Who Is Next?

It is scary that the government is recognizing some individuals and not others. We are all people. This latest move has made me question what our new President’s agenda truly is. He wants to say that life begins at conception and that every life is valuable. Then he goes and alienates an entire group of people who were just beginning to break through barriers.

I guess I am worried about who is going to be targeted next. Clearly, he does not believe that all of us are equal. Is is going to be the mentally ill or people who receive aid. Who is going to be his next target. People are not a business that you can trade or close. Each of us exists and most of us want to try to make the best life for ourselves that we can.

When I was growing up, I truly believed that this country was filled with endless opportunities. I did not realize how wrong that I was at the time. Only certain people have opportunities. The rest of us are limited by many barriers that prevent us from moving forward, always being stuck in the same location.

My hope is that we, as human beings, can support each other no matter what our differences. Maybe get a coffee or a meal for a homeless person. Ask someone if they are ok. Be aware of who is around us. For me, I am going to continue to care and not judge people.

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Trauma **May Trigger**

A child left alone. An adult who has been assaulted. The survivor of a school shooting. A veteran who just returned from active duty. Everyone of these can develop PTSD. Everyone’s PTSD can look different. There are so many symptoms of PTSD and sometimes the person can look “ok”. I love when people say that or they are fine. He/She will get over it. They are a strong person. PTSD does not care if someone is a strong person. Once an individual lives through trauma, they cannot undo what they went through. They cannot just shove the memories to the side and go on. Well, maybe they can for a while, yet it catches up. The flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares begin. Then the hypervigilence creeps in and maybe that person no longer wants to leave the house.

My trauma has left me with internal scars that seem to open up whenever I see or hear certain people or noises. A smell can easily trigger a flashback. Often, I lose time and cannot get back what I lost. PTSD does not just go away. Sure, I have learned how to breath, mindfulness, and other coping skills while inpatient. They work so well while in the hospital. I wished that they worked that well for me in day to day life. I have had many traumas throughout my life. Each one has shaped me into who I am and the way that I react to the world around me. It has taken over ten years just to be able to go out of the house for even a small bit of time or not have flashbacks with certain triggers because I am prepared and not startled by my surroundings.

Recently, there was someone who exclaimed that everyone should keep their personal stories to themselves. That they should not speak about personal information. I am sorry, I do not agree with that at all. I have been through some tough times and I want others to know that they can get through those tough times as well. I know of support groups and resources because of my illness and being active in some groups. If someone told me that there was no hope of getting better, I completely understand what that feels like and I have been there all to often. In fact, before I went to therapy I was just there the other week. I tend to be a black and white thinker sometimes.

I hope to see in more shades of gray and help others to get to the point where they can do the same. Not everyone is ready or wants help. I know when I was first in treatment I did not want anyone to ask me questions and I was not willing to share anything with people. I would just sit in a session for 45 minutes. Not to be rude, but because I was truly scared that somehow my abuser would know if I told what happened. Even today, I have to remind myself, like so many other trauma survivors that I am not in that situation anymore. Trauma is a word. What happened is my experience and has shaped my life. As far as I am concerned, others can name it whatever they want. I know what I live with and what I have experienced.

Unlike that person, who believes in not sharing, I will politely disagree. What I have been through has shaped me and is part of who I am. It will always be with me.

 

 

 

I Wish I Had Something Happy to Write

Depressed, tired, overwhelmed, Etc. Pick a negative word and I can probably relate to it at this point. This semester is sucking everything out of me and I am not even through the first month of school. I am seriously considering if I have taken on to much. Can I really handle this at this time.

The topics that we are talking about are not happy. The pictures are raw and uncensored. Professor accounts are to detailed. Having to walk to some of the campus is hurting my body so badly that when I do make it to class the only thing that I want to do is rest. Other classmates are loud and I cannot deal with the conversations that are going on around me.

There is still the stuff to be done out of class. Readings, papers, and projects. Then there is all of the things to do for home and for my dance class that I teach. Add it all up and it all turns into one big mess.

Medication is not going to help this. There is not a break for weeks. I cannot keep going like this without a major meltdown. Then thinking about a meltdown causes me to plummet even farther down the rabbit hole. If I have to go into the hospital, I lose time with my kids and have to jump through hoops just to begin to see them again. Then I am concerned that my ex would not follow the agreement yet again and I would not see the kids for even longer.

Have I reached a bottom that I cannot pull myself out of at this point? Maybe I have.

 

 

Another Typical Day!!

Typical days for me suck. Having PTSD makes the day hard to get through. I do not want to leave the safety and cocoon of my home in the morning. Then I do not want to get out of my car when I get to wherever I am going. Getting out of the car, means leaving the relaxation that the music provides and having to interact with people. Normally, my therapist or psychiatrist.

A normal day is filled with obsessive thoughts over whether or not I should eat or not eat. How much I should eat? Then I eat to much because I am stressed out! If I want to eat it is something already to eat like fruit. I do not cook and even worse, I cannot tell you the first thing about using the dishwasher.

The day is filled with coping skills. Breathing, mints, gum, stress balls, putty, and coloring to name a few. Then there is the music to calm me down and block out all of the noise from the outside. The fact that I like to be under a blanket to feel safe and would rather be there than anywhere else most of the time.

If I have to go and be around other people, my day includes a PRN for the anxiety. I have called my therapist and left a message so many times! Sometimes, I wish that I could take the blanket everywhere. At least I can use headphones with the music.

That brings me to today or rather the start of the day: midnight. It was not until after 2am that I fell asleep. I had to be up for a class at 6 am to get showered and get to school. The only thing that I wanted to do was stay in bed, yet I got up and pushed myself to get ready and get out the door. Then there was the mental battle of the wills to get out of the car. Right now, I am sitting in the room for my evening class. Mind you I hate evening classes, yet it was all that was offered. I hate being here when it gets dark and I hate the stress. Tonight I know that we will have to work in groups. I will just be glad to get that part over. Then, I will be able to leave and go to my safe car with my safe music.

Due to the excitement and nerves of the day, I will have trouble getting to sleep yet again and it will be another long night of watching the same shows and reading the same books to try to force myself to go to sleep. I hate my typical day. I wish that it were better and I am working on it in therapy. At least I can get out of the house at times. That is the goal at least.

 

 

 

 

The End Goal

I want to become a Social Worker. Even more  specific an advocate. A voice for someone who may not be able to speak up for whatever reason. This all began around 5-6 years ago when I started standing up for people that I was hospitalized with and then began to want to make a larger change. Policy changes.

Right now, I am in school. It is frustrating in some ways. I have a degree along with some other other education, yet that degree is not a BSW. I wish that colleges gave credit for life experience. I am pretty sure that I would not have had to take two of my classes this semester. I like the classes, it is just that the information presented are theories and practices that I am already familiar with.

This is where the frustration comes in. Why can I not be out there practicing? Why do I need a BSW? It really is only three letters. I have completed research in the past and I have interned in some of the same places that are available to intern as a social worker. Are those three letters going to make me any better at interacting with those that need assistance. Are they going to change my motivation for wanting to work with people and make their lives better. What are those letters going to do for me. Sure, my resume will have them on there and an employer can see them. All they mean is that I have a degree. Sometimes, I feel like I already have the degree. I have been in hospitals with patients. As an intern, I have worked with children who have questions to be addressed. I have seen elderly patients who need a higher level of care. I have seen drug addicted mothers who need treatment and a place that accepts them. In fact, I helped them. Three  letters!

So why should I have to wait. Because for some reason, having those three letters behind one’s name suddenly makes all of the difference in an employers eyes. Even an MSW program prefers those three letters. Personally, I would prefer the person with experience and empathy. The person who can get down in the trenches and hear the stories that make others cringe and know what to do. Unfortunately, that is not the way that the world works!!

Just Want to Get Through the Weekend

This weekend is my weekend with the kids. I have one child who refuses to come and another who is having a friend over for a sleepover. That child will come next time, yet I am realizing that soon there is a possibility that none of them will want to come.

They live in affluent neighborhood an hour away from me. Their friends are there. They are at that age where they want to be with and see their friends. That is a normal part of growing up. I just wished that they lived closer and that their parents would not think of where I live as a slum! 

Then there is the child who does not speak to me. He has taken the position that I have somehow wronged my ex-husband and will not come over or speak to me. I do not think he is going to change his mind very soon and his father fully supports his decision. To me, he is still a child and should not be told what is going on from anyone’s perspective.

In some states what I am describing is clearly parental alienation. We do not have that where I live! For some reason that seems to have gotten skipped over.

Then there is all of the reading and school work that I have to do. This semester is filled with reading and papers. I just have to try to keep up and not get behind.

Nothing Seems to be Going Right **May Trigger**

Where to even begin this post. The only good thing is that another court case is over. Who knows when the next one will start. The other piece of good news is that the 5 year olds finished their ballet dance last night. I was so proud of them!!

School sucks so far this semester. There is one class that the materials and what the professor talks about seem to match. Another  class is just out there with the professor. She talks about everything but what is on the syllabus. Then there is the amount of work and the hours that I am at school. I have two days where I am there for 12 hours and I just am not handling it very well. I just need an extra day in the week to be able to complete all of the work.

Then there are the kids. My oldest child no longer wants anything to do with me. That child has written me an email telling me this. Apparently, the “truth” that he hears from his father and step mother have swayed him to believe that I am a horrible mother and person. His father told me last night that if I keep pressing the issue that my son may try to kill himself. That is not something that I want. I love my son, yet where do I go from here. Do I just let him alone? I am not sure that I can do that.

I am not doing well mentally. I am so stressed that nothing at this point is helping with sleep. I do not think that there is a sleep medication that would be strong enough to make this any better. I am trying not to binge, yet it is hard. I am just tired and ant to be at home. I have considered giving up school. Who is going to hire someone who is this old and damaged? Right now, I just need lunch with a friend. Someone who can tell me something positive about their life that has nothing to with school.

How am I going to get through the day? One hour at a time seems like to much any longer. Time is a bitch. I am just tired all the way around. There is nothing that is going to change anytime soon. Yes, I could take my ex back to court, yet I am not sure that I have the strength to do so at this point in time. To bad, I cannot get away for the weekend. Where would I go? That is easy. Florida. I love it there. The clouds and the air is just different. It would be nice to be able to go for the weekend!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Impossible to Possible

A genogram. One simple word with so many complex issues. Normally, people in therapy are asked to do them. Often they help to explain relationships and issues. I have not been encouraged to do one. In fact, I have been discouraged. My family is part of the reason that I have PTSD. I do not want to go delving into something that I know will upset me. This semester has not even been over a week and I am already overwhelmed.

I need to complete the assignment, yet I do not want to take a close look at my family. Maybe I will try to start it and take it to therapy this week. Another part of me wants to email my professor and explain things. Then I think about the fact that he will most likely not care about my issues. 

A guided tour through hell. That is what I feel like I am getting with some of these assignments. Tomorrow is another day of new adventures. Hopefully they will not be nightmares.