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Throughout middle school, high school and college I had several online journals. Back then we did not have social media to connect with friends and it was a great way for me to write about my feelings and memories and share them with my friends — or online friends.
It is a little different having a blog now. You have to worry about SEO and whether or not someone could discover your blog when searching on Google. You are supposed to look to see what people are searching for — then write your experience on it. Then you need to have the pretty, staged pictures. Taken by a professional, of course. Don’t forget to separate everything by headings! Actually, I will always do that because I am a sucker for a good jump-to menu.
I just feel like I never blog because I don’t think I am good at it. I have always been self-conscious about my writing abilities. I am definitely not a great writer. I use too many adverbs. My vocabulary sucks. Add in all the other “rules” around blogging and I just feel like what is the point?
However, I am only looking at it from what others say is a successful blog. But isn’t the point to get your story out there and connect with others? I am good at doing that on Instagram, why am I so nervous to show up on my blog?
So what am I writing about today? I don’t know. I have writer’s/creativity block and I am just writing to write. To get a good flow going during my lunch break. I started a new job a few weeks ago at the same company and need to get my creative juices flowing. That saying always grosses me out — not sure why I wrote it. And why I am keeping it in there.
I feel inadequate. I rarely feel like this. I am still on progesterone to cause my period to come, so maybe it is that? I find myself avoiding Instagram because I hate that I will inevitably compare myself to others. I bet they don’t have issues focusing. Or making a baby. Or having to budget. Really, it is unfair. I am projecting my insecurities onto them when I KNOW that they have issues too. We all do. Why is it so hard to remember that?
During freshman year, my friend Keith took some sort of class on acclimating to college life. He talked about this book they were reading ( I cannot remember the name) that talked about how easy it is to project our feelings onto other people. We love to compare our internal thoughts and processes to someone’s external appearance — and it is NEVER a fair comparison. I mean, how poignant. So poignant that I still remember it 14 years later.
So why do I keep doing this? Why do I feel like I am not good enough?
While I just started fertility treatments in June, I had been trying to conceive for more than a year before my mom passed. It was all so confusing. Why weren’t my periods regular? What was wrong with me? I studied everything. I bought everything. I could not think about anything else. It was exhausting. Then my mom passed and I put that energy into taking care of my dad. How could I prevent hospitalizations? How could I help him have a better quality of life? Mostly, how could I make him live forever so I didn’t have to be an orphan.
The pandemic has been so hard on everyone — especially caregivers. I honestly have no idea how I made it through teaching Rebecca, taking care of my dad, and managing my career. Thankfully my brother and sister helped with my dad, but we did it alone for four straight months because we wanted to protect him as much as we could. It was exhausting.
At the end of August 2021 he was in the ICU for a sepsis infection stemming from the cellulitis on his leg. Of course I felt responsible for it. I was not ready to lose him. Due to COVID restrictions, I was the only one who could visit during his stay. That was also exhausting. I have said it before — but he was never the same after that stay. He was always so sick and in the hospital every week or bi-weekly after that. I hate even admitting this, but I do not remember much of last year.
Starting over with the fertility treatments in June, I don’t know. It has made me realize I have not taken a break from not questioning myself over and over again for more than 3 years. I think it has started to impact how I think and feel. Coming to the realization you don’t have control over most things in life is frightening. Scary. It makes you question everything.
I have been having a hard time with the COVID cases. It is just bringing back so many memories. The topic also brings out the worst in people and fat-shaming is at an all-time high. Just another thing for me to be worried about. And still feel like I have no control over.
In just learning to survive the past few years, I forgot how traumatic it has been on Rebecca — during the years that trauma shapes who you are, too. Since she was 4.5, she has lost my mom, great-grandma, great-grandma, great-grandpa (to COVID), and then my dad. All in a span of 2 years. She is really struggling lately and I need to get her to a therapist. Not only did she experience so much death in such a short amount of time, she also experienced me being gone every three nights while I stayed with my dad. Or being around when we took care of my dad. Before the ICU, it was not so bad. He was sick, but still with it. After the ICU and with the delirium, he was a different person. I feel guilty for even saying that because he would be heartbroken knowing this. She had a different relationship with him that most grandchildren have with their grandparents.
She has been having such a hard time lately. COVID talk is everywhere. She is scared that her only grandparents will die. She is scared that we will die. I can tell she is just grasping for the tiniest amount of control. She asked us to wear our masks again. She asked her grandparents. She is scared, and I weirdly feel responsible.
It has been a good opportunity to talk to her about anxiety and to show her that she can always come to us when she feels it. That it feels better to talk about. She described her anxiety as “nightmares I can see when I am awake,” and if that is not the best description I have heard of anxiety… We did get her to a therapist after my mom passed, but the therapist creeped me out, so I did not stick with it. If you think finding a therapist for yourself is hard, you should try finding one for your kid.
I always see memes about how we should remember to cut ourselves some slack because damn — it has been a hard year for everyone. And I try to remember all that I have done. In doing so, I am just reminded of how out of my control things have been. Then I try to overcompensate in other areas of my life.
I miss my dad. I would talk to him about this stuff all the time. My mom was not the person who reminded us of how great we were — it was my dad. And my dad would always say he was so proud of us. I am mourning him. Our different relationship we had as caregiver/patient. I miss caregiving? Never thought I would say that. This is the caregiving hangover everyone told me would happen. That at some point you miss the adrenaline. Or maybe I just miss him. I don’t know.
Writing out my feelings made me feel better. Not sure if I will publish. But I survived. I am grateful for that. Now I need to learn how to navigate the inadequacies I face in my everyday life. Accepting them. Embracing them. Celebrating them.