Facing demons…and it’s not even Halloween.

(my life has been so hectic I have been trying to get this post done since MONDAY lol)

So Saturday was one of my oldest friends wedding. I love H, she and I have been friends since high school and even though it can be months and months in between phone calls, emails, facebook messages we can just pick up like no time has passed. I knew going to this wedding there were going to be several girls there who made my teen years a living hell and lucky me…I got sat at the SAME table as all of them. At least this is the view I got to experience during the reception.

FALLDAY

Facing several of the girls who made my teen years a living hell was much harder than I anticipated it would be. It’s true when people say girls are cruel, mean and vicious. These girls would smile at you to your face as they were doing whatever they could to tear you down behind your back and here I was sitting back in front of them 10 years later and it didn’t seem like anything had changed. With some things hadn’t changed at all – same bitchy girls they always had been. JC was much nicer than I remember and seeing JM was great since she and I had been close in middle school and lost touch over the years.

All in all it was an emotionally exhausting day but I got through it. The days following where exhausting and left me feeling a little bit empty and devoid of anything. I got through this big event but not without feeling like I did when I was 15 years old again. Locking myself in my apartment, not showering, refusing to leave to see people…I became the hermit I used to be but this time I didn’t cut, I didn’t binge, I didn’t lose control. But it took every single ounce of who I was to not lose control that I didn’t have the energy to do a single thing.

I have been experimenting a lot in the kitchen as of late. Trying to make new foods and branch out and try new things. It’s been a great way for me to build my mastery skills and allow myself to find time for mindfulness. I still hate doing the dishes but now the dishes are less of a chore since I treat them as a mindfulness exercise. I haven’t gone too far out of the box but I’ve made some interesting dishes including homemade chunky applesauce, pumpkin bread and margherta pizza 🙂 It gives me a little bit of satisfaction like the way painting does – creating something myself. Cooking really can be therapeutic and I have to thank J for encouraging me to get out there and trying my hand at it all!

MB and I have been working on my self image in our weekly sessions and I wanted to do my part and have my yearly physical. My old PCP had left (I miss her – she really was a GREAT doctor) and met with the new doctor she transitioned me to. PS is a an okay doctor – she reminds me a LOT of Pam from the Office and she really does look like Jenna Fischer. I knew going into the physical that my weight was going to be an issue but something else came up that has left me feeling very overwhelmed. Because I hadn’t seen PS before she asked if there were any new medical conditions in my family and I mentioned the passing of my uncle K and the cardiac issues that we are now discovering throughout my mothers side of the family and so she thought it would be a good idea to get a baseline EKG just to have on file. I agreed. I had been told before that I had bradycardia so I wasn’t too worried about anything that an EKG might bring up and although I was pretty adamant that I don’t want to know if I suffer from what killed my uncle K and what my mother currently has I knew an EKG wouldn’t be able to determine that.

EKGs are funny…15 minutes to get all the things hooked up to you for something that takes like 2 minutes to read your heart. Needless to say I found out that at one point I had “an extra heart beat” and there was some other abnormalities that PS wanted to talk to her superior about. I sat in that office for 30 minutes before she came back. She (and her boss) feel that there is a possibility of ischemia and that I need to have a stress test. She didn’t really go into a lot of the details of what these abnormalities were and I am sure they are nothing but given the current cardiac issues that seem to be popping up in my family I have to admit it scared me. I tried to play it off that it was no big deal but on the inside? on the inside I was (and am) freaking out.

I feel like a complete wuss by freaking out over something that I have no control over. If I have these cardiac issues having the tests or not having the tests isn’t going to change that fact. In the words of J “what is meant to be is to be” and I understand that. I’m having the stress test next Friday because I have that day off. I will wait to find out the results of that before I decide if I want the ultrasound which will tell me if the valves of my aorta are enlarged and if heart surgery is anywhere in my future. These are all SCARY things for me. Facing down the idea of a death that I haven’t planned out myself – every thought of my own demise up until now was at my own hand. This is new territory and I don’t think people can fully understand what that weight feels like. I’ve spent the past year and a half working on WANTING to live and now I feel like I am at a crossroads. One path to get fully tested and if the results mean surgery or something life threatening then I will fight to live and the other path to continue to live without ever fully knowing the truth and possibly dying at any moment without warning.

Why do I feel like there isn’t a right answer here? I can’t talk with my family because whatever choice I make I need to feel supported and my biological family has already made it clear they don’t support my choice NOT to find out. MB and I always go back to the ‘broken coke machine’ analogy when it comes to my mother. I know MM and J will fully support whatever decision I make but I have put them both through so much with my ups and downs these past two years – it feels unfair to put anymore of my shit on their plate but I also know that I can’t do this alone.

Anyone out there have ANY advice?

like a shooting star

I just got back from an extremely emotional trip.

My uncle K passed away on January 6th. He was this free thinking incredible spirit and he just dropped dead. It was unexpected and shook me to my core. My entire life I have run from death. His death hit me hard. Ever since I was a little kid he encouraged me to paint, think, draw and create. As an artist he created works that were unique, confusing, sexual and controversial. His work was unlike anything I had ever seen before and even though I didn’t get to experience a lot of his work I always found myself in awe when I was in the presence of his pieces. It’s hard to put into words how he touched my life – the last time I saw him was on Christmas as I was leaving my moms because I was sick…I spent so much time wishing I had stayed that day but honestly that wouldn’t have changed anything. I’ll always remember his hugs the most and how he chose to live in such a laid back way. How he believed in people and the good in them.

This past Saturday there was an art show of some of his work at a gallery he spent a lot of time at. People from all walks of life were there to remember him, mourn him, share stories and celebrate him. There was family everywhere (cousins and uncles from all over the US) and as sad it all was that we were getting to see each other under these circumstances it was nice to be able to see my extended family. I didn’t find myself emotional until the following day when we went to scatter his ashes.

We walked 4 miles out to this secluded beach as a family all 17 of us and released him. As I stood watching his ashes fall into the waves I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer and I let the flood gates go. Everyone was crying so I don’t know why it was so hard for me but it was. I hugged my cousin D and we smiled as the sun beat down. We knew he was watching. I let the tears fall as needed: like watching my grandfather hug my uncles girlfriend, how my uncles hugged each other, as my cousins shared stories of him. It was a beautiful scene on a beautiful day and damn if K wouldn’t have just loved it. We all slowly made our way back the 4 miles to the cars and talked, listened, picked up shells and I found 4 hearts in nature. I chatted with my cousins about life, stories about uncle K and about where we are all at in our lives. We tried to make the most of the fact that we were all together.

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(c) 2013 BorderlineMusings (sorry for the quality it was on my crappy camera phone)

We got home, feasted on Oysters and then went out to dinner in his honor. It was a day full of life, love and sadness. I like to think K was watching over us and smiling.

Monday I faced a huge fear. Monday I went to visit B’s grave.

It took me almost 19 years to get to this place. My mom never told me where B was buried, she never would let me go to her grave by myself but I found out where she was buried and so I made it my mission while I was on this vacation that I would visit her. I was scared shitless. I was afraid I would chicken out, that I wouldn’t get out of the car or I wouldn’t be able to find the exact location in the cemetery of her grave. I faced all those fears by myself.

I pulled into the small cemetery and immediately freaked out because I could not for the life of me remember where her grave was. I had these memories in my mind from when we were kids and we’d go visit her even though I wasn’t allowed out of the car. I drove my car around for 5 minutes and then I parked it. I sat in the car for 10 minutes. I told myself I needed to find her, I told myself that I deserved this and that B deserved this. I got out of the car and walked around. I could vividly remember her being close to the road and that there was a tree or shrub of some kind. I walked around for about 15 minutes (it felt like HOURS) and FINALLY I found her.

Seeing her grave for the first time in person that I can remember? I can’t even describe the emotions. I took a few deep breaths and sat down beside her. I cleaned off her grave and sat in silence as the teared flowed. I couldn’t have stopped the tears even if I wanted too but honestly? I didn’t want them to stop. I left her the white heart in nature I found (the 2nd largest one) at her grave, talked to her, shared stories with her. I relived memories and I thanked her for being in my life. I always used to be SO angry that I only knew her for such a short time that I wished I hadn’t known her at all but that was just the hurt talking. I fully and 100% know that I wouldn’t trade in those years for anything in the world and she forever changed me. She gave me a wonderful gift and gift was knowing her.

After I left B (nobody in my family knew that was where I went) I decided to go to a local store and process all my emotions. As I was finally driving back to where we were staying I saw this incredibly cool store on the side of the road called ‘Buddha’s Beads’ and I just HAD to pull in. I was able to get a pair of hand-painted earrings with lotus’s on them and 2 sets of prayer flags for my fire escape back home. I think it was the perfect way to spend my afternoon. Afterwards I went out to see an old high school friend who was now living where we were visiting. She is getting married in October so we got to hang out, drink a bottle of wine, talk about life, love, her wedding and everything in between. I experienced (what felt like) a hundred different emotions that day but at the end of the day when I reflected back…it was such an incredible day. It was sunny, beautiful, and I got to finally get some closure with B. I am sure E and I will be talking a TON about this soon lol but next week is our last session (potentially) before she leaves for her own new adventure.

I didn’t get much time to myself on this “vacation” but I was able to talk with J a little via email and even though I didn’t need her validation that I did the right thing about seeing B, about mourning uncle K – to KNOW someone was proud of me? that meant a lot to me. I never would have gotten to a place where I could have done ANY of that if it hadn’t been for J constantly pushing me, being there for me and encouraging me. She has truly been a rock for me and a sister through and through. I did this on my own, I got out of the car, I faced a HUGE fear but if I didn’t have the people back home in my life I don’t know if I could have done it. I love my friends, I love my co-workers and I know now more than ever that I belong here. That feels…good. Going to see B was scary, intense, overwhelming, emotional but so so SO worth it. I got to close up a little of that wound and now that I know where she is buried? I plan on going back to see her when I can.

June 19th

Your heart will guide you through

If you feel confused, alone, unsure of what to do next, go back to a place you can trust – your heart. In matters of work, money, love, play, go back to your heart.

The issues that arise in your life can be dealt with from the heart. You will be guided through gently, safely, with love and truth, along the path that’s best for you. Are you feeling upset? Do you wonder why things aren’t working out? Are you unsure of the map, uncertain of the next step, wondering how to untangle the mess of the past?

The answer isn’t in your head, it’s in your heart. It’s not outside of you, although sometimes we receive guidance from others. The answer you’re seeking, the guidance you’re looking for needs to feel right to you. It needs to resonate with your heart. Your heart is the center, the balance point for your emotions, your intellect, and your soul. Your heart is safe.

Go back to your heart. It will always lead you home.

Taken from Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie

 

In so many ways this touches me today. I have people in my life who are there to remind me that I need to trust my heart, that I have a heart worth trusting even when I don’t think I do. These people help me, encourage me, guide me but also let me fly with my own two wings…that kind of friendship is PRICELESS and I am so blessed and honored to have them in my life.

I don’t always say the right things, I don’t always use my skills, I sometimes let the borderline have control but what I am slowly learning (in HUGE part thanks to J) is that I HAVE choice. I can let myself be bogged down by my disorder, I can let myself ruin relationships and friendships with the walls I put up or I can choose to be happy, I can choose to live.

That lesson is extraordinarily difficult…but worth it in more ways than one.