Monday, November 14, 2011

November Hurts

November.  It's such a pretty word and it's fun to say.  It's the time of year when everyone looks so colorful and festive in their scarves, hats, and trendy coats.  November is the start of the holiday season.  Starbucks breaks out their red holiday cups and fills them with seasonal drinks like Pumpkin spice lattes.  It's the season of shopping, singing, parties, gifts, love, and family.  November has so much going for it.  November is supposed to be happy and joyful but for me November hurts.

November holds many anniversaries for me and so much sadness.  It's the month where I see families come together and celebrate each other.  November is the start of two months of intense sadness and loneliness for me and I'm sure for many other foster children.  I hear people complain about having to be with their families during the holidays which is painful to hear.  Do they not realize how lucky they are, even if they have a dysfunctional family?  Smothering mother?  I'll take her.  Entitled and competitive siblings?  I'll take them.  Critical father?  Yep, I'll take him too.   I'll even take the annoying aunts and uncles and weird cousin Ted.  Maybe I can't understand because I've never had a family to complain about.  The last few year were the only time I had a familiar and loving place to go to for Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the holidays.  It was too good to last.  I won't have that this year.  The time K and D told me they needed is indefinite.  They are done with me just like all the other families.  They don't want me anymore.

People get so angry with me because I don't know how to trust that they love me and believe them when they call me family and promise to never go away.  Why can't anyone see why?  Why can't anyone just accept that I'll always be a little insecure about it and love me anyway?  I've had 20+ years of experience with people.  Those years have shown me that everyone lies to you.  Everyone uses you.  Everyone will hurt you and then everyone will leave you.  This year I won't be sitting at a table with the people who called me family last year.  Not with the woman who wrote me love letters telling me how happy she was that I was part of her family and how she thinks of me as her daughter and that she will never go away.  Not with the man who told me I would always have a place in the family and in the life of the child that shares our DNA.  Not with the sarcastic and goofy redheaded teenage girl that likes to wrestle and tease me.  I won't be sitting next to the little boy I helped my friends produce.  I won't be watching him stuff his face with food and pie, captivating everyone with his sense of humor and flirty charm.  I don't have a family this year.  I am back to where I started and where I'll probably remain.

I went through IVF and gave my friends my eggs on November 18, 2008 with naive dreams of family and giving someone I loved a huge gift. I wish I had someone with my best interest to help me make that decision back then.  I filled my body and ovaries with strong chemicals that changed my body chemistry and affected my mental health.  It seriously changed my vision and my eyes ability to focus naturally for about six months.  I will be on medication for the rest of my life to manage my hormones because my body no longer does it properly.  November was the month I lost my fertility and opened up the future devastating blow to my heart.  

November is the month that my CASA, Eileen, called me to tell me she was dying.  She died over two months later, but it's the month I abandoned her because I was too afraid to watch her suffer and die.  Eileen McDuff saved my life and I couldn't even take a trip to Arizona to be there for her and tell her how much she means to me.  Eileen died in January, but the bone cancer took those last few months of her life too, so the very last time I spoke to her was that day she called to tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me and that she was dying.  November is the month I lost Eileen.

November is the month my foster parents left me for Chicago when they were expecting a baby.  They became foster parents just for me.  I met my future foster mom while I was mute and in a children's psychiatric hospital after trying to kill myself.  She became my "CPS special friend" and then decided to make me hers forever.  I lived with them twice, half a year when I was 15 and for a while before I turned 18.  They promised to be my family and never go away.  They sent me away the first time because of some emails I wrote complaining about them after they grounded me.  It's a bit more complicated than that, but basically they sent me away for being 15.  They promised they would adopt me when I turned 18 and that I would always have a place to call home and somewhere to go during school breaks.  They promised to be part of my life forever.  The convinced me to give up my scholarship in NY and stay in Arizona so that I would have them as a support system through college.  Two months into my Freshman year at college they packed up and moved 1800 miles away.  November is the month my last childhood family ditched me.

One of my sisters and one of my brothers share the same father, my stepfather.  My step father is from the Middle East but he met our mother while attending college in Arizona.  They got married, had my siblings, and we moved to XXXX country and then to the Middle East soon after.  When we came back to the US we were removed from our mother for the last time.  Our mother's rights were terminated so one of my brothers and I became available for adoption.  My stepfather somehow won custody of my brother and sister despite the child abuse charges against him.  My mother went to prison for felony child abuse, neglect, and failure to protect.  My stepfather took my siblings and moved back to the Middle Eastern country.  My youngest sister was born in prison and became part of her family when she was two weeks old.  They adopted her and moved across the country when she was two.  November is when I found out I would be losing my siblings. 

November is the month of Thanksgiving.  A sad day for the family-less, but also a horrifying day for me.  I lived with a family in a small house in the middle of nowhere Arizona.  That family promised to adopt me and keep me forever.  I even went by their last name at school.  I lived with them the longest I've lived anywhere ever--to this very day.  I lived with them for a little over three years.  I prayed every night and asked Santa for a family every year and I hoped it would be this one.  I turned 9 about three weeks before my very first Thanksgiving with my new forever family.  Later that night my foster father violently physically and sexually assaulted me and then sobbed on top of me.  My foster mother didn't say much about my black eye and bruised body or the loss of my beloved sheets the next day.  While he wasn't as violent after that, it was the beginning of my three year nightmare and a lifetime of torture.  When my foster mother could no longer deny the truth she said I had to move and left me at the hospital after I tried to kill myself.  November is the month my childhood was taken off life support and died.

I turned 18 on October 28th and aged out of foster care.  November was the first month I was and adult and the first month I was completely alone in the world and without a place to call home.  November is scary and extremely lonely.

Me 5ish
November is a hard month for me and I'm having a pretty tough time coping right now.  My days without sleep are back up again.  It's been a lot better lately but this month I'm back to my normal 3 days with almost no sleep then crashing for 15 hours cycle.  My nightmares are intense and happen every single time I try to sleep.  They begin just as I'm starting to drift off to sleep which makes me feel crazy because I know you don't dream until you reach REM.  My nightmares keep me from sleeping.  I can usually sleep during the daytime without nightmares, but not now.  I wake up in panic attacks when I can sleep.  I've been sleep walking.  I woke up sitting in the bathtub the other night.  I am spacing out for extended periods of time.  I don't even notice that people are talking to me until they forcefully call my name.

Everything reminds me of something I don't want to remember and I've had intense, long lasting flashbacks or hallucinations or whatever you want to call them six times so far this month.  Usually I can maintain some kind of connection to the present, but lately I'm totally gone.  I'm totally lost.  Yesterday I cried in bed for hours and then called my friend, Stacey, from my partial program this summer, and asked her to hang out so I wouldn't stay in bed crying all day.  We went to eat crepes and I tried to tell jokes to make her laugh so that I could feel good enough to hold back the tears and I don't even know why I was crying.  After we left the promenade, I had a panic attack in an elevator full of people in the parking garage.  I had another panic attack in Stacey's car.  I had to take 1.5mg of klonopin to calm down.  I normally take .25 to .5mg.  I had a panic attack while taking a shower today.  There are no reasons for my panic attacks.  They just happen--for nothing.

I've cried almost everyday so far and my emotions are all over the place.  One minute I'm totally fine and calm and the next I feel terrified or enraged or extremely sad for no reason.  Sometimes I feel kind of dead emotionally.  I feel nothing.  It's way beyond apathy.  It's like I'm not even alive--I don't exist.  I'm obsessing over weird things.  I had a strong urge to break all of my graphic drawing pencils at 3 am this morning and then I overly panicked at the thought that I would.  I think about the Texas Judge video and have a strong impulse and desire to watch it.  I open the link but I never push play.  I just sit there and think about how much I want to watch it.  It hurts to watch but I have like this weird intense sick craving.  I'm craving to watch a man beat his daughter.  How fucked up is that?  I'm disgusting.  I haven't cut myself since August but I've come so close this week.  I have gently dragged the razor across my thighs but I didn't break any skin.  My mental health started to decline around this time last year and it got worse and worse until I finally tried to put myself out of my suffering, but I sat on my bed with loaded syringes repeatedly before then.  I don't want to go there again and I'm scared this is the beginning of a decent into a very dark place when I just started to crawl out of it.  Is November the end of my sanity?  November hurts.