Wow……………………….. Way close to home. Let’s just say that you need to remember that no one is perfect. Everyone is human. You may idealize someone but it’s not really fair to them. It puts them in a light they may not want to be in or puts too much pressure on them to be something that they may not truly be. Be grateful in life for people for who they are in life and what they share with you. Don’t focus on their shortcomings or where they let you down. It doesn’t get you anywhere.
A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough-ass days:
This is a hard question. I love music and there are so many bands and songs that have gotten me through hard times. There are some country artists like Lady Antebellum, Lonestar, and Blake Shelton. There are some less known but very rocking female artists like Storm Large, Dar Williams, Marion Raven, and Megan McCauley. There are some more popular artists like Jason Mraz, Rihanna, Sara Bareilles, Pink, and Avril Lavigne. And of course, there are those classic rockers like Alice Cooper, KISS, ACDC, and The Sweet. But really music is so much a part of my life and inspiration that it is to hard to pick one artist, band, or song that has gotten me through. My tastes change so often and are so often reflect my mood.
I think it’s not so much about compliments that this question brings up but more about recognition or even simple acknowledgement about what I have to do daily to live with my illness/disability. It takes a lot of energy, a huge amount of energy for me to sometimes just to get up in the morning. I’m not saying I deserve “poor you’s” or “Atta boy’s”, just some acknowledgement of the fact that it takes a lot for me to keep going every day. I work really hard to get better. I go to therapy every week and work on coping skills, symptom management, and processing stressors. I also have a lot of trauma in my past that I work on each week to better improve my PTSD symptoms. In order to facilitate the process, I keep a therapy planner where I can keep track of what I want to discuss or work on because my memory isn’t very good. I have to keep in continual contact with my psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, and PA to adjust my meds as I am on 10 different medications and it is a constant balancing act. I have to keep track of the actual medications, when to take them, what to watch out for, remember to take them at all, and deal with the many different side effects and the ups and downs from the constant adjustments. I have to deal with the actual symptoms which are not easy. Constant anxiety, nightmares, agoraphobia, up and down mood swings, fatigue, racing thoughts, and just general chaos. And In order to combat and those symptoms and keep getting well I have to practice my DBT skills, work on therapeutic art projects, journal, make sure to go out every day, exercise, eat right, and try to remain social, all the while being a good wife and good mom. It’s a balancing act and it’s exhausting. And just once in awhile I’d like someone to acknowledge that I am working really hard to get better and doing all of the right things and still keeping afloat and being the best mom that I can be. It’s hard to ask for that. But sometimes that’s what I need. Or someone to acknowledge that living with a mental illness is hard but that it’s okay and it’s okay to be me and as long as I keep trying and don’t give up, it’s going to keep getting better. Some days I would give anything to hear that that. But even though I don’t, it doesn’t mean that I will stop trying or stop working at it or stop fighting.
Something people seem to compliment you on the most:
I think the thing I get complimented on most or commented on most is my sense of humor. I have a wacky crazy sense of humor. I love to make people laugh and I love to laugh. I like to act kind of fun and crazy and dance and sing and just enjoy myself, especially when I am with my husband.
The other thing I get complimented on is the fact that I am non judgmental. I accept people for who they are and don’t judge a book by its cover. I accept people regardless of their sexuality or religion or beliefs or family structure and enjoy a diverse group of friends in my life. I don’t like to be judged and don’t want others to feel judged either. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
Someone you need to let go or wish you didn’t know
Ouch. There are people in this life that I probably need to let go of but am in denial about. Unhealthy relationships. Relationships that no longer fit. Relationships that no longer fill the need they intended. But I’m not one to let go. I will say that there is one person in my life who I wish I did not have in my life but because of family reasons I have to grin and bare it. There are very few people on this earth that I just can’t get along with, very few. And she is one of them. She goes between passive aggressive, aggressive, and just plain old mean and insulting. And for some reason she has painted a target on my back that every family get together she hits me with everything she can. And she does it so sneakily that she waits till no one or very few people are paying attention to get me. For example, I am trying really hard to lose weight, really hard. Well I had the cake in front of me at my birthday party to cut it and she said, well I know when your home that’s your usual portion isn’t it. I mean really low blows. And she just kept up with it. She tried to throw out my wedding dress. At my birthday party she did everything she could to drive me up to wall. She emptied the butter dish at my end of the table to put the butter at the other end of the table. When the other end of the table ran out of water, instead of asking the waitress for more, she emptied the water pitcher from our end of the table into theirs. She kept putting all of the dirty plates and flat ware in front of my husband as he was trying to drink his coffee and eat his cake. I mean really silly little things just to prove that she could get to me. But I didn’t let it get to me. One she gave me that low blow at the table about my weight I just smiled at her and said, “good one”. Wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. Two years ago she made fun of me for the Christmas gift I gave her. Last year she didn’t even acknowledge it and didn’t give me anything. So this year I am giving gifts to my uncle and if she gets something she does. If she doesn’t she doesn’t. Not that I need anything from her anyway. She is just plain mean and I don’t do mean. I don’t do mean at all. She makes cracks about my weight all of the time. One thanksgiving she said thank god my husband and father weren’t there or there wouldn’t be enough food for the rest of everyone else. So I don’t attend family thanksgivings anymore. Just to avoid the drama. It’s sad that she has to affect my life this much but I would rather not cause any drama in my family and just separate from her as much as I can than start a fight. So that’s that.
Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted:
I think that along the way I have had many close friends that I drifted apart from but none closer than Mi, Joy, Dagmar, and Blanche who I used to work with. They were my closest friends, more like sisters. But once I got sick and quit working, I just drifted away from them and for the most part lost contact and I regret it every day. Especially Joy. She was like family and I felt attached to the hip. Then so much happened in our lives and I feel like I probably can’t get that or any of those relationships back and I miss them with all my heart. I also drifted away from Cleo and Allie, friends who I met initially online, and I miss them too very very much but can’t seem to get my act together to keep up a good relationship with either of them either. I think I have pretty much lost contact with all of my friends since my illness got so bad. I don’t really talk to anyone except online and even then just barely. I don’t have almost any rt contact with anyone. It’s hard to be this isolated. But then again I don’t have a lot of energy to be social and isolation feels easier sometimes. Silly I know. But the feeling is there too. Catch 22.
Someone who made your life hell or treated you like shit:
This is a one hard to answer as there are a few options and none of them are pretty. Sometimes I can’t write all goodness and light. Okay let’s give credit where credit is due; my high school principal who shall remain nameless. When my abuse case was being investigated by the detectives at the prosecutor’s office first she wouldn’t let them have access to me at the school in a safe controlled environment. Then she sent them to my house where I was alone and they scared the hell out of me. And then I later found out that part of her statement to them was that I “told a lot of stories and this was just another one” and that I was just “lying to get attention.” Her statement proved to be a huge stumbling block when trying to prosecute my perpetrator both then and in recent years when more evidence emerged. THAT was shitty. I don’t hold many grudges, but this is a one I will never be able to forget. Hopefully however one day I will be able to forgive. That is something I really need to work on because I have been carrying it with me for several years now and it’s a big stone to swallow. I want to be the bigger person but in this case where so much was at stake, and the assistant prosecutor himself said that her statement was one that made such an impact in trying to prosecute, it’s hard to let that go. Really hard. But I will work on it and give it up to God when I can’t.
There have been so many people who have touched my life in so many ways but I think the biggest person who has made my life worth living is my son, Liam. He has actually been my reason for living many dark days. He has kept me going and kept me trying because I would never want to do anything that would hurt him. But on a brighter side, he is also one of the smartest, funniest, kindest kids I know. He is older then his years. With my illness, he has had to do a lot of growing up ad he has taken it all in stride. He even makes sure I am okay some days which is a little sad because no kid should ever have to do that. But he always asks if I am okay. He knows about my illness and is not afraid of it. He asks questions and gets age appropriate answers (He’s 10). We have never hid anything from him because that would be scarier for him. He knows I take medicine and he knows I go to therapy and it’s normal for him to ask, “Are you going to John’s today?” He knows my therapist and is okay with him so it’s not scary for him that I go. If I am not feeling well, he asks if he can lay down with me in my bedroom and watch movies. And he tried to normalize my illness even if he doesn’t know he’s doing it in his own way. When I had to go to the emergency room for vomiting, we were in triage and the nurse was asking me questions. She was taking a health history and my son says quietly to the nurse, “my mom is a little crazy too. She doesn’t like to talk about it though “ He wasn’t being mean. He just didn’t want me to be embarrassed. The nurse smiled and said, “kid we are all a little crazy.” He said “Yes, but my mom sees the doctor for it. “ When we got into the patient room, he asked me” I did good right mom? I told her so you didn’t have to tell her because I know you don’t like to.”
When he goes to the corner shop, he always brings me home some chocolate with his own money. And if he is ever making something for himself he always asks if I want something. He always takes my dish into the kitchen with his if he is going into the kitchen. He goes on adventures with me and laughs with me when I get hopelessly lost. We go to all of the animated movies together and even some action movies. He likes to bake with me and we do crafts together. He is a creative and funny kid who, even though sometimes he drives me batty, I love with all my heart. Some of the things that come out of his me and his interpretations of what I say make me laugh my butt off. One day he asked me what an ovary was after he saw an commercial on tv about ovarian cancer. I told him it’s where Mommies make eggs. He asked” People can lay eggs?” Oops. That was a conversation I has to clarify a while bunch of things. Last week we were out to dinner and I was talking about how a team of crack elves come in before Santa to prep the house like in Prep and Landing, the TV show. He immediately got very concerned and started arguing. I finally realized what he was saying. When I said “Crack Elves” I meant a crack team of elves. He thought I meant Elves who were Crack heads or drug addicts. He watches way to much COPS on TV.
Well the 13th was my birthday. I am officially 32 years old. Another year older, not wiser, and have no more to show for it except the fact that I have survived and pledge to continue surviving, even if it is just to tick some people off lol. I have accomplished a few things I guess. I have lost some weight. I have gotten active in artistic endeavors. Okay well maybe that’s about it. I have religiously gone to therapy and been to see my doctors every week and month respectively. So I have tried at least. Whether I have moved forward much, I have no idea, But at least I am still here baby. At least I am still here.
This is more about something that I hope I never have to do again. When I graduated from University, I had a child and my fiancé, a house, a car, several pets. I lived in a paradise near the ocean and it was the most amazing place in the world to live. I was incredibly happy. I lived in Northeastern Australia. However, when I graduated I applied for a new visa and was denied due to a technicality and was forced to leave everything but my child behind. I lost everything. I lost my pets. I was forced to lose my car, my security, my amazing life with this beautiful paradise. I even had to separate from my now husband while waiting for him to hopefully get a visa and join me in the US. It took such a toll on me that I still have nightmares every week and refuse to look at the photo albums from Australia. I miss is so tremendously and have yet to find that perfect place again where I am so happy. Yet I can never return and take that risk again either. My hope is that I NEVER have to go through that kind of fear and insecurity and loss ever again. It’s been 10 years and I still have not gotten over it. I don’t know if I ever will.