Today

I have been having a difficult time the past few days.

Of the [quite a few] women I know who have recently had a baby, almost all of them have returned to work. Their Facebooks have been full of baby pictures and messages of regret in having to leave their child in order to return to work.

These messages upset me. I mean, at least they have a baby to leave. I don’t have my baby at all. But even that thought right there – the one that came unbidden – makes me feel horrible. Am I being harsh and unjust to these other mothers when they are just bragging about their beautiful new babies? And does this mean I am ungrateful for what I already have?

Am I cherishing my other children less because I cannot cherish their sibling enough? I find myself torn sometimes in moments of joy because I think about the one who will never participate in these moments with us. Will that always be the case? I know they say things will get better with time, but as I have no experience with the death of a close loved one, I just can’t help but feel that I am forever altered.

As my OCD has been exacerbated in these stressful and painful last few months, I find myself withdrawing from things I do want to do/participate in as an effort to avoid my triggers. CJ and I keep talking about things we would like to do once I reach what we refer to as my “baseline,” but I’m worried that may not be the same anymore. And I don’t know how to cope with that. I don’t want to become a recluse who stops living their life and not doing things they enjoy. I want to feel the desire to play, write, even just be helpful around the house.

Before, my bad days were few and far between. Now, as there have been so many gathered together, it’s hard to see that it won’t always be like this. It’s difficult sometimes to convince myself to continue pushing through. But I am a strong woman. I am intelligent and occasionally, kind of funny. I will try my best to keep smiling until the day where it’s not pretend anymore. Starting today.

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Summer Camp

sunset2

gorgeous views from cabins

Once upon a time, I went to a summer camp I thought was truly magical. Once I turned 18, I returned to this camp as a counselor for three years. This particular camp was a sleep away camp, meaning I only had Saturday afternoons off for two months. Just enough time to go home, clean my clothes, take a real shower, and head back. I loved it.

Any time I smell a bonfire, it brings me back to opening and closing campfires, delicious s’mores, and clothes that smell slightly smoky all week. This past week it’s been a little rainy, so my wooden front door smells like the cabins in the woods would smell when we got stuck in the dining hall playing BINGO while it rained.

casey and chris

the year my sister worked there too

These few things, plus a couple more, always tend to bring back camp memories. But on top of this, I’ve just been thinking about camp a lot recently. It was a huge part of me for a long time. Today’s TimeHop pictures really got to me…

This year, they decided to close the camp down for good. They sent out an invite for former campers, counselors, etc. to attend the last closing campfire and some festivities. I chose not to go. I regret it.

allen cabin

one of eight cabins for campers

 

Why would I not go when I loved this place so much? I was afraid. My last summer there was a confusing one. There was a boy – well, really a man (8 years older) – who I feel really took advantage of me emotionally. So I didn’t want to see this person, I didn’t want CJ to feel awkward since he knows all about it…just so many reasons not to go. Yet every time I really think about it, I regret I kept myself from saying goodbye to such a wonderful place because of a guy. I know he was there – I’ve seen pictures from the event – and it burns my ass I let him keep me away. I am 28 years old, dammit. I shouldn’t have let something from over 8 years ago dictate my life. So now there’s one more thing to be mad at this person about. Thanks.

So, this is a goodbye to a place that taught me:

  • friends come in all shapes and sizes
  • I could survive a week (then later, months) without my parents
  • I could take really fast showers – when absolutely necessary
  • escapades after curfew were always the ones that were the most fun
  • walks on the beach in the moonlight are indescribable
  • I was incapable of winning Ugliest Counselor Contest  😛
  • Mailman is an extremely revealing game
  • camp couches are not meant for napping
  • some daily work assignments were definitely not as cool as others
  • I am a boondoggle MASTER
  • camp songs will forever be stuck in my memory
  • camp spirit is something you should always have
  • everyone loves a side-hug
  • Megadog did not taste as good as it sounds (and definitely did not deserve its own parade)
  • tie-dye t-shirts RULE
camp

SVC side-hugs 

Thank you to all my camp family. You will forever hold a special place in my heart. I wish I could have seen you one last time, but at least you will remain forever young, fun, and happy in my mind.

Camp SVC all the way! HOW HOW!