Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This year's birthday was spent just how I wanted; in my pj's watching tv all day long with cheese pizza topped with a sliced tomato for dinner. Perfect.

For years I have been celebrating by going out to dinner to some other sort of event and each year I wonder why I do that to myself. Yes, it's fun. Yes, I enjoy getting all attention for one day. Yes, I love catching up with old friends and family. But.....

Each year gets harder and harder to process emotionally. Each year on or the day before my birthday I feel like my emotions are a mixed bag of nuts. Some emotions are tasty and sweet while others are salty (literally from tears). With each passing year I get closer and closer to the median survival age of 36. I think my gosh, 36 is only 7 years away, I have so much I want to accomplish before then. I feel like the timer for my life is running out on EVERYTHING. I think of what I have accomplished thus far and it simply is not acceptable to me. I want and need to put more footprints in this life. I start to make lists of things I need to do and things I want to do before the next years birthday. I think of sweet things to say to those I love so that I can be sure they know how I felt about them should 7 years go so fast that I forget to say them.

In between frantic thoughts of only having 7 years I think about all the amazing things I have gotten to do. All the great, and I do mean great, people I have encountered in just 29 years. The fact that I spend the last 5 years with a wonderful, caring, intellegent, hardworking, and compassionate husband. I am thankful that I have become an auntie two times over in the past few years. I think fondly on all the trips with all the different people I have been so blessed to travel with and all the people I have met during our travels. The list goes on and on.........

In my attempt to grab the good nuts yesterday I ended up grabing a few unfavorable ones. But the not-so-good-ones help me appreciate the goods ones soooo much more.


Thank you to all my peeps for the wonderful happy birthday wishes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Love thru my diseased teenage eyes

Is love in our teen years really possible? I can pose this question now but in the moments of being 11-to-18 yrs old this question had a definite answer, yes! I sought out to find deep meaningful love from boys, not men or young men but boys. Of course that’s not how I saw it then, they were strapping young men ready to love so fiercely that I had to have their love in order to be someone. In order to be recognized as someone worth more than the disease my body harbored from both male and female peers. I simply thought that if I ‘became’ the person they wanted I could at least get a taste of what love was.  I suppressed so much of who I was, who I wanted to become that I actually became a person I hated.  I became a menace to society. I began dating boys whose hobbies included; stealing, drinking, drugs, sex, and where in and out of juvenile detention. This in my heart was not the road I wanted but the only road I thought would lead me to love.

The other aspect was that my dad had been a rebel of a teenager and I loved my dad. So I thought that if he is capable of love then so are these boys. The saying that little girls grow up to find partners like their fathers is true, unless, they have been raised in an environment that fosters self-esteem that will give them the confidence to reach higher, no matter how great their fathers were.

I went thru many boyfriends and after the end of each I truly felt like I would never find another. The cycle of dating and breaking up was crushing to my already invisible self-esteem. I was hiding so much of the true me and trying to fit a mold of someone I was not that it lead me to want to end my life.

In November 1999 was my first attempt to end my life. After having broken up with a boyfriend for infidelity (can that word even be used in teenage romance?). A boyfriend who was very close to my family, who had on a very basic level supported me thru some hard times in my illness along with my dad’s death, cheated on me. That experience was horrific for many reasons and it only etched deeper in my heart that I was damaged and was not worthy of truly being loved by a boy or man or anyone for that matter.

The idea that I was damaged goods was so powerful, mostly because no one every said to me that I wasn’t. No one of influence in my life ever spoke to me about my self-worth; that I was worth everything the world had to offer. Just a short year after my first attempt to take my life I tried to take it again. Looking back the first attempt really was a plea for help, a cry for attention. The attention needed was NOT my CF but rather my worth as a young impressionable female. The second attempt really was a true wholehearted desire to leave this world. I wanted to be free of discrimination, free of societies idea of value, free of the pain that accompanied CF. All of these things I could not or did not have maturity to express in verbal format.

During the second attempt my mother worked with healthcare professionals to help get me the best care. Their recommendation was an inpatient stay at Emanuel Hospital’s psychiatric ward. In preparation for this stay, I was taken directly from the psych ward at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon to Emanuel in Portland, Oregon by security car without my mom or anyone. Just a locked police car of sorts that way I couldn’t escape with my bags that my mother had pack for me. All the clothing she packed had to meet certain requirements; like no drawstrings, as I could use the strings to hang myself. This was and is a very serious side of illness or depression. Upon arrival and after check-in I was in my barren room that consisted of a bare mattress on the floor and toilet whose flushing system was controlled outside my locked room, to my surprise I found a note that my mother had written while packing my bags….. “ I will go the ends of the earth for you.” Writing that makes me cry to this day. That statement was so powerful and still is powerful. I realized that I could push my mother, who loved me more than anyone else on earth, to a point of breaking and she would still write something like that. She, no matter whom else, would love me thru my darkest days. These boys would come and go. I would love and hate. I would find happiness only to have it taken. Yet my mother will always be there, to go to the ends of the earth with and for me!

I never did find that one and only during my teenage years. He never came along. I did find my strength and started to uncover my self-worth, but just a glimpse.