No Cooperation

Being a non-custodial parent is hard and sucks at times. I personally have had to take all of my legal paperwork to get school records or even sports team schedules.

In my case the custodial parent takes their level of power to a level that sometimes is more than a little frustrating. He refuses to drop the kids off on a Friday due to a my change in location even though I have agreed to meet him at a location that is the same number of miles that I would normally drive.

In addition to losing Friday’s, I have also lost time on Saturday mornings with the kids activities. This weekend for example, I will only have them for about 24 hours outside of the car.

He blames me for relocating, yet the neighborhood is safer for the kids. I would think that would be a plus.

Holidays suck. I do not have my kids on any holiday evening except for Thanksgiving. All other holidays including Mothers Day, they have to be back in the afternoon.

I am counting the years until they turn 18 and can decide for themselves when they would like to visit. Until then, I sometimes feel like a puppet on a string.

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.

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.