My IVF Journey: Blackout

I was in a perpetual hell. Pain. The pain was indescribable. No one knew how bad I was suffering. The excuses.

I made so many excuses for not being present. I became engrossed in work. Always working late or focusing on other things. Hiding the mask of pain for those who knew me best. Those who knew my struggle.

I had other things to focus on. My cousin was dying. He was 9 months older than me. He was my best friend. My life’s purpose became about making sure he was okay.

We talked often. I told him of my fear that I was broken. I told him how I feared that I couldn’t give my husband a baby. That I was scared. That maybe God was punishing me.

He listened. He loved. He encouraged. He never judged.

Even after his radiation treatments or chemo treatments he encouraged me to talk to my husband. To let him know what I was feeling. I couldn’t. I changed the subject.

I made my cousin promise that he wouldn’t leave me. That he wouldn’t die and leave me alone because I had no one. My heart was breaking and I told him that I couldn’t have another organ breaking since my womb was broken. He laughed.

He was tired. He was exhausted. A planned trip to spend some time with him in April was just what I needed. I needed to get home to see my family. To hear the sounds and laughter of those that loved me.

I felt so alone in my house that it was hard to come home. I would smile.  I would make polite conversation. I would go into the room and watch television. I tuned out. I turned my back on my marriage and grew smaller in my shell.

We became roommates.

I told my husband that I needed to go home to Tennessee. I needed to be with my cousin. He thought it would be a good idea. He encouraged me to go. Maybe he was hoping it would help me. A change of scenery. A breath of fresh air in this toxic environment that we were creating.

I went home to spend the weekend with my cousin and his new wife. She seemed nice enough. Surface. I couldn’t see beyond the surface of her personality so I just accepted his choices. He was who I needed to encourage me. He was who I was there to see.

My cousin had baked two pies for me. My favorite custard pie called a chess pie. It was so good. Perfect. Even after his cancer treatments he wanted to do something for me. He told his wife “My cousin is coming. I want to do it for her.” I felt special.

A bond that had formed when I was born this man was the big brother I never had. The father figure. The protector. I ate and slept that weekend. Good conversation, food and family. It was as though my life was reset. I saw value in the things that mattered.

I took my cousin and his wife out to dinner. I bought them groceries. He was on a fixed income. He had to maintain his COBRA payments until Medicare kicked in. She didn’t work. She took care of him. Food stamps helped some. But, she longed for coffee.

Coffee.

That was the least I could do. I called my husband and asked him was it okay that I bought them food. They had little and had given me so much. He encouraged my generosity.

I was at peace.

My cousin decided that he wanted to bake me a couple of pies and a caramel cake to take home. I asked “How am I expected to get this home?” “Ship it.” I laughed.

We shipped 4 desserts back to Maryland packed with ice packs. It was expensive, but I needed it. I needed a piece of family. I needed the love that was in that box. The love that a man who was dying gave me every day.

The next day I headed home. Back to my life. Back to the toxic feeling of failure that was engulfing my spirit. I wasn’t getting better.

I was getting better at hiding my pain.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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The Wheel

The wheels on the bus go round and round.
round and round.
round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town!

Sounds of five year old laughter echoing in the car. They are singing their favorite song. It warms my soul. My twins give me life. They are the essence of pure joy. I love listening to their little voices and the way they try to rationalize the world. It’s pretty hilarious.

It’s a horrible day outside. The weather sucks as I drive through the streets headed to their annual check-up. I really wish the sun would come out.

I sigh. I’m not complaining. I just like driving with better weather. I pull over and park in front of the Starbucks so I can get a coffee before heading into the pediatrician’s office right next door. We park in front of the bike rack and my twins scream “Look Mommy, the wheels on the bike are big and spinning. It has lights on it.” I smile and say “Yeah, baby. That bike is a cool color. Can you tell me what color it is?”

They laugh. “It’s purple Mommy” they say in unison. They are right. Geniuses. I tell my husband that all the time. He says “You’re right. We have the smartest kids in the universe.” 

We head into Starbucks for my morning coffee and I get them juice boxes and apple slices. They speak to everyone and I am really afraid we’re going to be late now. “Come on babies. We have to go. We’ll be late to see the doctor” I say. “Mommy, we’re not babies” replies Addison.

She’s right. She’s also rather bossy for her age. Dean responds “Mommy, isn’t the doctor’s office right there? How will we be late?” he inquires. I sigh. My kids are too dang smart.

Out the door we go with our umbrellas and raincoats walking on the sidewalk to the pediatrician’s office. I hear tires squeaking and look back. I look back in time to see the car barreling down the street and headed straight for us. The driver is losing control of their vehicle.

I scream.

I look back to see my twins pinned underneath the wheel of the car.

 

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was wheel

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Commit

“Today I commit my life to you. For better or worse, I vow to honor you and love you with all that I have and with all that I am.”

I sat there listening to that sentence over and over. We were more than this. I thought there was a deeper level of connection. How could I have been so wrong?

When I met Cameron 10 years ago, I had just committed to living a new life. I was in graduate school working on my MBA at Georgetown University. I had lived a life well beyond my years. I was a survivor.

Our dating life was surreal. Perfect with the right amount of friction and issues to remind us that we are only human. We dated for 3 years. Laughing, dancing and traveling allowed us to grow closer. I never shared much of my past with Cameron.

He knew that I had a traumatic life, but not to the point that I could ever talk about. He said he understood. He didn’t want to pressure me. He just wanted to love.

And he did. Everywhere. I was the envy of all my friends.

I had happiness. I had security. I had love.

What more could I ask for or ever need? Nothing. Which is why I was surprised when Cameron asked me to marry him after 3 years. I mean I said yes, but was shocked because I never imagined getting married. I was happy with the way things were, but being his wife meant that I could enjoy a legal sort of bliss.

Our wedding was perfect. The beautiful island of Capri. The sun, the sand and his family and friends made it perfect. We would honor our commitment with a beautiful destination wedding. I love Cameron.

My dress was perfect. Just enough sex appeal to keep him wanting, but beautiful and feminine to not be embarrassed when we had children. Heaven. I was in heaven.

I was also drunk from the sun and wine. I stumbled to the bathroom at the venue. The women’s had a line. I didn’t care. I pushed the door to the men’s room opened. I was horrified at what I saw.

My eyes wouldn’t register. What is this? I must be dreaming.

The sounds of guttural sex were both familiar and real. I pushed open the stall. I saw the man that I loved and just married screwing my maid of honor.

I began to scream. “Whore! Slut! Asshole!” My blood was boiling as I began swinging at both people. I was going to commit murder.

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was commit.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Why The Paper Matters

I’ll be the first to tell you that marriage is hard as heck. Is it rewarding? Umm, sometimes. Is it beneficial to you? If you marry the right person. Isn’t it just a piece of paper? No. It’s more than that.

Think about it. The Declaration of Independence is more than a piece of paper. How about the U.S. Constitution? Pieces of paper matter to everyone. A piece of paper gives you a driver’s license. A passport. Paper matters.

So, why would a marriage license only be a piece of paper? It’s not. It’s more than that.

I’ve known people who never got married. They had children and bought houses and believed that paper didn’t matter. Until one day they realized it did matter. When did they realize that? When the person they loved died.

I know of a woman who believed that her parents were married all her life. Her dad died. Her mom tried to get the life insurance company to work with the funeral home to do an assignment of benefits so they could bury him. Guess what happened?

Her parents were never married. Her dad left his life insurance policy to his former boss. Her mom had no legal leg to stand on to contest the policy because she wasn’t the spouse. They had to pool together to find money to bury her dad. The former boss didn’t help nor care.

Let me break it down simpler for you. If you are a legal spouse, most states will say that a spouse has rights to the insurance regardless of your husband changing it to someone else. You could go to court and fight the beneficiary form. It matters.

A friend told me that years ago a woman she knew was with a man for many years. They bought a house together, loved each other and created many memories. He got sick and she was there taking care of him and never leaving his side. Coordinating with his children over care and all things with their dad. He died.

His children put her out of the house that their father owned because they weren’t married and her name wasn’t on the deed. Disappointing. Yep. Disturbing. Absolutely. But, what rights did she have? None. She wasn’t the spouse.

Paper matters.

I believe in the institution of marriage. I believe that once you’ve gotten to the point that you’ve decided that there is no one else that you would rather be with then you should definitely consider marriage. Legal documents can be contested once you’re dead by family members or children. The law will never take it away from the wife. Remember that.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Territory

She had marked her territory. He was her man and she wanted to make sure all the other women knew it. So, she insisted that he didn’t hang out with his female friends anymore. If they were married, they could do couple dates. She was to be the only woman in his life.

One day she stopped by his job to bring him lunch. He was happy to see her. She noticed a woman lurking around and playful touching her man. She didn’t like it. He was hers. She waited.

Later that evening she asked her boyfriend about the woman. “Oh, she’s just a friend. Very nice woman” he replied. She smiled. This woman was infringing on her territory.

She didn’t like that.

Later that week, she began observing the woman. Watching her. She wondered what her motives were. Why did she think she could have her man?

She became obsessed with the other woman. She reasoned she was protecting her territory so it was okay. She began stalking the woman’s every move. On-line and in person.

She slashed three of her tires one night. Wrote “slut” on her car. Sent her a dead cat via a courier service. She wanted her to move on. Leave the state. To leave her job. To leave her man alone.

But, this woman wouldn’t budge.

Her relationship with her boyfriend changed. He began to feel sorry for his co-worker. He started to be concerned about her safety and well-being. He even had the nerve to cancel dinner one night. He wanted to check on her.

She told him that she understood. She told him that was why she loved him. His loyalty to friends. She told him that she would keep dinner warm for later.

He loved her. She was such an understanding woman. He wondered how he had ever gotten so lucky.

So she went to the woman’s house that night. Stayed in her car and watched them. She was intent to find out what was going on between her man and that woman.

She got out of her car and peeked in the window. She saw them sitting on the couch. The woman had her head on her boyfriend’s lap. She looked scared.

She smiled.

She returned to her car and grabbed her 9mm. She walked up to the front door of the woman’s house. Her boyfriend opened the door. He looked surprised. He smiled.

She shot him in the chest.

Blood pooled on his shirt. He fell forward. She stepped over his body and entered the woman’s house. The woman screamed and began to run away. She shot her in the back. Point blank. In her head.

She smiled.

All those lessons at the gun range paid off. She was able to hit a moving target. Her instructor would be impressed.

She took her fingers and dipped them in the woman’s blood and wrote one word on the wall.

Mine.

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt. The word was territory.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Instinct

My instinct told me that he wasn’t the one for me.

I ignored it.

I was in that place of blissful ignorance and called it love.

Why was I ignoring my instinct?

My instinct told me that he was a liar and an abuser.

I ignored it.

Even after that first punch, my heart protected him.

My instinct told me to run.

The continued physical and emotional abuse had left me broken.

An empty shell.

I was dying inside.

My instinct kept telling me that one day he would kill me.

I ignored it.

Death was better than this.

I loved him.

I just had to be better.

I had to be more of what he wanted.

I had to change.

I woke up this morning and my instinct told me that today was the last day I would be alive.

I ignored it.

I laid next to him.

Watching him sleep silently.

He was beautiful.

I reached under my pillow and grabbed the blade.

I stabbed the hell out of him.

He lay choking in his own blood.

My instinct was wrong.

Today was the day he took his last breath.

 

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word was instinct.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Day Loved Died

Today I wrote the final line in my obituary. I wrote with such force and finality that it scared me. My pen flourished on the paper as I wrote that I need time and space. Time and space to just figure this thing out. To get my head back on straight. To adjust to my new reality.

So many excuses for why things can’t be, but the truth is simply that I love someone who doesn’t and won’t love me. I sift through my emotions and watch my tears drip on the paper as I journal the pain. I know that it is my own issue. I don’t know how to separate fantasy from reality. The reality that love don’t live here. It never has. But, I wanted to make believe that you and me could be a we. Why?

Because it was wonderful in my fantasy. It was safe. It was nourishing and warm. It strengthened me in ways that I didn’t imagine. This fantasy allowed me to laugh at the silly things, feel safe in your arms and strong in your encouragement. We existed in this fantasy. Our hearts beating in synchronized and harmonized rhythm until…

I realized that my heart beat was the only one that could be heard. I was imagining the strong and steady beat of my soul mate. It was comforting until I wrote that damn obituary and realized that the only thing I heard was silence.

I just stood there crying because heartbreak was nothing new to me. Pain was a constant in my life. Hell I survived childhood and motherhood. Grief was something I had experienced before, but this pain was new to me. It was a cross between an ax chopping my heart in two and someone pouring battery acid on the still beating half. You get it right? It was…

Destructive. I watched the destruction of a dream. I loved and lost within a span of months. The dream to experience love in the purest and sexiest form as an adult. But, that dream was dead before I even closed my eyes. So, I wrote out my obituary and entitled it “Death to Love”.

It said:

Suddenly on February 20, 2015, I departed this earth. I died. Not in the physical sense, but in the emotional sense. I stopped believing in love after confessing my feelings to the man I had dated for almost a year. I opened up my soul and poured out my heart and he just sat there. No words. No emotions. Just silence. After shouting out that I fearlessly and uncontrollably loved this man and needed him to be patient with me and love me beyond measure, I realized that I was alone. Alone in this boat that he told me to ride with him and just go with the damn flow. As I poured out my heart and told him that love was foreign to me and not something I share freely with men. I listened for confirmation or affirmation that it was mutual. But there was none. Only silence. No words. So, I laughed and let him go and went home and drank a glass of wine so big that Olivia Pope would have been envious. I wrote this obituary before turning into bed and realizing that sleep would be futile. That rest would not come. My heart ached something awful and I died.

Later as I lay on the cold table in the morgue and reflected on the quietness of my mind I heard the radio playing. Someone had turned on Pandora. I heard “Step Aside” by Yolanda Adams. I heard her sing, “You have to let go and let God be God”. I gasped in air as though I had never breathed before. The pain was insurmountable but a peace was settling in my spirit.

I got up off the cold table and wrapped my body in a blanket and showered. I took the hottest shower and soaped up and washed off all the troubles of this world because I knew that I would survive. Because on that love river that I traveled God had given me a life vest and my momma had taught me how to swim.

 

Note: This is about a prior break-up. Not Mr. C. LOL. We are great.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.