Hey everyone. Sorry I’ve been distant lately but the past couple months, especially this past week, have been tough. Before I get into my current mental health state, let me get you caught up a bit..
On November 14th, I woke up to a frantic call from my parents’ aide telling me that a car had driven into the front of the apartment but that everyone was ok. Yes, you read that correctly, a car drove through the front of the building and into my parents’ apartment (you can see photos on Instagram). The thing that matters the most is that no one, including the driver, got hurt. An older gentleman was the driver and seemed to have lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the building. My anxiety went crazy as all the “what if” thoughts came into my mind. Josh immediately headed home, we got in the car and we set off to New Milford. Even though I knew they were safe, I needed to be there and make sure they were ok and see if there was anything I could do. Thankfully, the local senior center and the red cross were quick to help out and had arranged for assistance during this time. The first 2 nights would be spent with friends and at a local inn and after that they would be staying in a nursing home to make sure they were properly cared for.
Everything was going well at first but then a surprise health issue came up with my Mom. This part is going to come as a surprise to most people as I did not share this info at the time because I did not want to make anyone worry. My Mom had said she was feeling very tired and had some rectal bleeding but the nurses didn’t think it was anything to worry about as it could have just been small trauma from all the movement over the past few days (note: my Mom is disabled and overweight). The next day, she thought she had to pass gas but instead released a large amount of blood. She was immediately brought over to the hospital where they realized her blood count was very low and gave her multiple units of blood to bring her back to where she should be. Over the course of the next few days (at this time its the week of Thanksgiving) she would be monitored at the hospital, receive even more blood and eventually get transferred to Danbury hospital, where they could take better care of her and try to figure out the issue. After some testing, they discovered she has Diverticulitis. They have since changed her diet, the bleeding stopped and she returned to the nursing home.
On December 21st they finally were able to return home to their apartment. Everything was fixed and if you didn’t know any better you would never guess there used to be a big hole in the building. A couple days after they had returned, we took a little trip to visit them and bring dinner and presents to have a little Christmas cheer. I’m very grateful that aside from some health issues that were discovered, everyone was safe and well taken care of during such a traumatic time. It weighed on me emotionally that I couldn’t be there, even just to sit and keep my Dad company while my Mom was in the hospital, but due to distance and work obligations I had to settle for daily phone calls. Getting them back home and healthy was the best Christmas gift I could have asked for.
Although, if I could have one other gift, it would be a cure for Cancer. On December 15th, a post was made on a friend’s account to say that her Cancer had taken control and she was now on hospice. Hearing this was a huge punch in the gut. Not only is she young (early 30s) but she is also such an amazing woman that would brighten a room and keep people grounded. The reality of losing her hit me hard and caused me to question why bad things happen to such good people. Whats remarkable is that the hospice nurse didn’t think she would make it through the night, but as I am writing this she is still with us. She is a fighter and is not going to go down easy. I love her and will keep her spirit with me for as long as I remain breathing.
And now for one of the hardest things to write about.. this past week and my mental health.
On late Wednesday evening, while laying in bed with Josh, I received a message from someone I have a lot of respect for. In that message, I was accused of not respecting them as well as being spoken to in a manner that made me feel that I was being attacked and that I was an idiot and not worthy, all because of something I did trying to help. Being that my emotions had been through the ringer the past 2 months, this hit me hard. Things got bad. Real bad. I have never felt soo low in my life. While I would rather not think back to all the negative things I said about myself at that time, I will say that things such as “I should have known better than to try and pretend I’m normal when I’m just a lowly piece of shit that belongs in the gutter”, “I’m a waste of life”, “I make peoples lives more horrible just by breathing” and “I don’t want to exist” came out of my mouth. I couldn’t stop crying for more than 2 hours. During this time, Josh sat next to me shocked, sad and worried, not knowing what to say or do. In the end, he reminded me that he loves me no matter what and that I do matter and that nothing will change his thoughts of me. Also during that time, I chose to deactivate Facebook, as I felt that I did not deserve to have friends because of how horrible of a person I am. I would also like to add that during my downfall, I made a post regarding what had happened and how horrible of a person I am and was blamed for my behavior as being passive aggressive and spoken down to yet again by another person I respect. I spent the rest of the night numb and hurting at the same time, feeling worthless and wishing I could disappear. After an early morning conversation with someone I care very deeply about, my mind was put slightly at ease and I was able to fall asleep not long after.
Important note: I am not suicidal, nor would I ever allow myself to get that low. I also will not allow myself to cause harm to myself or others. Josh stayed with me during all of this and did everything he could to try to ease the mental pain I was going through.
I had to make a tough decision in that I would need to take a small leave of absence from work for the rest of the week to work on my mental health. I knew that the state I was in would not benefit my work and that I would lack the proper focus I prefer to put in my duties. Everyone seemed to be very understanding of my request, some of which have since reached out to make sure I was ok. The majority of my time off was spent in bed, waiting for my mind and body to heal.
That being said, I did some research and decided I wanted to go to the local crystal shop to get some things to help with my depression and lack of self-worth. What I didn’t know was that this would end up doing me more harm than good.
Upon entering the shop, I noticed two younger patrons (I believe they were both 18) in the shop as well. Josh had stepped outside to take a call and that’s when I overheard one of them loudly comment “that’s a biiiig bitch”, which caused me to look their direction and I could see one of them with their head pointed down laughing and trying not to make eye contact with me. Yes, I am a fat female, but I am not a bitch in any sense of the word. I tried to ignore it and go about my business but I felt uncomfortable and unwelcome and couldn’t focus how I would have wanted to. I would like to note that both of these people were complete strangers, both female although one of them may have identified as a trans man but I did not engage in conversation so I can not properly identify but feel it necessary as I would not want to offend by labeling them as something they are not. Anyways, I made my purchase and we headed home.
The next morning, I woke up feeling lower than low once again, this time because I couldn’t get the incident at the shop out of my mind. What did I do to upset them? Why was it necessary to comment/joke about my size and do so loudly enough for others including myself to hear? Should I not be allowed into stores because of my size or looks? Am I one of those people that should never leave the house so they don’t upset others for existing? The list of self-deprecating questions went on and on inside my head and I spent the day in bed, ashamed of who I am.
Over the past year, I have been working very hard on trying not to hate myself as much as I do. I have been working on telling myself its ok to dress in cute and colorful things and to do my hair and makeup and feel “pretty” if I want to. It’s been a very long and hard struggle but I was making progress in ways I never would have thought I could do.. and then the events of the past two days happened and I feel like its all gone.
After a 2 hour emergency therapy phone session with my former therapist, I was able to take a deep breathe and focus on the facts; this was just a set back and doesn’t change anything. I can and will move on from this. The hardest part is actually believing those words. Thankfully, I have some very amazing friends and family in my life that will be there for me if I need them.
One thing that is very clear is this:
BEHAVIOR LIKE THIS IS NOT OK. NO ONE SHOULD EVER TREAT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IN A WAY THAT WOULD MAKE THEM FEEL THIS LOW. EVER.
In the new year, I am going to personally make it my mission to speak up more about mental health and identify to others when their behavior is not ok. I refuse to be the victim. I refuse to let others treat me in an attacking or bullying manner. I will not silently stand by when I see others being attacked or bullied because of their mental health, their size, their sexuality, their beliefs or the color of their skin. Negative and hateful behaviors have to be stopped. It’s time we start bringing a more caring nature back to the world, starting with our own lives.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit you need help. Don’t be afraid. You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Let’s stand together and stand for ourselves.