Just crossed the SC border…
… So long, Georgia! So long.
Just crossed the SC border…
… So long, Georgia! So long.
Those that love you are not fooled by the mistakes you’ve made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you’re confused.
I have long been considered the writer of the family, but I recently stumbled across my sister’s personal statement essay for admission into graduate school, and it kind of blew me away how eloquently she summarized our story… Some excerpts below.
"I grew up in a military family. The nomadic lifestyle made long-term relationships difficult to establish, thus making strong family ties essential. Year after year, one military base after another, my sister and I were taught the adaptability, resilience, and interpersonal openness required by those who are always meeting new people. In addition to these qualities came a unique bond with my parents, especially with my mother. She was everything you would expect from an exceptional person: warm, loving, open, perceptive, gentle, humorous, joyful, and extremely intelligent. She had an incredible love for my sister and me and devoted her life to providing us with the best opportunities she could. From her came my ability to retain a childlike glee in life, as well as the desire to establish a personal value system that would allow me to live my life with the same dignity I saw her display every day.
My highschool and college years marked a terrifying and dramatic transformation in this loving relationship. The changes encroached subtly at first, then rapidly and severely. Space limitations make it impossible for me to describe this process in its horrifying reality, but the final outcome was the onset of a ruthless and life-altering mental illness. The incredible person I described earlier became callously eaten alive by a mental illness that countless professionals cannot name, explain, or treat effectively. This unrecognizable person would be described as cruel, inhumane, abusive, and dangerous. She became manipulative and narcissistic, and suffers debilitating delusions. She has attempted (but survived) suicide numerous times and spent many months committed to in-patient facilities…
My undergraduate years were spent as the primary caregiver for my mother. This meant constant management of suicide attempts and threats; interventions when my mother would end up with the police, or scared and confused on a roadside somewhere; frequent conferences with medical teams; active navigation of the mental health system; and the day-by-day challenges of trying to conduct your life efficiently while living with an individual who can turn on you—or herself—without warning.
Though my mother remains predominately noncompliant and possesses no insight into her condition, she continues to oscillate in and out of treatment. Psychiatric professionals remain baffled on her specific diagnosis, citing everything from Bipolar Disorder with psychotic breaks, to Borderline Personality Disorder, to Schizophrenia, to Delusional Disorder, to Paranoid Personality Disorder. Many forms of treatment have been attempted; none have been successful. On more than one occasion, I have heard a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a social worker tell me this condition is permanent and the person I love and cherish is gone forever — that they have done all they can do. My reaction to this has been heartbreak and loss, but more importantly dissatisfaction and determination. My response to their declaration is: That’s not good enough…
From these collective experiences - and especially through my personal challenges - I have learned and achieved many things that will help me succeed in your program. I have learned strength, but not at the expense of compassion. I have achieved understanding - through experience, not simply theory. I have learned humility by accepting we can never know it all, but should keep striving to. I have learned that the insurmountable challenges of today can be overcome tomorrow. I have learned the basic values of organization, persistence, resilience, and hard work. Most importantly, however, I have learned that hope really does spring eternally. Even in my darkest moments of sadness, discouragement, and exhaustion, the slightest flicker of hope will bubble to the surface and give me the desire to try one more thing. It is this very human quality that keeps us all working for something better.”
All sorts of happenings (and mishappenings) over here! This is our last weekend down on the Chattahoochee. The “storage” movers come on Monday, Chuck graduates on Tuesday, and the final round of movers come on Wednesday. The cleaning lady comes on Thursday morning, inspection is Thursday afternoon, and then we are out of here Friday morning!
Currently, I’m most annoyed at Craigslist and the vet clinic. I’ve “sold” our washer and dryer about 3 times this week, but the buyer always backs out before even seeing the damn things. It has to be gone by Sunday, so I dropped the price and am carefully waiting to see which of my two pending offers comes through at this point. I’m tired of being stood up!
As for Annie - I heard from the Japanese quarantine services, and apparently she needed to be vaccinated for rabies TWICE after the insertion of her microchip (she’s was vaccinated once after they put it in.) The poor thing is practically glowing with antibodies already (and I have the blood test results to prove it), but I got an emergency appointment for Monday afternoon. I can only hope it still counts! It’s too bad I can’t trust the vet to know what they’re doing and I’m having to scramble before we leave the state… oh well. So long as I get her into the country, and she doesn’t have to stay locked up for 6 months after all this effort, it’ll be good…
BUT! I am excited to be moving on. There’s a lot that needs to happen, but I am ready. Plus - Chuck and I head to Europe in 10 days!! Woohoo!!
No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die.Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Very glad to check those off my list. Now to start applying for financial aid and see what happens…
Some days, I love my quiet life in yoga pants, with no alarm clock, snuggling with the Bean, and taking my French lessons. Other days, I really miss being a professional who engages with and contributes to something every day… taking on the world in 4-inch heels!
Maybe I am meant for part-time work. Three days a week! Americans are notorious for working too much, right? :-)
But, I also like money… so there’s that.