A Moment That was a Dream

When everything else seemed to be crumbling around me and I was in one of the darkest moments of the past few years there was a moment that changed everything.

My psychiatrist asked me what I wanted. No one had really asked me. So many people had assumed that I was finished. I said that I wanted to be an advocate for those that did not have a voice. To make one person feel important, special, and cared for. 

Fast forward to too many sessions to count, hospitalizations, and more stress then I thought that I could ever handle. I am in school and if all works out, will be able to be a part of a field that I thought was out of my reach. At this moment, I am about to have an encounter that may allow me to go a little farther down the path. I just wish that provider was here to know that what we worked on all of those sessions is becoming a reality.

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If They Knew **May Trigger**

Socially accepted. There are those who argue that mental illness has become more socially  accepted. I would argue against that idea. First, illnesses like depression and anxiety are accepted. I feel like this is because those are illness that medications are effective. Again, are we accepting or are we disguising. Then there are illnesses on the other end that are often misunderstood or even encouraged. The person who stops eating, loses weight, and whose behaviors are reenforced when they told that they look good. Those who hear voices or are paranoid of what is around them. Maybe it is me, yet I do not see people befriending and supporting them.

This brings me to a new series on a certain network. People seem to have taken sides. I have seen videos of that is not true, that the show is sensationalizing the issue. One thing I do know for me, is that I do know my abusers. I know the people who hurt me, who told me that I should have never been born, the people that put their hands on me. All of which resulted in me feeling like less of a person. If other factors are there at the same time, I have self-harmed and have even tried to take my own life. I am not proud of that, yet I wanted to stop feeling the pain.

Those around me are turned off when I talk about my mental illness. They want to ignore that I have a therapist or a psychiatrist and that I am unable to do things at times because they conflict with my appointments. People around me do not want to hear that I lost my kids due to the fact that I have a mental illness that unfortunately cannot be “fixed” by medicine. When I was diagnosed I lost people around me. The few who have stayed accept me and they are ok with the reality that I have bad days.

So what if people really knew. People discuss allergies, pain, and other chronic conditions. They receive empathy and are often asked if there is anything that will help them to feel better. What if I said that I was struggling with getting out of bed because I could not bear to face the memories that the day would cause due to my past trauma? What if I would say that I needed someone to support me because I was scared of self-harm? Would anyone be around and help, or would they suddenly have things that they need to do?

Would people be supportive if they knew? I don’t think so based on my experience. I think that they would act funny and then slowly disappear. I think that if I was working that I may lose my job or not get hired. For me, my mental illness is not ok to have to most people. I should get over it or deal with it. I wish that I could. Could someone tell me how? I would be happy to know.

Feeling Horrible is the Norm

Three weeks left in the semester. Three weeks of having to wake up, go to class, and finish work. My mind knows that I need to complete this in order to move forward. Well, part of my mind. The other part of my mind is over this. All it wants is to be able to rest, stay home, avoid people, and isolate in every way possible.

Not that isolating for long periods is helpful, yet there are some times that one just needs to be alone and be able to journal, color, or watch tv alone. There are still the mornings where I need to see my therapist or psychiatrist. There are still the visits with my kids. So, I cannot isolate for to long even if I want to.

Right now, I am having issues with eating. To much, not to little. I am having thoughts of self harm that I need to use skills in order not to act on to stay out of the hospital. There are mornings that I just do not want to get up because my body does not have the strength to get out of bed.  It is like my joints and muscles are not functioning. I just want to be able to sleep.

This weekend was one example. I just wanted to sleep and I used my self to do what I had to complete. Even though i completed the task that day, the next day, I could not function. I could barely stand up and I felt that I was in a fog.

This morning I still feel that way. The fog that envelopes me. The parts that are fighting to get their way of just staying home. The parts that are angry at having to go anywhere and therefore want to act out. That normally means lashing out at people around us. We are trying not too. We are trying to be appropriate and promising parts that we will go directly home.

Instead of self harm, we think about the fact that we promised our doctor that we would stay safe and we respect him. It would feel so much better to just be able to act on those impulses.

An entirely different issue is the kids. One of my kids has decided that he is no longer going to talk or communicate with me. His father supports this and is not assisting in attempting to get a relationship going again. My other two children are struggling. They want to see me, yet they are being told that I do not care, I am not giving their other parent enough money, that I do not see them as much as I can, and then the list goes on. It seems like no matter what I do, it is not going to be enough. I fear that what happened with one of my children will happen with the other two. It is just a matter of time. Money and power go a long way and can easily manipulate a child.

A Child Should Not Hace to Choose

Ten years. Well almost. That is how long it has been since separating from my ex. I was naive then. I thought that things were fair and that I would get my kids 50 percent if the time like most people.

Instead, it was the beginning of a nightmare. There have been three clear court issues since then. My ex used my mental illness and financial influence to obtain physical custody. I had a win in that I got joint legal custody.

Today, the kids are teenagers. Instead of just following an order, I am put down and my kids are told that I am a bad mother. That I am not doing as much as I should. I have even been told that high school graduations are not a place for me because I am not there enough. When I want to be there more, I am refused.

The kids are getting old enough to choose what they want according to my ex. My oldest has already chosen not to communicate. He believes that I am hurting his father. It must be tough to always hear negative talk about your parent.

I have determined that as long as my kids want me in their life that I will be there for them. Even when they no longer choose to come visit, I will attempt to see how they are doing. It is scary to know that one day they may not talk to me. That I will not be there for the big events or the holidays. That I will be shut out.

As a non-custodial parent it is hard in so many ways. To know that your children may not want to see you. To be able to be looked up and found that you do not have custody. People then assume that you must have done something wrong. Sometimes the other parent just has a better attorney. Sometimes, there is no way to “win” only a way to have a relationship that is far from ideal. 

My hope is that my kids will continue to communicate with me, yet there is no guarantee and I do not have the power to see into the future.

One Solution Does Not Fit All

The array of treatment choices is daunting. Finding out what works is an even more difficult struggle. What won’t make me feel worse, what does not cause weight gain, what does not cause sleep issues etc. For me the worst side effect was tardive disconesia. My extremities shook to the point that I could not complete everyday tasks, my speech slurred, I had problems swallowing. Yet even with all of that I regret that I had to go off of the medicine. It actually took the symptoms away, it just gave me to many more.

Evidence based practice is a big term right now in the world of psychology. Part of me thinks that they are trying to be more clinical. To find the magic button. There is not a magic button when working with people. Sure, hand washing and personal protective equipment prevent transference of germs. How are my flashbacks supposed to lesson? At that point what works for me may not work for the next person.

If a treatment worked for everyone we would not need hospitals, therapists, psychiatrists, and medical specialists. I wish that I could go in one day and there would be the elusive cure just waiting. A cure that would take all of the symptoms away. Yet, there is nothing that will work for all of us. We are all just a little different. Our thoughts and past events are different.

Treatment providers struggle to find the right combination. I know that as a patient, it feels horrible. Even after a treatment works,life happens and the treatment needs to be shifted. I wish that there was something that would make all of the horrible feelings go away right now. Instead I have to live with what I am going through. There is no one size fits all solution that I can turn too.

When Will It Be Over

Another 10 hour day. My therapist has recommended noise cancelling headphones to try to decrease the irritation that I feel during the day. I am looking into them. Apparently, someone who I know has children who use them.

This morning sucked!! Resiliency. Yes some people have the ability to bounce back and think positively. What about those of us who for some reason cannot just “get over it.” I feel defective. Like I should just be able to magically get rid of all of the nightmares, flashbacks, sting issues, problems socializing, and all of the rest of the symptoms that I had. Why are myself and people like me looked at as weak, while they are looked at as strong and likable.

It makes me question the future. Will I ever have anyone who is willing to hire me? Can I even work when I get so irritated and hyper-vigilant around people. If I am hired, what do I say about children and family? There are no easy answers. There is no guidebook for having a screwed up life and then having to turn around and relate to those who have not experienced anything.

It feels like all of the hurt, anger, despair, and all of the other crappy feelings are just going to continue. I am not in a place to rationalize things. Being irrational is not good according to my doctors. I am “burning bridges.” Maybe I was not ready to make them in the first place. Maybe I am not up to that yet.

 

Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole **May Trigger**

There have been those bad days. The ones where I just want to end it all and can rationalize that I have nothing and no one to live for. The days that I have wanted to put the plans that I have had in place and just be able to not feel any longer.

Then there is where I am now. Going through life on auto pilot. Just doing enough to get by. When I wake up in the morning I barely have the strength or the energy to get out of bed I am so depressed. I just go through the motions.

That has been hard with school. I am supposed to go to class. I have papers that are due. The only problem is that when I barely have the energy and focus to get out of bed, a paper feels like a mountain. It becomes this dance of one paragraph then rest. Then another paragraph until a rough draft emerges. If I am lucky, I can go over that and make changes for a final draft to turn in. That sounds good. To open the computer has been a struggle.

Parts of me wonder if this is all worth it. Am I just going through all of this stress for nothing. It would be so much better and less triggering if I did not have these papers or these topics.

I wanted to go into this field to advocate for those who did not have a voice. For those who needed someone to listen to their journey and accept the progress and the slip ups. Instead, this has taken me on my own journey through my own hell. Sometimes, it is just to much. The fire is to close and I am getting burned. Whatever grade I get on these papers is not as important as the fact that I went through all of this to get them done.

Down the rabbit hole I go, into a world that only I knew at one time, yet has to be revealed to my doctors in order to get better. A long time ago I said that I would not give up my parts. In some ways that is still true, yet in order to function outside of our home, we need to change the description. We need less and and less feelings of persecution. We need to realize that not everyone left because of us. Most of all we need to work on feeling worth something.

When the Maltreatment Continues

9 years. 9 years since I left me ex. I thought that leaving him would stop the constant verbal negativity. It only seems to have upped that and the psychological games that he seems to want to play.

Each weekend the kids are supposed to come now there is something. The 3-5 hours of text normally end with how he works and is better than me. How I am neglecting my children, even though every time I ask to see them more they are busy. 

This holiday is no exception. From being called a bad mother to letting me know just how bad I am, the texts seems to just be getting worse. Last night even included graphics.

After all this time, why can he not just follow the agreement. Why is every weekend an issue? Why can’t I just have a life where he drops the kids off at the scheduled time and does not insult me or make the kids feel guilty for coming over?

Even leaving him and having agreements does not stop the abuse that he still doles out. I feel like I am a target at this point and no matter where I move or what I do, he will come after me.

Living for Everyone But Me. Even Those Who are No Longer Here.

The past few weeks and especially days have been rough. I have been through rough patches before and my doctor has always been able to pull me through. Either an assignment, some coloring, or watching my favorite movie will do the trick.

That is not the case right now. Right now I feel like I am in a massive hole. No-one can see or hear me where I am and no one is really looking. Everyone is just to tired of having to support the “depressed and pessimistic” person. So, who can I turn to. Who can I find to support me? I am not religious. That is an entire therapy session that has not happened yet. The only people that I can think of for support right now are people who are not here. People who have died or have left my life in some way.

My aunt who would have given me a hug and let me help her with the garden or do the dishes. Who would have fixed me crackers with peanut butter and jelly late at night when I could not sleep. The aunt who sat quietly beside me an knitted another blanket that would keep someone warm and cozy when she was finished. A person that was not scared to say good job and was not afraid to laugh. A person who would allow me to go into a sprinkler with all of my clothes on and just laugh. That was something different from the norm. She has been gone for many years, yet right now I know that if I called her she would most likely listen and then invite me over to just sit on the back swing or the front porch. To just be! I miss that. That relationship when your day or week can be horrible, yet there is someone that you can just “be” with. Not say anything.

My grandmother was the same way. She allowed me all of the hugs that I wanted. She would encourage laughter. She always had a story to tell. I did not need a book when I was with her. She also would have been there for me right now. She would have accepted that I feel horrible, that I just want to curl up into a ball and have someone there beside me to know that I am safe.

Right now I really need that someone, yet they are not there. I have to remember those times that someone was there and that did know me and accept me. Sometimes I wonder though. If they knew me now would they accept me. The person who loses her temper along with time. The person who eats to much or to little. A person who does not even like herself some days. I will not know the answer to those questions.

So I will try to white knuckle it through yet another night. Somehow, I will make it to tomorrow morning. After that, it is anyones guess. Most likely I will leave another annoying voicemail on my therapists phone. And, yes I will probably write another post that is not so happy. Please stick around. This has to get better!!

Stop Telling Me it Will Be OK! It is NOT!!!

I am at a low point right now. My feelings of self-harm have increased, along with flashbacks, irritability, nightmares, and sleep disruptions. I wish that someone would just say, it is ok to feel like crap and sit with me.

Instead, I get placated with how good I am doing in school, the fact that I am making all of my therapy appointments, or at least I look well. Really, they have no clue. If I go into the hospital, where I most likely need to be right now for intensive treatment, I will need to go and try to re obtain visitation with my children upon discharge. The last 5 weeks of the semester will be lost and I will need to repeat classes. Any hope of beginning graduate school in the fall will be lost.

I need treatment right now. I need someone to check in on me and make sure that I am safe. I need to be accountable to someone. I do not need to be told what I am doing. What people do not know is that side is a farce. Someone who comes and does what needs to be done. A part that can handle an hour or two of being out of the house.

At home, the laundry and dust have piled up. The bed is not made. Things lay where they were last used. Everything around me that is close enough to be in my personal space is crumbling. Even writing this, I am sitting at school. It took everything that I had today to get here. Most likely when I get home, I will sleep until late this afternoon. Wake -up and try to stay awake for a few hours before I go up to bed and zone out. I know that I do not fall asleep, that would be to much, yet I go somewhere that is safe and loving in my head. Somewhere that I cannot be hurt.

So please, do not look at me and assume I am ok because I am showered and out of the house. Please do not believe the farce. Maybe, the person who looks ok is about to fall into pieces. Without talking to them or knowing them, you would never know.