On Mother’s Day I had lunch with my husband and the kids. We had played games the day before and it was a great weekend. I had decided that I wanted to visit the cemetery to put a wreath on the graves of the two women in my life that had acted more like a mom to me than my mother.
I have always felt guilty that I was not there when they died. That I did not get to say goodbye. I have carried that feeling around for over twenty years.
When we arrived at the cemetery, I told the kids that they could stay in the car. They did at first, then they came up to the headstones. I was surprised as I looked in back of me. Here were two kids who even if they wanted to go somewhere could not drive and still needed a parents permission.
That is when it hit me. I could not have physically gone to my aunt’s house. There was no one to take me there. I was not allowed to call my aunt or speak to her if I saw her. Seeing my kids gave me a new perspective. One that made me realize that I did not have a say in what I was allowed to do. I still feel bad that I was not there, yet in my heart, I know I did not have a choice. One wall that for years that has been blocking my recovery is slowly coming down.
Sitting here thinking about life is challenging. I feel like I need to make a pros and cons list for continuing to go on.
The kids are a big factor. All of the research shows that a child whose parent commits suicide is more likely to do so. I would not want my kids to get into this dark space.
So much has failed including school, losing touch with one of my children, and constant court cases with my ex. All of this has left me drained. I feel alone no matter how many people are in a room. What do I even talk about with people. The kids are a hard subject and school was a disaster.
People do not want to hear about hospital stays and wound care centers. I believe that eating disorder treatment centers are also not at the top of the list. Those are the topics that I know best at this point.
Maybe a better option would be to talk about the diamond paintings that I have done or the garden that my husband is working on. Yet, those topics do not feel like me at this time. One day blends into another.
What to do? Going back to school is going to be rough. I feel like I am on a never ending ride in that department. Keep seeing the kids until they too realize how damaged and flawed I am. Continue to talk about the worst memories of my life in therapy.
This is not the life that I pictured. Not even close. Being a non-custodial parent was something that I did not even know existed. Failing at school because of an illness that I did not choose and is directly related to negative childhood experiences. Living in a neighborhood where I do not feel safe. Even as I write this there are helicopters circling the block.
One day I need to make a choice. I cannot live in between any longer. There needs to be a clear side to work on and pursue.
There is part of me that lives in the present and another hurt and very raw part from the past. Today life is good, yet I still feel depressed. I have a loving husband, kids who are teens and still tell me they love me and check to see how I am, and the ability to be me with all of my quirks.
Then there is the other part of me. The part that was called ungrateful. The one who’s mother stated over and over that she should of had an abortion with her. The one who carries guilt at some of the losses in her life. The one who was made to feel that she did not exist.
It is hard to have a dichotomy like this going on in my head all of the time. I lead toward believing the negative even when positive things are said. My bruises have healed, yet the words that’s stung then sting just as much today. I am a work in progress. Maybe one day I will like who I am.
As I look at myself, I see scars that will not go away that I have created because of the anxiety and self-hatred. This summer I cannot hide them. I wish I could hear what others think when they see them. Do they see someone who was strong enough to get treatment when she was ready to give up on life itself? Will they just think that it is for attention and snicker behind my back? Maybe both are happening. There are others out there like me who have been through the tunnel of abuse and back. Those that are survivors. Maybe I will get to meet some.
After my oldest child stopped speaking to me I have let it get in the way of my relationship with my two youngest children. I need to realize that they want to be here on the weekends and want me at their activities. For some reason I do not take my own advice that they are all different people.
I have also been told to make my illness clear to them. I do not know how to do that. I feel like they do not know enough, yet I still need to continue to keep a healthy boundary.
Finding the right words is going to be hard. Not only do I have a mental illness, but a physical one as well. One that stress negatively affects. I need to allow them to know that they are not causing any of this. The problem is that I already think that I have told them. From what I remember they did not even want to hear. Maybe instead of talking, I should put things in writing. Not to much, yet enough for them to understand.
Last night was a great example. One of my kids had an activity. I was exhausted and did not feel well. I really thought that it was best not to go, yet I had already promised that I would come. I need to begin to be realistic with them. This is where boundaries come in again.
My children mean so much to me and I want them to be able to focus on themselves. At the same time I need for them to understand that my decisions have nothing to do with them. They have to do with what is happening in my life. A good therapy topic and I can ask my therapist to read the completed letters before I give them to the kids.
My children are visiting me this weekend. I am excited to see them and catch up with what they have been doing. It is great to be able to have the simple things like meals together and a movie in the evening.
I am scared every weekend that they are scheduled to come and visit. My oldest decided that he did not want to see me anymore. That tore me up. Until this day, I still do not know what I did that made him so upset. He has blocked my number so I cannot even ask him how come this has gone on.
What if my other children decide not to see me? They mean so much to me, yet at the same time they have their lives to live. I am hoping to be a part of that and be able to see the changes and special events as they grow.
I know that all I can do for now is to cherish the moments that we do have. Take lots of pictures and just live in the moment.
Over the years I have had many identifiers that I felt comfortable using. College graduate, stay at home mom, and returning student to name just a few. I did not question them. I knew who I was.
Today, I cannot say the same thing. I am not sure what identifies me anymore. Due to my mental illness, I did not get through 5 days in my field placement. I gave birth to three children., yet I do not consider myself a mom. One of my children has chosen to cut me out of their life and the two others barely see me. I feel like I do not know who they are even though I talk to them throughout the week.
After this falls bout of self harm, I have been left with scars that are very visible. I have seen people stare when I am out in public. I feel like saying at least I am still putting one foot in front of the other. I am not moving very fast. I have found that thoughts of self harm are coming back and I need to address that.
I am wondering where I fit in at this point. Who would accept me as I am these days. I feel damaged and unlovable. My defenses are up and I am leery of what others may think about what they see. This causes me to isolate and the entire cycle of feelings of self harm to begin again. What is one more scar to the many that I have??
Getting an MSW did not work out so well for whatever reason. I am not even sure that what happened was my fault. Withdrawing from the program made me question my ability to do anything at all. All I know is that I still want to work with people.
This fall, I plan to begin a program at the local community college to be able to be a chemical dependency counselor. I am worried that it will just be another dead end. That this program will not work out either. I know that I have to try. I want to show my kids that no matter what happens in life there is always another path. Even if that path seems impossible to get through.
I surprised myself yesterday. I went on my son’s field trip. I was surprised to know and realize how excited he was and how happy he became in seeing all of the artifacts that interested him. It turned out to be a better day than I thought.
In the next week, I need to look at classes. It scares me and part of me does not want to do it. This is a hard time of year. My parents were especially harsh. They always said that I was not good enough. That loop needs to slow down in my head. I need to believe in myself and see this fall as an opportunity to be able to begin again.
When parents get divorced, in most cases, joint custody is awarded. There are exceptions. Mental illness, addiction, distance, who has more money, etc. Then the other parent becomes non-custodial.
In some ways I have been lucky. I still get to see my kids on holidays and am able to go on school trips. The kids are old enough to ask now and I have had the fortune of being asked twice this year.
Sometimes it is horrible. I have to account for almost every minute that they are with me. All the other parent has to go is plan the trip and go. Because the kids have passports, they can go out of the country and I do not have a say.
The other thing that I hate about my custody arrangement is that the other parent and their new spouse speak negatively about me. I am a bad parent, I do not pay enough money, I do not care about them. That can really have an affect on a teenager. Sometimes the child feels like they need to choose a parent.
I am looking forward to when they are 18 and can make their own choices. Maybe, I will be able to see them more often. Also when they can drive. Maybe they will come to visit. All I do know is that I feel like a bad parent all the time, yet I do see them. I need to work on that. All non-custodial parents want to see their kids.
When is the government going to wake up to the needs of the people who are not funneling millions of dollars to have their view expressed?
Columbine was not the first school shooting, yet I remember the day that it happened and thinking where is our future going? Since then there have been additional school shootings. 7000 pair of shoes were outside the capital. Imagine 7000 children in those shoes. What would they say if they could speak?
The government thought that mental health was solved with deinstitutionalization. Nothing was solved. No additional help was given and the mentally ill could not find adequate treatment. What has happened is that more prisoners are diagnosed with mental health issues. Often these prisoners are not there for violent crime. If the government can afford to give medication to inmates why can it not afford to continue that medication when the inmate is released to end the high rate of recidivism?
There are thousands of properties that have been condemned. The government complains about how much they are losing. Why not build houses no for the homeless where they can find stability and possibly a job?
All of the above populations have no voice or influence in today’s government. They represent groups that have become invisible to those who are supposed to represent them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same result. Does that mean that our government is insane or bought out.
Something needs to change so that those who do not have a voice are let in and allowed to be heard. I think the government would find that the oppression of the individuals has hurt them and the population of the US. Those in power need to listen to those that up until now have had very little to no power. Then things may have a chance of changing.
Friday, my cat, whom I consider my best friend, was sick. I thought it was the typical hairball and did not pay much attention. then she was sick again. Soon she was not eating or drinking. By this time, it was well into the weekend and I had no choice but to take her to the ER.
Once there, we were told that she was dehydrated. All of her tests came back normal, but the still wanted to complete an ultrasound. I had a hard time leaving her there overnight and went back the next morning. When I saw her again she had an IV and a cone from pulling out the first IV. Once all tests were completed she checked out ok. I took her back home that night after a long and trying day in the waiting room.
After she came home, she was interested in food and even eating. Then the symptoms started up again. I had not fed her anything but her normal food, which is ProPlan. She went back to the vet yesterday and were told that it was still gastritis. She was hungry last night. The ProPLan has been omitted from her diet and she seems to be on the mend at this point. I question if the food was bad? I have no way of knowing what caused all of this.
Since I took the cat to the vet yesterday, I missed therapy. We are processing right now and some of the memories are uncomfortable. I know that it will only get worse as I delve deeper into the memories and try to connect feelings with events that happened in my life. At least my therapist does not push and I feel comfortable at the rate that things are going.
In other events, my ex will not allow me to have the kids for two one night visits in a row. He thinks that it will send me back into the hospital. I am so glad that he thinks that he is a doctor. He has no clue what I went inpatient for in the fall. What was going on at that time is over and done with and I am getting on with my life as best I can. Having to give up a Masters program was hard, yet it was the right thing to do. Maybe it was the right course of study, yet the school was the wrong fit. At least I see the kids next weekend. High school is looming for both of them. I am concerned with how they will adjust, yet I know that they are strong and that they can come to me with anything.
This morning the cat got me up to be with her. I am grateful that she seems to be on the mend. This weekend scared me. I do not know what I would do without her companionship. She is one of a kind.