Friday, February 26, 2016

2015 - The Year I Had To Stop Caring To Survive.


A few weeks ago, I shared on Facebook that there were some reasons why "Belinda the Author" was absent for a lot of 2015. Sure, I was around, but I only released one book, and it wasn't the story everyone was chomping at the bit for. I received a lot of messages and comments asking where the next Mystic Wolves was--why readers were having to impatiently wait.

If you were one who asked, I'm sorry if I didn't answer you straight away. I wasn't being rude or disrespectful. I wasn't game playing or being evasive. I promise.
Each time the question was asked, my heart hurt because there was nothing more I wanted to do than sit down at my laptop and write like a fiend. I took a TON of notes in 2015, for many different stories, but it was Bittersweet Melody that was released--a story more for me than anyone else.

Why?

Because I was DROWNING in grief and guilt. Just like my character, Cooper Hensley, I wasn't able to see clearly because I'd lost something extremely precious to me.

I'd lost hope. 
I'd lost probably the most significant wish/desire I've EVER held.
I had to shut myself down to survive.


But wait! You saw me posting on Facebook a lot . . . fandom things, daily life stuff, funny videos etc. If I could do that, why wasn't I sitting at my laptop and giving you all what you wanted?


Because I SERIOUSLY didn't have the heart space. I took a step back from pain, confusion, self-doubt, and life-changing decisions. I stopped completely and allowed myself the ONE thing I needed desperately.

To breathe.

Sounds ominous, right? To some, the reasons why don't matter. Life throws shitty curve balls at everyone and there are others who've been able to push through their challenges and not fall apart.

This is where I would've said sorry and apologized profusely for disappointing people.

But I'm not and I won't. I NEEDED that time and I'm stronger for it. Did I intend to take so long? No. I'm still shocked at how fast the time flew. Sometimes it feels like I blinked and suddenly it was 2016.  The world kept turning. Funny how that happens.

So while I won't go into details, because as a wonderful reader shared, our personal lives are that--personal and private. Being an author, and having my name out there, doesn't obligate me to share anything. It doesn't give people free access to me. It doesn't mean I have to justify my actions at all.

But I see you all as friends . . . fellow travelers in this journey we call life. So I'll share what I can. Bare with me, because while I've done a lot of healing, I still get a lump in my throat and tears surface. I'm pretty sure it'll be this way for the rest of my life.

Having said that, however, life does go on and happiness is mine. I've fought hard for everything I have--every step in the right direction--each wonderful blessing.


I lost who I was.
Five words but damn, the darkness felt REAL.

First, I walked away from a church and belief system that eventually did more damage than good. There's no words to describe how shocking it is to see how twisted thinking can become when you attach yourself to something that no longer serves you. Those moments when you hear your self-talk and shout out, "WAIT, WHAT? That's NOT what I believe!" Last year I got an up close and personal look at just how miserable I was because I was trying to be something/someone I wasn't. Guilt. Manipulation. The constant fear of hell. Every decision becoming one of dire consequences.

Seriously . . . how is someone supposed to be HAPPY and find peace when you're ALWAYS at war with yourself? When you sacrifice all the pieces that make you unique and YOU because you fear God will turn his back if you're not perfect? When you realize that the way you govern yourself is actually hurting you?

I'm still trying to figure this all out but yeah, talk about a complete belief system overhaul. Talk about guilt for being so blind. Talk about anger over feeling like a fool. Talk about the incredible sense of loss when you wonder . . . how the hell do I fix this?

This was enough to keep me occupied but it was the lesser of the two things that threatened to cripple me. Wait . . . if we're being honest here, it DID cripple me. Hello, I stopped doing something I LOVED because anything that required me to feel was TOO much.

Let me say this next word . . . carefully . . . respectfully.

Infertility.

Let me say another word.

Hysterectomy.

And another two.

Soul crushing.


For those who've also experienced the life-changing blow of NEVER being able to carry a baby to term, my heart is with you. I love you. You are NOT alone. You are NOT crazy for mourning something you didn't get. You are NOT to blame. You are still YOU.

Let me say that again . . . 

YOU ARE STILL YOU.

It took me all of last year to realize that. I can't tell you how desperate and dark things got. How embarrassed I felt because I couldn't "get it together". I felt like an epic failure because despite all the well-intented comments, I HURT SO BAD. I felt like I was left there standing with my shattered heart and soul in my hand, wondering, "Why am I being punished?" Then came the, "If I'd just waited longer, maybe I would've got one of those miracles people talk about."

Maybe if I believed hard enough.
Maybe if I hadn't wasted time.
Maybe if I was better.
Maybe if I hadn't let my fear and past abuse trauma affect me.
Maybe if I was someone else.
Maybe if I was perfect.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

All while I felt expected to smile and be happy.
All while I was DYING inside.


I bit my tongue a lot. I cried privately a lot. I bargained with God a lot. And then, I simply stopped caring. I had to so I could survive. I shut it all down because in the past, again because I'm being honest, I knew where this pain could lead me.

Self-injury. Numerous suicide attempts. Hospital stays. Medications. The endless screaming inside me over just how UNFAIR this all was. I knew if I kept feeling, my grief would swallow me whole. 

I no longer had a 'organized' religious belief system and I no longer felt like a woman. It took some time to figure out that I was still Belinda Boring . . . even though I stopped feeling like a woman. Infertility is MUCH MORE than the ability to not have children. It's not something you easily "get over" and dismiss. At least for me, it attacked me at my very core. I felt I had failed my husband and parents. I felt I had failed life. When you lose the thing you have spent over half your life dreaming and doing everything within your power to accomplish, it leaves scars. All the agonizing pain from endometriosis, PCOS, medical tests, negative pregnancy tests, medications, and the heartbreaking realizations that, for that month, there was no baby . . . I endured it all with the one hope of a miracle.

To get pregnant and miscarry.
To hold photos in your hand of just how much damage there was.
To be told there was basically NO chance of EVER carrying a baby to term.
To know that by having a hysterectomy, you'd be able to have a life again, but that it also meant you lost your greatest wish.
To feel utterly broken.

BUT in the midst of all that, despite it all, I found the strength to dream again. I know that I'm far from damaged goods. I am still me and still 100% lovable. I learned that in order to heal, I HAD TO be gentler with myself.


I emerged empowered. Tender, but hopeful.

So there you have it. My 2015 in a nutshell. What does that mean now?

It means that life is better. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation, trying not to worry that taking a break has negatively impacted my career. First and foremost, we are people--not the titles we hold. As overwhelming as it feels sometimes, it's about taking each step forward, grateful for the chance to keep doing what I love.

Please be patient with me . . . or should I say keep being patient while I get back into my routine. Thank you for not giving up on me or walking away. 2015 definitely was a tough year but knowing I still have the love and support of others helps A LOT.

Most of all . . . thank you to everyone who helped me laugh and smile last year--those who unknowingly made that moment easier for me to breathe. You really do make a difference. We don't always know what's happening privately behind closed doors. 

So here's to a better 2016. I'm currently working on Bittersweet Symphony, sequel to Bittersweet Melody, because it's still the song in my heart that NEEDS to be shared. Once that's finished . . . it's full steam ahead with Blood Oath. I promise . . . it will be worth the wait.

It always is.

Much love and peace to you all,

Bels xoxoxo




25 comments:

Jessica Gibson said...

Bels, you are amazing. So brave, and so strong. I want so much for you in 2016, and I know that it's going to be a great year for you my beautiful friend. Thank you for being you, and for sharing your soul with us.

Niki Mattes said...

Oh Bels, I am so sorry you had to go through all that, I am glad it made you stronger, my heart also hurt for you, I had several miscarriages too, I so understand! Maybe in time you can adopt?
I admire yo and love you even more my friend, thank you for sharing your deepest feelings with us. Hang in there it will get better I promise!

LorettaLynn said...

Well said, you are still you no matter what, And you are still most definitely loved. You give joy to everyone who picks up and reads one of your wonderful story's.

Michele Justice said...

First BIG HUGS ((((((( MRS. BORNG )))))) Second I wrap my arms around you in not only what you have been though but as a wonderful author that needed time for YOU! Third I Thank you for sharing your story to all of your fans. You are truly amazing woman, writer, friend and so much more to your family. As a fan and avid reader you share more than any of us deserve of yourself; and thank you for that even though we don't need the reasons why you took a well needed break you gave us one. Prayers to you and I hope you find healing in all the words that I am sure so many of your fans will write to you. I have never been one to follow an author as I am with you. The first time I read your books you had me so in grossed I couldn't wait to read another. I thank you for bringing me back to my love of reading. I wish you all the blessing, prayers, hugs, and love! I hope you find comfort that you more to your fans than just an author to us! Thank you and Please take your time in healing! We will be here when you are ready to be able to write again! Hugs Hugs & more Hugs to you and your family!

Dee McDaniel said...

Belinda, I am so sorry! First and foremost, I must tell you, God will not turn His back on you because you aren't perfect. None of us are perfect. God loves us unconditionally. Christ didn't come to start religions, He came to save us. People start religions, therefore they aren't perfect, either. That's all I have to say about that. ;) As for Blood Oath? We can wait for Devlin. He is going to be that much sweeter because of the anticipation! You write the stories that need to come out. We will wait. We will be happy to do so. We have to have Devlin. You are not a failure for needing to heal. We will not hold it against you that you need time. I will continue to be a bad influence when I see Dr. Who or Star Wars items that I think will make you smile! If you don't take care of yourself, you will lose your muse permanently. So.....TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!! <3 <3

Tracy said...

Aw hunny :'( big hugs. No more words but they say a lot. xx

Kim B said...

Thank you Bels for sharing your story with us. As a reader, I always wait for your books with baited breath, but as a person, I know that you have to take care of yourself. You have to do the things that make you better. Your true supporters will be here to support you in your time of need and pick you up when we can. ((((HUGS))))

coxie said...

Big hugs to you! I went through years of infertility stuff only to find out in 2011 that I had early stage endometrial cancer. It was awful to find that out. For a year I tried a hormone treatment rather than chemo so that hubs and I could try to conceive. It didn't work and I ended up having a hysterectomy in 2013 at 37. At the same time that I was going through that, my brother and his gf found out they were expecting. It was so hard for me at times, I struggled some, but his gf was awesome and included me with everything. I even got to be in the room when they had my niece. While that was difficult for me, at least I got to experience that and so very glad she shared that special time with me. I had something wonderful to look forward to while going through something sad. Hang in there Bels. I still have my moments of sadness that pop up out of the blue, but mostly I'm OK and you will be too.

coxie said...

Big hugs to you! I went through years of infertility stuff only to find out in 2011 that I had early stage endometrial cancer. It was awful to find that out. For a year I tried a hormone treatment rather than chemo so that hubs and I could try to conceive. It didn't work and I ended up having a hysterectomy in 2013 at 37. At the same time that I was going through that, my brother and his gf found out they were expecting. It was so hard for me at times, I struggled some, but his gf was awesome and included me with everything. I even got to be in the room when they had my niece. While that was difficult for me, at least I got to experience that and so very glad she shared that special time with me. I had something wonderful to look forward to while going through something sad. Hang in there Bels. I still have my moments of sadness that pop up out of the blue, but mostly I'm OK and you will be too.

Jane Elizabeth Stahl said...

MS Bels NOT so Boring...I can only say "TAKE CARE OF YOU! The rest of us will wait until you are ready and able, but I would rather you heal your soul and never write another story, then continue in the pain you are dealing with. I know I am one who asked about the books, but I sure hope I didn't come across as rude...I was teasing and attempting to let you know how extraordinary you and your stories are. After all, as great as I am at READING a book...I am totally incapable of WRITING one!!
Much love, and many prayers headed to you and yours!

TJ said...

Belinda, as a friend and fellow female who suffered with endometriosis I know the pain you went through. It is not fun. I was one of the very lucky ones though that was able to become pregnant. But know that you have tons of friends who are there to support you and you and the hubby have so many other options! Just like me I know that I will more than likely only have a couple of grand babies..but I want so many more...I just adopt my friends kiddos! The love you have within your heart is overwhelming and you have to share it!

As for losing your faith - I have enough faith that you will one day find your way back. I have asked myself the same questions - when is it going to end...why me...I can't take anymore. But I have to have some faith that someone, some higher power is going to look out for me and take care of me. Is it God...I don't know but there is some supreme being that is in control.

Cindy Mayberry said...

Belinda you are not only an author, you are a friend. I understand your pain. I read your story and feel you are writing my story. Dealing with not being able to have that one dream, can break you down. But I know God has better plans for you. As I type this I have to remember the same for myself. I have raised other people's children. Never my own. As I too could not have children. I too break down and cry as it seems so unfair. I am good enough to care for others children, but not good enough to have my own. It's a real kick in the head. But God has a plan! I'm here if you want to talk. But know that you are far more important as a person. Love you!

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June Matthews said...

Thank you so much for sharing. It's a testament to how far you've come that you could. You truly have a gift with words. The way you weave them together in your books and here in sharing your heart with us. It's a super power!
I too had to leave a religion 25 years ago. The church I was raised in. It was abusive, but now God has oh so gently brought me to Him.
I too have infertility although it was from a different source. My journey with it started 33 years ago. You said it all beautifully, everything you said. I would like to add one thing though. For a long time I hated my body for betraying me. I'm still learning to love and take care of myself.
I too had childhood abuse. I'm an incest survivor. Brother 8 years older not my dad. I also had some close calls with suside and physical abuse on top of all that.
What a mess right? But I'm doing pretty good now. Still struggling a lot with depression but not as bad as before. And God and I are good. And my hubby and I are really good.
I have reason to hope. All this being said my heart hurts for you and I pray that you will find all the love and peace that you need. Hugs to you dear one.

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