New Year Straight Ahead

I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions. I cannot remember what I did yesterday. I do have goals that I would like to keep.

One, is that I see my kids as much as I can. They are all teenagers and it will not be long before their social life and calendar are full. I want to try to have meaningful conversations that will allow them to be successful.

I would also like to reconnect with people. I have spent so many years in the house, scared of everything around me. I would at least like to explore the area that we live in and some of the parks. I have seen deer near one of the parks. I wonder what else that I could see?

By dancing and taking courses that kept me active, I always got movement into my week. I need to try to exercise a couple days a week in order to maintain my health since I am not getting any younger.

Finally, I want to try to maintain my composure during stressful situations. I am not sure how that goal will go, yet I at least need to try. Next time that I write it will be 2020. Happy New Year!

Turning 18

Every parent that I know wants to keep their kids little and young. Not in my case! I am a non-custodial parent with visitation. Hopefully, I get my visits because things can always change. Ever since my divorce was final I have not been able to have dinner with my kids on Easter, Mother’s Day, or Christmas.

My oldest just turned 18 and it will not be that long before my other two follow that. I am so excited!!! They will be able to decide when they want to stay over and for how long. They will decide what holidays they want to see me. If I have to go into the hospital because I am struggling with PTSD, I do not have to jump through hoops to see them.

I have been waiting for this. It means that I actually be able to see my kids more than I even do at the moment. 18 is my magical number when it comes to the kids🙂

Another Holiday Without Kids

Being a person with a mental illness has its unique challenges. For some reason there are some people who seem to think that all people with a mental illness are unstable. I wish that people knew how many people with a mental illness are doctors, lawyers, therapists, and others that they come into contact with everyday.

Personally, my mental illness is causing pain at this point. I was in the hospital for the first time in 2 years. The consequences are that I do not get to see my kids on Christmas which is my holiday. My kids are missing the family holiday party. They want to see me, yet their father will not allow me to see them for four days over the next two months. It is all part of agreements and amendments. All of the kids are teenagers. I think that they deserve a say in where they go.

It is hard not having my kids for the holiday, yet I need to make the best out of it for now. I am having the kids for a different Christmas Day. I am going to make the holiday season as good as I can for them.

The Struggles of a Non-Custodial Parent

Once again the holiday season is here. For non-custodial parents this is a hard time of year. For some, they may not have been able to see their children for years. For others it may mean an unequal distribution of holiday time with the kids. The custodial parent gets part of each holiday, which equates to lost time with the children.

Some parents are amicable and do what is best for the kids. Other parents are selfish and think that every holiday is theirs and that the non-custodial parent does not “deserve” the time with the children.

Even when the children are grown, they are often guilted into spending the holiday with only one parent. This leaves the other parent out of the holiday experience.

Personally, I have not had an Easter, Mother’s Day, or Christmas dinner with my children for 12 years. For 6 of those years I did not see them on Easter or Christmas at all. Maybe this has made me and other non-custodial parents stronger. The time with the children becomes even more special and holidays are not necessarily the dates on the calendar.

For the non-custodial parents out there: I hope that you get to spend some time around the holidays with your children. Make each visit special.

First Visit to the House in Weeks

During October, I was in the hospital. I was not able to see the kids. This weekend will be the first time that they will be able to come to the house for a visit.

Christmas decorations will greet them when they walk through the door. I am glad to have the day to catch up with them and either watch a movie or play a game with them.

I am lucky that they still want to see me. I am sure that it has been difficult for them to have me in the hospital and not able to do as much as I would like to with them. They also understand that money is tight and we make sure that we all agree before we do anything. I am lucky to have them in my life.

I am Learning to Say No

For so many years, I have done what other people wanted or what I thought would make the other person happy. This past hospitalization changed some things. One was that I had to learn to be honest when I am overwhelmed.

A death in the family and a holiday was just enough to deal with. I had to opt out of going to my husband’s nephews religious ceremony. It was just to much. I was to amped up to go anywhere.

There are just some things that I do not have the ability to do right now. I am out of the hospital, yet recovery is going to take a while. I need to do what is best for my recovery.

Another Battle for My Kids

I had to be inpatient for a few weeks to work out a few internal conflicts and emotions. While in the hospital, I achieved and surpassed my goal. In fact, this is the first time that the techniques I have learned inside the hospital work outside of the hospital.

The downside of going inpatient is that I need to complete tasks in order to get my kids back. Sometimes it is hard knowing that I am still trying to get my bearings, yet I need to get the necessary paperwork in order to see my kids.

I had not gone in the hospital for a few years. In that time, my kids have become teenagers. Sometimes, I just want them to get to 18 so I can see them without all of these restrictions.

Having a mental illness does not mean that one will automatically lose physical custody of their children. It does mean that there will be a long and expensive battle full of experts and questioning of the kids. Luckily, my kids said that they still wanted to see me. I realize that I am lucky to still be able to have a relationship with them and watch them grow.