Not a Word I Often Use

Not a Word I Often Use

Hope is one of those words that I tend to shy away from. Hope to me implies that life will get better. Just maybe it is in some strange way.

Ever since being diagnosed with Fibro, having to end nursing school in my last semester, and to top it off dealing with my mental illness, I have not had much hope.

Then I received an e-mail the other day that has changed the way that I think. Maybe I was not supposed to be a nurse. I speak about my mental illness on a pretty regular basis. I found out in that email which particular service dog has been assigned to me.

Over the past few months, I have realized that I want to speak out about mental illness, the help that assistance dogs can provide for those with mental and physical ailments, and the overall acceptance of people with disabilities.

This weekend, I get to see my kids and spend time with them. I am grateful that I am here to see them. There are still many bad days and struggles, however; I am trying to get through them the best that I can and live my life for me and no one else.

For me, that means being myself and not conforming to what others want of me. So for once, I do have hope that things may be turning around. Life certainly has taken a different path than I thought it would.

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Candy, Cake, and Trouble

Candy, Cake, and Trouble

**Trigger Warning**
Today, I made a call to my husband that I wish that I did not have to make. I had to let him know that my Eating Disorder was out of control again.

He was concerned, and even more than that, he wanted to know how I was able to eat with him not knowing about what I was putting in my mouth. I can understand, he is the one who goes to the grocery store, while I normally stay in the house.

My problem is bingeing. I binge eat, do not eat at all, or eat “normally”. This time of year is stressful to begin with. When I am stressed/anxious, I tend to eat. Why I cannot control my intake is beyond me.

To be frank, I did not even realize that I was bingeing again until last night. I had already eaten for the day and it was late. If I eat certain foods, I get sick. I ate a piece of cake the size of which could have fed three people and banana pudding which could have fed two. The first sign that something was wrong was the stomach ache that I got after I consumed what had to be 1200 calories in less than 20 minutes.

That had me thinking about the past couple of weeks. With Easter coming, every store has more candy than normal. I have been going through a normal size bag of peanut butter cups every two days. Instead of one donut the other day, I bought and ate 6. Even worse is that I do all of this in secret and throw away any evidence before I get home.

I am embarrassed. Luckily, stores will be going back to normal in another week. That still does not mean that I do not have to work on the reasons that I binge.

Parts have let me know what they are: abuse, suicides, deaths, abandonment, and loss have all occurred at this time of year. With PTSD, there are many days that are hard. Unfortunately, all of these seem to fall around the same time.

Hopefully, some of you can relate to feeling like the world is out of control. I do not want to do this. Like I said I get sick, yet I do not know how to stop. Even as I am writing this I am thinking of the food in the kitchen and what I can eat. Not Good!!

It’s That Time of Year Again

It's That Time of Year Again

**Trigger Alert***
Easter. One of the only holidays without a set date. Sometimes it is in March, other times it comes in April. Whichever time it comes, it is a huge trigger for me.

Since this time of year is so hard, I will limit myself to one event a night. My mom and I have an interesting relationship. She has gone through her own rough times in her life and I respect that. Hell, we all have.

The problem that I have, is that she has put her rough times onto me. That is not cool. One question that most people who are starting to get to know one another ask is how many brothers or sisters do you have? I never seem to know how to answer that question.

For anyone who did not go through my childhood, the answer would be clear: ZERO. However, I grew up with parents who lost two children. They were stillborn. To digress, my parents were and are Catholic. Catholic’s bury their dead, well, at least everyone that I know of in my family.

So anyway, both of the children that my mom lost were born in the spring and inevitably, Easter fell on one of their birthdays. Back to the whole burial thing. My parents did not bury the children that they lost, they gave them up for research and told the hospital to “dispose” of them.

Even the thought of that is revolting and after having three of my own children it has become even more so. Every spring, especially around the holidays I get to hear the story of the children that were lost. How old they would be, what they would be doing, how they would act. Who can compete or even live up to a ghost.

My mom would go as far as to tell me that she wished that they were here and I was not! Fun times right. I am an adult and this still haunts me. Part of it is that I need to deal with all of this and whatever emotions that I have stuffed with it in therapy. The other part is that I will hear the stories again this year. What they looked like, what happened on that day. After hearing the same stories for so long, I can visualize the room, the baby, and how they must have looked.

I wish that I could spend one spring without those memories. One spring where I could just be enough for my parents instead of having to compete with the ghosts of the perfect children.

Beautiful, Yet Prohibiting

Beautiful, Yet Prohibiting

It is snowing outside. The snow itself is beautiful, yet I cannot get out of the house. This presented a problem with my doctor’s appointment which I had to cancel. With the cane and the knee brace, I cannot shovel and unfortunately there are not any neighbors who have offered to help.

So, I am bound to the house for the day. I guess I will catch up on some journaling or reading. Maybe a movie. I guess that I need to get used to days like this. Tomorrow should be better. The forecast is calling for mostly clear sky’s.

My plans for tomorrow look good!! I guess for today, I will just enjoy mother nature and an end of March/beginning of spring snowfall.

Closing In On Myself

Closing In On Myself

PTSD, DID, MDD, GAD, IBS, Fibro, degenerative disc disease, arthritis!! My head is swimming with all that I have been diagnosed with. In the past, most of my illnesses were mental health related. With a mental illness, there is always stability or at least the goal of getting stable. I was able to go back to school, people did not see my mental illness (although I am socially awkward), and life could progress as “normal” as anyone elses.

Enter Fibromyalgia. At first, the doctor’s did not know the extent that the fibro affected my body. From September until now, I have not changed, however; the doctor’s are getting a better picture of where I am at physically. Apparently, that is not so good. I am only to exercise every other day. 10 minutes is supposedly a great amount for me to walk. I know deep down that the doctor’s are correct in their advice. I just do not like what they have to say.

If I push to hard, which I tend to do, I wind up exhausted the next day, barely able to get out of bed or walk. Parts of me just want to throw a tantrum and scream WHY at the top of my lungs. Parts are upset that even though an adult is no longer controlling us, our body has failed us in so many ways.

This blog, is my one outlet to others who are going through or have been through similar experiences. It has been great to be on here and meet others from all over the world. I have been inspired by everyone’s blog that I have read. Art, music, video, journalism, all used as ways of communicating.

The picture today was one that I was drawn to. I see a face in the middle of the picture with two hands seeming to be holding it up and swirling around it. That is how I feel today. Like I am there, yet no one seems to be able to see who I am. There is just too much crap in the way.

Was this the Plan?

Was this the Plan?

My therapist has me looking into the reasons why I deserve to be in pain. Not necessarily physical or emotional pain, just pain!

I told him my view on the subject today and I am not sure he agreed with me. Some children are born with gifts (music, math, dance, acting, communicating). Some children are just great kids and get through life with all of its up and downs. The third category is the question. If there is such a thing as good and evil, then what if those gifted happened to be “good”. Not in the literal sense, more of the they were lucky or got dealt a good hand sense.

Take my life. Neither of my parents had a great childhood. How were they suppose to raise a child without issues when they had issues. Pain is a part of me for better or worse. I do not think that I bring it on, however; my body seems hard-wired. The PTSD, DID, fibro, IBS. There are those who experience the same things and go onto lead productive lives. Not me. Life just does not work like that.

I hear, see, smell events years after they have been over. I remember details that most people cannot. Why? I really do not like it. Why am I not able to move on like everyone else?

I really think that the physical illness has set me back. I know that it is bringing up memories that I wish that I could ignore. That is not happening.

So was the plan all along, from conception to now for me to be in pain? To live a life which is filled with great people, however, for me to go through my own brand of hell. Is the plan for me to tell my story like I have been doing. If so that is only because of the pain that I have gone through.

I have time to figure it all out! Just some thoughts.

A New Journey

A New Journey

Sometimes “No” is not a word that I like very much. I may have fibromyalgia and chronic pain, yet I still want to live life.

Yesterday, in physical therapy, I decided that I would take the first step. My oldest is in his last year at his current school. Our relationship has always been rocky so when he asked me to go on his class trip, I was surprised and honored.

HIs class trip involves a lot of walking. I know that I need to do nothing the day before or the day after. So what did my doctor suggest. Boot Camp. He kicked my but yesterday, yet I felt like I actually accomplished something. Granted last night was a night for pain cream!!

So today, I will start with 10 minutes of walking and the exercises that he gave me. He said that if I keep up with my routine and add 5 minutes every three days that I can get up to an hour.

Right now, that mountain seems so far away. I know that if I work hard and keep at it that I will be able to climb up the mountain and have the feeling of accomplishment.

My kids have always been a great motivator in my life. I know that therapy, physical therapy, and all of the doctors are worth it when I see them. This has brought a drive to me that I have not had in a while.

I guess that today is the first day of camp!! I will keep everyone updated on the progress and hopefully in a month I will be on that field trip with my son.

Sleeping and more sleeping

Sleeping and more sleeping

Took on too much again. Seems to be the story of my life! Anyway, today, I could barely keep my eyes open. Not for lack of trying. At least I still was able to accomplish a few tasks around the house.

How exhausted I can get still surprises me. Sometimes I am scared to go to far from home because I get so tired at the wheel, the one exception is the kids who normally keep me in a constant state of conversation during whichever trip we are on.

There is also more than a little internal conflict going on right now with the whole what to do, how much is physical therapy supposed to do and where do we go from here. Is the goal of PT only to lessen my pain and allow me to function(take a bath, make lunch, get to the doctor’s

If that is the goal, then maybe the physical therapy is working. I have been completing my exercises and using the tools that the doctor, well all of my doctors, have given to me.

Sometimes, I am just not sure about all of this. This “new normal”. Taking longer to get ready. Tiring after walking around a store. Needing more sleep then I ever have in my entire life. Well, I hate to end on this, yet I am tired and am going to try to go to bed and hopefully be able to get to physical therapy tomorrow.

The Shamrock Through the Trees

The Shamrock Through the Trees

**MAY BE TRIGGERING**

Yesterday, I took the kids shopping with my mom. We were supposed to get shoes and only shoes. So how did the kids wind up with watches and hats. She does not have any boundaries!! It upsets me.

This is not necessarily about my mom, this is about the memories as a child. Not the good memories of going to the circus or of family members who I miss to this day, but the memories of a childhood filled with hurtful words and rods that hurt.

There are so many days that I want to believe that the abuse did not happen. That I am so sick that I made it all up. Then yesterday something happens to bring memories flooding back and verifying all of my fears.

Being children, my kids wanted to show their new shoes to my dad. I was skeptical about going in the house. It was late and I was not sure what mood he was in. He seemed ok until he opened the mail and became enraged over one of the items. All went downhill quickly from there. The last thing that he did was get an empty wrapping paper roll out to threaten their dogs with.

My daughter began to cry and my sons just stared open-mouthed at the scene in front of them. I got myself together enough to tell the kids to get their coats on. At that moment, I remembered all that he did to me. The rages. The times when he said that he could not stand the sight of me and sent me to my room for the entire day and I was not allowed to come out.

At least I could get my kids out of that situation. I could save them from seeing it escalate any farther. They talked to me on the way back home and seemed to understand that their grandfather was sick and that we would not be seeing him for a while. At least at his house. He is not healthy and not a good role model.

I am so disappointed that he could not keep it together for even an hour in front of my kids, yet I am relieved to know that the memories are not all in my head. They happened and I have a right to be upset over them.

So one shamrock represents another memory uncovered in the forest of memories. I am sure that after the kids leave I will be journaling and will see what comes out.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I hope that anyone who reads this has a good day. For me, the day means spending time with the kids and just hanging around the house. No stress!!

When Am I Going to be a Mother?

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My children mean a lot to me. I only see them a few times a month due to a horrible custody dispute and my mental health issues being used against me. That said sometimes it is so frustrating. Their school fails to notify me, their father fails to tell me what is going on or when doctor’s appointments are, their paternal grandmother (aka babysitter) yells at them constantly and is easily frustrated, and then there is me. Where do I fit in to their lives. I seem to just be a babysitter sometimes.

Frustration sets in. Then there is my own mother. She seems to think that the kids are hers. She is trying to be a great grandmother. She brings over cupcakes and other little treats. She plays games with the kids. The only problem is she takes over. When I say that I do not want the kids to have something or to do something because it is against what I feel is ok for them to do, she ignores me.

This behaviour brings up all kinds of issues from my past. I did not have this woman as a mother. The mother that I had would have beat me if I asked for desert. My mother did not let me help with anything, declaring me incompetent to complete any household task. It is sad, yet I did not do my first load of laundry until I was 22. Why does she let my children get away with anything.

This brings me to today. I just wanted a relaxing weekend with my kids. During the week, I have been having double doctor’s appointments and next week is no exception. Going from regular therapy to physical therapy is draining. So, today what does she want to do. Go shopping. Does she realize that my body is exhausted and screaming that is needs a rest? My knee was swollen last night and this morning I am dizzy once again. All I want to do is to stay home, yet I feel like I do not want to hurt her feelings. She enjoys spending time with the kids. I know that I will be sore tonight and absolutely exhausted. The last thing that I ever want to do is shop and taking three kids along is mentally and physically draining. I would rather stay home, order whatever it is online, and play games, color, and spend time with my kids. So when do I get to be their mother?