Yesterday was particularly hard for me.
I had an unexpected surgery last month. I was doing well, exercising a lot to manage my anxiety, getting my diet and health under control. One day I went from physically healthy and mentally healing, to sick and needing surgery.
I went to the ER for severe abdominal pain. They found several very large masses on my uterus and ovaries. After a week in the hospital and a week at home in pain my surgery was scheduled.
September 2, 2015 I had my uterus removed and part of my cervix. The issues were a lot more extensive than the surgeon expected. Originally she was going to do most of the work through a laparoscopic cut, and if she couldn’t remove the fibroids whole she would have to do a smaller bikini line cut. Unfortunately when she made the small laparoscopic cut all she saw was the largest fibroid. Everything had to be removed via a large hip to hip incision. I lost 3 units of blood, and the surgery took twice the expected time to complete.
I woke up in the hospital room having a panic attack and hyperventilating. It was very scary and painful. Unfortunately the surgery took so long I missed my evening dose of anxiety medication. Anxiety medication is a fickle mistress. When I miss a dose, I pay for it with anxiety that is tenfold.
It has now been 5 weeks since my surgery. I will be returning to work and hopefully my regular life at the end of this month. It has been a very difficult road, but surprisingly the bumps in the road were not at all related to the physical aspect of the surgery.
My anxiety has been out of control now that my daily routine was turned upside down. I have learned exactly who my real friends are. My acquaintances have long ago forgotten about me. Those that checked in on me daily quickly dwindled from many to just a handful.
A person who I thought was a good friend told me yesterday that I was annoying her, that she felt I was demanding that she visit me. It has to be a misunderstanding. I sometimes don’t know what to say, but still have a need to maintain contact with people so they don’t slip away like the rest. So I reach out. Not knowing what to say I ask when I can see them. Not expecting them to come visit me, I can certainly come see them or meet somewhere. It’s less intimidating than just saying I miss them and want to keep in contact.
I don’t always know what boundaries to keep with people. I don’t know where the limits are. I don’t know what to share, what not to share. I constantly feel like I’m an iceberg. Miniscule and non-threatening on the top, but huge and jagged under the icy water. How much of myself do I reveal? How much is too much? I feel that what is under the water is so large no one can truly handle it all. So I keep it inside. I hide it away for them. I don’t trust them to be able to handle it. I can’t risk losing them over my feelings and thoughts. If anyone truly saw the entire iceberg, they would leave and never come back. Everyone I have ever started to reveal things to has left. Everyone leaves.
After my friend said I was annoying her and made me feel like a burden my world came crashing down around me. That feeling of rejection and disapproval brought back everything I grew up with. The feelings from my childhood washed over me. The words of my mother rang clear in my head, loud as church bells. She said I am not worthy of love. She said I am a bad, evil person. She said I am going to hell, I am evil, I am not good enough. My ex said I am a monster who collects hearts, tears people down and then leaves them.
The words that echo in my head every day, that I cannot erase or eradicate. That are amplified by the surgery and how many people disappeared when I really needed them. Monster. Loser. Not good enough. Disappointment. Bad. Evil. Unlovable. Any rejection, whether obvious or implied turns those words that are always in the background into screaming. Until all I hear is the screaming of those words in my head. After yesterday there are more. Annoying. Burden. Demanding. Since the surgery some have been added. Forgotten. Unnecessary. Unimportant. The world has kept turning without me. Not even one single heartbeat of life has skipped since I disappeared. I’m not valid or important enough to be missed in my daily life. That is what I needed to get through this. Validation that I mattered. Since the surgery one wish lingers in my heart. I wish I had died on that operating table. Obviously the world can go on without me in it. I do not add any value to my world. They are all ok without me.