I miss the me that was the me back when I was getting my first undergrad degree. My parents were alive. My maternal grandfather was alive. I saw people every day. I was happy and busy and had social engagements, even if they were mandated by school and school activities.
I do keep busy these days, but it just doesn't feel the same. I worry too much about what is in heaven. I feel like I have too much doubt even though I definitely believe in Jesus Christ and that He died on the cross to save me and all sinners so that they would have eternal life.
I worry too much about what this second death is at times and pray that I will not be a part of that.
Yet, maybe, that is when even the unbelievers are raised from the dead for their judgement and if they still to do not believe and do not repent, they go to the second death along with the demons and Satan? Maybe? I don't know. I'm not trying to teach any one thing that I don't know. I'm not God. I'll just say what seems to be what God reveals to me and still tell people to read the scriptures and pray.
Yet, I cry. I cry lots. Sure, I cried lots before, too. Of course, when my parents were alive, they were experts at making me feel horrible for not doing what they wanted me to do. My Mama was one that used guilt to get me to do things. My Daddy used rage and scare tactics. I loved both my parents and still love them both even though they are now in heaven, but it was not an easy time growing up with them.
However, I can also remember all the loving moments and it is really difficult when those are remembered because that's the feeling that I want again and I don't have. I don't have the loving feeling of when I was little and it was Christmas time. How we would gather in the living room. Daddy would have Briana and I take turns choosing Christmas records we'd play on the record player and at times he would tell us that he wanted to choose a record and we'd listen to Christmas songs. My Mama would come out with homemade eggnog (a simple recipe, not the complicated stuff - and of course, no alcohol in it for me, anyway) and some of the more modern stollen. We'd unwrap gifts. When I was really little, a lot of them were toys. As I got older, they would be more practical gifts, but I still loved them.
I thought I would get married and have kids, my parents would be loving grandparents, spoiling their grandkids. Yet, nope. My Daddy had his left leg removed below the knee in the summer of 2002. I graduated from college in 2004. I looked for jobs so many places, but nobody offered jobs. I tried to get into journalism (but I really didn't want to have to write obituaries and I don't know sports). I tried to get into Youth Ministry. I had tons of interviews, but nobody hired me. I think I finally got to the root of things because one place finally just told me, "You're too nice." They didn't think I'd be able to handle the pressure from people who didn't want Youth Ministry happening. The youth LOVED me. The pastor LOVED me. They loved me so much that they sent me home before I even got to teach Sunday School because they didn't want to fall in love with what I did even more. They literally told me all of this. I'm not making it up.
Then, Briana and I had to take care of our Daddy more as he would get worse at times. We thought he was just normally sick one weekend and he liked to be left alone when he was sick, so we left him alone to get better like we usually would. Well, come that Monday night and he was vomiting even water. I didn't know what to do and he didn't want me to call 911 without first calling the doctor and I wasn't thinking that I just should call 911. I called the doctor's number, but of course, it was the answering service. Briana tried to call 911, but he would really let her. I went outside to pull the van around to the front of the house so it was there. I didn't see everything that was going on inside. I was trying to do what needed to be done.
Briana told me that Daddy was arguing with her and with Mama as they tried to help him get dressed and get ready. They finally got him out to the van and he kept complaining about the direction Mama was driving to get the hospital, but that didn't make sense as she was going to the hospital. Anyway, we got him in the ER and he was saying that he was thirsty, but they kept saying that he shouldn't have anything to drink yet. When he got back into the ER, he was even joking with the nurses. I thought it was going to all be okay. I thought it would be another case of his blood sugar being too high. They would treat it. We'd be back home and I'd be fine.
He "fell" back as much as he could already being down and we heard on of the nurses yell, "Fuck!" (So, when you see that in a medical drama, it's quite true - they do yell obscenities when somebody has a heart attack or something bad happens. That's understandable, though!) A doctor came out and told me (and my family) that things were going to be okay. I had a friend who came and sat with me at that time (but she's since moved away from the area). She and I joked about how so many guys don't take care of their health. We were thinking it was all going to be fine.
However, while I was talking with her, the doctor came out and said that it was a good thing I had a friend because I was going to need one. That was an hour or less from when she told me that things were going to be okay.
I know my Daddy loved me. And I don't know if I feel better about him because I was there in the ER even though I wasn't with him or because I kissed his body (but that cold of death was horrible and I hated that feeling). Or maybe it's because he told me when I was young, "Nothing can be done about a heart attack." He told me this when my Great Uncle Elmer passed away. He had just been taking a walk and he never came back. They found him and the doctors ruled that he had a heart attack while he was walking.
I know my Mama loved me, too. After Daddy passed away, Mama, Briana, and I all went into buying a house together. We had a place to live. We still live in that house. It's now mine and Briana's.
However, my Mama was declining so quickly. For a few years, it was okay. Briana tried to go to Texas Lutheran University (TLU) in Seguin, Texas. It didn't work out for her, though. I wanted her to be able to get an education, but I am glad she is with me now. I'm glad she hasn't moved elsewhere because I absolutely hate being alone. There's something that seems to run in my family - from at least my grandpa to my Mama to me (and I think to my sister a bit, too - but I'm not certain) that freaks us out about being alone. It's more than just not liking it. It's a really horrible feeling.
I can remember the time that we were travelling and Toggle jumped into Briana's arms. My Mama was only "okay," then, but I could still enjoy times with her. She went to this neurologist, Dr. Dumitru, a bit later, and he told me that what she has was only like Asperger's. I thought that it wouldn't be so bad with knowing how Briana is. My Mama kept getting worse, though. She used to be such a great cook, but she had this idea of cooking chicken and rice in a rice cooker. That wasn't going to work. I finally got to somewhat enjoy some time with her while watching Good Luck, Charlie on the Disney Channel, but not for all that long. We watched it, but then she started becoming incoherent when I would say simple stuff to her.
There was a time when our air conditioning went out. My Mama went to grandpa to ask him for money to stay in a hotel. We did and we had Toggle, Niblet, and Woofles with us. She had forgotten her antidepressants one day and she was doing so much better. She had gotten up and she decided that she was going to take Toggle for a walk. That was amazing and I saw how much better she was without those antidepressants, but she soon started complaining that she was depressed.
There was one time at home that Dr. Primeaux had put her on Prozac as it seemed the Paxil wasn't helping her. That made her extremely violent and we had to call 911. She was wriggling all over the floor and the EMTs had to get this board they could bring into the house that would help them get her as she was even fighting this big tall guy that seemed like an oak tree. He was very tall and very muscular.
Well, my Mama got really bad. People would tell me not to write about it, but how was I to tell anybody anything? They would tell me that it was because it would embarrass my Mama. However, she wasn't healthy. I needed help. Telling me that writing about these things would embarrass her wasn't what I needed. She would dirty herself. She was incontinent - both fecally and urinely. I would be at my computer in my room and she'd start coming through to go to the bathroom (not use it, just to get to it), and she would be so dirty and stinky and she would fall on my floor and she'd sit there for two or more hours. I'd try to help her, but she wouldn't accept it. She would finally get up and she say she'd clean up her mess, but it was really Briana or I who actually cleaned up the mess most of the time.
Mama got so bad that one time she was in the bathroom and I told her that she had to clean up after herself. She said she had cleaned the bathroom when all she did was smear her fecal matter all over the walls, toilet, tub, and sink. Briana cleaned that bathroom while I did other things that needed to get done.
Her little dog, Niblet, loved her, but he was scared of her, too. He would stay with her in the house, but he refused to go with her when she insisted on driving. Of course, with her always smelling so bad, it was basically impossible for me to go anywhere without smelling bad after getting in the car. Of course, I always took showers and washed me hair, but people claimed that I didn't. I had to bring Febreeze in the car and people lied saying that instead of taking showers, my sister and I would use Febreeze on ourselves. I had to use it on my clothes, though, because the car smelled so bad that I wanted to make sure my clothes smelled okay after being in the car.
I hated not being able to bring my Mama to church when she was in the nursing home. I know how much she really wanted to go, but I couldn't handle that. I couldn't handle getting her in and out of the chair. There were some people at the church we were attending at that time that already weren't so nice to our family and were rude about how my Mama was rather than being helpful or even at least compassionate.
There were only a few people who helped like they told me they would and this was only after my Mama was in the nursing home - not when she was at home and I had people telling me that they understood people with dementia (if that's what she had, I don't know - but it seemed like that or some type of mental disease) even though people said they would help.
I was dogsitting and just house watching for somebody that I know. She just asked me to go pick up the newspapers and put mail in her house. Her dog stayed at my house, so he was always with people. It was a Sunday and her house is right down the street from a church that I attended on Sunday nights, so I'd go after the Sunday service to check on things. I was wondering where my Mama was that Sunday as I wanted to get to the service. I never did get to that service because as I was at home, I was called by the police and told that I needed to get to the person's house for whom I was dogsitting. I had to tell the police officer that I did not have a way to get there because I didn't have a car. My Mama had taken our car and that was the only car we had. The police officer came and got me from my house. I got there and was told that she had fallen and one of the neighbor's had called 911. The paramedic also told me that if she stood up, her heart might stop beating. She still asked if she should go the hospital. Of course, Briana and I told her that she should go to the hospital and I drove the car. I don't remember exactly what happened. If I went up to the hospital or back home right then. However, this started a long stay in the hospital and I was extremely worried about finances with it. She could only stay so long before insurance made her go to a nursing home if she didn't get better.
There was one time her temperature dropped so low that the nurses put a heating blanket under her. My Mama was so miserable that she didn't want the heating blanket under her. Even though the heating blanket was warm, she said that it was cold. She said she didn't want the heating blanket, but the nurses insisted that she have it.
I don't remember exactly what my Mama signed for me up in the hospital, but she signed something and one of the nurses commented on how pretty her handwriting was. However, that wasn't her handwriting. It was small and loopy and that wasn't how she wrote at all. It didn't look one bit like how she wrote. This small handwriting is a sign of brain problems. The doctors ignored everything I told them about this and other stuff I researched. I thought doctors practiced medicine and were supposed to look into stuff when concerns were brought to them, not ignore what people bring to them as legitimate concerns.
I wanted to get my Mama into the nursing home of her choice, but nobody other than that awful Lake Charles Care Facility on Ryan was taking people. I remember hating that place when I went there for high school. Residents were screaming and were in pain and people were not taking care of them. I couldn't believe how awful it seemed. When my Mama was there, it was bleak and dark and I was there more than I said I would be. One day she went up to the ER because she had fallen. She was in the hospital, but for only about a day, then back down to the nursing home.
Another time, I was told she needed to go up to the ER. I was so tired and stressed that I needed to rest, so I dropped Briana off with my Mama and I went home. I got Briana for school because I know I was at Sowela and trying to contact a friend about things with my Mama. I finally contacted the hospital and found out my Mama was in ICU by then. I had no idea that things would be so bad so quickly. I got up to the hospital and they had a BiPap on her face and IVs in her arms. The BiPap mask covered her entire face and it looked so wrong. I hated seeing my Mama like that.
While she was in the nursing home, I would constantly ask her about her health. She insisted that she wanted a DNR, that she didn't want any life saving devices, and that if she wasn't going to make it, she wanted her IVs removed. I hated making that decision. I know it's exactly what she told me she wanted and I was honoring her wishes, but it felt like I was killing her. I know I wasn't. However, it sure felt like it. It can still feel like it was my fault.
There was even an earlier time that the nurses kept trying to get me to get my Mama to get a PEG tube. I admit that I was biased and didn't want her to get one at first because I was afraid she'd do something horrible and somehow pull it out as she would pull on every tube and cord she had. One time she had even called me from the hospital and told me that she took out her catheter. I asked her why and she couldn't tell me why. She just kept telling me that she did it.
I know her death isn't my fault, but it so often feels like it. I feel awful for "letting" her die. I feel awful that I wasn't there to hear her last lucid thoughts. I was up in the ER with her. Briana and I sang songs and prayed. We talked to her. We told her that we love her. I still love her. Love doesn't stop just because a person passed away. I know that.
Even before all of this, she would make me sleep in her bedroom with her. I didn't think about it at first. I thought, "Oh, there's just so much junk in my room from trying to move into this house that this makes sense right now." I didn't realize that she was sabotaging my room so I couldn't sleep there. She wasn't abusing me sexually or physically, but basically, it was emotional abuse. She was trying to replace the role of a spouse with me. She would often say that we were best friends and I did not like that. Yes, I'd admit to her being my mother, but she was not my best friend. Honestly, that is not healthy. What she wanted was not healthy. It wasn't that she wanted something sexual, but she wanted that confidant that should be in a spouse and she tried to make me have that role. However, there were times nearing when she was going to be in the hospital that she would wake up and tell me, "I saw Daddy." I would ask her what she meant because I had "seen" Daddy, too. He would always just be waving to me and it was comforting. It was like when I was little and he would wave goodbye to me from outside the window to let me know that he'd be back from work and would see me again. However, when I would ask what she meant and even tell her that, all she would do was cry. She wouldn't tell me anything. I think, if she would have told me, that Daddy was telling her that it was time to go, I would've had much more comfort. However, I never knew what she saw.
I grieved and at one point, I seemed to have a vision of Daddy and Mama up in heaven. It seemed like a Christmas celebration. Maybe it was (why wouldn't they celebrate Christmas in heaven? It still all happened.) They seemed to be dancing and I knew that Mama was cooking something in the other room - so there must be some type of food that we cook while we're in heaven. My dog that had passed away at the end of the year that Daddy had passed away, Marbles, was running all over the place. He was extremely happy. I think the little dog that passed away less than a month before my Daddy passed away was hiding in a little kennel just liked he liked to do on earth. I asked Mama and Daddy, even though it didn't seem like speech, "Where's Cinder?" That was my Mama's dog that we had from the time I was born until sometime when I was in 8th grade. This question wouldn't have made sense at all if it was just a dream or something I was imagining. The answer that I was given (which I understood, but still didn't seem like speech, more telepathic) was that she was with Grandma and Grandpa. This answer seemed to make perfect sense. On earth, though, it wouldn't have made any sense. I barely knew Grandma.
(Grandpa passed away about a week after my Mama did, I think. I wasn't even told this by the woman he was with at the time or the lady's caretaker. At that time, we had a working house phone and the phone number was listed in the white pages and online. However, I was told by a Facebook friend who saw my Grandpa's obituary in the paper. Grandpa had always told us if something ever happened to him, to look for the green can. I have no idea what this looked like as I had never seen it. However, the lady he was with claimed that he left everything to her and that is what he wanted. I have no idea if this is true. She even got his flag for serving in the navy during WWII. The caretaker was very mean and said that she couldn't find our telephone number to let us know that he had passed. She also chided us on not visiting him when she had no idea that he wouldn't let us come into the house and she had no idea about all the stress and problems I had with my Mama. She was just mean about everything. Briana wanted to look in Grandpa's car to see if she could find any documents. Both the lady he was with and her caretaker acted extremely suspicious, but there was nothing there. I have no idea about all of this. I remember the good times with my grandpa, though, and I do miss those.
I was doing okay and then when I lost my little dog, Woofles, a bunch of grief came back. I was still able to get out and do things, but I was extremely emotional while doing them. Then there was the fact that Butterbean got hit by a car and the police officer who was there didn't even help one bit. What happened to helping and serving the public? This was at McNeese and she had slipped out of my hands and ran.
I got Radar and things started seeming better. I was going to school. I was happy.
Then summer of 2016. Briana was the victim of a hit and run. I was alone in the house for so long. I don't know why I didn't ask people to help me by visiting. That would've been what I should've done. I hated being alone. I only felt okay when I was able to go up to the hospital and visit with her. She was using a wheelchair (a big, heavy one then) to walk her dogs. A policeman came to my house and told me she was the victim of a hit and run. I was too shaken up and worried to drive, so a friend came and took me up to the hospital. Her dogs had come home and were hiding under the house. They came in when I opened the door to go wait for my friend.
The hospital would turn the entire phone system off at 8pm. I hated that because I couldn't talk to Briana at night. I wanted to be able to talk to my sister and feel okay at night. I didn't want to be feeling horrible at home. However, I got the second option.
Then, just the last few days before Briana was to get out of the hospital, I had a gallbladder attack. I went to the emergency clinic. They had me go to the hospital. A friend brought me from there to the hospital. I was given dilaudid in my IV and I think I was fine with that. I don't do well under anesthesia - I mean, I do okay, but I always feel so bad recovering from it after waking. When they removed the IV from the dilaudid, I seemed to feel fine other than being sore from the surgery. I was given some tylenol at first. I didn't know that the oxycodone I was given would have such a horrible effect on me. I was only taking half of my prescribed dosage as it was until the very last dose I took, which made me feel really awful. (Losartan, which is a medication for high blood pressure, was awful for me, too. It gave me horrible anxiety, like a buzzing from inside of my head out - kind of like the hum of a fridge and bee buzzing put together, but rather than hearing it from outside of my head, it was coming from the center of it and it made me NEVER want to be alone. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without having Briana come with me. It was THAT BAD.)
I wasn't on the stuff, but the initial withdrawal lasted a good six months. I was crying and there was no doubt that the DTs are extremely real. When those stopped, I still had horrible crying spells. I had this poky feeling all throughout my body that made me itch and that was like little needles were trying to poke out from underneath my skin.
Things got better in 2017. Briana and I even went to see the solar eclipse. We went to Nashville, Tennessee to see it. We also went to Madame Tussaud's, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry. I was even fine during the first half of 2018. I felt normal, even giving presentation on Theatre and Copyright law at Region 6 of KCACTF (that the Kentucky Center American College Theatre Festival).
In August 2018, it was like switch just flipped. Suddenly, I felt the crying spells and the grieving. I felt the needle trying to poke out from the skin around my heart. I also felt like there were evil spirits after me. I think that may have been. There was one night all of our dogs were on high alert and I heard scary noises and there was definitely one loud one that drove the dogs crazy, too. One of Briana's dogs was especially protective of me as well. They say dogs are more sensitive to spiritual activity.
Now, I still have all these crazy thoughts at times. It's still like with grieving, too. I start having thought like "Will we have books in heaven?" "Will I know everything that I know now?" "Will everything I've written be in heaven?" I pray to God that all of my writings and creations will be in heaven. I don't want to forget them. I'd like to know them more than I know them now, honestly. And I want my Mama and my Daddy to know that I wrote these things and to be proud of me for writing them.
I never used to have those types of thoughts when my parents were alive. I didn't think about it. I was glad to have them, even as much as I hated the things they sometimes did like using me as their go-between for complaints. If I spent time with my Mama, I'd always have to hear, "Well, your Daddy" and if I spent time with my Daddy, I'd always have to hear, "Well, your mother." Sometimes, I'd literally hear things from both of them within five minutes.
I didn't know what to say. I didn't know who to turn to with this stuff. I just took it. How could I tell people I was going through this? I didn't want to make my Daddy mad because he scared me. I can remember that one time, I had to drive a car he had bought (as we needed one) home and at that time, I had no idea where I was going. I managed to follow him and get the car home, but he was angry about things when I got home and the only thing I could do was go in my room and cry because I didn't want him yelling at me for crying, which he would do. I also had to fake having to sneeze many times when he tried to teach me how to drive a standard. When we got home, I could finally go into my room and cry.
I know all of these is because of being in a dysfunctional family due to alcoholism. My Mama drank. My Daddy denied it. One time, he poured out all the alcohol from the fridge into the sink and she said she was an alcoholic in order to please us. It wasn't her truly admitting that she had a problem.
As for the antidepressants, there's so much in how I could see her decline, that I'm not even going to get into it. However I know that I don't want to be like that. I don't really like alcohol (I take communion and may cook with it) and I won't take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications because I've seen them mess up too many of my friends and family. I also know that when I was in 10th grade and had bacterial pneumonia that the doctor tried to give me something to relax and all it did was make me jittery. Thankfully, I had no more than a day's dose. I think things would've gotten worse had I had more than that.
I have so many issues because of all this and more. I know that I do. I wish I could work through them all immediately and just get rid of everything and be the happy person that I once was. Where is that person? Why can't she be the one that is still here?
Oh, and I'm not "depressed" as in like clinically depressed. I don't want to stay in and do nothing. I want to get out and be with people and be among people. I want to talk and help others. I want to meet somebody. I want to marry the guy that God wants me to marry (whoever that may be). I hope I can still have children and want to have a family. I've read about this new treatment that is supposed to make a woman's ovaries start producing eggs again if they are not. I have no idea about mine right now . . . but I certainly hope I can have children. I definitely want them.