Crying Is Not Weakness

It’s been exactly 5 years since I wrote this piece & posted it on my old blog. It’s crazy how this feels like ages ago & just yesterday all at the same time. I’m not quite where I want to be yet…but I have truly come so far.. 🙂

“A few weeks ago, I went to the movies with my friends to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Everyone around me was bawling her eyes out, yet sitting there watching this heartbreaking movie, I could not shed a single tear. I, too, felt sad…I wanted to cry…but regardless of how my heart ached and my thoughts raced for the little boy, my face remained dry and stoic.
Too many times when things were crazy at my house and the tears would fall down my cheeks, my mom would scoff and say, “I’ll give you something to cry about,” or push me aside with a, “Why are YOU crying, you little bitch? I’M the victim!” I grew up afraid to cry. And not only was I fearful, but resentful. I was angry at the woman screaming in my face- I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me break down. I didn’t wanna let her win. I didn’t wanna show weakness. I would do everything I could to act like her actions didn’t bother me. But too many “it doesn’t hurt”s, and “it’s all good”s can really affect a person…

This may sound a little crazy, but one of my most treasured memories is the night I ran away, one of God’s angels (let’s call her R) and I were having a heart-to-heart on the bench in her meditation circle. I had just hung up with my dad…who was yelling and crying and who basically told me life as I know it was about to be over. And of all of the beautiful, wonderful, comforting, inspirational things R said to me that weekend, one that sticks out most in my mind was when she put her hand on my knee that cold night on the bench and said, “Please let yourself cry.”

Please let yourself cry? Please let yourself cry! It finally hit me. I am only human! I am allowed to have emotions…I am allowed to cry. And so I did. I sobbed and sobbed into her shoulder until it was so dark outside we couldn’t see a foot in front of us. And you know what? As broken as my heart was and as embarrassing as it was to have trails of mascara running down my splotchy face, it felt good. It felt really good.

Do you, too, have trouble allowing yourself to cry? Has “crying is weakness” been drilled into your head one time too many? Well, guess what…whoever told you that was wrong. Crying is a sign of humanity, and regardless of what you are told or how you are treated, you have a right to express your feelings just as any other human would. Honest tears cleanse your heart and soul and relieve tension. And crying is certainly not a sign of weakness. Someone really special to me once explained it like this: Nature gave us two ways of showing our emotions, laughter and crying. Crying is not a sign of weakness just as laughter is not a sign of strength.

So, grab the tissue box and let yourself break down once and while…you’re allowed… ❤

With Love,
xLiveOutLoudx”

(February 2012)

And If Not, He Is Still Good…

fullsizerender-1

Things have been really, really hard lately. Life has thrown me & my family a lot of curveballs, physically, mentally, emotionally & financially. I feel like each day is a battle & I’m constantly struggling to simply keep my head above water. But even through the storm, God’s grace & mercy is unyielding. He sees & loves me where I am, & no matter what, He is still good.. ❤

“You’re So Brave!”

There are many instances of my life that haunt me. Rhetoric that plays over and over in my head like some sick tape I cannot escape. Actions that color my dreams, jolting me from nightly slumber. However nothing makes me quite as sick as the innocent words of my then 13-year-old sister, remarking on my self-harm:

“…I tried [to cut myself] but I couldn’t do it.  I wanted to but it hurt too much.  You’re so brave!”

Hearing those words took my breath away.  I was 14 when I started- not much older than she.  It was my heavy, shameful, long sleeves in July secret for 3 miserable years.

Cutting was not brave, and that self-destructive path was certainly not what I wished to model for my little sisters. It’s been more than 4 years since she uttered those words, and while they still shake me to my core, they also push me to keep fighting, to not give in to temptation, and to show her what bravery truly is.

BIO 181 & A Whisper In The Storm

I have no words to describe what is happening right now. My heart is shattered. I am tired and weary and I feel so very afraid. But God is holding us amidst this chaos, even though His presence isn’t always immediately apparent…

Dr. Kosal is my Biology professor and one of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever known (more on that later). Unable to leave my dad’s side at the hospital, I missed the final exam. I couldn’t even let her know I was going to miss the exam or why because there are no phones or computers allowed when someone is waiting to be involuntarily committed. It was impossible to sneak considering my dad’s rogue state and my role as a primary caretaker. When I could finally access my phone, I emailed her in a panicked frenzy, apologizing profusely, feeling terrible, and begging for a retroactive ‘incomplete’ in the class. Her response…well…it was a total God thing.

Here’s are some excerpts (6/22/16):

“Hi Cassidy,

I’m so sorry to read all of this.  It sounds like you have been given a heavy load to carry and I know you are physically and emotionally exhausted.  I gave you an incomplete for the course already – I knew there was some good reason to not see you…
…So let me know what you think.  Take care of your health first, your dad, and then worry about BIO 181.  It will be here for you when you can tackle it well.  No rush.

Sincerely,
Dr. Kosal”

Thank you, Lord, for placing people like Dr. Kosal in my life. I do not understand why this is happening, but I know You are here and You are working for our good…somehow…

Fear.

bipolar disorder.

manic crisis.

emergency.

i’m on my way.

daddy, are you in there?

daddy, please.

unrecognizable.

fear.

screaming.

wild eyes.

frothing mouth.

it’s a coin toss.

she’s pushed against wall.

pull him off.

back again.

he’s so strong.

fear.

nudity.

i’ll remove my hands.

violence.

out on the deck.

cool breeze.

hot breath.

penis against my back.

fear.

so loud.

where’s the dog?

fist fight.

neighbors scared.

quiet scheming.

police.

yes, we are safe.

lying through our teeth.

fear.

psychotic break.

smile and nod.

where is this coming from?

don’t take it to heart.

feel so shattered.

no sleep.

how many days has it been?

fear.

hushed whispering.

tiptoe.

crushing drugs.

spiking drinks.

laugh or you’ll cry.

share a blanket.

now he’s coming.

pretend you’re asleep.

fear.

sexual advances.

heart is racing.

vivid flashbacks.

PTSD.

not taking no for an answer.

daddy, please stop.

fear.

you don’t want to hurt her, daddy.

you don’t want to hurt me, daddy.

bruises.

run away.

no shoes.

hiding.

fear.

sobbing.

begging.

screaming.

please don’t leave me.

praying.

cursing.

is this really happening?

fear.

flashing lights.

police.

well-practiced lies

please see through us.

are we doing the right thing?

secret recordings.

so much unknown.

fear.

trapped.

no way out.

hopeless.

don’t touch her there.

don’t touch me there.

can’t breathe.

hold my hand.

white knuckles.

fear.

torn clothing.

haven’t showered in days.

mascara streaks.

scraped up knees.

red eyes.

trembling lips.

fear.

confusion.

pleading.

gotta reach him somehow.

it’s me, your daughter.

i love you, daddy.

bruises around my neck.

fear.

car rides.

alcohol.

trapped.

please don’t look.

don’t look away.

can we do this?

patient shows up.

no hiding now.

fear.

shattered glass.

my body, a shield.

please, daddy, stop.

don’t hurt him.

don’t hurt me.

please leave.

i don’t need your help.

fear.

911.

EMS.

strips down naked.

sir, please cooperate.

mom sent away.

daddy, i’m here.

daddy, i’ll stay with you.

daddy, please trust me.

fear.

raspy voice.

shake my hand.

talking in circles.

ambulance ride.

front seat.

monitoring his vitals.

god, can you hear me?

fear.

ER.

he pulls my hair.

grabs my arm.

just a rag doll.

stay calm.

steady voice.

talk to doctors.

fear.

 

(To be continued…)

I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry.

It was dark, and my eyes struggled to focus.  It was the first time I had ever seen a grown man’s penis.  I couldn’t help but stare as his hot breath filled my nose.  His hand was on my hair, pulling it and pinning me down simultaneously. His fingers were on my neck, strong and sweaty. It was getting hard to breathe and I thought I might throw up, but I did not fight.  I did not plead.  I did not cry.  I just kept repeating, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” as he violently stole my innocence.

Medication Tolerance Frustration

I have is a very high medication tolerance. This frequently poses problems in my life. For instance, for my Dilaudid, my pain doctor wrote to take 1-2 mg every six hours PRN and to take a maximum of two doses per day. However, 2 mg barely touches my pain. If I have pain severe enough to give in and take Dilaudid (I will not take medication unless I absolutely cannot bear it), I must take 4 mg to have any effect. I do not get a ‘high’ from it (nor would I wish to). If anything, I might get a little sleepy, but even that is pretty rare. Last semester when I really struggled with dystonia, I used to take Stadol in class or before exams if necessary, and it never once negatively affected my cognitive functioning. I remained awake and alert, and generally received very good grades on my tests. I do not, will not, and have never abused or misused medication. I am not one to be risky and irresponsible like that, and certainly do not engage in illegal activities. I have experienced drug-induced cloudiness as well as drug-induced mania (SSRIs & anesthesia — WORST PERIOD IN MY LIFE), and I absolutely DESPISED every single second of it. I would not take medication to get “high” as I hate that loss of control that many apparently seek. I’ve never even been drunk. I cannot help the fact that my tolerance is so high. My genetics (and perhaps also a built tolerance) are to blame. There are multiple studies out there about the genetic mutations I have with metabolizing certain drugs, as well as research studies about redheads and their increased thresholds for drugs, alcohol and anesthetics.I see a doctor at a pain clinic, and she asks questions and asks me to share things with her– but I am too afraid to tell her that I need more help sometimes. I already have a 7.5 µg Butrans patch and PRN Dilaudid that I use at least once or twice a week… If I tell her that this patch does virtually nothing and that when I have to take Dilaudid, I use more than she recommends, I am afraid she will get upset or, worse, think I am a drug addict or abuser. Narcotic abuse is much more common than I ever thought. After a doctor told me that, I searched “drug seekers” on YouTube and found shows like “Untold Stories of the ER” showing various stories about patients feigning illnesses to get a pain medicine “fix.” Seeing how often doctors see such druggies makes me a bit less angry about being met with rudeness and suspicion in the past…but it’s still a problem. I wish people would just do what they were supposed to and stop making getting help so much harder for those of us who truly need it.