When Life Gets in the Way

My divorce was 10 years ago. Since then, I have tried to go to nursing school which ended when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and placed on a narcotic until the doctor could figure out the correct combination of meds. The narcotic made me ineligible to continue my clinical.

During those years, I was also in and out of the psychiatric hospital and my ex successfully took my kids away for 10 months while I was evaluated by the court. Eventually, I had them back. A little over a year later, my oldest stopped coming over and talking to me. I have missed so much with him that I cannot get back and miss him everyday.

Having PTSD and having problems leaving the house began working with my therapist on ways to get me out of the house. Since I knew that I could not go back to nursing and I still wanted to help people, I went to school for social work. The first year was good and I was comfortable with the other students and campus. Then I was accepted to graduate school.

I did not even last three weeks. In the classroom, I received A’s on my papers and was successful with projects. Field placement was another story. I had to interact with others. I knew that it would be a challenge and attempted to keep my head down. I was at my placement for a total of three days when I was told that I was no longer welcome. My mental health diagnoses were a problem and the supervisor did not think that I was stable enough to work with the clients. There went another dream and another potential career.

At this point, I stay in the house and only leave to go to therapy or to pick up medications. I do not even like to answer the door or open the door for delivery people. In some ways I have isolated myself, yet every time I have tried to put myself out there it has not worked out. It is like people know that I am different and stay away.

Cats and Kittens

We now have a senior domestic short hair, a one year old ragdoll, and a 10’week old kitten. The 14 year old just wants her own space. She is content to look out the windows at people walking, birds deeding and squirrels running around.

The kitten and the one year old are another relationship. The ragdoll actually whines to be with the kitten and then seems to not know how to play. I have been playing with both of them on the same toy and that seems to work.

We have not even had the kitten for a week, yet the time together is going well and boundaries are being established. Getting a kitten was just what we needed to complete our family. Now the next challenge is the little talons on the kitten.

Always Hard

Treatment centers. I get to know the people around me in treatment. Most of my stays have at least been 20 days if not longer. I get to know the people that are there and often keep up with them through social media.

It is great to see when they graduate from college, master a skill, get a new pet. Have a baby. The list can go on for a long time. Sometime it can be motivating when I am having a hard time.

Today, the news that I learned was not so great. Someone that was a smart, funny, friendly, and creative individual lost her battle. It is hard to see this and to know the potential that she did not know that she had. We are all fighting a battle. I wish that mental illnesses could get more than one day for a walk or a quiet share. They are a daily struggle.

Where to Begin??

I saw my therapist yesterday. He thinks that I really need to put the walls down that are preventing me from dealing with what happened to me.

I am so scared to do that. Right now I am living in a place of denial and I know that it is not healthy. It is just that here I do not feel anything and have not harmed myself for a couple months.

Then there is the part where I am confused as to where to start. I am waking up unsure of where I am. Sometimes I think that I am back in the house where I was abused. That might be a good place to start. There are so many things that happened it is like a choose your own adventure book. Except, each adventure is really it’s own horror story.

I am afraid to begin to harm myself again. The cats and having to take care of them are helping. It at least gives me a schedule. My husband encouraged a pool membership and I guess I could go there and write.

I thought being away from my abusers would make things easier. Living each day knowing that I am not going to see them is less stressful, yet the memories remain. They are etched into my mind.

I guess that I need to begin with something. Maybe sitting outside will help? Maybe I just need to jump into one memory with both feet and get out when it becomes to uncomfortable. I only know that I need to start somewhere.

Numb **Trigger Warning **

When did the days just seem to melt from one to the next? The only concrete times that I have are when the cats get fed. At other times, I am not sure of what time or day it is. I just seem to be lost. Lost in nightmares of the past that cause me to wake up ungrounded. Yes, I moved away from the place where I was abused, yet the memories are with me.

I think that I hear my abusers voice and want to find a place to hide or to prepare for the inevitable. I begin to sweat and all i want to do is run. Then I begin to realize that I am in a different house at a different point in time. I am an adult that in many ways still feels the terror of a child.

Some days I can be on auto pilot. Feed the cats, fold laundry, and maybe vacuum. Other days I can barely make it off the chair and am in and out of reality. Time just seems to pass without any real meaning. The clock is only a number. Inside I just want to crawl into bed and stay there. Maybe somewhere in those thoughts and dreams there will be the answers to the questions that I am to scared to face. There is to much shame. To much self blame and sympathy for those who hurt me.

How can I feel bad for them, yet berate myself for not telling someone or making it known? Why did I continue to live in that home long after I was 18? Why did I believe them when they said that they were the only ones who would ever live or care about me? Why did I believe the tales that they spun about people so that I would lose them from my life as well?

One fact is for certain. I cannot go back in time, I cannot bring people back that I wished I would have spent more time with. I cannot go back and try to leave the nightmare that was wrapped up on the outside as a pretty package.

It is easier to just be and not think. Thinking brings up to much and the I feel overwhelmed and like I am coming apart at the seems.

Lost Moments

Looking back over the years with people I have made so many mistakes. Mistakes that have cost me relationships that could be strong, yet are nothing at this time.

Elementary school was where it all started. How could I pay attention to classmates when things were so bad at home? All I could do was focus on my work. I did not have the skills to socialize and drove off other classmates.

As I became older, I thought that if I knew everything that I could hide all of the shame and pain. Yet that is not what happened. I turned to those who were trouble and who people that had my back became frustrated with.

Abusive relationships cost me my friendships because I could not talk and get together with them as much as I wanted or even needed to keep the friendship going.

Today, I realized that I actually went to elementary school with a person that I only noticed in high school. They are talented and have. Become successful in what they always wanted to do. Another friend is now married with two kids. She goes to concerts and dinner with others that I had met with her over the years. Yet another person is married, yet because I spent years away, I do not know her as much as I possibly could.

Today, I have very few people that are in my life. I cannot go back and start over. I cannot get those moments and years back. The only thing that I can do is to make sure that I am there as much as possible for the people that I care about. Moments cannot be brought back.

All of These Symptoms are Not My Mental Illness

Years of having symptoms of mental illness have made me aware of how my diagnoses affect my body. Pain, exhaustion, phantom pain, etc are just some of the symptoms that I have been used too.

About a month ago, I had my gallbladder removed. The doctor said that my digestive system may be more sensitive. A month later, and my whole way of looking at food has changed. Anything with dairy has become a nightmare. About 20 minutes after eating, I become ill with cramps and pain. Another culprit seems to be fats. At least it has curbed my binge eating because most of those foods make me ill now.

Then there is the exhaustion. Not just tired: literally not feeling like I can move. Like I am just unable to keep my eyes open. I sleep day and night. I try to stay up, yet it does not work very well. I cannot even get through a few pages of a book. It has become frustrating. This is not depression. I have a desire to do things, yet my physical body will not cooperate.

I hope that my digestive system will get better. That I can have small amounts of foods that I enjoy. If anyone has had a similar experience with this surgery I would love to know. I would not feel so alone. Next month I go in for another procedure. I am a little apprehensive about what the doctors will find.

Mother’s Day 2019

As a non-custodial parent I find Mother’s Day to be a difficult holiday. I am lucky that I am able to see my teenagers and spend part of the day with them. I realize that there are women who do not even get this.

My problem is that my ex thinks that all holidays are his. Especially, the more significant holidays. Yes I get my teens from 10 am Saturday to 5 pm the next day. Mind you, they have to be back by 5 and it is an hour and a half drive. I have not have them for dinner for this or other holidays since 2008. I am at the point where I am lucky enough to only have a couple more years before they are 18 and the agreement will not mean much.

So, with gallbladder surgery this year, my body has decided that it does not like half of the foods that most places sell. I have planned a take out lunch and maybe renting a movie. Spending time with the kids is the most important point of the day or any visitation weekend. So, I will enjoy them while I have them and look forward to things changing in the not so distant future.

1980’s and 90’ Bullying versus Today **May Trigger**

I was an 80’s and 90’s teen. During my years in middle school I was bullied everyday. I just wanted to think of how my bullying would be different if it occurred to me today. Mind you before I begin this is based off of what I hear from my kids and what goes on with people they know as well as all of the anti-bullying posters in their schools.

The time is 8:00 am. The start of the school day. I made sure to be an aide for a teacher that I liked. I ran off copies in the ditto machine. The one that used the toner that smelled and would run if you touched it to soon. I stapled papers and washed boards. I also did any other little tasks. Today, being a teacher’s aide is almost impossible. Teacher’s no longer have to make overheads. They give their copies to the school secretary to send out to make. Most students have to ride a bus or walk in groups because walking to school in some neighborhoods is so dangerous. I digress. In the morning there was peace in the building. No one could get to me and and least for that little slice of the day I was ok.

If this were today, I could be texted starting before 8 am if I had a phone. Even if I did not a classmate could make a false Facebook page and post things without my knowledge. There would not be a break from the nightmare. The texts and taunts would just continue and be added to well up until the first bell.

Let me go to the overview of the morning. Sure notes got passed and I heard whispers of the names that I had become familiar with. Maybe I would be flashed a piece of creative art from someone across the room. This all stayed in the classroom. Between classes kids would follow me in the hallways taunting me with the same names and shouting obscenities at me. There were teacher’s in the halls between classes and at least they had to stop or quiet down when they were there.

If this were today, my phone would blow up during class with texts that would not only be sent to me, but could be sent to the entire school. My reaction could be videoed for everyone to see. There would not be a break or a reprieve. In the hallway those same teacher’s would be in their classrooms. There would not be any protection or end to what could be done.

Lunch either way was a free for all. Again, at least technology did not make it worse and what happened was only seen by who was there.

The afternoon would be a repeat of the morning with the end bell finally ringing. For me during those years the bell signaled the end of the day. I made sure to take my time gathering my things so that I could walk in peace. Another day over. From there I could go home and be rid of the bullies until the next morning.

Today, again if I had a phone or did not have a phone nothing would end. Just trying to do homework and concentrate could be an issue wondering what new rumors, photos, or videos would be posted. The true bullies could a text one another for what they would do the following day. Each day could escalate.

I am not sure I would have survived today’s bullying. 24 hours a day. Non stop. Everyone knowing. I am not sure I would be strong enough to face that. Yet that is exactly what some students have to face each day. It does not end at the end of the day. There is not a reprieve. Students were originally allowed to carry phones during the day in case of an emergency. Now they have become weapons to taunt with and tease with. The posters are great, yet from what I hear as a parent they are not changing the life of a bullied kid.

Another Cat

I absolutely love my ragdoll. She has made life so much better. She has even allowed me to get out of the house to take her for a walk around the neighborhood. I also get up in the morning to make sure that she is fed and happy.

I would love to get another ragdoll. They are out of our budget right now. I wish that someone would gift me a little girl. She would be a great sister to Rags. Rags seems to react anytime she hears a cat.

Hopefully, things will be better by next year and I can get another little girl.