Finally, I feel I have the ability to write again, both electronically and emotionally. Well, I still don’t know about the emotional part. Its been a very emotion-filled few weeks, with many ups and even more downs. My laptop may overheat but I will write with breaks so it can cool down.
During these times I came to learn valuable lessons about myself: I’m still strong, there is always something new on the horizon, and I have my pride intact. There were lots more lessons learned but those are the big ones.
I was always waiting for something. Exterminators because we had bedbugs. It took the landlord 2 months to get them here so poor Carly and I would go to bed each night so the critters could feast upon our milky flesh. All the info we read from the government and exterminator’s websites recommended you don’t sleep on the couch or they will find you. Where. Ever. You. Go. So I couldn’t sleep. I would stay awake until the sun came up, killing any that crawled on me and put them in a jar of bleach and laugh manically as they dissolved before my eyes (I bet you didn’t know how sadistic I can be). During the day I would pick though my daughter’s bed, trying to decrease her discomfort. She would still have new bites every few days.
During this 2 month time we were banned from seeing my grandchildren as my son has an almost supersized fear of the bugs and he did not want to risk any transfer from us. Ditto for the boyfriend. I maybe saw him 4 times in that 2 months and that was to go to movies. I was so relieved when we were finally sprayed at the beginning of December. My oldest granddaughter was overjoyed when I walked though their door. The hugs! Hugs beat the bedbug blues every time!
Unfortunately the bugs seemed to be the beginning of the end for the boyfriend. He called less and less and I saw him very infrequently. We seemed to have a plan to go to Cuba though, where I hoped some alone time would help. Over the holidays, he just stopped calling except for a text telling me Happy New year and don’t be mad, I’m going to Cuba with my friend. That was almost 2 weeks ago and not a word since.
I knew this was a man who has lived with a very traumatic past and this is the worst time of year for him. It took me a while to realize that he could not be ready for a relationship. He needs to find his own self before he could ever trust his life won’t be ripped apart again. I, of course, have had my own traumatic past. The difference is I have both professional and familial support. He chooses to have a different way of handling his feelings. I’m afraid it ended with me having a broken heart because of the silence. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he really is just a jerk. I don’t believe that though. I do know, really, it’s for the best because, unless there is help in his life, my heart would never heal and would keep going through these unresolved issues he carries. I think I might be stronger in some ways. Unfortunately, I’ve now developed some trust issues of my own. My self-esteem is even more damaged than before. Who would want me? I don’t feel attractive physically or emotionally/mentally. What a mess.
There was one day that I slept away. 22 hours. That was when I knew I had to try to do something but everything was pretty dark for me. For those who survive depression hopefully knows everyone feels it differently; it’s never a contest, like “I have more reasons to be depressed than you do” kind of thing. No. What I feel is physical (heavy like an elephant) and mentally (my brain is a foggy bog of poo). It’s how to get out of it is the challenge. Sleeping 22 hours may not seem like a healthy way to do it but that was all I could do that day. The next day was less, more like 14 hours. Then it was 12. I can handle 12. I did the dishes. I tried to go grocery shopping. Then suddenly I had stuff to do and had to get out of bed to do them so my going to bed at 7 am was not going to work anymore. I seem to have developed a fairly normal schedule.
How I felt is so hard to explain. I wish I had the words to tell you how dark my world was. My dreams were where I wanted to be. I couldn’t wait to dream because what happened in them was so much more exciting and meaningful than what my life was. My bi-polar dreams have always been vivid but never so much as during this time. My awake-time flashbacks from the dreams would leave me quite confused. Once, on the rare occasion I did go out, I was very nearly hit by a bus and leapt 3 feet in the air as the driver laid on the horn, inches from my hip, waking me from my musings. I thought no one would care anyway. Of course I know now that is not and never been true. I have my peeps who love me and always will.
Before Christmas, I was on the bus after seeing my mental health worker and just broke down. I was crying in public. No one did anything except for the lady beside me who handed me a used tissue. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, suffering in silence. Which is what most people do. All this was not necessarily because of a man. I was on my way to my darkness partly due to the isolation I was in and the feeling of not being wanted anywhere because of the blasted bugs. I was just so sad and lonely and alone.
I missed my Dad so much over Christmas. His joy was like a child’s when he opened gifts. His place was empty at the table where we would squeeze his walker in. I did have a wonderful day with my family though. We all felt his presence there, especially when, for no explicable reason, glassware started falling out of the cupboard and breaking on the ceramic floor at my sister’s. I was making the banana cream pie at the moment, which was his favourite dessert. I had to stir and stir the homemade pudding for at about 45 minutes so it wouldn’t burn. Maybe Dad thought I wasn’t doing it right but I kept right on stirring during all the crashing and sweeping and didn’t burn the pudding at all. One of the best we ever made. He was keeping me on my toes I guess.
Carly and I got wonderful news the other day. We now have a townhouse we’re moving to through public housing. Instead of paying rent I cannot afford it will be covered by the benefits I receive from Disability. This is a huge financial relief for me.
I have lots to look forward to. I will get to purge yet again. The crap that weighs me down. Crap that I hang on to. Crap I can let go. And it ain’t just because of the packing.
If I can help it, life is going be like taking a deep breath of fresh air.