A Mess

Packing up somewhere sounds like it will be easy. Then the packing begins, and all of these old memories come up. Suddenly, things that have not been seen have meaning. The house actually becomes more of a mess as trash is separated from keep. Then, there is the I have no idea pile. At least I know that progress is being made.

I overreacted with my daughter yesterday. She was playing with all of the other kids. There was an adult around who reminded me of the past and freaked me out. I yelled at my daughter to come sit by where I was. I cannot explain the panic and fear that took over me in that moment. I do not ever want her to have negative experiences if I can prevent it.

Maybe I have been through to much and have done to much research. A person can still be a pedophile if they have kids or if they are older. There is not just one description. I do not care if they are at the same party, a background check was not done to get into the party and something could happen.

Luckily, my daughter and I had a productive talk last night about the incident and I assured her that it was nothing that she did.

Today means more packing and getting the house ready for pictures. Should be a busy day.

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Trapped *MAY TRIGGER*

Sitting here thinking about life is challenging. I feel like I need to make a pros and cons list for continuing to go on.

The kids are a big factor. All of the research shows that a child whose parent commits suicide is more likely to do so. I would not want my kids to get into this dark space.

So much has failed including school, losing touch with one of my children, and constant court cases with my ex. All of this has left me drained. I feel alone no matter how many people are in a room. What do I even talk about with people. The kids are a hard subject and school was a disaster.

People do not want to hear about hospital stays and wound care centers. I believe that eating disorder treatment centers are also not at the top of the list. Those are the topics that I know best at this point.

Maybe a better option would be to talk about the diamond paintings that I have done or the garden that my husband is working on. Yet, those topics do not feel like me at this time. One day blends into another.

What to do? Going back to school is going to be rough. I feel like I am on a never ending ride in that department. Keep seeing the kids until they too realize how damaged and flawed I am. Continue to talk about the worst memories of my life in therapy.

This is not the life that I pictured. Not even close. Being a non-custodial parent was something that I did not even know existed. Failing at school because of an illness that I did not choose and is directly related to negative childhood experiences. Living in a neighborhood where I do not feel safe. Even as I write this there are helicopters circling the block.

One day I need to make a choice. I cannot live in between any longer. There needs to be a clear side to work on and pursue.

So Nervous about a Visit

My children are visiting me this weekend. I am excited to see them and catch up with what they have been doing. It is great to be able to have the simple things like meals together and a movie in the evening.

I am scared every weekend that they are scheduled to come and visit. My oldest decided that he did not want to see me anymore. That tore me up. Until this day, I still do not know what I did that made him so upset. He has blocked my number so I cannot even ask him how come this has gone on.

What if my other children decide not to see me? They mean so much to me, yet at the same time they have their lives to live. I am hoping to be a part of that and be able to see the changes and special events as they grow.

I know that all I can do for now is to cherish the moments that we do have. Take lots of pictures and just live in the moment.

Unsure, Yet I Need to Try

Getting an MSW did not work out so well for whatever reason. I am not even sure that what happened was my fault. Withdrawing from the program made me question my ability to do anything at all. All I know is that I still want to work with people.

This fall, I plan to begin a program at the local community college to be able to be a chemical dependency counselor. I am worried that it will just be another dead end. That this program will not work out either. I know that I have to try. I want to show my kids that no matter what happens in life there is always another path. Even if that path seems impossible to get through.

I surprised myself yesterday. I went on my son’s field trip. I was surprised to know and realize how excited he was and how happy he became in seeing all of the artifacts that interested him. It turned out to be a better day than I thought.

In the next week, I need to look at classes. It scares me and part of me does not want to do it. This is a hard time of year. My parents were especially harsh. They always said that I was not good enough. That loop needs to slow down in my head. I need to believe in myself and see this fall as an opportunity to be able to begin again.

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.

Visitation Only

Even though I have been divorced for a number of years, the custody issue is ongoing. The county that I live in believes in giving a parent with a mental illness visitation. After the first agreement was reached I thought that the battles and stress were over.

Fast forward to a hospital stay where I came home to a letter that stated that seeing the children was detrimental for them. Almost a year of lawyers and court went by before I was able to see my children again.

I hate having to go inpatient, even though I know that it might be for the best. After I get out of the hospital there is a list of steps that I have to take to get to start to see my kids again. That can take months waiting for documentation.

Sometimes it is hard. I have to report everything to my ex. When, where, how long for any type of vacation. I cannot even take the kids somewhere in the state overnight. Meanwhile, he can leave the country with them without any problem.

The bright side to all of this is that I have less time ahead of me than behind me. I already anticipate another court case coming. That will be another day.

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.