Category Archives: Uncategorized

Idle Lips

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There’s a quote from the bible that says “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Now I don’t personally find this to be the best way to say what I’m getting at but the idea is there. I’ve been fighting lately. So many ups and downs, I just want off the roller coaster and crawl into bed and stay there. For a while I was doing just that. By doing that however, I was allowing negativity into my life. I was adding obsessive thoughts. Lustful thought. Things that really were not going to help me back on the road to being stable again.

It’s not about the devil or some evil outside force. I was honestly being idle. Not trying to do anything to help myself. So I did one small thing. I got a twitter account. I started to interact with people of like mindedness. I started writing my blog again. My lips were no longer idle and I began to feel better. I felt like I was a part of something and it made me feel less lonely. Words are powerful and really do help make ourselves feel less isolated.

This was really helping, but I needed more to do with my free time. I was literally obsessing about how bad my life was, about how miserable and sad and lonely I was. So after some disappointing interviews, I decided that if I don’t get the jobs that I’m going to make a quilt. This seems disconnected, but I needed something to fall back on as a solid project for my very idle hands. So I started sewing and I started having less negative thoughts. I was focused on my work and I feel like I was accomplishing something. I’ve also began to draw more too and my mind gets so focused that the hours pass and I don’t even realize it. I’m feeling better. It really does help to find a hobby that you can do with out and stress. Try quilting, or knitting, or scrapbooking, or building something,or any kind of art. Keep your hands busy and keep writing and tweeting. In time things will naturally work there way out. What do you do to keep your mind occupied?

 

Photographs

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Tonight is just for me. Tonight is spending time alone thinking of the things that make me happy, thinking about the people who make me happy, and focusing on what’s beautiful in my life. I will not lie it’s been a hell of a month. Too many ups and downs. But tonight I turned my music on, organized all my favorite things I keep on my desk, lit a candle, and got lost in my memories. Having had trauma, there are so many dangerous memories that I’m constantly trying to avoid, subjects I tip toe around, images that I have blocked from memory. In combination of blocking a lot of memories in my life and the memory loss associated with my medication, I tend to not always remember the happy times as vividly. Tonight, I kicked back and let my self remember. I hold my photos so dear to me. Asides from my journals they are my most precious possessions. I spent a long time tonight looking specifically at the last four years in my life in photos. I’ve had some amazing times, but more importantly I’ve been blessed to share some special moments with amazing people. I’ve been scrolling through my  very obsessively organized folders and just smiling and smiling. There have been times when I didn’t think I would live. There were times I thought my life had completely fallen apart. But it didn’t and these memories are what reminds me that the beautiful moments will out shine those bad ones. I hold on tight to beautiful friends and to those preciously captured moments. I never thought while taking a quick selfie, that that moment would bring me joy for years to come. In these pictures I feel love, I feel excitement, I feel joy. This quiet uneventful night I feel the sum of all these moments.

You might be stuck in hell right now, your terrible memories might be holding you hostage. You can’t remember anything good, but trust me the light will come. Those photos that you snapped, those selfies with friends, those will be the memories that will last. You’ll have saved the amazing memories and the bad ones, well they will slowly fade into the background. One day you’ll be sitting at home on a boring Tuesday night, and you’ll realize that you only see the beautiful memories anymore.

It really wasn’t a secret

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I have spent most of my life trying to connect the dots. Trying to make a timeline of when I first experienced trauma, when I had my first episode of bipolar disorder, when I first experienced PTSD, what had happened when they all come together, what the real truth is.

This morning as I was thinking about all of it. A thought that I never had before popped into my head and nearly knocked me over. I must have been manic when I started being sexually abused. I’ve never thought that before, let alone say it out loud. I felt like I now had this terrible secret inside and that I was to blame for everything that had happened. Now that I’m typing it, it seems less like a secret than I thought it should be. It’s the truth, but it wasn’t my fault. In the past I would have been beating myself up, hating myself, having suicidal thoughts, the whole gamut. Now I can say, OK I might have been manic, but I was still taken advantage of. I was a naïve young girl that had no experience with men and was preyed upon by an evil manipulative predator. So what, I was intrigued because I was manic and young. So what I might have played a long a little too far out of curiosity, but having dirty phone calls and being sexually abused are not the same thing. Period. I did not come to this conclusion immediately. I spent a few hours freaking out and panicked and a disaster, but the one thing I have learned over the years is to stay calm and be honest. I have learned not to blame myself for what I do during times when I have been manic and I have learned to forgive myself.

So there you have it, it’s now out there for the world to see. I was probably manic in the beginning of the relationship with my abuser. If I had been older and wiser and my parents would have known I was sick maybe things would have been different. But now I feel like I know what the truth is. It doesn’t matter what happened when and how it was all connected. My wonderful friend bipolar_issues has been talking to me today as I told him my terrible “secret.” and he said the most helpful thing. “Don’t worry about the dots. We know what the picture looks like.” The picture is what I am today. Maybe there are others like me trying to connect the dots of their messy past. I hope that maybe we can forget all the terrible parts, the dots, and look at who we are today and move forward from here.

I can’t tell you my secret

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I’ve been thinking about my PTSD and bipolar disorder a lot lately. Mostly positive thoughts and trying to offer others support. But there have been some thoughts coming up and realizations happening that I’m afraid of. I need to tell someone. I need to talk about it, but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know who to tell. I don’t know who I can trust that will understand and not give me a crap answer. I want to tell you. I want to get it out there. And I will, but for right now I need to weigh my options. I won’t want this to go wrong. I don’t want to tell my rape/bipolar secret and have it blow up in my face. I’m going to need some support so if you could keep reading and offer any help it would be greatly appreciated. These are going to be a rough couple of days.

Raising A Son With a Bipolar Mama

WP_20150629_008 I never thought I’d be able to have a child. I’ve spoken in the past a little bit about this. I’ve been thinking a lot more as he’s getting older about what I want to instill in him as he grows up. Things I want him to value, things I want him to understand, how to be come a man of character. He has a few different men in his life that are role models. His father is an amazing man and dad, but he grew up in a very stable household with very stable parents. He and I are very different people, so the way we raise my son will be different from the ways either of us were raised. I have bipolar disorder. That is a fact of life. It’s never going to go away. But there won’t be constant periods of terrible mania or depression.  Most of the time I’m just a normal Mama. My husband and I have set up our lives a little differently to make sure we have plans in place if I am having a difficult time. He goes to daycare 5 days a week. I don’t work, but we agreed that it would be easier for him to have a  consistent schedule, be around other kids since I can’t have any more, and most importantly if I’m really struggling that he will have a safe place to be.

As a parent, I want to give my son have the best possible life I can. That doesn’t mean just having perfect home cooked meals every night, making him try to have to be a baseball star, being a concert pianist… I want him to be well rounded in those areas, but I want him to be more than that. In my humble opinion, men of character are hard to find these days. The country is in turmoil and I don’t know if there are enough examples of how to be a gentleman, how to treat women, how to treat other people in general, how to talk about his feelings, how to be self sufficient, how to work hard, and be a gentleman. These are my priorities for him. This is the kind of man I want him to become. I’ve had a lot of negative experiences with men. I know there are a lot of good men out there, but have they grown up with a bipolar Mama? Have they been able to have all this instilled in them properly? I don’t know. What I do know is that I need a plan. A plan that my husband I agree on for my son to be the most awesome man ever!

With years of therapy under my belt, I would like to think I know my self pretty well. I have learned a lot about feelings, emotions, communication, and about relationships. I want to pass this along to my son. I want him to know that he can express himself in positive ways. Ways where he doesn’t feel ashamed or feels like he can’t talk to me. I always want there to be an open line of communication. I’ll work hard to always let him know he can be honest with me. I want him to be strong. I want him to learn to be independent, because there will be times where Mama won’t be well. Mama will be depressed or manic and I want to teach him to not be scared, but when he is older to be able to be able to do things on his own and take pride in doing so. I had parents that did a lot for us, but sometimes I think it was detrimental. I was handed everything. I did well in school and all, but I never had to work for anything. My husband on the other hand has worked nonstop since he was in 6th grade. I often tell him how inspiring that is and how his work ethic has opened numerous doors for him. I want my son to learn the value of a hard days work and feel the satisfaction of seeing the rewards that come from that. I’m not going to spoil him, instead I will love him and give him all my support. But he can’t have everything handed to him.

I spoke about becoming a man of character and about being a gentleman. His father is a kind loving man and I know my son will be too, but I want more than that for him. As a survivor of rape, I didn’t have anyone to stick up for me.  No one fought for me. Rarely in my life have I had a man be protective of me. My husband for instance is a good loving man, but he lacks that fiercely protective part. I want my son to be a man that will stand up for women. To never see a woman being bullied, treated poorly by other men, or being taken advantage of. In short, I want to teach him to be a gentle knight in shining armor. Some of you might this this archaic, but there needs to be more men out there fighting for justice and protecting people that need help. He will absolutely know how to treat woman and if I ever see or hear anything to the contrary, he’s going to have to face the wrath of a really pissed off Mama. I want him to be confident in who he is and loving of all people. I want him to grow up and be an amazing husband one day. I want him to have learned how to listen to his wife and family’s feelings, be compassionate, honest, and loving. And to protect his wife and family no matter what. I want to teach him all of this and hopefully that my illness will actually be beneficial in his up bringing. I hope he will be able to see the world differently than other people and inspire others by his actions and character.

Bipolar Community

Photo on 3-12-12 at 9.17 PMJust a quick little post this morning. The bipolar community and the mental health co not only fight stigma together, we stick together. We stand beside each other when people insult us, don’t understand us, and try to bring us down. I’ve had a few difficult instances of this lately and the support of the twitter bipolar community and understanding family and friends really helped soften the blow. Community you make me feel accepted. We are just a big family spread all over the word trying our best everyday and supporting each other. So thank you everyone for the constant support!

Balance

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As a woman, a wife and a mother, I often find it hard to achieve balance in my life. My family is so important to me. They love me and support me through good times and bad. My husband is my rock and my son is my joy! Yet, I some times feel like I’m losing a piece of my self. I’ve found it very important to take time for me. To do things I’m passionate about. It helps me remember that as woman I still have my own personal identity. It is so important for my mental health to keep things balance between these three roles I play in my life.

My husband has always been there for me from the very beginning of our relationship. He is the most supportive, understanding, compassionate, loving person I’ve ever met. He accepts me for who I am. I’ve not always been a good wife to him. I’ve been selfish, mean, unhelpful, needy, and failed him. Yet, he’s stuck by me. His devotion has inspired me to be a better wife. Over the last few years since I’ve been doing do well, I’ve made a conscious effort to be the very best wife I can be to him. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cook, I don’t keep a perfect house, and there are usually piles of laundry that never quite go away. But it happens. It’s not what makes someone a good wife. It’s the little things that add up. I bring him lunch while he’s working, I take care of our son when he travels, I make sure everything runs smoothly while he is away, I let him know how much he means to me. I owe him everything. Maintaining our relationship as husband and wife can be challenging. With work, travel, our son, and my activities, it’s hard to carve out time for each other. To achieve balance in our marriage I have to make sure we have special time just for us. Even if it’s just watching youtube videos before bed, singing together in the car, or reaching out to hold his hand. I make sure he knows he is important to me as a man and that I respect him. Being a good wife is a really important part of what makes me feel whole.

Becoming a mother has been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. By having bipolar disorder, I was told most of my life that I could never have children because of the medication When I finally found my current psychiatrist and he told me it was possible, I was overjoyed. It took years to get to the point where I was ready, but when the time came I felt confident that my bipolar disorder wouldn’t stand in the way of having a family. The first year was terrible. I felt like a horrible mother. I didn’t feel connected to my child. I didn’t feel bonded. I felt down right guilty that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do this. To assure that he would be taken care of if I was having a bipolar episode we put him in day care after 3 months. I felt guilty that I didn’t work and that he was there, but it was a necessity for my mental health. But as time went on he grew older and now I feel much more comfortable and can’t imagine life without him. He amazed me every day and when he hugs me so tight and says “wuuv ouh” I melt. But I will never be one of those mommies. You know the ones. The ones that fill their days doing activities that are pintrest perfect, never exposing their child to TV and electronics, feeding them only organic non-GMO, gluten free foods, and bragging on facebook that their 2 yr old has mastered reading the classics and can play concertos on the piano.  And of course those mommies look like models and never have a hair out of place. I am not that mommy. My son is messy, constantly covered in sand from the beach, sticky faced, often eats drive through chicken nuggets, and sings along daily with Sesame Street. I never have good hair, sometimes I wear clean clothes, but I love him with all my heart. I do what I can. Some days are better than others, but I try hard to do everything I can to make sure he turns out to be a confident well rounded caring young man. I do my personal best every day. There are days when you feel like you win. When I see him learning to swim, when we sing songs together, when he eats his vegetables, and when I hear from his teacher that he peed in the potty. I know I’m doing a good job. Mommy guilt be damned.

Lastly there’s me. Beth. Woman. Individual. For so long I spent my life being afraid. Being afraid when the next depressive or manic episode would come. I didn’t feel like a real member of society. I felt like an outsider. Then one day I realized that I felt stronger and a little braver than I ever have. Another part of keeping balance is having me time. I took a leap of bravery and I joined a choir. It was such a positive experience. I made a promise to myself that when I say that when I’m afraid to do something I automatically had to do it. I made it through the entire season of the chorus! One of the first times in a long time I set about doing something and actually followed through it to the end. I’ve continued pursuing other interests and have had some great success. This part of individual balance includes time where I can read, go to the beach, or even do laundry in peace and quiet. Time to think, relax, and work on my mental health in a variety of ways. Friends are also so important to me. I’ve always had amazing supportive friends especially when I lived up north, but it was a challenge here in FL. Eventually I have made some incredible friends here that love me for who I am and are always there for me. It’s important for me to spend time with them. One on one. Where I’m not someone’s wife, not someone’s mother, just Beth. I need that. I need to feel that I’m a good friend and loved as an individual. I need some independence and it helps me feel like I’m not getting sucked into a single role where I feel like I’ve lost myself completely. It’s not selfish. It’s balance. Everyone needs time and activities for themselves. It makes me a better person.

By keeping balance in all three areas in my life, I stay balanced as a whole person. I feel complete. I feel happier. I feel more fulfilled. I feel more mentally stable when all parts of my feel balanced. When the scales start tipping in one direction I start to feel lost. I panic. I get anxious until I do something to even things out. I still struggle with this every day, but by recognizing what I need to keep my self happy and healthy it’s made things easier. The most important things to remember are do your best, allow people to love you for who you are, take time for yourself, and most importantly let go of the guilt. If I can do it, you can too. You’ve got this!

Always,

B

 

Well looky there, we had a baby!

Yep the hubby and I decided we needed a little one. I am in a place in my life where I feel confident and stable and we need someone who will take all our stuff when we die. Just kidding. Mostly… It was a long hard pregnancy, but I managed to make it despite being high risk. I decided to stay on my meds, because I felt it was the best thing for me and the baby. He was born pretty traumatically for me on May 16th. It was an emergency C section where they took him and mu husband right away running off somewhere while I was drugged. They stuck me in a weird empty room filled with empty dark bays. I was all alone and was wondering where my baby was. He ended up in NICU for 10 days. I didn’t see him for the first 2 and then I had to go home and couldn’t visit him for the rest of the time really because it was so far and i was in so much pain. Once he got home it was a whirl wind. My mom and hubby did mostly everything. Since I can’t lose sleep without becoming manic they took the night shifts. I won’t lie. The first few, hell the first year I had a really hard time. I didn’t feel connected to him and never really got that bond. I really just didn’t get babies. I always felt guilty. Like I should be feeling something I couldn’t feel. Then when he turned one this got magical. He became a real person. I honestly feel in love. I know I know I’m a little slow to catch on to things, but I finally got it. I loved him unconditionally. He’s a few months older now and we are having the best time. He does go to daycare mostly full time, just in case I have a hard time. Which has only happened once where I needed someone to take him for the week, but other than that things have been great. I finally found out what normal life is about and it’s beautiful. I have a perfect little family that I couldn’t love any more and a husband that loves our child and me more than life its self. I really couldn’t be better.

I had a bit of a nervous situation a few weeks back. My pdoc and I decided to take me off lithium after about 7 years. There was stuff with my kidneys. I switched over to depakote, since I was not unable to have any more children. (tubeal by choice). Everything transitioned smoothly and am glad to say I experience no side effects. I’m pretty amazed to be honest.

So that’s where I’ve been for a while. I’d like to try to write more now that the web page is back and up and running. We had a little down time… I’m going to talk more about my emotions on parenting and relationships. Life is good and I’m really happy honest healthy happy.

Interesting

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Life has been, well interesting. A lot has happened but I’m not quite ready to talk about all of it yet. I will soon though. I will complain about one thing though since its been on my mind. I hate it when people act differently depending on who they are around. It honestly is irritating and hurts people’s feelings. So stop being douchey and have some respect for the people that actually love you. Anyway Greg and I are great and I promise to fill y’all in as soon as I can.

Freedom

I feel so different now. I’ve been working really hard with my councilor lately. Most of the work has been on the alters. I have out grown one of them, the little girl. So I had to set her free. I decided I would plant a gardenia in her owner and set her free from my life. She’s been with me 25 years and it was time for me to move on. With the help of Greg, I planted the beautiful sweet smelling gardenia in our back yard by the pool. This is what I read:

Today, I plant this tree for you my innocent ones. You are so loved, but have been put through horrible pain. This tree is a symbol of strength and growth. I have grown up now and my life is good. When you were hurt it, it stole something from all of us. Something we couldn’t get back. We thought our lives were ruined forever. But this is not the case. I’m 30 years old now and I have a happy life full of love and support. I found a man who loves me, who loves you, that protects me and supports me 100%. We don’t have to worry about our safety any longer. My husband will be by my side always and forever, fighting my battle right along side of me. My parents have changed. They also love and support me. They have realized their mistakes and have truly made amends. I know you feel trapped and stuck in a time of pain and fear, but we’re not there any longer. It’s time to let go. It’s time to end your suffering. I’m safe and loved. Be free young ones. Fly away to a place of peace. I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me, but it’s time to let go. I will always love you and remember the lessons you’ve taught me. I’ve grown up to me a strong loving tough woman. Maybe these aren’t the dreams you had for me, but life has given me more than I could have ever hoped for. Please trust me on this and let go. Stay with this tree when you wish. Smell the flowers and know I have grown deep roots to keep me safe. I love you both. Fly free and be at peace.

 

We then said some Orthodox prayers for healing and I drank some Holy Water. I felt at peace. But I also felt an emptiness inside. A void. It gradually sunk in that she was actually gone. I will most certainly miss her, but it was time to free her and allow me to heal. What came next was interesting. The mother also left. She was an alter that was very closely tied to the little girl, so I guess I didn’t need her anymore either. Now it’s time to handle some hard stuff, the teenage is front and center, so she’s up next. I am feeling very dedicated to the healing process of my DID. I want a normal life again. This all started 15 years ago and it’s time to move on. I want a family and do normal family things. I want to live without constant anxiety and dissociating. I’m getting there, but there’s a lot still to be done. But I’m not quitting like I have in the past. I will not stop fighting until I’ve won and have the life I long to have.