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.

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.

Not this Year

I went into the hospital to get help. I got out and am not able to see my kids until letters are written and meetings are completed. I am hoping to see them in January.

I was supposed to have them for Christmas this year. All of their gifts are wrapped and ready for them. I feel like I am being punished by choosing to get help.

If it was a medical condition I could see my kids. Yet, it was a mental health issue. My ex went so far yesterday to that suicidal = homicide. I am not sure who is giving out that information. It is not true. Especially for a people who voluntarily go into the hospital.

This is beginning to be a weird Christmas. I just hope that it can be salvaged and that my husband and I have a good day together.

Things are Healing

My injury is healing. I go back to the doctor tomorrow for a check up. Physically, I have a wound and scars.

The problem is mentally. I still feel like I am just walking through the day getting the things done that I need too. Even that is at a bare minimum.

I am still trying to get my ex and all of my doctors together in order to see my kids. I was fortunate enough last night that I was able to see one of the kids in a concert.

Getting my medications has been a bit of an adventure lately. I call a refill in and give a time when I will pick it up. Then, usually after that time I go in to pick it up and it is not ready. I am told it will be 20 minutes, yet if I had not called it in the wait time would be the same. Solution: just walk in and save the phone call.

It seems as if I have began to snore so loudly that it is waking my husband up. This is a problem when he needs to get up in the morning. I made a appointment with the doctor to see what is the cause and if anything can be done about it.

There are still some loose ends that I need to tie up with school. I just am scared to even go to the neighborhood where the school is located. I am going to have to take a deep breath and just do it.

My therapist wants me to feel the feelings that were repressed around events when I was a kid. I am scared to show feelings to anyone. He wants me to write about it between now and Friday. Hopefully I can get some words onto the page.

Week #4

I am already burnt out not even halfway through the semester. I need to enforce the modifications in my 504 plan. I need the adaptations to make it through the semester. Parking is crazy. I am so tired after having to talk so far. Then I have trouble staying awake in class. 

My kids are taking things better than expected. The always seem to find a reason to do their work with me. They motivate me to keep going.

Field is not going as well. My field instructor believes that my mental illness is going to have a negative effect on my work and capability in the field. I have had to go above my field instructor and I hate that. Why can’t I get through a semester without an issue?

The only saving grace is that I have therapy twice a week. That has helped to reduce the impact of secondary trauma. The times are effecting my school work, yet I need the time to work on my issues.