Painful Memories

Preface: It has taken me the past several weeks to type this up, and is a bit wordy. Over the past few days I have been debating whether or not to post this on Facebook, changing my mind constantly, as this is probably the hardest thing I will ever publically post. Mostly because it makes me incredibly vulnerable in ways that I have never expressed on facebook. And it will probably make many of my readers uncomfortable (and that is okay). But this is my experience with the accident and losing Jesse, something I have never shared outside of therapy or therapy groups.

You. You hurt me and killed a part of me that I will never get back. Yes, you. You, who are not reading this, and probably never will. You, who have no part in my life, yet I still crave you. You, who don't give two shits about me, yet I still care so deeply about how much you hurt me and how much pain you caused me. You, who probably do not care about how deeply you affected me.

Jesse died 9 years ago today. This is probably the hardest thing I'll ever post on here, but I'm so angry. And hurt. And I am so freaking selfish for writing this, and I have so much hate towards myself that I am this angry and selfish. Because I am not angry that Jesse died. I mean, I am. But I am more sad than angry, and I have accepted that. I feel like such a horrid person because I am just so terribly selfish for feeling how I feel.

Part of me does not know why I am posting this publically, because it is a pain that is so deeply ingrained in my heart that I do not want others to see, and I do not want others to see through me, how selfish and awful of a person I am. But part of me is posting this for closure, because that is something that I have struggled with, is wanting closure on this. I do not know if it is bad to want and to seek closure, especially when done so selfishly.

I have typed this out multiple times, editing and re-editing it, to make sure my words portray what I am trying to share. But I do not know that I can accurately explain how deeply painful the experience (accident, and months following) were to me, without sounding selfish and childish. Like I should "grow up" or "get over it." But it is not that simple. A quote that comes to mind as a type this is, "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't". -Louie, Cop Story. Because I feel like the people who hurt me, if they read this, will feel defensive, like they did not do anything wrong. And maybe it was not intentional, I have accepted that, but that does not change the pain that it caused me. Whether it was intentional or not, I was still wounded, and that still chains me down.

But I am angry at the people in my life that should have been there. I am angry at my siblings for getting more attention than me. I am angry at my "friends" who I thought I had, who were not there for me. My church was supportive of my family, but I felt neglected in every way as an individual.

Sometimes I wonder if my memory is selective, like I am missing pieces to the story. But this is what I remember and what is still instilled in my mind. When we were welcomed at the hospital, everyone surrounded my siblings, making sure they were okay. Josh, and Andrew, and Jacob, because they were seriously injured. The little ones, because they were adored by the church. My parents, because they lost their child. But me, only one friend and her mom approached me to make sure I was okay. I stood by the side and observed everyone else getting welcomed home, and being hugged, and being asked if they were okay. While I was not okay, but I pretended like I was.

Jesse's viewing just kills me. I can not wrap my mind around it. It was awful. The same friend and her mom who approached me at the airport also talked to me at the funeral, but that is it. I do not remember any of MY "friends" showing up, people who I thought cared, other than the one friend and her mother. I sat on the couch at Jesse's viewing, giving back massages to my cousins, while everyone gathered around my parents, my siblings in wheelchairs, and my younger siblings. Even the people who I thought I had some connection to, not quite friends, but acquaintances, did not approach me.

That was all so painful for me, and still is. I was 16. I was hurting because I lost my brother. I was hurting because I just gone through a traumatic situation. One that that so many people dismiss as "just an accident" but still haunts me to this day.

I can not even put into words how terrifying and traumatizing it is to wake up in the pitch black woods, not knowing if you are dead or alive, and turning to your right to see what appears to be a lifeless body lying next to you. Hearing your dad scream "where are my children?" Being kissed on the forehead by my dad as blood streamed down his face. Paramedics counting off my siblings, trying to find everyone, but not Jesse. Hearing "where is Jesse? We can't find Jesse," over and over again. My brother screaming out profanities as he could barely breathe with his collapsed lung. Lying in pain, unable to move, yet trying to lay a hand on Josh, who I was not close to at the time, as a way to try to comfort him. Lying in the ambulance next Jacob, and hearing the paramedics panic at the rate of blood he was losing. Lying in the hospital bed, alone, for what felt like hours, wondering where my family was. Were they okay? Was Joshua alive? Was Jesse alive? All these questions running through my mind. I hardly noticed the pain I was in, because there was so much going on, my body could not respond to it.

I was hurting because I did not have the friends I thought I had. I am still hurting today. Today, I feel worthless, unlovable, selfish, excruciatingly lonely, like a terrible person. I am mad at everyone. I am mad at myself for being angry at people I love. I love my family, but I am angry at them because they got more attention than me. I am angry that I am so selfish, that this is what hurts me so much.

When my parents get flowers in the mail on the anniversary of Jesse's death, I want to feel grateful, but I am not. I feel selfish. Because I think, "what about me?" "Do you not know everything I lost through this? My brother, my friends, my value as a person, my hope for myself?"

I know people are going to judge me for posting this. I know people are going to know how selfish I am. Or that I am weak, or needy. Attention seeking. Whatever. Yes, I am sad that Jesse died, and question all the time why he had to die. But all my pain from the accident is from so much more than just Jesse dying.

Physical vs. Mental Illness

Photo Source: BuzzFeed Health

Like seriously. There is so much STIGMA behind mental illness, and people don't take it seriously. When the symptoms of mental illness are actually also PHYSICAL, debilitating, and real. Oh yeah, and life threatening.


Also, THIS. With an endless amount of other emotions.

Right back where I belong

I met with my psychiatrist today and it was an interesting visit. Some background information. I stopped taking my meds on Sunday. Cold turkey. I was coming home from Boston early that morning, and I didn't want to consume anything because I wanted to be able to weigh myself when I got home with nothing in my stomach (I ended up drinking a diet coke on the plain, but that's a moot point). I don't know why, but after not having taken my meds on Sunday, I had no motivation to take them on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday. I told her that I had "forgotten" but the story eventually came out. I got super sick on Monday, unsurprisingly, considering the amount of meds I'm on and how stopping cold turkey affects my brain chemistry.

My sleep has been so messed up since Sunday. I've been tired constantly, taking long but low quality (basically sleepless) naps during the day, and getting little to no sleep at night. I'll go to sleep and literally wake up every hour if not more, and it takes me forever to fall back asleep. We talked about this and how my circadian rhythm was screwed up. Likely from withdrawing from medication that a.) makes me more sleepy in general, and b.) some of which help with sleep. But also because depression in general makes you more tired, which is what makes me constantly tired and feeling like I need to nap during the day, which throws off my circadian rhythm making it difficult if not impossible to sleep at night.

We then had a long discussion about my motivation behind not taking medication. She saw right through me and knew that I hadn't "forgotten" my meds the following days. She talked to me about the different reasons why people fail to take their medication, something that ultimately makes them feel better. Some reasons were control, apathy or ambivalence towards feeling/getting better, fear of getting better, etc. The ambivalence and fear of being okay kind of resonated with me. It kind of parallels to my eating disorder. I'm so ambivalent towards recovery from my eating disorder, mostly because of fear of what I'm letting go of. The same holds true for medication, not so much in the sense of "letting go" of something that keeps me safe. But I'm so used to being sick in my head that going back to feeling like shit feels comfortable. I don't know why, but it is also somewhat scary to be okay. Why? It doesn't make sense. But she said it wasn't uncommon. As miserable and depressed and anxious as I am without my medication, it feels right. And a few days of not taking my medication, and feeling a huge dip in my mood, just made me feel somewhat safe and at home. I know it doesn't make sense the way I'm explaining it, but when we talked about it, it made a whole lot more sense.

We talked about what we would do going forward from here. I'm apathetic towards taking my medication right now. She said she would support me with any decision I decided to go. So basically we decided to go off of my Luvox, Abilify, Lexapro, and Trazadone, and to keep the Klonopin and Focalin. That was my decision. I'm not sure how I pulled that one over her, considering the Klonopin and Focalin are my two "abusable" and controlled substances. But whatever, she was cool with it. She said as long as I promised to be smart about it, and to come back in if my suicidal thoughts became more than just "fleeting" thoughts.

As okay as I'd been the past few days with not taking my medication, I kind of left with a bit of a pit in my stomach. Like maybe I made a bad decision. I could have had her prescribe my meds, and chosen from there whether I wanted to get them filled, or even get them filled and decided from there whether to take them. But no, I totally gave up 4 of my meds which keep my mind somewhat sane. I felt somewhat like I was giving up. I almost cried over it on the way home, because in a way I felt like I was "grieving" my medication. Which is somewhat silly. But again, it does keep my mood relatively okay, and I'm giving that up.

So basically I just dropped 2/3's of my medication. I'm not sure how okay with it I am, but at the same time I take comfort in knowing that I can go back to my depressed, miserable, and anxious state. It's sick to say and to think, but part of me is looking forward to feeling the missed hole and darkness in my life that consumed me. It feels like I'm back at home, where I belong.

A fun weekend

I don't normally post about my social life. Mainly because, well, I don't have one. But this weekend was pretty full of activity and fun. Pretty rare for me.

It started out Thursday night. My old roommate, Nadiya, and I went to DC 101's holiday concert at Eagle Bank Arena. There were five bands that played, but the main two that I enjoyed were the struts and fall out boy. I'm not hugely into music, and never really sing along to the songs. But I love going to events like this mainly because I LOVE getting dressed up and going all out. Which I did. That's my favorite part of going to events or parties is getting dressed up. I definitely had the goth/hardcore thing going. Which was pretty fun, because I'm typically all pink, glitter, and unicorns.

The next morning (Friday), I woke up bright and early (well, it was actually kind of dark) for my flight to Boston to visit my brother (and a pretty sweet grad school). My brother picked me up from the airport and drove me back to his place. He had some stuff he had to get done, so he headed out, and I pretty much napped all day. Which was much needed after only getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep the night before.

On flight to Boston - notice my eyeliner from the previous night is still remaining

My brother got home later in the evening, and I hung out with him and his roommate. We walked to the liquor store to get some beer and wine, and had some drinks at home while we chilled out and ate some local pizza (something I wouldn't have eaten a few months ago, because I can only guess the number of calories in it).

The next morning was another early morning. My brother drove me to Wheelock College, which is a college primarily focused on education and early childhood development, with roughly 1200 student. And only 400 of them are grad students. I went there for the open house, and went on a quick tour of the campus (which was pretty tiny). I absolutely fell in love with the school. Apparently it's the first school with a Child Life Master's program, and the top one in the country. They only admit up to 12 students into the program, so it's pretty freaking competitive (but so is Towson). I just loved the supportive atmosphere of it, the way the class is small and set up as a cohort, and how they help set you up for an internship. Child Life only requires that you have 480 hours for your internship, but they set you up with two internships - one 400 hour internship in a hospital setting, and one 200 hour internship in a more narrow clinical setting. Which puts you high up there for employee seekers. I also like how all the major hospitals are literally right down the street from Wheelock, and how Wheelock is literally right on the green line which makes it an easy transit. Like I said, I fell in love with this school.

After my brother brought me home, him and his roommate and I walked to The Red Lentil - a pretty awesome vegetarian restaurant right down the street from his apartment. As much as food causes me so much anxiety and chaos in my mind, I love trying out new restaurants. Especially veg ones where you can only find in specific locations. I loved the food. I got the vegan pumpkin bisque, and a butternut squash and artichoke quesadilla with vegan cheese.

After lunch we came back to Josh's place, and I slept some more (you'd think I was an old lady!). Then I took the bus into Boston to visit a friend in Harvard Square. I had so much fun hanging out with her and just chatting. Most of our conversation had nothing to do with our eating disorders, which was really refreshing because I feel like most of my relationships center around our eating disorders. And it was cool that we could have fun and enjoy each other's company WITHOUT shit talking treatment centers and talking about how fucked up we are. Along with many other stores, we spent a ton of time at Newbury Comics, which had hardly any comics, but a TON of unicorn stuff. I went crazy. I don't actually have money to spend, but oops. I kind of went a little crazy in there. I'm not going to tell you how much damage I did, but let's just say it's been a while since I've spent that much money on myself (or any money at all, really). I went insane buying unicorn pins, magnets, socks, gloves, and the most amazing unicorn ugly Christmas sweater I've ever seen. I wasn't going to buy it at first, because money, but after I checked out with my pins galore, I KNEW I'd regret it if I didn't buy it. So I got back in line and purchased it. I'm not regretting the hole in my pocket at all. Anyways, I had a blast hanging out with my friend and I'm so glad we were able to meet up. We spent about 3-4 hours just walking around Harvard Square and checking out shops and chatting, and totally lost track of time.

The most amazing ugly Christmas sweater EVER

I didn't get much sleep last night, maybe an hour. I had trouble sleeping. So after I flew back home this morning, I spent most of the day sleeping. I had a really good weekend, but I struggled a lot with food today. You'd think my passion for Child Life, and my love for Wheelock in all of it's competitiveness would have motivated me for recovery. After all, I KNOW I can't be successful if I'm in my ED. And after a rough semester this Fall, I really need to do well in the Spring to pull my GPA back up (it was pretty good, but I'm pretty worried with this semester being so bad). But I kind of left Boston feeling kind of discouraged and more pulled to my eating disorder. Child Life is what I want to do, but it's competitive, and I'm nothing special when it comes to academics. Sure, I have a lot of volunteer hours and a lot of experience with kids, but I'm not confident that any of that will make me stand out. If I don't get into grad school, then what?