Reflective babble

2017 was a rough year for me, although I feel like I say that every single year of my life. I was hospitalized twice last year because I jumped off a bridge. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I learned that 85 feet is not a fatal jump into water. Therapists keep leaving or dumping me which makes it impossible for me to get anywhere. I feel like I’ve spent years in therapy without making any progress, although my therapist would disagree with that.

I’m still working at the same job. I hate it and I love it. I love the people and the mission, but I also feel stuck and stymied. I don’t feel valued or respected at this company, but the fear of being homeless and things being worse at the next place make it hard to leave.

Since Cooper died, I got another dog. She has been an extreme challenge and blessing, but a good distraction since I probably would have killed myself after losing him. She has been a source of happiness and a source of a lot of stress. My other dog, Scout, is getting older and is having health issues, like kidney disease. I’m so afraid that I won’t be able to pay for her vet care if she needs something expensive. Right now I’m literally barely making it each month with a cushion of about 20 dollars. Sometimes I’m in the negative. It’s really scary, but I don’t know what to do.

This year I started building Vivariums and collecting Dart frogs. For the first time in a very long time I’m making friends. It’s easy to hang out with people because I already know what to talk about. Plants or frogs are pretty simple subjects. The frogs are so tiny and adorable. They are literally the size of my thumbnail and they are so brightly colored. I never thought I’d be a frog person, but I love them.

I just realized that I have lived in my apartment now for four years which is the longest I’ve ever lived in one place in my ENTIRE life. I don’t know why that gives me so much anxiety, but it does.

Life is so painful and I can’t figure out how to fix it. All I want in life are people that love me, a comfortable enough income, a house, and a partner. That’s like the definition of mediocrity and I can’t seem to achieve it. Why can’t I seem to manage that? That’s just basic things in life. I know that if the girl I was in high school could see me now, she was be horrified and so ashamed. I’ve accomplished nothing in life. I worked so hard in school and it didn’t make any difference. Not really. I don’t really have a career. I’m living less than paycheck to paycheck. I can’t pay my bills, and one tiny bump in the road and I’m at risk of losing my housing. All of this after working so hard. I worked so hard in school and exhausted myself so much that they thought I had leukemia my senior year of college. Turns out taking a full course load and working three jobs, and still trying to make friends, will make you really sick. What did I work so hard for? I thought it would be a way out of my life, but it wasn’t.

I’ve added photos like my frogs and Vivariums, but these are not actually mine. I have an active Instagram account and don’t want these things to overlap, but this gives you a general idea.

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Thankful and Thanksgiving

I wrote a version of this so long ago, but it’s depression how little it has changed. I’m even more isolated as I age. My brain is forever broken.

Thanksgiving is a very difficult holiday for me.  It serves as a reminder for what I am missing in life.  If it were up to me, I’d take a long road trip and camp in the wilderness until this gluttonous holiday is over.  I can only really remember foster care after the age of eight.  I don’t remember much of my time and placements before then.  There are 10 Thanksgivings in foster care that I remember.  I spent every single Thanksgiving, except for a couple, at a strange table with strange people in a strange house.  Every family had their own traditions and quirks.  One family made these special cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle of them and everyone had to eat one and say what they were thankful for that year.  One family had a treasure hunt.  One family played a basketball game before dinner and the list goes on and on.  I never got to enjoy these things as tradition because I was always the new person.  I was always unknown.  I was always just a guest.  I was never part of the family.  I spent every thanksgiving as an outsider.  I observed.  I sat quietly and watched families enjoy the time they had together and studied them.  I would watch my foster family interact with each other–everyone grazing on appetizers, hanging out and enjoying each others company.  This is what family is, I thought.  I want this.  I want to be part of this.  Will I be here next year?  Will they be my family next year?  Do they remember my name?

Thanksgiving is a day that reminds me that I’ve never had that kind of connection.  It reminds me of what I’m missing.  It reminds me that I don’t have family.  It reminds me of all the Thanksgivings I cried myself to sleep overcome with desire for family, stability and tradition.  It reminds me of how different I am from the average American.  It reminds me of how undeserving I am of family.

While I have had a place to go a few times at thanksgiving in the past, I spend them alone today. I trek with my dogs somewhere way out in the wilderness away from the quiet of my apartment. Away from the chaos of the cooking and last-minute shopping. Away from the quality family time. Away from the agony of not having a seat at a table with my own family that loves me and wants me, without conditions. While I had places to go in the past, After I aged out, I always spent Thanksgiving by myself but not by choice.  When I lived in the dorms in college, the entire dorm would shut down for the weekend.  I would be the only person in the entire building.  I would run up and down the hallways, check out all the laundry rooms, and lounges on each floor.  From my room on the 12th floor I could see a family sitting down to their Thanksgiving dinner.  I watched them for a little while and made up conversations I thought they might be having.  One year I lived with my now ex girlfriend in a dorm room.  When Thanksgiving break arrived, she went home with her family and I was all alone in an empty building again.  She couldn’t take me home with her because her parents were against gay relationships, they were also against her being with “someone with my background [of foster care].  I know her family is more important than I am/was,  and I understand why, but it still hurt.

Thanksgiving reminds me of how lonely I am and how much I fear I will always be.  It reminds me of how alone I’ve been my entire life.  Thanksgiving also makes me angry.  I’m angry that I’ve lived in 42 foster placements.  I’m angry that I never got adopted.  I’m angry that I almost never spent Thanksgiving in the same place twice.  I’m angry that most people have families and I don’t.  I’m angry at my child-self for not being cute enough, smart enough, special enough to be adopted.  I’m angry that no one ever wanted me.  I’m angry that I’m serving a life sentence for the crimes and mistakes of my mother.  I’m angry that she gets to live a free life while I’m confined and caged by my own misery, depression, anxiety and PTSD. The night after Thanksgiving dinner is also a trauma anniversary that haunts my dreams and thoughts today.  Thanksgiving night was the beginning of my three-year sentence in hell.  Thanksgiving was the beginning of my second long-term living nightmare of my childhood.

 

I have been able to find things to be grateful for in the past. I was so grateful for the family I thought I had created 8 years ago and so proud of the little boy we all created together. I was so grateful and proud of this family I thought I finally created for myself. I was proud of my spot at the time. I was so grateful that I would cry before I went to dinner because I was just so overwhelmed at the reality and thought that someone might love me and want me and created a family together with me. A genetically linked family which I though was harder to abandon. Clearly I was wrong, since they dumped me for reasons I still don’t understand after years of therapy trying to figure it out. What is so wrong with me that I can create a family for someone by going through intense treatments and giving my eggs away, resulting in the loss of my own infertility and a hormone disorder STILL doesn’t make me wanted. It doesn’t make me lovable and worth keeping. After all of that I’m still disposable. I’ve just grown to realize that I’ll always be the disposable girl.

I’m so alone in life right now. I have a few friends that I can go hiking with, or go out to dinner with, talk about nerdy things like Vivariums and dart frogs, but I don’t have anyone more intimate than that. There isn’t anyone out there that loves me right now. Not ONE human being that knows me loves me. How pathetic is that?


Here I am again, alone for all the holidays including my birthday last month. No matter what I do in life, I will never have a family, even as an adult. What do I need to do? Giving someone a baby wasn’t even enough! That relationship didn’t last long and I’m back to being alone on Thanksgiving every year since. I honestly feel like nobody in my life has ever loved me just for me. There are always conditions and demands that I be pleasant and easy to be around at all times no matter what is going on with my life. I always have to prove my worth and show that I am lovable and worth loving. I have to prove that I’m valuable enough that people want to stick around in my life. I have to show them that I”m not disposable, but the problem is the minute I show any sort of struggle or vulnerability, people are gone. NO matter how much love the profess to me, how many love letters they write to me, the moment I need them, the moment I need their words to matter, they are gone. They are done. I’m not worth the effort. For a while I had a friend I met through my blog who ended up being my next door neighbor. We started a friendship and she made these promises and professions of love, but even she is gone. She told me she was done earlier this year for something so stupid. It was literally an argument about vegans and chicken. So that’s where I’m at again. I had somewhere to go for a few Thanksgivings as an adult and I had a little while of believing I had finally been part of a family. But like every other family and relationship in my life, I am no longer useful and worth loving, so they are gone. They got what they wanted from me and threw out the rest. They took a huge piece of me and then threw me away. Just like everyone else.

Riley and ScoutThe things I am grateful for this year are my two dogs, my cat, my terrariums, and my 15 frogs.

Now excuse me while I see how much wine it’s possible for me to drink.

Wishful thinking

Things I want in life:

  1. A family
  2. A partner
  3. strong close, “intimate friendships.” The kind of friends you share your soul with
  4. Regular friendships
  5. A job where I can pay my bills
  6. A home where I belong. A house that’s mine forever.
  7. To feel comfortable in my own skin
  8. To like myself, or at the very least, not to detest myself so much. To accept the things I hate about myself.
  9. To be comfortable enough in life where I can travel and experience life outside of my desk job and my apartment.
  10. To feel like my body belongs to me
  11. To feel like I really know myself
  12. To feel loved
  13. To feel wanted
  14. To not feel disposable anymore
  15. To feel like I belong somewhere, to something, to someone
  16. To feel fulfilled and challenged at my job. To have a career instead of a job.
  17. To feel like it’s worth it to get up in the morning
  18. To feel like I want to live and stop thinking about ways to die
  19. To feel less anxiety and less depression

I have been working so hard for these things since I was a very young child and I’ve never found them. I know it seems like I’m just a whiner, but I really do work so hard at these things. I’ve tried every kind of therapy, every mediation. We literally have no more medication I can try. I’m trying to get my insurance to approve Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment, but so far it’s been denied.

I have always worked hard. I graduated high school at the top of my class despite going to 7 high schools and spending the second half of my senior year homeless. I went to college and worked three jobs. I work full time, pay taxes, and support myself. I try my best at everything I do even though I can’t find much of a reason to live. I find hobbies and pets to make me have motivation to do things. Lately I’ve been really into terrariums and dart frogs, and of course I have my cat and two dogs. I’m still so sad and miss Cooper. He was so special in my life and I’m so grateful that I got to have him for 10 years.

I have long term jobs. I worked at a major university in California for 6 years and I’ve been at my current job for 3 and a half. I really want to go to graduate school, but I can’t figure out how to support myself and go to school.

I’ve tried everything to create a family for myself. I take care of people I care about. I’m a bit of teaser, but I always make sure not to poke at sensitive subjects. I do big things for people I care about, like give them my eggs. I put off going to graduate school to support someone else while they got their PhD. When I love someone, I take care of them.

I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know why I’m still such a failure in life. I’ve worked so very hard to get somewhere, to make something of myself. That’s how I survived foster care and homelessness. I thought I was going somewhere, that life would eventually get better, but It hasn’t. What am I supposed to do? Why can’t I make a life for myself where I feel some sort of comfort and happiness? Am I even capable of happiness? Maybe that part of my brain is broken.

 

Riley and Scout

My two dogs on a hike

Dumped

I sabotage everything in my life. This year I’ve been to the hospital twice. Since I started seeking treatment I’ve had 5 therapists dump me. They just tell me they can’t help me. Maybe there isn’t any help for me and honestly I just want it to stop. I’m tired of trying. I’m tired of waiting for my life to get better. I’m alone. I have no friends beyond the occasional lunch buddy. I can’t even maintain relationships with therapists. I’m an adult, and people still don’t want me. I still feel like that little girl, so desperate for someone to want her and keep her and love her. I’ve never had that and I don’t think I ever will. I’m just not lovable. There is very little about me that is good. I wouldn’t love me or keep me, so I don’t blame people. My life was a mistake. My whole life people were paid to take care of me, but even those people didn’t want me. It’s not all that different with therapists now. They are people paid to care for me, but even they give up and dump me.

I’ve tried so much therapy. It’s clear now that nothing will ever work for me. I’ve tried all the medication, all the therapies, all the self help books. There is nothing out there that can help me and I’m just so tired.

Another Thanksgiving without a family

Nothing has changed since foster care. It’s another holiday season without a family. Another day I’ll pretend to be happy as people wish me happy holidays and talk about their plans. Or I’ll pretend to sympathize as people complain about having to spend time with their families.

I feel so utterly alone in the world, like no one understands me or gets what it’s like to be this isolated and alone in life, for your entire life. Seriously, no one gets it and it’s so isolating. Just once I want someone in my life to feel a temporary dose of this pain so they can truly understand.

Why am I such a failure in life? I’ve worked so hard and still I fail at everything.

Loser

I wish I could go back in time and show myself what a loser I would be when I grew up. I worked so hard as a kid with the hope that it would make my life better, that eventually I would have a house, a home, a family that loves me, and a career that fulfills me and makes a difference in the world.

Younger me would be so ashamed of me. I worked so hard my whole life. I graduated high school at the top of my classes despite going to seven of them and being homeless for much of my senior year. I went from special education to straight A honors student in elementary school. I worked three jobs in college on top of a full course load at school. I worked so hard that I got sick and they that they thought I might have leukemia. I graduated with honors despite that and having to live in my car or under the freeway when dorms closed.

And it was all for nothing. Today I am alone. I have no friends except for people on Facebook. I have no family. There are literally zero people that actually love me in this world. I’m not exaggerating. There is no one in my life who knows and loves me. Many days outside of work, I don’t speak to other humans.

I have a lower level job that doesn’t value me or fulfill me. I’ve been there for three years. Last year they hired two more people for the exact same position that I have. I supervise them and I trained them and they make more money than me! I have been at the company three times longer, I have far more experience than either of them, and they both make more than me. I brought it up and they said they would fix it coming merit review. They didn’t change anything. They literally don’t value me as much. I feel under appreciated and disposable.

My dog died six months ago and I still can’t get over it. I loved him more than anything and I know he loved me too. He was my everything and now he’s gone.

My insurance cut off my therapy despite the fact that I jumped off a bridge. I was supposed to start trauma treatment but now I can’t because it requires therapy three times a week and my insurance said nope.

I really have nothing or no one to live for. My life is awful and I’m constantly suffering. I have very little quality of life. If that is were cancer, people would be okay with ending my suffering, but because it’s seen my fault, it’s not okay to end my suffering.

I jumped off a bridge and spent a week in the hospital and NO ONE noticed I was gone. No one knows that I tried to kill myself. No one misses me when I’m gone. I am alone. I am lonely. I try to make friends but no one will stick around. No one. I just want to die.

Portland is Where my Dog died

My dog died suddenly last Wednesday 8/17 at 3AM. He had an hemangiosarcoma that burst and he bled to death internally. It was all so traumatic and scary. Basically he collapsed and I screamed and tried to pick up his conscious but limp body. I can normally pick him up even though he’s 72lbs, but it was impossible to lift his limp body. I pounded on my neighbors’ doors, but no one answered. I live on the second floor and I had to drag him down the stairs, trying to hurt him as little as possible. He was terrified. I was terrified and sobbing. Once I was at the bottom of the stairs, I managed to get his harness on and from there I lifted him up on his feet and I helped him up and walked as fast as I could to my car. He surprisingly got some strength back and managed to mostly jump in on his own.

He was breathing very hard as I drove 90 miles an hour to the ER vet. When I got there, I screamed for help. People came running out with a little metal stretcher. He had a seizure and his heart stopped. They performed CPR for 15 minutes, but they couldn’t get his heart to start again. His abdomen was full of blood as well as the sac around his heart.

I am so broken. I have had a lot of loss in my life, but this is by far the hardest. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I loved this dog. I know I’m not supposed to be this devastated by the loss of a dog, but I am. I was so connected with him. I have another dog and a cat, and I love them, but not nearly on the same level.

I don’t know how to keep going in life. I feel like I’m being punished for something, like my whole life is my punishment. I lose absolutely everything I love. EVERYTHING. He was my family. My best friend. My baby. My soulmate. The love of my entire life. I know that dogs die, but he was only 10. I’ve had him my entire adult life. Why does the universe take everything away from me? Why can’t I at least have my doggy soulmate for his full lifespan? Why did he have to die so traumatically?

I feel so guilty about how he died. He died Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. The Thursday before I took him to the vet to check out some pain he was having while walking with some weakness in his back legs. He is TERRIFIED of the vet and must take anxiety medication before we go. The vet said he had a herniated disc in his neck and that we would try some anti-inflammatory drugs and pain meds for 10 days and then see how it goes. The meds seemed to help. We went to the dog park the next day to walk around. On Saturday we went swimming for hours at a lake. He had such a great time and he was so strong and healthy. We took it easy on Sunday and Monday to not hurt his neck. Tuesday morning he was his normal self. Then he didn’t want dinner on Tuesday and he sat down during a potty walk. This concerned me because it had never happened before. Otherwise his potty was normal. I thought his neck was really hurting him again. He just wanted to lay in his bed and he began to pant a lot. I thought the panting was due to the pain and because it was very hot. I stuffed him with meds and put him in my bedroom (where the AC is) and gave him an ice pack. The panting didn’t stop and I noticed his belly was a little bloated. I don’t know why I waited so long. I was so anxious about it that I cried and then cleaned my entire apartment to distract myself. When I finally decided enough was enough, he only had 20 more minutes to live. I had no idea he was dying until he collapsed when he got up to go to the vet.

The ER vets were asking me all these big business and financial decisions. Did you know they charge for CPR by the minute? They kept asking me if I wanted to do x and x and x. I sobbed and said “Please save my dog. I don’t care what it costs.” They still kept asking. My head was spinning. I didn’t know he wasn’t breathing until they asked me about CPR. I couldn’t think. When he died the ER vet tried to explain things to me, but I didn’t understand. I couldn’t take anything in. The love of my entire life was gone.

I wrote a frantic email to his regular vet the next day because I just didn’t understand what happened to my baby. I wanted to know if I could have saved him, if he died because of my choices.

This was her response:

Hi X,
I hope you are taking it easy and taking time for yourself at this time. I was able to take a look at the records that dove had sent over. It sounds like he had a large amount of blood in his abdomen and around his heart. They did a quick ultrasound to see why his belly was so bloated and found that his whole abdomen was fluid filled (blood). The only thing we see usually that causes blood in the sac around the heart and blood in the abdomen, is a type of cancer called hemangiosarcoma. It is one of the worst diseases as it doesn’t show any clinical signs until it presents like that. It is a cancer that usually starts on their spleen and then can rupture at any time- even sleeping. Then they are essentially bleeding internally. With the blood being around the heart, it usually indicates that it has spread to the rest of the body. Prognosis is grave.
Just from a personal perspective, my husband’s family dog passed away from this as well as 10 years old. My family’s dog 6-7 years ago, was found to have a hemangiosarcoma on his spleen very early, but with me knowing what quality of life is with this condition, we ended up euthanizing him. Even when caught early, there is very little short of extensive invasive surgery and still only gives a short amount of time. I personally have not seen any pet that survives at any stage of this awful awful cancer.
Again, I am so very sorry for your loss.  I look forward to seeing you with Scout next time. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.
Take care,
XXX, XXXX, DVM

I feel some relief knowing that it’s not my fault that he died, but I feel so awful and angry at myself because I could have made his death less painful, calmer, and in my arms engulfed in love. I could have lovingly stroked him and said goodbye. Instead I let him suffer all night, his last few minutes were terrifying, and he died in a parking lot.

12341494_10100581842115889_6059653213890342186_nI love him so very much. I don’t even know how to deal with this. I feel so broken. My other dog is so depressed and confused. She’s been scared of me. She saw me scream and drag her brother outside and then he never came back. Why do so many bad things happen to me? Why am I not allowed to have love in my life. I try to be a good person, but it’s never enough. Cooper loved me as much as I loved him and I loved him with absolutely everything in me. He deserved so much better than this.

I’m trying to make up for the way he died by honoring him. There is a rescue group here that rescues dogs from California shelters and relocates them to our state because we don’t kill animals very often. I created a fundraiser to raise funds to rescue dogs from the high kill shelter where Cooper was born in 2006. This group may make this long term and set up “Cooper’s Fund” that is a long term fund that people can continue to donate to for the purpose of rescuing dogspecifically from Cooper’s shelter. I hope Cooper would be proud. 

https://www.gofundme.com/CoopersHonor

I’m t81afjJP-wFL._SY355_rying to find a place where I can purchase 100 orange rubber balls (chuckit balls) that were Cooper’s absolute favorite thing in the world. I want to tie notes on the balls from Cooper to the dogs who may find them, and then spread them around at all his favorite places. The coast, the river, the dog park.

I got his ashes back this afternoon (Wednesday). They came back in a plastic baggie in a cheap tin can. I can’t bear this, so I’ve been looking at urns. It’s the most depressing thing on the planet. I don’t want my baby to be bone dust in a box. God my heart hurts. There is a huge sucking wound in my soul.

Now I am totally alone in the world. There is no affection in my life. No cuddles (my other dog doesn’t like to cuddle or play), no spooning giant black labs at night, no one to force me to take him on big adventures. No one to buy ridiculous things, like dog shirts and life jackets. My heart hurts. My life hurts. My soul hurts. One moment it doesn’t feel like it really happened, and at other moments I literally fall to my knees because the weight of the sadness is too much. Sometimes I forget (especially if I’ve taken sleep meds) that he’s gone and I call for him to come sleep with me and then I remember. I’ve not been able to keep food down. I need to take xanax more than normal just to manage my paranoia about my other dog. I’m so hypervigilant about her breathing and any noise she makes. I keep relieving Cooper’s death. I  keep having nightmares about his death or that they were cremating him alive.

My soul hurts. I’m broken. I’m alone. 0978d9b2fdb32c87f4434af2083fcc98