A Wreck

Life is challenging for everyone. Right now I need to get through some things. My oldest child is still not communicating with me. His siblings share what has been going on. I miss talking to him and seeing him. Pretty soon he will be an adult and maybe he will contact me then.

My other kids seem to be holding their heads above water. The problem is that I feel they are just treading water and are not as stable as I would like them to be.

A change in income has occurred for the worst. I am worried about losing our home and how we will get by. I am also worried about my husband. He is strong, yet there is only so much one person can take.

On top of it all I need to find new health insurance. That is stressful. There is so much information out there. Again, my issues are nothing compared to others. I guess it is because it is all happening at the same time.

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Sleeping

Mental Illness can mess with your sleep. There is the nightmares and the hyper vigilance that causes me to hear every little sound. Then there is the worry that my staying up will interfere with my husband’s sleep.

During the week, I have taken to sleeping in a separate room. I thought that it would be weird, yet I actually sleep better. I think it is because I know that I will not wake my husband up or disturb his sleep.

The other plus is the room is actually my art room. If I cannot sleep I can always work on my art.

The only one in the house that seems to be confused is the cat who does not know where to sleep from one night to the next. She seems to have chosen to sleep in turns on each room.

I use mindfulness apps and sleep stories. I try to relax before going to bed. It just seems like I cannot win with sleep. Maybe it will get better in the near future once my mind gets used to the fact that I do not need to be constantly alert.

Going Downhill

A majority of the moving in is finished. Luckily, I have been able to go back to journaling and diamond painting for relaxation.

I have not wanted to leave the house. My therapist has given me suggestions and I am just so nervous to even try to leave. The new neighbors are friendly, yet I still feel like I do not fit in.

The feelings of self harm have crept back until they have become so strong I am afraid that I will not be strong enough to not act on them. I know what I need to do, yet my mind resists.

I worry that I will not be able to achieve the life and goals that I want. I worry that opportunities and the rest of life will just pass me by. I have to attempt to get out there and live life instead of just existing.

Fitting In. Discrimination Based on a Mental Illness

For some people fitting in is easy. They can talk about their jobs and kids. They can have a “normal ” conversation.

Then there is me and some others like me out there. I have spent time in mental hospitals and have more than one diagnosis. Due to my mental illness and my ex’s expensive lawyer, I lost custody of my kids. That is public record along with the fact that he gets child support.

I have had parents at a rec council question my ability to complete my job. Then every little detail seems to be magnified. Even when I went to school for social work, it was discouraged to try to be placed in a child welfare setting.

Then there is my PTSD. Any drug test showed the medications that I am on. One reason that I wanted to become a social worker was to help others navigate the health care system. Instead of seeing that as a positive , I was called into the head of the school systems social work program and told that I was not a good fit for the job.

After beginning my internship, my supervisor seemed to use any occasion to bring up my illness. Going as far as to accuse me of diagnosing my clients. After only three days at that internship, the principal stated that he did not want me in his school. I no longer had an internship. All of the work that I had done for the classes requiring that I be in an internship was worthless.

It got worse when I heard that I would have to go through a hearing just to see if I could continue at the school. The stress became to much to bear and I opted to take a medical leave.

That leaves me with the question of what do I do now? I cannot stand for long periods and could not complete nursing school. People do not want a teacher who has lost custody of her kids. A social work program turned my PTSD into something horrible instead of helpful.

Right now I feel lost as to what to do with my life. I wish that society accepted mental illness, yet most do not. I wish that I could tell my experience and others like me to Congress and have them realize that there are those of us with mental illnesses that can be productive members of society if given the chance. Right now, I think that most feel that people like me belong locked up for society’s safety. Things have to change.

Almost Moved in, yet Feeling Exhausted

We are almost moved in. Just a few more boxes to go through and then we can put up photos and really make the house ours. The kids were here this past weekend and were able to get their rooms together. I was so happy that they liked the area and even were able to meet some of the neighbors.

My body is revolting against the little work I did this weekend. Yesterday, my hands were so swollen that they were bruised and I could not stay awake for anything. Today I am less sore, yet still tired. I am trying to do the little things that I can and make a mental not of what is still needed.

Being up here is more relaxing although the trauma does not go away. The nightmares are still there and I am still afraid to leave the house. The therapist says that it will get better. I wish that it would hurry up. At least here, I let some sunlight into the house. That is better than the room darkening curtains that were never opened at the old house.

I find life is at a slower pace in this new area. People actually say hello to each other and excuse me. Doors are held open and the neighbors want to include you in neighborhood traditions. It is so different from the solitary life that I left. I am going to have to get used to this as a new normal.

Testing my Boundaries

There has been so many people here since we moved into the house. Sometimes, more than one in a day. I like the house to be a safe space. Today it is more of a construction zone. New carpet is being installed and with it comes all of the sounds.

The banging really gets to me. At least it is only for one day. I could not handle this much banging all of the time. It is so loud that I hope that we are not disturbing any of the neighbors.

I will be relieved when this is finished. We can finally move furniture into the house and begin to decorate a little. We also will not have any dog smells. The stains are apparent on the carpet!!

The kids are supposed to come this week. I am not sure how that is going to go. My ex wants to completely change the schedule even though I did not move that much further away. Maybe an extra ten minutes. I really hope to see the kids. They have not seen the house except for pictures.

Other than that, things are ok. We are processing in therapy. I do not think that many people want to experience their worst days over and over, yet I need to make a connection with some kind of emotion that I was experiencing at the time. Not an easy task.

Painting is Therapeutic??

I love to sit down and paint. I also like the diamond paintings. They take my mind off of the day and allow me to clear my head.

Painting a house is stressful. I thought I would be ok, yet I am already having anxiety around taping the walls off. I guess that is the perfectionist part of me. The bad part is that I need to get the painting done now because new carpet is coming into the room next week. I do not mind drips on the old carpet, but I will on the new.

So, this morning I finished half a room and plan to complete the other half after lunch. I am hoping to get paint on the walls today. Then I can go back to the art that I find relaxing.

A Whole New Therapy

I really need to begin discussing the details of my trauma in therapy. Now that I do not live by my abusers, I feel like I can finally open up without having to worry about getting triggered on the ride home.

It has been a difficult decision not to call my mom, yet I know that it is for the best. She does not want to have anything to do with me.

I always tried to avoid what happened in therapy. I know that in order to get better I need to relive all of the feelings and details that I can remember.

I will be happy to start completing art work when I get the room finished. That should help some of my parts express themselves.

So Different

It is weird going from a place where there was the constant noise of police sirens and helicopters to a setting where the only sounds are a lawnmower or a passing car. People ask how you are doing and life goes at its own pace.

There is no feeling that at any minute someone is going to break in or that I will see a rat driving home. I have parking as well as spots to relax and calm down.

Things are getting done. My projects right now include shelf liner, sink liner, and a ton of paint. I cannot wait for the kids to see the house. I hope they like it as much as I do.

The ants seem to be slowly dwindling in number. I am excited to see less each time that I look. Some storage is on its way. What seems like a big kitchen is small when you have a husband who loves to cook and is an appliance geek.

My ex is still being difficult with visitation and seems to be taking the opportunity to lesson my visits with the kids if possible. I really do not want to go back to court, yet if I have to I will. I have less than 5 years now until all of the kids are 18. That is a good feeling.

It’s Official

I have finally moved. It is so quiet and the people are so different. They do not seem to be in a constant rush to get things done. Today I am scared because I have no choice but to go out of the house until we have working appliances.

I did not tell my abusers where I was moving. There was some disagreement among parts , yet in the end it was best to just leave all of the physical reminders of the trauma behind.

Not that it helps with the mental piece of the trauma. It is still there. I will be so happy when the house is relatively moved into and I can begin to write and complete art projects again.

The visitation with the kids is going as well as I expected. There is no agreement. In fact, he wants to take visitation away. That is not ok with me. It looks like court may be in the future.

It is nice being in a place where I have a chance for a fresh start. I need to get to know the neighbors. That will be a challenge along with the crazy hours that my husband works during the week. He has been able to get a lot accomplished this weekend.

My next post will most likely be tomorrow since the internet and some of the house is worked out.