It would have been simpler if you had just hit me with your fist.
It would have hurt less had curled your fingers up and slammed your fist into my gut.
No. Oh no, you would never hit me. You claimed you would never give in to the urge to physically hurt me. You denied that the urge was there, but I could see it. Please. After nine years I can read you like a book.
On the good days we inspired each other, brought out the best in each other. On the bad days we would stand, six inches apart, applying the verbal lash over and over. Flaying one another to the bone, stripping defenses down until nerves were raw and exposed.
Even after all those years, all those fights, all the pain, I never threw that kind of insult at you. I never said anything that literally took your breath away, never dealt you a verbal sucker punch. Don't get me wrong, I'm certain that I hurt you. Intentionally or not, I know that it's true. I know we both bear scars on our hearts. But I never spoke to you the way you spoke to me. I never poured salt on the wounds.
You took every single self-doubt that I had, every aspect of myself that I hated, and threw them all at me. I sat there, wounded, in shock, seeing the rage and pain blaze in your eyes like wildfire.
If you had just made a fist, punched me in the gut, maybe we'd still be together.
No. You had to wound me and then grab the salt and just rub it in there, didn't you?
Fat. Lazy. Selfish. Mean. Bitch.
Those words hurt. Can't deny that. But I've heard them before.
Do you want to know what the last straw was? The word that hit me like a fist to the gut?
How dare you?
How DARE you throw that in my face?
You. You of all people. You who knew how I struggled with that diagnosis, who saw me weep every month, watched me grieve for another lost chance every time I bled.
Four years of a thousand tiny deaths. Every birth announcement, every baby shower, every happy family in a grocery store: they all left a scar.
Countless appointments, driving back and forth to clinics to undergo tests and invasive medical procedures. Always alone because your work schedule wouldn't allow you to join me. Trying to reign in my crazy mood swings from the drugs so that I didn't take everything out on you. Slogging through life on a second-string antidepressant because it would be safer during pregnancy. Drawing fluid into a needle and shooting myself up with hormones in the bathroom, alone, because you're afraid of needles.
If those scars were physical instead of emotional I don't think I'd have an inch of pristine skin left at this point.
You condensed all of that pain and anguish into one little word.
It took my breath away. I felt a chill ripple from the tip of my skull down to my toes.
And it was over. Over. In that moment, we were over. No going back. No patching it up this time.
It would have been simpler if you had just hit me with your fist.
Goodness, I sound like such a child.
"I feel left out," I told my husband recently. Slighted. Overlooked. Ignored, even.
Sometimes people I refer to as my friends go ahead and do things without me.
Then I see it. Showing up on their Facebook walls.
Dinner and drinks. Lunch with friends.
Am I not their friend, too?
What about me?
It's often rougher in the blogging world. You think you're connected to people. You've established what you find as SOMETHING. You think that maybe you're finding your way. And then you're the only one not included.
You know what?
That kind of sucks.
And yes, it's true that sometimes friends are not really friends. Does that even make a stitch of sense? I don't know. But Facebook friends are often acquaintances. And yet, when the community you think you belong to goes ahead and does a big bloggy thing without just you? You feel like crap.
You read into it. You withdraw.
You remind yourself that these are not the true friends you have made in this world that you exist in. The real ones, sadly, live too far away for the occasional lunch or dinner. But they're there, and they are real.
They represent the support you need and the circles you WANT to play in. The ones that open wide, take you in, and never ever make you feel left out.
It's true, some of them out there DO ignore. Not everyone who is far away is all-encompassing and that stings too, but in a different way.
Because you've learned to shrug it off. To unfriend, unfollow, stop tweeting at when you get no replies EVER.
But when it's someone you relied on to be a connection in this non-virtual aspect of the virtual world? Then it sucks. You're allowed to say so. Or at least I am. For now.
And then you move on.
I do. I did. Keeping that tie, but hiding that bullshit. Because there's no reason to torture yourself with people who don't care, or like you enough, to include you. The tie is enough for now, but soon you'll let it slide. You'll cut that string. Loosen the ribbon. Let it go. You'll feel a lot better. But for now you'll smile and just know. And take it from there.
If you can relate to this I'm sorry. I'm sorry you have felt it, too. Because it stings. And it's okay to say and feel so. You're not alone. I'm not, either. I just needed to say all of this anyway so I could feel better now.
At least just a little bit.
Something awful happened yesterday.
Suddenly looking through my Facebook and Twitter feeds I found out that there had been several explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Explosions. Injuries. Fatalities.
Unfathomable situations to consider.
Social media is incredibly informative. We learn news in the blink of an eye, but just as quickly we can receive misinformation and find ourselves giving out incorrect details because we want to share and we want to help.
Social media can also be terribly triggering when it comes to disasters such as these. Sometimes we cannot handle what is happening in the world. Stories such as this horrible tragedy in Boston trigger dark thoughts for many of us. We get stuck in that mindset and can't push it down.
These are perfectly normal reactions to a tragedy such as this one.
But it's also totally okay to WALK AWAY.
We want to remind you that it is perfectly acceptable and often REQUIRED to walk away from the news stories. YOU are most important here. Yes, it's a horrible thing. Terrible. Emotional. Anxiety-provoking. But you need to know that if you are overwhelmed with the news you do not need to watch it, read it or listen to it.
Don't look for it. You'll hear it all eventually. It's not critical for you to know immediately what is happening.
Nobody will judge you for not participating. Nobody will ask you if you watched the Anderson Cooper show or read the latest AP News information. There will be no quiz here.
Social media IS amazing. But sometimes people just jump feet first without actually thinking or researching. And pictures that do not need to be seen get tossed about. Horrible. What for? Nobody needs to see that. Especially you.
If you are a parent, you are probably protecting your child(ren) from these things. There's no harm in protecting yourself, as well. I would recommend you do it.
I remind you, because I know that in times like these we often forget, that taking care of you is most important here. Avoid triggers. Close the laptop. Take a walk. Play with your kids. Eat something chocolatey. Dance around your living room. Sing your favorite song. Buy yourself a fancy coffee. Cry if you think it will help. But don't hole yourself up with the footage. It's not healthy and it's not necessary. Because we want you to take care of you. We want you to remain safe. And we want to help keep you that way.
If you find yourself looking for answers or resources, please consider reviewing some of these Band Back Together resource pages. And if you need to, reach out. We're here.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources
Emotional Shock Resources
We, The Band, keep the people of Boston in our hearts today and in the coming days as they face the aftermath of these horrible events.
We all have letters we'd like to send, but know that we can't. A letter to someone we no longer have a relationship with, a letter to a family member or friend who has died, a letter to reclaim our power or our voice from an abuser.
Letters where actual contact is just not possible.
Do you have a letter you can't send?
Why not send it to The Band?
To The Man Who Killed My Fiancé And Nearly Crippled Me,
I wish I could send this letter directly to you so that you might begin to understand the destruction and despair you have caused by behaving in an irresponsible and reckless manner.
First I want to tell you a little bit about Dave and I. We met at a fireworks display on a Friday in May. He made me laugh and we had a lively discussion about books we had both read and books we would like to read in the future.
I had been single on purpose for almost eight years. I had spent the first five years working on being the best person I could be, improving my physical, mental, and emotional health. Sometimes I enjoyed being single and felt no pressure to be involved in a relationship. There were dates and casual relationships but nothing serious. I traveled, spent time with my family, worked at a challenging, demanding job that I loved and all was well in my world.
Meeting Dave threw me for a loop. I never expected to fall in love again, especially with a man who was 21 years older than me, but I did. Things moved pretty quickly and in September of 2011 he asked me to marry him and I said yes. We both knew that I would most likely outlive him and I was okay with that because I planned to make the most of the time we had together.
On October 2, 2011 Dave and I were on our way to have brunch with my family to tell them that we were getting married and to get my parents' blessing. As we were nearing our exit we got a flat tire. Dave quickly pulled off the freeway and onto the shoulder. We got out the spare tire and jack and I gave my mom a quick call to let her know we would be late.
I had just dropped my phone in my purse and started to turn to Dave with the owner's manual when I heard the sound of metal on metal. I turned towards Dave and that chilling sound and there you were, losing control of your motorcycle and careening towards us at high speed. I called out Dave's name hoping that he could get out of your way and then you and your motorcycle slammed into us.
I flew through the air and landed in front of our car. I knew I needed to quickly determine the extent of the damage to me so I could help Dave. There was so much pain and I could smell blood and hot asphalt. I raised my head to check my legs and realized that both of my lower legs were badly broken and I was in danger of bleeding to death.
I couldn't see or hear Dave so I kept calling his name but he didn't answer. I panicked and started screaming for someone to help us. I knew then that Dave was dead. An ambulance came and I was rushed to surgery.
It was later determined that you had been speeding, driving recklessly without insurance, racing your motorcycle, and were not qualified to ride a powerful motorcycle. Your decisions cost me more than I could bear to lose. You killed Dave and a part of me died with him that day.
You should know something about the man you killed. He was a retired Marine who survived combat and duty in South America during the war on drugs. He was fighting cancer until the day he died. He was a father, a brother, a son, and the love of my life. He was intelligent with a dry and irreverent sense of humor. He was learning to play the guitar and he loved the ocean. There are too many things to write here, but I just want you to know he was a good man who was greatly loved and is still missed.
I spent four months in the hospital and am still in physical therapy. I had over twenty surgeries to rebuild my legs and I had learned how to walk again. Last month the screws holding my left leg together snapped and so I'm back in the wheelchair again while we wait for the insurance company to approve or deny the request for surgery. I may lose this leg if it can't be rebuilt.
I live in constant pain and nothing really helps.
The PTSD has been horrible, I barely leave the house. The flashbacks and nightmares are debilitating and scary, but I am trying to work on them. I have so many physical and emotional issues that I can't list them all here.
I want to know why you did this to us. I want to know why you were so reckless, popping wheelies and speeding. Was it worth it? Do you care about the man you killed and the lives left in shambles? I can't forgive you and I can't forget what happened when I am faced with horrific scars everyday.
I can't wish you the best because I'm very angry, sad, in pain, and I miss Dave.
I hope someday you experience what I have experienced.
A diagnosis of cancer affects the entire family.
This is her story.
Two years ago, my sister was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.
She was 35 at the time, had a twelve year old son, ten year old daughter, and a three year old daughter. She underwent months of radiation, a double mastectomy and then months of chemotherapy. Six lymph nodes were also affected.
Just a few of months ago she got the all clear from her oncologist that he didn't need to see her anymore, that she was cancer free.
She has been having a lot of pain in her hip the last few weeks and finally had a CT scan on Friday.
At this point we don't know if it's on the bone or in the bone, if it's metastasized, or if it's a whole new cancer. We know the odds are it has metastasized. We have been hoping and praying that it's a misdiagnosis or just a new cancer that can be treated. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, I guess.
My sister lives about 3500km away from our family. We do have some family where she is, but no one that is close to her. Her husband's mom died in September and she was really the only family they had. Our mom and our brother live where I do.
I want so badly to be there, but I just can't right now. We were planning a visit in June but it seems so far away. I want to be there with her right now. She's scared, her husband and kids are scared, I'm scared. She doesn't deserve this. I know that no one deserves cancer, but she really, really doesn't deserve it. She has already been though enough.
And I'm terrified.
And I'm so frustrated I can't be there.
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