The Story of My Dad

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote on this blog, since September 2017 to be exact. A lot has happened in these last few months- one being my father passing away.

Five years ago, when I was about 15, my father was diagnosed with liver cancer and the doctor told us he had 6 months to live. I vividly remember that day. My father called me and my little brother downstairs and I saw my mom crying on the couch. I knew instantly that something wasn’t right looking at her face but I never thought it was going to be a death sentence. I remember my dad telling us what the doctor said, that there was a tumor in his liver and that his liver was also wrecked with cirrhosis. My mother sat next to me sobbing and my brother didn’t say a word, this was the moment that I realized I couldn’t let them see how upset I was.

My father always said that I was the most level headed one in the house and that I was his rock so I knew that if I broke down right there he would as well. So I simply said,”Okay. Is that all the doctor told you?” I don’t remember what else I said but I do remember looking out the glass door and watching the sunset. I tried to focus my energy on watching the sky change colors and how pretty the golden sunlight looked passing through the leaves of the tree in our front yard because I could feel the anxiety and sadness washing over me and I didn’t want them to see that. I remember going upstairs and locking my bedroom door and immediately breaking down. I also remember calling my best friend and crying over the phone. It’s a surprise she could understand me through the hyperventilating and sobbing but she told me she would come over and pick me up for a sleepover so I could get my mind off of things. Looking back at it now I am pretty sure that was one of my first bad anxiety attacks.

After that day everyone in my family changed. My parents became more religious and overbearing demanding we do everything together as a family. I remember getting in trouble one Valentine’s Day because I wanted to spend the day with my friends but my parents were livid saying that I should be with family because my dad was dying. That was the card they played anytime they wanted to get their way and it honestly made me resent them for a while. My little brother on the other hand became more reserved and quiet. He never opened up about his feelings and he didn’t apply himself in school. Meanwhile I was starting to focus on going to college and try to handle the pressure my father put on me to take care of the family. I typically call this period of my life my bitch period. I was so stressed with graduating high school and applying to colleges that the added pressure of my dying father pushed me over the edge. Luckily I had a pretty strong support group of friends who kept me in check otherwise I probably would’ve given up on everything.

Flash forward a little bit farther into the future and this year was probably one of the hardest years of my life and probably everyone in my family’s lives. In the beginning of the year the hospital finally told us that there was nothing else they could do for my father. They put him into hospice care and we started planning for his death. Oddly enough when my father was first placed in hospice he was still healthy; he still seemed like the man I knew my whole life. In fact, my mother told me of a conversation they had and my father wondered if he was put in hospice too soon. He seemed fine up until the week before he died. The week before, my mother and I were up until 5 am trying to take care of him because he was having hallucinations and wandering around the house but he didn’t know where he was. He also kept falling and my mother and I couldn’t life him up so we ended up having to call the fire department to come carry him back to bed. That night hospice said he was what they called “pre-active” which meant that he was in the stage before dying.

Then a week later I was about to go to bed when my mother started banging on my door sobbing. She said that my dad told her to let him go. So I went downstairs and held my fathers hand. I didn’t know that was going to be the last time I was going to hold his hand. My mother was in hysterics, his two sisters were also over at our house crying, and my brother was as distant as ever. So I did what I knew he would’ve wanted me to do- I acted as his rock. I held his hand and told him I forgave him for wanting to go and that I would take care of the family. I told him I loved him and that if he was in pain and it was his time to go that I gave him permission to do so.

That was a long night. I ended up calling hospice and getting instructions from them to administer the liquid morphine because he was in an incredible amount of pain and he couldn’t swallow his oxycodone. I was so scared but I was the only one stable enough to take action and care for him. An over night nurse came over that night and told my mom that he was in the “active” stage now and he had about five days left. I remember being relieved that we still had more time and maybe I could talk to him one last time the next day. Unfortunately he passed away in his sleep about three hours after.

This past month has been insane but I am also relieved that my father is no longer in pain. Despite preparing myself for years the day he died still came as a shock to me. I don’t think you can truly prepare yourself for something like that but thankfully my friends, family, and therapist have all been great with supporting me. I do miss my father greatly and I wish he could’ve been there when I eventually graduate college, get married, and have kids of my own but perhaps he is watching over me and my family and we will be reunited with him later on in life.

 

Advertisements

Tired of Hurting

One would assume that after countless attempts at finding love I would have already given up by now. Hell, I’ve told myself that I was ready to give up and just learn to be okay with the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and worthlessness. Yet here I am after another attempt, trying to soothe my shattered heart and aching soul. 

Almost every part of me screams to give up and just let it be. To accept the fact that I just seem to be unlovable to everyone. Some nights I beg myself to give my heart a break. I’m tired of putting myself back together only to break again. It’s like I’m fixing myself with cheap glue that doesn’t do it’s job very well rather than filling in the cracks with cement like I should. 

However there is one small sliver of me who keeps on fighting, who keeps holding on. That one small piece who keeps throwing myself back out there because how can I find love if I don’t try. I can’t be a recluse and expect it to happen to me. 

A bit of me hates that little part of me. I hate that after I let myself cry for hours in bed at night I let it fill me with hope-perhaps a false sense of hope, but hope nonetheless. 

How can I keep going when nothing has given me the reason to keep going? People who say they love me always leave. People who promise not to hurt me always do. 
I’m so tired of being hurt.

My Anxiety

Everyone hates you. Your friends hate you, thats why they haven’t talked to you today. That guy you were talking to that you thought liked you? That’s funny. He is wasting your time and actually does not care about you whatsoever. Everyone thinks you’re annoying. You will never find love and you will be alone forever.

That’s some of the things I tell myself every day. Well I guess I should say what my anxiety tells me everyday. Some days are worse than others- depending on what happens thought the day I guess. 

Today it’s especially bad because I was really busy and didn’t have enough time to talk to any of my friends or the guy I was interested in and now no one is responding to me. I know I am overreacting. I know that they don’t hate me and that they care about me. My mind just can’t stop thinking it and I hate it. I know they are busy people with their own lives and it doesn’t mean anything that they haven’t responded to my texts but I am taking it so personally.

I wish I didn’t take things like this so seriously and I didn’t care. I wish I was normal and could handle being ignored by people. 

My anxiety is so crippling sometimes. I wish it would just go away and let me live. Living with anxiety is so hard but I can’t imagine what it’s like without it constantly whispering negative things into my ear.

Contemplating Love

It feels as if I am meant to spend my whole life searching for love; trying to fulfill my craving for the feeling. However, how can I crave something I am sure I have never had? In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is the third tier so obviously the need for love is embedded into humans.

Growing up I assumed my parents loved me despite the constant physical abuse I endured. Now, though, I am not so sure. The abuse has stopped now that I am an adult but I can’t help but hate them a little bit because of what they did. As a kid I assumed that my parents loved me because I am their child and how could a parent not love their own kid. Then sometime in middle school I started thinking how messed up it was and how you shouldn’t resort to hitting and kicking to discipline a child. Thanks to our past we aren’t as close as I would like. I wish I had a healthy, close relationship with them- like the ones you see in movies or read about in books. Life isn’t a book or a movie though.

Another time I thought I found love was with my first boyfriend. I didn’t start dating until college which wasn’t by choice; I guess no one wanted to date me before then. Anyways, when we started dating I was unsure about everything. I second guessed his motives multiple times and I wondered if he ever liked me. I know my self consciousness played an important role in our break up because, now, I realize the strain it must have put on him on his side of the relationship. After the break up my anxiety skyrocketed- as if it could’ve gotten any worse. I told myself that he never loved me and he was just using me. I told myself that it was because I was so messed up no one could love me. I told myself that I blew the only chance I had at love because that was the only person in my mind to ever actually show interest in me. We are still close friends though and I know for a fact he does care about my well being considering he did talk me out of suicide. A part of me is still broken though from our break up.

There was one more time a little after I tried to let myself be with someone to find love. Nothing ever happened with this guy other than a few kisses here and there and some whispered nothings in the middle of the night, but then one day when we had plans he cancelled last minute and all of a sudden my world came crashing down. I realize that my reaction was a little extreme but in that moment of time it felt like I was being abandoned and used. I hated myself for getting so attached to him and allowing him to hurt my feelings. Oddly enough I am still friends with this guy too. We never talked about what happened that day he cancelled and the flirting came to a stop. My best guess is that he simply lost interest in me.

Now I know that you can also get love from your friends as well and I do have plenty of friends. They always tell me how much they love me and how much I mean to them but after so many people saying things and acting differently I find it hard to believe them. My therapist says it is just my anxiety telling me that they don’t love me and I agree with her. I know how much my friends and I value each other- especially after the death of one.

Maybe my issue isn’t that I am not loved but that I don’t allow myself to feel loved.

Goodbye…

“Tell me that we will work this out,” I begged.

The harsh wind was whipping at my loose, golden hair. Cold air bit at my skin and I wished I had dressed warmer before coming outside. I continued to stare at Beckett; his midnight black hair blended in with the shadows surrounding us. His ice blue eyes seemed to twinkle like the stars in the sky above us.

I was naive to think that anything between us would work out but I believed we could overcome anything- that our love was enough. My heart ached for his love, my body yearned for his touch; I wonder if he ever felt that way towards me. I would’ve done anything for him: thrown away everything I was working on, leave the life I knew, move to a strange place, anything. Apparently he wouldn’t have done the same for me. Apparently I wasn’t enough for him.

A part of me knew this was going to be the end, that whatever we had was over; severed by his decision to leave. I still wanted to fight for us though. Everything in me screamed to fight for him- to fight for us. I could feel my heart breaking the longer we stood there staring at each other. I knew I had to memorize every part of him before he left forever. I took in his messy hair my fingers were knotted in just hours before, his hands that fit perfectly in mine, his beautiful bright eyes, the lips that I craved the kiss of, and his tall frame. I remembered his hug that made me feel like I was at home and the feeling of his warm body against mine as we slept.

I did not bother to wipe away the tears I let escape. I hoped that maybe, if he saw me crying, he would realize the mistake he was making. I wanted to see any reaction in him but I was not given that privilege. He stood there as stoic as ever. I could barely tell if he was breathing or not. He seemed like a statue. I hated that about him; I hated that even as I was breaking in front of him he still never showed any emotion towards me. Maybe I was dead to him already- I may as well be.

I was starting to wonder how long we were going to stand here staring at each other. Perhaps he was also trying to remember me or maybe he was hoping for me to leave first so I would be the one who turned away and ended everything. I could feel the cold air starting to settle in my vulnerable heart and burrow itself deep into my bones.

The longer I stood there I felt myself start to hate him more and more. I hated him for giving up so easily. I hated him for leading me on for so long. I hated myself the most though… for falling in love with him and for being so weak that by him leaving made me broken and lost. I should’ve listened to the people who told me I was making a mistake. I should have never agreed to meet him in his room the fateful night he came to town. I was stupid for doing what I did and as much as I hate him now in this moment, I hate myself more.

Maybe he could sense the sudden change in my emotion because he took a step back from me. That one single step shattered the pieces of my already broken heart. I watched as he took a deep breath and run his hand through his hair. He was stressed, as he should be. He knew what would come after this. He knew the damage was almost done. I waited to see if he was going to say anything to me but he just stood there staring.

More tears were coming out now. A painful sob ripped from my throat and I hoped the howling wind was loud enough to conceal it. My petite body was trembling from the cold and also from the emotions raging inside me. Fear now coursed through my veins. How will everyone else react when they find out, what do I do now that it’s over? Everything I knew for the past few months was now being ripped away from me. I decided that I had enough of him wasting more of my time and turned on my heel.

I was almost to the door when I heard him clear his throat. My hand paused in mid air as I was reaching for the doorknob. A glimmer of hope sprung out of the darkness of my heart but it was quickly buried again when the wind carried his words to me.

“I’m sorry Whitney,” he paused for a moment before continuing,”goodbye.”