When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness, the entire family is affected. The person diagnosed is trying to come to terms with their symptoms and medications. There are activities that one needs to do such as find a therapist, psychiatrist, and possibly a support group. Often, one hospitalization turns into many. The feeling of being a spectator in their own life may set in over time.
For family members, it is a time for adjustment. The medications that are supposed to help actually make the symptoms worse. Trying to comfort their loved one turns into an argument due to misunderstandings. For the relative, they see their loved one struggling, yet cannot do anything to help. A feeling of desperation and helplessness begins.
Over my many stays at psychiatric hospitals, there is always the common issue of loved ones leaving. Just when we need support, people go away and stop answering texts. Even though, at our core we are the same, the changes are just to much to bear. It seems hardest for those closest to the patient as they see what happens everyday. Watching a loved one in pain is often to much to bear.
I am not an expert. All of this is from my own experience. In hindsight I wished that I would have listened to my treatment team and went into counseling with my family. Maybe there was something that I could have done. Now, some relationships are irreparable.
Mental illness and the symptoms that come with it have taken another thing from me. My current husband wants a divorce because he has stated that I put to much of the past on him. Maybe that is true knowing all the shit that has happened.
For me this means that I have nowhere to live and that my son will not be able to see me because I will not have a room for him to stay in. Right now, so many things are up in the air. This also means that I may not be able to take or see any of my cats which are my babies.
I guess I will just have to take one day at a time at this point and hope that somehow things will work out in the end.
I had to make a list of goals that I would achieve in order to function at the most basic level. Yesterday, I was told to rank those goals into three different categories: easy, medium and hard.
At first I thought that it would be no problem. I just had to make a list. Then last night, I looked at the list and really thought about what goal would go where. That is when I realized that I am struggling even more than I thought.
A goal like going and getting the mail sounds easy, yet I am deathly afraid to leave the house. I have mastered getting everything that I need delivered. Then there was a goal about preparing meals when I have trouble making the simplest foods.
Maybe these goals are going to be a lot harder to attain than I first thought. Hopefully, I can be true to myself as I rank them and realize that I am having a hard time right now and some goals may not be so easy.
So, today I will attempt to work on the list. Just getting out of bed is hard. Maybe I should begin with that as my first goal.
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.
I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I like to stick to what I know could be true. This fall I was able to move into a wonderful neighborhood. People talk with one another and try to help out whenever they can. I am looking forward to seeing more people coming out in the spring.
The other adventure that I am beginning is a book club. I have always loved to read and hopefully it will be a way to meet new people. It will also mean interacting with others which I need practice in.
My kids are also going to be a part of the year. One will be moving out of middle school into high school and another is thinking of a future in the military. It means a lot that they want to discuss their courses with me.
I will also have the cats to enjoy and care for. They each have their unique personalities. I cannot wait to watch the kitten continue to grow and for our other cat to accept her a little more each day.
Therapy will get harder as I pull back the layers surrounding my abuse. Maybe I can learn to direct my anger toward the right people from now on. All I know is that I need to get in touch with my emotions.
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.
The kids visit is ending and my husband is back to working full time. After the beginning of the week, I will be by myself.
I hate being in my own head and all of the flashbacks that I get. I have been practicing mindfulness at night which seems to help a little. I also do not want to have to fight my ex for my kids.
The house is still sitting here. I feel like it is the same comment over and over. The house is nice yet we decided to go with another one. I am beginning to feel that I will not be able to get out of here!!
Keeping the house clean to show also is not fun. Laundry has been a challenge also with all of the pet hair. I feel like I am cleaning the same place multiple times a day. At least people still want to see it.
We will see how my self harm impulses are after the kids are gone. I have a feeling they are going to increase rapidly.
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.
I met with my field liaison yesterday. I was informed that the principal no longer wanted me in the school. I have only had one brief encounter with him, yet he is saying that I was diagnosing the three clients on my caseload and was disrespecting him in front of students.
In to next two weeks I am going to have to go in front of a review board who will decide my fate. It could be that I need to take this year over, I could fail field, or I could be expelled from the program. None of the options sound very good. This also goes on my permanent transcript that I could not make it in this field placement.
A large part of me just wants to quit. I do not want to have to keep going to two classes that I may have to repeat. I know that I have PTSD. I know that I have other mental illnesses. I have them, I do not diagnos them. At this point, I just want to walk in on Monday and drop out of the program. Maybe this is not for me. Truly, I am not sure what to do. I do know this is to much stress!!
I knew that graduate school was going to be hard. I did not intend for it to make me feel so bad after only 5 weeks. I feel like I am on this ride that I cannot get off of. The ride just keeps going with no sign of end in site. The small comfort is that there are others on this ride to nowhere.
Last semester, I was able to keep my head above water and get my assignments and readings completed. This semester, grad school feels like some horrible monster that I cannot get rid of. For me, I knew that grad school would be hard. 15 credits is hard no matter what. People had told me about how bad field could be and I am experiencing my own learning curve with that.
What no one told me or warned me about was all of the reading. If it would be 100 pages I could handle it. It is between three and four hundred pages a week. I barely can get the reading finished. Then, for every class I have at least one research paper. We were to led to believe from the professors thatthey were not that bad. That is completely coming from those who grade them, not those who write them.
Added onto all of the fun items above is the parking. Even the campus police told us to hide phone, money, wallets, not to make eye contact with people, not to talk or engage in conversation, and to be aware at all times. I am already hyper vigilant, I did not need that speech to scare the hell out of me, I already had a good picture.
There have been some issues. People deciding to beat on my car with me in it. Others asking me for money each time I pass them. Still there are others that are yelling. I am not taking the time to find out if it is me or not. I just keep going. Why could I not have a school with a regular campus and campus issues. Instead I get texts telling me what just happened to someone.
If I want to be a patient advocate and get an MSW, I need to just try each day to take it one hour at a time. Some hours are horrible!! Others are not so bad. Technically, I have survived my first month. I am scared about the next three that I have to get through. Somehow I have to do this. At least now I know that for the next two years, graduate school is the priority.