Somebody New

It’s hard to not feel constantly defeated by diabetes. It’s hard to not feel defeated when the numbers continue to peak, but you’ve already bolused more insulin than you should have. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you need to ask loved ones to call at midnight and 3 AM to ensure you haven’t slipped into a diabetic coma while sleeping. It’s hard to not feel defeated when you must carry this weight around constantly.

A little voice in my head cries “I just want the needles to stop, is that too much to ask?” I don’t want to have to think so much before eating. I don’t want to weigh my food. I don’t want to force blood out of my fingers. I don’t want to monitor my life supplies. I don’t want to survive. I want to live.

Adhesive residue covers my body; my back and sides look more like the aftermath of a duel than skin. I gain weight and lose weight, gain weight and lose weight, gain and lose, gain and lose and gain and lose and gain and lose as my blood sugars fluctuate and stabilize.

The smell of maple syrup is one I’m all too familiar with for all the wrong reasons. The taste of cinnamon coerces relaxation while enticing conspiracy theories. Chalky artificial fruit flavoring triggers memories of summer camps and middle-of-the-night emergencies. There are test strips everywhere.

*Alarm blares* I check my sensor. I brush my teeth. I check my sensor. I pack my lunch. I prick my finger. I sit in class. I bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Deflect stares confusion curiosity questions. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Wait ten minutes. Eat. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Wait one hour. Prick my finger. Bolus. Don’t wait just Eat because my mother does not think about my diabetes. Eat because my mother forgets my pain. Wait two hours. Check my sensor. Prick my finger. Bolus. Pray to a god I don’t believe in. Pray I make it through the night so I can do this all over again and again and again.

Don’t think about how hard you work to live. Don’t think about how no one notices, takes the time to care, takes the time to love. Don’t think about how your mother does not need to wait to eat, so she forgets that you do. Don’t think about how your mother doesn’t see your suffering. Don’t think about your father and his selfish lifestyle. Don’t think about how he cares more about his own pain than yours. Don’t think about the needles. Don’t think about the vials. Don’t think about the alcohol and lancets and adhesives and sensors and test strips and measuring cups and timetimetime. Don’t think about the pain.

Push the pain away like a blanket when it becomes too warm. Fold the pain into a drawer. Now close the drawer and lock it. Throw away the key. Push the desk to the back, innermost corner of your mind. Get a new desk. A desk with no drawers because now you don’t have pain to hide. You have no pain.

Until three hours pass and it’s needles again. Until three days pass and it’s needles again. Until seven days pass and it’s needles again.

Push the pain away.

You have to think about living. You have to think about your choices, because you know more than anyone about their consequences. You have to think about what makes you happy and what makes you sad and what makes you mad and what makes you anxious and what makes you feel because that all impacts how your body behaves. Sometimes I want to turn off my feelings. I don’t want to think.

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. I don’t inflict pain. But then the pain comes and oh god it’s too much, is this what death feels like? it must be, oh god, I don’t think I can make it call the ambulance go to the hospital, is this what death feels like? A part of me dies every time. I promise I won’t do it again, and then I break that promise.

I didn’t ask for this life. I didn’t want it. Can I cancel this transaction and start over?

Sometimes, I ignore the needles. Sometimes, I want to die. Sometimes, I doubt that my life is worth this much work.

Is worth the needles is worth the pain.

Sometimes, Always,  I want a taste of Normalcy. Sometimes, I want to be Somebody New.

Derailed

I’m one-third of the way through my writing challenge. These posts have taken place of my usual complaints about my life, but no worries, I’m about to indulge you in the occurrences of my weekend.

My parents want to divorce. We went to JCPenny yesterday morning, my parents and I, to take advantage of all of the sales and door busters. My parents had an argument in the petite women’s section while we were looking for a blouse for my grandmother, which resulted in my father exiting the store and sitting in a ring of couches in the mall. I then had to listen to my mother rant about my father and his attitude and how rude he was for yelling at her in a store full of people. When we finished, we walked to where my father had sat down and then walked to the car. I had just plugged in my phone and started playing some Old Gray when my mother decided to give my father a piece of her mind in a very raised, not at all “indoor”, voice. This caused my father to get out of the car, tell my mother to go fuck herself, and walk back into the mall. At this point, my anxiety was starting to creep in: yelling is in the top 5 things that set off anxiety attacks for me. My mother thought she was going to continue complaining about my father as she drove out of the parking lot, but you have to realize,all these years I’ve never had a voice. I’ve had to endure my parents yelling without ever being able to fight back, firstly because if I had tried, I probably would have been hit, and secondly because I never found the confidence to. In the car with my mother, I found my confidence.

I told her my opinion on the situation, saying my parents were both acting like teenagers and they’d never solve their problems if they resorted to yelling at each other. This outburst from me surprised my mother enough to get her to turn around and look for my father. He wouldn’t answer her phone calls, so I eventually tried calling him. This conversation with him is one I will remember for a long time.

He told me to not bother looking for him and to stop asking where he was. He said he didn’t want us to find him. I told him he didn’t get to talk to me in that manner; I hadn’t done anything to upset him so he had no right to take his anger out on me. He ended up hanging up on me and I was doing my best to not begin crying in the mall food court. My mother and I walked back to the car and drove out of the parking lot. At a light in front of the mall, my mother spotted my father at a bus stop. I got out of the car and told him to get in, and once seated and driving away, I warned him that he would never be able to speak to me in that manner again. This got me an even larger dose of his fury. My mother tried talking some sense into him, but then he said the only way to fix the problem was for him to pack up his stuff and leave. This is when I couldn’t take it anymore; my anxiety was causing my hands and arms to give the illusion that I was having a seizure, and I began quietly crying in the backseat, trying to stifle the sounds in hopes that my parents wouldn’t notice.

My mother noticed and asked me to please stop crying, which is when I really blew up. I don’t want to be like my friends. I don’t want to have to jump from mom’s house one weekend to dad’s house the next, awkward birthday parties and holidays spent bouncing from place to place. To this, my father told me to stop with the drama because he knows that I don’t love him so why should it matter. I cannot begin to describe the rage that fills me just thinking about it. The hurt, and the disbelief. Of my parents, I am closer to my father, and for him to say something like that felt like he had taken a butter knife and tried cutting my head off with it. I told him he didn’t know me well enough to make that kind of assumption and I began crying even worse. 

To try and sum things up, my father wants a divorce, and I know my mother does as well. How much longer they will be together, I don’t know. I haven’t so much as glanced at my father since yesterday afternoon. I don’t really know what to think, I’m still in shock. If I think about it any more I’ll likely begin crying again and I’m trying to avoid anxiety attacks, so I’ve been painting all day to distract myself. I finished Orange is the New Black this morning as well, set a new record for myself for finishing a season of a television program in exactly one day.

I feel like everything I thought I knew is a lie and everything I’ve been working so hard to keep together is just completely falling apart.

Dear Father

Day 3- Your parents, in great detail

My parents were born three months apart from each other in 1961 in Maracaibo, Venezuela. My mother is only an inch taller than I am. They both suffer from high blood pressure and my father has a personality-disorder that he hasn’t told us about; I only know because I found the prescription for his medications in his drawer one day looking for candy. We believe my mother’s ancestors are Greek. I think, once upon a time, my mother loved me, but that was a long time ago. I wasn’t the daughter she wanted. My dad loves me only sometimes; usually, I am simply a nuisance to him. People have told us that I am a perfect blend of both my parents, physically. I am equal parts my mother and father.

I inherited my passion for reading from my father. He is stubborn and thick-skulled and loves to watch movies. He’s said that he could win a million dollars if he ever went on Jeopardy, and I don’t doubt it. My dad loves wearing polo’s and blue jeans that aren’t too light or ripped. He works as a janitor in the the OR at a local hospital. He used to be an accountant in Venezuela, but gave it up for my mom to come to America and hopefully open the door to more opportunities for my older brother and I. My dad was in a marriage before my mother, and had two sons from that marriage whom I did not know about until three years ago, and who he lost contact with when he left Venezuela. My dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago and does not take care of himself. I feel no pity or remorse towards him. Losing him would hurt only slightly.

I have an incredibly strained relationship with my mother. She is hypocritical and selfish and above all, stubborn. Our personalities clash on a daily basis. She has never told me she loves me; she’s actually only ever told me the opposite. I’ve never lived up to any of my mother’s expectations and I always fall short for her. I quite simply was not the daughter she hoped for.

My parents are by no means bad people; they simply didn’t have the daughter they expected to have.