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!
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.
There is part of me that lives in the present and another hurt and very raw part from the past. Today life is good, yet I still feel depressed. I have a loving husband, kids who are teens and still tell me they love me and check to see how I am, and the ability to be me with all of my quirks.
Then there is the other part of me. The part that was called ungrateful. The one who’s mother stated over and over that she should of had an abortion with her. The one who carries guilt at some of the losses in her life. The one who was made to feel that she did not exist.
It is hard to have a dichotomy like this going on in my head all of the time. I lead toward believing the negative even when positive things are said. My bruises have healed, yet the words that’s stung then sting just as much today. I am a work in progress. Maybe one day I will like who I am.
As I look at myself, I see scars that will not go away that I have created because of the anxiety and self-hatred. This summer I cannot hide them. I wish I could hear what others think when they see them. Do they see someone who was strong enough to get treatment when she was ready to give up on life itself? Will they just think that it is for attention and snicker behind my back? Maybe both are happening. There are others out there like me who have been through the tunnel of abuse and back. Those that are survivors. Maybe I will get to meet some.
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??
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.
Friday, my cat, whom I consider my best friend, was sick. I thought it was the typical hairball and did not pay much attention. then she was sick again. Soon she was not eating or drinking. By this time, it was well into the weekend and I had no choice but to take her to the ER.
Once there, we were told that she was dehydrated. All of her tests came back normal, but the still wanted to complete an ultrasound. I had a hard time leaving her there overnight and went back the next morning. When I saw her again she had an IV and a cone from pulling out the first IV. Once all tests were completed she checked out ok. I took her back home that night after a long and trying day in the waiting room.
After she came home, she was interested in food and even eating. Then the symptoms started up again. I had not fed her anything but her normal food, which is ProPlan. She went back to the vet yesterday and were told that it was still gastritis. She was hungry last night. The ProPLan has been omitted from her diet and she seems to be on the mend at this point. I question if the food was bad? I have no way of knowing what caused all of this.
Since I took the cat to the vet yesterday, I missed therapy. We are processing right now and some of the memories are uncomfortable. I know that it will only get worse as I delve deeper into the memories and try to connect feelings with events that happened in my life. At least my therapist does not push and I feel comfortable at the rate that things are going.
In other events, my ex will not allow me to have the kids for two one night visits in a row. He thinks that it will send me back into the hospital. I am so glad that he thinks that he is a doctor. He has no clue what I went inpatient for in the fall. What was going on at that time is over and done with and I am getting on with my life as best I can. Having to give up a Masters program was hard, yet it was the right thing to do. Maybe it was the right course of study, yet the school was the wrong fit. At least I see the kids next weekend. High school is looming for both of them. I am concerned with how they will adjust, yet I know that they are strong and that they can come to me with anything.
This morning the cat got me up to be with her. I am grateful that she seems to be on the mend. This weekend scared me. I do not know what I would do without her companionship. She is one of a kind.
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.
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.
I have been off of Facebook today. I celebrated Valentine’s Day on Sunday. Sunday I had an amazing lunch and was able to relax.
Today, I have therapy. Once the bad crap gets let out, it does not go back. The only thing I am going to want to do when I get home is to watch mindless TV and go to bed. I am lucky that I have someone in my life who understands.
I am thinking about a program in the fall that I can get a certificate. I have also signed up for writing sites and am learning more about what it will take to write a book. I think that in my case, it may need more than one. Whatever I am going to do the in the future it will need to accept me for who I am. I wish that the grad school that accepted me would not have now. I do not think that they really wanted someone with a mental illness. I still fell that I was just someone who met a diversity qualification.
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.