I have so many emotions going through my mind right now.
I feel like I'm surrounded by death lately.
My mom had to put her teenage cat, Kitty, a few days ago. Her teenage dog, Willie, down two months ago and her teenage cat, Alley, down a year ago. It hasn't been as hard for me as it was for her and my brothers because I haven't lived with them for that long. Just being around the death makes me sick to my stomach. At times I get jealous because my mind wanders to the fact that my mom's pets may have outlived my firstborn child. It seems as if doctors can do more for peoples' beloved pets than they can for our children -- our own flesh and blood. It's been hard because I know that the animals are given a shot and are gone in 10-15 peaceful seconds.
Getting to know other parents that have lots their children and knowing the stories of their children's deaths makes me nervous as to what lies ahead for Oliver and these other children. They've watched their children lose their abilities -- the ability to talk, eat and move all while keeping their mind... knowing and feeling everything that is happening to them. Some children pass peacefully in their sleep after days, weeks or months of decline and suffering. Others aren't that lucky. I'll spare you the horrific and gruesome details. Being around death in any form makes me think more about it because of the reality of our situation with Oliver. I get uneasy and sad watching movies where there is a funeral or death scene. That may be our reality and it has been for so many others. It just isn't fair. It isn't fair.
Most of my Facebook friends are parents of children battling cancer or those that have lost their children to it. It's difficult to read such heartbreaking posts, but I can empathize with them. I put myself in their shoes... shoes that have walked the same path... but they've gone ahead a little further than my own shoes. It seems like everyday I find out that a new child has been diagnosed, a child is entering hospice and in their final stage of life, or that a child has finally left their grieving families. Five children that I know of, have passed from DIPG this month, Briagh, Brenden, Emma, Garett and Skye. Five young kids... five sets of parents and siblings, grandparents, etc. that are left with gaping holes in their hearts that will NEVER heal. It's more than sad... it's heartwrenching, it's despicable, it's unimaginable. It should not be like this. Please pray for their families and also add Caleb and Lindsey's families to your prayers as they are struggling with tumor progression. Pray for strength, peace, comfort, healing.........
I'm struggling with the loneliness of life... my new life.
I don't feel like I have many friends anymore. Two of my best friends moved states away 1 month and 5 months after Oliver's diagnosis. They both were friends that were like family to me and we've known each other for 9 years each... since Oliver was a teeny baby. It's been over a year since they've moved, but I feel a gaping hole in my heart and I just don't feel the same. They couldn't have moved at a worse time for me. Obviously they don't live their lives for me so they had to move. I felt a huge loss of support when they left. They each knew me... I mean... the 'me that no one else knows' me. We had history together. We laughed together, we cried together, we did really silly things together! I miss my friends. I need my friends. I have like one or two friends here, but they are going through their own hardships right now and aren't able to be what I need them to be right now. I know that it scares people away. People don't know what to say. People don't know what to do with the real and honest responses that you're going through. So, you just say, 'I'm okay'... and they awkwardly move on. If it even makes it that far. Usually you are just completely and utterly ignored. Which makes me sad, and even a little pissed off actually. It's difficult when actions speak louder than words... or INaction speaks louder than words. It says "I don't care enough about you in order to feel awkward by saying something to you so I'll just avoid you all together." At least... that's what I hear loud and clear almost daily.
So... good friends move away = loss of true support and love. Then comes my paranoia with new friends which I'm almost positive is my mental illness issues flaring up. If someone new wants to befriend me, I feel as if they want to get close to us so they can get the real scoop on Oliver. So they can feel important when they tell everyone the news of this or that. They knew it first so they are important. Crazy.... maybe. Has this exact thing happened... yes. So... I feel like I have isolated myself and have built up walls because I want to protect myself and Oliver from these types of people. I know that isolation is one of the first steps of grief... and yes, I've been grieving for Oliver and the life we once had, the future that may never be since the day he was diagnosed.
I've noticed that I've been building lots of walls because of people lacking compassion and love towards Oliver. I've been angry and sad a lot lately just thinking about things people have said and done this past 18 months. I just shake my head at times. And yes, I have said a few things that I wish I hadn't said. Who knows though... I think going through this has made me more apt to say things that I normally wouldn't say. Society needs you to be proper and polite and sometimes I just want to tell people to stick it where the sun doesn't shine! I know I need to find love for these people, but right now... I can't even look at them with any shred of love or feeling in my heart. I hate this feeling. I really do. I want to forget about things that were said and done, but it is extremely difficult.
Life is hard. I feel like I'm morphing into a person that I don't want to be. A black cloud has taken up permanent residence over my head and rarely takes a vacation. I know a lot of it has to do with sadness about the loss of friends nearby and Oliver's diagnosis... just never knowing what is going on with the tumor. We live in fear every single day. If I could look inside his skull and see the tumor. Are the cells multiplying?? What is going on in there??!! I know a lot of it is my mental illness. It's a very difficult illness to have to deal with on a daily basis. I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID) and I experience all the feelings and emotions you do, but like 100 times more intense. My mood swings can come and go in a matter of minutes, like a tornado. Anger, abandonment issues, paranoia, impulsive behavior, depression, self injury, eating disorders, poor self image, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, perfection issues, etc. It's like OCD, but instead of washing my hands a hundred times, the same thought will cycle through my brain and not stop for hours and hours. Luckily I found a wonderful counselor that specializes in this and I've been going to group therapy to learn ways to maintain some sort of balance to my life. It's been really good for me. Few people have seen these things in me. My good friends know, my family knows, but I didn't want everyone to know because I didn't want to be viewed as weird or weak. However... it is real. It is a part of me but it does not define me. It is what I have to deal with on top of grieving for a child that is terminally ill and taking care of another child that has medical problems along with my 2 other kiddos. Hopefully I can help someone that may be in a similar boat or the same stormy weather. My counselor said she couldn't believe how well I seemed to be doing. She said most people with my illness would be living in a mental institution or possibly committed suicide. I can say that I understand... unfortunately I feel like I'm on the edge a lot of the time. I've contemplated suicide many times. Too many times. At times I just feel like I can't make it another day. It's almost too much for one person to deal with. I remember shortly after Oliver was diagnosed, I found myself home alone sitting in the recliner in our living room and I was crying and just started screaming... at the top of my lungs. 'Weeping and wailing' would describe it perfectly. I just couldn't contain myself. This went on for a few minutes and soon I felt better, but was left with a 'I cried way too much just now' headache that lasted until the next day. Anyways... I'm starting to ramble. I just hope that I can handle whatever life throws my way... I've come this far...