Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stop the Abuse!

When I was 20 years old, I lived with a girlfriend of mine and her family. She was dating a guy who was physically abusive. The first time I actually witnessed the violence, we were at a party with about 30 people and he got really upset with her. They were standing in the street and he picked her up by her throat and was choking her. I immediately ran over and tried to pry his hands from her neck. He let go and literally tossed me aside with one hand (I was a tiny thing back then). I picked myself up from the pavement and tried again to break things up. In hindsight, it's unbelievable to me that there were so many other people at that party that just sat by and watched it happen. Why was I the only one to try to stop it? Anyway, he let go and we got in her car to go home. He jumped in the backseat and wouldn't get out, so my friend proceeded to keep driving to her house. I don't remember much about the drive, other than being completely terrified. I do remember that when we got a block or two from her house...he grabbed the control and threw the car into neutral. My friend got out of the car and ran the rest of the way home. I stayed in the car and was yelling and cursing at him telling him what an idiot and coward he was. I don't know what possessed me...what a stupid thing to do. I can't remember much after that from that night, but I think he must've eventually gotten out of the car and I must've driven it to her house. After that incident, I definitely encouraged her to get out of the relationship and also told her that if she decided to stay with him, I would still be her friend, but I didn't want to be around him.

A couple of months later, she broke up with him. One night shortly after that, we were driving around in her car. She and I were in the front seat and two of our guy friends were in the back seat. Her ex-boyfriend saw us and started following us. My girlfriend sped back to her's a wonder we didn't wreck. When we got there, she jumped out of the car and ran inside. I didn't really think he would do anything to me, but I reached over to lock her door just to be safe. As I leaned back into my seat, he put his fist through the window where I was sitting and broke it and opened the door. I tried to climb through to the other side and I opened the door and was almost out of the door when he pulled me by my hair back into the car and started punching me in the head. The two guys in the backseat told him to stop, but that was about all they did. He finally stopped hitting me and I was able to stumble into the house. He left and we called the police. While the police were taking their statement, he called her house. He told her mom that he was going to kill me and their daughter and that we better leave town within two days.

The next morning, we went to the police station to file a restraining order, but were told that it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. We packed up our things and moved that day from Wichita*Falls to Arlington, Texas. We moved in with a friend of ours, who also happened to be an ex-boyfriend of hers (although could not be more different from the abusive ex). I had very long hair at the time, but it had been falling out in clumps where he had pulled it while he was hitting me. I had a piece of glass from the window stuck in my toe for months afterwards, and it was a constant reminder of what had happened. I was so happy when I finally got it out. I felt like I could move on. My girlfriend apparently wasn't completely over the abusive ex, because we found multiple calls to his job on our phone bill.

Life is strange, and I never would've guessed that I would end up back in Wichita*Falls, but I did about a year later. I moved into a maternity home there, and after giving birth to Ryann, we moved into our own apartment. I was out one night with a group of my girlfriends, when we ran into the guy who beat me up. One of my girlfriends, who knew the whole backstory, but lost any sort of intelligence when she was drinking, spent the night flirting with him. She lived out of town and was spending the night with me that night. At the end of the night, she told him that we would take him home. I was furious and told her that we would not, but another of our friends was driving and he did end up in the car with us. I let them know how uncomfortable I was with this and asked them to drop him off first, because I didn't want him to know where I lived. The next morning, when I got back from church, another of my friends informed me that the guy had been in my apartment while I was at church. Apparently, my "friend" invited him over. My "friend" ended up moving to town, working with me and dating the guy. Once she started dating him, we stopped talking. She got pregnant and called me to cry on my shoulder and I tried to be there for her. She ended up having a miscarriage, and broke up with the guy. We ended our "friendship" a couple of years later when she went to NYC on business and kissed K, who was my fiancé at the time. That's a whole other show!

I'm not quite sure how to wrap this up. It's a little surreal to think back to those times and I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from those times or since those times. I think I could've handled it all a little better, but I'm proud of myself for standing up to him. It's mindblowing to me how common abuse is. It seems as though almost everyone has endured it in some form or another. It hurts my heart to see people or animals get bullied and abused! Let's put an end to the blame the victim mentality!

See Vodkarella for details on Blog Against Abuse day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life goes on...

I've learned that even in those moments that I'm desperately trying to slam on the brakes, life (and time) doesn't stop for anybody. At this point, I'm just trying to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep walking. Okay...limping! Things aren't exactly getting back to normal, but they're getting back to something.

My relationship with K is incredibly bizarre at the moment. What he said to me the other day was said out of anger, and I understand that. While we are still sleeping in separate bedrooms, we have been visiting each other's bed the past couple of nights. It's such a strange thing. I love him so much, but neither of us are really sure that we should be together. We had a good talk last night, and I tried to explain to him that I understood his frustrations, but that I just couldn't deal with it right now. My head is barely above water, and it's not like I'm not thinking about where our marriage is headed, but I really just can. not. deal. with it right now. We've sort of fallen back into old habits. There have been many times that one or both of us really feels like it's time to let go of our relationship, and what usually happens is that we ended up clinging to each other more tightly than ever. I think that's where we're at right now. I guess therapy was a good thing, but it was ludicrous to think that three sessions were going to change this familiar circle we're in. I feel sad and unsure of what the future holds, but I do think everything will be okay, one way or another.

Okay, now for some fun stuff! My SIL took her boys and Ryann to get their pictures taken this weekend. Sort of a last minute thing, but I think they turned out really cute:

This is one taken sort of "in between" shots, but I love it:

My baby is growing up!!! =(

One of my girlfriends told me (after my Wednesday from hell) that God must have some really incredible things right around the corner for me, since I'm going through so much at the moment. It really helps me to believe that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Somebody up there hates me...

Somebody down here hates me, too! That would be K. I know I posted before that he hated me, well, he hates me again. Shockingly enough, it's for the exact two reasons he hated me before.

1. I'm messy
2. Our dogs

I'm never going to be the neatest or most organized person in the world. It's just not going to happen. I have ADD, and that's not really an excuse, but it sure as hell doesn't help. I'm so much better than I used to be, but hurting my leg and then getting sick has thrown a whole new kink into the system. It's not like I was really taking care of everything that needed to be taken care of before, but sick and injured, I'm able to take care of even less, so laundry duties and cooking and cleaning the kitchen duties have fallen on K. I can tell he resents me for it. That's fine. He doesn't really ever give me credit for the things I DO do, and if he's obviously having to work so much harder and do so much more and the house looks pretty much exactly like it did before I was hurt, then obviously I WAS doing SOMETHING to begin with, right? I guess not!

Also, and I will admit that this is my fault...our dogs have really done a number on our house. I'm honestly doing the best I can with them and I am at my wit's end. I love Trixie, but I was a huge idiot for getting her. I think I may have to try to find another home for her, and that breaks my heart. Another thing? (Because you can never have TOO many things go wrong at once) We're broke! Seriously broke! I am panicking and I feel like I am drowning or suffocating. K let me know last night that as soon as my leg is better after surgery that he is leaving. I told him that it wasn't necessary to wait until then. I'm so angry and scared that I don't know what to do. I'm still sick...I've thrown up pretty much everything I've eaten since Saturday and I'm weak and exhausted. I REALLY do not need this right now. Talk about kicking a girl while she's down! I slept on the couch last night. This should be fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wendy Whiner

So looking back on last Wednesday, I can see the humor in mishap after mishap after mishap. I can see that series of unfortunate events in a sitcom or something, because days like that don't really happen, do they? I like to think of it as my personal experiment with Murphy's Law. Murphy won! I bow to your law Murphy, now would you leave me alone and hook up with some karma law and go pick on Michael Vick or someone?

If I'm totally honest, I have to say that I feel like a big fat whiner ever since I hurt my knee. I know my husband is sick of hearing about it, and even more sick of having to do everything. Then, right when my knee started to feel well enough to actually contribute to the household, I get sick. I'm getting better, I think. Yesterday the nausea was overwhelming all day. Today I've thrown up once, but I don't feel constantly nauseous, so that's good! I still have a terrible cough, which is making my chest feel really sore. See? I feel like I'm whining again! And maybe I am? I'm ashamed of myself, because I know it could be worse. I know that I'm blessed.

I don't know if I talked about this before, but after I hurt my knee and was in the ER, I was a wreck. I was in excruciating pain and was exceedingly whiny. I was like this for hours. Until they wheeled a little boy, who was maybe five or six, into the ER who had been in a car wreck. He was awake and hooked up to all kinds of medical devices and screaming and crying that he needed to go the restroom. He broke my heart. I had long since stopped crying about my knee, but couldn't seem to stop crying for this tough little guy. It was sobering. K told me later that night after we got home, that he noticed how quiet I got once the little boy came into the ER. I wasn't really aware of how much seeing the little boy changed my perspective of my own injury, until it was pointed out to me. I've thought about the little boy many times since, and pray that he's fine.

Anyway, while we're on the subject of whining, let me give you the latest and greatest about my gimpy knee!! I went to my new doctor yesterday (who is FANTASTIC!!!!) and the good news is that he thinks my acl is fine. The bad news is that my pcl (posterior cruciate ligament) is completely torn (probably cleanly from the bone) and that my plc (posterolateral corner) is probably also torn. I'm having surgery on October 12th (tentatively) to reconstruct them both. The pcl can be done arthroscopically, but they actually have to cut me open a little more to repair that plc. Wow...that sounds much more gross when I write it. I was just fine hearing it. Basically, what that means to me is that I'll probably have some really cool scars. They're going to be reconstructing my knee with allograft, which is donor tissue from a cadaver, so that's sort of interesting. More bad news is that after the surgery, I'll be in a brace that locks my knee at full extension for six weeks. That's going to SUCK! I'm not looking forward to crutches. Besides the pain, one of the hardest things for me has been being able to adjust the way I sit. Before, I spent a great deal of time sitting with my left leg folded beneath me. It doesn't bend that way anymore, and won't be able to for several months probably, so that's no fun.

Anyway, ENOUGH whining for one day. I am feeling great that I actually know what is wrong and we have a plan and I have a surgeon who I'm completely confident in, etc... Also? My mommy is going to come help take care of me the week after I have surgery, so how could I NOT be excited about that? She's the best! K is really great and caring, but it will be great to have my mom here. Ryann is REALLY excited about that!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jessica and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

This is what my Wednesday looked like:

1:30am - Decide to go to bed. Get up to take the dogs out for a last chance to potty and TOTALLY forget my knee is hurt. When Trixie jumps off the couch, I dive to get her, rendering me unable to move for ten minutes.

6:00am - Wake up to get ready for a day that promises to be really busy at work and am greeted by Ryann, who has a wicked fever, sore throat, headache and is throwing up.

7:00am-1:00pm - Take care of Ryann and formulate a plan that includes going by Ryann's school to pick up a paper she needs for an assignment that is due the following day, pick up my mri's and x-ray's from my dr to take to my new dr, swing by my job to send a time sensitive email and get some work to bring home with me and take Ryann to the doctor. If all of the stars are aligned correctly and time permits, I will then go to physical therapy.

1:20pm - Go to Ryann's school to pick up paper. After being ignored in the office for five minutes, the fire alarm goes off. That's right drill!! Grrrreeeaaattt!! So we go sit outside and wait for that to end, and when it's all over, we are on our way upstairs to get the paper when we discover that the elevator isn't working. So I (slowly and painfully) take the stairs. We finally leave.

2:00pm - After leaving Ryann's school, she decides she would like a drink, so we head to Sonic. We're at the stop light and traffic starts moving, so I start moving, but look down to fix the velcro on my knee brace and run right in to the very kind man in the truck in front of me. His truck is not damaged at all, thank GOODNESS! My car is...but it looks mostly cosmetic. I think the poor man felt sorry for me hobbling out of my car in a freaking knee brace with tears streaming down my face. We finally get to Sonic, where they mess up my order and give me a small lime coke (so it's not THAT big of a deal, but I was really thirsty and it fits the theme of the day).

2:30pm - We arrive at my orthopedic surgeon's office where Ryann promptly pukes in the middle of the waiting room, which sucked, but wasn't near as bad as it could've been because they were REALLY cool about it and she felt a little better afterwards. Then I'm told that they are unable to locate my x-ray cd. I ask her to look again as I am positive that I gave it to them. I clean up puke with another really nice lady that works for them while the receptionist looks. She finds it, and we head off to our next adventure.

2:50pm - On the way to Ryann's doctor's office, a warning light comes on in my car. I stop to see what it is (coolant) and the light goes off, so I get back on the road.

3:15pm - We arrive for Ryann's 3:30pm appointment, and have to wait until 4:30pm to get back to see the doctor. Ryann is feeling miserable at this point, and the doctor is convinced that she has strep throat. She tests her and she does not, so she tests her again and checks her white blood cell count. The white blood cell count is indicative of strep, but the tests come back negative again. Ryann gets a suppository to get her fever under control. The doctor does not know what is wrong with her, but it could be viral. I am to give her something for the fever and not force her to eat. I am also to call if she doesn't feel much better on Thursday.

6:00pm - Because we took so long at our other stops, I figured I would swing by my job on the way home. Only Ryann was feeling horrible, the clouds looked threatening and the radio was talking about the imminent tropical storm, so I decided to skip it and head home, where I dropped Ryann off and ran to Walgreen's to pick up a few sicko necessities.

7:00pm - Go home and collapse in my husband's arms. My husband is upset with me (I can't remember why, but it probably has something to do with either the house being messy even though I was home all day or the dogs. It's usually a safe bet that it's one of those two things.) My husband humors me and holds me, even though he was not liking me very much at the moment. I spent the rest of the evening stressing about money and sick leave and surgery and the list goes on and on... Thursday could not come soon enough.

And now for a knee update:

It hurts. like. hell. It seemed to be hurting less and less until I tweaked it Wednesday morning. Apparently, I tore both my acl AND pcl, because I'm talented like that. I have to have surgery, but it's unclear whether I need them both repaired or just the acl. My surgeon doesn't do pcl repair, so he's sent me to another orthopedic surgeon, who is supposed to be awesome! I go see him on Monday, so I'm excited to get a plan of action. I've been going to physical therapy for three times a week and just started aquatic therapy today. I enjoy it for the most part, I really loved the aquatic exercises. I'm off of crutches for the moment, but still in a knee brace for the most part. I can walk around at home and for short distances without it, which is soooo nice! It was really sucking to have to put it on in the middle of the night when I needed to use the restroom.

Anyway, I was reaaaaaaaalllllllly glad to see the weekend, even though I haven't really worked, except for 3 hours today, since Tuesday. I'm so glad that Ryann is feeling better today. I hate it when she's sick. I think she gave me whatever she had, because my throat is killing me and I threw up at work today. I hope everyone else's week was infinitely better than mine.