Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why I’ve hated Valentine’s Day for 18 years

A day all about Love 
A day about beautiful red hearts
A day of celebrating the ones you love 

Today is Valentine’s Day
I Hate Valentine’s Day, I have for 18 years and I feel like I will continue to do so throughout my life time here on this earth 

You see, my heart is not completely whole and a pretty red like most. Yes, it’s a full functioning organ that is keeping me alive, but when a piece of your heart literally dies, it’s not a pretty red and it’s not full

A piece of my heart died 18 years ago today! 

I never got to say goodbye and I never met you face to face, but I knew you. Our two hearts shared a place, a place where they would beat side by side. 

I felt you kick and flutter around, I picked out your name, and I saw you in my dreams every night and slept great knowing I would soon meet you, not just in my dreams. 

I saw you

As you and I grew bigger and your heart and mine continued to beat together, I would catch myself thinking about how I couldn’t wait to hold you, rocking you to sleep as I sang sweet lullabies, all as I snuggled you tight and close to my heart, my heart that beat along with yours. 

I’m sorry I never got to meet you
I’m sorry I never got to hold you 

You passed away 18 years ago today on Valentine’s Day. 

We don’t know why, but your little heart just stopped beating together with mine. That piece of my heart that was linked and beating with yours, well it died that day too. 

Even though we’ve never met
I know you
I felt you
I love you

Please don’t make me say “Happy Valentine’s Day” because that piece of my heart is gone. I love you my sweet angel baby...you hold THAT piece of my heart, always have and always will. 


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The scars, and stitches of my broken heart

A broken heart; most people experience it once or maybe even quite possibly hundreds of times in their lifetime. I can't keep count of my heartbreaks anymore. When something breaks you wanna fix it, a broken heart can't really be made completely whole and fixed again....but it can be stitched

My heart has many stitches, so many that my heart looks like the character Sally from The nightmare before Christmas. The stitches are not sewn very well and they are fraying and sometimes the stitches of my broken heart are weighed down by more hurt and heartbreak, like a dam about to break apart and overflow massive amounts of water that are my tears.

That's how I would explain my heartbreak and stitches and scars.

My heart is holding onto a giant overflown dam of tears of pain that's ready to burst and the stitches on my heart can feel it. Every heartbreak is hanging onto my heart with the weak and tired thread, because, I will let you in on a secret, I can't sew, at all, never could, I've tried, I just don't get it. I did the best I could to stitch my heart up as best as I knew how.

I've patched it, covered it up, masked it, but my heart is still there hanging on by tired threads. And just as Sally picks up her pieces and carries on and pushes through, that is what I will continue to do so too.

The thing with broken hearts is, that, the heart isn't the only part of my body affected, emotional hurt wreaks havoc and rips away at the tiny worn threads of my heart and leaves emotional stitches that can't be seen, much unlike Sally's stitches, they are visible on the outside and she is sewn together with leaves, how very similar are we, except for the fact that Sally knows how to sew herself together.

We both want happiness and peace and to feel whole and yet we still feel the need to have to hide away from what caused our stitches and heartbreaks.

 In the end doesn't it all come down to love and loving someone, the deep unconditional love that you have for someone other than yourself. Wanting to fix the broken hearts, stitches, pain, and hurt for those that you feel are more heartbroken than you, or in need of more stitching than you.

 We try so hard to protect and defend those we love that we don't realize that we are actually slowly pulling our own stitches apart and causing more heartbreak for ourselves.

Sally is falling apart and the water flow of broken hearted tears that has made up the dam that is my heart is busting my stitches loose.

What I've learned from this beautifully broken stitched up doll is that we are both willing to go as far as we possibly can go to help those that we love and care about, so far so, as to sacrifice our own well being to make it so, we are the "helpers" the "healers" the "fixers" and the "lovers" to everyone but ourselves....and so our hearts break easier and our stitches loosen quicker than most.

Until we find "the one"

That one, That one that loves you just the way you are; broken hearted with loose stitches, scars and all. The one who asks to sit with you in the dark under the light of the moon and sings

"My dearest friend, if you don't mind I'd like to join you by your side where we could gaze into the stars and sit together now and forever, for it is plain as anyone could see, we're simply meant to be." - Jack and Sally

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The unwanted party guests in MY house

Living with Anxiety and Major Depression Disorder is hard, and living with these two, they tend to bring a lot of their other uncool friends over to party, I never wanted this fucking party, and yet their party crashed into the house that is my mind and they made a big fucking mess, a mess I don't know how to clean up, a mess that many people have tried to help me clean, but the damage is done and the remanants of this party and the mess are still left in MY House.

And just like unwanted party guests sometimes do, these assholes moved right on in, they never even asked me about how I felt about them and nor did they care.

I have tried kicking them out for years, so many many years, but they claimed me as their property, and the few times that I gave in because I was sick and tired of the fighting, well they took that opportunity and they signed an ironclad lease that has tried to be broken, but it is forever binding.

I live with Anxiety, Major Depressive Disorder, Complex PTSD, Panic Disorder, OCD, and the biggest asshole; Agoraphobia, he sucks, he keeps all the others from letting me try to functon. They all take their toll on me and hurt me in different ways, and they all make me tired...thanks to those other assholes chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

This party was so big and destructive, that not only did it mess up MY house, but it physically damaged my body, and because of the medications I take to calm down the assholes living in MY house, I am unable to take anything for the chronic pain from the fatigue and fibromyalgia.

I can't lift my children anymore and that hurts me
I cant raise my arms in the shower to do my hair
I can't open pickle jars, whatever pickles are overrated
If I clean my house on one day, I am hurt and couch bound the next day or two

I am medicated and in therapy and have been for many years, what I didn't know and just recently found out, is that this "party" in MY house, it wasn't just any party. This was a chemical rave party that was destined to happen, whether I wanted it to or not. This was planned long before I even fully moved into MY house.

I am sick
I have a chemical imbalance
I was born this way

This is one HELL of a party
I'm not thrilled with my party guests
They all suck in their own right
They don't really like me either

Now that I know
Fuck them...all of them
We will just have to learn to coexist
Maybe someday they'll stop trying to break me
Even on days when it feels like they have, somehow
I get the strength to get up and say "keep it up...you hit like a bitch!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How Cinderella made my autistic daughter feel like a princess

Birthdays are supposed to be fun and exciting for little kids, I know my six year old, Anna is already planning her next Birthday party and theme the night after her 6th party ended...that excited.

Birthdays were always so exciting and fun for me too, so much so that I would have my girls parties planned and ready to decorate months before the party.

That changed for me a month before my youngest daughter, Zoey turned 2 years old. The month before she turned 2 years old, Zoey was diagnosed with severe nonverbal autism, global developmental delay, dyspraxia of speech, and would soon be diagnosed with extreme ADHD

I tried to pull myself together enough to plan her birthday party, and do it just like I had done her 1st birthday party, how I had done 6 of her older sister's birthday parties. Her 2nd Birthday didn't go as I had planned and I would realize that none of her birthdays would go as planned again. I tried, each year I tried. 

Her 3rd birthday was too loud and she was on sensory overload, she didn't know how to blow out her candles, and we didn't sing Happy Birthday because she started to cover her ears from the noise, I took some flack for not singing the Happy Birthday song from some family, but I did what was best for my child and will continue to always do so.

Her 4th Birthday was a beautiful sunny day and I invited just small a group of family and friends and I did an ice cream social. Ice cream is her favorite and I thought why not build your own sundaes.

She saw everyone gathered around and immediately came over to me to escape the small crowd, I knew it was too much, she wasn't comfortable. She motioned for her and I to go inside, and I granted her that, after all it was her day. While our friends and family still gathered outside eating cake and ice cream sundaes, Zoey and I played with some of the very cool sensory toys that she had gotten as gifts from her friends and family.

Being social is very difficult for Zoey, if we have company she usually retreats to her sensory room for a "break" and I respect her wishes every time.

I had no idea what I was going to do this year for her 5th birthday. I know that 5 is a milestone birthday and with school and therapies she had come along way from years past. 

I noticed she was listening to the original Cinderella cartoon songs on her tablet and she would sing along with Cinderella to the song "Sweet Nightingale" and to see her sing it was beautiful, and soon she started watching the cartoon and she never went to shut the TV off, which she usually does, she actually was enjoying it and captivated by it. It made my heart happy to see her enjoy something, Zoey liked Cinderella.

I did some research and I found a company that does Princess Parties. Precious Parties By Kayla. I got in contact with Kayla and I asked if she would come visit Zoey on her Birthday, she was so thrilled to be a part of Zoey's special day and so we booked her. Cinderella was coming to Zoey's 5th Birthday.

Again, I invited just immediate family and close friends and as our guests arrived Zoey took their presents from them and opened them right away, I agree, who really wants to sit around and watch you open presents and be the center of attention. Everyone else thought it was great too.

Cinderella soon arrived not long after our guests and all the other children squealed with excitement while Cinderella sat down on our floor and gathered the children around her to show her what she had brought them. A treasure chest full of trinkets and fairy wings, and then she grabbed out a Cinderella book, looked right at Zoey and pointed to Cinderella on the cover and then at herself and Zoey said "Cerella." 

Zoey knew that Cinderella was here at our house. It was overwhelming for her and she took many breaks. Cinderella did face painting on all the other kids while Zoey sat on the couch having me give her deep compression (squeezes) on her legs. My husband came over to us and he said "Cinderella is here for you baby girl." Zoey kept taking my hands to do deep compression on her legs, as I looked up at my husband and said "we tried, we tried."

Zoey was definitely intrigued by this beautiful Cinderella at our house and she actually went up and approached her 3 times. I was moved and close to tears, because no matter what Cinderella was doing, face painting a child, answering a question, whatever it was she was doing she stopped all 3 times Zoey approached her, and she treated her like the special little princess that she is, and that meant everything to me.

We brought out the cake and we sang Happy Birthday to Zoey this year, and this is the first year that Zoey blew out her candles. Cinderella cut her cake and then took pictures, signed autographs and then said her goodbyes, and off she left on her way back to Prince Charming.

Thank you Cinderella for making THIS birthday special for my special girl, and it went exactly how I had planned.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Ferris Wheel that is my depression and anxiety

There is a lot resting on my shoulders and it's starting to hurt as it pulls me down. I try to stand up straight, but my body is weak from holding itself up for so long. The weight of the world is heavy and I'm trying hard, but I can't carry the world on my own anymore. 

It's time to let you in
It's time to tell you

I'm sorry, as I feel as if I let you down, and I'm not what you planned, or thought I would be. I'm fragile, weak, broken, and scarred, and no matter how hard I've tried, I still can't seem to heal. I feel bad for the life that you thought you would have, and I have guilt from feeling like I've robbed you of happiness and peace. 

It feels like you live in one world while I live in a completely different world. My world wreaks chemical havoc on my brain every moment, and it doesn't stop for me. It's like riding a Ferris Wheel and wanting to get off when it stops, but I can't ever got off, no matter how badly I want to, I am pulled and lured in my seat on this rotating wheel of torture.

I've tried to explain this wheel of torture to you so many times and you say "just get off the ride." If it were as easy as that I would have years ago, because I don't even like Ferris Wheels, they scare me and make me dizzy. What you don't know is, that I've actually been on this ride for so long, longer than you and I have been together. I learned to fake it and pretend that I could handle the ride, and I latched onto unhealthy ways of coping with it. Something I hid very well, because I had years learning how to survive the treacherous wheel, and I accepted it as part of my life.

I felt like if I told you about the wheel that you would try and sit with me on it, and I didn't want you to be stuck on the ride with me, but what I didn't realize was that even though you were not in the seat with me, you were watching me on the wheel and just as dizzy as it makes me, it makes you even dizzier, watching me go around and around and around, spiraling into sadness, fear, guilt, regret, self loathing, I look down at you as you watch me and I can't imagine watching someone take a ride like that.

But you stay and watch and you hate the wheel too, but you love the passenger, so you stay, waiting for the moment that the wheel stops so that you can get me out of the spinning seat, and on the days when you can, I am grateful, tired, but grateful. When the ride pulls me back into my seat, you are there waiting for the next time it slows down enough for you to catch me.

For better or for worse, in sickness and in health

So to you, my husband, my best friend...that is what my depression and anxiety is like. I'm sorry you have to watch it, you try so hard to understand what it's like for me, and I have never known how to explain it to you, I will tell you that it's a never ending ride that I have a lifetime pass for and I don't get to decide when I can get on or off, and I can't control the speed or the amount of times I am on it. I hate this ride and I will never ask you to sit with me in my seat, but I promise to tell you when the wheel is too much and I promise to yell out when it makes me sick and I promise to tell you when I need you to talk me through the scary parts

I'm sorry that I never told you about the wheel
I'm sorry that the wheel makes me sick
I hate the wheel

your wife that struggles with spinning wheel of depression and anxiety

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Daughter is Different and so am I

My child is amazing, truly freaking amazing. She is everything that I want to be. 

When I'm tired and I think that there is just not one more day that I can possibly push through, I look at her progress and I push myself to push on through, on days when I feel like I can't even get out of my own bed. Zoey pulls mentally pulls me out, that's what my depression does to me. I am a mom that struggles with illnesses of my; major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder, complex ptsd, and Fibromyalgia 

3 years ago on a day in August, my husband and I drove 2 hours away to have a specialist confirm what we had already suspected...autism had chosen our child.

Getting any kind of diagnosis is a shock, nothing prepares you for it, and if you think you are prepared, well that preparation crumbles in the wake of a specialist looking at you and telling you that there's something wrong. 

When it comes to your child, the last thing you want to hear is that there is something wrong, you don't want to be handed pamphlets and told to find a support group. 

Even after they looked up and asked us, "do you understand what we just went over with you?" 

We shook our heads yes, obviously we were in shock because we didn't understand what we were in for 

We were exited out and then shown where to get onto an elevator. I looked up at my husband who was holding onto our almost 2 year old and I asked him 

"what do we do, what happens now?"

"It Changes Nothing, she's still our happy child."

I tried to accept that and believe him as he said it to me, but it did change everything for me! 

I stayed up every night, researching, blaming myself, even blaming my own illnesses, what had I done wrong. So I cried, sobbed, grieved, I got angry, and I spiraled into another bout of major depression, one of many in my life. 

These emotions of sadness, fear, and anger, well they lasted for more than over a year for me, and on the days that I had thought I had settled up with those emotions, they came back looking for more from me. A vicious emotional cycle of tug of war that I was really tired of fighting, and I realized that I needed help and so I started seeing a therapist  and soon I stopped fighting those emotions and I released them, I stopped blaming autism for choosing my child and I stopped the love hate relationship that I unknowingly had with autism. 

I realized I was discriminating autism, not my child, but autism. I was treating autism poorly and making autism into something scary and wrong...why, because autism is different, we are all different. 

Yes, different can be scary and we can be afraid of the unknown, but everything and everyone deserves a chance to show you just how beautiful different can be. I tell my children that just because someone or something is different, "different isn't bad."

 Zoey's autism saved my life! I know it sounds silly and like I'm trying to kiss autisms ass for "likes" but it's true...autism saved MY life. 

If not for Zoey's autism I never would have woken up and embraced my own illnesses and I wouldn't be the mom I am today, not just for my kids, but as a person. I became Zoey's voice when she had none, her advocate when needed...always her mommy that loves her. 

In being Zoey's voice, I found my own voice, in helping to fight for Zoey's needs, I learned to fight for my own needs. Getting Zoey's autism diagnosis helped me understand my own diagnoses and something inside me woke up and I realized autism doesn't discriminate and that no one should discriminate and that in talking and sharing, maybe we can end the stigma surrounding "differences."

In Sickness and Insanity

 My husband and I were married in 2009 but we've known each other for over 20 years.  We were friends, then more then friends, and then back to friends. Then we were friends that lived on opposite ends of the Country and only communicated a few times via the computer and 1 letter, this was long before texting came along and we are not the talk on the phone type people...still aren't phone people. 

My friend who would one day in May of 2009 become my husband was serving our Country in The United States Marine Corps and for 8 years I worried and prayed that he was ok and safe. I would watch the news and cringe at where he was and what he was doing and what he was witnessing and I wished for him to come home safely. 

While he was fighting a war for our Country, I was here in our hometown fighting my own war. My war was internal and intense and scary. I fought horrific memories and images in my mind and my mind took me to dark places that I couldn't get out of, it trapped me in a tunnel of sadness and fear with the demons inside my mind making it hard to pull myself out of debilitating bouts of depression and crippling anxiety and extremely painful panic attacks that left me clenching my chest praying it would pass as quickly as it came on. My demons are flashbacks and images that replay over and over in my mind, a slideshow of moments in time that haunt me day and night. A slideshow that I can't turn off, because if I could I would in a heartbeat. 

This slideshow of traumatic moments forever changed me as a person. It stays with me and it decides when or what it will show me, that is the demon of post traumatic stress disorder. 

Some people have 1 traumatic event that takes place in their lifetime, I'm not like some people, I'm different. I've experienced multiple traumatic events throughout my lifetime starting at the young age of 2 years old and just like throwing a dart and aiming for the center, I was the target of traumatic events and eventually I just gave up and waited for the darts to keep coming. 

For awhile the darts stopped and I forgot about how bad the darts stung the red center of that of which is my heart and I tried to live my life as best I could, still knowing that at any moment a dart could be thrown my way. 

A few years went by without any darts, although the sting of the darts from years before were enough to keep me from wanting any more to hit my red center. 

I like many others that suffer from complex post traumatic stress disorder adopted some unhealthy coping mechanisms. Substance abuse and depression are kind of a package deal when you're trying to silence the demons in your mind that keep wanting to show you the horrific slideshow of traumas that you've tried so hard to store away in a sealed box. Each time that box even slightly opens up, the slideshow starts, and you would try and would do anything to make it stop and slam that box shut. 

That's exactly what I did! 

I kept the box closed by trying to forget it was there, and so yes, I self medicated with drugs and alcohol. It was at that point in my life where I would have my first suicidal thoughts and I would then seek professional help with a counselor and psychiatrist...I was 21 years old

Through therapy and medications I would abandon my unhealthy ways of coping and hurting and I forgot about the box and the darts and I was able to live my life, I had a career, goals, and my friend came home from his war and as fate would have it, we found each other again. 

We never spoke of our demons from our wars. Instead we laughed, we lived, and we loved. 

The year before we married a big dart came at me and it hit straight on, piercing my red center decimating my entire board. The box in my mind that I had held closed for years immediately broke open and the slideshow was loud and stuck on repeat and I couldn't stop it, because the box was now destroyed and the slideshow was all I saw, day and night, every waking and non waking moment. 

Something happened to me, I became physically sick, not like cough and cold sick, this was I lost the ability to walk, drive, hear, I couldn't function and live independently, I was disabled!

I had no idea what was happening, I walked with a cane, my soon to be husband became my caretaker, he helped me shower, dress, walk, he made my meals, and helped me live. He never complained, he never left, even though people told him he should, he didn't. 

I was in the darkest depression I had ever been in and I was suicidal. Family urged me to get help and I complied. I was being treated for my symptoms of major depression, anxiety, and panic...but I never spoke of that last dart, that last horrific traumatic event that had me in therapy every week, that had me on multiple medications. I thought that I was in therapy because I was sad, sad and depressed for being physically ill

I had no idea why I was really in therapy and why I was on so many medications. I had no idea that I wasn't really physically ill at all.  I had NO idea that I was mentally ill.

You see, I never spoke of the box or the slideshow or the darts to anyone. I did my best to conceal it and hide it from everyone, including myself and apparently I had done a damn good job at it. After that last dart that blew everything apart, my brain did what it needed to do to keep me safe, and for 8 years my brain told me that I had a physical illness rather than a mental illness. 

That last dart triggered me to dissociate myself from that trauma all together. I had Dissociation Identity Disorder (DID) for 8 years. 

My friend, my husband, he never left and I've never thanked him for that. So here I am saying to you my friend, my husband, right here right now....Thank you for loving me through sickness and insanity and please always know how much I love you for loving me, just the way I am.