Trauma Therapy & Current Events

My therapist had brought to me the idea of doing trauma therapy once she got back from medical leave, which is over now.  I feel like every time we’ve met – I can’t seem to shake the current events that are happening.  And at one point during our last session (Tuesday 1/6/2015), I think I may have broke her brain.  I explained to her the multi-faceted elements of how my life is complicated and how badly it stresses me out.  She rested her head on her hand and just shook her head.  Exclaiming how she hadn’t thought of that!  As I sat on the couch, crying – I told her it’s not like I don’t want to do the trauma therapy.  I am committed to it.  There are so many benefits to me doing this.  Regardless of my commitment to my goal, I still get completely out of whack with the shoe that just seemed to drop between this therapy and the time before then.

I don’t know exactly how things happen the way they do.  They just do.  I guess the lack of some things and the much of other things just don’t seem to balance out.  I wish I could say more as to what is going on, but I can’t.  I’m not prepared to share what is on my mind at this time.  And as much as that is irritating to me, I have to just hang in there until I can.

Happy Holidays!

happy-holidays

I know this time of year is bittersweet for some and debt increasing for others.  However, I hope that you are able to enjoy happiness, togetherness, and develop many amazing memories for the future.

Take care, drive sober, and hugs to all.

Janet

The Other Side of the Table/Desk

I sit here this morning, wondering.  Wondering what providers think of when they hear me tell my tale of mental illness or other life woes/experiences/expectations – etc.  I don’t read people well.  My husband is great at it.  I however, suck at it.

Sometimes it’s just agitating!  I know sometimes 15 minutes or a half hour of a psychiatrists time isn’t that much, maybe.  But to me, it can be the beginning of me outlining who I am.  Not that my mental illness is ALL of me, but where it factors in.  And that I am being treated because I am a real person who feels really awful a lot of the time.  Am I just a chart?  Just a quick write of a script because my “story” sounds legit and on to the next patient?  Will you look at me?  Will you empathize and will it sound and/or look sincere?  Will I be able to even tell if your attempt at empathy will be sincere with how I feel about myself?

I’ve seen my share of providers since I was 14 and officially diagnosed with Major Depression.  I’ve seen “the look” some doctors give.  Either they think (or I have assumed) that I’m crazy OR – whatever.  Here’s a survey of how you’ve felt in the past 2 weeks.  I’ll give you a diagnosis.  Almost like a more extensive (yet more clinically worded) facebook quiz.  So, instead of “What Once Upon a Time” Character are you?  It’s what mental illness closest resembles your screwed up noggin.  There have also been the sympathetic ones.  Unfortunately in my case, they have been rather few and far between.  I’ve even been to an appointment with a doctor once where she never once laid eyes on either myself or my eldest daughter.  (My eldest daughter was the patient, not me – and she was about a little over 5 at the time) We sat there and – from the beginning, we were never acknowledged by being looked at.  In my opinion – having that direct eye contact is a must have.  She looked at the folder – where all the psychosocial and other matter of fact data was provided.  And since her answers were very short and very generic – I wonder.  Was she even REALLY listening to begin with?  That was the first appointment and the last appointment with her.  But it still leaves much to be desired.

The providers who have so many patients that they have to glance back at the chart for history of what medications have been used in the past and ask – is it still working?  Okay, good… and then off to schedule an appointment for a month down the road to go through the whole kit and kaboodle again.  Like a really crappy deja vu.  And don’t you just love the providers who are just jerks who have no empathy.  Just crappy bedside manner, old school, judgmental, etc… etc.  The list goes on.

I get tired of being in my own head (A LOT!).  It can be quite toxic in there.  Especially as of late.  I’ve been highly agitated and anxious.  I’m not sleeping well.  I’m easily triggered.  And I am massively emotional.  It’s hard to know what’s what when the part of you that is supposed to reason or make logic for situations/experiences/environment is not working properly.

Anyone who is going through this knows what I’m talking about.  I am a human being, just like everyone else.  However, I need help.  I am severely impaired regarding my mental state.  Though I am working on it, I can’t be expected to be 100% all the time and conform to the status quo.  Look at me, nuff said… right?  Maybe….

The stigma surrounding mental illness is huge.  And I’m sure that includes the helping professions like social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, medical practitioners.  And maybe not all to their fault.  I can’t guess what they all go through in their practices.  I can only be me.  But when I walk into a practitioners office, I walk in and try to show respect and decency. I hope that I’m not missing the boat (the proverbial boat) and assuming too much.  In the end, I just want to feel better.  Not feel crazy… and in some more modicum of control of my life.  And it’s so sad that it’s so hard to find the right provider to be a good fit.

To those of you struggling, I wish you the best.  It can be the most rewarding thing in the long run when you do find the right fit.  Tho, even if you find the right provider for your needs (or others you care for and love) it is not a fix.  Not by any means.  The desire to be seen and be treated on a continuum, to discuss alternatives, fears, worries, and what to expect.

That’s it for now.  I think……

Mom

The last few weeks have been particularly trying.  I have known for some time that the change over from autumn to winter would be hard.  I just sensed a “disturbance in the force”, if you will.  But it was different.  I was near going to the crisis center last night.  I am so frustrated with being me.  Having heard the nurse practitioner to the psychiatrist saying that my memory issues are “minor”.  To feeling so damned depressed that I can’t seem to shake it.  To dealing with endless kid stuff on my end and feeling so alone.  The world is sitting on my shoulders.  And here I haven’t been to therapy for two weeks.  I want my therapist back.  I want her to be back from leave.  And I have this sneaking suspicion that she’s going to be out at least one more week longer since the last time she had foot surgery, she called in.  And I completely get that.  And I am not trying to be selfish.  I’m not.

So I have ptsd, major depression, anxiety… whatever.  I have seen images of mothers with their daughters on tv.  I have heard people in waiting rooms with their kids.  Among the numerous examples I could probably give.  I have this image of the word “Mom” in my head and it is almost inflating.  The bigger it gets, the more it wants … no, demands to be recognized.  And the more I recognize it – the more I hurt because I want my mom and I can’t have her.  I can’t replace her.  And I know that as much as I am trying to be a mom to my kids – I am hurting as a result of my trying harder than I have in the past for one – and pulling back a bit from the other (only because the one is living on her own).

I have this history of trauma sitting in the back of my head.  Haunting me and taunting me even.  This burning feeling of creating more insecurities than what I’ve already had.  I’m tired of being expected to do things when my body says no.  When all my head can tell me is that I’m a worthless piece of shit…. or that I was never good enough to begin with.  I heard some ad on the radio yesterday talking about how this person was good, but not as good as your cousin who went to school to be an attourney.  As the person started nagging on the notion about how one became a lesser being, the more my head just went along with.  I suppose that might have been part of the trigger too.

I’m tired of being on the other side of the desk, where people see this …well, me.  I’m just tired overall of not being listened to by the one provider thats SOLE JOB is to listen to what I have to say in order to BEST help my mental illness needs.  It’s like telling someone they can go to the barista and get a specialty drink, but truly only get a coffee.  Because according to your history, you only wanted it black.  What makes you think that you NEED to have macchiato or anything else to change?  I mean, at least you’re looking at me though.  I suppose THAT’S an improvement.

Okay, I’m done for now.  I will write more when it comes.

The Customer Service Perspective

Since I was 16 years old, I have worked on and off in the customer service industry – specifically referring to call centers. Some larger than others. I didn’t really like it, but it’s where I fell into. And interestingly enough, it’s hard to get taken seriously when you apply into a different industry with no prior experience or educational experience. So, from this, I will leave you with an idea of what it is like to be a customer service representative. Again, call center based.

I used to like people, to some degree. Granted, my social anxiety has always been a big factor in why I didn’t approach people. I mean, hell, why do we even call people shy anymore? Can’t we just relate to those individuals (including myself) as socially awkward fucktards? Sure, it’s not “pc”. I get it. But it’s a funny in your head kinda thing, isn’t it?

I guess customer service experiences vary. From the tadpole to the big ass fucking toad. If you are unfortunate enough to be a tadpole, then watch it. Not only are you going to be paid a slim unlivable wage, but if make too much for medical assistance and you have to pay insurance – you might as well get a part time gig as a panhandler. There’s plenty of dirt. Dig in!

No matter how I word things, it will most definitely be picked apart by anyone who experiences life differently. Sure, there are the people who find great success in that field. And I tip my invisible hat to you sir or ma’am (or ms if you prefer). I just found myself not enjoying my experiences.

I know that everyone has THAT boss. You know, the one that never seems to get in trouble. He always has his favorites – and you’re not on that list of favorites. Tho, it’s interesting how he never seems to be working! Imagine that…. Or the woman that can’t seem to keep her nose out of her superior’s ass long enough to see the irony of how downsizing has worked in the past. And she could be part of that outplacement program. I’ve heard of someone who even had to train her own replacement because of outsourcing! It’s sick!

I won’t go into socioeconomic or political agenda here. Not worth my time, not an argument I’m willing to endulge someone of.

Like I said before. I used to like people. I’ve always been a little weird though. I’ve always been chatty. As you can tell from my prior blogs. If I know someone well enough to be comfortable with them socially, I will talk. And probably talk a lot. And sure, sometimes my pleasantness becomes a distraction. So then call times can be longer. So the stats don’t add up to where the upper management want them to be. I’m on “the watch” list, so to speak. I get talked to about ways to curb this “habit” of mine. Hell, maybe even throw in some shadowing.

At a prior employer, I was working a lot of mandatory overtime. And I don’t deal well with pressure. It was just too hard. Especially juggling school, work, and family. The company I worked for had an Employee Assistance Program. And I had utilized their website, their materials, and even called them from time to time. There was one night where my manager was out for the night. And there were no other available managers around to ask if I could use the phone to call out to the employee assistance program during my shift. I just needed to talk to someone and vent. That’s it. So I asked a lady that sat next to me – she had the same job title I did. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably shouldn’t have listened to the bitch.
I went into a private room where employees would have our monthly one on one type sessions with the employees bosses. The rooms were all just glass. Well, except for the door. So, I wasn’t hiding anything. I wasn’t calling an anarchy help line or trying to stir up gossip with a friend or something. I still ended up doing the mandatory overtime and I was talked to about it the next day. And not in a good way either.

The customers that I’ve dealt with, although many were pleasant – there were many that were not. I’ve dealt with sexual harassment both on and off the floor. The majority were calls that were placed in. I worked with an outsourcing company that was paid to do customer service for a phone company that doesn’t exist anymore. A caller kept calling my department and using lingo that one would use when calling our department. Except in a crude sexualized manner. And then he would start masturbating. The swearing, berating that we don’t know our jobs, or even just trying imply that they a class above us all. Again, most callers were good. There are always those calls that make you want to jump right out of your skin.

I still can’t get over the call that I got working for the outsourcing company – emphasis on the program for travel. The man who threatened to not feed a group of under privilaged boys until I moved them into a more satisfactory hotel than the one they were currently staying in. He had the young boys say hi to me over the phone – moving the receiver close to their mouths so it was clear. Not knowing that there were problems at home. A neighbor was murdered right through the wall from us. He wasn’t even dead before the emergency responders wheeled him out of his apartment. But he had been bludgeoned with hammers and baseball bats by numerous assailants. And he also didn’t know that the woman he spoke to on the phone had to work while her good for nothing husband (at the time) was sleeping while their toddler child run amok in their apartment. Locked into her room while he avoided her. When he would wake up, he’d open her door and throw a few ketchup packets in to satisfy her hunger. Sure, I don’t need to inform my callers about this to try to make myself more human to him. I shouldn’t have to. I know that there are very cruel people in this world that will do or say worse than what he did to me on that night. But every time I talk to a professional about it, I end up in tears.

We all bring shit into the workplace. Whether it’s a past or present issue from home or somewhere else. The movie Tammy illustrated it fairly well when she arrived late to work after hitting a deer and having no one that could pick her up to bring her in on time. I’m not saying she was right in her approach once she got there… but we can’t all just sluff off our lives at the door. That we somehow go into “work mode”.

I guess for me, I am cynical. I will be the first to admit it. I also know this. But every person that walks into their job as a customer service representative or beyond is a person. I think that one call was the straw that broke the camels’ back. Some might argue that I’m giving that caller power over my life. That could be true. I do accept that idea. I also accept that I am working on things. That I might not be the ideal self, but I am who I am. Right or wrong.

I wish people could just see for a minute that working in customer service should not be so terrible. That we shouldn’t use social standing to hold over on someone you are presently seeking help from. That we all have our training. If you sign something digitally or otherwise, you are bound to the terms you signed to. So your need to feel superior by berating someone who makes $8.50 an hour who might have a family at home to support doesn’t deserve that crap. Hell, no one does. But does it matter when that person is in the moment? Might be pmsing or had an argument with someone they care about or love. Or lost someone they cared about or loved. Does it make anything any easier? Well, maybe someone will just throw a pacifist hand your way just to throw the numbers down a bit and satisfy upstairs. Or maybe they just don’t want to deal with your bullshit and have the clearance to say something the other guy/gal couldn’t. Who knows. Either way, there isn’t really an excuse. If you’re hungry, eat first before you call. Do what you need to do to satisfy your immediate needs and when you’re more rational… come back. Call. It’s not always that easy, I get it. But if your tv is broken or your flight is overbooked and they can’t get you on an alternate flight ANYWHERE or really hardly seem to want to try …. that isn’t necessarily a situation that can’t be worked around. I assure you, being called a piece of shit… a lowlife, a waste of space, or whatever else thrown at me will help you wind up in any different of circumstances. FYI.

I write this because in less than 8 hours, I go into the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to try to swallow my pride to get a part time job to help support Darrian’s need for braces. I am absolutely terrified of what I’ll see when I walk in the door to the building. Or rather who I will see or what they will say. Or what my responses will be to what they say to me. I can’t tell you enough how terrified this makes me. I may not be sitting in a wheel chair. My disabilities aren’t necessarily visual. They are real. And so, here I go to try to face my demons again. To pave the way to not be the piece of shit layabout that costs you your tax paying dollars… I guess. (Sorry, just real tired of seeing and hearing about how these people on foodshare are wasting resources, or that people are getting away with having disabilities that are fictional. I can assure you, I have paperwork. I am not broken physically. But I sure as hell feel like it.

Just as a disclaimer at the end. I guess the main reason for posting – not just pure venting is because I have this incredible need to feel like I need to explain myself to people. Like I have to prove myself. And I haven’t done anything wrong, so I shouldn’t have to. See, this is where therapy comes in! When the head and the heart can’t come to an agreement. Come, have a seat. Now, let’s talk about you.

Take care…. Oh, and thanks for reading. I know I don’t say it often, but it really means a lot to me anytime someone reads my posts. Just a nice feeling.
So, thank you again.

Learning to Understand

I may be under the influence of some sort of short lived epiphany. I’m not certain. What I can tell you right now is that I’m not overly stressed. This is nothing short of a minor miracle. After a flip out on Ashleigh last week, I think I let go some of the anxiety that was involved with everything surrounding her and her well being. I have to let things be. I can laugh, I can get angry, and I can want to get involved – but I have to maintain my ground. And as far as Darrian is concerned, I have to keep my momentum with her too. I’m monitoring her grades online and I gave her her first driving lesson last night. (FYI, she did pretty well)

I don’t exactly have it all together. I’m far from a picture perfect specimen. I am seriously STILL trying to accept who I am. It might sound utterly ridiculous, but when you have so many people mocking you for so long – it’s understandable that conforming is the way to go. Well, for me. It extended into the current trends (especially music)

So, I guess for the moment, I have to figure out me. Which is continuing to be an arduous journey.

On Tuesday morning, I meet with someone from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation about getting a job part time. I’m scared, but I am pretty sure I can muster through. Gawd only knows what they will match me up with!

Pray, wish me luck, cross fingers… whatever positive energies or what have you that you could send would be greatly appreciated. in the interim, I’m going to look for some music to jam to! =)

Why Can’t I Let Go?

This is probably going to be one of the hardest posts for me to type. I have long gone through this concept in my head. Over and over again. I found a hard rock song by the artist Korn called “Let the Guilt Go”
These words speak to me. To my situation. And I will highlight them here.

“Let The Guilt Go”

All the lying and cheating will surely bite you
Dishonesty tears you apart and will eat you
All the anger and pain and the suffering and the shame
And the voices in your brain will surely haunt you

Let the guilt go, let the guilt go, let the guilt go, let the guilt go

I tell you one thing which leads to another thing
Then I backtrack which leads to hurt feelings
Then my brain spins off of fucking everything
When this happens I can’t break through

All the anger, the pain and the suffering, and the shame
And the voices in your brain will really haunt you

Let the guilt go, let the guilt go, let the guilt go, let the guilt go

I tell you one thing which leads to another thing
Then I backtrack which leads to hurt feelings
Then my brain spins off of fucking everything
When this happens I can’t break through

Now we waste our lives away
Letting guilt lead the way

I’m such a stupid fuck
Listening to my head and not my gut
Constantly thinking and thinking and thinking
And thinking and thinking and thinking

Now we waste our lives away
Letting guilt lead the way

I tell you one thing which leads to another thing
Then I backtrack which leads to hurt feelings
Then my brain spins off of fucking everything
When this happens I can’t break through

I tell you one thing which leads to another thing
Then I backtrack which leads to hurt feelings
Then my brain spins off of fucking everything
When this happens I can’t break through

I know that the lyrics are a bit vulgar. However, everything in that song captures my thought processes in many things. Not just Ashleigh. Not at all just Ashleigh. I have anxiety and depression and live a very complicated life. My mind is clouded with so many degrees of emotions, it’s hard to capture. The vulgarity goes hand in hand with it sometimes. The vulgarity can be necessary! The vulgarity is just a different way of expressing the gravity of the feeling and the need for expression. But, I will leave off on that piece.

Ashleigh has been wrestling with the manager of the apartment building. Initially they were talking eviction starting in August. Then, that got pushed back. Ashleigh asked for another chance. That got screwed up because she couldn’t behave or follow the rules of daily living and was set for eviction September 30th. Ashleigh had threatened to kill herself and was placed inpatient at a psychiatric facility from August 30th to Sept 3rd. When Ashleigh got back, her manager was still set to come in because of an issue with her ceiling fan in her living room. The day after Ashleigh got back from the psych unit, she started having an anxiety attack. When I talked to her that Thursday, she couldn’t seem to keep any sort of consistent regular breathing patterns. I asked her to call for help. She agreed to get in touch with the non emergency 911 line for transportation to the hospital. Part of me wanted her to get placed back inpatient. That didn’t happen, fortunate for her. She went back to her place after we went through quite the debacle over her medications and where they were sent. And I dropped her off.

I can’t accurately tell you how long after that that she called me. It probably was roughly an hour or so afterwards. The representative from the apartments came by to look at the damage and at some point pushed through the eviction on the spot. Not that they didn’t have apt reason. They did. Ashleigh lived in filth. Darrian described being in her apartment (just to help her bring her groceries up) as “almost always breathing in fruit flies”. This isn’t how I taught her to clean. This wasn’t my parentage at all! That’s another topic entirely. But moving forward. So she asked if she could come here. I was stuck in a moment of confusion. I can’t just reject her, but I can’t exactly let her in. I looked at Eric and leaned on him for a decision. He said no, that she needs to figure out what she was going to do at this point. Where she’s going to live. And he was right. As much as I hated (yet loved) hearing him saying “No” about this subject, I knew he was right. What was going to happen? Were we going to transform into the loving family I’ve always kinda hoped for, yet with enough dysfunction and humor to keep it real? No doubt it would lead to nothing good. So, I told her my position and she hung up. I tried to relax. Trying is hard in this predicament. Truly. Later that night she told me that she was going to Milwaukee. She got a ticket bought for her by a friend of hers. They were going to meet up there. So, as much as I know as I reveled a little in the thought of her being out of Green Bay (albeit temporarily), I didn’t like it. What if she stayed there? She has her payee, her social worker, her whole social and professional world here. I had to leave that for another day.

Friday around 11 a.m. comes and she calls me to tell me that the ass hat who was supposed to meet her never did. (Well, maybe that is for the best. Ass hat is just my initial response… cuz she’s still my kid. How dare you stand up my kid! Now, if you’re nutzo and looking for someone to off…. thank you for standing her up!) So now she’s sitting and/or standing in Milwaukee with no money and no food. Her phone was dying too, so we had precious little time. I asked her where she was at that moment. She mentioned something like on 19th street. So I tried to give her an address for a homeless shelter in what I thought might be located nearest to her. Me not being a local hindered that certainty. But I left her with that. Shortly thereafter she and I disconnected our call. It was about 11 a.m. early Friday afternoon. Given Ashleigh’s reputation for consistent phone calls and not hearing anything from her for hours led me to feel very heightened in my anxiety. I was taking more anti anxiety pills than I usually would. Hours upon hours went by. There wasn’t anything I could do except slowly fall apart. I had been in Milwaukee in my past. When I was 18 years old. The times I was in Milwaukee though have me reeling with anxiety. I know Ashleigh’s experiences won’t be the same, but I’m still falling apart. So, here comes a rough night. Talking, bawling, anxious, scared, etc…. I couldn’t wait for the hours to go by that were necessary to take another anti anxiety pill. It just couldn’t come fast enough.

That night was rough for me. I can’t begin to explain exactly how, it just was. I’m sure this analogy has never been used. Imagine for me, they are setting up for bingo night. Of course, the most important pieces are the ball cage, the marked balls, and the person to turn/pick/call for the event. The cage would be my head and the balls would be my thoughts. I was so out of sorts. I know I’m an odd duck, but this one made me feel absolutely off my regular rocker. And that’s never good. I always have something on my mind. And I know the fact that I was at that point completely off my Lamictal (as requested by me – but still taking another mood stabilizer) helped me. In addition to the situation. I love Ashleigh. And I love my family too. I hate limitations, but I know they’re necessary. And I especially hate not being able to fix this. Or not being able to push some sort of “reset” button. So here I am…. sitting with my head on my hands and crying hysterically. First of all, I see Ashleigh with a pretty clear picture. Who she has become makes me so frustrated and even angry. I try not to let situations from years past make the distinction of who she is to me. Or even what I understand her to be. There were things that happened in her life that I wish I could undo. I TRIED! So very hard to be her advocate. To involve myself. To be her everything. And fortunately enough I had my now husband to help me along the way to keep my momentum. The results of those things that happened that helped frame her in part…. I become angry at myself. Why didn’t I see past the lies and manipulation? How could I be so dumb? When she got lost in Florida as a two year old, I felt (and still feel) guilty. During the waiting game – waiting to hear if her biological dad and the police had found her – I would try to nap. I could imagine any mother and/or parent would be like I was. I couldn’t nap. I couldn’t sleep while there was not a one person with my child! Where was she? Why was there this looming question as to her local? Alas, I tried. I closed my eyes and all I saw was my then two year old daughter sitting in only her diaper. Looking down at her little chubby legs and weeping. Weeping because she wished that I were there. She was two years old. Now, 16 years later, I still have the same picture vividly in my mind. Nothing has changed. And because it’s always the same and situations with Ashleigh have been so difficult in many ways, nothing is simple. Stupid right? Because it’s difficult it means it’s not simple or cannot be.

I have also come to terms with the fact that I don’t like what she says or does sometimes. I get so agitated because she has such an intense need for gratification, that everything else goes out the window. That it is all about Ashleigh. That if she hears anything outside of what is acceptable to her, she’s close to pouncing like a cat to the toy. Sometimes she bares her claws, sometimes she doesn’t. The complexities of all these things working together in nature makes life unbearable. And with all this said, she is her daddy’s girl. And when I say Daddy, I don’t mean Eric. I mean Dad Rich’s girl. Ashleigh may hate her dad Rich but she is identical to him in many ways. And the fact that I compare Ashleigh to the man I most detest in my world hurts me. And the guilt that I hold about that understanding…. it’s too much to comprehend. And also, wanting to make the distinction that as much as I despise Rich and have no love for him, I love her even though she reminds me of Rich. I can still love her. I can keep my heart open to her. But I will never love him again. Fool me once there.

Saturday morning Ashleigh text me again. She was on her way back to Green Bay. She indicates she met someone in Milwaukee who is now her “boyfriend” that not only bought her a bus ticket back to Green Bay, but put her up at a Hampton Inn and bought her food while she was there. I’m not exactly sure how she managed it. But she did. So now, she wants me to meet this new guy. She’s had a few boyfriends since Dennis. None of them lasted long. And all of them Ashleigh wanted us to meet. I put my foot down and said no. I don’t want to meet any boyfriend that was just a fly by night meet. So, despite the fact that I was polite about my refusal to her, here is her response back to me via text: “MOM RESPECT THE GUY THAT HAD GAVE ME A PLACE TO SLEEP AND HELPED ME GET SUM FOOD”. Honestly? I wanted to tell her to fuck off. I REALLY wanted to. She wanted me to respect a guy that took care of her for one night, and probably had sex with her to boot? Oh yea, okay. Still not meeting him. So I had to respond to her telling her essentially that she should be respectful to me, the woman who took care of her for 16+ years of her life. Food, shelter, and what have you. Once she got back to Green Bay she of course had to ask again for us to meet him. And I said no. She also wanted to come over. I wanted to have her come home, but I didn’t. If she came over, she’d try to guilt me into staying. And she couldn’t stay. We also couldn’t afford to feed her. My social security is getting siphoned because I was overpaid in my back pay. And Eric’s social security is getting siphoned because of what I’m getting. Let’s face it boys and girls, social security is not a get rich quick scheme. Nor did we think it to be. And we no longer get food stamps, so what we have in our fridge is what we have. That’s not even discussing the draw backs should she stay here for a while emotionally and physically. Independently, Eric, Darrian, and I are all suffering in our own ways. And to add Ashleigh to the mix would be devastating.

So no it is. I told Ashleigh that she needed to go to the homeless shelter, but she refused. So I let her go and since she had nowhere to go, I figured she’d have some time to stew over the matter. None of this makes me feel better. A parents job is never done, case in point. So when I got Ashleigh’s call, resigning to the fact that she will go to the shelter. So she told me where she was and I picked her up and brought her home for a while. She got to spend some quality time with the dogs, for the most part. Darrian was at a friends house during all of this, so she didn’t see her one bit. I had a few errands to run before I dropped Ashleigh off, which actually worked out in both our favors. Ashleigh and I were able to talk to each other, a little heart to heart and what not. Plus, the shelter doors opened a little before 5 for supper. And it was 4:48p.m. I cried before it was time for her to leave. Again, more guilt coming to the surface. Ashleigh kept reassuring me that it was alright. The person going to the homeless shelter seemed more at peace with what was happening than the mother. That’s normal, I hope? I couldn’t believe I was dropping my daughter, my own first born child at the homeless shelter. I felt like a failure. An absolute failure. And although I know I will not have been the first mother to do this, nothing felt right about what was happening. As much as I have tried to pull back from Ashleigh since she moved out, I couldn’t let go. I still couldn’t let go. I couldn’t separate myself to where any of this felt okay. She’s a god damn adult and I can’t let go! Why can’t I let go? I still have to heavily involve myself in her life. I have put my foot down as far as involving myself in her drama – and I’m glad I did. And I have my eyes opened more so to the games she plays. Nothing changes in a mothers love. I can hate what types of behaviors she exhibits, but I still love her. I hate the manipulations and the selfishness, but I still love her. And I know she has cognitive delays and psychiatric issues that make navigating life very difficult… And I might let go a lot more if she had fully complied with the county and got her wrap around services and they could observe her to figure out what else she needed. Complied with DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) and gotten her a job, or at least on a waiting list for one. Earned some money.

As of last night, Ashleigh called and told me that she told an employee at the shelter that she was taking a few days off from being at the shelter and that she’d be back. When Ashleigh called me last night, she was sitting at a McDonalds and had missed lunch and supper. Was hungry and still had no place to go. So I told her to go back to the shelter and suck it up. She’s unfortunately been hungry before. She cashed her $35 weekly stipend from her ssi earlier that morning. Spent her money on a pack of Newports, a pair of headphones, and some McDonalds. After that, broke. And in my eyes, she best humble herself and go back. My reaction was probably not what she expected it to be. And it really wasn’t what I had expected it to be either. She made her bed, so to speak. She now needs to figure out how to get out of it (If she doesn’t like what the current existence is in it) or lie in it (if it’s satisfactory to her). I’m not going to pull her ass out of the fire. She is going to have to try to figure out what’s what. And hopefully fast, before she winds up back in psych or landing in jail.

I wish I was still in NAMI, the family to family course that I was in. The people were great and they would probably be able to help me with my feelings and let me know that I’m doing right. I know my brother Tim says he’s behind me on it. And for that, I am grateful. It is nice to hear that I have people that back me up, because then I don’t feel like such an asshole.

This post has taken a day and a half to write. And it’s been an emotional one. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to post, but hindsight.. blah blah.

I want to let go, I want to let her take control of her life. One good thing? It’s Therapy Tuesday today! So I have an outlet today, other than here.

How Are You Doing? Loaded Question?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked in various places how I’m doing. Grocery stores, restaurants, doctors offices… WHY? Why do you ask that? You must automatically assume that I am well. That I will say it to pacify the conversational standard. No one wants to hear tale of how you’re really doing, do they? The nurse, doctor, and therapist are all good at listening. (Though the therapist is kind of a given) In my head, I want more people to listen. And a large part of me is screaming inside to just do it. I can’t. I’ve tried. I am trying. I just keep closing off. It’s safer. OR is it? I want friendships. I desire them so immensely. My one friend, whom I treasure dearly is hundreds of miles away. I’ve talked to two ladies on World of Warcraft that are amazing too. They want me to chat with them on teamspeak. (for those geeky enough to play on World of Warcraft, you’ll understand exactly what teamspeak is) And as much as I would love to talk to them, I can’t. I have a severe sense of rejection. My shame, my guilt, my depression, my anxiety… they the problems. I can say they are my problems. I can say that maybe I could push myself through it. And if you know me, you know I am.

After 4+ years of therapy, I feel very little resolve to who I am. The lamictal I am taking is causing me to have occasional temporary sleep paralysis. So, today (later, obviously) I will be calling my psychiatrists office to have them switch me. I can’t handle that. I’ve also been informed that SSI has overpaid me by $9000. That if I don’t pay them back in 30 days, they will garnish my SSI until the funds have been repaid. I haven’t cried so hard in so long after I read that. And as if one letter wasn’t bad enough, they sent two letters to clarify their point. Eric read a bit further into one of the letters. It says that if it causes a hardship, to contact Social Security office. Eric’s SSI has been cut over half, Darrian’s biological father is behind on child support by over $1000 (I know, why am I bitching about that… there are other dead beat dads that far surpass what my ex does. I am fortunate that it’s not more. Believe me.). How am I going to pay my bills? When I got SSI, I thought that I’d be able to help my family now. I could actually contribute to the home. Now, I feel as though I’m being emotionally crippled. That any “stability” that I may have had has suddenly gone out the window.

My physical health has been declining. My right foot hurts, I have a numbing on the lower left side of my back, my arthritis is flaring up – big time. And when I stand up sometimes, I feel an immense pain that leads me to want to cry. And that’s not covering any other family issues. Which, by the way? I had to call the non emergency police line on Ashleigh. Her 2nd boyfriend since she moved out, he broke up with her. So instead of trying to rationally cope (which she doesn’t think rationally. she thinks emotionally on a heightened scale!), she reacts by saying she’s going to kill herself and that she shouldn’t live. I needed the police department to do a welfare check on her. Make sure she was safe and was not going to actually do anything to harm herself. If the past says anything, she may NOT have the problems she does. Who knows? As a mother, I don’t want to take the chance. The one time she actually means it… where I could lose her forever. And I can’t handle that. Not one iota.

I plan on going to the social security office near me to figure all of this out. I do have to say, I am terrified. Absolutely and utterly terrified.

Oh, and FYI, I have gotten three text messages saying “God is Not Dead”. All I can say is Fuck you. Don’t send me this random message relating to your religion of choice. I find it offensive that any person would follow this advice from some movie that they believe is the truth. I could be athiest, but I don’t send you a text message about how believing in God or the Devil is crap. I am not Wiccan and telling you that it’s not a God. It’s the goddess. I’m not going to tell you things that COULD be against your belief systems. And regardless of what I have professed before of my religious front, who are you to automatically assume that I will appreciate the gesture or accept it without question? So, fuck you. I know people mean well … I do. And I still love and care for the people who have sent it. I just think it’s a terrible that anyone would force feed that bull shit. Just be happy if you’re my friend. And understand that I am happy for you that you have watched this movie. That it touched your heart. That you want to share it with others. But I don’t want it. So, send your messages elsewhere about this topic. In the end, it just offends me.

Anyway, off I go to bed land. I hear it calling!

Even After You Leave My Home, I Am NO Less Stressed!

Yesterday my daughter sends me a text message. “I had sex with dennis tonight and way b4 too! Like 6days ago i was tryin 4 a baby.” Her tagline on her text message reads: (As most youth these days do, she did not add the capitalization where it is necessary. Has the internet generation gotten lazy?)

So, all of last night I sat and thought about it. What this will mean. Not just that I would become a young grandmother. The implications for her and her child. She cannot take care of herself. The proof is in her eviction notification from her landlord. And her eviction is based on her not being able to clean and letting it go to the point of disgusting! The county has told her that any baby she would have at this point would be removed from her custody. And the fact that all this has happened since the last CST (Community Service Team) meeting happened, just adds to the proof that she is incapable of raising a child.

I know this was inevitable. I hate even thinking about her having sex, or for that matter trying to conceive! She’s telling me over text that her friend Kayla is going to be having a baby December 6th and she wants to go over there. I have no doubt that on the other end of my phone, she’s excited. There are no emoticons to show the excitement, but I bet that is exactly how she felt. She wants to know everything about it. She’s curious and what not. Although she has already had things printed off showing signs, symptoms, what to expect, etc…. apparently she lost them.

I’ve taken 3 anti anxiety pills today. Two Clonazapam, one Lorazepam. None of them seem to be touching the anxiety I feel right now. I love this girl and I would give my heart to protect her. I would die for her. Without a doubt. All my pain and fear is just becoming more intensified. I dread for the day (If that day comes. And I strongly hope that IT doesn’t happen until she is way older and more stable) that she becomes a mother. The fact that she the child will be the gift that will give her all the love and acceptance that she’s always desired…. It is truly a misgiving.

I accept the fact that children are a blessing. There are many nights where I have looked at my baby, toddler, child, tween.. etc… and just thought: “Wow. My life would be so much more meaningless if they were not here today.” And it’s all true. Granted, I took the hard route. And not only did that hard route include me, it includes my entire family. That part I truly regret. If there is nothing else that I regret, that is definitely one thing. I wish that I had a degree in the subject that I find fascinating! I wish I had a wonderful career that stimulated me and kept me moving. And I wish I could provide for my family as we all deserve.

Now, this part isn’t Ashleigh related and the title doesn’t reflect this part.

Eric (my husband), has had migraines for years. Related to barometric pressure/sinus and Chiari Malformation (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chiari-malformation/basics/definition/con-20031115) There, research it! He has been burdened so heavily over his migraines and his increasing medical diagnosis. The medication the doctors give him doesn’t help. And for the bipolar type I (for which he also suffers) he’s untreated. The medication doesn’t work, allergic to meds, or some of the medication put him into renal failure. Hell, he can’t even have any medication that are considered NSAIDS. (i.e. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Motrin IB, Nuprin) Aspirin (Anacin, Ascriptin, Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Excedrin) Naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox). Seeing him in as much pain as he is on a regular basis is absolutely awful. Unfortunately, marijuana seems to help him with his pain. And of course it’s illegal in Wisconsin. And most likely will be for many years to come. And at least when he’s smoked marijuana, he seems like the man I fell in love with.

I still oppose him using it. Only for the legal factor. And honestly, I have changed my opinion on marijuana in a HUGE way. In the past, I became really angry and would yell at him. There were times where it was warranted. Using it in the home and finding out from other people instead of him being honest with me. Of course, at certain points during this process, I still probably would have become angry with him.  It’s the deception that is the biggest deal.  I just hope that some day Scott Walker can get his head out of his ass and finalize the legalization of medicinal marijuana.  Hell, who knows if that will ever happen.

I also feel agitated.  I am so tired of feeling like I’m a bug that’s being stepped on.  Darrian’s friend Randi Jo’s mom can bring Darrian from whatever place they went to meet up at but can never bring her home.  She can never pick her up from our house.  I always have to do the transportation from home and back.  And no matter what, there are always 2 if not 3 vehicles in their driveway.  Darrian also expects (as I think most teenagers do) that summer vacation is meant for them to sit around and do whatever the hell they want.  It has nothing to do with what needs to be done.  I mean, after all, parents are stupid.  Darrian and I got into an argument because I didn’t like her tone with me.  And she said something that I became very upset about.  A sarcastic remark that went too far.  After it was over, somewhat, Darrian tells me that I need to speak to her in a different way.  I need to say “please” more often.  That instead of “you need to do……”, that I ask her politely.  If I thought this would help one iota, maybe I would consider it.  It doesn’t.  When I tell her what needs to be done, she forgets.  We can remind her (and in a nice way) that it needs to be done.  Well, after 10-20 minutes we’re still waiting.  When we get on her case about it then we’re unreasonable and claims “it’s no wonder why I want to be out of this house!”  I am not going to tip toe around my child.  And life will chew you up and spit you out.  They don’t address you in a way that is more appropriate to how one feels.  So … this doesn’t exactly make sense.  And I told her as much.

She keeps saying that … I parent her the same way I did Ashleigh.  That we compare her to Ashleigh, and when I walked into the room one night… (she was recently put on birth control pills.  She recently had a cyst on her ovary that was 3×3 cm.  Our hope is that the birth control can help alleviate that issue, as well as period regulation) and she exlaims “I am not a slut!”  I didn’t even have a chance to say anything.  I don’t exactly understand why she said it.  I do trust Darrian and she’s always said that she cares about not having sex.  Her intentions are to stay a virgin.  And although it is particularly strange that she was gone from 2 p.m. ish to 11 p.m. with some guy Morgan, I feel like I should at least give her a shot to either fall flat on her face or trust her.  I love her, I do.   I’m tired of her spending every moment of every waking hour (minus bathroom breaks and eating… maybe a little social time with Eric and/or I.) on the internet.  Skyping, taking selfies and posting them on facebook, and using my phone to text her friends or call them.

She and I butt heads frequently.  I can’t ever seem to get things right between her and I.  When we do get upset with each other, we both become agitated very very quickly.  We shout at each other.  I feel like both of us are 15 years old and I’m fighting with her about things… whether she wants agitate me more… I hope not.  I really do hope she figures things out.  Because of the situation she puts herself in, I have to be a mother to her.  Not just  because of my obligation.  It’s because I love her.  I just wish she could compose herself in a manner that would  show her intent to clean.  Of course, that’s all order.

 

I will finish off now.  I do have to sleep.

Thank you for hearing and reading.  It is a blessing that I have people who follow along with my journey.  Bless you all!

What Was the Point?

I find myself at a loss the last few days. Ashleigh will officially be evicted from her apartment. The one she’s had since June 1st, 2014. And the one she didn’t move into until a week later. Her neighbors have been complaining about the smell coming from her apartment. My youngest daughter, Darrian tried to help. And what Darrian tells me is that she became sick just getting into Ashleigh’s apartment. The smell was overpowering. The dishes hadn’t been done. The garbage hadn’t been taken out. And many many other things I’m certain. Neither here nor there, it was enough to warrant an eviction. So, my feelings on the matter? Wait for it………

I honestly don’t see what the point in getting Ashleigh the apartment was in the first place. I tried very hard to demand a competency review. I’m not saying that this wasn’t Ashleigh’s choice. And I’m not trying to excuse her behavior. And maybe it’s just because I’m her mom and I don’t want her going into the system because she has no where to go. Everyone involved in her case has seen how her hygiene issues have been. And between her foster mom and our family, we’ve seen the deplorable state that Ashleigh leaves her living area. Let alone her own self care. And now this. Why? The social worker says they’ve exhausted all their resources getting Ashleigh into this apartment. And that the landlord is the most lenient in the area. Now, with an eviction on her record (given the length of time she was in the apartment and condition of why she was evicted), it will be next to impossible for her to find another apartment on her own. She can’t come back here and she doesn’t know that many people. And even if she does know people, as she does – she will alienate their friendship. Especially if she lives with them for any amount of time. She will go back to her ways and it will drive people away from her. No matter how kind they are.

I’ve already been to the crisis center once. A few days ago. That was before I knew that Ashleigh was officially going to be evicted. I almost went down there last night. Being completely preoccupied with the situation and already (and being so completely emotional) will do that to a mother.

So now what? Last night, Ashleigh text me asking for me to buy her hair dye. She wants to have her hair purple or something. (Priorities, I’m telling ya) She seems to want to blame the landlord for what is presently happening. (Because, she cannot be blamed…. right?) That is what it always comes down to. Ashleigh isn’t to blame. It’s always someone else that becomes the scape goat. I have advocated and tried to help Ashleigh as much as I thought I could do. Hell, even more than I probably should have done. (Only because it emotionally and physically exhausted me) I wanted so badly to do right by her that I went through every possible step. And unless you are a parent of a kid like this, it’s hard to grasp.

I would have tried to help her clean up. However, I know Ashleigh. Since Ashleigh had from Friday to Monday and barely accomplished anything in the way of keeping her apartment – I would have been setting a precedence. That when Ashleigh is on the brink (even because of her own negative choices), that mom is going to pull her out of the deep end, so to speak. I knew going in that I had to separate myself from the situation. Ashleigh has been desperately wanting her independence so badly for years. She has wanted to get exactly what she wants. Well, last month she got it. And this month, she’s essentially losing all that she’s been fighting for. To some degree anyway. In no time, she’ll be living in a homeless shelter if she can’t find another place to live. Ashleigh is going to be on her own this time to find her own apartment. And I highly doubt that she’ll care enough to do the work to get a place.

As much as I don’t want to excuse Ashleigh’s behavior, I don’t understand why she didn’t go to a group home. I feel like she belonged there from day one. At least she’d have someone to walk her through her daily stuff so she didn’t lose her place to live. She’s had people walking behind her for so long reminding her what to do. Keeping her behaviors in check. And now that she is responsible to do it all on her own, she’s failing. Don’t get me wrong. She needed the push to get to graduate. She still needs the push though. And no one but her will do it. And her bad choices eliminate that from even happening.

Maybe I’m wrong. I hope she’ll learn from this experience and MAYBE she’ll have an epiphany. Maybe she’ll come around to realizing that she fucked up and not to do it again. Who knows. It’s not like anyone moved out for the first time and did all the responsible things. That no one ever had to fall flat on their face when they started that process to independence. I know I messed up something fierce and had to learn from my mistakes. As a mother, this process is going to hurt so badly inside. I love this kid so much and want to help her. I have to let her help herself. I have to let the county figure out what is next with her. And I don’t see what they can do either, given my last conversation with her social worker. Hell, it seems pointless to have a social worker if they can’t help a person who could soon be homeless! Again, I could be wrong there. She could serve many other purposes and it’s my agitation coming out. (Well, I know it is)

It’s hard not to feel completely overwhelmed with all of this. It seems to be on my mind from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep now. I need to find a way to not let it get to this point. I have to not let it get to this point. I have to continue to try to let her figure out that life is more difficult than she anticipated it would be. That it’s not all about having fun. And I hope she gets her shit together. As a mother, if she doesn’t…. it’ll hurt that much more. I know it’s not my fault. I do. I can’t help but wishing that it wouldn’t be this way.