Friday, April 7, 2017

The Girl no one Wanted

I have social anxiety and this is why.
When I lived in Cedar City back in 2014, I moved into a family’s basement. It seemed to work out great at first, they had a daughter my age and we were both attending SUU. They invited me to Sunday dinner with them and even let me tag along on a walk once. It was nice. But they grew distant after a couple of months and I’m still unsure why. Maybe it was the girl’s new boyfriend that replaced my seat at Sunday dinner. I wasn’t invited anymore. They started putting reminders that rent was due on my car window instead of telling me in passing. I didn’t feel very welcome anymore.
I was sexually assaulted December 7, 2014 and drug myself home around midnight feeling completely alone. I definitely didn’t  tell them. It hadn’t happened in their home so it was none of their business.
Two weeks later when life was starting to get back to some sort of normalcy, (I wasn’t crying so much at work etc.) a dear woman to me whom I looked to as a mother figure seeing as I’ve never had one, told me she’d noticed something was off. We scheduled a time to meet and I told her what had happened. She listened and was understanding. This happened to be December 23, the day before Christmas Eve. Her family invited me to join them in pulling taffy at another family’s home and I gratefully agreed but while there I noticed all of them with their families and realized I was going to be alone on Christmas Eve. This wasn’t necessarily a problem, but I felt a bit sad. That’s when the mother of that house whom I didn’t know came up to me and grabbed my face. She tried to force me to look at her but I couldn’t and started crying. She took me outside to try to calm me down. This didn’t work so she took me into her bedroom and tried to get me to lay on her bed. After talking for a short time she understood a bit about my family, that I was sexually assaulted and I didn’t want to be alone on Christmas eve. She said I could stay with her and her family, that they had a nice guest room, I could take a warm bath, help her finish wrapping presents tomorrow. This sounded amazing.
Then she decided I couldn’t. But she didn’t talk to me about it, she called my friend back to come get me. She had gone home as she had to work early the next day. This made me feel awful. The mother told me I couldn’t stay there because there was no one to be in charge of me.
My friend came back and got me. She told me I couldn’t stay with her family because she couldn’t handle me right now. I would have never asked but she felt the need to shove that in my face as well. She finally let me go home.
I know that she called the family I lived with. I still don’t know what she told them. My dad came and got me the next day. The only one who’s truly been there for me always.
Two weeks later as I returned to get my things and move out, I discovered they had been in my basement and moved my things. The lease we had both signed said they would never go in without my permission which they had not received or even asked for. They insisted on being in the house the whole time I was getting my things and for some reason thought, the Christmas tree we were taking to our car was theirs. That I had taken their Christmas tree and put it up in my basement and decorated it. They also decided to keep $60 of the down payment, $15 for every day that I hadn’t vacated starting from the first. However this made no sense to me as rent was always due on the fifth and that‘s the day I had come back.
Life moved on. Those people are no longer a part of it. But there are others that have influenced my feelings toward my fellow men. Like when my boyfriend broke up with me because I was taking up too much of his time even though I had tried everything in my power not to. Now I can’t help but fear that this time when I text that cute boy it’s going to be the limit and he’ll get annoyed and it’ll be over. There's the boyfriend who used threats of suicide as a way of controlling me and the boyfriend who just fell off the face of the earth. He just one day stopped texting, visiting, everything. It's not knowing why that hurts the most. The fear of it happening again. 
Or the friends I’d tried to make at college, asking them if we could hang out, do something. They’d say yes, I’d text them, try to figure something out with them, but they wouldn’t and after the third or fourth time I’d give up. They were either too busy for me or were just being nice by saying yes and didn’t really want to do anything with me. 
My one friend I do have dropped a bomb a few months ago that he was planning on moving. I know what happens with that. He says he’ll stay in touch, but they don’t. I don’t blame them, I know it’s hard. But don’t try to pretend it’s even going to happen.
I wish people wouldn’t be ‘nice’ because it isn’t nice. I wish people knew how much I wish I was outgoing and a people person and in some situations I am. At work I help customers with a friendly smile and laugh and joke with my coworkers. But it’s just skin deep because I don’t have to get attached to them. They can’t really hurt me.
So I push people away even though deep down I wish that someone would fight to stay.
Why don’t they? Maybe I’m too sarcastic or my laugh is too loud or I’m annoying. Or maybe I’m just easy to forget about.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I'm Tired

I’m tired of feeling useless. I’m tired of feeling sick. I’m tired of being tired.
When I was first (finally) diagnosed, it was a relief. I had something and the doctors actually knew about it. But they don’t know much and there’s nothing really that helps it. There is no cure for Gastroparesis or ‘lazy stomach’. It was devastating to be diagnosed with a chronic illness at 18 years old. An illness that will never go away. An unwanted companion.
My biggest fear is having children. I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember and always pictured myself with at least three children. Now I worry I won’t even be able to have one. With so many stomach problems, how will pregnancy go? How sick will I become? Will I be able to eat enough for myself and the baby? Currently meal sizes are small. About the size of my fist is enough to keep me full. My stomach doesn’t digest food as fast as it should and I don’t get all of the nutrients that I need because of it. A surplus of vitamin supplements tries to make up for it but it’s a poor substitute.
How would I be there for my child(ren) especially on my down days when I can easily go to sleep at 8:30pm and wake up the next day at 11:00am and then need a nap by 1:00pm and again at 5:00pm. If I eat too much I feel ill and want to lay down, however I tend to wake up even sicker.
It frustrates me that I don’t know what to do for work in my future. I want to be an elementary teacher. I love children. Yet after the six years it will take me to complete school, (not being able to go full-time. Refer above) will I really be able to work as a teacher? Going in before school starts and leaving well after it’s out. I have to eat when I get hungry, I get tired suddenly and basically stop functioning. But what else is there that I could do that doesn’t require so many hours and so much schooling? I hate the prospect of being supported the rest of my life. I’m so independent and the idea terrifies me. Whether it’s my father or a husband, it just doesn’t sit well to be taken care of. How on earth could I try to date and find a husband knowing that he will have to support me? How can I think that’s fair? It isn’t.
I watch my friends and family go to school, find jobs, get married, start their families. Life goes on around me, but for me it’s standing still.
I never know how I’ll feel day to day or minute to minute. Planning things in advance is tricky. It’s awkward to cancel a plan because suddenly I have diarrhea and I don’t really feel like going out. Or there’s the other spectrum of constipation that I’ve dealt with mercilessly for over a year now. Yes, you can be constipated and have diarrhea at the same time… Sometimes I go anyway. Sometimes I’m so dead tired I’m yawning the whole time and people probably think I’m bored. I’m not, I promise! I’m so happy to be out with someone. I don’t get that much.
I can sometimes eat at 1:00am, 8:00, 12:00, a snack at 3:00 and then dinner at 5:30 with another snack before bed. Those are good days (again meals are small). Bad days I’m lucky to get two meals in without feeling violently ill. I have to eat when I get hungry and stop when I’m no longer. Not when I’m full or stuffed, just when I’m not hungry anymore. No splurging on Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner unless I want to be bedridden for the next six hours. No all-I-can-eat at those buffets.  I wish I could say my self-control were better. The problem is that I love food!
The truth is, I don’t want my illness to rule my life, yet it does and I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t feel in control. Not when car rides more than half an hour wear me out. Not when it’s usually nap time after dinner and I wake up long enough to read scriptures and go back to bed. My bed. It’s amazing how uncomfortable something can become when you spend so much time on it.
I hate the cold. Ever since I lost all of that weight when I first got sick, I can’t keep warm to save my life. Even indoor swimming pools sap what warmth my body has. I love the water. This is still hard to handle. Winter is brutal. Thank heaven for my big puffy coat.
My life feels full of unknowns and impossibilities. Just two years ago the sky was the limit and I could be anything and do anything. I still try. I might need a nap in between activities, but I go rock climbing and hiking. I love trying new things and just being with people. My illness makes for a lonely place.
It’s strange that I used to have my life all figured out. Maybe someday I will again.