There are times in a person’s life when they’re just not sure of themselves. You know, sometimes not comfortable being in their own skin. I was told/taught at an early age (three) that I’m not pretty; Mom wasn’t sure how to make sure I wouldn’t grow up to be vain. But that slap across the face and telling me that I wasn’t pretty took care of that concern. Mom wasn’t sure how to reverse that teaching (that’s what Dad told me after Mom died). So, over the years I had a lousy self-image and low self-esteem.
I’ve gotten better.
Then I became a person with a chronic condition (I’m not nearly as bad as others) and I didn’t want to admit I have epilepsy. I rationalized that I perhaps had a mild seizure disorder that wasn’t serious and would go away. I mean when you have one seizure, then a couple of years would go by… of course I wouldn’t (willingly) believe that I have epilepsy.
This morning I was thinking about how special today is; you see 32 years ago today (Valentine’s Day) was the first time my husband said “I love you.” I remember this because I had tried to say it the night before. He gently put his hand over my mouth and wouldn’t let me say anything. Well, that hurt. But in the morning he fixed me breakfast and said those three wonderful words. Then the silliest thing, we went to the store, looked at Valentine’s cards handed one to each other (the one we would have bought) and hugged and kissed in the store. Silly yes, but definitely a memory that has stayed with me all these years.
You see with my seizures I have gotten to a point where there are a lot of things in my life I’ve seem to have forgotten.
So, while I was reminiscing about 32 years ago, I was going thru some cards and letters I’ve kept over the years. I have the first letter he wrote me – he went out of state for work. It took him a while because he’s not the greatest at writing, but he wrote me. Don’t misinterpret, we talked every other day. As I got further into the stack of cards I found the cards from co-workers from my days at HDS (that job that I would still be working at today if they hadn’t merged, or at least I like to think so). I was in the first group to be laid-off, we had a farewell celebration. One of those “goodbye, we’ll miss you we wish you (those of us leaving) the best of luck.” I still have the gifts I was given and the cards. I was reading the cards. I truly liked working with all my former co-workers, I still like them and miss them, but you know with that self-esteem thing I didn’t really think they liked me all that well. I had always thought they simply tolerated me.
As I sit here thinking of all that’s happened since 2005, I think that perhaps being forced to go to the higher stressed job was a good thing. Because you see that job, was where I had my record amount of seizures – even two in one day. That job is where the co-workers were afraid of me, my seizures, so they did their best to drive me away and forced my leave of absence. If I hadn’t gone thru all the massive stress of that job I truly believe that I would not have had all of those seizures. I wouldn’t have had the tests (including surgical test) I did in 2007. I believe that I wouldn’t be seizure-free since August 2007.
I will always miss working at HDS. I do miss all my co-workers (I do still keep in touch with some, even if it is only via facebook and we have gotten together for dinner). But I do know that re-reading those cards, does remind me that I have made a positive impact in my life. They tell me that yes; I am a good person, that people found a positive value in me and truly wished me well. While yes, I need to know that for myself (I’m still learning), it is good to know that others have felt that way about me.