As my memories rests, but never forgets what I lost

Like my father's come to pass, seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we all

September marks seven years since everything flipped upside down, since everything turned topsy-turvy, since my life went totally off-kilter. It's kind of funny because even though my father isn't actually dead as in he kicked the bucket, emotionally he's dead to me as I don't speak to him, haven't seen him in seven years.

Funnily enough, this time seven years ago this song was all over the radio. I heard it on the bus going to school every single morning (along with the DHT cover of "Listen To Your Heart"). Kind of funny that seven years later, it sums up my feelings about the month of September.

September isn't as loaded as October 31st is for me, but September is still a month of loss, a time of grief. September 2005 is when my health started spiraling out of control. September 2005 was when I started to realize who my true friends were. So much happened seven years ago. So much happened.

As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

I fully believe that one day my memory will be at ease, but I don't know when that day will be. I believe there will be one day that's not taunted by flashbacks and nightmares and painful memories. I fully believe that will be a day where it will all just be another faded scar, another jaded memory. Kind of like the lyrics from the opening theme of my favourite anime (taken from the Japanese translation to English and not the English version): "Even when yesterday's wounds remain, take yesterday's tears and turn them into tomorrow's strength."

I don't have to let the past control me. I don't have to let myself be consumed by the memories. But just because I finally process the pain after all these years, just because I finally come to terms with the past, doesn't mean that I forget it. It doesn't mean that I have to forget it at all, but it also doesn't have to be at the forefront of my memory.

A lot has changed in seven years. I've gone from an 18 year old high school senior to a 25 year old college student. I never dreamed on my first day of high school that these seven years would turn out the way that they did: The whole ordeal with my father, losing my health, losing some of my mobility, moving to Minnesota, taking time of school, still being in College, this, that, and the other. It's kind of baffling, really, what all has happened over the course of seven years. And how in some ways I'm so different, but in some ways some things never change.

All this doesn't mean that sometimes I just want to skip the month of September, and October as well for good measure. Maybe one September, I won't just want it to end before it begins .Maybe one September, I won't want it to just go away.

will i lose my dignity? will someone care?
will i wake tomorrow from this nightmare?
there's only us, there's only this,
forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
no other road, no other way, no day but today.

It's not September yet. It will be in just over an hour. It may be a difficult time - but maybe this year at long last, I can start healing and fully living it the now, instead of being trapped in the past.


They're not like you and me, it means they must be evil

Pocahontas may be an odd choice for a title of a blog entry about equality, but I think that it has a valid point. "They're not like you and me, it means they must be evil." "They're not like us, it means they can't be trusted." "Savages, savages, barely even human." I think that's how some people VIEW anyone who isn't straight and doesn't fit in the cookie-cutter one man/one woman mold. They're different, therefore they are evil. They're savage, because they have "THE GAY!" OH NO! 

In all honesty, I don't care if you think being gay, trans, bi, and everything in between, inside and outside the box is a sin. I really don't care. That's not truly the crux of the issue. Thing is? They are human beings, just like you and me. Just like your church pastor. They bleed, they laugh, they cry. They have beating hearts. 

Fine, you think being gay is a sin. I don't think that abortion is always the right choice, but I don't think that it should be outlawed. It is not my place to decide what someone else does with their body. My personal views don't jive with abortion. Your views might be "I want an abortion, and so I am getting one today. End of discussion." And while I may disagree with you, my religious views shouldn't trump your freedom, your rights. I think the same can be said for homosexuality. 

A few years ago, I thought that being gay was a sin. I didn't think that anyone should be gay. I was squicked about by people being trans. I can't say I'm proud of things I said or things I wrote. But I watched people I care about deeply struggle. I saw how hard it was for them and the way they were treated by something that isn't their fault. I saw their struggles, and it broke my heart. It changed me. I saw the struggles in their lives, and you know what? It's not fair.

It's not fair that because of who they love, they can't get married. It's not fair that because of who they love, they can be discriminated against in the workplace. Oh, I know some Americans will say that "Well, I'm a Christian and I get bullied/I get ridiculed/etc". Know what? It's not the same. As Christians in the US, we are damn lucky to be living here. Sure, we may get "persecuted", but we keep using that word. It doesn't mean what we think it means. Just because our children can't pray in public schools, doesn't mean anything bad. Just because they don't teach creationism, doesn't mean anything bad. Doesn't mean we're some kind of martyr or that everyone is out to get us.

Back when Jesus was on the Earth, he hung out with the undesirables. The tax collectors. The ones that society threw the stink eye to, both proverbially and literally. If he were here today? I imagine He'd be hanging out with the homosexuals. Because my God, my Jesus, is a God of love. He doesn't condone hate. 

I don't want to make anyone change their views about homosexuality. You may think it's morally wrong, and you have a right to think that. Your neighbor may think it's morally right, and they have the right to think that. The person across the street may fall in the gray area between, where maybe it's okay but certain aspects aren't. But the heart of the matter is that we live in a country where certain rights are for ALL people: Christian and Atheist, gay and straight, male and female, and every other living person has this promised to them: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Thomas Jefferson didn't write "Oh, but not woman" or "Oh, but not homosexual people." ALL MEN. 

I am a Christian, and I support human rights. I support equality for all. I think that they should have the same rights as any of us, because we live in the "land of the free, and the home of the brave." It's not just the people who fit our mold of Christianity, it's everyone. Everyone. We can't pick and choose who gets the right to marry, the right to this and the right to that, because that's not what this country was founded upon.

"Oh, deep in my heart. I do believe... we shall all be free someday."


No dark sarcasm in the classroom

The new semester starts a week from Thursday. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Part of me feels like I should be more excited than I am - I'm in the home stretch of finishing my degree and so I should be happy, satisfied, content, right? I should be pumped for all these classes. But I'm not. It's almost like it's my first day of kindergarten and I'm terrified of the big kids on the bus (okay, so I was homeschooled in kindergarten, but the imagery stands). I have a good courseload and good professors, but the thought of a new semester terrifies me. Packing lunch, commuting, learning the bus route, juggling doctor's appointments and school, juggling health, learning when not to be stubborn and stay home from class (I'm the girl who went to class with a high fever that should have had my bum in the doctor's office). It's such a balance, and while I'm looking at classes starting with so many other changes... it's scary. What if I change to the other clinic? What will happen then? I'm assured they work with college students a lot and will work with my schedule but still... so many changes.

The thing about being a ministry major is I'm forced to be vulnerable. It's one thing to be vulnerable in a blog, but in class? In person? With people? My gosh, it's terrifying! I like hiding - it's safe. I suppose that's one reason I lock down - even in therapy when certain subjects come up. While I want recovery, while it's something I crave, it's something I yearn for, it's something I've ever known. And the fear of the unknown terrifies me. And so while what I'm in now may not be IDEAL, it's all I've known and it's what's safe and comfortable. Nevermind that it's what in reality is destroying me.  Nevermind that it's not what's for the base - sometimes I choose safety over sanity, which is not in reality wise.

And I wonder - why do I sometimes choose the path of destruction, the path that isn't for the best, just because it's what I know? Do I fear change so badly that I cling to what I know, even though it's entirely a bad idea? Do I long for what is not good in a twisted way, even though I really want what is good, to recover, to get better?

With a new semester comes so many new things. New textbooks, new classes, new schedule, new routine, new professors, new friends. But yet at the same time... there's so much new at once that I just want something old to cling to. Old friends, old lifestyles, old... well, everything. I don't want everything to change. I just want things to be how I know them.


Oh when I get where I'm going, there'll be only happy tears

My grandfather died when I was nineteen years old. My pawpaw was the closest thing to a father that I ever had. I loved him, loved him deeply. About a year and a half after he died, I wrote this short piece for a creative writing class. I figured sharing it here would be the perfect tribute to my Pawpaw.

My grandfather was very ill my senior year of high school. He never, however, lost his sense of humor. When he found out I was visiting Canada to check out the University of Windsor where I had been accepted, he started calling me “Maple Leaf.” He also asked me to bring him back a maple leaf. 

The time I spent in Canada was a whirlwind. Between visiting the college, checking out Windsor, and winding up in the hospital, I didn't take the time to bring him back a maple leaf. I remembered when we got back home, and I felt horrible for forgetting.

He died before I left for university in August. When looking through my purse before the funeral, I found a Canadian penny. A Canadian penny has a maple leaf on the back. My mother's name is also Penny, so it was the perfect way to say “Goodbye.” I thought to myself, “Pawpaw, you can take your maple leaf with you.” We buried it with him.

I don't see many maple leafs anymore. When I see one, however, I think of my grandfather. Although I'm not in Canada anymore, I am still my grandfather's maple leaf. I do plan to return to Canada someday, and when I come back, I will bring home some maple leafs from Canada to put on his grave.

Don't worry, Pawpaw, you'll still get your maple leaf from Canada one of these days. :)


It's been a long time coming, but a change is going to come

Things are going to be different this fall. That's neither here nor there, good or bad. I'm one of those people who thrives on things being the same. I like my routine and I don't like it being changed. I like things being the way they are, the way they've been, and leaving well enough alone. I was given the choice today by my doctor to change one of my medications, and my answer was to "leave well enough alone." It's kind of funny how that's my answer to everything. Leave well enough alone. But that doesn't change the fact a change is in the air, a change is on the way.

Sure, a new semester is going to start. I still have to mail my Perkins loan and MetroTransit paperwork this weekend. I'll be commuting instead of just walking across campus. Two days a week I don't have class until noon, but those times will be filled with other appointments I'm sure. But there's other changes on the horizon, not just new classes, new schedule, new professor. new book, new laptop, new cell phone, you get the gist.

I've been seeing the same psychiatrist at The Emily Program since I started services there in March 2011. I've been seeing the same therapist there since about the same time too, even stayed with him when he left the clinic. I stayed with TEP for my psychiatrist and my nutritionist. However, Nice Psych Dude recently left the clinic. I was given about two weeks notice. Nora, She Who Likes Things Not To Change, was not a Happy Pikachu:

Or a MLP, as the case may be
I LIKE Doctor Dude. He was nice, understanding, etc. Understood the way my strange little mind works, didn't push me too hard but pushed me enough when I needed it. Well, he left. And I have been Psych-Doctorless.

Today I saw pain management. I got more medication, told I clinch my jaw and grind my teeth and should see a dentist to look into being fitted for a bite guard (EEP!!!). But then she started asking about the psych stuff and it all came out. See, she told me I look good: the healthiest and the happiest I've looked in a long time. But she's not stupid and she could kinda see through my act. I guess my facade isn't always a good as I'd like to think it is. She suggested that I look into switching to the other major eating disorder clinic in the Cities. 

I would keep my therapist. Of course. It would be highly damaging to me to lose him right now. Even though I haven't seen him in three weeks, and that's a Very Bad Thing. Not really my fault the way I've seen him, but still not the best life choice I've ever made.

I don't see my dietican often at TEP. I don't have a psych there anymore. Pain Doctor seems to think they can help me more at Melrose. But at the same time... all the intake stuff again is scary. Starting over is scary. Change again is scary. 

I just want things to stay the way they are. The way I know them to be. I don't want change... even if it's for the best.