This Self Care Sunday is complicated for me for a few reasons. I am just not sure what to do next. I am getting a bit overwhelmed and decided to give into a bit on Saturday. I slept most of the day and watched a few episodes of “The Tunnel: Season 3 – Vengeance” on Amazon Prime which took my mind off of most stuff 🙂 So, here’s what’s happening…
I had my appointment with my Gastro doc on Friday to get my biopsy results. I thought five biopsies were taken. It turns out it was only four. They confirmed active Gastritis and inflammation in my Esophagus. However, the interesting thing is it not chronic gastritis. This means it’s NOT an autoimmune flare-up. This could be good – meaning that it’s another cause. However, the biopsies did not confirm the cause or source. Therefore, nothing was eliminated. My doctor is referring me to Philly for a conclusive diagnosis. He recommended PENN or Jeff and also said since I had precancer removed five years that I could even go to Fox Chase. I have to let him know where I want to go on Monday and they’ll send them my medical records. Initially I thought I would go to Fox Chase since it’s about 1/2 mile from my Mom’s house. However, their specialty is Cancer and we don’t know for sure it is Cancer. PENN is a better hospital for Gastro diagnostics and treatment and they can also treat Cancer – if it turns out to be that. My sisters are going to go to the appointment with me too for support.
After I left his office, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about this. I withdrew most of the day. Honestly, I am just tired and over it. My mom called Saturday asking why I didn’t call her back. I just didn’t even feel like talking about it to anyone. I am glad he suggested that I go out of area to a bigger hospital with more advance diagnostics and treatments. It actually is for the best anyway. My current doc is getting older and seems like he just wants to coast into retirement; he often just wants to throw meds at everything which can be an easy fix for symptoms but it doesn’t get to the root cause of the issue. I believe going to Penn for my Gastro issues will work out for my highest good in the long run but I want to find out who would be the best for diagnostics. For now, I am just trying to relax a bit. I am still not convinced it’s Cancer. The problem is he couldn’t rule it out based upon the biopsy results. Given I had precancerous polyps removed from my Colon five years ago, Cancer is still a possibility.
Professionally, things are going quite well. I am glad these health problems are happening now and not a few months down the road. Since I am in temp position and I don’t support anyone but myself, I have more flexibility in when and how I work. My schedule is mine to manage. I am confident I’ll have the health thing figured out before I go into a permanent job anywhere in four months. Speaking of permanent gigs, I know for sure I don’t want to go back to my old group. Intuitively it gives me a bad vibe and I keep getting signs to trust my intuition. It really doesn’t matter who my boss is. It feels done to me and time to move on. There are other reasons I do not want to go back but I will leave that for in person conversations rather than putting it here on my blog. The exciting news is I had meetings this past week about other opportunities that look promising. Actually one of the opportunities seems to be a really good fit for me with a defined career path working for a Director and GM I really respect. I am working on my affirmations like crazy to help that fall into place for me. That feels good to me.
My self care this week has actually been pretty good – all things considered. Being in DC Sunday to Tuesday kept my mind off of the health issues and I felt pretty good while I was there. It was actually the best trip to DC I’ve had so far. I LOVED the Museum of the Bible. The Conference I attended on Monday was extremely beneficial. I declined the group dinner invitation and opted for a solo meal (Salmon Cobb Salad=delicious) at my hotel’s bar where I ran into a coworker also in town. We chatted one on one quietly for a bit which was nice. I was in my room by 6:45pm exhausted, talked out and over peopling for the day. The below meme is a true accurate depiction of how I felt Monday night in my hotel room.
I felt some mental junk creeping up on me on Wednesday so I focused myself on writing sexy poetry for Blue Love. That made me happy. Writing poetry always makes me happy and raises my vibration. I especially enjoy writing Blue Love Poetry. It’s been a long time since I wrote a spicy poem and it was nice to feel that energy in me again. I need those blue eyes and that erotic stimulation my life.
By Thursday, I started to feel some uneasiness creep up into my soul. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation stuff and sexual assault allegation started to trigger PTSD from my own assaults. My therapist told me when things come up I need to sit with it, feel it and not stuff the emotions down anymore. The only way to heal is to let it come up into the light. The next few paragraphs are emotionally heavy. I hope by writing this it helps me heal and maybe inspires others to start their healing journey as well…so here it goes…
First, please take some time and read the Twitter #whyididntreport stories. There are hundreds of thousands stories of unreported sexual assaults, painful stories, from both women and men. Feel their pain and then you may understand what it is like to be in our shoes. So here’s some of my story. It happened twice. I told family. The first time no one believed me. They said I must have been confused. He was drunk and he didn’t mean. Since I wasn’t hurt and was able to fight him off nothing bad really happened to me. So — How do you think that made me feel? How do you think I felt knowing they basically thought I was a liar and continued to allow him to live in our house.
Telling me I was confused and defending him made them feel better until it happened a second time. By the grace of God, there were witnesses the second time. It couldn’t be ignored. I was injured. People knew, I confronted him both times. It’s our family’s little secret. I never contacted the police or the FBI because my family didn’t want anyone to know. Believe me EVERYONE wanted to push it aside, act as if it didn’t happen and move on. It’s a little more complicated when it’s relative. It’s a little more complicated when everyone assumed I overreacted the first time and even said I was confused. They basically blew it off until the second time it happened. The second time I was injured physically, mentally and spiritually. I was lucky that witnesses heard the noise, saved me and had him removed from the house forever the second time. However, that night was the end of the conversation. That was the end of any acknowledgement of what happened to me. No one wanted to talk about it after that night. They thought removing him was enough and that I wasn’t scarred. I was expected to let it go, move on and make holidays nice for the rest of family for the rest of my life and pretend for everyone that everything was forgiven.
I pretended to forgive. I stuffed it down as far as I could. I’ve been in therapy at least four times since I was 21 years old. I attempted suicide once in my 20s and a second time in my 30s. I must not have been meant to die because I was found both times. I acted out sexually in my 20s and early 30s. I accepted poor treatment from men my entire life because I felt I was damaged and didn’t believe I deserved any better. I carried the burden and paid for his actions my entire life. He’s moved on just fine. I am the one with PTSD and lost any opportunity to have a normal life with a man. I am the one who lost it all while he walks around like king.
It was only a few months ago that I allowed myself to really start to feel this pain and allow this darkness to come up and out of me for healing. I’ve been working through it with my therapist. We agreed it is not worth addressing anything with him again. He will never own is actions nor take responsibility for what he did to me. I did, however, need to re-address it with my Mother which I did about a year ago. I spent over two hours walking her through the events and how it affected my life and my relationships with men my entire life. She always was disappointed I never married and never had children. It was in this conversation she started to understand why. It was in this conversation she could feel my pain. She started to understand how those events impacted my life and what it is like to live with those memories. My mother is significantly more compassionate and empathetic towards me since this conversation. We are closer than we have ever been. I do not blame her but I still needed to be sure she understood me. As she sobbed and said “I’m sorry” over and over again, I didn’t feel validated. I felt sad for everything that was lost because of those events.
My therapist and I were talking about my relationships with men in my last appointment. She looked at me and said, “any man you allow into your life now will need to be REALLY special. You deserve someone special who you can trust enough to let him help you through the anxieties and flashbacks.” Then she said, “Linda, you deserve someone special who can be a friend and a lover; who will treat you with compassion, respect and tenderness.”
Yes, the allegation made by Dr. Ford against Brett Kavanaugh triggered me because I can related to stuffing it down. I can relate to not being able to acknowledge your truth. Mostly, I can relate to how Dr. Ford must have felt when Kavanaugh was nominated; seeing him become the judge on the highest court in our country knowing what he did to her as a woman. Knowing he would vote on cases that involve women. I can relate to a dam breaking inside of her.
The truth is we do not know with absolute certainty the truth between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. That’s why an investigation and interviewing witnesses would be helpful. It shouldn’t be rushed. The GOP is pushing a vote through even though they don’t know the whole truth just means they don’t care; getting him in position on SCOTUS to overturn Roe vs. Wade is the top thing on their agenda to appease their hardliners and their base just before mid-terms. That is the truth. It’s all about politics and abortion.
Grey haired old men ramming a judge onto SCOTUS to make decisions about the bodies of women should outrage all women. Honestly, GOP women and men who are supporting him without even knowing if he is guilty means they care more about winning and politics than the well-being of women. I also think they probably never have been a victim of a sexual assault. I believe anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault would want to know the truth. A real man stands with women against sexual assault.
Let me say, I do not condone nor support extreme politics or the “win at all costs” energy coming from either side in Washington. I am more moderate. If these allegation are proven to be false, that would be huge step back. Brett Kavanaugh deserves to be treated fairly as does his accuser. Investigate it! Let’s also remember Gov background checks only go back to 18 years old. This supposedly happened when he was 17 years old and it would have been out of scope of his six earlier background checks. Also, new revelations about his high school year book have his references to “Devil’s triangle”. I’ll let you guys Google that as I don’t want to define it here. His college Frat had a motto, “no means yes and yes mean anal.” He also has a history of gambling debt and alcoholism. If you want to be SCOTUS, you are and should be held to a higher standard. Even if the allegations aren’t true, he is still unfit for SCOTUS. Do women really want this guy making decision about their bodies???? I DO NOT.
Believe me, I knew boys like Kavanaugh and his friends. I went to a catholic college. I went to a frat party one night as a freshman. I didn’t understand why none of the boys were talking to me then one of the guys told me it was “Ugliest girl night”. That meant the boys each put $10 into a pot and whoever had sex with the ugliest girl at the party won the pot. My friend told me I was too pretty and that’s why the boys were not talking to me. I then noticed boys talking to two of my friends. I told my friends I was sick and asked them to leave with me so I could get them out of there. Later that semester that same Frat was put on suspension because members were caught carrying a girl wrapped in a blanket across the quad in the early morning. She had been drugged and raped. I also personally know someone who was raped at a party by those same frat boys. She left school that semester and didn’t come back. She still can’t talk about it.
As mentioned above, take a few minutes and visit Twitter; search on #whyididntreport. Perhaps open a dialogue with the women in your life, especially your daughters. Find out if it happened to them. If it did, give them a safe place to release the pain. Empathy, compassion and being a good human comes before politics. Just because someone was good to you doesn’t mean they weren’t bad to someone else.
Self care is not just about taking care of your physical body. For true healing, sometimes we have to be willing to feel, confront and live with our darkest pain to finally be free. I started Self Care Sunday with breakfast with my neighbors and other locals at the cafe up the street from me. I wrote this blog post to let it all out today. I will watch the Eagles Game because I enjoy football and I am a lifelong Eagles fan and I will try to stay off of news and Twitter for day to give myself some space.
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