Life After Near Death

So this is my life after death. I was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease almost 2 years ago. I knew I was sick for many years before that but trying to figure out WHAT was wrong with me was a whole other ball of wax. I almost died in my doctor’s office one day but didn’t because of the amazing attention and care I was given by my doctor. She is female and only a few years younger than me so I think that is why she actually cares. She also specializes in Women’s Studies so I think that is what also makes her a better physician.

I spent a lot of time in bed hovering between life and death. The side effects from the meds made me even sicker but I had to take them to stay alive. Every single one of them listed weight gain and nausea as major side effects. My thick beautiful hair turned white and fell out in clumps. The meds also increased my blood sugar levels. As I watched my body bloat and I no longer recognized myself in the mirror my world became very dark very quickly. I was in for the fight of my life and I didn’t know if I had it in me to keep on trying. I just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep forever.

But then my son moved back home after getting hit by a Mack truck and needed help to rebuild his life. My life had a meaningful purpose again. I knew it was going to be the toughest road I’d have to walk in order to not only survive this disease but also conquer it.

I’ve been thin my whole life and my body type was not built for carrying any extra weight. It took about a year but once my vitals became stable I started the slow agonizing process of weaning myself off of a lot of the meds I’d been put on. I did it under close supervision with my doctor. The hardest part was pushing myself through the physical pain I felt with every step I took. I felt every extra pound on my joints and spine. A lot of the weight has come off but I still don’t feel like me. I don’t know if I ever will again but I hope so.

I was really sick for almost 2 years but I didn’t give up. And now that I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel, we’ve been inflicted with this pandemic. I worked in the health care field for many years (as a PSW, Nurses Aide and Medical Office Assistant) and if I wasn’t in the high-risk category I would be working the frontlines like I did through the SARS outbreak. Instead, I have mostly isolated myself so that I don’t get infected and die.

I don’t know how this whole saga will play out but I do know that I’m stronger than what I give myself credit for. I am a survivor. As horrible as this coronavirus is; it gives me a small degree of comfort to know that (almost) everyone is taking precautions to prevent further infections and death. Before this all started I had always been very hyper vigilant about using PPE to safeguard myself and my children from any diseases and viruses I could potentially pick up from patients at work. But, I’d watch in horror as other people casually exposed themselves to germs. Now, we are all in the same boat and risk losing someone if we don’t protect ourselves.

Being raised in a doomsday cult has in some ways prepared me for the apocalyptic world we now live in. It’s probably the only good thing to come out of that whole experience.

Stay safe everyone!

Malice xox

My Name Is Malice

Malice is the little girl trapped inside me. The little girl who was suffocated, restrained and silenced.

I had the most creative, vivid imagination as a child. But, by age 5 I had already learned that my ideas and dreams weren’t important to anyone except me. I was constantly told to smarten up and stop being so weird. I was told to fall back into line and conform or live in fear of being rejected by everyone in my life. I saw things through rainbow-coloured glasses until I was forced to accept a black & white world. A world where imagination and creativity were forbidden. A world where I was told what to believe or risk losing everyone I loved.

So, I stuffed those hopes and dreams way down into the pit of my stomach and resigned myself to a world of monotony and boredom. But, that little girl inside of me refused to give up. She learned to hide her true feelings and gain acceptance by being a dancing monkey whose sole mission in life was to please those who refused to be happy. I named that little girl Malice and kept her compartmentalized…until she refused to be hidden in shame any longer. After many years of hiding my true identify and self, Malice demanded to be set free to pursue the dreams she had been forced to repress and deny. Malice is the creative force that still lives within me….and she grows stronger everyday. I no longer believe the lies I was forced to believe about myself. There is nothing wrong with me. I am a proud survivor of ritualistic religious abuse. I like who I am today and I will not dilute myself in order to make others comfortable. I will not be ashamed of the crimes and sins inflicted upon me as a child. I will not stand in line with my mouth shut to gain acceptance. I speak out now to bring awareness to the terrible suffering so many children are still suffering from because their parents have chosen to join or remain in a dangerous cult littered with child sex abuse scandals. I don’t care anymore that many will still try to label me as a freak to divert attention from the fact that right here, right now, in my city and yours….children are being physically, mentally, sexually, and spiritually raped by a greedy controlling publishing corporation that’s disguised itself as a loving religion.
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JUST ANOTHER BLUE CHRISTMAS

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   It’s been 10 years since my father died.  Alone and lonely;  in a room he was renting from strangers.  We were estranged at the time for many years so it hurt really bad, knowing that the chances of making amends was now forever terminated.

   Christmas has never been a happy time for me.  Not since I was 3 years old.  That’s when I lost my extended family for many years.  My parents joined a religious cult that expected and demanded members to cut off all ties to anyone who wasn’t a member, including biological family.

I was driving in my car a couple of weeks before Christmas when the song called “Please Come Home For Christmas” by The Eagles came on the radio.  The sad lonely desperate lyrics made me think of my father, which made me start to cry unexpectedly.  See, the last time I saw my father and actually spoke to him was over the Christmas holidays a few years ago.  I was with my father’s family at my Uncle Rick’s house and the last person I would have ever expected to see there was my father.  Yes, even though I was at his brother’s house with most of his siblings.  Because of his involvement in the JW cult he had cut me off many years ago.  He obediently shunned me as part of the requirements of being a member in good standing because not only had I run away from the JW as soon as I could, I was a known apostate.  I spoke out against the tyrannical rules and regulations dictated by an organization that destroys families and robs children of their innocence.  I was having a great time with everyone when I noticed that one of my aunt’s had seemingly disappeared.  I looked around the house for her and was told that she had gone outside for a cigarette.  So naturally, I went to the front door and when I opened it I got the shock of my life.  There stood my father!  He turned and smiled at me so I said hello.  He said hello back, but then… nothing.  The moment felt so surreal and awkward.  I didn’t have a coat on and he didn’t make any gesture to encourage me to come to him so I just smiled at him and shut the door.  I’m sure the whole exchange took less than a minute but at the time it felt like I was caught in a time warp.  I don’t remember who else was standing on the porch or if anyone else said anything but I will never forget that lost chance of reuniting with the first man I had ever loved.

   Every year, as November comes to a close a darkness starts to wash over me.  It comes without warning or notice.  It’s a feeling of dread that’s brought on by childhood memories of sad feelings of isolation and loneliness, knowing that everyone else was engaged in celebrations and being merry while we were forbidden to engage in such activities.  Every year I hope things will be different and I really hope that this year will be different.  I try to stay positive and focus on the plans I have for the loving family currently in my life that I am so grateful for.  But every year, without fail…the darkness comes and casts a gloomy shadow over all of my good intentions and positive plans.  I try to conceal these negative feelings from everyone I love but I feel like I’m walking a tightrope of feelings that could cause me to topple at any second.

   This year however has been extremely difficult to hold back the floodgates of tears and feelings of misery.   My 92 year old paternal grandmother died on November 21, 2017.  She was living with one of my aunts  2 hours away so I was fortunate enough to be able to go there and spend her last days with her and other family members.  The family members that I was denied during my childhood.  We took turns sitting by her side; never leaving her alone.  We held her hands and rubbed her arms, whispering words of love into her ear.  Just like we did with my Aunt Nancy 4 years earlier.  I am the oldest and first grandchild on my father’s side of the family,  so as I held her hand and my grandmother slipped into unconsciousness it felt like a small piece of me was dying with her.  After many years of separation we each took tentative steps to repairing and rebuilding our fractured relationship.  I made the decision many years ago to put myself out there and try to get to know my grandmother better before I jumped to any conclusions or judgements about her role in the dissolution of our families.  As scary as it was to let my guard down and allow her into my heart; I am extremely glad that I did. When you gather information and put all the missing pieces together, things begin to make more sense and the healing begins.

My grandmother had a very dignified funeral service and the turnout was huge.  My father was there too.  Well, his ashes were anyway.  When he died he didn’t have any kind of service so we were denied the closure that is necessary for the grieving process.  It had been almost 10 years since I viewed his cold, bloated body on a gurney in a body bag in a back room of another funeral home.  It was the first time my husband had ever met my father.  He stood by my side, holding me up as I talked to my father and stroked his cold, sad face.  So now here we were and his time had come to be given the dignity he was denied so many years ago.  One day I will write about the whole thing surrounding my father’s last days and death.  But right now I need to stay focused on the recent events.  My father had  spent the last few years first at my grandmother’s house and then later with one of my uncles when she moved out to the West Coast.   Sitting on a table beside my grandmother’s elegant light blue casket were my father’s ashes and a picture of him just months before he died.  The plan was for me to place his ashes in my grandmother’s casket before the service began, along with his picture.  After a second service at the cemetery we were all invited to a luncheon at the building next to the funeral home.  I was exhausted when it was all over with but I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with my aunts and uncles during that time for all the money in the world.

   Three weeks later my favourite uncle was admitted to the hospital for the final time.  He had been battling health problems for years and had had to go on dialysis the last year of his life due to kidney failure.  After finding out that he was also suffering from kidney and liver cancer he decided to stop all treatments.  He was tired of feeling sick.  He was tired of fighting a losing battle.  He was tired of sleeping all the time.  So, he made the very brave decision to stop all treatments and let nature take it’s course.  A week later he was dead.  Three days after Christmas.  I was his POA and Executrix so I got the call at 0426 that he had died and I needed to get his stuff out of the room and make arrangements to have his body picked up.  I’ll write more about that whole experience another time.  Right now, I just want to grieve the losses I’ve dealt with this Christmas season and hope that by Spring I won’t still feel like crying everyday.

   I’m already not looking forward to next Christmas.  Too many bad memories, too much pain and heartache.  Every year I say this year will be different and I make plans to provide a beautiful Christmas for my husband, my children and grandchildren.  But every year it’s foreshadowed by a lifetime of haunting images and disturbing memories.  I know that everyone has suffered from grief and heartache sometime in their lifetime.  I don’t think I’ve cornered the market on misery but I definitely think I’ve had more than my fair share of tragedy.  Like Elvis Presley sang, “I’ll have a Blue Christmas Without You”.

 

 

SUNDAY MORNINGS

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I woke up really early this morning because I was in great pain. It’s been extremely cold outside and my hip was acting as a barometer; letting me know that spring still hasn’t arrived. I got up to go to the bathroom and took a couple of painkillers to try and numb the stabbing pain that’s become my constant companion for the last few years.  As I lay there waiting for some sign of relief I closed my eyes and instantly music started playing in my head.  Like an old jukebox stuck on repeat. The same song had been playing in my head all night long and it managed to wake me up every couple of hours.  So instead of trying to escape back into sleep I leaned over and grabbed my iPad and opened up youTube and did a search for the song that had haunted me all night long.  It was “The Great Pretender” by The Platters.  And then it hit me!! I had been dreaming about my father again last night.  Singing and playing his guitar.  Singing that song over and over again to me like he did when I was just a little girl.
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