Struggling

It is okay to admit you are struggling. I tell my clients this all the time. I tell people in my personal life all the time. Why is it hard for me to do?

My son is ADHD and has sensory processing disorder. Luckily the SPD only affects clothing as opposed to lights, sounds, and textures as well. A few months ago, I finally took the plunge and had him started on medication for his ADHD as it was severely affecting school and social aspects. Intinuv. Only made him sleepy. Lets try Focalin. Insurance didn’t cover and made him aggressive. Adderall. Helped. He focused, he paid attention, he got things done. He also started picking his lips CONSTANTLY and having other depressive and anxiety symptoms. We added low dose of Zoloft. Anger. Fist through a window. Objects flying across the room. Screaming. Speaking of wanting to die and choke himself.

He’s 7. How can this be happening?

Finally, I made the executive decision to remove the Zoloft. No change. I removed the Adderall. It has been about 9 days and the anger is substantially less. My son is more of his laughing self. He is also more of his forgetful, all over the place, chatty, indecisive, wont stop moving, wont stop talking self. Some days I want to lose it with how annoyed I am. But I am not picking up broken glass. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

No one knew what has been going on behind closed doors. The torment and turmoil of our lives. The amount of tears that have been shed from not only myself and my son but my mom as well. Moments of feeling lost and defeated. Unsure of how to help this child succeed in not only life but just a 24 hour span. How can this be so difficult?

You see, he goes from 0 to 100 in 4 seconds. His mama (me) and his biological father have had their share of anger control issues. We both have had our shares of depression (me) and bipolar (him). We both have struggled with substance addiction. This kiddo did not win the lottery genetic wise. But I will be damned if I don’t do everything I can to help him be the best person HE can be.

It is difficult enough for a grown adult to understand how to handle their anger, how do you think a child feels? Lost. Helpless. Hopeless. Doomed. Not to mention the poor kid has a therapist for a mother!

The past few months of this turmoil has only included my son’s struggles as a portion of the problem. My life is not a struggle because of him or things occurring with him. I work about 45 hours a week for a large county MHMR (mental health and mental retardation) aka county mental health with children and adolescents. I am in my last semester of graduate school and taking FOURTEEN hours because I messed up my schedule somehow. I raise my kiddo alone (with the help of my parents for me to do school at night and some later evenings with work). I don’t go out much as well…. frankly I don’t have many friends as well as I am tired of putting myself out there with people to only get excuses in return.

A human can be resilient. I can admit I am extremely resilient. But damnit, I am so tired of being strong. I deeply desire for someone to help and to comfort me. The honest truth is I don’t expect anyone to stick around long enough to actually do so.

Life has never been simple. It will never be simple. But I do pray it becomes a little easier soon.

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Rough Week

This week was supposed to be more relaxing. I purposefully took off Tuesday and Friday to get ahead with homework. My kiddo got sick in the middle of the night Saturday night which lasted until Thursday. This meant I took Monday off to take care of him and my Tuesday, which was supposed to be catch up day, was with him.

Wednesday afternoon I started feeling not so awesome. Thursday midday I felt like shit. Thursday night, vomit. I was in bed from about 9pm Thursday until the 10am Friday. One would think it would be enough sleep but I still have slept about 15-18 more hours since then.

I lost a few pounds which stirred some old negative thinking in my head. But considering how much I was NOT cognitively aware of everything, I know I cannot have the ability to dip my toe into that water.

Even after getting sick ONE time, dehydration started sitting in. When I have purposefully purged over the past few years, I make sure I take care of myself and I rehydrate. When I vomited this time, I was scared to intake much because I truly didnt feel like getting sick again.

My body cannot bounce back like it used to. I have done a little too much damage to my body for my liking which makes things a lot harder for me to bounce back.

While I officially only have 47 days left for summer courses, it’s still a rough haul. I know I just need to pummel through and then focus on other aspects. My mind wanders and I start worrying about finances, work, supervision, licensing, kid, sports, etc……

It’s very hard for me to keep my brain still and calm.

Out of Control

Everything feels like it is so out of control.

school

work

family

emotions

life

It is oh so difficult for me to handle life when everything around me feels like it’s moving while I am staying still. I struggle with feelings of being out of control. I vomit. I isolate. I get angry. I push people away.

It took me a couple weeks to understand what this feeling has been. I haven’t felt this out of control in a long time. This year has been beyond difficult. I have tried so hard to keep things together but my cracks are starting to show.

I have excellent coping skills. I have been perfecting them for years. That being said, I am exhausted. I am really tired of fighting. I want to be clear, it doesn’t mean I am giving up. A break is just so desperately needed.

Bad Timing

Bad timing

The words that have come out of my mouth many times in my 30 years.

What is good timing? I don’t know if I have ever legitimately had it. Those words, this time, were in regards to tapering my medication the same day my cycle started.

Bad timing

Truth is, there is no good timing for tapering a SNRI (Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). You see, the specific medication that I am titrating off of is one of 2 of the worst antidepressants to withdrawal from. Mine, Effexor XR, has a half life of 5 hours, is 90% out of my system within 1 day, and withdrawal symptoms can start occurring within 1-2 days. This means that to go from 225mg to 0mg will be very difficult.

It took 5 weeks to go from 225mg to get solid onto 150mg. At the 5 week mark, I started the transition to go from 150mg to 75mg. While I am anxious and impatient to get off my damn meds, I do not want to risk anything by being stupid and rushing the process. I have utilized antidepressants for 15 years, I cannot expect my body to magically be done with them.

8 years

I have shared this document with only like 2 people….

8 years.

Even though it has been 8 years since the abuse hit it’s peak, I still can remember vividly like it was yesterday. Domestic violence is, unfortunately, more prevalent than most would like to admit.

This document was the statement from the police officer first to the scene with me. It had been only 20-30 minutes after being released from the grips of my abusers hands when this picture was taken. If you look on my neck, you will see finger print marks where bruises had formed from the strangulation. Not even half of strangulation cases lead to physical marks. The dark area in my ear is blood. This picture is not even a legitimate picture as it basically a copy of a copy making it very difficult to see things in the picture.

I have spent the past 8 years trying to heal from this. Violence and abuse hits much deeper than skin deep. Domestic violence hurts more than just the survivor. My unborn son suffered more than anyone can ever grasp. His brother, who was 4 at the time, ended up being the one who saved me but was drastically changed. I saw my father cry for the second time in my life the day after when he saw my face swollen and bruised with fingerprint bruise marks along my neck. My friends who were there for me during the abuse and trial. My friends who have been in my life since the abuse. The men I have dated since.

Even though I survived that night, there is a small piece of me that did not. 8 years, thousands of hours of counseling, numerous panic attacks, relationships, and many attempts at letting people in to what makes me tick and I will never be the same. Just because I will never be the same, does not mean I cannot make myself better. I trust my gut instincts now. I don’t automatically try to let people have trust without earning it. Most of all, I value life now. As I was coming to terms with the end that night, I had no idea what life could have in store. I no longer take life for granted. I am beyond blessed to have the greatest blessing, my son, to do life with me.

Consent

 

These came from a website about consent. They are all too true and real for so many people.

There is so much unnecessary gray area to consent that should not be there. Females (and males) have been “trained” to stay quiet. To comply. There are many ways someone can get trained to be this way and it is so unfortunate how common it is. Unfortunately, I am still one of them.

Restitution

The night I went to the hospital from my abuser, I received a medical bill. I got to turn in my $209.44 medical bill to be paid for restitution. My abuser was to be responsible for paying the restitution along with all other court fees and costs.

It was great to know I was not responsible for a medical bill that I should not have to pay for. But what about all future medical bills that would come up because of the abuse he was convicted for? What about the thousands of dollars that would be spent on mental health treatment due to PTSD from the abuse?

Don’t worry. My $209.44 ER bill was covered.

This recently made me start wondering if this was common. We see all these high profile cases where people collect thousands and thousands of dollars for sexual assault or the like. While I am not discounting it, as they will need plenty of costly treatment, what about the no profile cases? What about those who were not covered under media? What about those who never got the help they needed and deserved because of the financial burden?

The justice system was involved with my case and I was still failed. I never received free services or even had an advocate assist me. But wait….. I got my $209.44 medical bill covered.

The amount I have spent on services for the damage from my abuse have cost well over $15,000 out of pocket over the past 8 years.

Where can something be done with our justice system to help our survivors for their future?