. I have sat up alone until 2-3:00am several days this week. In the hours I have sat and played games on my cell phone or researched the best alternative methods for relieving symptoms of each of my illnesses, I have also thought about my life and questioned myself. What have you done with your life? Did it matter to anyone and have you made a difference? Has it been enough? I have never felt like no matter how many jobs I have held down at once, how many kids I have reared, nor how awesome they all are, I have always felt the need to do more or accomplish more. Now that I have let MS and Narcolepsy get the best of me lately and I no longer get to do hospice for a living, I sit and ponder on my life. From the start of struggle to now.
First of all I was a teen mom. It was not glorified then. There was no cover of a magazine or TV show. Those shows seem to make the Teenage mom look both harder and easier than it really is. I wrote Memoirs of a Single Mother over the years and hopefully one day I will publish it or get the nerve to share it so that people can understand what it is really like. Not how Hollywood makes it look. I remember sitting alone at night and pregnant and only 16. I was alone, except for my parents and brother, scared to death, excited, and full of guilt for being excited. I was humiliated and embarassed and full of guilt for allowing myself to feel such, because I am strong, a leader not a follower, and I am myself and have never tried to be anything except that. I also was angry. Angry because I gave in and made a choice about something I knew very little about. Angry because I always "mothered" alot of my friends and also had done very little compared to some of them. However, my mistakes were MINE. Not my friends or my parents. I look back and I am very proud of the type parent I was to him. And to hear some of the heart felt things my baby boy, now 24 years old, says to me more than confirms it. However it was difficult. Such a young age to be worried about dating to find someone to accept he and I as an instant made family, to worry about dating different guys until I found the right one and confusing my son. Despite my careful efforts and choosing to stay with the one I was dating because in a blink of an eye a year had passed, then two, that I invested in that relationship. Despite my efforts to make his life the best I could as a single mother, I married, had a child then it ended in divorce. Despite my efforts to shield, NOW two boys, I failed myself again. Many nights of bars with my girlfriends, dating, and just loving enjoyable days with my kids, movie nights and baseball games etc, many lonely nights consumed me. I don't know why I am cursed with the burning desire to be loved, accepted for my good as well as my bad, and having a soulmate to catch me when I fall and pick me up and brush me off, someone to share my happiness and sorrows with. BUT I am cursed with such. I again married and to no avail somehow I failed again, of course not by myself, but another failed relationship and two little girls later, I was a single mother again. Full of guilt and a heavy heart. Guilty of what? Again in my life I just accept what life hands me and roll with the punches. VERY shortly later I ran into my TRUE soulmate. First thing I thought was "Denna don't rush, don't think so much either, just Let It Be. Come What May. After a few short months of dating my life changed forever. A near fatal car accident that almost cost me my life. Months of rehab and pain that I hope to never experience again, I was myself again. Well so I thought. That accident changed my life and affects it every day. On a brighter note, that wonderful guy I met and dated stood by me through my coma and rehab. Tucked me in bed. He and my mother and father and step mom took very good care of me. Later I became the luckiest woman alive and became that fella's wife :)) For the first time, whether it was me, my being more mature, or the fact I FINALLY got it right, I was happier than I could ever remember. To my suprise again I found a way to allow someone to fall out of love. I have never in my life hurt so bad. I finally understood what it meant when they call it heartbreak. That feeling of not wanting to pull out of your own driveway but Noone asking you not to go and allowing you to do so felt like a dagger. Again my kids became my strength and this time I could not find the strength to me so strong and so resilient. I crumbled. For the firs time in my life I could not say I am bruised not broken. I was completely broken. I have a reputation. One of being so strong that it is envious to others. One of coming out of everything unscathed. One of rising above it all. A Phoenix. I put that face on and tried my hardest to turn my pain into anger like I have always done. I was angry. I was hurt and mad as hell but other than through using a forked tongue and saying I was mad and not showing my hurt to just anyone, I was dead inside. I literally wanted to die. I feel so guilty to this day because for the very first time in my life I could not look at my kids or my parents and say that anyone was enough to pull me out of the dark place I was in. As if things were not bad enough, struggling with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, Nightmares nightly, being exhausted, being a single mom of four, losing control of my house because I truly did not care anymore, I got the news. I got the diagnosis of an incurable disease. My mom lives away and I am a daddy's girl too but outside of the parental support, I was alone. Alone to figure out what was going on and what direction to take. THEN BAM my life stopped and changed forever. I had a wreck while at work and after another restless night and a night of being on call. I have not spoke much about it. But from what I am told if I want to make a difference I have to be honest. I also find that the best writing comes from true self honesty and openess. I was guilty of two missed calls previously while on call. Both close to 5am which is the time me, like most Narcoleptics, actually gets to a comfortable rest. I was told that I would be terminated if I missed another call. Therefore I slept in scrubs, shoes on, one foot on the floor. I didn't miss a call but what occured cost me much more than a job I could have replaced. If you know anything about Narcolepsy or Multiple Sclerosis you know that stress is the WORST thing ever. I also had an extremely low sodium level at the time which added to disorientation and confusion. I think I was beyond tired, drained emotionally and physically. I had already told my boss via text message, after the second write up, that I needed to seek other employment because I could not do on call and have to be at work the next day any longer. I was not accommodated and that is history. BUT I have never taken care of myself and have always put myself second, well fifth behind my children and spouse. Now alone with my kids I was STILL doing this. I found how that I need to take care of myself a little too late. I had the wreck and due to be emotionless (so the police say) the cop decided to give a little balance test. Anyone that knows me knows what a difficult task this is somedays. This particular week was really bad and now I know due to stress of heartache, over worked, stress of single mother life, stress of new diagnosis, and stress of losing my insurance right after diagnosis of one of the most expensive illnesses to treat, and stress of doing my damnest to find direction. I was wandering around aimlessly without being a wife and mom and working myself to death. I had lost my way. I went to jail for the first time in my life. At the end of the day I was ANGRY, sad, confused, and numb. I called my first person, the one I always want to tell things to FIRST. Good, Bad, and the Ugly. We both cried. To this day I have no clue WHY it happened or How. I have YET to have an explanation. My doctor has several good theories but still not an understanding of how and why I was in such a catatonic state and how a medication that had been filled once in a year and used two days prior had such a profound affect on me. I guess I will never know. Any damages done I am sure do not compare, but, I spent a year ripped down emotionally, physically, financially, and my self worth, reputation, and work reputation completely demolished. I still struggled daily and cried daily. I ended up losing my job followed closely by my house and car. I am so thankful to have saved a TINY bit for a rainy day. Needless to say it ran out very quickly. Never in my life would anyone have ever thought, especially me who has NEVER returned home since I left at 20, and never drained my parents financially or used them for baby sitters constantly, would be without anything and unable to help myself. I was broke, homeless, had no car, no job, no health, no insurnace for me and my kids, and noone to suffer with. Truly my lowest point in my life. Yet still I would trade places with the other party involved. I would. My heart breaks because of not being able to see, talk to, or help someone else. My day will come, hopefully. But after all the suffering, little did I realize my pain and anguish and worry with not only my legal issues, but my illness had just begun. For an entire year I waited daily. Everyday to hear from a lawyer, DA, Opposing lawyer, bill collector, doctor, or to recieve supoenas, court notifications etc. It was not until an entire year later I was told to come to court and give a guilty plea to be done with everything. That was one of the hardest things I have EVER done in my life was saying I was guilty of something I was not. I was but was not, not intentionally. However, I was so thankful to be done, guilty or not the end of it and not waiting daily for another moment and no threats of going to prison for being sick , I will take it. Then came weeks of enduring things ordered by the court system that should have been behind me at that point, a year ago. Now after a loss of a total of about $155,000 which includes court fees, fines, my dad's loss of bail money which was posted at $50,000, a lawyer fee of $20,000, loss of yearly income etc. There was 6 months of probation which cost monthly, color code, which cost monthly. I have it behind me but I am still haunted and troubled deeply from it all. The two main things was nothing to do with money. It was complete loss of self dignity, heart ache of anyone ever questioning my innocence, my loss of my work ethic and work reputation, my life as a hospice provider, and the embarassment my kids must have faced. The friends it cost them whose parents would not let them come over due to newspaper publicity and incrimination. Here's to you to all those "so called Christians" haha We obviously are reading two different Bibles. Now, I have no job, feel like a failure with no purpose in life, and I have gained weight and feel terribly unattractive. BUT I am happier than I have been in about three years. I have everything I need. I have my soulmate back in my life, my kids are all happy and excel. I have my parents and wonderful step parents and a good, boring and not purpose driven, but good life. I hate myself for not being able to contribute right now but my big guy loves having me at home and if that is what he wants then that's OK with me. He always says to enjoy being able to stay home and be a mom for once. It is very hard because I have been that mommy but also always made good money as an RN and made my own way. BUT we are happy and my heart is whole. I truly could not ask for more. Well one thing........I do want to help raise awareness especially about narcolepsy. I read a book that helped me more than I can explain. Julie Flygare's "Wide Awake and Dreaming" and she also published a poem i wrote about my tormenting dreams to her website. JulieFlygare.com. She emails me or comments on fb about certain things and she has no clue how inspired she makes me. In days following hearing from her I am right there about to become the Phoenix i once was :)) I emailed the Ellen show today and told her Julie is my hero. Asked her to read Julie's book and to look at her website. I included that all I was asking was for Ellen to look at my blog and to look at Julie's book and website. And I included how I would like to meet Julie in person. I hope that one day I reach someone and inspire them like she does me whether I do write a book, or it is through my poems, or possibly this blog. I do not think I will ever get a book published because the Real story about struggles of being a teen mom is not near as intriguing as drama and MTV SO, maybe I will eventually get more followers and somewhere some girl that is NOT your average girl next door, although she appears to be, will look forward to my blogs to inspire her and make her hopeful.