Step One

This is not going to happen over night.

The first thing Miss Bug gets to do tonight after work is to come clean with all the relevant information regarding her latest boyfriend. She has told several stories to several people and I have made it clear that I don’t care what stories she tells to anybody, she needs to be honest with me.

We are also going to be going through her Facebook tonight. I made it clear that when she makes her entire life a public target people are going to take aim. Those are not the people she needs involved with her life.

I am not going so far to say she needs a complete Facebook lockdown, only that she needs to scale back the information that is available to her 711 ‘friends.’ While I would like to do a complete Facebook lock down, that is a little much at this stage. I understand that.

I am not trying to set her up to fail, I am only interested in setting her up for complete success. I received a message this morning from somebody who knows the job I have in front of me and I was told that I am the best person for the job. I love to get that pat on the back.

The Pastor from our church is doing some searching in helping to find her a mentor. I’m looking for somebody along the lines as an AA type sponsor…a Faith Mentor if you will. The more I work through the figuring out what she needs, I find it to be very much like a twelve step program at this time.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our problems and behaviors and that our lives had become unmanageable.

For me…the keyword in the above sentence is WERE. We WERE powerless. That still allows us to have hope that we ARE able to gain power and control. This is where I need to start with Bug. Until she understands that she WAS powerless and that it is her job to take the power back, I am fighting a losing battle.

Admitting is hard. Especially as an egotistical, narcissistic teenager. Admitting is also where the fight becomes a journey.

Last night we worked on a spending plan, a meal plan, and some house rules. These are easy on the surface, not so easy when it changes your life style.

She can do this. I know she can. I know the strength and will that lives deep within this child of mine. As I often tell people, “She is so much like her mother that it hurts.” She is also her own person. I think that will be my biggest challenge, allowing her to retain that individuality while taming the beast.

Wish me luck, pray for strength. I’m gonna need it.

Tough Love

Today was intervention day for Bug. I am fortunate in the fact that she is not destroying her life on alcohol or illegal drugs. The tough love to get a young adult through the difficult phase of typical 18 year old rebellion exacerbated by mental illness is exhausting/rewarding.

She will be staying at my apartment at least during the work week. I have made it extremely clear that she is the one who has to do the work, all I can do is guide her and hold her accountable. For the most part, I am one of the very few people who can do this.

I have also made it clear that until she shows progress she will be on an extremely short leash for her own well being. Although she acknowledged understanding of this concept, I understand that until she actually has to face the music she won’t get it. I also understand that the first few times are not going to be easy on either of us.

She has a ton of work ahead of her. Because of the work she has to do, this also means I have my work cut out for me. It will take a huge commitment on my part to make this work.

I told her that every day we will be spending time going over behavior work and life style changes. I know it’s not going to be easy on her. I have reached out to our Pastor to help find a female mentor with the church to help her find her center again. I cannot do this all on my own.

After reading what I’ve written I need to clarify that that I am nowhere near as confident in my abilities as this post makes me sound. I am very aware that I am fighting an up hill battle and that she may slip…I need to set my own boundaries (which I’ve done extremely well with).

Wish me luck, say a prayer for my girl…I’m her last chance right now.

Bug Part One: The Overview

My daughter is once again severely unstable. My heart is hurting, my mind is racing. Once again I am doing my best to not interfere as it would only lead to turmoil.

There is only so much you can do for one who refuses to do anything for herself. As an adult I can talk to her psychologist, and give her information yet cannot receive any regarding her care. This is hardly relevant though as she has not been seeing her shrink for nearly a month at this point.

She is couch surfing, jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend and madly in love with everyone of them. This goes beyond the typical ‘boy-crazy-teenager” phase. This morning her Facebook relationship status is updated to engaged. My heart aches. She has known this kid for only a few weeks.

Although her and I had a fairly good week last week, it fell apart in a matter of seconds on Sunday night.

I am struggling to sit on my hands and watch the train wreck that she is making of her life, yet I understand that she cannot learn from my mistakes, she must learn from her own.

All I can do is pray, and document. If the spiral continues at this alarming rate I will take steps to have her declared a vulnerable adult and she will have no option but to listen to the courts. If this means having her institutionalized, then so be it.

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

But words cause wounds that may never heal, they leave scars that nobody can see except for those who see inside me…those who dare look into my heart, my soul…they see that words HAVE hurt, have wounded, have changed me.

I can’t stop crying today…every time I turn around, the hurt returns…standing in church, singing about God’s mercy and grace…and I am in tears…sitting beside The Friend’s eight year old boy T (same age as B1), and I am doing everything in my power to not wrap this child in my arms because not only do I love him to bits and pieces, his presence SCREAMS that my boys are not with me.

I had decided on Friday that I had three days to return to the living…

Day 1: Retreat. I cried myself to sleep, didn’t leave the apartment after the boys left , and just felt like shit all day. Cried some more…ate Little Debbie Swiss Rolls (my self-pity food).

Day 2: Recoup. Slept, ate, showered, and not much else.

Day 3: Rejoin. The plan was to rejoin life today. I thought church would be a great start. A safe place, a peaceful place. It was a great service (the youth ministry is in charge of the service when it is the fifth Sunday in a month). They done good!! It was interesting how they used the scripture today. I had another take that could also make a wonderful lesson…I’ll share that when I am done with this post.

The Friend saw in the announcements that the church is looking for volunteers to make meals for families with new babies, deaths, etc. and suggested we should do that. I said we could make beef stroganoff…she said, “you can make it, I’ll boil the noodles.” LOL Then she said she could make bread…homemade bread and beef stroganoff…YUM!!!

On this day, when I am doing everything I can to rejoin the real world (I return to work tomorrow after a week off as well), my heart is hurting and I am working so hard at letting it go.

Yesterday, Mr. Ex put this as his Facebook status:

Well not only is it a bad day because I had to send mom back to Rochester, but as I am going through my mail from the time I was gone, I find a letter stating that a certain individual is attempting to use the fact that I spent the last 26 days at my mothers side while battling cancer.  
Say and do what you will, but wouldn’t do it different even if I knew this was coming.  I just pray you never have to go through the same experience with one of your parents! However, if you do, I bet you do the same thing!!!!
 This is over the top!!!  Couldn’t help but spew!!!!

This is not uncommon for him to tie me to the stake in this fashion. You’d think I’d be used to it…water off a duck’s back, right?? People are smart enough to see his rant as unproductive and not in the best interests of our kids, right? People are smart enough AND brave enough to tell him that bashing me on facebook is detrimental to our children…that it will have an effect on their lives as people outside of our marriage become entangled in a fight that is not theirs to fight. SOMEBODY will tell him that allowing our older children to watch him disembowel me in a public forum will forever damage relationships and nobody wins…SOMEBODY will stick up for me…right???

Instead…his friends start the bashing right along side of him…

it takes a ballsy person or should I say a retarded person with no fucking heart to use something like that against u for being there for the one that brought u into this world…..and standing by her side through thick and thin just remember we will always back u in this household and it will never change especially after a fucking stunt like this BULLSHIT…….

This from a person who has two children in class with B2…who both boys spend time with…really? This is NOT going to affect our boys?? Are you SURE?

One person who is a friend made a comment ONLY about praying for his mom. I sent her the following message PRIVATELY:

just wanted to let you know that I am not using the fact that he was in rochester with his mom…I only mentioned to the judge the fact that he had no problem leaving the boys with me for 26 days after begging the court for custody because I am an unfit mother…

he can’t be so afraid for their safety in my care and then dump them on my door step for a month…while he spends his weekends golfing with his brother…he could have had the boys go to visit him and chose to not allow them to…
All this from the man who had no issue using my diary’s from when I was in treatment to gain custody in the first place…
 
Yes…he did that. I admitted myself to a mental health facility two years ago with a severe episode of depression. When I returned home, he took my diaries and not only shared them with his friends and family, admitted them to court to show my ‘instability’ as a mother. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I may have been sick, but damnit, it was ME who drove myself almost three hours from home and followed my treatment plan TO THE LETTER to get myself better and return home. Nearly TWO YEARS LATER, he uses stuff I wrote when I was in my deepest darkest place…as if I was still there in that dark hole…and the judge (whom I choose to believe erred on the side of caution for the sake of my children) bought it all…hook, line, and sinker…speaking of which…I think The Friend and I are going fishing later…I can’t wait.
 
Anyway, I am GLAD that nobody ‘took my side’ on his status. I don’t need it and it will only lead to MORE drama, MORE broken friendships and relationships. I have no need to defend myself based on half truths…I don’t owe anybody but my children an explaination for my decisons…in 5, 10, 30 years I will STILL be able to look my children in the eyes and say I did everything I could to make this divorce as easy on them as I could. That I made choices only with their best interest in mind. That I refused to be guided by anger or hurt as I made decisions that would shape the course of their lives.
 
I am thankful for those who have checked in on me PRIVATELY. I am so thankful to have surrounded myself with people who have no need whatsoever to beat another person down to make themselves feel better. I don’t need to name call, and neither do my friends. We see a sick and angry man…and pray for peace in his heart.
 
My personal facebook status last night (after much deep breathing and fighting the urge to lash out was this:
I’ve never understood how strangers can judge a person based on one persons perspective…
 
Today…as my heart works through the hurt, it is this:
Some days…no matter how ‘big’ I am, I just need my mommy…she can make everything better…everytime…
 
I’m waiting for one of my family members to make a fat joke about being ‘big.’ We are awesome like that.

Direction

I know when I started this blog, it was to replace the blog I could no longer post on. I closed down my first blog because I was sick and tired of my ex telling me how sick I was based on posts written over two years previous. They were good posts, they were awesome posts. The posts were raw and real. They documented the down hill spiral of a mental health crisis in real time. Guess what, I was sick…WAS. I wanted to share the very core of everything that I was feeling if only for one person to feel like they were not alone in this fight against an invisible monster that not only is misunderstood, but often misdiagnosed.

Turns out, replacing a blog is akin to replacing a child…it can’t be done.

My goal is still to dispel the stigma associated with mental health care. The only difference is that I am in a different place in my life and my goals are evolving as I am changing and growing.

I’ve recently (in the last six months or so) made some friends in the armed services. With Boy 2 having an affection for everything military, I am feeding his passion in a healthy way.

I have a new found understanding of those who have served. I have a deep respect for those who returned to the Untied States with their unit…yet never came home…those living with TBI, PTSD and other debilitating disorders and injuries. I have heard stories of men and women who are now addicted to pain medications because of injuries sustained.

I have become internet friends with people who, as a result their job can no longer function in the day to day world of civilian life without medications, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapy, physical therapy…appointments, appointments, meds, appointments…

These people are hailed as heroes, they never asked to be heroes. They never asked for a damn thing. They gave everything they were asked to give, they watched their friends…brothers…give their lives and would gladly have taken their place. They were just doing their job.

We’ve all heard the statistic that the United States has lost more service men and women to suicide than combat…this is unacceptable. The American public should be outraged at this.

I’m not yet sure what I, alone can do…but I’m doing it. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs for people to get their heads out of their collective ass. This shit is real people. There are men and women who served this country who are suffering damnit…if everyday ‘crazy’ people are ashamed to get mental health care, how do you expect a ‘hero’ to feel when he can’t even get out of bed? When he or she is tired of the medication roulette game we all play and just wants to give up?

I am not a certified counselor and I have no idea the horror of war, but I have seen my own share of horrors. I have stood at the cemetery to say goodbye to people who just couldn’t take it one more day…who saw no hope, no healing in sight. All I can do is hold your hand and lend my ear, and my shoulder…it’s all I have. I will share my experience, my hope…together we will find your strength…your hope. 

I’m reaching out…please, take my hand.

My Baby is Sick

My baby girl is in the hospital. She is very sick. She was admitted on May 1, and is looking at a week or so before she can come home still.

My daughter has Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Her brain is sick. This is the same way we explained it to her when she was little and I was in and out of the hospital for recurring episodes of major depression. This is now how we explain it to the boys.

She is still in the phase of coming to terms with her illness, learning new behaviors, and medical intervention. Much like a patient comes to deal with a diabetes diagnosis, she must now face a lifetime of work to stay stable. I know…I’m in the same fight.

The most difficult part of a mental health issue is that even with medications, there is still hard work to be done. As a diabetic must change their diet, she must change her thought patterns, her habits, and her perception. She needs to come to terms with the fact that her brain may NOT always have her best interests in mind.

Her PTSD stems from a vehicle accident she had in 2011. She was driving and rolled on a gravel road. Although not wearing her seatbelt, she remained in the vehicle and was not seriously injured. The reality of the situation didn’t hit her until much later.

The most difficult part about her being in the hospital, for me, is not understanding how seriously ill she is, it’s having her hospitalized two hours away and the cost of driving back and forth. It is a 250 mile round trip. Add to that the fact that care team meetings are during the day (her first one was at 11:00am) and that also means a lost day of work. My boss is good about giving me the time off it’s only difficult to not be able to make up the lost time. I do not work on the weekends I have the boys and this weekend, I have the boys…and they want to go visit their sister. They need to visit their sister.

Kids have wonderful imaginations. They need to see that she is okay, that she is safe, that she is still their sister, and that she still loves them. I know she has made them gifts during occupational therapy, this is a good time for her share those with them.

Say a prayer for my baby girl…her faith is weak right now, help her find the strength she needs to be the best person she can be. Thanks