Letter 203

I never really knew what my life would hold.

Never had anything to believe in until you came…and left.

My rose-colored glasses came off after that and I started to wake up from the naive slumber I had been in for so long.

Maybe that was your gift to me.

The world was crashing down, and puddled around my feet.
I kept myself immersed in the memories, unable to come up for air because I needed to make sense of the fact that I could not make sense of it.

One day I stopped trying to.
That’s when things started to get better.

I don’t know why things happen the way they do; but I do know that wherever you are now, you are better.

I still look for you.
I know I will never find you per say; but I see you in the faces of children like you. It is a small comfort.

I’d like to think you’d be proud of me, and how far I’ve come since then.

I hope so.

I will always remember your smile.

You were perfect in my eyes, and always will be.

J.Rounds (c)2015 ~Peaces of Me

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About my PTSD

Deep rooted trauma has screwed me up.
It replays like a record and  sometimes takes up much of my day, even week; consuming all thoughts and sucking up any motivation I may have had to get anything done.

For me, from what I’ve been able to understand through the healing process, it is something that really will never go away; but I can manage it to the point where it no longer becomes a primary focus in my life.

I am no Dr. Firstly.

But I have been coping for some time now with multiple hard traumas; to the point that I had to make some hard decisions and try to start actively trying to get better, or I was going to lose anything Jenny I ever knew and that ever was me.

One of the biggest things I did, was to acknowledge that I could not change my past. It sounds so cliche` and obvious to most when you say that I know. The past is the past… it’s of course, obvious.

For someone like me who struggles with PTSD, it’s something I have to consciously tell myself; daily.

Sometimes we want so badly to change past events; that we punish ourselves in the process because we think replaying it will produce a different outcome; or perhaps a different way of making sense of what happened.  There’s always that one thing we could have done differently to change what the outcome ultimately was; even though it was already pretermined and it was going to go down the same way, no matter what. Some things you just cannot change, no matter what. I do know that now.

Regarding my son; he is gone and I can’t change that fact. I did everything I possibly could have done to save him. I did everything I possibly could have done.

I don’t know where Karter is; but I do know he’s not suffering anymore; and there’s nothing I could have done differenty to save him. I tried with everything that was me.

I still replay his last day and death in my head, every day; but I know now there’s nothing I could have done. The things I tell myself about it that make me think otherwise…aren’t true.

That realization in itself I think is one of the biggest break throughs I have made, in the past eight years.

For a while there, I was literally driving myself crazy playing that record.

That record finally got a huge scratch in it;  so I put it in it’s sleeve and put it in a special place where I can see it when I need to.

I still look at it too often; I can’t help it; but I’m trying to play other records now.

There’s other music to play.

J.Rounds (c) 2016 ~Peaces of Me

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Untitled.

The way you looked at me like the world was ending.

It took all of me to fight back tears of fear and dread.

I knew life as we knew it was coming to an end.

I could do nothing but try to make someone listen.

By the time they did you were gone.

What little sense of it that I can make is trapped inside of me.

Trapped in that last look that said goodbye.

 

J. Rounds (c)2013 ~Peaces of Me

Light.

When I see the light I feel hopeful.

I know that it’s you.

You’ve kept me going when I didn’t want to.

You pull me out of myself and breathe in your healing; and you never leave my side until I can try again.

You never gave up on me. NOT ONCE.

It was you. I can feel you.

It was you that made me see what I was doing to myself and those I care most about.

It was you that gave me the strength to reach out for help because you knew I was scared.

You also knew I was more afraid of living that lie of a life I had led for so long.

You and G,A and M are the first ones I think about when I wake, and the last ones I see before I drift off.

I used to be afraid of the dreams I had.

It was you that changed that for me.

In every dream I have of you now;

you are walking.

I know you are better now, and I know why you came.

I’m not afraid anymore of the light.

I love you.

J. Rounds (c)2015 ~Peaces of Me

kart

Uuuuuhh

Grief is a bitch. People expect you to just get over things and be normal, and it just doesn’t work like that.

You have up and down days. It doesnt take much to trigger me, which is why I have a disorder.

Today I am having a bad day, and I feel weak, and really I just want to feel normal.

I wish I could get over my anger.
I’m angry because it’s painful.

Every time I think I’ve made some sort of progress, I realize I haven’t and I go right back to feeling angry again.

I just want something to make sense. All I can see is the last look he gave me.

FML.

On days like this it is hard to love myself. I am trying.

It is raining, and I’m sober.

J. Rounds ©2015 ~Peaces of Me

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School

So I’ve been doing fairly well in school so far.  There are some things I would like to start doing; like giving myself some extra time to do certain kinds of assignments, like submissions; so I decided that’s something I’ll start doing because it’s smart.

grades 2I’m pulling over a 4. because I attended a webinar and for my time they gave us extra credit.  (lol)  I managed to get some other credits to transfer over from previous college classes, so my next class will be an actual photography class, which I’m stoked about.

I don’t know.  School and my sobriety seems to be the only two things I can control right now.  It is what it is.  Everything else is a “deal with it as it comes because its all I can do” thing; And I’ll do just that.

This next submission will be especially hard for me regarding the topic.  This is the image I chose as a three-part submission.

123                             Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath, Minamata, 1972, W. Eugene Smith

I have to dissect it, and write about the meaning of the artwork based solely on it’s subject matter, style, and its visual construction (art elements, design principles, compositional strategies). (per assignment instructions)

Anyone that knows me knows why it will be hard for me.  I think this is one of the most beautiful images I have ever seen.  Although it will be cathartic, I am looking forward to it, I guess, in a weird way. My first part is in, so we will see what my Professors notes say.

Anyways today is day 13. For some reason I think I’ve been off a day for a day or two, but none the less it’s 13! 🙂

It is 2:07 am, and I hope today will be decent when I wake.  I’m not taking any shit from anyone, I know what I want, and I’m excited about my future.  Could be worse.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2015 ~Peaces of Me

The Thoughts Flood Back to Me in Endless Waves

I can’t get the last look my son gave me, before he passed over, out of my head. I fell asleep; and he was gone shortly after; Like he waited or something.

I can’t get the image of them working on him and seeing his little legs jump up and down on the table as they beat his heart for him; and the pink come back into his legs, and the hope I felt that he was going to make it; and then the utter despair of him not, and the Dr. telling me “I’m sorry, but he’s gone and we have to call it”, out of my head.

Friday, October 3rd, 12:11 pm; it was surreal.  You might as well have put a shot gun up to my heart, and pulled the trigger.

I still dream this day; sometimes repeatedly like a broken record.  I take medication for the dreams now, when they get to be too much.  The alternative is drinking myself into a coma, which doesn’t work for anyone, and hasn’t.

I remember them wrapping him up in the blanket and handing him to me; and I held him.  I remember my husband and kids coming in; and my husband falling to his knees and sobbing like his world had been completely ripped apart.  They took my kids out of the room;  my daughter was very small, but my son knew what had happened.

All of our worlds’ were ripped apart that day.

We held him for almost eight hours before they told us, “They HAD to take him”.  They put him on a gourney, and placed a pretty quilt over him that had crosses on it. They were so very gentle and respectful with him.  They let us walk down to the hearse with him, where they drove him away to the funeral home.

My husband whispered something to him in his ear.  I kissed him; and then he was gone.

We drove home in virtual silence.

The next day I placed an urgent call, telling my physchiatrist on the message that he HAD to give me something, because I was not going to make it without.

The next days coming were not good.

Funny the things you remember when you look back and realize, just how much you’ve lost. A chronic drinking problem and pill habit, and PTSD, are the only things I gained.

They would ruin my life.

J. Rounds ©2013 ~Peaces of Me

Karter

On the eve of my Karter’s birthday, I guess I’m just feeling more than anything, that I was lucky to have been blessed to be his mother, and to have had the time I did with him.

I felt like such a huge failure as a mother, because I wasn’t able to get the Drs. to listen to me no matter what I said or tried to do.  I did everything short of scream like a banshee up and down the halls of the hospital unit like a raging lunatic.

He waited until I fell asleep, before he let go.

I can still see the last look he gave me, and can still feel the last time I held him in my arms.  He had a hard life.  He was happy a lot and beautiful, but he also suffered a lot too.  The Gods were not kind.

I know he is better now.  I KNOW he is.  I also know he’s with me.  I can feel him every time I think I can’t go on and in every sunshine. 🙂

I don’t know where we end up after this life or if we just blank out. I have had my own experiences with religion and I’m not one to say what is right regarding that because I just don’t know.  I respect and love my Jesus friends because it’s understood that we don’t force each others’ beliefs on one another.  We have a healthy respect for one another in that regard and it works nicely.  That’s the way everyone should be in the world as far as I’m concerned, but that’s neither here nor there.

What I do know for a fact is that My son Karter is with me.  He’s in my heart.  He’s in my children’s faces.  He’s in every disabled child that suffers, that I see.

I’m just glad that I can cry now. Finally.  I’m glad I can finally forgive myself for things I had no control over, because for a long time I carried around this burden that I could have somehow done more, and that it would have saved him.

Karter would have been ten tomorrow.  I talked to my kids tonight and me and my son shared a brief moment of disbelief in that fact, and then we laughed remembering how he was, because he was beautiful and awesome…and he always will be.

My youngest daughter was almost one when he passed, so she just sees the pictures.  My eldest son was 7, so he remembers. My eldest daughter was 20.  She was devastated, as we all were. It is the most unbearable grief to not be able to take that pain away from them.  I wish every day that I could.

I love my children more than anything.  I just hope they always will know this.  I tell them every time I talk to them, I have a ways to go to prove it though.

It’s hard to admit I’m not an active, good mother to my remaining children.  And it’s hard to admit I lost it after my son passed, but I did.

I know I did.  I also know I struggle with my own demons that affects my thinking and actions still sometimes.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder coupled with Bi-polar, tripled with addiction does not a good mix make.  I ebb and flow on my moods and I try every day to remain positive for my remaining kids.

But on the eve of my Karter’s birthday, I guess I’m just feeling more than anything, that I was lucky to have been blessed to be his mother, and to have had the time I did with him.

The rest will come later.  As it always does.

LOVE.

Karter

J Rounds ©2015 ~Peaces of me