Not My Stroke, But It's Killing Me.
hello, I am not really sure how to start this but I feel as though I should tell my story, both for my benefit and that of others who may be going through the same thing as me. I am a young adult. My father and I, and my whole family really always got along pretty well. This is mostly about my father though. I call him my father now, because that is what he is, the technical term father, not "dad" or "father figure" necessarily. We use to hangout and have fun and I would always run to greet him when he returned from work each day. When I was 13, he had a stroke. I remember sitting with my little brother watching tv and my mom getting the call and running out the door, asking the neighbours to stay with us until she returned. I got a call later from my mom in tears, trying to sound strong, saying that while my father was at a band rehearsal (he played trumpet in many bands), he had collapsed, thrown up, and had to be taken by ambulance to hospital. While in the ambulance there was a choice of whether or not to administer a certain medication, I am not sure exactly what for however. Apparently there was a 50/50 chance, it would either kill him right there, or save his life, they chose to have it given. Luckily, it helped. Later I heard that he had a stroke. My grandmother had a stroke many years ago but i never fully understood what it was until after my father had his. His brain was altered, but until months later, it was not clear how, or to what extent. He spent what I believe was 2 weeks in the hospital. I remember a week into his visit was the time my mom allowed me and my brother to see him. I wondered why they left it so long but i found out later that my father hadn't wanted me to see him in his previous condition. (He was dizzy, couldnt stand and was connected to many tubes and scary looking tools). The day I got to see him, I remember walking in, holding my little brother's hand, and seeing my father laying there, looking as he always had, just a little skinnier, and very tired. It was his birthday and I took him a card and a cake me and my brother had baked, although my father could not eat it due to his strict hospital diet and nausea. I remember being nervous at first, not sure what to expect, but I went to him and gave him a hug and cried for minutes on his chest. I was so angry at everything, yet thankful that he was back to normal, at least at the time, it looked normal. I cried all the way out to the car and all the way home from the hospital and all night following that. About a week later he returned home and he could not drive, work or play the trumpet, but seemed weak but "normal". As the months progressed he became depressed because many things he liked to do, he simply could not. My mom also became depressed, probably more sympathetic depression, aswell, bills were getting high and the loss of his ability to work was hitting extremely hard. Anyways, months and months later, I had severe depression, considered killing myself a couple times, was probably 14 at that time, but knowing my brother would have even more to deal with was probably what kept me around, and the fact that I got an amazing counselor who I feel I owe my life to. In this moment, it is almost 4 years later and my life is harder than I could have ever imagined. I had always wanted a challenge, something to work through but I guess God thinks that I have more strength than I even know at this point. My father pretty much hates me now. Over the months I started realizing that although he looked like my dad, walked like him and talked like him, this was not him. His personality was different. Along with the memory loss and trouble paying attention to people while they speak (which is difficult because he is a counselor as well, and listening is his job) he became someone that I just cannot please. There are some days where I get a glimpse of my dad, but most of the time, especially lately, which is why i created this account, he has been my "father". I need to realize that my dad is gone and i have to accept my father, however it is a grieving process I have only begun to accept. He thinks I'm fat (nobody else does), he calls me useless and other things that I don't wish to mention at this point, thinking about it brings tears to my eyes almost every time. I feel like I can't always trust people because you never know when they are going to change. Much of this I haven't been able to tell my boyfriend, simply because I feel like a bad person for being so angry with the man I use to call "daddy". I feel like it's my fault for letting all his negativity and criticism (these words are of course used lightly) get to me and hurt our relationship as much as it has. Stuff with my mom has also gotten harder. She is so dependent on his approval now that she takes crap from him that nobody should. He would never physically hurt any of us, but his emotional scars are growing much deeper each day for me, and I'm sure hers too. My brother has become my focus, I don't want him to experience this, and hopefully he won't grow the same bitterness I have towards our father. I am full of anger and sadness, but also determination to help my brother, and myself to become better people and stay strong through everything. I am planning a tattoo saying "stay strong" so I will have a constant reminder of how strong I have been and how strong I hope to become. I hope that one day things will be better, for me and you and everybody really. We all have our struggles and tend to think that ours are worse than those of others. I just want to share my story and continue sharing experiences, for the support of others, and hopefully to support others as well. -littlemissstaystrong