The Fear of Death…

For as long as I can remember I never expected to live to see old age. I’m not sure if it was losing my grandfather when I was 10 or so that triggered my fascination with how long I would live or just what it was.

I was surprised when I turned 25 that I was still alive, then again ten years later, and living to 40 what a shock as well. See deep down I never thought I would live a long life. I never expected to honestly and truly. If you have been reading the last couple of weeks you will know that I am now 41 and at the age my mother was when she started showing signs and symptoms of having cancer, and that I have pre cancerous cells and major surgery coming in just over a week.

My ob oncologist is very thorough. See I have liver disease and there is an increased risk of my liver failing during surgery due to the way the body reacts to anesthesia.  So I’ve had to have extra blood tests and doctors visits and ultra sounds. Each time with the warning of the risk of my life during surgery.

I know I shouldn’t panic. I’ve already had one surgery and came out just fine but it was not as serious as this coming surgery. I am afraid I won’t make it to recovery, I’m afraid that my life will end on the operating table.

See after all these years of feeling like I wouldn’t live to be old I’m afraid now I won’t make it.  People keep telling me it’s a rational fear and that it will be okay and the doctors are just taking extra precautions but I’m afraid.

I’m afraid when I hug and kiss my husband just before they wheel me off that it will be the last time I see him. I wonder how it will feel to just not be anymore.

These are the fears that can eat you alive, these are the not so rational, rational thoughts that plague you when you face your mortality. This is why I’m going to see a therapist on Thursday. This is why getting help when you have a mental illness is so important. I know I’m spiraling. I know i’m fixating. I know in the rational part of my brain that this will be fine, but there is that little voice that keeps saying what if? What if…….I guess I will deal with what if when it happens.

So I guess that’s that…It’s not fair.

Well the visit with the oncologist was long and informative and exhausting all at the same time. It boils down to this.

I have a 6 inch cyst on my left ovary, yup you read that right six inches.  It is pushing my bladder and my uterus out of position which has been causing some auxiliary problems that I just thought were part of getting older.

The surgery will remove both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, my uterus and my cervix. They will be doing an open incision because they want to remove everything in tact so that they can do a frozen dissection and test for any other pre cancerous/cancerous cells.

I will be spending 4 to 5 days in the hospital afterwards and then 6 to 8 weeks on home rest after that.

Good news is that I will have plenty of time to complete my last three classes, bad news I won’t be able to do anything much.

We were hoping to keep one of my ovaries so that we could harvest eggs and possibly use a surrogate but the percentage of having viable eggs is less than 20% so adoption it is for us.

I’m sad, angry and ready to shout at the world it’s not fair. Because to be honest it’s not.

My husband and I have stable income a beautiful home and deeply desire to have a family of our own. Nieces and nephews are great but it’s just not the same.  Why is it that those that do not have these things can pop kids out seemingly on a whim?

I believe in choice and accountability for your actions but it’s just not fair. When I think about all the babies that are lost to abortions or not wanted or harmed by their “parents”.  Especially when their are loving couples that can provide all the love and support for these children. How do we live in a world where children are abused and tossed away so effortlessly?

When did it become okay for human life to become disposable? AGAIN and I can’t stress this enough what you decide to do with your body and the things that go in and come out of it is your business and your choice. I have no right to tell you what is right for you but for those of us that don’t have a choice it is very painful. It crushes our very souls. It weighs us down and makes us want to rip a new one in the fabric of society.

At the end of the day I will take my meds, put my cpap on and lay down and go to sleep and wake up in the morning with all these feelings bubbling to the surface. It has been like that for ten years. The yearning and desperate desire to be a mother, and who knows how much longer that desire will go unfulfilled.

At the end of it all I get to feel like it’s not ever fair nor will it ever be. I know there is no promise of fairness in this mortal life we live. I know that, and can’t change it.  I can acknowledge it and struggle to accept it but I don’t have to like it. Acceptance and like are not equal to each other. So therefore I can accept this hand dealt to me but I don’t have to like it.

As the Universe turns and The Leftovers all at one time.

This week was an emotionally draining and uplifting.  I have to share some background before I can share the change.

From the time of birth till my 8th or 9th birthday I had what some would call an idealistic childhood. Mom and Dad and baby sister. What I didn’t know then was that my parents marriage was in shambles. They were originally married in 1972. I was born in December of 1973. They then divorced in approximately 76 and remarried in 78 or so. My sister and I joke that we are so different because I’m from the first marriage and she’s from the second.  My parents we later divorced for a final time in 1982.

My mother promptly married my step father. At 8 years old I’m not really sure what I was expecting or what was going on.  All I knew is that we (my sister and I and mom) all moved out of the house we lived in to a trailer park.  The trailer was smelly and the kids were not very nice.  We then in some twisted fate ended up moving back in to the house with my dad, my mom us girls and my step-father. Even as young as I was I knew something wasn’t right.

Eventually we moved to another city and then one night in the middle of the night my mom and step-father packed up some bags and we left on a Greyhound bus for California.  I remember some of the trip but not much.  We moved in with my mother’s parents.

This is when my terror started. My step-father hated the way I ate, walked, dressed, talked you name it I did it wrong.  The abuse started as mostly verbal and mental.  Calling me dumb, stupid and telling us that we were nothing but poor white trash and that was all we would ever be.  The physical abuse didn’t start until my grandfather passed away.

For the next ten years I lived in terror. Never knowing what was going to set him off.  I didn’t want him to hurt my sister so I took the blame for her. Took the beatings, the verbal barrage that never seemed to end.  I remember one time we were walking in to a pharmacy/drug store and there was a greeter at the cart area. He was shaking hands and saying hello to everyone. He was wearing a red vest with the logo of the store in the front.  He said hello and shook my hand.  My step-father was furious. He grabbed me by the should and dug his thumb in to it and “steered” me out of the store to the car.  He forced me into the back seat hitting my head on the roof as he did so. We sat there in tense silence till my mother and sister came out. When we got home I was yelled at and screamed at and belittled and eventually was told to drop my shorts and bend over the footstool for a spanking.  I was crying so hard that my nose ran onto the footstool and floor and I got hit more because of it.  I could not sit down after and my mother had to keep my home from school.  To hide it from my grandmother I was told not to tell her or the police or it would be worse the next time.  I always dreaded her going to work or on vacation. We lived in her home. When she was there I felt safe.  I ended up missing several days of school because of the bruising on the back of my legs and back and tush.

This was just one of many of his cruelties.   We couldn’t cuff our pants because only poor people cuffed their pants. I got grounded from reading because he was tired of seeing my nose in a book.  I was studying for a spelling test once and he was giving me the list of words, one of the words was “while”, with his Tennessee accent it sounded like he was saying “whale”, that cause a split lip and more time out of school.  We couldn’t sit on the concrete porch because some old wives tale said we would get hemorrhoids.  Some of these things seem silly but to me these things kept me in a constant state of terror.  Elementary, Jr. High and High School was miserable. They just brought about more things for him to get angry about.  For the most part as long as he was at work things were okay. Weekends were rough and if my grandmother was on vacation he seemed to pack in as much misery as possible.  He also kept us away from others. As many abusers do.  We were sheltered and kept in the house as much as possible.

There were several times that my mom promised to leave him all we had to do was ask. We asked, we pleaded, we begged. He would always make her promises or get her high.  That’s how a co-dependent abusive relationship works.

My mother passed away in 1993 not long after my grandmother and step-father moved my sister and I to Iowa.  I was 19 by the time but had no idea how to function with out my family. I wasn’t allowed to make any decisions with out fear of abuse.  I started my first job in January of 1992 and even that was controlled.

Not long after moving to Iowa my step-father just left. No reason why, no note nothing.  I guess he found that he couldn’t bully may aunt and uncle. Soon after he left I started spreading my wings. I traveled here and there and eventually ended up back in Tennessee. In the same area that my step-father was from. Since 1995 I’ve been looking over my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye. Worried, concerned and partially terrified that I would run into him.

On Thursday September 6, 2012 on a whim I signed up for one of those “find anyone” pages.  I like to keep tabs on what is out on internet about me and what people have access to.  After double checking my info and opting out I looked up my step father not sure why after all this time what made me do it, but I did.  It had him listed as deceased.

I sat shocked, this was overwhelming. I had to have confirmation. I started looking for SSI Death index confirmation. I couldn’t find it not really sure how to find it. I called a friend of mine and she found it.

I cried, I laughed, I sat quiet. It was finally over. The door and darkness finally gone.  He passed away back in 2008.  For almost 20 years I have been on edge just waiting for this evil man to pop back up. I have fought for the last 30 years I have struggled and fought to be free.  Having confirmation that the information was actually true was the final piece of therapy.

The Gospel has helped me grow and learn to forgive and move forward and heal.  Knowing that he can no longer hurt anyone. Knowing that now he has to answer for all the evil he did, for all the pain and suffering he caused.

I am FREE!

And that my friends is As the Universe Turns AND The Leftover.  Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for listening and understanding.

L.

The Leftovers-Friday Musings

Okay I admit it…I’m addicted to shoes. I always have been and probably always will be.  I think it started as a little girl playing with my grandmothers fabulous shoes from the 40’s and 50’s. Spectator pumps, peep toes and sling backs. Oodles of shoes and purses and hats and jewelry, dresses to die for.  Her sage advice of  “Every woman should own at least one pair of outrageous shoes” is something she lived by.

For the last year and a half I’ve been so sick that fashion had taken a permanent  backseat.  There were days that just getting out of bed was hard. My style was what ever was clean and comfy.  I’ve always been a jeans and tee shirt girl but I had forgotten that I was also a woman with curves and style and grace and a love of Steve Madden shoes.

August 5th I had my gallbladder removed.  The difference before and after has been such a giant leap. I feel like getting up and getting dressed and putting make up on.  Tee Shirts still hang on the closet as well as the jeans but the dresses are coming out of the dust bags, and the cute shoes are being dusted off.

Yes my outrageous shoes have been taken out of their cute white box and have been worn.

Friday’s leftovers are this:  Outrageous shoes can make you feel wonderful and special and amazing.

 

What I am is what I am n what you are or what……

I’ve been pondering all day just what I want this blog to be about.  What exactly does Life the Universe & Leftovers mean?  As you all know I’m starting a 100x Challenge on Friday, 100 days of change.

What does that change mean?

It means that I will be working on me. Healthy eating, exercise, and a healthy attitude. Being in the right frame of mind.

Making a fundamental change in your life will always be a work in progress. You don’t change over night. You don’t get skinny or healthy over night. It’s a constant change, a daily change sometimes even a minute by minute change.

It is not going to be easy, it is not going to always be fun. It’s going to be work, hard work. Maybe even the hardest work you have ever done.  Heavenly Father never promised that it was going to be easy but promised that it will be worth it.

L.