Holiday Stress

While I like the holidays, they are so stressful. First are the social situations. I hate people asking me questions. How are you doing? Then in my head I begin to contemplate what to say. It would probably be better to say fine, yet I am tired of ignoring my feelings. Then there are people who want to know exactly where I now live. I am not comfortable giving out my address. For me, if the have my email and phone number, they do not need my address.

This year we are having my husbands family over. I always feel like the house is never clean enough and that I am being judged on how the house looks as well as the food that we are serving.

Then there are gifts. I have had to stay off of social media. I am tired of seeing all of the top gift lists. They make me feel like what I did get people is inadequate, yet that is what those people have asked for over the year.

I am already stressed about taking down the decorations even though I have an organization system in place.

The holidays are supposed to be filled with friends and family, yet all I want to really do is crawl under the covers or a blanket and watch Christmas movies.

I know that I cannot be the only one that feels this way!!

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Sign Up Season

Anyone who has Medicare knows that this is the time for open enrollment. Some people just need to renew what they had or can change plans if they wish.

That is not the case for me and I imagine other people out there. I moved and now have to have a different plan because the one I had is not covered in the area that I moved too. The worst thing is that it looks like I have to switch all of my providers.

Maybe I will get lucky and they will understand mental illness and the medications that I am on. Maybe they will not look at me like everything I say is in my head. They will not dismiss me.

I am lucky to be able to have insurance. There are some people who do not and cannot get treatment, any treatment. Either they cannot afford it or have to pick and choose which doctors they go too.

Mental health is hard. One has to find the section of the plan and then hope that treatment is covered. I especially question the plans that provide 10 visits. Really, I see someone twice a week.

This country and the health care providers need to realize that mental illness is a long term diagnosis and needs more than a pill to fix. They hopefully will start supporting treatments that work and insurance companies will cover them.

When the Therapist Says Something is “Bad”

My therapist and I are trying to work out why I still do not want to leave the house even though the neighborhood is safer. Thinking about it, I realized that I had been like that all my life. Of course my mother would make me go to the store with her when I was little, yet when I was old enough to stay by myself I did not have to go out again.

I remembered that most of my time at home was spent at my back window. I could look through the sheer and see kids riding bikes, people having family over, or other normal things that people would do outside. They had a freedom to them that I did not. They looked like they were having fun.

My parents did not go many places and the only person who really had birthdays for me was not my mom. Instead I learned that my mom did not really care. Of course she cared what the neighbors thought. So if I did leave the house, I had to be “presentable”.

I lived behind a curtain for a long time. Scared that the other kids and their friends would make even more fun of me then they already did. It was easier to stay hidden and forgotten.

Even though I am grown up, I prefer to stay in the house. I have my pets and my phone. Also, people cannot ask me about the job that I do not have and cannot keep and the kids that I lost custody of in court. It is just less painful to stay inside.

The Kitten and the Cat

We our still on the journey of getting our resident cat to fully accept the new kitten. On the positive side, they have touched noses a few times and will lay together. The tough times are meal times. Our resident cat is on a strict schedule and loves her food. She is on special food and the kitten is only on kitten chow. Not that that is a problem, I am just hoping the kitten is ok.

When we leave the house, the kitten still goes into her room. She seems comfortable as long as she is let out as soon as we get home.

We set the trees up. Our older cat has never tried to climb the tree. As soon as we set up the tree in the front room the kitten was trying to climb it.

Both of the cats enjoyed a little turkey on Thanksgiving. They like the kids, yet they also seem to like the quiet after the kids leave.

My husband did an amazing job with the lights this year. The new house feels so festive and we were able to place a few decorations in each room. We also began making cookies and pies. I cannot wait for Christmas. We are having people over for the first time in a while. This house screams entertaining.

Therapy is ok. I am trying to accept that certain things are normal to say to a teenager about boundaries that should not have been said to me as a toddler. I will have to get used to having teenagers. I think that in some ways they are as honest as a toddler.

A Few Good Days

It has been a busy weekend. I am lucky to have two out of three kids this weekend. They helped to make pies and put up the Christmas decorations for our first Christmas in the new house. It was so nice to have them and their energy. It actually motivated me to decorate and bake when I did not feel like doing anything earlier in the week.

We also went to the movies and had a lively discussion after the movie. It is nice to be able to really talk to them and get their opinions. Today is just a laid back day. We are going to attempt to make cookies. That should be fun. We will also watch some Christmas movies.

The cats are doing so much better. Our older cat is hissing a lot less and they have even touched noses a few times. We caught them both laying under the tree yesterday.

Hope everyone who reads this is doing well. I know how tough this time of year can be. One day at a time.

A Custody Dilemma Due to My Mental Illness

I have stated on here that I have three kids. Right now I am feeling like the story of the three bears. One child does not speak to me at all. The second child is ok with the visitation arrangement and does not want to cause any issues. The last child is having some issues with home and school and wants to move in with me.

Enter the fact the the other parent has full physical custody. That parent believes they are the best because they do not have a mental illness which causes symptoms that have prohibited them from working. That parent would remove the kids from me in a minute. That parent grudgingly brings the kids that do want to come to visit.

Yes, I have PTSD and depression. I lose time and I have trouble leaving the house. I have nightmares that keep me up and cause me to be tired during the day. Apparently, that means that I cannot be a parent.

The last child wants to live here. That child is having some issues and would like to try going to school and living here. At least the child is not into high school yet and the grades will not count toward college. I am worried. Financially, I do not have the funds for the court case. It would be complicated and ugly. I have a feeling both sides would be calling experts. What to do? Emotionally, I want the third child to have a chance. Intellectually, I know that I cannot afford the fight. I am not sure that I could handle it emotionally either.

So here I am. I feel guilty that I cannot do what someone with more income would be able to do. I feel guilty for not working, yet my therapist and I are just trying to get me to leave the house. I feel guilty that there is a situation that will negatively affect this child in the future. I feel like I am watching a train wreck. I know what emotional abuse looks and sounds like. Not only from my own experience, but also from the child maltreatment classes that I took. Emotional abuse is one of the hardest types of abuse to prove. There are no exams and even therapists tends to minimize situations.

Right now I am scared. If this child is anything like me I am scared how far they will go to prove how bad they are feeling. I am scared that the custodial parent will stop the child from seeing me because they feel that I somehow caused this to happen. My genes are defective. Right now all I can do is hope that I get the kids at my next visitation.

Introductions Day 3

The good new is that there has been no flying fur or an injured kitty knock on wood. Depending upon how generous our resident cat feels, the hissing May only happen at the start or end of the visit. We are keeping the kitten’s safe room set up for a while. Right now I would categorize both of them as shy.

They are going to get a shock tomorrow when the kids come for the weekend. The kitten has not met them. I am interested to see how she does. She does not seem to like men and my daughter can act a bit rough. We should be able to keep the antics to a minimum.

I am lucky to have my son on his actual birthday this year. We are going to take him out to dinner and have s gift that should provide entertainment for the rest of the weekend. I am not upset that it an early weekend. Thanksgiving is my holiday this year. That normally means plenty of turkey and treats. We will also be putting up more than one tree this year. There is snow on the ground and it should be fun.

Another Vet Visit

The kitten is scheduled for shots and bloodwork tomorrow. I think that will start her official hatred of the vet. We let her explore the house this morning. She was running around today and going up and down the stairs just because she could. She loves string and toys that she can manipulate.

I swear she has gotten so much bigger in just a week. She has started giving herself a bath multiple times a day and is using the litter box. She likes water unlike our resident kitty.

Hopefully, they will be able to meet tomorrow. Right now, they know each other’s scents and look for the other one. Ok, the kitten looks for our older cat more often.

I am actually able to feed her and take care of her. I find myself only taking a short nap each day. I still have to call about the TMS. I am worried about how many days they will want me to come. I think insurance companies and doctors should factor in gas costs. Sometimes even the closest place is a long drive.

This weekend is my middle child’s birthday. I cannot believe that I have three teenagers at this point. At least two out of three still talk to me. I am hoping that when the oldest one gets to be an adult that he will change his mind and at least talk to me sometimes. That will be better than it is now. It is unusual that I have the kids on their actual birthday. This should be a good weekend.

Therapy is tomorrow. I feel like I cannot get all I want to out each session. At least I am talking now and we are working on how the trauma is affecting my life today. Especially, how I am scared to leave the house and how I still go to anger as my first reaction. We are working on seeing why that is and trying to find ways to lessen those issues.

Hope everyone who is reading this is having a decent week and making sure to do some self care each day. Even 5 minutes makes a difference. I think I will write about how meditation is helping me become more grounded at night tomorrow.

A Week with the Kitten

We have had our kitten for a week now. She likes to sleep on a chest, play with her tunnel and ball toys, and run through her tunnel. She has had me laughing at her antics. I am looking forward to Wednesday when I can most likely introduce her to our resident cat. I am nervous about how they will get along.

Tomorrow, I also get to call the TMS provider and try to make an appointment. I am nervous about that, yet if it will help me to feel better, I at least need to try.

I also have therapy tomorrow. We need to begin to discuss the hostility I feel towards people that I go to school with or work with. I am not sure how that is going to go or if those parts even want to talk.

Hope everyone has a good night.

Day 6 With the Kitten and Nerves

My husband and I went to out to a farmers market this morning. I had been there before and should have been fine. Instead my stomach began to hurt and I felt like I was going to throw up.

This feeling of tightness and being overwhelmed happens every time that I go to leave the house. It is like my body just refuses to leave. I know rationally that I am safe, yet I have the most irrational thoughts about leaving the house.

Things are ok with the kitten. We let her explore the house again today and she had an accident on the sofa. Now I am worried that she will no longer use her litter box or that she does not like the litter since it is different to what she is used too.

Monday, I need to call the TMS provider. I am worried that they will think that I am a loss cause or I might not be able to keep up with the treatment schedule that is ordered. I would like to stop feeling like crap though, so I at least need to try.