A Painful Holiday Called Mother’s Day

I am struggling to write this particular post as it has to do with the topic of mothers. In most of the world, today its Mother’s Day. A day that can be quite painful for may individuals out there.

I know for me, Mothers Day has been a source of pain for the last 35 years. I say 35 years because my mom abandoned me and my dad when I was just the tender age of three. As difficult as it was growing up with out my mom being an active participant in my life, I am beyond grateful that I have a loving father in my life that made sure I had a positive woman influence in my life. I call her grandma. My grandma went above and beyond the call of duty and am thrilled that she took on the motherly role.

Even though my grandma played the motherly role in my life as best as she could it didn’t really fill the whole I needed from my own mom. To this day, my mom hasn’t played much of a role in my life. Well, she has played a role but it has been the role of negativity. My mom blames me a great deal with how her life ended up. I realize that having a child changes things however don’t blame the child for your life decisions. Especially decisions beyond anyone control.

Things beyond one’s control is another reason why Mothers Day is so painful for me. I miscarried two sets of twins. As much as not having a loving and caring mother around, loosing a child or in my case four children hurts like hell. When today comes around it makes me acutely aware on how difficult it is to deal with the pain of the loss of miscarrying. Pain I haven’t dealt with and really need to deal with. Pain I hope that someday I can deal with and hopefully sooner than later.

At this point in time, I realize that I’m needing to stop this particular post as it is getting difficult to continue at this moment in time.  I hope each and everyone has a good Mothers Day despite how painful it can be. Peace Out!!!

 

 

Gertie Asked For A Different Perspective

It has been a while since my first contribution to Gertie’s blog. Before I go on, let me re-introduce myself. I am a friend and motherly figure to Gertie. Gertie lovingly refers to me as “Mama Bear” and that is what I will go by on their blog.

As I mentioned in the introduction I have taken Gertie under my wing. Gertie so desperately needed a motherly figure that I was willing to take that on. I didn’t meet Gertie till she was 21 when she was near death due to a serious suicide attempt. Over the years Gerties attempts on her life as well as self harm behavior became less and less. One day my crew and I were shopping at the grocery store where she use to work and that is how myself and Junior slowly got to know her and befriend her. As frustrating as Gertie can be at times it has been one of my greatest pleasures in my life being able to see her grow. Grow into the person she is now.

Yes, Gertie has had her struggles recently but I really think that the support system she has created has helped a great deal. I also think that Gertie’s new job position at work has helped as well.

I hope that over time I will discuss with you what it is like to not only be part of Gertie’s support system but what it is like to be a mother of two children who have a diagnosed mental illness. I also would like to talk about my role as a firefighter and the role mental health plays on my job description and the encounters I have experienced dealing with folks with mental illness. I have a many different views of mental illness in my own personal life that I hope I can bring to Gertie’s blog. I am part of her “journey” and can give you view that she is not able to give.

As I end this post, I would like to thank you for reading. I am giving a perspective that Gertie is wanting on her blog. I am glad to be able to give that perspective. Thank you for the willingness to read my perspective and read from someone else other than the main person who write on this blog.

Mama Bear

Introduction: Mama Bear

Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am who Gertie refers to as Mama Bear. As you know, Gertie has asked me to be a contributor to her blog. I will be sharing my personal experience on what it is like to be a support system to someone who struggles  with a mental illness.

I have been asked to also share my experience on what it is like to be a parent of two children who are diagnosed with a mental illness. I may consider Gertie like a daughter, I have four other children. Two of which I had biologically and two of which I adopted. It is my adopted children that have a diagnosed mental illness. Not only will I be sharing my experience of what its like to be the support system of someone who struggles with a mental illness and being the parent of two children with a mental illness, I will be discussing what it is like to be a first responder who deals with the mentally ill.

I have known Gertie for nearly 16 years and have seen her grow. Grow in ways that many of us didn’t think could happen. We didn’t think it could happen because Gertie was so close to death due to multiple suicide attempts that we didn’t think should would make it. Gertie’s will and determination to start recovery and to remain in recovery is what has helped to get to the place she is in now. She is doing awesome. She is following her dreams of being in a romantic relationship with my colleague, Junior as well as working as a Peer Specialist to help show others recovery is possible.

I thank you for reading. I hope to post as often as I am able with being a working mother to four children and a motherly figure Gertie needs.

Mama Bear

107 Questions With 107 Answers

I got the idea for this post from another blog, which I of course follow. Thank you Marci over at http://marcimentalhealthmore.com/  It means a great deal to be able to share ideas (and sometimes even still them with permission of course) with other bloggers. Yes, I did add, change not include some questions so I could make it geared more to my blog. .

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging for two reasons: 1) to educate those who don’t have a mental illness in hope to lessen the stigma that goes along with it. 2) to show others who do struggle with mental illness that recovery is possible and there is hope.

2. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

I came up with the title, Gertie’s Journey because Gertie is my nickname and I would be discussing my journey along the way.

3. Why not use your real name in your title?

I originally didn’t use my real name because of the stigma that goes with having a mental illness. I now don’t use my real name because I work in the mental health field and need to protect my privacy.

4. Does that mean you have a mental illness?

Yes!!

5. What are your diagnoses?

As of right now my diagnoses are Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), PTSD, OCD and ADHD. So, I’m an Alphabet Soup.  At one point in time I was diagnosed  with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I no longer meet the criteria of BPD and consider myself a Recovered Borderline.

6. Do you consider yourself in recovery?

Yup, I do!!!

7. What do you do to stay in recovery?

Most importantly, I make sure I see my therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner (ARNP) on the regular basis. I take my meds as prescribed daily. I make sure I go about my regular routine even if I’m struggling. I exercise on the regular basis.

8. How are you, really?

Overall, I am doing pretty good despite having high anxiety due to PTSD symptoms.

9. How are you feeling right now? What are you thinking about?

Umm….I think I just answered this. If you can’t remember go back to the previous question (as I say sarcastically). I’m thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner. I’m also thinking about working on scrapbooks I’m making for people for their holiday gifts. Yes, I know the holidays are six months away.

10. What is your favorite color?

Purple

11. What is your favorite food?

Mac & Cheese, Strawberries, Mexican Food

12. What is your favorite dessert?

Strawberry short cake and peach cobbler

13. How old are you?

Somewhere between 30 and 39. (Said sarcastically) Honestly, I am in my mid-30’s.

14.  What have you learned today?

I learned about Buddhism and meditation from a book I am reading about Buddhism.

15. What do you do?

I am a Consumer Advocate in a supportive housing program at local mental health agency.

16. What are some of your favorite books?

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card; The Stand by Stephen King and J.A Jance books. I also like many poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Emily Dickenson

17. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, J.A Jance, Emily Dickenson, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou

18. What are some of your favorite movies?

BIG, Speed, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, comedies, horror, and many movies Robin Williams is in.

19. Who are some of your favorite actors?

Robin Williams, Winona Ryder, Betty White, and Will Smith

20. What kind of music are you into?

I like 80’s and 90’s music and I also like Punk Rock, Grunge, and alternative.

21. Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Nirvana, Tori Amos, K.D. Lang, Kurt Cobian, Amy Grant, Tears for Fears, Journey, Queen, AC DC, and I can continue on my favorite musicians but wont.

22. If you’re going to write a book, what would it be about?

It would be memoir of my life with a mental illness and my recovery.

23. What’s the scariest thing you have ever done?

I think it would have to be starting my recovery with both the eating disorders and my mental health diagnoses.

24. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Graduating high school, getting my peer specialist certification and being in recover with my mental illness.

25. How did you meet your fiancé?

I don’t remember meeting my fiancé but will tell you how we met. We first met when I had attempted suicide and one of my housemates found me unresponsive and called 911. He was one of the firefighters on duty who responded to the call.

26. Do you have any children?

Sadly, no

27. Have you thought about fostering or adopting?

Yup, Junior and myself want to do foster care in hope of adopting the foster child/ren.

28. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a teacher.

29. What profession are you currently in?

I am in the mental health field.

30. How did you get into your profession?

I got into the field because I have my own mental health issues and want to be an example of what recovery looks like. Plus, I have a peer specialist certification.

31. Would you recommend your profession to other people? Why / Why not?

Honestly, it depends who the person would be because not everyone is fit to work in the mental health field.

32. What do you do for fun?

Camp, hike, rollerblade, walk, read, blog, watch movies, do jigsaw puzzles, do Sudoku puzzles, scrapbook, go to sporting events especially baseball games, going to concerts, listening to music, hang out with friends and select family members, and volunteer.

33. Do you like traveling?

I love it.

34. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?

Its a tie between Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. I would like to go to Ireland because I am half Irish and its part of my heritage. I want to go to Australia and New Zealand because I learned about it summer school between the 3rd and 4th grades and grew fascinated with both countries.

35. Who are some people you’d like to meet someday?

President Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Sigmund Freud

36. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

Refer to the previous question with the exception of President Obama since he is still alive.

37. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?

The future belong to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

38. What’s one of your favorite habits you have?

Going for a daily walk listening to music.

39. What are some things that make you really happy?

Sunny days, humor, my brother, my fiancé, nature, water, and my job

40. What are some things that make you really sad?

My miscarriages, most of my childhood, and how I have treated people in the height of my mental illness.

41. What are some things that scare you?

My PTSD symptoms I deal with on the daily basis. The mental health symptoms I deal with when I’m in crisis.

42. Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?

I like both planning things and out and being spontaneous.

43. Are you a religious person?

No but I do consider myself Spiritual. I am on a Spiritual journey and looking into various faiths at this particular stage in my life.

44. Would you rather live in the country or in the city?

I am a city person. I love living in the city.

45. What was your life like growing up?

It wasn’t the best of childhoods.

46. What were you like in high school?

Depends on who you ask.

47. Do you have any brothers or sisters? How many?

Yes, I do. I have one half brother.

48. What’s your favorite part about today, so far?

The sunny weather, the strawberry shortcake I had and reading about Buddhism.

49. Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it?

I’ve had many people who have influenced my life throughout my life and how those people did it is as unique as they are as people.

50. Have you ever tried sushi? (Did you like it?)

No, I have not tried sushi and never plan on trying it.

51. Do you like spicy food?

The spicier the better!!!!

52. How do you like your steak cooked?

Some pink but not a lot of pink.

53. If you were a type of animal, what would you be and why?

I think I would like to be an Orca because they are beautiful, intelligent animals and they get to be in the water all day.

54. What’s one of the strangest things you’ve ever done?

What are you talking about? Everything I do is strange because I am strange.

55. What kind of vacations do you like?

I love camping and any vacation I can learn something new.

56. What are some of your major goals in life?

To continue on my journey of recovery with mental illness.

57. What are some of your smaller goals in life?

To update my résumé and apply for peer support specialist jobs.

58. What do you like least about yourself?

The scars on my arms, legs and torso due to when I use to self harm.

59. What embarrasses you?

My speech impediment especially the stuttering (Its pretty much under control now but it acts up when I am under stress), being in little kid mode and being in a dissociated state.

60. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Being a psychiatrist.

61. What’s your earliest memory?

When I was three and my mom abandoning me.

62. What’s the best decision you ever made?

Being in recovery and choosing to stay in recovery. Trusting my gut with being in a romantic relationship with my fiancé, Junior.

63. Who’s your best / closest friend?

My fiancé, and three people I grew up with and/or went to high school with.

64. What do you think people think of you?

I don’t want to think what others think of me.

65. What were your grades like in school?

They weren’t the best in the world, mainly because of learning disabilities and/or mental health issues.

66. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?

To learn American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish and German.

67. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m a little of both.

68. Have you ever taken a personality test? (How did the results turn out?)

Honestly, I’m not sure because, I’ve I had so many different test throughout my life that they all kind of run together. I must have if I was diagnosed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I am really grateful I no longer meet the criteria for Borderline.

69. Do you enjoy the particular sexual pose of what the number of this question is?

Very much so!!!!!

70. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

I notice both a persons eyes and smile.

71. Do you think people can control their own destiny?

To a degree, yes.

72. Do you think all people are equally valuable, or do you think some people in certain situations might be more valuable than others (say, a severely mentally ill patient vs. a doctor who could potentially save hundreds of lives)?

Define value!!

73. Do you think people are basically bad or basically good?

This is a difficult question for me to answer due to the fact that there are many factors to consider.

74. Do you think morals are universal or relative to the beliefs, traditions, and practices of individuals or groups?

I think it I need to know more before I could answer this question.

75. Do you think God exists?

Another complicated question. Yes, I do think that there is a spiritual being out there. I just don’t know who he, she or they are.

76. Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?

Yup, I am positive there is an afterlife.

77. Do you vote? Why / Why not? If you do vote, how do you usually vote?

Yes, I vote and I don’t disclose how I vote.

78. Do you think gay people choose to be gay? Do you think straight people choose to be straight?

I don’t think we choose our sexual orientation.

79. Is torture ever a good option? If no, why not? If yes, when?

Torture is NEVER a good option for any reason.

80. Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people?

I would never kill an innocent person.

81. What’s the most money you’ve ever given away?

I rather not disclose. The amount I give away to a charity or person is between me and the charity or person.

82. What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?

Choosing to be in recovery.

83. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

I’ve done many stupid things that I cant just name one thing.

84. What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world?

This is a loaded question and difficult to answer. It is something I will have to ponder about.

85. What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?

Pay teachers more, smaller class sizes and bring back fine and preforming arts.

86. In general, what do you think about art?

I love it.

87. What are some of your favorite websites?

Any website that I am able to learn something on.

88. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?

That my ex-step dad wasn’t abusing me when he actually was.

89. What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I cry myself to sleep because I miss the babies I lost through miscarriages.

90. What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?

I love being able to help others.

91. What are some of the first things you do in the morning?

Go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat and take my meds.

92. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?

Loosing two sets of twins within 14 months of each other due to miscarriage.

93. Do you cry easily?

No.

94. How do you feel about public speaking?

I hate it.

95. Do you like to talk on the phone?

Its better than texting.

96. How many emails do you get each week, roughly?

Depends what account. I have a work email, a personal email, a professional email and an email for this blog.

97. If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you?

I wouldn’t want my life made into a movie so I hope nobody plays me.

98. What’s one of your favorite questions to ask new friends or to get a conversation going?

It depends on the situation I am in.

99. Would you ever sky dive or bungee jump?

I have always wanted to sky dive. When I was younger I wanted to bungee jump but as I get older it becomes less appealing.

100. Have you ever been in a fist fight?

Yup, in junior high.

101. What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?

My senior prank in high school.

102. What did you do on your 16th birthday?

My friends had a surprise party for me.

103. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now?

Teaching and any profession in the mental health field.

104. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?

When I look back on my life I rather regret the things I do than the things I don’t do.

105. Would you rather be hated or forgotten?

Neither

106. If you knew you would die tomorrow, would you feel cheated today?

I don’t want to know when I am going to die.

107. Now, how do you honestly feel after answering all these questions?

Exhausted but overall still doing well.

Awe-Inspiring Growth Spurts In Recovery

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog. Unfortunately, not only have I been busy with life, I have had writers block. With much discussion with both supportive and inspiring people in my life, it finally occurred to me on what to write about. The topic I desire to convey to you is growth spurts in respects with continued recovery with mental illness.

Despite some difficulties over the last few months I’ve come to the conclusion that my recovery is constantly changing and evolving. Evolving into who knows what, but whatever it is I know it has to be valuable and beyond what words can describe. It has been my experience that whenever I experience some challenges or difficulties along the way in regards to my recovery, it usually means that I am about to have a growth spurt.

As many of us know from childhood, growth spurts can be quite painful. Growth spurts are usually an awe-inspiring moment once the growth spurt is complete or nearly complete. As my current growth spurt comes to an end (or at least I think it is), I can’t help but think how it has reshaped who I am and what I am to accomplish before the next growth spurt.

Before, I continue let me explain what I consider a growth spurt in regards to recovery or at least to my recovery. A growth spurt to me in my recovery is when I learn something. Something that needs to be learned and sometimes that learning something involves being in a crisis.

Unforantenly, for me the current growth spurt that is finally coming to an end, involved me being in crisis. An intensely painful crisis at that. A crisis that made me acutely aware of who I am and how far I have come in my recovery as well as knowing who is truly in my corner and who I am able to count on.

Knowing who is in my corner and who I am able to count on has helped me a great deal. If it wasn’t for those in my corner, I would have not learned as much as I have during this current growth spurt because they were there for me when I needed them the most (and they still are) when I was (and still am)  grieving  over the loss of miscarry twins. Nothing hurts more than loosing a child or in my case a set of twins.

Acutely aware, that loosing the pregnancy is what put me into a mental health crisis makes it that much more difficult recover from for me. I am also aware that I have I have the skills, the people in my life to help me when necessary and most importantly hope that I did not have in the height of my struggles with the mental illness’s I suffer with.

Over the years, I have come to recognize that regardless of what the cause of a crisis, I can make certain that its a growth spurt that has a positive learning experience attached to it. I have learned a considerably good amount of how others deal (or don’t deal) when someone has a crisis when it involves the loss of a child. Unfortunately, discussing a miscarriage (and still born babies) is quite taboo which makes the grieving process that much more difficult. The one thing that I have learned and still am learning that its not only okay to talk about the miscarriage but to cry over the loss of my children. Yes, I still struggle a great deal with not only the miscarriage I had in January of this year (2015) but the miscarriage I had in November of 2103 however that doesn’t mean I stop living my life.

The living life as I slowly recover from my crisis due to a devastating life event is what is awe-inspiring to me. The reason being is because the farther apart my crisis’s are, the more I realize that I want to be involved with life despite the pain and/or chaos the crisis brings. Having this awe-inspiring moment in my recovery has been a work in process. In fact it’s been years in the making with mounds of difficult yet challenging work and effort on my part (as well as many clinicians doing their part).

If I had not put in so much effort into my recovery with the help of other, I wouldn’t be working at all especially at job I absolutely love. Being a peer support specialist is all about being living proof that recovery is possible. Another way, I am able to show that recovery is possible is volunteering on the Warm Line. My clients at work as well the callers on the Warm Line inspire me a great deal. They inspire me to keep going  and continue with my recovery even though they are unaware of it.

I am beyond grateful for having this awe-inspiring growth spurt in my recovery and being able to share it with you fine folks out there in this wonderful world of ours. Thank you so much for allowing be share my recovery with you. I’m going to call it a night a spend some time with my wonderful partner, Junior. Good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace Out!!!

What Can I Say, It’s Mothers Day

As many of you know it’s Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a source of pain for many us out there in this world of ours. The cause of the pain of Mother’s Day is as different and unique as each of us are as human beings.

For me Mother’s Day has been a source of pain since childhood. A source of pain I wish I could forget or at least no longer be as painful as it has been and currently is. I guess now is as good of time as any to bring up the source of many years of pain, my own mother.

The first memory I have of my childhood was not exactly the happiest and you guessed it, it involves my mother. I was the tender age of three when my mom did what many mothers would not even give a thought; she abandoned me. She didn’t just abandon me, she abandoned my dad. A dad that wasn’t exactly the worlds most perfect dad but a dad that loved me and tried the best of his ability to raise me. With my dad being a single father, that made realize how truly special my own grandmother was in my life.

If it wasn’t for my grandparents helping my dad, my dad wouldn’t have gotten custody of me when my mom decided to reappear into our lives two years late when I was five. At this point in time my dad had already gotten divorced my mom and got custody of me due to the fact that my mom abandoned me. In fact the lawyer that my wonderful grandparents got for my dad to make sure he remained the primary caregiver pointed out to the judge that if mother could leave her sick three year old alone at night as her husband was working didn’t deserve to have custody. Unforantenly, the judge to granted my mother visitation. The visitation was a complicated thing due to the fact that my dad and myself lived in Southern California and my mother lived in Western Washington.

Due to the visitation I spent my summers and Christmas’s in Washington State and the rest of the year in California. That meant as Mother’s Day rolled around, I was going to mother/daughter tea’s with my  grandmother. As I got older it got that much more difficult.

It got more difficult because mother started dating a guy who wasn’t exactly prince charming. He not only beat my mom but decided to take out his anger on me as well. He not only took out his anger me but also desired me in a way grown adults shouldn’t desire children of any age. Yes, that means I was sexually abused. Actually, I was raped by this man. I was put through years of it before he just upped and left my mom and brother.

In fact if it wasn’t for my brother, I would have asked to go to court to ask the judge to take away my mother’s visitation rights away from her. In fact I would have asked the judge to take away her parental rights away. If I would have that means my brother would have ended up in foster care  again and me no longer being able to see him. In fact my brother and I are close and we both call our mother, our egg donor because that is what she ultimately is to the both of us.

Despite all the pain my mother caused me throughout my life, there is a different pain I struggle with. That is the pain of loosing a child. In fact in my case, it’s children. I miscarried two sets of twins within 14 months of each other. This year Mother’s Day is more difficult for me than last year because we (myself, my fiancé, doula, and doctor) were more hopeful and encouraged about how my last pregnancy was progressing verses how my first pregnancy had progressed. I cant help but think how big my first set of twins would be if I didn’t miscarry them. I also cant help but think about my last pregnancy, if I didn’t miscarry back in January (of this year). I wonder if I would still be pregnant or if I would have delivered the twins because this set of twins were due on May 29th (of this year). As any parent knows, there is no greater pain a person can endure than loosing a child. I unfortunately, lost two sets of twins. As much pain I endured as child, the pain of miscarrying two pregnancies is a much great pain to me. The children I miscarried will always be a part of me.

As you can tell by this lengthy blog, Mother’s Day is quite painful for me for many different reasons. As you celebrate your mother’s or are being celebrated as a mother please take a moment of gratitude for the mother you have and/or the child(ren) you have. Not everyone has the blessing of having mother who cares or (a) child(ren) to take care of and love.

Before I end this blog, I would like to take the time out and wish all the Mother’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I would especially like to thank my grandma as well as others in my life to stepping into the mother role when I needed it the most. Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!! 2015 is going to be another great year. I know at this point of year I don’t know what it will bring however I am expecting that it will be a great year despite the potential of possible struggles. The coming year will a year of many changes for me.

The changes for me in the coming year are both exciting and overwhelming. I am going to become a mama of twins in late May according to my due date. I am also getting married in August. (FYI: The wedding was already in the works of being planned before pregnancy.) Becoming a mama and a wife in the same year is a pretty major deal. I am ecstatic about becoming a mama and a wife. I would be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t a little scared of all these changes because I am. In fact I am scared as hell. I have learned throughout the years that good changes can be overwhelming and I am fine with that.

It being the New Year, many people make resolutions. I don’t make resolutions, however I do make goals for the New Year. This year some of my goals are obvious, like give birth and get married. My other goals aren’t so obvious. My other not so obvious goals a simple and attainable yet have some difficulty to them or they wouldn’t be goals. My goals for this year are: 1) Do a daily Sudoku puzzle 2) Read 12 books (I read 11 last year. No I’m not including children’s books I am going to be reading to my children.) 3) Walk 3 miles a day by the end of the year (I currently walk 2 miles a day)  4) Get my flute repaired 5) Start taking flute lessons again (I was in the high school band and really enjoyed playing the flute. No I did not forget to play. I just want a refresher.) I know my goals seem simple but they are something I want to be able to attain by the end of the year. I am well aware that some of my goals may be a little more difficult to attain due to the fact that I am going to be a new mama and wife however I do think I will be able to accomplish them.

I also hope to accomplish this coming year is to continue to advocate for those who struggle with mental illness as well as educate those who do not struggle with one. One way I plan on doing this is to continue blogging. I am aware that one way to educate others is through my blog and I need to build my blog following to be able to do so. I also need to post more educational material on my blog. The reason why my blog is not one of my goals is because it is an easy thing to do and has no difficulty to it. That’s unless count trying to attain my follower however that is beyond my control. I know ways to try to get more followers and I plan on doing that however ultimately its not my decision to have someone follow my blog.  For me blogging is way to educate and advocate for those who have a mental illness. It is also a way to show those who struggle with a mental illness that there is hope and recovery is possible.

Part of my recovery is to make sure I take care of myself. One way I take care of myself is to make sure I eat. Well, I need to go and eat. Not because I am hungry, which I am but because I need to take care of myself and my babies. I am going to sign of for now so I can go eat. Have an awesome 2015. Happy New Year and peace out!!!

6 Years Of Progress Which Equals Success

Today, marks six years since my therapist Diana and I had our first session. Working with Diana the last six years have been tough because we worked on some tough shit. Shit that has needed to be dealt with and that continues to be dealt with. Its been a long difficult process for both myself and Diana.

When Diana started working at the community mental health agency I receive my services at she was freshly out grad and I wasn’t the easiest client to deal with. Despite Diana already being familiar with me due to her being an intern at the agency before getting hired on after graduating from grad school and me graduating from an intensive two year outpatient DBT program at different mental health agency, I still pushed the boundaries of our clinical relationship. Diana held her ground no matter how much I tried to push.

No matter how hard I pushed, Diana vowed to never give up on me. When I realized that Diana wasn’t going to give up on me, that’s when I realized I could open up to her with my deepest darkest secrets. Those deep dark secrets were due to some pretty traumatic events that I suffered as a child. Those secrets were and still full of pain. Pain that I have trusted Diana to see as well as to help me through. Allowing Diana to help me through the pain has allowed me to start to trust others in my life.

Being able to not only trust Diana but other people in my life has helped a great deal in my life. It has helped not only to not walk of the job at my previous employer but helped me realize what I wanted to do career wise. In fact I got motivated to get my peer certification and my current employment at mental health agency as consumer aide.  See, being able to trust people in my life I would have not been able to do the above mention with the career stuff. Most importantly, me being able to trust other people has help me be able to depend more on them (my natural support system) than my therapist, Diana and other professionals. If it weren’t for me trusting my natural support system, I would not have started dating Jr. In fact I would still just be friend with Jr. due to trust issue. Trusting Jr. enough to date him is amazing.

Amazing because, I was and am able to be intimate with him. For someone who has endured such a horrific childhood being intimate is difficult. Difficult for not only me but for Jr. as well. Its difficult for Jr. because he feels like it is his fault for the PTSD when my symptoms act up in the middle of intimate moments. If it wasn’t for those intimate moments with Jr. I would not be in the “delicate condition” I am in. If you have been reading my blog on the regular basis you know that I am pregnant with twins. It is an amazing feeling knowing that you are going to be a parent with person you love with all your heart. Even more amazing is being able to trust that person, knowing that he won’t harm you or your children. I know Jr. will be an awesome papa to his son and daughter. Yes, that means I am having one of each. Jr. is gloating over being a papa as well as gloating over me and how I am the mama of his children.

If it wasn’t for Diana, I wouldn’t be able to gloat over being a mama to be because I would have been able to trust Jr. enough to even date him much less be intimate with him. Diana has helped me great deal in many ways. No, Diana is NOT a sex therapist however if it wasn’t for her determination for NOT giving up on me I would have not been able to trust someone to be intimate with. Diana has help me gain self confidence as well helped me find what a life worth living means to me. Most importantly, Diana is the one who helped me to no longer meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and become what I like to say a Recovered Borderline. So, what I am saying is Thank You to Diana, my therapist for helping me. If it wasn’t for all the progress the last six years that you helped me with, I would not be a success. I know Diana may not read my blog because she is a busy lady however I still wanted to thank her.

Well, I am done with this blog for now. I just wanted to let you know how much progress I have had because of Diana. Have a great evening. Enjoy the rest of you week. Peace out!!

(SIDE NOTE: Diana is a pseudonym for my therapist protection as well the protection for her past, current and future clients.)

A Child’s Christmas Wish; William’s Mail

As, a mama to be I know a mother’s love for her child (or children in my case since I am having twins) starts the moment when one finds out they are pregnant. Another thing I have come to realize is that I will do just about anything to make my children’s lives as happy and enjoyable as possible and protect them to the best of my ability. So, when I saw a news story on a local news station about a mom wanting to fulfill her 12 year old Autistic son, Williams Christmas wish I knew I had to help spread the word. All, William wants for Christmas is mail. I meant to blog about this earlier but life got busy. (Side Note: Links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as the address is at the end of the this particular post.) The following is a letter that William’s mother wrote on a Facebook account she set up to make her sons Christmas wish come true:

Williams Mail

I have never done, or asked anything like this before, but I felt the need to. That need that comes from being a mom and wanting to do everything in your power to make your child happy. It seems like such a small thing but it is the few things that drive a mothers soul. The need to protect and the need to bring joy to your kids faces.

My son, William is 12 years old. He is an amazing kid. He rarely asks for much. He is full of love, joy and happiness. William is smart, funny and awesome. William also has Autism (severe) and is also non verbal. (he can not talk). During Christmas time (his absolute favorite time of the year) he always asks me for the things he wants, and they are always the same. He wants Mr.Sketch Markers, Copy Paper, Lays Regular Chips, and whatever Blu Ray is on his mind for his collection. (His “thing” is movies). He is the easiest and hardest to shop for. I am always looking for new things to add to the list but he usually is not interested and just wants what he wants

This is where my request comes in. This year he asked for something new! I almost fell over when he added it to the box (his Christmas wish list box) and the new item is……….. MAIL! Mail. Mail. He LOVES getting mail. Half of our family lives in Northern Canada and the other half lives in Southern USA so he gets mail from family a couple times a year. I always knew he loved getting his mail but when he asked for it, I cried. I actually sat here and cried. Both happy and sad tears. Happy because he was expressing his wants and sad because of how I was going to figure out how to get him what he wants. He is such an amazing kid and he rarely wants for anything, I really want to make something special for him.

Let me tell you why I was sad. William has never had people come to his birthdays or has he been invited to any. No one asks William to come over for playdates or sleep overs. There are a small handful of kids in his class with needs of their own so I understand why. It is not anyone’s fault, it just is what it is. My family lives 1000 miles in one direction and my kids other family (fathers side) lives 1000 miles in the other so there is no family here for us. My teenage daughter is always out, socializing, hanging with friends and sometimes it just breaks my heart. I wish William had that too, but life has other plans for this amazing kid.

Many people assume since he can not talk that he does not understand. Well, let me tell you, this kid understands. He understands a lot. He understands too much. He just can not communicate the way we do, but he is sharp as a tack. He feels love and affection and I think he finds mail from others as affection. He carries around the last box that was sent to him. He covets the post cards. He wants me to read mail to him (even though he is an excellent reader) he wants to send mail. He LOVES mail and asks me for it now (the past couple weeks) multiple times a day. He writes MAIL on his drawings, he brings me the key to check the mail. I think he truly appreciate mail.

Now to my request. I have been racking my brains for a couple weeks. I want to make this year special for this most special boy. He has nothing but love in him and I want him to feel the love from others. If you want to help a kind soul this year, I am asking for strangers to send him mail. I want him to know the world loves and values him in a way that he understands and feels. I have been buying stamps and have been “creating” mail for Christmas. I have enlisted my small family (there is only a handful) to send mail to him for Christmas. I was hoping someone out there would want to sit down and send mail to William. He deserves to feel the love from the world like the rest of us do because he makes this world a better place. He deserves all the mail in the world according to me , but I am his mommy so I am bias.

I know, it may seem strange to ask strangers for mail but this is the only way I can think of to fulfill my sons Christmas wish. I am starting a page, and if people write letters to him on it, I will print the letters off and turn them into mail. If you feel inclined to send this amazing kid a piece of mail, I will save it until Christmas morning and when he wakes up, he will wake up to his beloved mail.

He loves his mail so much that his weekly treat is to visit the Post Office so he can get a Mail Box (a priority mail box) and when we get home he wants me to put Mail in it (usually just one of his BluRays) and he gets so happy to open it. He also carries around this Christmas USPS flier thingy they sent out a while ago with their Christmas stamps.

Please take the time to consider my request. It would mean the world to a very special young boy whose only real wish this year is to open MAIL It would mean the world to this Momma , William and his big sister Victoria too, we just want to make it a very special Christmas for a very special boy

https://www.facebook.com/pag…/Williams-Mail/1575623412666921

If you would like to learn more about what to write or what William likes to talk about please read this link. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1576474325915163&id=1575623412666921

Twitter @mail4william
‪#‎mail4william‬

Williams Mail
PMB# 175
816 Peace Portal Dr.
Blaine, Washington
98230
USA

Can It Be Monday Yet?

     Its another Saturday and I just want Monday to be here. Mondays are my Fridays and I wish Monday would hurry up and get here. Today at work was not an easy day for me for a lot of different reasons. My PTSD symptoms are acting up which doesn’t make work any easier for me especially when some customers have no sense of peoples personal bubbles. Today my bubble was bigger than normal for me. Oh how I hate PTSD. Another thing about today is when I was helping a pregnant woman out to her car she went into labor. Thankfully, another customer when into the store and had someone call 911. Long story short I helped deliver twins today. Who knew that being a courtesy clerk (bagger) at a grocery store that I would be helping with a delivery process again. I really don’t think delivering twins is in my job description. Helping deliver twins today was quite difficult for me. I wish I had the strength to tell you why it was difficult but it was. I do have to say it was amazing though. Birth is an amazing process. I hope some day I will be a mother. Anyway, just helping with the process of somebody delivering their babies in the parking lot was not only amazing but difficult on me and I know when I go see my therapist after work on Monday that we will be discussing helping with the delivery of the customers babies. The customer had a boy and a girl.

      I should get going. I will try to blog again tomorrow before I go to work. Hopefully, I don’t have to deliver anymore babies at work tomorrow. Have a goodnight everyone. Peace Out!!!