This time of year has been hard for me since I was 18. For the longest time I wanted nothing to do with decorating for Christmas, or celebrating it, or even seeing the decorations plastered in all the stores I had to shop in for the necessities.
One month before I turned 18 my Gramma died. It had been a long process and thanks to shared intuition between me and my Mom we made the decision for me to go see her before my intended summer visit. That visit was my chance to say "goodbye" and I'm so glad I took it even though the phone call a week after I got home truly shattered my heart. I remember the exact song that was playing on my radio when the phone rang at 5am. I remember what I did that day with a clarity I wish wasn't there. I would love to forget that day completely but my tender heart won't allow it.
Considering I am 30 this year, it has been 12 years since I lost Gramma. Many people would say that I should be past this heartache by now. If this were my only heartache maybe I would be, but there have been so many since then that they have all just compiled to make one giant heartache that I can't banish or move beyond.
Not only have I lost Gramma, but I lost my Uncle Roy too. My house should also have more kids in it than it does, six more to be precise, but only one other with a name. I've also been raped by the man I chose to marry and be the father of all of those children, and have since divorced him.
Then there are my health problems, both old and those newly discovered. I've known since I was 20 that I had endometriosis and while it is an awful disease to live with, I HAVE learned to live with it. I know the risks it poses to my fertility but when it comes to risks to me personally there really aren't any. In addition to the endo, I broke my foot two years ago and it has been causing me pain ever since. I recently had an appointment with a doctor down here in CO and she informed me that due to the type of fracture I had, the docs I had at the time should have done surgery immediately. If they had I would have significantly less pain, possibly none at all. Instead most steps I take are at least achy if not downright agony. Again, while awful to live with, its not life-threatening so I'm managing.
There is one newly discovered health problem that terrifying me. It was discovered when I went in to sign up for a drug trial for a new drug that controls endo pain. Part of their medical screening to make sure the subjects are healthy enough for the drug is an EKG. Basically a scan of your heart to make sure its working the way it should. Mine came back abnormal 11 times before they gave up and sent me to a cardiologist. So, no drug to help my endo pain and now suddenly I'm being told there is something wrong with my heart. As much as it would devastate me to lose the capability to get pregnant again and carry our growing child, I would rather all of my reproductive organs be removed than have there be something wrong with my heart. But I don't get a choice. It is likely thanks to something, a virus getting me so sick that it damaged my heart, happening to me when I was a teenager and we just never knew about it because I have no symptoms that stand out from my asthma or heartburn. But now I am being told I have congestive heart failure. At 30.
My heart is so full of loss and heartache that it is sometimes hard to see through the overwhelming darkness of it all to the light that has been growing in me and my life lately.
I try to remember how loved I am now. I try to remember that our family is in a better situation now than it was up in WA. I try to remember that my kids are healthy and thriving here. I try so hard, but it is becoming increasingly harder to see the light.
I am hopeful that after this holiday season is over and I don't have to pretend to be happy all the time that I will actually be able to process things better, maybe even seek out therapy. I know I need to take care of myself but I don't even have it in me to do it for myself. If I do therapy at all, it'll be for the benefit of my children and my love, L.