Trapped *May Trigger*

I feel like I am trapped. I am somewhere on the scale in more than one aspect of my life. I do not want to be alive, yet killing myself would hurt those around me. I want therapy, yet it does not seem to be going well with my therapist at this time.

Even my kids are a conundrum. I worry about their lives, yet I am not there with them during the week. There is only so much that I can do over the phone. I just received an email today from a teacher of my son who has chosen to not communicate with me. He is not doing well. I really want to be able to get makeup work for him and have him do it at my house, yet he will not even come out to the car to say hello to me.

At least I have my diamond paintings and can lose myself in that world for a few hours each night. I also have two sweet cats. One who is laying on my lap and another who gives kisses at night before she goes to sleep.

My husband allowed us to move this past year and I am no longer trapped in a neighborhood full of crime. If I look at the whole picture it is pretty divided. I am not even sure what image it conjures up. Maybe some type of storm where it is raining on one side of the painting with dark gray clouds and a rainbow on the other side. The problem is that I feel like I am right on the thin line down the middle.

A Custody Dilemma Due to My Mental Illness

I have stated on here that I have three kids. Right now I am feeling like the story of the three bears. One child does not speak to me at all. The second child is ok with the visitation arrangement and does not want to cause any issues. The last child is having some issues with home and school and wants to move in with me.

Enter the fact the the other parent has full physical custody. That parent believes they are the best because they do not have a mental illness which causes symptoms that have prohibited them from working. That parent would remove the kids from me in a minute. That parent grudgingly brings the kids that do want to come to visit.

Yes, I have PTSD and depression. I lose time and I have trouble leaving the house. I have nightmares that keep me up and cause me to be tired during the day. Apparently, that means that I cannot be a parent.

The last child wants to live here. That child is having some issues and would like to try going to school and living here. At least the child is not into high school yet and the grades will not count toward college. I am worried. Financially, I do not have the funds for the court case. It would be complicated and ugly. I have a feeling both sides would be calling experts. What to do? Emotionally, I want the third child to have a chance. Intellectually, I know that I cannot afford the fight. I am not sure that I could handle it emotionally either.

So here I am. I feel guilty that I cannot do what someone with more income would be able to do. I feel guilty for not working, yet my therapist and I are just trying to get me to leave the house. I feel guilty that there is a situation that will negatively affect this child in the future. I feel like I am watching a train wreck. I know what emotional abuse looks and sounds like. Not only from my own experience, but also from the child maltreatment classes that I took. Emotional abuse is one of the hardest types of abuse to prove. There are no exams and even therapists tends to minimize situations.

Right now I am scared. If this child is anything like me I am scared how far they will go to prove how bad they are feeling. I am scared that the custodial parent will stop the child from seeing me because they feel that I somehow caused this to happen. My genes are defective. Right now all I can do is hope that I get the kids at my next visitation.

Another Vet Visit

The kitten is scheduled for shots and bloodwork tomorrow. I think that will start her official hatred of the vet. We let her explore the house this morning. She was running around today and going up and down the stairs just because she could. She loves string and toys that she can manipulate.

I swear she has gotten so much bigger in just a week. She has started giving herself a bath multiple times a day and is using the litter box. She likes water unlike our resident kitty.

Hopefully, they will be able to meet tomorrow. Right now, they know each other’s scents and look for the other one. Ok, the kitten looks for our older cat more often.

I am actually able to feed her and take care of her. I find myself only taking a short nap each day. I still have to call about the TMS. I am worried about how many days they will want me to come. I think insurance companies and doctors should factor in gas costs. Sometimes even the closest place is a long drive.

This weekend is my middle child’s birthday. I cannot believe that I have three teenagers at this point. At least two out of three still talk to me. I am hoping that when the oldest one gets to be an adult that he will change his mind and at least talk to me sometimes. That will be better than it is now. It is unusual that I have the kids on their actual birthday. This should be a good weekend.

Therapy is tomorrow. I feel like I cannot get all I want to out each session. At least I am talking now and we are working on how the trauma is affecting my life today. Especially, how I am scared to leave the house and how I still go to anger as my first reaction. We are working on seeing why that is and trying to find ways to lessen those issues.

Hope everyone who is reading this is having a decent week and making sure to do some self care each day. Even 5 minutes makes a difference. I think I will write about how meditation is helping me become more grounded at night tomorrow.

A Question about Teens and Day 5

The kitten is doing well. She is eating and drinking. She loves to play and give kisses. Most of all she is getting more comfortable with the house and loves exploring.

For those of you out there who may have teenagers, I have a question. Do your teens remember your birthday or get you cards for important Holidays? My teens forgot my birthday again this year. I think I may be extra sensitive because of growing up in a house where your birthday could be taken away.

The TMS is progressing. My doctor has found a place that accepts insurance. Ironically, I need to see their psychiatrist to determine the number of sessions and long each should be. When are they going to invent a therapy that takes away all of the horrible memories. That is something that I could get on board with. I will have to call the treatment center on Monday.

I am enjoying having the two cats. Their personalities are so different. They cannot begin to meet until later this week when the kitten gets her shots. I am a little worried how it will go. Hoping for the best.

Why Can’t I See??

After my oldest child stopped speaking to me I have let it get in the way of my relationship with my two youngest children. I need to realize that they want to be here on the weekends and want me at their activities. For some reason I do not take my own advice that they are all different people.

I have also been told to make my illness clear to them. I do not know how to do that. I feel like they do not know enough, yet I still need to continue to keep a healthy boundary.

Finding the right words is going to be hard. Not only do I have a mental illness, but a physical one as well. One that stress negatively affects. I need to allow them to know that they are not causing any of this. The problem is that I already think that I have told them. From what I remember they did not even want to hear. Maybe instead of talking, I should put things in writing. Not to much, yet enough for them to understand.

Last night was a great example. One of my kids had an activity. I was exhausted and did not feel well. I really thought that it was best not to go, yet I had already promised that I would come. I need to begin to be realistic with them. This is where boundaries come in again.

My children mean so much to me and I want them to be able to focus on themselves. At the same time I need for them to understand that my decisions have nothing to do with them. They have to do with what is happening in my life. A good therapy topic and I can ask my therapist to read the completed letters before I give them to the kids.

An Identity Issue ** May Trigger**

Over the years I have had many identifiers that I felt comfortable using. College graduate, stay at home mom, and returning student to name just a few. I did not question them. I knew who I was.

Today, I cannot say the same thing. I am not sure what identifies me anymore. Due to my mental illness, I did not get through 5 days in my field placement. I gave birth to three children., yet I do not consider myself a mom. One of my children has chosen to cut me out of their life and the two others barely see me. I feel like I do not know who they are even though I talk to them throughout the week.

After this falls bout of self harm, I have been left with scars that are very visible. I have seen people stare when I am out in public. I feel like saying at least I am still putting one foot in front of the other. I am not moving very fast. I have found that thoughts of self harm are coming back and I need to address that.

I am wondering where I fit in at this point. Who would accept me as I am these days. I feel damaged and unlovable. My defenses are up and I am leery of what others may think about what they see. This causes me to isolate and the entire cycle of feelings of self harm to begin again. What is one more scar to the many that I have??

Kids Should Not Have to Choose

When parents get divorced, in most cases, joint custody is awarded. There are exceptions. Mental illness, addiction, distance, who has more money, etc. Then the other parent becomes non-custodial.

In some ways I have been lucky. I still get to see my kids on holidays and am able to go on school trips. The kids are old enough to ask now and I have had the fortune of being asked twice this year.

Sometimes it is horrible. I have to account for almost every minute that they are with me. All the other parent has to go is plan the trip and go. Because the kids have passports, they can go out of the country and I do not have a say.

The other thing that I hate about my custody arrangement is that the other parent and their new spouse speak negatively about me. I am a bad parent, I do not pay enough money, I do not care about them. That can really have an affect on a teenager. Sometimes the child feels like they need to choose a parent.

I am looking forward to when they are 18 and can make their own choices. Maybe, I will be able to see them more often. Also when they can drive. Maybe they will come to visit. All I do know is that I feel like a bad parent all the time, yet I do see them. I need to work on that. All non-custodial parents want to see their kids.

Everyone Matters *MAY TRIGGER*

When is the government going to wake up to the needs of the people who are not funneling millions of dollars to have their view expressed?

Columbine was not the first school shooting, yet I remember the day that it happened and thinking where is our future going? Since then there have been additional school shootings. 7000 pair of shoes were outside the capital. Imagine 7000 children in those shoes. What would they say if they could speak?

The government thought that mental health was solved with deinstitutionalization. Nothing was solved. No additional help was given and the mentally ill could not find adequate treatment. What has happened is that more prisoners are diagnosed with mental health issues. Often these prisoners are not there for violent crime. If the government can afford to give medication to inmates why can it not afford to continue that medication when the inmate is released to end the high rate of recidivism?

There are thousands of properties that have been condemned. The government complains about how much they are losing. Why not build houses no for the homeless where they can find stability and possibly a job?

All of the above populations have no voice or influence in today’s government. They represent groups that have become invisible to those who are supposed to represent them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same result. Does that mean that our government is insane or bought out.

Something needs to change so that those who do not have a voice are let in and allowed to be heard. I think the government would find that the oppression of the individuals has hurt them and the population of the US. Those in power need to listen to those that up until now have had very little to no power. Then things may have a chance of changing.

A Mentally Ill Parent

A parent with a mental illness is still a parent. If the person is in treatment and is stable, they should be able to see their children. Instead, we have a damaged court system that takes custody away and is some cases only allows for supervised visitation.

As a patient I have to often white knuckle it so I will not need to go inpatient. If I go inpatient, I need letters from doctors and a meeting with a separate psychologist just to see my kids again.

Thankfully, all of my kids will be 18 within the next 6 years. At that point it will matter what they think and how they feel about seeing me. There will not be a visitation schedule or a holiday schedule. I hope that the kids will still want me as part of their lives. That is to be seen.

The other aspect of being a non-custodial parent is that it is public record. Any parent can look up and see that big black dot and not want me around their children. No one ever did an assessment of my competence to take care of my kids. They just assumed that I would not be able too. I think my kids are the ones who have been hurt the most.

Another Try

I do not want to give up after the disaster at graduate school. I met with an advisor today at the community college. There is less pressure and more support at level and that is what I need. I will have to make sure to use the disability office.

It will not be much longer before I get to have the kids for an entire weekend again. It feels good to be able to see them.

Therapy has been tough. Describing what happened in detail with emotions is rough, although I have to do it to get well. At least my therapist is going at a reasonable pace.