The Battle Is Not Over

I was relieved and excited when I was accepted to graduate school this year. Now that I am trying to schedule my field placement my life is turning into a black hole. There seems to be a storm cloud that is just following me around.

First because I do not have full physical custody of my kids, it was determined that I was unable to work with a specific group of people. Now, I am being told that I cannot work with another group of people because of the stress.

Now, is where things get complicated. According to the school, I cannot decline an interview or an acceptance. I had both, yet now there is another person that has come into the mix and is really not supposed to be involved. I just want a placement for next year.

I have asked to have this field placement dropped, yet the school cannot do that. They can only drop it if the placement if the site does not want me. I cannot hang out there waiting for a placement. Something’s is going to have to change in order for me to be able to be placed for field. I am working on the next steps. I am trying to be as patient as possible, yet it is hard to sit back and watch potential opportunities go by.

The Current Black Hole

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I thought that the effects of my abuse were becoming manageable. I had learned coping skills for moments of anxiety or periods of darkness. I had my little pile that I could pull from.

Yesterday seemed to open up a black hole in me. One that I did not realize that was there. One that made me realize just how far the abuse went and would go. 

A conversation happened yesterday that put all of the cards on the table. That stated in pure terms how because of my trauma, I could not handle the stresses of a field placement. Not even a job.

Is this how I am seen by others? Do those closest to me see me as nothing more than my illness? Have they given up hope of me one day moving on? 

Today, I am numb. I just want to be left alone and stay in the house. I want to attempt to deal with the reality of how many parts of me are broken and how severe the breaks are. The unseen wounds are there and run deep. They are the scars left behind from all that went on. Yesterday, just proved how others see them as weak when I see them as a strength.

For now, I just want to be able to see my doctors today and tomorrow and forget about school and all that comes with it. Maybe by the weekend I will have a better outlook and more hope.

My past affects the Present

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Today, I realized that my trauma history could make it extremely difficult for me to find a position in the area that I have chosen to study. I was informed that due to my history, I may not be able to handle the stress of the position. That people who do not have any history sometimes cannot handle the stress.

Things went as I always thought that they would. People are always going to wonder if a person who has experienced trauma can handle other people with trauma. Can I move beyond my history? Can I be effective? Will I get burned out? all of those are very real possibilities that I have worked through when contemplating doing this field of study.

I just wish that people could look at what I would bring to their organization. That I could actually make things stronger and look at things from a different point of view. The worse part is that I may not be able to find a field placement. That no-one would want me after reading about me and why I want to do this work. Time will soon show what is going to happen. Maybe I was accepted to grad school,  yet will not be able to even get past the first hurdle.

Hidden **May Trigger**

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There was a time when I just thought that people could see. That by looking at me, they could tell that I had PTSD or depression. I dreaded going into someplace new because of the thoughts that others would just know by looking at me how messed up my life had been.

The reality is that those around me cannot see. Maybe that is a blessing in some ways. In other ways it is a curse. Hearing people talk about parents with mental illness should not be allowed to have their kids, people who self-harm are weak, and the worst is that my mental health diagnosis does not exist.

If that is case then why do I visit with my kids on a regular basis, how can I be sitting in class and they not know, and how do they know what is happening in my head. Most classes I actually forget. My memory was affected by the ECT and has not fully recovered.  I can have a flashback sitting in the middle of class. Topics such as molestation and physical abuse trigger memories that I would rather forget, yet seem to be etched into my memory.

What if what I saw in my mind could be projected onto a screen. A mother yelling at her daughter that she wished that she were dead, a mother who broke one curtain rod while administering a beating going to get another curtain rod, a small child going as far as possible into the corner of her bed so that the beating only hurts in certain places, a child being molested by a family member, a father holding his child by the neck, a mother putting a pillow over her daughters face…. I could continue, yet I won’t. By this point many people would have walked out of the room. Either they feel uncomfortable, they cannot believe abuse exists like that shown to them, or they have experienced the abuse and cannot bear to see what is up on the screen.

Instead, I sit in class. Another student. Another number on another day. People are not aware of my past or the reason why I want to be a social worker. They do not see the struggles that I go through just to make it to class and look “normal.” Sometimes I want to say something, to be able to let it go, yet I have been told to keep most of it inside.

People like it better that way. To pretend that the world is ok and good. All have their reasons. Maybe, I would like people to be honest. Hurt sometimes strengthens us. Those who are going through it need to know that there is hope and a future on the other side of the nightmares. That sometimes for a few hours a week, they could have the opportunity to focus on something else.

More Lies and Deceit 

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I have already lost one of my children for reasons that I do not understand. Now, I feel like I am losing another. My ex and his wife tell my kids that I do not care, that I am not contributing enough money,’and that I am choosing a life that does not include them.

In reality, my ex is getting the child support ordered by the court. I am transporting them according to the agreement, and I see them as much as possible.

Sometimes I feel like it is a battle that is already lost. My ex has the money to put them in camps and go on vacations. He has them more and they tend to gravitate toward what he says.

I get blamed for the divorce. Yes, I will take credit for what I did, yet he seems to leave out what he was doing. My mental illness is said not to exist on one hand and then to be the cause of everything on the other. I am sure that is confusing.

Inevitably, it is leading to my kids not wanting to have anything to do with me. They have taken their father’s view that I am not good enough and do not do enough. Sometimes I think that the best that I can hope for is for them to look back and realize that I did what I could. I was not perfect, yet I did my best:

Coming to the End

It is almost the end of the semester. I have one paper left to complete. I cannot seem to even get started on it. Not that I have not done the research, I have just not put any words down on the page. First, writing the paper is just plain overwhelming right now. I have had my fill of child abuse and neglect stories. This is just one more that I do not want to have to face. Second, my kids are coming this weekend and I really want to spend time with them, not writing another paper. Third, I am just tired and mentally drained.

I think that #3 is the worst. I just want to take a nap and wait for the kids to come tonight. Maybe do some laundry in order to have clean clothes. Do a paper, not so much. Just getting food prepared to eat seems like to much. I wish that I had someone to support me and be by my side this weekend to be a cheerleader to finish this paper. Maybe once my kids get here, I will be more motivated.

They Just do not and can not Get IT! **may trigger**

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IT! The feeling of loneliness, emptiness, despair, anger, relief, and it seems like everything else all balled into one. Why children who have been abused still love their abusers? Why molestation survivors blame themselves? How one person becomes the focus of support and caring? Why one loss can make a difference so powerful that it changes the course of one’s life.

People who have not been through shit, and there are many types, just do not get what it is like to have been abused, molested, put down, ridiculed, and treated like a mistake by the people who were supposed to care and make you feel safe. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that there are those out there who had a good child and good memories. Whose parents loved and encouraged them. Who had a two-parent household.

IT, is why I have a passion for going into the field of social work. Understanding the experience plus having the knowledge of the process enables me to be able to make a difference. I do not know exactly what that is yet. I know that I will have to choose one area, yet I do not know where I want to focus. Personally, I have been through many categories of topics that could turn into research and change. Right now, I am trying to decide where to focus. Recognition and signs of abuse and neglect, prevention of child maltreatment, family therapy for those who have been affected by violence, domestic violence, parenting skills, a woman’s right to choose….  Yes, those are all going through my head at any one time.

Being passionate is advantageous when studying and researching. It is also a hinderance in that I want to do more than I can. I want to make the most impact in whatever path I choose to go down. I want to know IT. That subject or area that only I lived through. I want to become an expert on the researchers, laws and policies. I want to become involved and informed. Most of all I want to help in whatever way I can. I do not just want to sit back and talk about changes, I want to make them. One small step at a time. I know that I will get there because others have that have come before me.

 

Another Hard Night

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Apparently, I better get used to frustrating and overwhelming night classes. I hate the dark. I did not want to take an evening class, yet I do not want to take a professor that will stress me out either. Toss a coin at that point I guess.

I already know that class is going to suck tonight!!! We are talking about child welfare policy. I am taking two other classes this semester on the same subject. It is good to know the information, yet sometimes it is just to much. Why can’t anyone talk of change? Why do we continue with the same disheveled system? Being the end of the semester and the fact that I reached my limit weeks ago, I would rather just go home and work on a paper.

It does not help that I feel that the professor and I are in two different schools. I want to see the future as being one that can be changed to make laws and policies more realistic and effective. I feel like sometimes it is just go with the flow. Why? In order for things to get better sometimes they need to change. Hell sometimes, the entire thing just needs to be torn up or broken and completely redone.

That is what I think of some of our social policies. The policies for children are the worst. Adults think they know best, yet ask a kid and they will tell you something different. Sometimes no matter where they live or what background they come from, you can still get the same answer. Essentially, love, support, and some respect. They are not objects on a chessboard or a game piece that can be moved around. Something needs to give. Although I doubt that it will be anything tonight except my temper!!

Another Day, Another Memory

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Everyone around me is talking about Cinco de Mayo. They are excited about going out with friends and having a great time. Me, this is yet another nightmare that I had to live through. Another loss of a person that I could not get back. Actually, the loss of the first person that I was told that I just needed to get over and move on from.

Life just went on. No matter how bad or devastating something was there was not time to morn. Grief was not allowed. Today, that same grief still haunts me wherever I go and each year on anniversaries. Physically, I do not feel well. My stomach hurts and I can barely keep my eyes open. Mentally, I cannot focus and thoughts turn to dark places.

Yet, today is another day and no-one cares. There is not one person who can see the pain and agony on the inside. There are no physical wounds to show. There is nothing that is “wrong” for anyone to see. Everything is invisible. Once again, I just have to deal with it and go on like nothing has happened.

A Moment That was a Dream

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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.