Coming Back to Life?

I find it strange how often I still think about writing on the blog, when I haven’t really committed to writing in almost a full year.  I felt the need to write when I divorced, it felt important to me.  Once I met Tony (Bennett), my psyche was clever enough to stop me from writing the truth.  I knew if I wrote I would have to hold myself accountable.  And, I knew I didn’t want to be accountable.

That doesn’t mean what I wrote during the 2 years with Tony wasn’t true, that’s not my style.  My skill is in being able to be honest out loud and literally ignoring my own best judgment.  You have all watched me do it for 4 years now.

I’m in therapy and my therapist condones writing on the blog, so I am going to give it another shot.  At the moment, I do nothing, I feel nothing.   I am going to be able to write a lot that literally causes no emotional reaction, when it should.  I am entirely disconnected.

While the ups and downs of Tony were obvious throughout the entire 2 years, the worst really hit in April 2018 when I finally said “enough is enough.”  At the exact same time, my job imploded and I was told I wasn’t “good enough” and I should look for another role.  Add in three teenage boys, one loaded with drama going away to college and you have a recipe for a mid-life crisis.   Or a nervous break down.  Call it what you will, I was broken starting April 2018.

I thought I lived through bad times and believed I was resilient, but truly nothing compares to my ability in the Summer of 2018 to play at life while hiding my biggest secret: I didn’t care if I lived or died, but I couldn’t commit suicide.  So, I chose a passive path: gastric surgery in Mexico.  This way – if I died, I died.  If I lived, I finally had a chance to be thin.

I knew deep down my decision was wrong.  I came to the blog to write and called it a “reset” and those few that I did tell, I convinced them it was for the same reason.   It never was.  I had a death wish.  I lied to everyone about how I felt, everyone except Tony.

During the summer, I told Tony my mind was collapsing.  At the same time, I was angry and cruel to him, pushing him as far away from me as I could with all my threats of telling his wife.  I told him I was going through the breakdown, but I didn’t tell him about the type of surgery.   I was asking the wrong person for help in the worst way possible.  Any good that was in our relationship (for him, because I don’t feel it) is ruined by my behavior between May-August.

I made the decision to go to Mexico by late July.  I dropped my son at college around August 17, and stopped speaking to Tony around the same time (I hadn’t seen him since April).  My job ended on September 4th and I was on the plane to Mexico September 6th.

Arriving in Mexico made me feel nothing.  I spoke to no one.  I had no desire to compare stories, I didn’t care.  I wanted the surgery over and done with.  I had no feeling it would end one way or the other, nothing crossed my mind.

I’m not going to talk about my surgeries, because I don’t want to.  I had to write a recap for a lawyer and I could barely recall what happened when.  But the high level recap is the Gastric Sleeve seemed to go fine, except I have so much scar tissue that they nicked my intestines.  They did a second surgery trying to fix it and made it worse.  Then a third surgery for a bowel resection.  All in Mexico, in a language I didn’t understand, in such complete pain and shock I couldn’t properly react, and in a place that wasn’t equipped for this type of surgery.  I was able to fly home September 19th and was back in the US hospital with infection and abscess 2 days later.  A 4th surgery in the US corrected the issues and I came home October 10th or so.

Make a fist on both hands.  Hold them together.  That’s how big my open wound on my tummy was, and just as deep.  That’s a whole lot of healing. 3 full months just for it to close.  We are 2 months in…and at least I can look at it now and change my own bandages.

That brings us to today.  Physically, I am healing.  The wound will close.  The sleeve works and I have adjusted to eating properly with the sleeve.

The emotional or mental healing is another story entirely.  Working through my x putting into my kids head that all of this is “my fault” – hell, working that fault through my own head – is not easy.  Working through my ability to move on from Tony.  Working through the drama of the teenage years.  Working through the job loss, the “not good enough” and the finances.  Working through what dating would look like and undressing in front of someone.   I was spinning too many plates.  I didn’t drop one, I dropped them all and banged into the mother fucking porcelain cabinet while I was at it.

So here I am on the floor, covered in broken glass, trying to figure out how to get back up.

Some motions are easy: go to the doctors, eat, drink, feed children. It literally stops there. My brain isn’t working.  They say I have PTSD.  I need time.  More time.  I’m still healing. One day at a time.  I will recover.  That’s what they say.

I take steps.  It looks like I am moving forward.  I look pretty good when I clean up.  But then I don’t shower for days and lie on the couch.  I sleep 10-12 hours every night, straight.  I don’t want to DO anything.  I stopped typing and came back to this post because I don’t really want to write.  It’s more doing I don’t want to do.

I don’t like the “have-to’s”

I have to get a job because I am a single mother who has 3 children.  2 in college.

I have to earn enough money.

I have to leave the house to get a job.

I have to speak to people to get a job interview.

I have to get dressed, do my hair and makeup.  I have to act.

I don’t want to.  I can do, I have done, but I don’t want to, period.

I was at a family party the day after Thanksgiving and had an amazing time, the photos show a beautiful,  happy woman.  My family and friends were so happy to see me.  I even opened up my social media and added photos for the first time since August.  I thought – let’s show everyone I can (and will) recover!  I was really trying to show myself – look! you can do it!

I did it.

Then I slept for 2 days straight.  My mind is right back in the black hole.

What scares me the most is I already know I am going to recover and heal, outwardly.  I will play the game again and be good at it again.   But will I really heal?  Can I do the real work required for self love and acceptance?  Do I want to do it?

I also want to say “Thank-you” to all that reached out with care and concern.  I didn’t place enough value on the strength I could gather from the love of strangers, but I now realize that I need to truly acknowledge  all forms of generosity and love – so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

8 thoughts on “Coming Back to Life?”

  1. Oh, hun. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I know what it feels like to not care about what happens to yourself, because I have been there too. It’s a long dark tunnel, but at least you have some great kids as a reason to make it through.

    Wish I could give you a hug for real 😘

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad to see you’re making it back after your ordeal. My step-daughter underwent the gastric sleeve procedure and I watched a video of it as performed by a doctor in North Carolina (I think) and, wow, it was some serious real work and I thought that my step-daughter was gonna have this done… and Madeline did, too? The thing I remember the most was the doctor talking (as he operated) about the importance of not impacting other organs, like liver and intestines – it explained why my step-daughter was on a high protein diet before her surgery.

    She made it through… and I know that you’ll get past this so be strong, Madeline!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – you have been to Hell and it’s a long, difficult journey to escape it. Please be kind and patient with yourself. Please don’t expect so much from yourself – you have to heal not only your body but your mind. That’s a tall order for anyone. My heart hurts for you. Many gentle hugs to you.

    Like

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