christopher, was the first to move out, at 21 he was in a serious relationship and moved in with his girlfriend. He was such a good kid growing up, much like his mother, he was a pleaser. She worried most about this one though, as he was just a tad on the “sensitive” side. He felt things deeply and and felt as though he was not the perfect person he thought everyone expected him to be. Much as she herself felt.

Her middle son left a year later, off to California to live with friends. This about ripped her heart out. The thought of not having her child within a car rides distance was almost too much to bear. But with texts, emails and Skype, she was learning to deal with this “bad” situation, much as she had to learn to deal with so many “bad” situations in her life.

At 18, her youngest Kyle was the last one at home with her. Her baby. He had become the closest to her emotionally of her children. Probably a bit more sheltered and fussed over, being the baby of the family. He seemed to really have the most empathy. He tried to look after his mom. He was the one who noticed when she started to lose weight and stay in bed somedays. He was worried about her, but he was leaving for the Army soon, his dad thought the Army would “toughen” him up. Kyle wasn’t interested in being tough, but felt he hadn’t many options but to join up.

Why get out of bed? She thought one morning around 10am…what’s the point? Would anyone even notice if she didn’t? Other than the dishes in the sink, that might be the one clue to anyone that she wasn’t around that day. What’s she going to do now? She has raised her children and now they are gone. They no longer needed her. Her husband only needed her to bring him his beer and keep his house clean.

The days dragged on and on…the only bright spots being the calls and visits from her sons. They weren’t very frequent though…they were busy with their own lives now. It hurts to feel you put all your love into these little lives, only to grow older and more alone with very little love in return. She felt fatigued more than anything really. Her whole body ached somedays, so she did the chores that couldn’t be ignored and that was it.

At Kyles insistence a year later, she saw her physician for the fatigue and weightloss. They drew blood and performed some other tests and she went back to her daily existence. A week later, she received a phone call. The doctor told her the news right on the phone,..the news wasn’t good, nope, not good at all.

Pancreatic cancer. Which equals “Death Sentence.” She was in a fog the first week after the diagnosis. Just stumbing thru her days, mostly in bed…even her uncaring husband didn’t ask anything of her. She didn’t want to tell the boys right away. She didn’t want to have to draw up the energy to console THEM.

She didn’t have much time left at all. Less than three months. How would she get everything ready in such a short time? Especially when the last month would be a mostly bedridden one? She went about making her own funeral arrangements and after a week, finally called her sons. But none of the three could seem to agree on a good day for them to come for a visit, they were all so busy, with work, relationships, vacations…she told them this was important. She needed them to come.

When they finally arrived, each grumbling about what a kink this visit was putting into their current schedules. She had worked all day on a big dinner. Glazed ham, garlic mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, white corn, homemade biscuits and gravy. By the time the table was set, she was in so much physical pain she could barely carry the meal to the table. With tears in her eyes, she began serving.

Noone noticed that she didn’t eat, just pushed food around on her plate. The men all carried on a boisterous conversation about current affairs, politics mostly…the one topic she couldn’t stand to talk about or even listen to.  They laughed with their father, joked with him, agreed with most of his views. Have they forgotten how this man behaved toward them growing up? Don’t they recall his tirades? Do they even remember their mom having to stick up for them or keep them from being harshly punished? Do they remember her staying up with them all night when they were ill? Or staying up to help with a last minute science project? Do they recall her holding them, rocking them or consoling them during each of their youthful “crisis” of the moment?

Do they see her as a person? As a woman? As a little girl who sat in the woods, dreaming of the day she would be in a court of law, sending some abusive man off to jail for the atrocities he had his family endure? No. No, they see her as mom. Nobody amazing or special. Just someone who was there whenever they wanted her to be, but who disappeared when they didn’t need her.

She was disposable. She was invisible. She, who had always tried to so carefully “control” her little piece of life…was nobody. But, she wasn’t going to let cancer control how she would die. This she really could control.

Of course the boys all cried and expressed their grief over the fact that she was indeed going to die. She patted their backs, and hugged them and dried their tears. She assured them that she was in no pain and that although she would be leaving them, she would always be in their hearts, and would be forever watching over them from Heaven. After a week of this, they all had to get back to their lives…and she got back to her “non” life.

But now, here in the car, with soft ocean sounds coming from her cd player, the engine quietly idling, she was once again dreaming. With her eyes closed she was once again that little girl, sitting on a stump in the woods…the sun shining down thru the leaves. The trickle of the nearby creek being the music then. She dreamed of the life she thought she’d have. She was important. She was “good”. She was needed.

To that she drifted off to sleep, in a heavily medicated fog, mixed with the carbon monoxide from being in the car…in the garage…for most of the day, without ever having been missed, by anybody.

 

I WAS Here

Being forgotten is worse then not being noticed.

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Perception

I’ve been thinking lately of peoples perceptions of other people.  You know how it is…you see someone and you immediately acquire an idea on who that person is.  By their appearance, demeaner, personality, etc.  Now if you don’t really know that person, you may never know if your “perception” of him was on target or not…

But what of our perceptions of the people we do know?  Or we THINK we know….are our perceptions correct about them?  Do we know their likes/dislikes?  Do we know their political/religious views?  Do we know all their favorites and non faves?  Do we REALLY know if they are safe or unsafe characters?  Are they responsible?  Are they alcoholics?  Thieves?  BiPolar? Depressed?  Happily married or just faking it well? Addicted to drugs? Sex?

How long of a relationship must you have with someone before you REALLY know them?  Five minutes?  A week?  Month? Year? Many years?  Do we ever REALLY know anyone?  We percieve that we do.  But then perhaps they will do something so out of character that we are taken aback.  We are stunned and confused…we think “Well, why would she do that?  That’s so unlike her”

How do others perceive us?  We all change our “faces” …don’t we?  I mean we have our family personality, our company personality, our work personality, our new acquaintance personality, our business personality, our best friend personality, ….you get the idea.

Does any of us REALLY know any of us?  I’ve often wondered how I will be described after I pass away.  Here’s is what I would say about ME:  She was a tragic soul….who lead a rough life, but overcame it for the most part.  She was strong and stubborn.  She liked to do things well…and right.  She was only affectionate with her children and her animals mostly.  She was a free spirit in her younger years, but lost that along the way after life sort of beat her down.  She did her best living with chronic pain…she really believed in using humor to heal the soul.  Loved to laugh.  Loved to read. Loved her children and family so much it consumed her at times.  Was kind to children and animals.  Put a brave face on most days and faced the world…all while gritting her teeth and wanting to get back to bed…lol.  She wanted to feel useful, she wanted others to feel loved and cared for.  She tried to guide her children, to give them useful advice.  She prays constantly. She has a few good friends and has a couple online friends she feels even closer to…a sisterly bond thru pain. She likes for things to run smoothly and therefore tries to make it so.  Believes in lists, lists and more lists! 

So that would be MY perception of me.  Someone else may say things completely different.  May think I’m bitchy and controlling and moody.  May think I am cold and indifferent.  May think I am whiney.  May think I milk my illness.  May think I’m lazy and fat and ugly.

Point being…our perceptions of people….may be wrong or right.  But we treat them the way we perceive them.  Let’s say you treat this friend with utter respect, as he is a doctor, and you have always considered him an upstanding honest truthful person.  Then you find out he is addicted to drugs or porn and cheats on his wife.  How did you not SEE this side of him?  How did he hide it so well?  Or was it right under your nose and yet you chose NOT to see the signs?  Being stabbed in the back is painful…but do we sometimes set ourselves up for it?  By not seeing the forest for the trees?

Sometimes I know people who are so outwardly fake.  Maybe they think no one else notices or knows.  But it’s embarrassing watching them try to pretend to be someone they are not.  Especially when everyone knows they aren’t really that way, or if they buy into the act, they then think that person is an idiot.  When deep down that person is a scared and sad person, who is afraid to show their true selves to people for whatever reason.  Maybe they are not proud of what they’ve become, so they choose to puff up their life story to make it seem more interesting…but all it does is drive people away.

We are a race of perceptions.  I am usually pretty good at reading people.  But I don’t think everyone is.  Sometimes we get the wrong vibes from people…I say go with your gut.  But I feel we all need to put away the masks.  Let’s be who we are, imperfections and all.  Stop trying to impress.  Stop kicking ourselves for not being who we think others want us to be.  We are who we are.  Let’s not waste this life suffering because we perceive we are not who we should’ve been.

I will still wonder how others perceive me…hmmm.

“FAMILIAR ROUTINES BECOME BAD HABITS”

Dedicated to Dexter:

This entry will be dedicated to my beloved dog Dexter.  He passed away on May 28th, 2008.  He was almost 16 years old, and I had him for 15 wonderful years.  He was a terrier mix, and he was the most loyal of all pets.  He was my little shadow for all those years.  He followed me everywhere, and waited patiently outside the bathroom door for me even! 

I allowed him to sleep in bed with us, he always slept in the crook of my leg…he would sit and wait until I got comfortable, then plop down with his body pressed against my leg, chin resting on my ankle.  He was so smart, I am fairly certain he totally understood the human language.  I would say, “Well Dex, I think we need to get up and head to the kitchen.”  And he would get up and start walking that way and look over his shoulder to make sure I was following…he would do that also whenever we were going downstairs…he would go ahead of me, but would always stop halfway down and look back to see if I was still there! 

When I was sick, he would sit and look at me with what I swear was pity in his eyes.  At certain points I wasn’t able to lay in a bed, but was confined to a recliner…he would some lay or sit beside it, I was usually to weak to try to pet him, but occassionally could hang an arm down and touch the top of his head, and he would just stay there frozen until I moved my hand away.

When we would go on vacations he would refuse to eat…it made me feel awful!  But we soon figured out that his self enforced fast could be broken with home cooked liver!  lol, my grandmother would cook him liver and handfeed it to him…so he wouldn’t starve to death til we returned…he was a little con artist I think! 

Dexter never had “accidents” in the house.  Never.  Until right toward the end, he became incontinent.  You could see in his face it made him feel so bad to do it.  Of course we never shamed him or scolded him at all, he couldn’t help it, but honestly you could see it hurt his pride.

He was the perfect dog.  He was soo smart.  Loyal.  Loving.  Affectionate.  He had the best personality of any dog I have ever seen!  He smiled!  Yes, he would smile at everyone…you could say, “Smile Dex!” and he would pull back his lips and give you a grin!  When he was especially excited…like in response to the phrase “Want some cheese Dex?” He would begin to sneeze over and over and over again…lol, it was the cutest!

After he went to Rainbow Bridge, I had him cremated and we have his little urn of ashes with us, and a little paw shaped stone with his name on it.  I also have a windchime with his name and dates of birth/death.  I keep pictures of my little baby around the house.  Although he is gone, he is here in spirit.  I will never forget my baby Dex, and although I dearly love my current dogs, Lucy and Daisy…they will never replace the very special bond my Dex and I had.

RIP Dexter Spice!

“Happiness is the experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude” …taken from my latest Dove chocolate!  😉

My Dex

Just a Dog

From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog.” just smile, because they “just don’t understand.”

Authored by Richard A. Biby