Stories from the Other Side: Part 1

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My family is full of people that come through. Whether they come through gracefully or with scars and smoldering bridges is up to the individual; but there’s always the other side.

It’s grandparents day and I’m sitting alone in the living room of my mother’s house and pondering over a portrait of my Nana. Joyce King Taylor was a badass woman.
The toll of giving birth to seven children on her body was extreme. The calcium deficiency resulted in all of her teeth having to be pulled and she had dentures at a young age. I’m not sure when my Granddaddy J.C. left her. I don’t even know if they were really back together when he died of mesothelioma, but they were together in pictures. I know she came out the other side of alcoholism with much less grace than she desired and Type 2 Diabetes. I know other subtle details about her life but I’m unsure of where they fall on her timeline.

I never knew the side of Joyce that my mother and aunts only whisper about. The only remnants of that side was the look she’d give you when you weren’t behaving. Your stomach would drop to your feet and your blood would run cold. Brittney and I only ever made Nana mad once or twice, from then on we behaved at her house. We acted like fools anywhere else but when Nana kept us we made sure to keep to ourselves. She taught us how to cross stitch, how to be quiet and still have fun, and how to be sweet. She made cakes for us but rarely ate any herself. She made chicken and dumplings from scratch and amazing oyster stew. She would make us laugh by threatening to spank our momma’s butts and she saved me from a good many water bugs.

Nana even died on her own terms. She was in a coma from the day after Christmas well into January. They pulled the plug and she still held on. She gave her babies and her grandbabies time to say goodbye and then she left us. No matter what happened years and years ago she came through for her children and her grandchildren. She taught us that cancer is nothing. Mini-strokes are nothing. Diabetes is nothing. You don’t have to go to church every Sunday to know Jesus and be decent to the people around you. Silence is golden and a good meal is silver. And if you have to misbehave while Nana is around, because misbehaving is indeed called for sometimes, do it when her left ear is turned towards you.

Today as I remember my Nana I’m faced with my own shit. Outside shit and inside shit. My husband got a new job and we’re barely seeing each other these days. Though it will benefit us in the long run, I’m not dealing with it well. My own job is driving me crazy and relief keeps getting pushed back again and again. Our car died unexpectedly and now we have a shiny new car with a shiny new car payment that we hadn’t planned for. We were scaling a mountain with promise at the peak but now we’re caught in a rock slide and I’m not sure the promise is worth waiting for anymore.

My inside shit can be summed up into a vision of myself beating the dog piss out of myself and leaving myself in a pool of my own blood and vomit and then refusing to get up. I’ve been flirting with suicide for too long and I’m now dependent on the idea of an easy way out. My temper that I inherited from both sides of my family has now become a festering ooze that resides the edge of my throat. I can no longer stop it from spewing out. I used to be positive. I used to be joyful. Now I’m standing in the middle of my rock slide begging for a boulder to take me out.

Last Friday my outside shit and my inside shit collided and resulted in one of my “blow ups”. My husband is used to them, my mother is not and unfortunately my mother was home when the blow up happened. After apologizing and a good cry and some coffee I sat on my mother’s bed with her and talked about how I’ve been feeling for what seems like forever. She wants me to go to therapy and has been begging my husband to take me to someone this past week. Ironically, I wanted therapy before. I wanted mind numbing drugs. Now I don’t. No Taylor, no Sullivan, and no Buffington has ever benefited and gotten through with therapy.

Coincidentally my husband and I read the same article earlier in the week about how birth control almost destroyed this lady’s life. We’ve both done our own research and once we have a day off together are going to a different doctor to see if I need to be taken off of the pill. Some women benefit greatly from birth control and some women emotionally implode. I’m past the implosion. I’m stirring shit up from the crater.

“It all makes sense because you were never this bad before birth control, Erin.”

My husband said to me the other night with relief in his eyes. While I am relieved I’m a bit apprehensive at the same time. Having a period before birth control was absolute hell and I’m told it’s absolute hell coming off of birth control too. But I think I’m ready. I’ve found my solution to my blow ups, my endless pits of despair, my desire to end my own life and I didn’t even need to pay a therapist. Which is awesome because I’m a cheap human being.

There’s a part one in the title because I’m going to document my ascension out of my inside shit along with stories of other family members that have come through their own rock slides. Anything and everything we put into our bodies affects us, friends. Though it seems now that I don’t have any kind of mental illness I thought I did for a long time and my birth control just happens to be the culprit. I’ll be taking my butt to the doctor sooner rather than later, (hopefully), and starting the hormonal journey back to normal.

Be honest with your OB/GYNs, and if your doctor is a body shaming asshole like mine find a new one. Join me in this new season of finding the Erin that Kelnor effectively regulated out of me.

*photo source
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