Wishing It Were All Different

This is my journal for therapy. You know, that journal I am to keep but, I don’t. Why? Probably because I can’t handle going through my past in therapy so I don’t want to deal with looking through it again in a written journal. Yes, that is the lamest excuse ever. I know this. And that is why I started this blog.

A little about me: I am not really crazy. I just have a ton of anxiety issues. They medicate me to make me calmer. I take Clonidine once a day, sometimes twice a day. I am in therapy because back in 2011, my whole world changed. Let’s start just before that though.

In 2008: I left a bad relationship and became homeless with two kids. We lived in a van and a tent on the beach. We finally moved to Montana so I could be closer to my family. After three days here, my ex decided to call my dad. Understand, I wasn’t asking my dad and mom to take sides. I just needed support. They were very supportive, that is, until my ex called them.

I am not sure what he said, and frankly, I don’t care either. But after his conversation with my dad, my relationship with my dad changed. I thought it was just me but other people started pointing it out too. He, and mom, went from supportive to “I just don’t understand why you left him during a mid-life crisis”.

Quick note: Mid life crisis lasts a small while. It has things like buying a new car, wanting to drive your new Harley across country, wanting to explore the world, getting a tattoo, or something along those lines.

It doesn’t last for 12 years and include having a wife, a mistress, and a lover, trying to make your wife think she is crazy by playing mind games or holding a knife to your throat in front of your wife and youngest kid. It doesn’t include trying to get your wife and lover to move in together so you and her and her and your kids and her kids can all be “one big happy family”.  M’kay?

Back to 2008: After that debacle, I did find a job, a very good job! I was making $27,000 a year BY MYSELF! I had new friends. I had family nearby. I had a support network like I have never had before.  That was so different to my married life. Probably because he ran off all of my friends… I was genuinely happy. I don’t think I have ever been that happy, honestly.

In 2009: Life was good. That whole year was just fantabulous! Seriously! I can’t think of a better word. My ex was being an on-again off-again jerk but, I was too happy having a life to give a crap.

After a few months he started complaining that the boys, who were in public school, weren’t learning anything in public school. He berated me and told me it was my fault and I needed to do something about it. I had finally had enough and put my foot down. It was NOT my curriculum. I was NOT homeschooling them anymore. I had talked to the superintendent about my complaints and nothing changed. If he wanted something done about it, HE needed to come complain. I was done with it.

About a month later he called and said he wanted me to homeschool the kids like I was doing before we moved here. Hmmm, odd, but okay. I agreed. The next school year started and the boys were homeschooled and my ex wasn’t such a jerk after that. We started talking in a more civil way and started working together a little better.

In 2010: I swayer (in a southern drawl) that I was sick all of 2010. I ended up going down to visit my ex with my kids and got the scare of my life. There was a mass on my liver. Talk about a heart stopper. Turned out that my liver was just GIGANTIC!

I ended up going back home to Montana and got sicker and sicker. The doctors here wouldn’t listen to me. I was getting sent home from work constantly because I was too weak and sick to do my job. But the doctors here kept telling me it was all in my head.

By mid-2010 I was fed up with the doctors here and drove 500 miles away to a Navy hospital to get some help. Turns out that “all in your head” was this…

  • a VERY large liver, bigger than they said in San Diego
  • Gastritis
  • Duodenitis
  • Mallory-weiss tears in my stomach
  • Adhesions in my esophagus.
  • Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • Biliary Dyskenesia
  • 47 food allergies
  • Gluten-intolerance
  • and a few others. I can’t remember them all.

I went from being told I was going to die, to feeling like a brand new person. I was better, healing, thinner, happier, and back to work. I was going to live! You have no idea how hard it was to write my children letters for after I died because I thought I would be dead in a year.

In 2011: I was working hard, saving money, enjoying life, and generally on top of the world again! My children were also tested for food allergies as well. LeBraun has 37 food allergies and Leeli has 26 food allergies. They were improving in health also. We were all losing weight. Life was good!

Then June 26th happened. I was working in a nursing home. I was working with an unstable woman and she fell backwards. Out of instinct, I caught her. HUGE mistake! I ended up on Work Comp with a protruding disc in my lower back. Those things HURT!

I went to physical therapy and it only made it worse. I ended up making an appointment with the Pain Clinic. During my wait to go to them, I took it easy and went for a walk each day. I used emu oil on my back and slowly, my back started to heal. I was super positive that I would be able to go back to work if my progress kept up.

When I went to the Pain Clinic, they scheduled me for an Epidural Steroid Injection. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but my thoughts were “If it helps, cool!” And that was a huge mistake!

The day of the injection, I didn’t pee for 14 hours because I COULDN’T pee. I had to go to the Emergency Room and get catheterized. My legs were burning like crazy, my skin was hot and flushed, I was having angioedema attacks, my legs were weak and I kept falling… and so much worse! Those were the better symptoms. I ended up learning to catheterize myself so I could pee.

And the entire time, the doctor kept saying “Huh. That’s weird.” Like he had never heard of this happening before. I know better now.

I started going to therapy because the doctors really made me feel like it was all in my head again. Although, in my heart, I knew that it wasn’t. Therapy has really helped me come to terms with myself and my limitations.

In 2012: I went for a second opinion. The doctor was quite honest with me. He told me to find another career, and preferably something I could do at home because I would never be able to work outside my home again. I didn’t believe him at the time. I do now, but at that point, I didn’t want to believe I was disabled permanently.

Lat 2012, I settled with work comp and I got a one lump sum settlement. I survived on that for quite some time. It lasted 1 and 1/2 years. I was surprised it lasted that long.

All of 2013: I worked at trying to find something I could do at home. Blogging or writing seemed to be the two things I do well. I through my whole being into making it as a writer.

I am working on making crocheted items to sell, but my crochet skills aren’t the best. I am working on that though. I also made jewelry but, it seems like everyone wants the Wal-Mart price. No one wants to pay for the time it took me to make anything. It was depressing and slowly, I moved away from trying to get crafty. No one wants to pay $15 for earrings, $35 for a scarf, $50 for a bag… No one can afford that. If I sold it to them at the prices they wanted, I would be making $1 an hour, not counting the material I have to buy to make the items.

I started focusing on writing. My Adsense revenue started going up a little and I was getting hopeful that I could earn a very small wage at doing something I love. It might take a few years to get it to a livable wage, but then I would be able to actually support myself again.

I finally gave in to my limits and filed for disability but I keep getting told that I will be denied a few times and that it is hard to get on disability. But I have to try. I need an income. I can’t survive on nothing forever.

January 2014: I decided to try cleaning houses for a living. Nothing major, light housework. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t dress myself without help from someone else. I can’t clean my house without help. Some days, I can’t stand long enough to cook myself a meal. Why I thought I could make it as a housekeeper is beyond me.

I could clean for about two hours before I had to quit. I  could barely get back out to the car. One day, I ended up on the floor and was debating if I should call for help or just crawl out to the car because legs just would NOT work with me. I finally got up. But it really made me rethink the whole idea that I could actually work outside my home.

Each day, I was horrible pain. Each day, I would sit in my chair and cry. Each day, I really thought that, when I sat down and my legs would go numb, that one day they wouldn’t come back. I was so afraid of what I had become. An invalid.

I had to skip a day so I could sort of recover. By the time my friend’s mom volunteered to take my place, I finally hung my head in shame and let her. I could not do it. Who was I trying to fool? Everyone who knows me, knows that I can’t do it. My kids were worrying about me. I had no idea why I was even trying so hard. I had put in application after application for jobs too. But, now, I know I won’t be able to work at those places. I can’t even clean a little bit.

So I started focusing, again, on my blogging. I was checking Adsense every day and trying to figure out what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, and how I could do better. One day, while I was in my Adsense dashboard, it had a suggestion. Change an ad to make it better. I thought, “Well, it’s Adsense telling me to do this. They know what they are talking about! Okay! I will!” And I did.

The next week was wonderful! My Adsense was going up. I was making about $10 a day. The ad that I adjusted was getting 98% of the clicks. Adsense really knew what they were talking about!

Then I got an email from Adsense stating that my account was disabled for “invalid account activity” and I could appeal. They wouldn’t say what the activity was, or what I did wrong. They gave me a link to their policy page.  I went down everything on the page and I couldn’t find anything I did to get my account disabled.

I posted in the forums and a guy answered my question saying I probably already found my answer to what I did wrong, I just didn’t realize it yet. Putting an ad on your blog that could cause accidental clicks is against their policy. When I set the ad to “blend” and not obviously stand out like I had it before, I had set myself up for myself account to be disabled. Because that is against their policy.

It’s the only thing I could think of that caused that. And now, I am angry at Google. VERY angry! So mad, that I took my blog that I had over there for 11 years and moved it to WordPress.

…And now: I have no idea what I am going to do. I don’t know how I am going to make an income, no matter how small.

I really can’t work outside my home. I can barely take care of my needs on a day-to-day basis. I am in pain constantly. I hurt so much. My legs don’t like to work. I have a chair that stands me up so I don’t need help standing up from someone else. I have a walker for when my legs hurt so bad they don’t want to work.

But seriously… I feel like I am living a life of punishment. I can’t have anything good happen to me. Why? I am seriously wondering WHY!? Why can’t I have ONE good break in life? Maybe I already did.

Plan for the future? sure did! I have a van I can live in when my kids turn 18. I will be homeless, but I will be able to have a roof over my head.

And now, I am finally listening to my therapist and keeping a journal. Now everyone can see how crappy my life is instead of just keeping it to myself and trying to stay positive.

At least, if there is anything good to come of all this, my ex is actually being very nice to me. He is helping me pay my bills and making sure we have enough food. If nothing else, I am grateful for that.