It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks in terms of lows. I’m not usually one to get lost in the minutiae of disappointment. I may feel blue for a few hours or a couple days at most, but this has been nearly 3 weeks of hell since my son has been blocked from contact with me.
To top it off, I went to the GI doctor yesterday, who didn’t sugarcoat anything about what I was going through. My gastroparesis is severe. I’m losing about a pound every other day. It leads to lots of fatigue and inability to often think clearly as I can’t think if I can’t get enough calories.
If you don’t know, gastroparesis is a paralysis of your stomach, usually caused by diabetes. In my case, it’s probably been caused by my neurological problems. For me, everything I eat makes me severely nauseous, my stomach bloats like I’m 9 months pregnant, and the pain in my stomach is so bad that all I can do is curl up in a ball, take some nausea medication, and hope I fall asleep long enough for the pain to pass.
Between losing my son and the gastroparesis, my zest for life has certainly waned a lot. The GI doctor told me the outlook is grim and treatment options slim due to the neurological problems. He’s going to send me to a GI specialist in California who is licensed to prescribe a medication that is illegal in the United States, but you can get it for grave circumstances. Despite even if I figure out how to get to California and get this medication, the doctor was clear it will only help for 1-2 years and essentially after, my body will starve itself to death.
Not the greatest of news to accept. Especially when you have done so much to make your life as good as possible despite every odd imaginable. So many have reached out to say “you are a source of light for me”. I don’t feel too inspiring right now.
I’m fortunate to have a friend who came over for 4 hours last night who gave me the space to cry, grieve, be angry, not understand how unfair this all feels to me. She didn’t say “you’re strong” “you’ll overcome”. She just gave me plenty of wisdom that didn’t have anything to do with a pep talk. She is a true Christian in how she professes and emanates love. I didn’t need a pep talk last night. I just needed someone to accept my grief. People who can sit with you through it are few and far between.
I think many of us just want to fix each other’s pain and tell them it will all work out as we are uncomfortable with our own painful feelings. I have learned over the course of the past couple years to not tell truly sad people it will just be ok. People in grief just need to be accepted where they are, sad, angry…
I hold space for plenty of people to just be sad and grieve. It was wonderful to have someone sit with me in person and give me the space.
Another friend from college in San Francisco was visiting my city to come see family. We haven’t seen each other in 15+ years. She knows of my health struggles and took time out of their busy schedule of visiting family to come see me this morning for several hours. I was also allowed the space to just be ok with how much this sucks.
The power of friendship near or far, old or new, is extremely powerful. I never would have allowed myself to be vulnerable with anyone a couple years ago. I thought smiley people were the only ones people liked. Surprisingly, the more authentic I am (with people who can actually handle it) has allowed me to develop more meaningful and close relationships.
Sometimes I support people. Sometimes people support me. Sometimes it’s reciprocal. I realize my inner circle is small, but today I sit with gratitude for knowing people truly care whether I laugh or cry. I sit with gratitude for not having to pretend always. I sit with gratitude for people who don’t judge me. I sit in gratitude for being loved for who I am instead of what I can do for people.
And I made it to wheelchair basketball this afternoon despite not having the proper calories to play and resting a lot. High impact sports where you crash into each other a lot and hard and people who get mobility challenges has become a highlight of my week. My affinity for my teammates is huge even without knowing much about their personal lives. I suppose it’s why being part of a team is so important. We have each other’s back no matter what as we are a team.
So plenty of ugly happenings, but I originally started this blog wondering how do you become authentic with CPTSD and developmental trauma when you learned nothing of what authenticity or being truly human meant growing up.
After over a year of searching, I’m learning that you just be real. Don’t pretend life is ok when it absolutely isn’t. Of course, not with everyone, but with your inner circle. If they really are your inner circle, they will accept everything about you and be just as excited to share in your triumphs as well as your devastation. They won’t give you a pep talk when you just need to cry. They will set healthy boundaries with you and accept yours. They will engage in healthy conflict to grow closer instead of avoiding it.
Think about it. It’s freeing even in my grief.
(This was my picture of throwing my hands up in the air as what do you do when so much bad gets thrown your direction)