just thinking

I ahven’t written in forever, and I don’t really know what I”m going to write right now, but I felt I needed an outlet. The last few months have been crazy. From new jobs, to panic attacks, to Robby being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, and now to me home with a concussion.

We’ve been trying to do so much better, with me not taking care of him and with him making smart and healthy decisions, but it doestn’t feel like we’ve made much headway. He’s still overspending and over eating. And I”m still picking up the slack when I know I souldn’t. ANd I think this concussion has really made me realize all that. Because I should be willing to let him take care of me. I should be excited for him to take care of me. But other than him worrying about me, I don’t feel very taken care of. I feel very lonely. ANd i know that the concussion has messed up my emotions, but it’s all just so much to deal with. I’m getting scared we won’t be able to move because of the overspending. I”m worried we’ll never be out of debt becuase of the overspending. I’m worried he’ll never get healthy and I’ll lose him too soon. And it really hurt today when he said he’d noticed that I could stand to lose some weight. I know that I’m big, and I’ve been working on gettin ghealthier. I went back to zumba and I still go for walks, but that just felt like a knife in the gut. I know i need to get healthier, and I’m trying. BUt it felt like he was criticizing me when he doesn’t even try. he’s spent over 60$ on fast food just in the last two weeks. I wanted to spend that money on paying down the credit card or at least put it in savings, but now it’s gone. And it doesn’t feel fair. Because it’s my money too. I know I don’t make much, but that doesn’t give him the right to waste all the money. Plus, I never get treats. He’s eating out pretty much all the time and I’m eating left overs (that I made) til I”m sick of them because I do’nt want the food to go to waste. ANd i know i should have brought this all up with him sooner. It’s my fault for letting it fester. But it’s got to stop.

And i’ve really been struggling with being off work this week for this stupid concussion. I know I needed the time off, but i didn’t want it. I lve my work and I want to be there. ANd i’m afraid that by missing this work they won’t want to hire me. I also realized that this reminds me too much of when i was a kid and would stay home. SOmetimes I was actuall sick, but most of the time it wsa the depression. And i always felt like a dailure. Life i was in trouble. Because I’d always have to go to the dr for a note and it always made me feel like I was messing up. Also, it felt like by not being at school, I was giving the other kids more reasons to hate me. I believed taht if i wasn’t a school, then i coudln’t prove that I was worth something. Like by not trying to show my value (to people I didn’t even like) that I was actually losing y value as a person. ANd of course that just made the depression worse. Part of me wants to go back to work tomorrow, part of me thinks i’m not ready, and a thrid part thinks that I’ll never be ‘ready’ and I’ll just have to dive in. I know once I actually get back to work, I’ll start to feel better. Being in a routine always helps. But im’ so scared. And I’m scared I won’t be able to handle it and i’ll either get worse or i’ll have panic attacks again. Becuase i kind of feel on the edge of a panic attack now. I just want to hide and cry. I just want to feel safe and supported and valued. I just don’t want to feel like everything is broken.

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I’m Scared

Yesterday, something scary happened to me.

Rob and I went out to breakfast at Steak n Shake, and I ordered a Peppermint Chip Milkshake (one of my favorite things by the way). I hadn’t eaten anything yet, and I was super excited about the shake, so I pretty much downed it. A few minutes after I finished it, I started feeling really weird. I was trying to cut out a coupon and I could make my hands line up the scissors. I couldn’t turn the paper. My eyes wouldn’t focus. Then my hands started shaking and my head felt unattached from my body. I managed to say “Some thing’s wrong” to Rob, but when he asked me “What?”, I said “I don’t know, just some thing’s wrong”. I had a really hard time talking, but I managed to say that my head and my stomach felt hollow, that the insides (the bones?) of my arms felt cold, that my eyes weren’t focusing, that I was confused. That I couldn’t move. My brain was trying to tell my arms to move, to and they weren’t responding. It was like nothing in my body was working. I felt like parts of the room were zooming in and out.

I was terrified. I felt like I had lost control of my body, and I didn’t know if my body was going to keep shutting down. I was scared I was going to lose consciousness. Rob said he thought my blood sugar had dropped drastically and that I would be okay, to just breathe. I asked him to hold my hands, and he did. He said I was pale. Nothing was making sense. Rob had me drink some water, but it was hard for me to move my hand and I had no strength in my grasp. Then I couldn’t figure out why I was cold until Rob pointed out that I was still holding my cup of ice water.

Our food finally came, and Rob told me to eat some chicken, that it would help me bring up my blood sugar if that was what the issue was. When I tried to pick up the chicken, my hands were shaking and I had to put it down and try again. I had a really hard time holding onto the sandwich because I had no grip in my hands. After a few minutes of eating, though, I felt like my brain was clearing. I didn’t feel normal, but I could focus my eyes again. My stomach hurt really badly, and I would feel cold off and on, but when we left I was able to stand and walk on my own. Before I ate the chicken, I could barely move my arms, and there was no way I would have been able to stand.

Rob called his dad when we got to the car and his dad suggested that we get some orange juice, so we went to Walmart. In the car, my arms wouldn’t stop shaking and I wasn’t sure if it was because of being cold or because of what was going on. I didn’t want to be left alone because I was scared by what had happened, so we went in together. I walked very slowly, and I was still very confused when we were in the store. I drank the juice as Rob drove us to the doctor, and I was still really weak and confused. We went in, and I couldn’t really explain what happened so Rob took over and I asked if I could sit down. I could see the concern on the nurses’ faces.

They took me back right away, and took my vitals. My BP was a little high, but I think that was mainly because I was so scared. They tested my sugar and it was 106, which is within normal ranges. They said they would expect it to be a little higher, but it was still normal. They decided not to send me to the ER, but to send me home since my vitals were back to normal. They said I shouldn’t be alone and if it happens again, I need to go to the ER.

I’ve talked to a few people and done some research and everything points to hypoglycemia in response to food. It looks like my body over-produced insulin and sent my blood sugar way too low. I was told by my girlie doctor just last week that I should be tested for insulin resistance, and now this happened.

I want to get tests done to figure out for sure what happened, because aside from losing Jamie, that was the scariest medical thing I have ever been through. I had no control over my body and if Robby hadn’t been there I don’t know what I would have done. I’m planning to call the doctor tomorrow and ask for (demand?) blood tests for insulin resistance, diabetes, glucose tolerance, and postprandial hypoglycemia (my friend who is Type 1 told me to ask for that test). I’m just worried that the doctor is going to brush me off. Or that they won’t order the tests for me. I’m just scared that I won’t get answers and that I will be at the risk of just waiting for this to happen again. I think I’m scared of being out of control. Of knowing that I’m just waiting for something to go wrong. Plus, I had to call in to work, and that makes me nervous. I guess I’m just scared to be kept in limbo. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing what is wrong.

Just not knowing.

Dear Jenny

I cannot even say how excited I was to meet you Friday night when you came to Dayton. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you since, well since I first started reading your blog several years ago. Because honestly, everything you’ve written sounds like something I would (or have) said.

And when I thought I wasn’t going to get to meet you Friday, I was pretty much in tears. I was #128 and around #25 our friends who were driving in from Cleveland texted me to say that they were almost there. My husband and I knew we’d never get back in time if we waited, so I went and asked the post-it lady to trade in my books, but they didn’t have a copy of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I thought for sure that meant that I just wouldn’t get it signed, but the kindness of your fans floored me. I’m explaining that I need to exchange my copy of Furiously Happy, while trying not to cry, and they offered to let me jump the line.

Every. Single. Person.

They all stepped aside and with kindness in their eyes told me to go ahead. They all told me not to worry about it, that they understood. And I got to meet you. I got to tell you how much it meant to meet you. I would have loved to talk to you for hours, but I am so glad that I got to tell you I submitted a writing for the Furiously Happy video. It touched my heart to see that you were so moved.

But if I could have said everything I wanted to, this is what I would have said.

You write about depression and mental illness the way I hope to write about abuse and bullying. I want to bring the awareness that you have brought, create the community and support that you have created. I want to spread the hope. And I just want to tell you how much I admire you for that. When you signed my books and I told you that what you do means so much to me, that was what was behind those words.

You truly are an inspiration to me, in all that you have done, and it gives me hope that one day I can write my own book that will (hopefully) create a home for those people who have been trapped by abuse and bullying.

You make me snort and giggle while I read your writing (which makes it really hard for my husband to sleep). You are completely the type of person that I would love to have lunch with and get to know. Swap crazy stories. Shake our heads about how or husbands don’t understand our awesomeness. Play board games. Build each other up. You can never have enough of those people in your life. I love that you embrace life and live FURIOUSLY HAPPY, and do the crazy things that make you happy. I try to live that way too. I have licked a volcano, taken a sword fighting class, danced in the rain, and done tons of other stuff like that. Because I have been struggling with recovering from being severely bullied for most of my life. And some days the voices that say ‘you’re worthless’ win, and some days I dress as a queen and play flamingo croquet.

Hold onto the love of the people you have helped, and when the struggles come, we will always be there for you, even if being there means writing notes to you as you hide under your bed.

Thank you for all you do

Laura

PS- When we were kids, my dad, sister and I totally ate milk bones. The green ones tasted the best. My dad used to pack them in my lunch as a joke when I was in Elementary School and my one friend still randomly brings it up.

Frustrating Fish

So a few weeks ago my co-worker friend T told me about a program called Pets in the Classroom, where you can apply for a grant to get a pet for the classroom.

Super cool right?

Well, the only catch, was that my boss wouldn’t let me get anything other than fish (lame), but I really wanted to add more nature to my room, so I went ahead. I’ve had fish and I’ve never had any trouble with them, so I wasn’t too worried. I filled out the forms, got the confirmation, and got my coupons in the mail. I was super excited, and so were my kids.

So Robby and I went to the pet store and picked out the tank and all the supplies and set it up in the classroom. We let it sit for a week to get acclimated, like you’re supposed to, and went and got our fishies the next weekend. We picked out a snail and a green cory catfish to help clean the tank, and we also got fancy guppies, thinking they would be a simple but pretty fish and they could have babies for the kids to watch.

Boy were we wrong.

One male died before the weekend was over (we purposefully got them on a long weekend so that if any kicked it we could get them out before the kids saw them), then another died later that week after some really weird symptoms. She would swim upside-down, fall to the gravel, only use one fin. It was weird. Then the kids and I noticed that the other fish had cuts in their fins and were missing some of the color on their fins. The male used to have a big beautiful polka-dot tail and by the end of the week the center of it was completely plain.

Robby came in Saturday and looked at the fish (he showed fish tanks in 4H, cause apparently that’s a thing) and he said he thought they had fin rot, so off we went to the pet store again. The fish lady agreed, and said if we wanted to try and save them we could use a medicine tablet, so we got it, gave it to the fish, and went home. The next day (Sunday) they all looked way worse. Huge chunks of their tails and fins were missing, and a few of them were swimming wrong. The fin rot was too advanced, so we ended up doing a mercy flush, and went back to the pet store again.

This time we got 2 mollies and a platy. I had mollies when I was in high school and I loved them. They lived a long time, they had lots of babies, they were easy to care for. But the male dalmation molly died later that week. The other two seemed to be doing well, and the kids named the fish; Molly for the black female molly, and Swimmy for the platy.

Well, we noticed that Molly kept biting Swimmy. And every time, the kids would completely freak out. I mean, yelling, screaming, the whole nine yards. Crazy levels of freak out. And, of course, today Swimmy died.

So now I get to explain, again, that we lost a fish.

And I am worn out. I thought getting fish would be a fun thing for the class. That the kids would go “cool, fish” and move on to the next thing, and if one died, then I would eventually replace it. But they are FLIPPING OUT over EVERYTHING. And they want me to fix EVERYTHING with these fish. I get that some of these kids haven’t experienced loss, and that’s fine. But I can’t handle 15 kids screaming and yelling at me about the fish every 2 minutes. I can’t take the guilt that I couldn’t save the fish. Again. I can’t take the pressure that I have to be responsible for not only the fish, but for making sure all of the kids are okay.

And I feel like I’m failing.

Because I can’t keep these stupid fish alive. I can’t explain why they are dying. Or I can, but I can’t do anything about it. And I can’t keep the kids from being upset, or help them feel better. And I can’t handle the kids freaking out about the fish and do the rest of my job.

I’m getting grouchy and short tempered. I feel like I’m unravelling at the edges. I just want the fish to live, for things to be simple. For the kids not to freak out.

I just want peace.

I don’t want to feel like I’m failing.

The Bad Guy

To me, our family has always been the most important thing. Rob and I are meant to take care of each other, and that includes our family and our home.

But I keep feeling as though I’m the only one who is truly making the effort to take care of our family and home. I’m getting so frustrated of having to do everything.

Of having to constantly talk him into going to work. I get that you don’t necessarily want to go, or that you’re tired or feel like crap, but you still have to work unless it is absolutely not possible. Working is a part of life. It’s necessary to keep our life going. We can’t pay our bills or buy groceries or even live in our house without our jobs.

I am beyond grateful that he worked for those years I was unable to because of the PTSD. He went above and beyond for our family, and I don’t understand why ever since then he has pulled back from being an active part of our family. Actually, it was during those years that he supported us that he started to pull back from being a member of our family. He worked, but that was about it. Slowly, I did more and more until I was doing everything for him. He even admitted that he was taking advantage of me.

I just don’t understand. Was it that he felt resentful? Overwhelmed? Overburdened? Does he need to lean on me now like I leaned on him then? I just don’t understand. I wish he would tell me.

I hate feeling like I am forcing him to be a part of our family. Like I am the bad guy. Part of me wants to just let it go. If he doesn’t want to be part of us, part of our family, then I shouldn’t make him. Because I am so hurt, and so tired of this fight. But another part of me can’t let it go. I feel like if I don’t make him go to work and don’t tell him that his apathy hurts me then it will get worse. That it will fall apart. But it feels like things are falling apart, because I don’t want to be the bad guy. Because it’s been years and he keeps doing it.

And I keep being the bad guy.

Thinking Thinking Thinking

There’s so much to think about right now.

Robby’s been struggling, and it really reminds me of what I went through. I hate that he’s struggling. And I could see the struggle coming. I wonder if he could see it coming for me. I don’t know. I was practiced at hiding my emotions, but he’s always known my heart, so maybe he did. I’ll have to ask him.

But anyways, he’s really struggling, and I just want to help him get through it. But I don’t know how. I don’t know what he needs. I don’t think he knows what he needs. My biggest concern–well, my two biggest concerns–are that 1) he won’t actively pursue therapy and 2) he will need/have to leave his job.

Active therapy, to me, is when you dig into the tough issues. You go to therapy and pull up the things you’re struggling with instead of just brushing the surface. You have to be active in dredging these things up, you can’t just let the therapist lead the appointments. It’s hard, it’s scary but it is super effective.

And I am scared that he will have/need to leave his job. I needed to when I went through something like this. And I would completely understand if that is what he needed, I’m just not sure how we would make that work. And I’m scared that he will have to leave his job because of this struggle he is facing. I know that would be devastating to him. I know logically that most men define themselves  by their work, and part of what he is struggling with is self confidence, and I’m afraid that if the worst work situation happens, it will shatter him.

Also, I’ve been really thinking about my future career path. I’ve greatly enjoyed working with kids these past few years, and it touches my heart. I don’t want to move away from it completely, but I definitely want to move back toward nature, conservation, and the earth. And I think I have a sketch in my mind of what I want my path to be.

There is a Nature Center near here and they teach children about nature and conservation. They also rescue wildlife and rehabilitate them before releasing them into the wild.

How cool is that?!?!

I want to volunteer there. I also want to take classes in order to be a certified wildlife rehabilitator. By volunteering at the nature center I will get to work with kids and teach them about nature and animals, and I will get hands on experience learning how to rehabilitate animals. From the research I’ve done, I’ll need 3 years of experience to get my 2nd level of certification for rehabilitation. The first level just requires an 8 hour class and that you care for the animal at a facility with proper equipment. My hope is that I can become a certified wildlife rehabilitator as well as teach at the nature center, and maybe (someday) become certified to be a rehabilitator for marine wildlife.

It makes me happy to feel like I’m finally seeing the right path for my life, but I feel so conflicted because I see Robby struggling so much. I feel like I shouldn’t feel so excited. I think I need to balance being excited for my future and being supportive in the present.

The Stigma of Suicide

I find it so strange that at a time in someone’s life when a person needs the most love that person can be being met with the harshest of judgements.

Anyone who has ever suffered from severe depression understands. You need love. You need comfort. You need desperately to talk to someone, to reach out for help because you can’t keep fighting anymore. But you don’t, because you know.

You know the friend will be extremely uncomfortable and try and change the subject, just so they don’t have to acknowledge what is truly happening. You know you’ll lose serve your nerve to go to the ER because you don’t want to be labeled as ‘the crazy girl’. When you say how you “can’t handle it anymore” your friends laugh tiredly and say “same here”,  but you don’t dare use the word ‘suicidal’ because you can’t take another the person looking at you with confusion, pity, and fear in their eyes, as if you expect them to “fix it”.

Because when a person does say they are suicidal, they know you can’t fix it. They know how lost they are. But they are trying, desperately, maybe for the last time, to reach out and find love. They want someone who cares. Someone who will cry with them for their pain, not back away from their own fear.

But so often suicide is shameful. We are looked down upon for struggling. For being so human that this world hurts us. Even for being sick and needing help in a way that many don’t understand.

I have a friend (we will just call her J) and her brother recently tried to commit suicide. I praise God that he lived, but it struck me as odd that this is how she told me.

Me: got your message about your brother. What happened so that he ended up in the ICU?

J: He tried to kill himself. He is feeling very ashamed. I’m trying to keep it private.

I hate that at this time in his life–when he needs love and support more than ever–he is isolating himself from everyone by not letting them in by telling them the truth.

And that is because of the stigma of suicide.

I know that J wants to keep her brother’s situation private, and I greatly respect that. By my reasoning, none of you know her, but you can greatly help her. So if you would like to donate to her Go Fund Me account so she and her kids can visit him, please click here. If you do not agree that you should know who she is, then please don’t click the link. I just want to help my friend.

Little ‘T’ Trauma

Lori and I have been talking about my need to protect myself for the last few weeks, and my view on why I feel the need to protect myself, and she thinks that I am suffering from something called “Little ‘T’ (t) Trauma”.

Big T trauma (Trauma) is a horrific event. A person who is gang raped, someone who survived the 9/11 attacks, being in war. Something that would be horrifying to anyone. Something that you would expect anyone to get counseling for.

Little T trauma (trauma) is an ongoing scarring event. Being bullied your entire childhood, an overly critical parent, living in a household with an alcoholic or addict. Something that causes your reactions to become ingrained overtime into the very nature of you, so much so that you don’t even realize that you’re different.

Lori thinks–and it makes sense now that I look at it–that the extreme bullying and ostracization I experienced from 2nd grade on developed into a case of Little T trauma and I have never really recovered from it. It’s why sharing things about myself makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe. Why I don’t like to talk about myself, especially my struggles. Why I always feel as though I have to keep everyone at arms length and even have a hard time opening up to my husband and my family. Why I can’t for the life of me ask for help even when I know someone is treating me in a damaging way. Why I have this overwhelming fear of telling people what I need. Why I am terrified of showing any kind of weakness or flaw, because a part of me is just waiting for someone to turn that against me.

And I always thought that the kids who turned on me just liked him better. I thought they looked at my story (the truth: he abused me) and his story (the lie: I made up the story that he abused me to get him into trouble because I was ‘mad at him’ for him ‘breaking up’ with me in 1st grade) and just decided to take his side.

I thought it was a normal kid argument. You see it all the time: Kid A and Kid B argue, A says one thing, B says the opposite. The class takes sides. A few days (or hours) later, it’s all over and everyone is friends again.

But they never got over it.

They never decided to be my friends again.

I kept thinking ‘maybe this is the day they’ll be my friends’. Maybe this time they’ll include me. Maybe this time they won’t tease me. Maybe this time I won’t be the brunt of the joke. Maybe this time when I trust them, they won’t torture me. Maybe this time, maybe this time.

But this time never came.

Ever.

And I could never figure out why. I didn’t make sense. And I kept trying. For years. I know it sounds pathetic, but I just kept thinking that somehow, someday, I would discover the right thing to do, to say, something, anything to make it all go away. But it just never happened. They were always against me. It never got better, I just moved away.

And as I talked to Lori and told her that I could tie the bullying to the very day that I came to school and the kids had all turned against me because they believed him, she pointed out something I had never realized before. They only ever heard the lie.

After I told my parents what he had done to me, they held me out of school for a day. From what I know, they contacted the school and he was sent to a counseling session. I can clearly remember being terrified to go back to school. I didn’t want to face him. I didn’t want to face anyone. They were all going to judge me. I was convinced everyone would hate me. I know he had told me that everyone would hate me if I told, but my parents didn’t hate me, so I don’t know why I was so scared to go back to school, but man was I scared. I don’t remember if they kept me out a second day, or just part of a day, or what, but I remember them telling me that I didn’t have to tell anyone why I wasn’t there or what had happened. That it was nobody’s business but mine, and they didn’t need to know. That the teacher’s weren’t going to tell the students, and that he shouldn’t tell anyone either, so there was no reason to be scared to go back to school. So I went. But the moment I walked into the classroom, everything was different. I could feel the difference in the room, and I remember seeing the kids across the room whispering together and I immediately felt afraid. The girl–who until that day was my best friend–came up to me and said (in an extremely superior and condescending voice) “He told us what you did” and swear I could feel the world drop from under my feet. What I did?

What I did?! I had never been more confused in my life.

I asked her what she meant and that was when she told me. That he has told everyone that I made up the story that he had abused me just to get even with him because he had broken up with me the year before. I tried to tell her that I didn’t make up anything, but she didn’t believe me. She walked away and I remember standing there at my little yellow locker, just fighting down the panic and the sorrow.

I always figured that somehow the truth had gotten out and he had panicked and tried to counter it with the lie he told, and they chose him and the lie. But, as Lori pointed out, they probably never heard the truth. Other than that one little girl, I never talked to anyone. They never heard the truth. So, to them, his lie was fact. In the minds of all those kids, I was a vicious liar just trying to hurt their friend. I hate that anyone could think that I was capable of purposely hurting someone. Because the exact opposite is true. He hurt me. I was just trying to get help. It feels like he was punishing me for trying to get help.

And he didn’t even need to tell that lie. No one would have known why he was pulled out of school. There was no reason to do that other than to be malicious. He went to everyone before I was even back at school and told this giant lie just to purposefully hurt me. How can someone be that evil? I can accept that the abuse was a reaction to him being abused, but telling that lie was more damaging to me than anything else, and that was just done out of spite.

He cost me my childhood. I didn’t have a childhood, I barely survived it. And I can never get that back. And I just have to keep trying to heal, trying to recover from what he did to me. And it’s just so unfair because there is no justice. I never did anything wrong and I am left to pay the consequences. I am suffering. I have to work to heal, fight to heal, pay to heal. My life has been damaged, broken, and all I can do is live with it. More than anything, I just want justice and I feel like I will never get it.

Because I’m still living in this trauma. Still expecting everyone to be against me. Still feeling like it’s not safe to trust anyone, because the second I do, they’re going to turn on me. And legally there is no way to get justice. It’s past the statute of limitations. It doesn’t matter that he sexually abused me, it’s been too long. And in any case, there is no documentation because no case was ever opened (which makes me wonder if the school believed him). And I highly doubt there would be a way to get justice for the bullying that was caused because of his lie, even if I had reported it at the time. I hate knowing that he did these horrible things to me and got away with them.

I hate that the more I understand what happened to me the more broken I feel.

 

That’s Not What You Say

I published my piece How It’s Supposed To Be on Facebook yesterday, both as a note on my page, and to a group I belong to called M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) (their FB page is here) . Most people were extremely supportive, and just said things along the line of “I’m thinking of you” which is wonderful. But my mother wrote this:

I miss Jamie, too. I hope you, someday, have a child to enjoy. You are BOTH wonderful people whom we LOVE SO MUCH!

Now I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but her response kind of rubbed me the wrong way. You don’t tell someone who is mourning their child that you hope someday they have another child. That’s like saying “You’ll find someone new” to a person going through a divorce. You don’t want someone new, you don’t want a new child, you want the one you lost.

Yes, Rob and I do want to adopt a child some day, but that in no way diminishes the pain we are feeling now. And it will in no way take away the pain we will feel for the rest of our lives. The pain of losing Jamie. No child can replace another, and it offends me that she even suggested that. That someday, by having a baby in our arms, our hearts will be healed. Because that’s not how it works. Jamie will still be gone, and we will still miss our baby. We will be overjoyed at this new little life, but that love makes a new piece of your heart grow, it does not refill the piece that is taken when your child dies.

How I Want To Feel About Myself

This afternoon was a pretty typical day at work. I helped some kids with homework, had a few kids act up, the usual. A little bit of frustration, but nothing that I couldn’t shake off. In fact, I was contemplating the idea of bringing Rob home a cupcake that one of the other teachers had leftover, just as a little treat to brighten both of our days, when I noticed that the trash bag I had just dragged down the hall was leaking chocolate milk.

Ugh.

The kids know they aren’t supposed to put milk in the trash. They know this. We tell them this every day when they (inevitably) try and sneak the half-empty milk carton or cereal bowl into the trash can simply to avoid having to deal with the mess. But it was too late, and now I had a mess to clean up. And I was frustrated.

Super frustrated.

It didn’t take all that long to clean up, maybe an extra 5-10 minutes, but for some reason it put me over the edge (probably because it meant I was now leaving work late, sweaty, and annoyed that the kids couldn’t throw the freaking milk away (!) ), and instead of processing it and just taking it in stride, I stress ate a cupcake to make myself feel better.

Then I had this moment where I realized what I had done. And I immediately felt worse.

I just ate a cupcake because there was some milk on the floor.

How immature of an attitude towards food is that? I know what a body needs to survive. I know how different types of food are broken down by our body and processed, and how each type is beneficial in its own way. I know how to count calories, fat, fiber, and anything else that can be counted (except carbs, never got that one down). I can explain the difference between white and wheat, wheat and whole grain. But when it comes to relating to food, I am like a four year old who wants ice cream because her balloon floated away.

I don’t think I ever truly learned how to relate to food. To me, food was a safe haven. It was a distraction from the awful reality I was facing. A comfort. A band-aid. Over the years it has grown into something that neighbors, or even mirrors my feelings.  There have been times in my life when things were so awful that I just couldn’t eat. I would go days, or even weeks with eating maybe the equivalent of 1 meal a day. And even then I would have to force myself to eat. Or Rob would check to make sure that I ate. More commonly, there are times when I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not actually hungry, I just want to eat. That my anxiety or nerves are so bad that all I want is one more mouthful of comfort. And even though I know that my body doesn’t need the food, I can’t convince my emotions that that is true.

I’ve always known that I’ve had a problem with food. That my habits weren’t quite ‘right’. Maybe they will be, someday.

Maybe someday I won’t want to eat because I’m depressed about how overweight I am.