Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things I don't understand

For the most part, I like to think I understand why people say, feel and do what they do. Even when it wouldn't be the way I would behave, I can usually get a firm grasp on why a person behaves the way they do.  It may come across as disturbing, but for example, I understand the reason serial killers are serial killers and why most murders occur even though I wouldn't I would never do those things. I understand many reasons a person could act in a criminal, hurtful and heinous manner. However, I have a hard time with certain things that fall into a more gray, so to speak.

I understand the pain of breakups and the pain of unrequited love.  What I don't understand is the desire to stay with someone who doesn't want to be with you anymore? Well, scratch that, I understand it to a certain point. If you are madly, truly, deeply in love with someone and have a long history together, there is a strong desire to not let that go.  It's a heartbreaking and rather frightening thought to leave who you love and all that you know. It would be painful to see them with another person.  I understand all of that.

I don't understand knowing the person you love doesn't want to be with you anymore, doesn't feel the same as they once did and is essentially miserable in the relationship, yet wanting to be in the relationship.  If you love someone, truly love someone, wouldn't you want them to be happy? Why would you want to force a relationship with someone who is miserable?  If they are unhappy, how can they possibly be the person you fell in love with?  I know it's like a stab to the heart to let someone you love go and that you would want to be with them forever, but if they are unhappy, in turn it would make the entire relationship unhappy. It makes little sense to me.

Another thing I do not understand is reactions to cheating. Cheating is not ok by any stretch of the imagination and this is coming from someone who has done it. It is a selfish thing that hurts one if not more people deeply. It serves no purpose. If you don't want to be with someone, let them know before you find someone new. I digress, I actually understand all motives and scenarios for cheating, I just don't think they are just.  My lack of understanding has to do with the person who has been cheated on. Say your significant other cheats on you, it hurts, it cause insecurities within yourself to surface, questions, anger, sadness, etc. The person who said they were committed to you violated that verbal, or in the case of marriage, written agreement. It's a trust and respect destroying situation. However, why do most victims of cheating entirely blame the other person?  I say other person, because men will do this on occasion; They will put more blame on the other man than on their significant other, but, in all honesty, women play this blame game far more often.

It boggles my mind. I see it time and again. A woman is cheated on, sometimes multiple times, and she blames the other person for all of it. I see some woman counter with the other woman made no commitment to you so you can't be mad at her.  I do not agree with that either. I think if a woman knew a man was taken she bears some of the blame, absolutely. However, there is some truth to that statement. The man (or woman) who entered a committed relationship with you is the one who made a commitment. They were the one telling you they loved you and made plans for the future with you. Why do they get near total forgiveness because total blame is places on the "other"? Is it because you believe they had to have been tricked? That they have no mind of their own?  Is it because you feel all other people are out to get your significant other and you blame yourself for not pulling the leash hard enough? I don't understand. I understand total forgiveness in the case of cheating with one other person. If it was a drunken one night stand, I can see after much talking forgiveness coming easier than an affair with another; However, both I can see forgiving. I do not see forgiving the person who has cheated or attempted to cheat multiple times and just blaming the others who were involved. Do you think that lowly of your loves intellect?  It makes zero sense.

I don't understand people who truly believe (and not just put on act) that they are innocent people in this horrendous world. I am talking about the people who feel they can do and have never done anything wrong based on the fact they were wronged at some point so it justifies their actions. We all mess up. Some of us mess up worse than others. Some do horrible things intentionally. The fact is, no matter what, not one of us is without fault. We have all messed up and hurt someone else one way or another.

I truly hope this post did not come across as judgmental.  I did not mean it that way, I truly do not understand these behaviors. I try my very best to not pass extreme judgment on people, but as a human being it is in my nature to form impressions about others. We all do it.  We all pass judgment on others, be it positive or negative.  I try hard not to assume I know what is in the heart or mind of another human being no matter what it is they have done bad or even good. No one can know what goes on within another soul. My goal has always been to understand others as much as possible, but, I do know there is a limit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Time - Not so Merry this year

Well, so far all my blog posts have been rather depressing, eh? This one will probably be no different... sorry to disappoint. I am just getting into the swing of this, but I promise as time goes on I will be writing about more uplifting things. I swear, it's true. ;-)

This will be the first Christmas without my brother. We are also encroaching on the first anniversary of his passing.

I can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. Last year and the year before I had started my Christmas shopping by the first of December. This year, I started today... I came home with one gift for each of my kids. I will give myself some slack and say they are incredibly hard to shop for. They really don't tell me what they want and of course, like all kids, rarely spend much time playing with the things they do end up getting.

I feel like it's all coming up so fast and I am stressed about a variety of things.  For one, our house has gone into foreclosure. My husband was laid off for much of 2012 and we fell further behind on our mortgage than we ever have been.  When he is working we have more than enough to cover it, but being $6k in debt to the bank makes it hard to pull out.  It breaks my heart because I don't want to have to take the kids out of the home they love and possibly out of their school.

I am stressed about my health, it seems there is always something wrong with me. I really need to get back to eating right and exercising. Hopefully, I can get off my butt and start that soon. I will be blogging about it, when I eventually begin. I will post recipes and how the exercise is helping my mood and things of that nature.

For now, I need to get my head on straight and get through this holiday. My kids have been talking about their Uncle Mike a bit more lately. My youngest (who just turned 4 last month) doesn't seem to understand that her uncle won't come back. When I have tried to explain it she comes up with things like "he just needs to be bit by a vampire." That's a bit impossible since he was cremated and well, vampires don't exist. She seems to think we can just go pick up a new Michael and when I tell her we can't she has a tantrum.  I kind of want to have a tantrum right along with her. My oldest was the most affected when my brother passed away. He acted out and cried a lot (he turned 7 in May). He will talk about his uncle when we visit my parents and had quite a bit to say during ThanksGiving. Just now he actually asked me to buy him a certain brand of jeans because that's what Michael wore. He really idolized him for some reason. My middle child rarely brings him up. When she does it's loud and borders on inappropriate.  Luckily we are an inappropriate family so it doesn't bother anyone.

I try not to be down about it. It's been nearly 11 months since he passed away and I don't think they need to see me dwelling on it.  They were there when I found out. They went to the wake. They saw me cry. We've talked.  I didn't hide it from them. Death is inevitable and they will experience the loss of people in their lives again (hopefully not for a long time), I find it foolish to pretend as if it doesn't happen or that I don't hurt. My brother and I were very close and the kids know that.

The kids have their holiday concert tomorrow. Hopefully between that, more Christmas shopping (I love love love gift giving), and maybe baking some Christmas cookies I can get into that Holiday groove. Maybe I need to buy some garish decorations and just go wild?

Thoughts on depression and suicide

I think by now we have all heard about the prank pulled by the two radio DJs in Australia. If you have been living under a rock, the gist is that these two DJs called the hospital where Duchess Kate was staying due to having hyperemesis gravidarum. They didn't think they would get through and lo and behold, they did.

The nurse who initially answered the call and patched them through to the floor Kate Middleton was on allegedly committed suicide just days after the prank. It has not yet been ruled a suicide, but it looks very likely that is what occurred.

I have read so many comments on this story it's insane. I have seen people say everything from, the DJs should be held accountable to people saying horrid things about the nurse committing suicide.

First, let me say, I don't believe the DJs should be held accountable for this woman's suicide. From what was said on the air prior to and after the prank call, both DJs truly thought it was just a bit of fun and didn't think they would get through so easily; both sounded very shocked they were actually put through and then even more shocked when they were given private information. Personally, I think the hospital needs to rethink how they handle calls when a high profile person is admitted there. One would think they would have had a special question or at the very least a code word for these situations.

I feel terrible for the nurse who felt it necessary to take her life. I find it absolutely abhorrent that so many people feel the need to say terrible things about her. Yes, I agree with many of these people in that it is a very small thing in the grand scheme of life and really makes little sense to end your life over.  However, I would venture to guess this wasn't the only thing she took her life over. I have to assume she had other things going on, underlying depression and perhaps outside pressures. This incident would have been likely the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. The articles state she was from India. It's also quite possible she felt immense shame for her mistake due to cultural influences. I can't be sure of course, as I am not her nor am I part of her family, though, I do know that in parts of India it's considered very bad to shame oneself or ones family. The other thing to consider here is that maybe she did not intend to kill herself and instead took one too many meds and overdoses accidentally. We may have a better idea when the autopsy comes back but we also may never really know.

I am unsure if it is because of increasing use of social media, my age or if people really have become more judgmental and cold, but I have noticed that people seem to seriously lack compassion or any degree of empathy. I understand that to those left behind, suicide appears to be a very selfish thing, however, I am not of the belief that it is always truly selfish or all that cut and dry. Yes, there are people who choose to die to avoid debts which are then transferred onto their family, others do it to hurt someone specific in their life and others still do it after committing a crime as a final "fuck you" to their victims and law enforcement. Those examples are definitely selfish in nature.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Absolutely it is... in most cases. Inside the mind of someone so severely depressed and suicidal they think it is the only solution, unfortunately. They believe the pain they are going through in this life will never end. They believe they are doing their loved ones a favor by relieving them of the burden of themselves. You can argue that it is still selfish because they are only thinking of themselves.  You can argue that they should have asked for help. Unless you have been there yourself, you can't understand the warped thinking. I will repeat what I have said, they think their loved ones are better off without them. They truly view themselves as burden.

Asking for help is easier said than. As has been demonstrated in the numerous comments on the article about the nurse, people don't tend to have anything nice to say about suicide or even depression. Reaching out for help when people will just tell you to snap out of it, stop it, get a hobby, or force a smile doesn't feel like a viable option. Why would anyone reach out when they feel like no one will even try to understand and instead, will just pass down judgment?

What about seeing a professional? Well, again there is that stigma. Friends and family making jokes and heartless statements about them seeing a "shrink" and yet again telling them to just get over it. On top of that, not all of us have the insurance to cover mental health visits. Some insurances will only cover something like 6 visits in a year. Out of pocket expenses to see anyone in the mental health field are astronomical. As you can see, it's not always so easy as just going to get help. Even then, help doesn't always help.

It's amazing to me that I see mothers and fathers speaking out about the harmful effects of bullying on our children, yet they turn around and scoff at the person suffering from depression. They quickly type out nasty words against someone who has taken their own life, not thinking about the fact the family or even another family who lost someone the same way may see it.

Death is something that none of us can truly comprehend. It's the one thing we will all have to face, yet it is alien, it is scary and something most of us would like to pretend doesn't happen. The fact remains, it does happen... to everyone. The very idea of forcing our own death is even more inconceivable. Why jump ahead to that awful, awful thing? Just because you wouldn't do it and have never felt so low to even consider it, doesn't mean those who have considered it, attempted it or succeeded are deserving of your cruel judgment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Life, Death and Rebirth

As mentioned in my previous post, January marked the beginning of a less than stellar year. To be more specific, it was January, 24th.

I would actually like to start with the end of 2011. My brother, Michael, was always my closest friend; However, he was also the source of much worry and concern in both mine, my parents' and even some of his friends' lives.

He had been the victim of bullying for the majority of his school years. He did not cope well and truly did not move forward from it all. My brother developed depression but most notably severe anxiety. Michael spent much of his waking moments anxious, but a sudden change in routine or harsh words from peers could send him into a panic attack. His moods could switch quite quickly and you really didn't know what version of him you might get. He developed a drug problem over a short period of time. His drug of choice was alcohol, but unfortunately he would take anything that could numb his emotions even for a short time.

When his behavior was overwhelming for me in any number of ways, be it that he angered or hurt me, or that  I was simply worried, I would vent about it. The common consensus was to remove him from my life, but I never could do that. There were a couple occasions where I limited contact with him and once when I banned him from my home. I always decided to give him another chance. I wanted to help him, support him, but mostly I loved him and I missed him when he was gone.

My brother was lucky in many ways. He seemed to rarely, if ever, have any major consequences for the worst of his actions. However, in October, 2011, the beginning of three consequences occurred. He lost his mind and hit our father. Sadly, I can not say this was the first time he hit our father or the first time he had gone after any of us. My parents called the cops and he spent a week in jail. He was not pleased, of course, but I am not sure it really sunk in as my dad and myself co-conspired and got him bailed out prior to his court date.

In December of 2011, he got his first DUI. He blew a .363 at the scene and .294 at the station. He was still standing, though didn't make much sense from what I heard. He had also apparently hit a car and hadn't noticed. He never did remember doing it. Luckily for him... or perhaps not...  The police allowed my father to pick him up from the station rather than book him into jail.

My brother had decided he would quit drinking on January 1, 2012. He had asked me to stand by his side, sober.  I agreed. He came over to my house on New Years Eve and we had our last drinks.

He was doing really well, but was very nervous and very anxious over his impending court date on January 27th for the DUI and hit and run charges. It was his first DUI and I very much doubt he would have gone to jail, but he was scared.

I can remember January 24th like it was yesterday. I had woken up in a terrible mood. I drove my son to school, and after feeling wrought with guilt over taking my bad mood out on mostly him, I decided to bring the girls up there at noon to have lunch with him. I dropped my youngest off at her early childhood education classroom after lunch and went home.  I didn't do much, picked up around the house, read to my other daughter. I picked the kids up from school at 3:55.

I remember pulling into the driveway and looking at my phone (which is almost always set to silent). I had two missed calls and two voicemails. One from my mother, one from my father. I didn't really think. I just knew something had to be going on. I decided to listen to the voicemails in the car, rather than get the kids out and listen inside (which is something I would normally do). My mother sounded hysterical, my dad's voice an eerie false sense of calm to it. I told the kids we probably wouldn't be going inside, even though I still didn't know what was going on.

It took two tries to get someone on the phone.  I will never forget my dad saying "I am sorry... you're brother is probably dead"  Probably... Probably...  a word that gave an odd sense of hope to both my father and myself it seemed.

My dad had come home from work and noticed my brother hadn't brought the trash barrels in. He headed to my brothers room with the intent of yelling at him. From what he told me, he first though Michael wasn't home and had perhaps gone out with friends, but then he noticed his arm. My brother, was long dead. My dad called for my mother and then they both called 911 and me.

I lost my mind when my dad said Michael was gone. I remember yelling "I knew it" over and over. I was convinced he had overdosed. I called his two closest friends and then a friend of mine to watch my kids so I could race over there. When I got there, the coroner had just arrived, homicide detective and other police officers were also in the house. It was chaotic, yet efficient.

I remember counting the days until we got the cause of the death back. The police found pills bottles with my name on them in my brothers room. It was made clear to me that I ran the risk of being charged with manslaughter if it came back he had died of an overdose caused by meds he stole from me.

I felt like I had killed my brother.

Many people tried to comfort me, but I pushed many aside.  I felt like I could only talk to people who knew him for a very long time.

It seemed some wanted to take advantage of my state. I will say they didn't fully take advantage, as I allowed it. My behavior was truly abhorrent. I behaved in a manner I despised. I became everything I never wanted to be. I hurt people emotionally. I still harbor a lot of guilt and shame. I know I need to move forward and chalk it up to a lesson learned at this point, but it's so hard; I still kick myself in the ass every day. I wish I could go back in time and make different choices.

On March 13th (my birthday), we found out Michael did not die of an overdose at all. He died of a massive GI Hemorrhage. He was only 26, it still makes little sense. He could have been saved... I don't think I will ever understand it. I secretly wish I was in jail on manslaughter charges right now because at least I would have something to blame.

Over Memorial day weekend, my husband and I got into a fight of epic proportions. We had been growing a part for some time, but with the death of my brother, my husband working out of state and of course my recent behavior, stress levels had hit an all time high. We spent hours yelling and crying at points. At one point I grabbed his beard and pulled harder than I intended and he ended up hitting me in the cheek as a knee jerk reaction.  In nearly 8 years of marriage, at that point, he had never ever even came close to hitting me.  I truly believe it was not a purposeful movement on his part.  I ended up with a bruise. I foolishly vented about this in the group I was part of. One of the women (who I had met a couple times), called the police.

My husband was arrested nearly two days after the incident. I panicked. He was unemployed, but was receiving UE benefits. Obviously, when in jail you are not eligible to work, so he would not continue getting those checks. We were already in a financial hole due to lay offs in the past (he is a commercial electrician). I lost my mind. I straight up lost it. I was angry. I was sad. I was anxious.  I was so many emotions it was crazy. I couldn't sleep. I had to talk to the kids about seeing their dad arrested... why mommy was photographed by the police. I had no idea what to do. I was less than rational for a time. I was not angry at the woman who called the police.  I was not angry at those who told me it was a good thing he was arrested.  I was just stressed. My stress was viewed as something else, and I was alone.

Things were worked out. My husband plead guilty. It bars him from certain jobs, but it's not the end of the world for him as far as work goes.

My husband and I never got back to that place we were a couple years ago.  I have told him time and again I want a divorce.  I want an amicable divorce. We agreed to separate.

 I met a really amazing man who matches my personality closer than anyone I have ever met. I spent a lot of time with him much to my husbands displeasure (which I understand to an extent. Also I refer to him as husband as legally he still is). However, my family and most of my friends seem to think I am going through a phase. They believe this all has to do with my brother's death and I will "snap out of it". If we actually had the money to pay for a divorce, I would have filed the paper work. However, that money was needed for my kids food, and clothing. Divorce is far from cheap.

 I broke this man's heart because I told him I had to break it off, try to save my marriage. He loves me with all his heart. I love him with all of mine. Both are solidified by his willingness to wait for me. I don't agree he should. I don't feel worth it, but it is his choice to make. He will always have a place in my heart even if he chooses to move on tomorrow.

 I felt like I was moving forward through all this junk from the past 10 months. Now.....Now... I just feel like I am stagnant again at times. I feel like I am standing still... watching as life rushes by. I just don't know that this legal union can be saved. Do I go through the motions just to appease those around me, because it is viewed as the right thing to do?

I admit, I am scared to leave in ways. We have three children, a home we own, pets...etc.  Our home is more likely than not, going to be foreclosed on. So it leaves our children and pets.  I don't want to turn the kids lives upside down anymore than it has been by experiencing the death of an uncle they were close to... but at the same time, would my husband and I staying together really help them in the long run? They say it is better to come from a broken home than live in one. Can I survive as a single mom? (Do not get me wrong, their dad will absolutely provide for them. He will take care of them when he has time off work. I am sure of this) Sometimes I wonder. I am 30 years old and I have made choices this year that would be out of a 16 year olds playbook.

So, this has been my "outrageous" year. It hasn't ended yet. I am hoping to find balance, peace and happiness in the New Year. I am going to pull myself up, I will embrace the lessons that have come from my mess ups as well as those forced upon me. I will find my way. These footprints in my mind and on my heart will help me guide me. This will be my rebirth. Parts of me died when my brother did. I lost myself. I will live again. I will live better than I ever have.

Yes, lovelies, I am incorrigible.

I began a blog here on over one year ago. True to form, I ended up putting off writing and eventually forgot about the whole thing.

I have decided to start blogging again as I find writing therapeutic. I tend to express myself better in this medium, than any other. Though, even then I find most people find me quite incorrigible. I am a venter. I believe wholeheartedly that venting is a great way to clear one's mind. Due to this belief, I vent and I vent a lot.  This is where the incorrigible part comes in.

I used to frequent a social website outside of Facebook. To be more exact, I frequented a specific group within that site.  It was a debate group, filled with the most intelligent, well spoken and out spoken women I have ever had the pleasure to interact with. Where were these people in real life? Nevermind, I am not very social so having them in my computer worked well, especially since I prefer to write.

I didn't really get off on the right foot with many of the women. Many felt I was a little too free with information and they were very correct. I also get the sense the way I wrote responses to debate questions was a bit off-putting.

However, this group of women became very close. Many had met each other in "real life", even more spoke with one another on the phone. It was amazing, though some were miles apart a true bond was cultivated. Many reached out to me with their phone numbers, but, as I mentioned before I am just no good on the phone. To put it best, anxiety gets the better of me.  Regardless, it seemed as though I had been accepted.

I would write about things going on in my life and essentially put them up for debate. I loved the different perspectives and thoughts on each situation. Sometimes, I would firmly take the advice offered by some, other times I would just draw from individual perspectives and there were times I couldn't or wouldn't take the advice.

I was invited to join another group that included many of these ladies. It was a group specifically for chatting, venting and so on. Although, by the time of this invite, I think I had "over stayed my welcome" for the majority of these ladies.

I was eventually deleted, blocked and banned from the group and also by many individuals. I won't pretend that it didn't hurt. It did. I had and still have love and respect for everyone of these women. Most of them disappeared without a word. Some had spoken to me the day before and hadn't given so much as an inkling that they despised me. There was one who was brutally honest with her thoughts and feelings. Though, I did not agree with much of her analysis of me; I can not tell you enough how much I appreciated that honesty. It gave me something to think about.

I am unsure exactly how it came to pass that I was simultaneously removed, but I think it had to do with a meeting of the minds and the decision that I was attention seeking and my venting was not venting, it was inciting drama. My thoughts stem from what the one open and honest person had said.

This occurred around the beginning of June. I have had plenty of time to move forward and reflect on the experience. Up until the beginning of this year my life was pretty run of the mill. Most of my venting had to do with family, health concerns and concerns about how to approach certain situations. There was nothing really earth shattering. The beginning of this year started with a major event and everything else started spiraling out of control as the months went by. There were things completely beyond my control, things within my reach for control and things I just did to myself. Many people referred to me as "so strong" and various other things that would indicate my life was beyond what could be handled by a "regular" person. It struck me as odd as I, again, was deeply affected by many things. Also, I can think of a multitude of things that could happen to a person that would be a thousand times worse. Ultimately, as time went on, and after a specific event these women who I had "known" since approximately 2006, decided my life was somehow too outrageous and I was just trying to incite drama or garner sympathy for nothing. Seems strange, because I really don't view things as all that incredible, so to speak.

I will write about the course of events in 2012 in my next post. For now, I wanted to write about what sparked my desire to begin blogging again.  These women, despite having never met them, really had an impact on my life and how I view things. They left permanent footprints on my heart and in my mind. They have inspired me in ways they probably never even intended to or realized. As you can tell, I still think of them. I no longer feel the sting from them walking out of my life, instead I feel appreciation for all they taught me. I think sometimes, dissolving any type of friendship is necessary. Some friendships are meant to last a specific amount of time, while others do not have a specific time frame. I am, of course, also intensely grateful for all those who remain in my life and help me become a better person with not only their words but with simply their presence and the footprints they continue to leave behind.