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

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.)

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!!!