Recovering

Heart surgery is OVER! ♥ ♥ ♥

I'm doing very well... I was in surgery at about 11:30 on Thursday, and it lasted for 3 hours. I was in and out of consciousness, and very confused, but strangely relaxed. LOL! The drugs worked! Hahahaha! I woke in the middle with my heart pounding out of my chest. It was clocked at 180 beats per minute, and the doctor was very concerned that it went on for so long. He told me afterwards that I had a LOT of tachycardia (heart racing) and that they had to ablate (burn) more of my right atrium (upper right side of the heart) than he was hoping to... They apparently start at the 4:00 position and work their way upwards, always staying away from 12:00. Apparently they had to go upwards quite a bit...

I've been sleeping a LOT... I'm sore, mostly in my abdomen and legs, and I'm walking slowly and carefully. I've been plagued with headaches, but I think they may have FINALLY subsided. Yay! :)

I was released from the hospital yesterday at lunch time. My dad has not handled my situation well, but we spent some good, quality time together. We went to the Olive Garden last night. I've really started trusting myself more with food since being in the hospital... I'm taking more chances with not knowing the calories... I hope this lasts. ♥

My dad headed back home today after spending three nights at my house. A couple of friends from school came to visit this morning, and we ended up going out to lunch. To a place I'd never been to before! Huh! AND, I let them into my house without hiding things... Their eyes rested on my NEDA Walk book... They didn't say anything. I know they already knew about my ED, though I haven't spoken with them about it in so many words. I guess I'm taking some chances... ♥ Talk, trust, feel! ♥

Had another nice nap. And am now up a bit. I'll go back to work on Monday, and I plan to rest plenty this weekend. My friends from school are talking about taking a tubing trip in New Braunfels! LOL!! Life is certainly making a nice shift. ♥

Love to you all! And thanks for your prayers. :)

Jen

Thank goodness your alright & please keep getting as much rest as you can for a speedy recovery. Take care honey.

April

Jen: I had no idea this was such a serious and complicated surgery! I am sooo glad you are doing well and your whole outlook on life is absolutely amazing and inspiring to me. What a wonderful person you are!!! Take good care of yourself. The world needs you Jen!
Love and hugs!

It's 2:40 a.m. Normally I would be cursing my sleeplessness, and trying desperately to go back to sleep. Tonight I am relishing being RESTED... I've slept a LOT these last few days. And I know that soon I will go back to sleep and sleep well again. And tomorrow I am not working, so I feel less pressure and angst. ;0)

Some things are changing for me... In me. I'm experiencing another shift. :) The last few days I've been eating NORMALLY! ♥ Weird... ;0) I haven't recorded anything. Counted anything. Restricted anything. Overeaten anything. I've just given my body what it's wanted. That has required me to TRUST what my body is saying. And somehow, strange as it sounds, my surgery has really brought home the importance of LISTENING to those inner cues... My life, and its balance, feels much more tangeable at this moment. I can feel that life is a gift. One which can easily go away... I'm not reacting in a fearful way; just accepting and realizing, I suppose...

I'm also in awe of some other changes... I cannot and will never change my dad. :) I know that. But I'm beginning to see MYSELF change... At dinner on Friday night, I looked at him and very calmly tried to articulate the differences between us. The fundamental difference in the way we interpret and interact with the world. And I wasn't judgemental. I wasn't accusatory. I simply saw and tried to express. And he listened! ♥ I told him that he likes to understand everything. That he needs to lay everything out and understand how it works, and why it works that way. It needs to make sense. He agreed. It was harder to articulate ME... Funny... I guess so much of my life has been spent trying to understand HIM, that I do a better job of that!! ;0) I told him that I like... IDEAS... I think that's a pretty good summation, if I have to pare it down to its bare bones... He looked at me, smiled, and actually extended his hand to shake!!! He said, "At least we know where we're both coming from." Hahahahaha!!! :)

I will not downplay the real hurts I experienced growing up... I cannot say that his actions and reactions did not shape me, because they did. Greatly. And in a different way, my experiences with Jim also shaped me. Hurt me. Caused me to see the world, and myself, differently. But I am releasing their power... I am releasing both shame and blame. I can see both situations with greater clarity. Unclouded by guilt or anger.

There is another... One which I am loathe to mention... One which has been invading my thoughts, and which I have become increasingly aware has affected me greatly... I do not want to talk about it. I do not want anyone to think I'm NUTS... And yet, I LONG for the kind of peace I'm beginning to experience in other areas... I LONG for the reduction of shame and POWER this has held over me. And so... Bracing myself... It's time to talk. At 3 a.m., when talking is more of a whisper than anything else. ;0)

I do not know how to begin...

There was a boy... That seems an innoccuous enough start. ;0) There was a beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy. He adored me. And I adored him. In kindergarten, we chased each other. He was my "sweetheart". I guess that's the best description of Darren. :)

We moved away from him when I was in the third grade. Our families stayed in contact, and we sometimes met for camping trips, sometimes visited each other, and sometimes met at their cabin for a weekend. And I suppose because I had experienced so much loss and neglect and pain at the hands of other boys/men I had trusted to protect me, I idolized Darren for his sweet, innocent love. Long after he had clearly moved on, I carried a crush. I pined for what, in my mind, seemed perfect. And that is fine.

There was another boy... Darren's older brother, Ryan... (OMG, I'm telling this story... :0/ Yikes!)

Ryan was older than me, taller than me, BIGGER than me, more powerful than me... And he always sought me out. He insisted on partnering up with me in games, insisting that as the two oldest siblings, it made sense. But DARREN was my age... Not Ryan. Maybe it was some competitive thing Ryan had going on with his brother... I don't know. But he seemed determined to hurt me in some way that I never could figure out. I feared him...

When I was around 16, my family visited their's for the last time... That night, I was set up on the sofa in their family room. My sister was on the sofa in the next room. Everyone else was upstairs. I woke in the middle of the night to see a tall and dark figure standing above me. My heart jumped into my throat. I stared in silence, waiting and hoping that this nightmare image would disappear. It didn't... I began to stir, struggling to wake fully and trying to scream. As I moved, the figure moved suddenly towards me. I felt his hand pressing against my mouth and nose. I felt forcibly pushed back into my pillow. My awareness clouded, and depite my fear, I was pushed back into sleep.

In the morning, I awoke to find sunlight filling the room. I could hear the sounds of talking and breakfast making in the kitchen behind me. I slowly became aware of myself. I looked down to find that I was exposed! Yikes! My clothing was twisted. My UNDERWEAR was twisted and pulled and NOT RIGHT. It was not unusual for me to toss and turn and sleep restlessly... But it was HIGHLY unusual for me to do so in someone else's home. AND to have FELT like I slept so DEEPLY... No dreams. Nothing. I straightened myself up, and went to breakfast. I didn't know what to say. What to do. I watched. I listened. Nothing was said to raise my alarm.

That morning, my sister and I borrowed a couple of bikes and took off. I wanted to try to find some of our old friends. We succeeded at one house. I found our old house. And the park where we often played and caught the school bus. Really, though, I wanted to get the hell away from Ryan. I didn't know what, if anything, had happened, but I felt more frightened and confused than ever.

When we returned, it was time to go... We loaded up in the mini-van, and began the long drive home. I had a lot of time to think. I felf uneasy. Unsure. WHAT had happened? Anything??? And the worst part? I couldn't TALK to anyone about it... I couldn't trust my mom. Or anyone in my family. I told one friend about it some time later. She was weirded out, and I let the subject go... I guess I was hoping to somehow either be reassured or helped... And there was nothing that COULD be said in that situation that would possibly help... And I didn't WANT to think about it. So, I set about the task of BURYING it... And we all know how well THAT works... :P

I've come to realize in recent days just HOW MUCH that moment/incident/memory/WHATEVER it was AFFECTED me... And STILL affects me... Much of my fears, avoidances, and trust issues come back to that... I am filled with wonder at how the power has been stripped from Jim's molestation and my dad's drunken rages... I long for the same kind of easing of pain with this... Whatever it was... I guess I think it would be easier to face if I knew WHAT had happened... Or IF anything had happened... But I'm accepting the fact that I may NEVER know... And my feelings and fears are very much real... I don't know HOW to get past this... But I know that I got over the other two issues (mostly ♥) by TALKING about them... So, I'm taking a very BIG RISK here by talking about this now... :0/ As much as I'd like to keep it buried... I know that will only add to its power. And I think it's taken enough from me...

I'm tired of living in fear... It's time to really LIVE. ♥

Love you all! (Whispered at 3:30 a.m.) ;0)

Jen

Jen, I am sooooo glad you are doing well :)
My prayers are with you hun

Jen,
Wow! You speak the truth...keeping silent only continues to empower these memories. You took what felt like a huge risk by sharing this, because, I believe, you have felt shame about these things (unwarranted, I might add) for so long. I hope that your sharing of this is also indicative that you are letting go of that shame (again, unwarranted).
You are a great writer, but of late, your writing has taken on a much more personal tone, one in which you are sharing YOU in a much different way. I am so happy for you, and my heart feels so hopeful for you....more than it already did!
I know how frightened and anxious you were about this surgery, and I can 'see' how the experience has affected you. Each day of our lives we all take too much for granted, and probably always will. BUT, becoming more aware of the fragility of life truly makes a difference. Your open and honest talk with your Dad....shows much more self-confidence, and much less fear. I can tell you are much more relaxed about eating....it's a process, and you are definitely moving along....and I think I know how monumental it was for you to have your friends over from school (SO many people care about you!). This is all what life is about..and you are making so many important changes..in YOUR time! (maybe they will all want to come for the NEDA Walk next year! LOL)
I am so proud of you. I smile so much when I read your posts....your honesty and your willingness to share so that others can also have hope!
Love you dear friend....Jan ♥

Jen I am crying right now after reading this. God has certainly put some big challenges in your life. Your strength and wisdom continue to amaze me. You are helping others each time you expose more of yourself and the things that happened to you.
If you run for President some day you have my vote.... in the meantime I hope and pray for the very very best things to come to you in your life ahead. You are one very special person
Love to you

wooooow jen i am so glad you came out with this, wow! i am amazed by your strength! reallly! i am soo sorry that happened to you! i had a similair experince but i was 8 years old....and yes i do believe (that person) actually raped me even though there was no memory of it. but i was too young to go after him, i reported him but couldnt bring myself to press charges fully. i was too young to deal. after my mom and dad had abused me so much , i jsut didnt want to deal with it...

i am so happy you braved through this and your surgery. you are so strong. and you are doing so well. the great thing abou trials in life is that you become stronger for it.

i am so happy you feel better,

love ya, freind

maureen

Thank you for your support, dear friends. ♥ It is thanks to you that I feel willing to take these important and healing risks... I was appalled and frightened to write this out... But my previous experiences sharing with you all has build my trust, and I know it's all something I've GOT to talk about... More and more, I think that this is THE issue I've got to heal... Other experiences have reinforced my negative self-image... But this... FELT violating and violent... Even if nothing happened... My feelings of being unsafe in the world stem from this more than anything else...

Jan, I know you resist taking credit... But you truly are soooo much a part of my recovery... ♥ I can't adequately express my gratitude... :)

Molly, I will never run for president. LOL! For someone that fears confrontation?? Hahahahaha! But thanks for the chuckle. ;0)

Ashley and April, thank you always for your sweet support. ♥

Maureen, I'm sorry we share this particular hurt... :0/ I don't know what happened. I can look at the evidence, and there was some. But in the absense of memories, I do not feel like I can point fingers... I CAN, however, acknowledge my feelings and fears, and try to heal THEM... ♥ You can, too. :)

My dad told me an interesting story as we drove home from the hospital on Friday... He said that an aunt that had lived with his family for a time, had trouble with a valve in her heart and came to Houston from Oklahoma to have a couple of famous cariologists operate on her. (Dr. Baake and another... Sp?) She had her faulty valve replaced with a pig's valve... Very cutting edge for the time... She survived the surgery, but died days later... This helped me understand how deep his fears ran, and why he had such a hard time with this... It also made me feel cared for. ♥

Love you all! Wishing you a beautiful week.

Jen

Jen…you are doing the work dear friend…and I get to watch and applaud! How perfect is that?
I am touched by the story of your Dad, and the memories he had of his aunt…I’m sure his fears were complex about YOUR surgery! For him to talk about this, is, I imagine, very different for him…and a huge step in terms of your relationship with him.
I hope you got some great rest last night. This week is a week of shortcuts, remember? Give yourself that gift!
HUG…Jan :heart:

love ya too jen,

yes i know there is no hard eveidence, but i know how extradoridnarily violating it must have been.. like a piece of you gone...in my case---there was evidence something did occur -- i know you feel there is none, and it is awful--the unknown--i hate the unknown jen it is my worst fear... it is.... i am so glad you are coming to terms with this--i am so glad you trust us. i am. i have such trust issues, but you guys always make me feel loved and supported--liek i can trust others again in this cold cruel world.

i am so happy you got over this hump and know i was very much thinkingof you at the time...well, i was also suffering my own horrid viral attack, but i did think of you andhow you were doing...

we really do have a lot in common, freind....

sleep, as i need to get my butt back in bed--and fight the most pwerful hurricane virus ever!

love to you and hugz

maureen

Sleep well, friend! ♥

thanks , girl..ha you , too....

love
maureen

Hi Jen,

I hope returning to work goes ok today. Thinking of you and hope you are well

xx

Thank you, Lisa! Thinking of you, too. :slight_smile:

Life gets better… :heart:

Love,

Jen

Hi Jen,

I am sorry for all you have gone through and at the same time happy with your strenght. Your courage speaks volumes and is an inspiration to us all, Thank you so much!

I too am/feel so much better with my ed situation. I embraced the new support and accepted myself as I am. As well I have been enlighted by a whole new understanding about the ed situation and how or why things developed the way they did.

Hope you have a fast recovery

Yayyyyy!! :slight_smile: I’m so glad things are starting to improve for you!! :heart:

It’s scary putting things like this out there… You know? :0/ But whatever… It’s WORKING! ;0)

Thinking of you today! :slight_smile:

Jen

Jen

As i read what you have now been able to share and talk about my heart started raceing as I read this story you shared. Im sorry this happened to you and the fear it had put in you I could feel that fear as I read on. So VIOLATED and the fear of not knowing what happened SCARY. I understand most of the feelings you felt during that time..the confusion and shame. But in shareing it has now taken some of the power away from it. I am finding that myself in shareing slowly helps take the power away but NOT the memories.
Im afraid they will never go away!
I have only just begun shareing my own feelings with my counselor.My TRUE feelings that the person who inflicted those feelings on me will never really know or understand.Becuase of their actions they have taken away TRUST which is VERY hard to gain back ..security ..dignity...worth..I could go on.
I understand but its hopeful for me to hear that you have slowly begun to take away its power. I am not there yet but have at least begun to take the steps to slolwy take the power away from my own story in time.

Love You!
Thanks for shareing

IM HAPPY to hear the surgery went well that is AWESOME and your time with your dad well I can see that things are shifting for you ..things are shifting S_L_O_W_L_Y they are for me in my own way with my family.

♥♥♥♥

Hello again,
I believe i understand a bit about this particular issue myself.
I too have been fighting with being sexually abused from the age of 6. It happen multiple times and over the years with 3 different abusers. It lasted until my early 20's. I choose to hide all this from everybody until this last year when I shared it with a Psychiatrist. It is really scary to bring all this up and to be able to handle the feelings that arise from it but i know now that those people will not hurt me no more and that i am much more than just a victim of what happen to me.
I am still afraid of being alone at times but this too is starting to become easier.
All i can say for now is that it is very rewarding to know that sharing our pains away is not impossible and that it too brings on a sense of relief that I never thought i would achieve.
Sorry for all the rumbling. It did feel good to get this out of my chest thou!
Thanks for your courage and inspiration Jen
Wishing you all happy days ahead

Grace,

Yes, the power of the abuse will ease in time, with work and patience. :) What happened will always be pivotal. But it will not always be our center. :)

Keep sharing, friend.

Lost,

It's a difficult topic to talk about... :0/ I'm sorry you've had some similar experiences... I think the shame involved can really hold us captive. And even one moment can change us forever. But when compounded over the years, it's quite overwhelming to begin to think about recovering. Yes, it's possible. Yes, you're worth it. :) It'll happen for us... Keep writing it out. :)

Love,

Jen