This is probably going to be a long post with no exciting pictures but I’ve just got to get a few things out in the open that are really bothering me. I know they shouldn’t be bothering me but they are. I can’t help it. I can’t help who I am and how I feel about things. And it’s my blog so I should be able to write what I want, right?
First off, my job. I’ve been with the foundation for two and a half years now. I can’t say I’ve loved every minute of it. There has been some drama but I think there is with any job. Through it all I hung on because they seemed to appreciate me and gave me a big raise in January, for which I am very grateful. Well, after my coworker quit in April I knew there would be some changes coming. We have a ton of fundraising events in Kansas City and three in Wichita, KS. One of the Wichita events I was already in charge of so no big deal.
Last week I asked to speak to my boss about moving up my maternity leave because I’m just miserable working and being pregnant. I told him I wanted to start my leave on August 1st instead of August 15th unless he comes earlier than August 1st. He said fine and asked if I had any questions. I said that I wanted to know what events I would be in charge of when I come back from leave. He told me that he had decided that the new employee would be working on the big events in Kansas City and I would be managing the three events in the Wichita market. Surprisingly, I stayed calm. I didn’t really know how to react. I was just numb. I mean, to ask a new Mom to come back from her 12 week leave and travel 2-4 times per month including overnight stays is ludicrous to me. I don’t want to do it. Not to mention the fact that when I applied for this job 3 years ago travel was never even mentioned as a possibility! It also seems very unfair that after creating good working relationships with my volunteers in Kansas City that I would be cast aside and wouldn’t get to work with them anymore. I LOVE my families and volunteers. I care about them and want the best for them. It makes me sad to know that I won’t get to see them anymore.
I feel like even though I’ve been with the foundation for awhile that I’m just not important or good enough to do the job in Kansas City. It’s not like I haven’t been disappointed in jobs before. BELIEVE ME! Almost every job I’ve had has wound up a big disappointment. I think I set my expectations too high when it comes to management. Most of my supervisors have been a nightmare with the exception of one and that was back in 2002! Oh, and of course, being my own boss when it comes to my wedding planning business. I think I’m an awesome boss thank you very much : )
Anyway, it really looks like I’ll be trying to find a new job. This is actually fine with me. I have a masters degree in management and would actually like to try out my supervising skills. I have been thinking that it was time for me to move up anyway. This just gives me the ambition to do so. Still, it makes me sad, mad, angry, worried. I should not have to be worried about finding a new job at a time like this. But I feel like my boss has left me with no choice. I don’t want to be three hours away from my new family four times a month.
The next thing that is bothering me is something that happened on Saturday. I went to a BBQ/homewarming party at my friend Breanna’s house. I have known her since the 6th grade and for the most part it was a really fun time. Turns out, Breanna’s Husband and I have a mutual aquaintance that doesn’t care for me too much. I ran into her for the first time in forever at Breanna’s wedding last year. I recognized her but couldn’t place a name with the face. We spoke briefly at the wedding and I realized she was one of my old sorority sisters.
The easiest way to sum up my days of college and sorority life is to say I HAD SOME PROBLEMS. I’ve grown older and wiser and now I know that the usual source of problems was drinking and boys in that order. I usually drank and partied too much and got overly emotional about boys who were nothing but mean and disrespectful to me. All of this is an understatement. If you don’t really know me, multiply what I’m saying by 100x and then you might get an accurate picture of me at the age of 19 when I started at Missouri Western. I was 20-years-old when I made one of the worst decisions of my life. That was not to listen to the doctor’s orders and drink a TON of alcohol while taking prescription medication for depression.
What ensued was a night that most people who witnessed will never let me live down. I don’t really remember much of what happened that night and I still don’t but I’ve been reminded that the sorority sister who I saw at the BBQ this weekend was trying to get control of me and I might have hit her or something to that effect in an effort to get her off of me. Like I said, I was drunk and out of control. I actually blacked out, which was a common occurance when I would drink on my medication. Most the time I barely remembered what had happened the night before. Scary, I know. But I was young, stupid, in the worst depressive episode of my life and not a single one of my sorority sisters knew that I was clinically depressed. Heck, I don’t even think I understood the magnitude of my illness at that time.
Depression is just something you don’t talk about with anyone, let alone a bunch of squealing happy college sorority girls. They didn’t want to deal with my unhappiness and problems. They were having the time of their lives while I was trying with all my might to end mine. Mental illness holds such a stigma in society and I believe not being able to share it with people is the reason that so many don’t make it. That being said, I don’t hold anyone but myself responsible for the problems and hurt I caused some of those girls. I live with the guilt and the shame every day of my life and sometimes that guilt and shame is so bad it makes me ache in my bones. I put people in situations that I could apologize for a million times and not expect them to forgive me.
That being said, I felt really hurt when I saw this girl on Saturday and she couldn’t get away from me fast enough. Now I realize that we’re never going to be best friends. I’m not asking for that. But did she really have to react as if I have some disease? I’m standing there, 33 weeks pregnant with my wonderful Husband, trying to be polite. I have a big heart so I want to believe in the goodness of people and that after 10 years forgiveness might have been okay. I went into the bathroom and cried because if 10 years have gone by and she can’t forgive me for what I did . . . how will I ever be able to forgive myself?
I know I’m pregnant and overly emotional but I just felt so inadequate as a human being when I tried to say hi to her. I am so ashamed for what I put people through and I want nothing more than to understand why they feel that way and move on. But it’s situations like these when I run into people and instantly feel like a bug on the wall that people just want to squash and flush down the toilet. It feels terrible to know that there are people out there in the world that hate you for things you did so long ago. I always think that I’ve left those days behind but there is always someone lurking to put me back in my place and make me feel as if I’ve made no progress in my life. But I guess it’s part of my journey and I have to accept it.
Last year, from about April to July, I had another one of my horrid depressive episodes where I did not want to be here on earth anymore. It took two doctors and a plethora of medications to pull me up out of the black hole I dug myself into. I truly believe that if it hadn’t been for Naaman’s undying support, I probably would not be writing this journal today. That’s how depression works. It sneaks up on you and suddenly, for no particular reason at all, you feel unworthy of living your life. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I could sit here and tell you that depression and mental illness runs in my family history. Would that make it easier to accept me and who I am? Probably not.
Don’t ask me how I got through work at that time. I’m surprised I didn’t just quit and walk right out never to return again. Maybe it was the fact that I was on a chat board with some brides that I didn’t really know in person but we planned our weddings together. Even though I didn’t know them it felt good to get away from myself and go “talk” to these girls online. I would write about all kinds of stuff and I felt like I could be myself although I never told any of them what I was going through because I figured they would reject me like most people in my past.
Then suddenly I received an anonymous email one day filled with all kinds of horrible things they were saying without me knowing. I saw it all and I can’t say it felt good. I think I was so fragile at that point that it made me throw up to read some of the things they were saying about me (and my Husband too). It brought back so many bad memories from my past, so much so that I left the website and never went back. None of them ever knew that I saw the things they wrote about me. And I wasn’t about to defend myself because after seeing how they truly felt about me, I would have lost that battle. Plus, I’m just not one to be so harsh and cruel to anyone. I couldn’t do it even if it was to get revenge. I surrendered because at that time I wasn’t strong enough to do much of anything but sleep. Oh well, life goes on.
I just think it would have been so nice if I would have had their support instead of their judgements about my personality (or the few tidbits that they knew of me from what I wrote online). I so needed people’s acceptance and support at that time. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I retreated and wound up feeling so alone and terrified during the day when all I needed was that familiar escape from reality. I sometimes wonder if they really meant it. I mean, how could they? I had never met any of them in person so no one really “knew” me or who I was. I had planned on going to a get-together because they had them often and it really sounded like fun. I think I’m a really fun and caring person and even though I have problems (just as everyone does) friendships have always been so very important to me. No matter what, I’m just me and I’m real. I can’t force people to like me.
I guess no matter what anyone says, I know the truth of who I am now. I have grown up. I am not the same person I was in college. I have changed for the better and know myself better than I ever have. I am happier than I ever have been as we await the arrival of our precious son. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in over a year. I am in a very happy and loving marriage with the most amazing man on this earth and feel so lucky and blessed to have a baby on the way. I take care of myself and I know what my triggers are. I understand my depression better than I ever have and know what upsets me and also what makes me strong and happy. I honestly would not wish depression and what I have been through on my worst enemy.
I always liked the saying, “God only gives you what you can handle.” I feel like that is so true when it comes to me. I think God knows I am a strong person and can handle a lot and that’s why I’ve had the experiences I’ve had. There might be others out there that would not be here today if they had been through what I’ve been through. But I have come through it. I have scars but really, who doesn’t? Unfortunately, there will still be dark times ahead for me but I have my Husband who is my angel, my wonderfully supportive family, and real friends who will stick by me to the end. I have so much to be thankful for and I realize that as long as God forgives my past, I can forgive myself.
Sorry so long but just had to get those things out there. To clear the air, so to speak.