Archive for the ‘recovery’ Tag

already wrote, already cried, already tired.

mumford and sons

i promised myself i would write today.  i don’t feel like i have much to offer the page.  i am pretty worn out from yesterday and today already.

sean and i talked a lot yesterday.  he doesn’t like how i talk about the old me as if it is not part of me anymore.  he thinks it is unhealthy and it scares him.  he has never liked the way i talk about my brain my brain being a separate entity.  i would say things like, “i just want to shut my brain the fuck up!!!!!” it has become more than that now, because i don’t feel like kim.  this is not kim.  if this is kim, then i fucking want to slap her and defriend her on facebook.

i talk a lot about how i don’t understand how sean can still love this person when he married someone so fucking different.  i know he is sick of hearing it.  i was never the girl to put on an outfit and prance in front of him and ask him, “do i look fat in this?”  i knew men hated then way more than any outfit.  that constant need for complements could drive them crazy, so i just didn’t do it.  i stepped back and knew he for whatever reason found me to be a goddess.  i would not place doubt in that thought process.  if i had one man find me to be a fucking goddess, then just shut the fuck up and go out in the outfit and have fun. i have become that woman.  i look at him all the time and ask him why he still wants to be married to me. i am different.  i am not kim.  i am someone else and kim is not coming back.  usually he is silent.  yesterday he had enough.

he told me i was kim.  i am kim.  I AM KIM!!!!!!!!  all the things i talk about that don’t make me kim are just tasks and they don’t define me.  he looks at me and he still sees me…the only me that will ever be there. there is no replacement.  other things have changed that would have changed my behavior and the way i ran the house anyhow.

what he doesn’t understand if that i don’t feel like kim. i don’t feel like me.  i don’t feel like my skin fits me. i don’t know who is staring back at me in the mirror.  i tell him so many other suicide survivors describe this so i know it is true.  i tell him i think my therapist says it is normal and that letting go of the old me is part of the process of finding and and excepting what is coming down the line.  he is trying to understand it, but it scares the shit out of him.  he saw my breakdown.  i didn’t write during my breakdown.  i didn’t write about thinking the meds were poisoning me and that i would double over in pain or pull my hair or at my eyes.  that i didn’t understand why i still had eyes.  i believed they should have been scratched out when tom died.  that the appropriate reaction was to scratch my eyes out and since i didn’t something was wrong and i was being poisoned.  he lived through this and much, much more.  pulling me out of the tub and getting me ready for the hospital.  admitting me and then seeing the fear in my eyes as i looked around then  trying to get the nurse to release me.  watching me curl up into a ball crying hysterically over and over, but in the setting of the hospital is was unbearable and he just wanted to bring me home and watch over me himself.  he lived through that.  i talked a lot about myself in the third person as my mind shattered.  i understand why he can’t hear me talk about letting go of a me i know will never come back.  i don’t know how to word it.

i also cried in front of him for 45 minutes.  then rocked back and forth and told him that the fact that i was crying and talking was good.  that i know it is painful for him to see, but i am not walking around with a thick wall around me unable to meet his gaze.  unable to look at his eyes full of emotion, because mine are dead most of the time.  the fact that i was crying and identifying emotions with words and ideas was good.  that i have been stuck and i am trying to move forward and it will be messing, bu ti can’t keep falling.  i can’t keep pulling my shit together and then completely falling apart and landing back in bed.

i go to a site for survivors of suicide.  i mostly put on a happy face there.  i reach out to every single new member and write them a personalized response.  i try to make sure that none of them are the same even if it is the fifth one i am writing that day.  i also have started following with interest certain members.  i try to remember them on days i know will be hard and try to watch for their posts.  i have opened up a few times.  started a thread for myself, but mostly i go there to try to keep the armor on and reach out to those who are in a much more painful place than me.

so between here and there i have been writing.  between here and there and my conversation with sean, i have been working really hard.  i want to break free from this grief.  i know it is very normal to still be in so much pain after a suicide and after the tragic way things played out, but i only have this one life and i can not spend much more of it this way.

there is a mumford and sons song i have been listening to that has been reminding me about how lucky i am to have such an awesome family and really lucky to have such amazing brothers.  i think of all the times both of them have held me up.


The old me…


my husband uploaded an old painting he had done of me on facebook.  it got this review from on old friend of mine.  i have not seen her since i was 20.

“So interesting, Sean. To me, it is markedly different than most of the other work you’ve shared here. 
It is softer, more consciously beautiful. I notice a longer middle finger on the left hand (conscious on your part? and so Kim!) 
It is very beautiful and though I don’t see you two (18 years?), this captures more of Kim than some of the photos I see of Kim. 
As it should be with really good art. Simply lovely.” KG

i responded with, 

 “you are so right about the middle finger! i look at this and see the younger me. the me before the big change. i was touched by the wonder of motherhood and still being so changed by my increasing knowledge of science. i was loving research and work and family and the world still felt as if it was at my feet or within my grasp or in my grasp. i am now touched by darkness. my eyes are harder even when they are closed. the wonder is gone and filled with a knowledge i never sought. i don’t know what a painting of me today would look like through sean’s eyes. the first one he did i wore a mask.

it would be interesting what a third one would reveal, but the man would need a break from his fucked up wife to even begin to process her from a distance. a moment to pull his thoughts together. a moment to see himself and the world with out me partially blocking his view of everything with my constant needs.”

it touches on a little bit from my last entry.  i know that sean has had little time to recover himself because i take up so much of the resources.  i take up a lot of resources from a lot of people.  i see this with vanessa.  all i give her is grief and every now and then we meet and we laugh and she gets a shot in the arm of happiness from me instead of just the draining forces of my depression.  janet pretty much only gets grief.  she has a lot going on in her life and i try to remember to ask her about it.  i try to remember to be quiet enough of the phone with her to allow her to bring up what she needs to bring up, but most times i hang up and know i failed at being a good enough listener.  jenny and i talk rarely and briefly and she always insists on me talking.  she is a very good deflector.  bridget tries so hard to get a hold of me and i try to focus on her children because they are so young and young motherhood is hard. janet v. will call me sometimes and i focus on our kids because our daughters are so similar in age and motherhood changed both of us in ways i never thought would happen and she inspired me to be the sort of mom i was to my children when they were young. india and i talk about common things and complain about equally.  we try to be there for each other’s kids, but honestly it is so easy because of location that i would have to be a pretty selfish self centered ass to not be helpful.  it pretty much doesn’t count.

then we circle back to sean…always there.  always there. always there. standing tall.  unflinching in his support.  cracks occur at the end of long weekend or vacations as he faces the burden of going back to work while i barely carry on.  he faces the stresses of supporting our family at a very high stress job, while i pick up freelance money here and there and half the time ask him for help when i get stuck on a problem.  he goes in every work day and kicks ass and is smart and resourceful and carries to the load of managing a huge public website while only listening to the public complain about a misplaced italics or a cart that ended up empty probably because of browser settings on their own computer—-long winded, well written complaints about a job he takes so seriously and is so good at. complaints sent to every person the bored individual can find an email address to and the nights and weekends and long hours he spends to make a site so large, ever changing and under such incredible scrutiny not only function but function at a level both aesthetically and practically that supersedes pretty much any other site in his industry is reduced to a well connected complainers whim.  maybe once a year he gets an email from an overly excited person in europe who can’t believe how great the site is.  then once a year a man who has become obsessed with only this small niche of sites rates all of them from around the world and usually the one sean keeps tightly under his wing comes out on top and he can smile for a day.  that is what he does while i try to crawl back to becoming the person who supported him enough that he could handle his job and have time to paint wonderful beautiful paintings of things not only bursting out of his soul that must come out or he will fall, but also have time and distance to plan a painting for me, about me.  he could see me as something far enough away that he could see and capture my movements in paint.  

i drain those around me.  i try to feed my children and any other child that comes within my circle, but adults are mostly drained.

the painting also captures the old me.  i have talked about this in another post.  i noticed it in two photos sent to me by my mother-in-law.  one taken before tom died and one taken the day of his funeral.  i still can’t believe she asked us to sit for a photo as i prepared to go to my brother’s funeral.  so odd.  we were dressed up and we looked so “nice” and she posed us on the couch and snapped a photo.  i love this woman so much, but that photo makes me very sad and feel something else i won’t put to type. i noticed my soul was burned out of my eyes in the funeral photo.  gone. no light.

i talked about the old me a lot in that post.  this painting also captures the old me.  i know i will never go back to her.  that i wouldn’t be her at this point even without tom’s suicide, but i wouldn’t be this person here. vacant eyes that easily tear up.  draining the life from so many people i love.  pushing people away so i can breath without guilt.  

there is also the old me who was motivated and kept house and home in a way that i was proud of.  that was there.  there for my husband and kids and had enough left over for those around me.

someone in my outer circle needed help recently.  we sometimes reach out to someone in any sort of need and collect money or food or whatever.  she has been a good soul in my life and i failed.  i didn’t even send money which was the easiest thing to do.  i failed a person who was one of the first to hug me after i returned from chicago.  who always smiled at me and lifted my spirits without much effort.  we were never close, but we saw in each other something we liked and she would have done anything i would have asked for.  i let the time slip by holed up in my house and failed her.  

i never would have done that before.  i wouldn’t have done that during a good week or month.  i have returned some good will, but it is unpredictable.  i am unreliable.  

i really liked the old me.  i miss her.  i now know i must grieve her.  i must let go of her.  i don’t know how much of the new me i have to accept, but i am not proud of her.  i don’t like her.  i never, ever want to see a painting of her done through the eyes of someone i have stolen so much from. 

Sun and the smell of dirt

i fell again.  the hole was much shallower, but i fell down the hole and stayed put for a few months.  the strain of my husband is starting to show.  little tiny cracks that he bandages quickly and stoically moves on. stoically moves on with his wounds never attended to as i continue to lick mine in a corner by myself.

i love being by myself now.  i could spend a week without any contact except through the computer and texts.  

i am on a new drug.  cymbalta is going to try to boost my mood, while i work with a new therapist to unwind my grief.  in all honesty, i really don’t think tom is dead.  if he came to my door right now, i would just hug him and offer to make scones.  i don’t know how to accept his death.  i know how to feel depressed by it and become a person that i loathe by it, but i don’t know how to accept that he is gone.   

i like my new therapist.  he gave me a book by epictetus. i will start to read it tonight and see how it sets. i finished the hunger game series which just got me all worked up about how the war is eating away at our children’s souls. think it is time for some adult reading.  

i am following the chicago bulls as they fall apart.  i am watching the heat and thinking about the discussions tom and i would be having about it all and wondering how much money he would be winning or losing along the way.  

india sent me a blog started by a sibling recovering from the loss of her brother to suicide.

kind of a long address, but it was good for me to see someone else dealing with the grief of losing a brother.  i will try to follow her through her journey.  

vanessa has been handing out words.  words i have never heard from her before.  they are reaching something inside, but i don’t know…i will keep moving forward and hope to catch up to a place that i can understand and fully show up at her doorstep a whole person again.

janet calls during her commute a lot and we try to catch up.  we both have our own things, but i dominate the conversation.  i have a list for anyone who wants to listen to me any more.  the list has not shrunk.  the list still includes all the old crap and there is always something new to mix in.

i am trying to focus on what i am doing instead of what i am failing to do.  i am still failing to do so much.  the list becomes overwhelming and i decide i hate the person i am now and if this is who i have to live with for the rest of my life…well…it is not going to be an enjoyable trip.  focusing on what i am accomplishing helps some, but then i worry i am letting myself off the hook.

i will come through this different.  new.  better. changed. all of this is supposed to be okay.  all of this is supposed to make me fight it less…i think.  maybe it is to make me accept it.  maybe it is to make me struggle less so i can rise from the quicksand.  the problem is that quicksand isn’t real.  it is from the movies.  i think the new shiny and better person with the new haircut and better hygiene is also a plot from the movies.  i look at how much i have aged in the past two years.  how long i go between dying my hair or hopping in the shower or washing the floors and i wonder how this is going to end.  when will the big loofa come and scrub off all the dead skin cells and reveal this stronger human.  work, work, work. i am working and will keep my eyes out for the hollywood me.  until then, i will count what i get done.

blogged. check. went out and laughed 3 months ago. check!Image


I woke up in a very good mood.  This isn’t something completely new or different.  I get these highs and always have.  Every song on the radio makes me smile, even that damn Adele song.  I sing loudly and with passion to Air Supply or Pit Bull or Katy Perry or Metallica.  I think about the future and I know it is good.  I mean really good.  Gooey good.  I think about the past and even the hard stuff, even something horrible is felt with a clean hurt.  When my eyes sting with tears, I feel fierce.  This fierceness is all good though, because I smile through the tears and the smile is shining and true.

I want to hold on to these mornings or nights or whenever these times of clearness enters my being.  It feels so true and beautiful.  Colors pop, pop, pop faster than my thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.  I know it can’t stay or I would become giddy and my eyes too wide and my smile too toothy and then maybe a bit of madness would slip in.  So, I sit back and I take in the thoughts, the feelings the realizations and I don’t try to touch them.  I let them move over me and through me and the ones that can settle, I let settle.  I don’t even hold my breath any more when this happens.

Overall things have been good.  Even, if I try to remove the high, I can still say things have been better.  New Year’s Eve was spent with Sean and the kids.  Sophia was sick, but we had a toast anyhow.  I looked at my two children and I knew what I had—have.  I looked at Sean and I knew I was born under a lucky sign.

As a child, I thought the way you left your home was to get married.  I wanted to find someone to take me away and take care of me and make my life good.  Sean spun past me and I dug my claws in deep with desperation.  I was a little girl, but I was determined.  I used to think that I forced my will and love on him, but I now know the truth.  He was just as desperate to find someone to ground him so his ego didn’t fly him off into a life of misery.  We spun away and he made my life good as I learned to do it myself and I kept him grounded as he became a man and grounded himself.

It will be two years in April.  My life completely fell apart.  Some of you know how close it all came to annihilation of the soul.  I didn’t write during that time.  I stayed in bed.  I stayed in bed drugged and usually drunk.  I stayed in bed for about a year.  My brother Nick came and helped Sean take care of the kids for 6 of those months.  My brother Sean would ride in to try to shake a smile out of me.  My parents came and called and sent in the troops when needed.  Vanessa dragged me out of bed when she could and listened to desperate pleas from Sean.  Many other friends and family did what they could or didn’t .  Somehow I was dragged, helped, carried, supported and deposited to this new place.

This new place isn’t perfect.  I still have a lot of work to do, but even if I stay here, it will be okay.  Sean and my kids are still here.  Most of my friends and family are still here.  Those that I have lost, I don’t miss.

2012 is an important year.  I have set goals for myself.  I am off most of the meds.  I just started being able to sleep without a sleeping pill.  2012 is going to be better than 2011, which was not better than 2010.  I say this all from a perch as high as the moon, yet I know it is true.

I miss my baby brother.  I miss Tom.  I miss him, but he is gone and I have to live my life without him.  I am starting to live my life again.  I am reaching out and trying to be there for friends more than they have to be there for me.

Even when I am not flying, I smile and even laugh.  I have more than my share. I have a good life.  In 2012 I will make it an even better life.




The freedom and burden of my atheism

Tom has been on my mind so much lately.  I don’t know how to shake it.  There were two deaths in my family recently, which brought up a lot of old term oil.  My Aunt Rose is now gone, way too young, but maybe with some peace.  Tom’s best friend went to see a reader and things were brought up about me.  I was told he was there when i had my break down and while i was in the hospital he was whispering that i wasn’t crazy.  i have also been looking at photos.  not photos of tom, but photos of myself.  i look so different.  it isn’t just the weight change, which dropped me 20 then raised me 40.  my eyes don’t shine when i smile.  there is a darkness that still follows me. so all these things are stirred up in a pot and i am once again wishing that atheism didn’t have such a strong hold on my brain.

when i first became atheist, it saved me from hell.  i was so scared all the time, that i was in the wrong religion and i was going to rot in hell.  it was terrifying.  i would wake up at night with cold chills about it.  after lots of reading, a science education, more reading and some searching into different religious options a spark of freedom came upon me and i lost all belief in any sort of god.  god, and God, and Zeus all became one and i turned to the true awesomeness out there.  i turned to the beauty in chemical bonds and the moon and a fucking  huge tree growing from a small seed. i stared at trees on walks around the city and would stop at my favorites, i would look at the moon, i would watch water boil understanding how complex and amazing it was and gain peace.  i didn’t care what others believed.  i wasn’t out to convert anyone.  i just had peace.

my grandpa died, my grandma died, both way too soon.  both of their deaths “unfair” and both of their deaths leaving me a little lost.  but, atheism stood by me and kept me calm.  i looked at the universe and knew we were all made from star dust and knew it was okay that they were gone.  i would miss them and keep them close to my heart, but death must come to us all and it was okay.

tom died.  tom fucking died and scrambled my being and tore my mind into many fractures and took away the peace atheism had given me for years.  i have been wandering with blank eyes and either pretending he isn’t dead or crying and not understanding and feeling like my “soul” is being ripped apart.  i wrote here for a long time.  i got better, i got worse, i got better, i got really bad, i am now good.  good, except for my eyes.  good, except that i don’t dance with my daughter in the morning to love cats.  good, except i don’t bake as much or laugh as much or see people as much or leave my house as much.  i am good, though.  i am changed.

friends of tom dream about him.  he sends them “meaningful” messages.  everything is silent over here.  people tell me it is because i am not open to him and he will come when i am ready.  i don’t know what that means.  does it mean i kneel and believe in god?  does that mean that their stories are somehow false and not happening? i want to scream and say, if there was any afterlife he would fucking visit ME! so that means there is no afterlife and my atheism is intact.  but then i hear from another friend about her brother and her dreams and i want to crawl back to anything to see or hear my brother in a dream through a medium or as a ghost at the bottom of my bed.

so now, i sit 19 months after tom’s death with that same fear and sadness i had before the freedom of atheism came.

i love the fall.  i am trying to soak it up from inside my house.  maybe a walk in nature will make things better. i haven’t sat with the moon in a long time.  i guess this is just part of the loss.  the confusion.  the desire to raise him from the dead.  the need to know i said everything i could have said before he hung up and shot himself.  it just takes so long…


I have not written in a long time.  I had house guests for 3 weeks and it sort of removed the rhythm.  I was feeling better.  I was feeling worse.  I was feeling confused.  In the end, I lost motivation for many reasons but the most honest reason is that I have a difficult time following through with anything.  I follow through with close relationships, but not distant ones.  I have just started finishing projects.  It could just be the grief that has driven me to the level of obsession i need to crochet or knit a project to the end.  i am hoping maybe tom’s death has changed me into someone who finishes things.  i have started to finish the dishes.  i used to leave something in the sink, because i just couldn’t complete the task. i was making my bed every day, but the surgery has slowed that down.  i was writing every day, but something has slowed it down.

i went off the abilify and fell into the darkness again.  i didn’t far as deep or hard, but i did end up in bed for three days.  the grief washed over me and i could not catch a breath.  i ruminated about starting back on the abilify.  i mean, it could just be a normal phase in the grief process or it could be pms or maybe i was just feeling normal.  maybe normal for me was tired and normal for me was constant tears.  maybe that is the normal reaction to losing a brother.  why drug myself through something so normal?  luckily there was a small voice telling me the pain wasn’t worth it and that my kids and marriage need me to be stronger than i could be on my own.  i needed help.  i also had family telling me it was okay to go back on.  i had janet tearing apart any logic i thought i was creating to stay off it.  i had vanessa arms crossed, phone in her back pocket staring me down. 

i started the abilify again about 5 days ago and it has been a hard process.  i am out of bed, but i am crying a lot.  i miss tom.  i don’t want him to be gone.  i don’t want to have a dead brother.  yesterday was stupid suicide prevention day.  fuck you.  fuck you for telling me it would have been okay to bring up suicide to tom.  fuck you for telling me it would have gotten him talking and not pushed him away.  i am crying or raging.  i have a lot of hatred brewing.  vanessa reminds me that this happened before.  i want to spit out words to tear down people around me.  i want to slam dishes onto the floor and stomp on the shattered glass. vanessa keeps telling me this will pass.  i believe her.  i don’t know it yet, but i trust her to tell me the truth. 

i dropped the kids off at school this week and missed tom.  i used to call him after those kind of moments and talk, talk, talk.  i would talk to him about the kids then about how board i was driving home.  i would make him listen to my random thoughts during my commute back home or to work when i was at u.i.c.  i would make him listen to me when i was avoiding writing a paper or working on my graduate thesis.  i would make him listen to me when i needed to rant about the family secrets.  i thought i mostly listened to him, but he listed to me too.  i wish him back a lot.  i wish him back like a little girl.  i actually sometimes believe my time spent wishing him bask isn’t wasted.  it is to much to believe i will never see him again. 

i try to remind myself how lucky i am.  i had three amazing brothers.  i now still have two amazing brothers who i love and who love me back.  they love me in a way not everyone gets to experience.  they love me for me.  they don’t care about my flaws they see them and shrug them off.  they know me.  sean supports me no matter what.  nicholas is one of the few people in the world who tells me off and knocks me off soap boxes.  my brothers friends have stepped in to offer love and support too.  i used to think it would all add up to enough, but it isn’t .  it is not enough.

Vanessa and Nicholas at Liz's