A Big Change

Our family is looking at moving out of the area where I was abused. In some ways it is scary. In other ways I am looking forward to be able to go out of the house and maybe explore a new area.

It will be weird to not be by my abusers and to not have to come back to the neighborhood. I feel like my life is going to get a second chance and I cannot ruin it. Maybe going back to school at different college with a different viewpoint will help.

My family can make new memories at a new place that may allow me to finally get well and recover. I will be able to still see my treatment team. I will try to keep the blog updated. Especially when we find a house and have a contract.

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Two of Me **TRIGGER WARNING**

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.

Why Can’t I See??

After my oldest child stopped speaking to me I have let it get in the way of my relationship with my two youngest children. I need to realize that they want to be here on the weekends and want me at their activities. For some reason I do not take my own advice that they are all different people.

I have also been told to make my illness clear to them. I do not know how to do that. I feel like they do not know enough, yet I still need to continue to keep a healthy boundary.

Finding the right words is going to be hard. Not only do I have a mental illness, but a physical one as well. One that stress negatively affects. I need to allow them to know that they are not causing any of this. The problem is that I already think that I have told them. From what I remember they did not even want to hear. Maybe instead of talking, I should put things in writing. Not to much, yet enough for them to understand.

Last night was a great example. One of my kids had an activity. I was exhausted and did not feel well. I really thought that it was best not to go, yet I had already promised that I would come. I need to begin to be realistic with them. This is where boundaries come in again.

My children mean so much to me and I want them to be able to focus on themselves. At the same time I need for them to understand that my decisions have nothing to do with them. They have to do with what is happening in my life. A good therapy topic and I can ask my therapist to read the completed letters before I give them to the kids.

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.

How is This Supposed to Work??

I have one more week until school begins. Luckily, I was able to get all of the accommodations for my disability. That makes me feel better about class. I am still skeptical about parking. So me of the areas near the school are sketchy. I think the anxiety about parking is worse than my anxiety about clinical at this time.

The kids are back with their dad for right now. I am going to try to complete some me prep work for this semester. We had a good time over their visit. I like having time with them. I get to see how they are during the day and what they really do all day. 

Today, I have my appointment with my psychiatrist. We do not see things the same way. I think I am more upset after the visit them before I go in. This person tries, they just do not seem to get it. Even when I say how I am doing I am not believed. There is no trust there!

When Studying Makes it Worse! ##May Trigger##

My ultimate goal is to becom a Social Worker in a child welfare division. Right now, I am still trying to process my own traumas in therapy. To get through all of the things that happened to me.

I had a reading this week for one of my classes on how a certain targeted group is treated by a group of professionals. Of people who we should trust. It made me sick. To know what year it is and that people still have antiquated attitudes.

Class talks a lot about oppression. This just reminds me that there are certain companies that will not even hire me based on the fact that I have a mental illness. Then there are the interviews that I may get. I have to make sure to cover the scars from all of my self harm.  

If I ever do get hired, I will need to listen while people talk about their families, while I cannot talk to mine and they do not want to talk to me. Holidays are hard. Birthdays are hard. 

Having a mental illness is somewhat invisible. Sometimes that can be horrible. Times when people talk negatively about anyone who has a mental illness or says that they are not as bad as they seem. I am guilty of trying to hide my panic attacks and pretending to be ok when I am falling to piececs.

I have thought a lot about self harm lately. About how it would relieve some of the pressure and hopelessness for at least a few minutes. Then I think of my kids and my goals. As bad as I feel, I have to keep going and maybe one day, if I get out of the other side I can tell someone that it does get better. It is hell and fighting along the way. One can slip and fall down. It is definitely a rocky pass with obstructions. Yet, a long way down where they may not be able to see is a light at the end. It starts as a speck. That is where I am. I hope the light get bigger and brighter. I want to give others hope that abuse does not define them. That it does not have to keep them back. That their abusers are not the ones with the power any longer. 

My abusers are still there. They are still active. I am still going through my dark journey. Sometimes it is not pretty. I think I spent my entire therapy session last time just yelling that I felt that no one cared or could see me. So, things are a struggle. They are hard. Everyday brings something new. Negative or positive. There are so many pints where I want to just stop and say that is enough. No more!! I cannot say it always is better or that the days are always great.

Reality is that there are triggers everywhere. That I have to just breath to get through or leave the room for a few moments. That is my reality.

A Little Better

Maybe the change in meds has finally helped a little or the visits with the new member of my treatment team. It could be a little of both.

I am taking one day at a time again. Sometimes that is all that I can do to keep moving forward. Reading and journaling have been vices for me over the past few days.

My kids are always going to be a part of my life. At this point, they are able to choose how much they want to be a part of mine. My oldest is moving farther and farther away. Hopefully, he will come around, yet I am not sure that it will be soon.

The start of a new school year is getting closer as well as the start of dance. Both bring unique benefits and challenges. School will be a chance to work toward a possible career. That is if I can handle it. Dance is always a question of whether or not my body will cooperate. Only time will tell for both.

Watching the Olympics has been great! Seeing all of the athletes in their events. I also know someone who is there right now and is posting pictures on Facebook! The area looks beautiful! 

Tonight and tomorrow are quiet. Maybe I will go and use the bike at the gym for a little bit tomorrow. Monday is going to bring the beginning of a new week and more discussions with my treatment team about where I am at and if I can be safe.

Invisible

Having a mental illness is hard. Just to have the right diagnosis may take years. For the person with PTSD, they are misdiagnosed an average of 7 times before the correct diagnosis is made. That is a lot of doctor visits and even more medication.

To the outside world, mental illness is invisible with a few exceptions. There are beginning to be more positive images of mental illness, yet it is still all over the news and Internet when that one person out of millions makes a bad decision.

Having a mental illness is hard. Other than my therapist, there are few people who I can talk too. Most people feel that I am fine. I am not in the hospital, my weight is normal, and I can even get out of the house to run small errands. What they do not see us how much it takes to do anything. How much I have to push and convince myself to get a shower, get dressed, and get out the door. How I have turned around in the past and cancelled or just have said that the errand could wait.

Right now, I have a lot of stressors. It is causing me to want to binge. Internally, I am at war with myself. It is so easy to have access to all of the foods that I want. Somehow, I have to find the willpower to resist. I have been irritated and angry over the emotions that are coming up. 

Therapy is only one hour a week. All of the other hours it is up to me. Since school is out and dance is ending, it is hard to think about all of the time that I will have for my mind to wander. I have looked into activities. I at least need to do something. 

Still I feel like I should be fine because I look fine.

What if I Mess Up?

I have loved dance ever since I can remember. The smell of the studio and the leotards and tights. The barre exercises and combinations going across the floor. 

At almost 40, I decided to pursue a dream of getting a dance degree. This first semester has not been easy and has tested my emotional and physical strength more than once. The fibromyalgia and the wave of exhaustion it brings on have been a challenge.

I am being considered as an instructor for a rec council next year. Right now, I am assisting with their recital. It is so energizing to see the young dancers and the joy in their face as they move. That is what dance always was . A way to be free. While backstage with them last night, their excitement was palpable.

Can I teach? Can I choreograph? Will I do a good job? These are questions that I will never know the answer to unless I try. If I am offered a position, I think I may take it. It would be a way for me to share what I love with students. Not bad for a part-time job!!