Friday, April 30, 2004

Go Boilermakers!!!

I cannot believe I am stepping foot into West Lafayette, IN again. I truly never thought I would see the day. I truly never thought that, even though I am finding small things I miss (Panera), I would have it within me to be in a place where I was so lonely and all that depressing stuff! :)

But, time has passed. There are people I miss from there and it wasn't all truly wasn't. I got my kitty "Boo" when I was there, I was able to drive to so many other places, the change of seasons was awesome, Turkey Run State park has awesome horse back riding (and cheap) and I had so much fun with VBS when I was there. OOOOO...Frozen Custard!!! CA has not dicovered this yet!

Back I will go this summer to Triennium...held at Purdue...a mere 1.5 miles (or so) from the westen edge of campus is the church I served. I think Rob's jaw almost hit the floor when I told him yesterday. He thinks it'll be a good expereince for me (Triennium) no matter where it is held. Dang it, all my Purdue clothing is long sleeved...but I look forward to seeing the black and gold and how the town has changed and how campus has changed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


I am such a dork. Today I had my first dizzy spell in a long time. You wanna know my reaction??? I was actually EXCITED about it. Okay...not so much the standing up and feeling all woozy thing...that was actually a bit scary because I hadn’t expected to be dizzy. When I knew getting up would cause it, I would usually get up slowly! But, I was excited from a “I’m in control” standpoint.

However, I am eating leftover salmon and asparagus and am actually going to have some mashed potatoes with it (I had to do something before they went bad and would have to listen to my mom...that also means I need to eat the kiwi I have as well)...I think. My mom wanted me to split a can of Coke with her earlier so I am having 2nd thoughts.

I was going to say why couldn’t I just be like my mom and eat cereal...but I just looked at calories and stuff and how much she ate and I think I’m better off with the salmon and stuff...even if she did eat Special K.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Food is a 4 Letter Word!

We finally got to my list on Thursday, just as I had planned. But then I froze up and have been back-peddling on it. I avoided going there Monday as much as I could. He let me talk sports and we enjoyed that time and then I started talking about food stuff. Okay, some of that was probably total avoidance of the issues at hand…I have no problem owning that. But, there is a lot of stuff there as well. I hate eating, I still think food is the enemy and the fact that I am supposed to have at least two “eating episodes” a day has me rather freaked. Right now I have it in my head that eating is equal to losing control and gross so there is real food fear going on.

So, I am talking about it and then Rob looks at me and says, “Do you remember what we talked about last time?” It took me a few moments to remember because I was too busy obsessing over something he said to me on Thursday and all I wanted to do Friday and Saturday was sleep anyway. I was totally embarrassed it took me a bit to remember. And believe me, I KNOW that stuff is so important…but I really wanted to talk about the food issues. I can’t remember what I said, but I answered his question and then went into La-La Land. Not too long went by and I was tearing up because I really wanted to stay on the food thing. After what he said about me crying I tried to make the tears stop…he asked me what I was thinking. I then told him that I know we can’t let the other stuff go, but I really wanted to talk food with him instead because it is so hard. More silence. He then says, “You know, I think this is the first time you have ever told me what you want to talk about.” Geesh…it only took 17 months! Ugh.

We talked about food…about how I hate it, how I hate trying to eat, how I hate the feel of food in my stomach and that food is highly overrated. He told me that food is overrated…so I was happy to have agreement. Then I said something about if it is so overrated, why does “everyone” think I should eat so much. He told me that maybe I was right and they were wrong and the ones with the problem. Of course, I have now twisted that into Rob thinks I’m fat and I don’t need to eat. I also thought about canceling my appointment with Toni next week. Then I would have to tell her why and she’d hit the roof and call him and then it’s be a “thing” and while it might be humorous…it would be so wrong to do. Not that I won’t tell her about it because I will next week…but until then, I need to keep myself in check.

I did email both of them this:

“So, this morning I am checking my email and I get one from the CVS Pharmacy canceling my order because they don’t have it in stock. Believe me...there was momentary joy in all that! So, I went back on the web site and I was able to order the pudding directly from Mead-Johnson. Naturally, you are only able to order a whole case which I didn’t have to do on CVS...but a drank a Boost this afternoon and although it took a good 1/2 hour for me to finish “sat” there and believe me I was not happy with myself for “giving in” so early...I was able to hold off until almost 7 last night. I am so disgusted with myself for not being able to even go more than 17 hours before having to drink the Boost. I used to be so well trained!

I have salmon and asparagus for dinner and I really want to used the excuse that it is way too hot to cook...but we also have a handy dandy toaster oven so it’s a lousy excuse...but the only one I have at the moment. I hate that I am sitting here and my stomach is growling, I hate that I am actually planning to not only cook but actually eat what I am cooking tonight and keeping it down because I have already had 240 calories today.”

Food is a real issue for me…but I also know it is just like sports…it keeps us from hitting the issues behind the food. Going there is very scary for me. I am having a hard time believing that I am the “what others say” list and not the “what I say” list. To believe that pretty much would destroy my world. It would mean a myriad of things that I can’t comprehend…among them being that the people that are supposed to love me most lied to me for years. As my little world comes tumbling down I also think I will become whiny and needy and I cannot abide that in ME…

Here Comes the Sun(s)!!!

Thank you to Andy for always making sure my blog has cool stuff "raining down!"

Thursday, April 22, 2004

One Year Ago...

It was almost exactly a year to the hour since I boarded the plane to Sky Harbor in AZ. If I knew the exact hour I would be putting out a call for y'all to call the men in the little white coats. I know it's close because of air time and when I got there and had to face my first lunch...ewwwww....luggage search, staff saying, "Hi, Deneice. How are you doing?" Ummmm....well...I am back at Remuda after almost three years...what do you think? Although, at the time, it was very comforting that there was therapy staff who remembered my name. It was shocking that the MHTs that were still there remembered me. See, the last time I had been at Remuda LIFE I sailed through. I went to the MHT office for meds, to sign in and out and to meet there for outings. I think I knew 1 or 2 the fact that the 1/2 dozen still employed knew me was shocking.

I am not quite sure what I am feeling about today. Part of me just wants to ignore what is going on inside and remember that it is just a day on the calendar like any other. Part of me wants to go hide and think over the 60 days I was there and if it did any good at all and think about the good times I did manage to friendship with Keeley, the ados I came to know and love (and the fact staff let me even though it was against the rules)...and getting to know Allison and my final night there in was so relaxing and I thought I was so ready to come home.

But the thing is, I so need to concentrate on what is going on right now. FOOD sucks right now. I read my food journal and I sat there and watched Toni read through it. She is so funny. She told me she is more concerned with frequency then quantity of food right now...that if she gets me eating more than once a day (even if it is a healthy meal) than it will be easier for me to add quantity than frequency. In fact she told me, "I know your anorexic mind is going to want to compensate and that's OK for now." So, I keep thinking...if I have a Boost than I can cut out carbs at dinner and come close to the calories...OR I can drink a 1/2 can of Boost and still cut out carbs. This is going to be a long process.

I am not going to mention the date to Rob, though I know he is aware, because we need to pick up where we left off on Monday...and dig through the "performing monkey" garbage. If it pops be it...but it isn't that important. I wish I could get in a time machine and do it all over because I made some major faux pas while I was there...but I went...I came home and I can't do it over.

So, as I listen to my favorite radio station from L.A. on the Internet...I am going to distract myself! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Quiz Time!

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

New York
You're competative, you like to take it straight to the fight. You gotta have it all or die trying.

Monday, April 19, 2004

What do My Life and a Hoover Have in Common?

Seriously...although the answer is "they both suck," that would not be a totally accurate description.

What Others Say About Me: Tenacious, loving, caring, bright, good sense of humor, fun, open, honest, creative, gifted, talented, compassionate, faithful, courageous, intelligent, trustworthy, sensitive, nuturing, patient, encourager, giving, good organizer.

What [strong]I[/strong] Say About Me: Selfish, whiny, needy, fat, ugly, stupid, waste of space, failure, self-centered, weak, scared, lame, lazy, irrelevant, bad, defective, damaged goods, unloveable, inept, ungrateful, shallow, disgusting, boring, dumb, lame, disrespectful, mean, self-destructive, hurtful, vapid, airhead, repulsive, blob, a fraud, loser, incompetent.

Rob and I didn't get here today...but the foundation was set today for us to have this conversation. I know in my head that we are all one list or the other (at times) and the truth is someplace in the middle. But, as I told him, it is easier to be a "performing monkey" at times so people see the first list and not realize that what they are looking at is the second.

We both said today we are thankful for the time we had Friday...and we built on it today. There were still silences...but they weren't as uncomfortable...he gave me time and space to process what was said before I shared my next thought...that was new. He's never been really pushy...but there are times where I have felt I needed an answer "NOW." I would say I need time to form a thought or needed to think about something before sharing it with him and he would push to hear some of it right then and there. Today he simply asked me to promise I would call him as soon as I could.

So, I did...and told him, "No matter what I do, no matter what I accomplish at work and who I make happy there -- the prevailing feeling is that I am a waste of space and total fraud. Underneath the veneer of competency is a huge blob of nothing. A nothing that has to be punished for waking up in the morning.

It is easier to remember what a loser I am and have moments of "brilliance," than to have people think I am this wonderful person and then fail them."

Thursday should be interesting.

We talked through my VM to him on friday and that was really good as well. Some of the stuff he said to me on Friday he realized was confusing and that some of it is just questions he has of our time together. some ways it is like beginning all over again...but in some ways it's just going deep like we have been trying to do.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

He Snapped...

Thursdays session was awful. From the minute I walked in the door until the moment I walked out it was awful. He barely spoke to me...there was "nothing" there. I told him I was tired and reaction. I told him I did it...but wasn't make any plans to do it again...he said that was good. Long strecthes of silence...he closed in prayer. He hugged me...but it was forced and we both knew it.

I called him when I got home and don't remember a lot of what I said except that I was sorry for things that were said on Monday and for how today went and I wished I could take it all back. He emailed me later that night and told me he had stuff to say...but didn't want to do it in email. He also said that he knows I didn't ask...BUT...he had two times open on Friday. I took one of them...I should have taken both and worried about the $$ later.

Things were almost immediately better as soon as I walked in...but not "normal" and that is a good thing...hard...but in the long run a good thing.

A few things he told me (like me "freaking" over certain things he said) I really disagree with and have since phoned him and told him I was confused. We talked about why I am afraid to cry in his office even though it is the safest place in my world and that I trust him. First he tells me he is so glad to hear it...then I told him Monday I felt so incerdibly alone when he left me sitting there crying. No one quote me on this part...but it is kinda fuzzy. He said something about not knowing what to do because he wasn't sure if it was tears of pain or tears for the sake of tears (again...that is not quite right). Maybe he should give me the benefit of the doubt.

But, that brings me to the thing he thought would make me freak...but it hasn't. He said that he thinks/feels when I get stuck and can't tell him how I am feeling or can't say what is going on in my head I am playing the victim. I try to be so aware of that because that is the LAST thing I ever want to do. I made my choices and I am the one who has dig myself out...he just doesn't believe that fear truly renders me speechless. I am having a very hard time with this one...but he is tired of hearing that from me and chooses to no longer believe it.

He did bring up a good point that he does a lot of the work in our sessions. That he "emotes" in my place and I do believe there is a lot of truth in that. Why should I get mad/upset/etc. over an issue when he is doing it and I can nod in agreement?

Some of this stuff had been klinking around in my head since Monday aanyway and so I spent the rest of the time talking about fear and why I flit from topic to topic and how I have the "spiritual gift of distraction." Rob also said that whatever snapped inside him has made it be okay for him to take me where I am and if I babble about sports all be it. I think that freedom will be good for both of us.

I pulled out a notebook I had to start writing stuff down to share with Rob (and then never used it) and started making notes and stuff. I pulled out my Remuda notes from last year and sure a fear/anxiety "flow chart" FIRST physiological reaction is "deer in the headlights/being totally frozen." Take THAT Mr. Grellman! :) But, I also wrote down coping skills to help me get beyond that reaction. I looked at "Myths of Emotion" and the ones I still hold to be 100% true I write down. I looked at the 9 core feelinfs and the "gifts" we get from expessing those emotions and added what my experience of ecpressing those emotions have been...the lists don't mesh at all! I also have two column of how others see me (I have had to shamefully ask people...but I am getting it done) and how I see me. As a lot of things...the truth probably lies in between. No one is all good or all bad.

Finally, I started writing my fears about where he and I go from here. I found the email I wrote to some friends after I first saw him and said, "He's a Keeper." I still believe it...but there has been some damage done that I have to work through with him no matter what it brings up and it "ain't" gonna be pretty.

It is such a problem with me that I care TOO much about what he thinks and if he likes or me or not. I am wired that way and it will be that way with any therapist I see. I can't work with anyone who just sees me as a check.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Pretend this is a Catchy Title!

I can't come up with a title the describes how I feel and what it going on in my head.

Yesterday I finally broke down and blew everything. Of course, sanity tells me I set myself up for it all and I have no problem accepting responsibility for it at all. On the other hand there is me beating me up for not being "strong" enough to get out of it.

I went to the gym yesterday (no food) and worked out for a little over and hour. I was going to wait until my mom came home to eat (safety in numbers)...but I was hungry. I don't often feel hunger so it was a bit overwhelming. I ate. I didn't overeat...I didn't binge...I ate a "normal" meal albeit short on the carbs in my neal plan. It sunk to the bottom of my stomach like a rock. At one point I finally picked up the phone and called Rob absolutely sobbing in my VM about how I hate food and hate myself for being so weak ans giving in and that I just wanted to get rid of it and who knows what else I said. I also called my dieitian. Rob called me back between sessions and tried his best to calm me was just nice to have a voice on the other end of the phone. He told me he felt helpless and he wished that he could give me a hug. I hate when my actions cause proplr to feel helpless...but there is only so much anyone can do on the phone.

We hung up and I couldn't take it. I thought it had been too long and a purge was impossible. Nope. It was possible. It felt good. It felt soooooo good to get the evil, vile food OUT of my body...leaving me empty and "in control." I also called Toni and told her what happened because I was afraid I'd lie if I didn't. I also called Rob again. Toni called me back and I have to keep a food diary between now and next Wednesday. My eating has been off for a few weeks and in the grand scheme of things...longer than that...but not way off.

So, to top it all off...I cut. That was punishment for failure and actually didn't do a whole lot for me...this is a good thing.

I know this has been building for a few weeks now...I am not sure why except for my HUGE problem of not being able to let Rob 100% in. I try...but it's so hard. He keeps saying there is saftey there and no judging me, etc. I know he means it. The man has shown me in every way, shape and form that I am safe with him...I think it's the after him that holds me back.

Today I am feeling a little "off" and nauseous...but I want to go to the gym when I get home. food and cardio is not a good thing...I can barely do a 1/2 hour od cardio right now (though I do burn a lot of calories in that time) and only one circuit of weights...but...I just want to keep it up before Toni shuts me down next week. I am being such a baby!

It is so scary to admit how much I miss the ED. Rob and I talked about that Monday and he pointed out what was happening before I went back to LIFE. Last night I found myself really missing the books and videos I gave him before I left last year.

I need to step back and tomorrow be totally honest with Rob and fight through all of this and let him in...and tell him if he just sits there while I cry...I won't be open because I feel so incredibly alone when he does that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A Date (on the calendar) on Any Other Day Would be Just That...

I don't know why I am getting all freaky and anxious about April 22nd. For the same reason that I get all freaky and anxious about May 14th, May 17th and July 1st. They all have meaning to me...but U just need to get over myself and get it through my big, huge fat head that it is JUST a date. So it was April 22, 2003 I went to Remuda LIFE? Big deal. I started this job on September 1, 2002...started my job in Indiana September 10, 2001. Rob talks about stuff I give "power" to and when I try to not allow it to have any of said power...he wants me to dig and share why I get all freaky. I CHOOSE to get all freaky...well not at first...but once I realized I am freaked I can choose to remind myself it is just a another day...but he still pushes... What part of "I always do this with dates...I just have a 'thing' with remembering certain dates" did he not get?

Yesterday was another one of those sessions where he decides to re-evaluate things that tend to:

1. leave me feeling like the world's biggest idiot
2. bring on tears at which point he gets silent and yesterday he YAWNED
3. make me wonder why he even puts up with me

I reacted yesterday...not in a good way. He slipped. I know I am not the only one with an ED he treats...I try not to think about the many others he sees day in and day out...but I am not so stupid that I think I am the only one with an ED. So, we were talking about behaviors and he talked about how I am not binging and purging or cutting. I DO NOT BINGE...I NEVER HAVE AND DON'T PLAN ON STARTING...but because I look like the "Monster that Ate Manhattan," it is assumed I binge or that I am a COE by many people.

Heck...last year when I got to LIFE, one of the people that had just moved to IL from the house I was in binged on oatmeal cookie dough and left the evidence in the downstairs bathroom under the sink. My new housemates and some of the others on the cul-de-sac thought I did it even though I only there two days before it was found. They didn't believe me when I said it wasn't me and I don't binge. They said they did, but when the truth came out they admitted they didn't believe me when I stated my innocence. And, they based it on my looks...because I am ED-NOS and NOT emaciated.

I look at him, tears spring to my eyes (big mistake) and I tell him I don't binge. He apologized and said he was thinking of someone earlier who does and it slipped out and that he is not perfect. That last part ticked me off...I don't expect him to be perfect. He slipped and I goes on. The "I'm not perfect" came out a little sarcastic (to my ears) and things jujst went downhill from there.

I got home I decided to finally get off my beached whale of a behind and get back to the gym. I hate the gym I belong to...but it is cheap. I called him before I left and told him I understood he said it and didn't mean to and that I know he only human because he points it out all the time. Then I told him that as long as I look like I do people will continue to make that error and I am going to rectify that situation. So, off I went to the gym.

I am not sore today and I am going back as soon as I get off work and go change. But, I am very disappointed in my lack o' stamina. I went three years before I went back to the gym last year at LIFE and was in better shape than I am now after only a few months. That has me doubly disgusted with myself.

I know me and I have front loaded my dieitian to what is going on, but I don't see her for another week. I can do a lot in a week.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just a Little Unwell"

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I guess that means I am totally and utterly insane. Each time I think I can eat less than 1000 calories a day and it won’t affect me. Each time I end up thinking if 1000 is good…600 is better. If 600 is better…200-400 every other day is the best. This is where honesty with Rob and Toni is going to be 100% needed. If I don’t stay honest…well…it won’t take long for them to realize I haven’t been totally forthcoming.

This morning I got the scale out. I was off…but no less shocked at the weight I have gained in the past year. If I said it…I’d send shockwaves across the “blogosphere,” but even I know that is really a combination of my almost non-existent metabolism (thanks to 15 years of ED), the fact that as soon a started gaining again I freaked and started to restrict slowing it even more, my 4+ months of a major depressive episode that kept me from doing anything resembling exercise (okay…it was my choice…but all I wanted to do was sleep) and the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that makes weight loss and even maintenance a very difficult thing for me.

One thing I got out of my last stay at LIFE last year was that if I ate my meal plan and exercised like I was supposed to (unlike over exercising which I’d RATHER do)…my metabolism will come back. Once they finally got me eating again…three meals and three snacks…and I was only going to the gym three times a week (plus all the regular walking to the mall, etc.)…I maintained. Not that I was happy about that, but I was also building muscle and actually was beginning to be able to tolerate my body.

So, the goal is to simply remember that and get back to doing those things. But, I really don’t WANT to do that until I get to where I was a year ago. This is where insanity reigns supreme! If I woke up that weight tomorrow it wouldn’t be good enough. It is truly amazing how fast the mindset can click back in.

For instance, today I had a Luna Bar (180 calories), a can of veggie soup (220 calories) and a grande non-fat iced Peppermint Mocha (like 350) and cannot believe what an utter cow I was today. Tomorrow I switch to regular coffee with nonfat creamer and Splenda. Then again…it is Easter and there is a 5 lb. Honeybaked Ham for the Honeybaked Ham store in the fridge and my grandpa is cooking. I won’t have b’fast at church tomorrow (I’ll donate $$$ and have coffee and maybe fruit) and then I’ll be OK. Monday I will hit the gym again and by next week be on a good routine.

There are flaws all over this…but that is where honesty with my team comes in. Cow that I am, I really am healthy overall…so I know Toni wants to see me eat consistently and not over exercise. She’ll worry about the weight stuff later. The thing that goes through my head is that I did it their way and look what happened…I CANNOT eat like everyone else and no one gets it.

Pills, exercise and restricting until I get to “socially acceptable” weight is the only way I can see right now.

Friday, April 09, 2004


If you are part of the YS community...this is just taken from my G-town posts...

You are going to hear me say this a lot over the next month and it means nothing...but I need to vent it and say it and all that jazz.

Right now...I REALLY REALLY REALLY miss my ED. Not that it is 100% gone or anything...but compared to last year...

I think it is because I am almost to my one year anniversary of going to Remuda LIFE and it's bringing up a whole lot of stuff right now. I mean I can sit her and say, "I was a lot better off a year ago."

Okay...I LOOKED better a year ago, but I was not healthy at all...but I miss it. I miss the familiarity of it, I miss the "control" I had in my life and I miss the clothes I won't be wearing because they don't fit.

I miss the feel of the few bones I was able to feel...I miss being able to knock on my collarbone...
I'll get over it and in two weeks my dietitian and I are going to go do a "then"and "now"!

Yesterday, Rob and I taalked about my still lingering food fears. I am not even sure how we git away from it. But, I think because I fell flat on my face two months after I got home and then was planning to kill myself...other stuff took a back seat.

We talked about how my fear of exercising (which I like to do...but will always OVERDO and now I don't at all....really bad) and fear of the high I get from the exercise/restrict combo might send me right back into the ED doesn't HAVE to be...just because it has in the past. I really and truly know that and Rob is right. At least this time as I start to eat 3 meals a day and exercise...I have a team that will "smack me" (not literally) if I start to go way overboard. But, what I couldn't say in session was that there is a HUGE part of me that is still so self-destructive that I don't care if it happens...that way I will destroy myself one way or another like I deserve. I couldn't say it...I tried...but I froze up and told Rob he is right about it all. At which point he probably knew what i was thinking and didn't push me. He had me promise to email him later. I did.

Now I am all paranoid because I haven't heard from him at all. He is doing this for my own good I am sure...but it's not fun. I flipping NEED his support right now and this silence is really getting to me.

It was so hard to be so honest with him that I miss the high of a two hour work out and no food...that haughty "YOU need food, but I don't." this point I often feel like at least I was GOOD at ED...not so much in other areas. Saying that, I can hear Rob refuting it as he has done before...which is a good thing. And hey..."winning" at ED is death...which I still roll around in my head. Nothing like before Christmas...but it's there...I usually don't let it linger too much.

This time, like never before, has the anniversary date of Remuda put me on such shaky ground. That is really funny because the first time around I had to go to Rio then LIFE. But, I belonged at Rio last year...they just slapped a behavior contract on me to bring me in line. In retrospect, I was not ready to go last year. I did it to save my job...which then was changed when I got home anyway.

The honesty with Rob and Toni is good and I just have to fight all those ED urges to be sneaky and deceptive about behaviors and food intake.

That being said...I am still 2 1/2 months purge free and 6 weeks SI free.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Jars of Clay!

Yesterday after church I hopped in my car and drove to San Francisco to see Jars of Clay! It was awesome! I went on and got a $225 room for $60 and a cute botique hotel in Union Square. Came back to a turned down bed, classical music on the radio and my stuffed dog at the head of the bed ready to greet me!

By far, Jars of Clay has the most "emotional" connection to memories both good and bad and playing a part in my illness and recovery. If any of you are with me and I have a panic attack (okay, it's been almost a year since my last one), pop in Jars of Clay and it grounds me. Last June the staff was having a hard time grounding me and getting me to breathe and then Melissa out on a Jars CD and helped me to focus by playing "name that tune."

Some songs have meaning to me such as "Hand." That fit the description of my first therapist, Marc, and our relationship. "The Valley Song" gave me some hope when I was getting so sick last spring.

I have been a huge fan since "Jars of Clay" came out and they did the non-stop touring. They must have come through So Cal every 3 months for a year and a half and I didn't miss one show. Last year they were here at Great America, but I was at Remuda and missed them and I was not going to make the same mistake again.

I am sure there are some that do not like them not their music, but I said on the YS boards that music is so subjective and it can evoke such emotion...and they do that for me. At times there music speaks what I cannot, prays the words that I am unable to pray for whatever reason...and seeing this small club with a "crowd" of 150-200 of all ages (9 or 10 on up) was such a neat thing...parents with their children, friends, etc. I can't wait to see them again...they promised "soon."

Friday, April 02, 2004

How Can it Be???

I end up doing some of my best processing after I leave Rob's office and "ponder" what he said and all that good stuff. I came to a startling conclusion I am having a problem with:

Not that I have any type of “power” or whatever...but it’s like if it’s my fault then...I don’t know...then there is a REASON for all of it. I made the suggestion...she followed it...boom...accident...BUT there was a reason it it is my fault!

But, if “no one” “made” it happen and it just did (which is really the case when yout hink about it)...I think that is what I find hard to accept...Others have told me for the past two years it was “simply” an ACCIDENT. Nevermind that so much good has come out of something so tragic and that Gina in a wheelchair has hasn't stopped her much (living at home is a whole OTHER thing)...I am really struggling now that it was a just a stupid accident that happened...the way a million other things happen during the day.

Okay, has God used this accident in not only her life but in all our lives that are close to her? Oh yeah...His faithfulness and goodness is so very evident these past two years and as much as we all (who work/worked there) like to criticize the Crystal Cathedral from time to time...they were SUCH the body of Christ and continue to be. And all this is important...but for me I don't think I am having a hard time accepting I made a suggestion to her that put her where she was when she was broadsided...

I think I am having a hard time accepting the accident period and the aftermath. I mean...I flew out to So Cal from Indiana for almost a week, was down again a few weeks later, made the drive to Atlanta to visit her in rehab twice...have taken apart and put back together her wheelchair to make it fit in my car...but maybe it still doesn't seem real to me...but I do know I really struggle with the fact that it was "just" an where things me and her dad and others played a small part that out things in motion...but still an accident...and I don't know what to do with that.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Two Years and Five Days...

I think I posted about this last year...and I may post it each year for a few years.

On March 27, 2002, one of my former youth and good friends was in a near fatal car accident. The fact that she is even alive is a true miracle...they told us that she shouldn't have made it to the trauma center, then she shouldn't have made to to surgery, etc. But, she did and while she came out of it no longer being able to walk (as a result of the surgery...not the accident oddly enough) and with an almost unnoticeable brain injury...I STILL struggle with the accident being my fault.

Was I driving? Nope
Was I in the car? Nope...I was living in Indiana and Gina was in So Cal.

BUT...I made a suggestion that she followed which out her where she was when she was broadsided.

I will never forget how I found out. A friend of mine from my former job emailed me the mass email that went out about it. It didn't dawn on him what family it was and my realtionship to that family. From the profuse apology I received a few minutes later...someone brought that to his attention! It took forever to find out info. Those in the know were all at the hospital. I called my mom (which is an odd thing for me to do in times of crisis) and she already knew. Gina's dad called her to try and get in touch with now I had a pager number.

He called me back at some point to tell me what happened and that she had a torn aorta. In order to fix it, there was a 60% chance she would not walk again because of the manner they had to get to injury. Live or...walk? Easy choice. They would keep me posted. I asked where she was thinking it may have happened on the freeway on the way to work on on Katella if she didn't take the freeway. Ken told me she was on her way to an appointment...the one I had urged her to change from he original date (he didn't/doesn't know that).

I was pretty deep into ED behaviors and hadn't eaten in a few days before I had no desire at all. My therapist was on vacation so I turned to my former therapist in CA. Gina had seen him for a few weeks when she frist moved back home after college and Mission Year and he knew we were close. So, he broke all the boundaries he had set and called me back...mainly because my T was totally unavailable. He also told me that if he were on vacation and this has happened while I was living there...he would want the office to find him and tell him. That has endeared him to me forever. He got me through the night.

The next day I was trying to figure out how to get from Indiana to Orange County. I was also thanking God that no matter what happened...she and I had talked on the phone for like 4 hours (2 hours???) the weekend before the accident and NOTHING was left unsaid. One of my volunteers wanted to help and she and her husband paid for part of my plane ticket to CA.

Good Friday I was in the air...ready to spend Easter the way I had been for the past several years...with her family. She was never conscious my whole stay...but at one point I stood by her bed watching all the tubes and monitors and told her, "I KNOW I spend Easter with your family...but you could have just ASKED me to didn't have to do this!" That night, one of the Pastors from out church came and brought us all Communion.

I think her dad and I are the ones who think it is our fault. He told me that the night before I flew home...that it was HIS fault because of the garbage that goes on at home. I assured him it wasn't his fault...that Gina was going to see a T for reasons beyond moving home.

The CCU waiting room became "Camp Inhelder" for days and days. Pastors, friends, family and co-workers stopped in. Her family wouldn't let me stay overnight in the waiting room as much as I wanted to...but they did. Her sister and brother-in-law took turns with Gina's parents sleeping in the waiting room. Easter Sunday two of Gina's friends and I went to Aunt Sandy's as I have done for years and brought back food for everyone. The whole time, people kept telling me how "natural" it was for me to be there, how it was "right," how much I am a part of their family and how "wonderful" it was that I flew out. Part of that was interesting because I didn't realize how many people knew how close were were...Pastors and others from our church that must have really paid attention.

People brought fruit baskets, hot meals, flowers, flowers and more flowers and signed the guest book we decided to start. Gina would be able to see who came while she was unconscious and she thought my name was a joke. She tols me later that it looked like my writing...but she couldn't believe I would fly out there. Where else could I go? Being a single youth worker, her family had very much made me a part of theirs.

Two years later she still can't walk and outside of another miracle...she won't and we are all really OK with that. Gina had adjusted to the chair better than having to live at home which is awesome and a total God thing. She is starting a program on Monday for those with brain injuries. She is in the highest functioning group and her mom told me that she wasn't sure if Gina would even be accepted.

Her brain injury is so minimal...that when she was at The Shepherd's Center...they moved her out of the brain injury section pretty quick. A lot of it is attention span stuff. As I have told is often hard to tell what could be brain injury and what is simply her that the MDs would have no clue about. Her mom told me that while we don't really notice it, she does and it bugs her (of course). I am excited for will be good. And she still may go into Urban Ministry at a later time.

Rob and I began to talk about this issue on Monday. That night I called trying to talk to Gina because it has been MONTHS. She wasn't home. She was at a friends watching a movie. This is cool because it seems that she is not "cooped up" at the house like she had been. Anyway, her mom told me about the program and how things are going. It was so hard to not break down on the phone. I got off the phone and went outside and called Rob and let him hear emotion in my voice for once! He sent me a sweet email back.

He was saying that I need to accept this whole thing. He doesn't think it is my fault...but he means accept that I made the suggestion and that Gina as an ADULT chose to follow-up on that suggestion. But..but..but...if I hadn't opened my big fat mouth...there wouldn't have been a suggestion made. I do get what he says and I am looking forward 1:00 PM and talking it out some more.