Like Nothing Else

I don’t know where to begin! I have so much bubbling inside me that I am not sure where to start!! First, I am so full of absolute gratitude for this journey of life. I have rounded the bend and have turned on a light that I refuse to shut off. I have worked on me and my trauma every week for almost 2 years, and the final piece of the puzzle was to rid myself of the physical pain in my hip and to reignite joy! I continually put my joy on hold for others and because I have been in fight or flight since I was 6, I didn’t know how to find it! The trauma has been such a big part of my story that I cling to it like a lifeboat. It was all I knew. It was familiar and sickly safe. I had to learn and train myself to stop catastrophizing every situation of my life. I was/am always waiting for the bottom to drop out and something traumatic to happen, because history tells me it will. But will it? I didn’t allow myself to feel joy because I felt like being joyful when others aren’t is selfish. Shouldn’t I be responsible for fixing others emotional dysfunction? Shouldn’t I be the one who does their best to make someone else happy? Isn’t it my responsibility to relive every wrong I’ve ever done to someone for the rest of my life and flog myself for every short coming on the daily? The part of my brain that is wired that way says “yes, Elizabeth, it’s all your fault and responsibility.” That has held down the joy for most all of my life. Now don’t get it wrong, I have moments of happiness that come and go, but internal joy for life was bleak. I couldn’t find it.

Hold on to your britches bitches, because I got my light lit! I have written and written, flushed and flushed and most of the turds have found their way down and out of the pipe!! If you are still in my circle I am thankful for you!! If you are part of the end of the story, thank you!! If you have seen me change and aren’t afraid, you are one of my kind of people!! On the flip side, if by me finding the reason that God has pulled me out of the darkness scares you, or you are angered that I am not manipulated any longer by the past, or that joy doesn’t feel good to you and you are offended, please feel free to remove yourself. Because man, I’m not letting anyone or anything rain on my parade!

I have battled discrimination and pain for the past 2 full years with a hip that was worn out causing pain like I have never endured. And I have endured some pretty heavy physical pain. I have faced doctors who wouldn’t even examine me because I was “infection waiting to happen.” I have fought for my life through darkness that I don’t talk about. I have been shoved into the pile of less desireables because my old earth suit was considered disgusting to those who take an oath to “do no harm” and I have lived to tell the tale.

I am grateful for the ones who refused to treat me because I had work to do. Mentally, I had to do a lot of work to fight for this life. I found my help in another state with a surgeon who said that just because you have risks doesn’t mean you don’t do the repair. November 16 I had the surgery on a bone that was long disintegrated and on the verge of necrosis. I am pleased to say that none of the things that the other surgeons told me would happen, did. I am not “infected”. I am not “dislocated.” I am healing with a long beautiful scar to match the one I fought for almost 6 years ago. Doctors who dismissed me to death, literally, were proven wrong, thankfully due to amazing surgeons at The Cleveland Clinic, who said my life was worthy. I have a beautiful 2 foot scar right down my middle and a new foot long beauty on my left hip and leg!! Hallelujah!!

Before I had surgery I did a lot of soul searching. I was getting a new hip. Why couldn’t that just be another chapter in this journey that breaks the old thought process and opens up a whole new world of opportunities to live a healthy, solid, sure existence? A life that isn’t just limping through until the next challenge? The only thing stopping me was the fear of letting go. How many times have I seen the meme that says “What if I fall? Well Darling, what if you fly?” I’m not good at flying, but I am good at self loathing, listening to old wounds that scab over and get picked open again. I am good at helping others feel better about themselves but never give myself the same talk. I am good at loving those who will never love me. But…, I have a whole tool chest full, ready to use, fresh ideas and application that speaks directly to my damaged neural pathways. I have ways of rewiring a brain that was wired for all of the negative emotions that I felt and took on as my fault. My oh my how the tide turns and the farther down the road I travel, the more that I see that I am not responsible for ANYONE else’s emotions but my own. Y’all make your own choices!! From the moment that I woke up from surgery I knew. I knew that this time is different. I am strong. I am grateful. I am me! I am imperfect yet I am still worthy of love. I am flawed but I can fix things for me. I am not everything I believed before. I am the best version of me I have ever been. And I have found that more than one emotion can exist at the same time. I can love and still be hurt. I can love and be angry. I can laugh and cry. I can coexist with polar opposite emotions. It’s not black and white, there are a hundred shades of gray! And guess what? That’s ok! It’s ok!!

On my two week check up I looked at Dr. Schuck and I said “I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life!” “Your entire life??”, he asked? “Yes! My entire life!” He also said that the surgeons in Kansas who turned me away should be ashamed of themselves. The inhumane treatment I received caused a lot of unnecessary pain and damage. While it feels good to be heard and seen, I’m glad they moved me on! I don’t want someone working on me who sees me as a second class patient. I am blessed by their ignorance!

I sincerely would like to thank all of the people who walked this journey right along side me! There are those who sent a lot of cards that gave me encouragement, scripture, love and let me know that I wasn’t alone. They reminded me of God’s beautiful grace and that they were praying for me. My pastor, Kootz who gets it and understands what it’s like to feel unseen and lost. Those who called, checked my blood pressure, spent the day on my bed talking and laughing, those who reminded me that I was doing the hard work and that it would pay off. To my family who loved me when I am not so lovable. There were those who picked up my slack at work and didn’t complain but asked what more they could do. To those who text me often just to say they were thinking of me, and those who called. And finally, there’s Mike. He stood beside me all the years when I was spinning in trauma, scared and not at all the person I needed to be. He faced each and every mountain either pulling me up or pushing me to keep moving. His dedication to marriage is rock solid. I have learned more from him about commitment than he should have ever had to endure. Is it perfect? Oh hell no!! We get on each other’s last nerve, but lack of love isn’t something that we have faced. I am grateful, humbled, a continuous work in progress and I’m not stopping here. Just because the light is on, doesn’t mean I won’t have to change the bulb!! I will continually have to remember why this feels so good. I will have to work to not fall into old habits and become unkind to myself again. I will have to be vigilant with my therapy and tune ups. That’s the thing about CPTSD; it’s continually morphing and comes without notice. It’s work. It’s hard. It’s worth every single tear.

This Christmas season I would encourage you to find what works for you. Get the tools you need to let go of your same old story. You already know that the beginning of the story is not great! It’s time to write the middle or in my case the ending. I am not at the age where I’m in the middle! I don’t have time to change anything but me! My story is so much more than I ever expected it to be!! And guess what, this has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but me. My happiness isn’t coming from any person or thing, it is coming from a heart that is healing! That’s it! No one could fix what was broken, no matter how much love they poured in. My cup was empty. No longer is there a hole, there are several corks, but no hole!

God bless you all this season. God bless you in whatever season of life you are in. There is no time to waste. If you need resources, reach out! I will certainly help if I can. If you need encouragement, reach out!! If you feel scared, you aren’t alone. This is a tough time in our world, but you don’t have to stay in the dark. Confronting what is scary is hard! There’s no judgment here. I love you, I do.

Until next time

Find your joy. Start digging.

E

That’s my hip ball. It’s not supposed to be flat, white, or exposed!

3 thoughts on “Like Nothing Else

  1. Oh Liz! I’m so glad to hear you’re better! Not being on social media kept me in the dark about your surgery, but I’m so glad to hear it was a success! Woo-hoo! Love you lots! Laura

    Liked by 1 person

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