Really Struggling *Trigger Warning*

I have been trying to hold it together and now I feel like I am coming apart at the seams . There were the thoughts of self harm that slowly crept their way back into my mind. Then I began to have trouble focusing and concentrating on things like tv and reading. I found that I could not remember what I had just did or said. I have been more moody than usual and have no desire to do any activity.

My treatment team has been attempting to treat me outpatient. That normally works. If I go into the hospital, I potentially lose my kids again. Now I feel like I have to choose between my kids and my health.

I am having trouble doing the simplest things. I cannot drive without trouble because I cannot focus. I want help and am not sure what to do! The driving is affecting my ability to get to outpatient treatment. I just want some help right now. I have called my treatment team, yet they have yet to call me back.

So right now I sit here waiting and attempting to stay safe until someone can help.

The Good and the Bad of Having a Mental Illness

There are many negative aspects of having a mental illness, yet I believe there are good ones as well. First, the bad. People stare at the scars left by self injury. Others feel as if you are incompetent because you have a mental illness. Others around you do not believe what happened to you even though you know the truth. Medicine is trial and error often with more errors than successes. You get labeled and people can become afraid of you even though you are the same person as the day before you found out about your illness. Going into the hospital and following all of the procedures is hard.

So what is so good about having a mental illness. I have learned to slow down and try to take each moment as it comes in order to stay alive. I have met amazing and talented people in the hospital who can be whatever they want to be. I have met others who have come out of this barren tunnel better and more assured of themselves. I no longer judge people. I never know what someone is going through. Most of all I have lived with it and know what is coming. I would love to be able to mentor someone who has just been diagnosed and may or may not be at rock bottom.

Having a mental illness has changed my life. It dies not define me, yet it is a part of who I am and my experiences. I know that I cannot go back, yet it is hard to move forward. I realized last night that I am finally at a place where I do not care if others believe me. I know what happened to me and I need to work through it all.

Last Day of 2018

So much has happened this year. I have moved away from my abusers, I have a new cat, I have stayed out of the hospital, and I have found ways to relax or at least have tried.

I should feel better. I should be moving on with my life. Instead I still am scared to leave the house. I am not even sure why. It just causes a panic attack to get near the door.

True, I was able to get away from the proximity of my abusers and where the abuse happened. The dates and events still live in a corner of my mind and in some ways have gotten louder.

Today, I feel like my body and mind have created a prison for me. One that causes me to believe that the outside is dangerous. One where even when I close my eyes I have nightmares of what happened. One where I still lose time and easily get stressed out.

I am realize that all the move did was to separate me physically. Mentally, I am still that girl who was abused, teased, and unwanted.

Hopefully, the next year means that I will be able to work through some of this, yet I am reluctant to discuss what went on. Somehow I need to find a way to live with this and stop contemplating ways to end all of this discord and unrest.

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.

So Different

It is weird going from a place where there was the constant noise of police sirens and helicopters to a setting where the only sounds are a lawnmower or a passing car. People ask how you are doing and life goes at its own pace.

There is no feeling that at any minute someone is going to break in or that I will see a rat driving home. I have parking as well as spots to relax and calm down.

Things are getting done. My projects right now include shelf liner, sink liner, and a ton of paint. I cannot wait for the kids to see the house. I hope they like it as much as I do.

The ants seem to be slowly dwindling in number. I am excited to see less each time that I look. Some storage is on its way. What seems like a big kitchen is small when you have a husband who loves to cook and is an appliance geek.

My ex is still being difficult with visitation and seems to be taking the opportunity to lesson my visits with the kids if possible. I really do not want to go back to court, yet if I have to I will. I have less than 5 years now until all of the kids are 18. That is a good feeling.

Feeling Worthless

My husband and I are looking to move. If I were “normal”, I would have a job and income to use for the paperwork. Unfortunately, my PTSD symptoms are not controlled. I still have panic attacks around people and places that I do not know. My short term memory is messed up. I swear that is from the ECT.

And then there is the feeling of anger that I try to suppress each day so that I can at least get through the day.

Because of the complications from my mental illness, we may just have to stay where we are and I am going to have to learn to be ok with that. It just sucks that I am such a large part of the problem.

Some people would bring up getting damages from my abusers, yet the statute of limitations has passed. It still makes me feel like I am limited each day due to the symptoms of my illness.

No one chooses to be abused as a child or suppress those memories. Yet, it seems like we are blamed when we cannot hold a job or function as everyone else does. We fought a fight that we did not choose, yet we get blamed. Why didn’t you just tell someone or why did you not move out. I wish it were that easy. If I would have told, things would have been much worse. I was frozen for so long. I just did as they said to not rock the boat. It was not really a choice, it was a way to get through each day with the least amount of pain.

I just wish recovery would happen sooner. It just seems to take so long and involve so many aspects of my life. I just have to do what I can. Keep going to the doctors and seeing my therapist. One step at a time!

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??

A Path

At one time I was going to school for education and even had a job as a schoolteacher. I had kids and stayed home with them. Then, the mental illness hit with all of its challenges.

So, I tried to stay stable and went to nursing school. That would have worked out had it not been for a physical illness. I was so let down at that point.

Then, I worked for years with my doctor to start Social Work classes. I had no idea that I would not last even 5 clinical days in my placement when I was told that I did not fit in. Social work just was not right for me.

As I sit here writing this post, I have absolutely no clue where my life is headed. What do I do now? Where do I go? No one is going to tell me, I have to figure this out on my own.

For now, I am taking a DBT class. It is interesting and has given me a different way to look at situations. It is still the beginning. Time will tell. I still see my therapist as well. I am not even sure what we are working on at the moment. I think grief and loss.

I have been able to see the kids twice so far. I enjoy spending time with them. Now that they are older they get sarcasm and humor. They still put a smile on my face. I will not ever stop being in their corner.

So what is my path right now? I think that it is to discover what I am made of. To take each piece and event apart and examine it in order to move on and be able to stop allowing it to run my life.

There was a time that I did not think that I could get away from the abuse. Then there was the realization that handling 120 students was not for me. I had a trying marriage and a terrible divorce.

In that time I have also learned to fight for what I believe in. Even though I do not have custody, I make sure to see the kids every time that they can visit. I am still taking my medication as prescribed and being honest with my treatment team. Sometimes they never know what I will say.

Right now is another time to dust off myself and figure out where I am going to go with my life. I have a few ideas, yet I need to see if that is really what I want to do. Therapy tomorrow. Hopefully one more step toward a life that I can be proud of.

New Year!

New Year’s resolutions. Everyone makes them. Exercise more, go on a diet, don’t do whatever. My resolution is to try to figure out what my path in life is. I have thought about writing a book. At least a small one about my journey through the courts with my kids.

Group was this morning. Why does everyone want to talk about emotions. If I was comfortable with those I would not need all of the therapy. That would certainly save money.

The holidays were ok. My husband got me some really cool art stuff and a bubble tank. I have been taking advantage of all of the new art supplies!! I love to draw and color. It is relaxing and all of my problems seem to disappear.

I was able to see the kids again after completing all of the steps in the agreement. It was great to have them at the house and to be able to celebrate our Christmas.

So. I am not sure if I have mentioned that I am not a big fan of cooking. I am better at baking. I have found a new love for baking scones. I can put pretty much anything into them that I want. I have iced some and not others. I also made brownies from scratch. They turned out better than the box mix.

Part of me has come to accept that I am on my own path right now. I have to figure out the best route to take. I think that with time, it will come to be. I have a few ideas. Hope that everyone had a great New Year. I am not sure it is about resolutions but getting through one day at a time.

Somehow I got Through

Christmas is a holiday with conflicting memories. I used to have a great time at my Aunt’s house, yet I remember my parents being forced.

This Christmas was the first Christmas that I could not see my kids because I had to go into the hospital. I felt like I was being punished and that I could not even hold it together enough to be able to see them. I had to go inpatient. I needed the staff and the support.

In two days I have a meeting with my ex to see about when I can see the kids again. I hope it will go well. Who knows with my ex.

Christmas at our home was great. I was able to see the cat stick her head into a treat bag. I received some cool art supplies and a bubble light. I was able to spend the day with my husband just relaxing.

I hope to get my kids back soon. I miss them. They at least still talk to me at night.

DBT is going well. I like keeping the diary cards each day and keeping track of my symptoms. Right now we are focusing on mindfulness. After the new year we will begin emotion regulation. I know that I need it and that I am going to need to work really hard to be able to use it.

My sleeping is like it always is. I found I get more sleep without taking sleep medication. I am going to see how it work out for the next few nights.

The holidays are almost over and for the most part they have been good. Let’s see how the beginning of the new year will go.