Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I sat with my iPhone in hand (its my own personal computer), thumbs poised to begin typing, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. For what exactly? Why, inspiration of course! So as I sat and I waited and I thought, my thumbs fiddling with the many jagged cracks on the less than a year old screen of my iPhone 5c because I am an dumbass who dropped it down the concrete steps that lead to my apartment entrance, I realized something……

Unless I am emotionally unstable or hanging on by my fingernails to the edge as I cling to balance and sanity, I really don’t have much to say. I’m writing blocked! 

If you look back over the past few months since I started blogging, my longest, most in depth and passionate, detailed, posts have been while I was experiencing mental and emotional distress. Why is it that I can only write creatively and passionately when I am mentally unbalanced or coming unhinged? Does anyone else experience this? I miss writing and actually find it very sad that I am unable to write anything even remotely profound unless I am not in a good place mentally. 

So, I decided to just write. About anything, about nothing, about me, my kids, my family, my life, to simply write whatever comes to mind as long as I keep my thumbs moving and the words appearing on my pitifully shattered screen! 

I am visiting my parents for a few days. It was a spur of the moment decision to make the nearly 4 hour trip. Jay had been visiting Little K at our apartment in the city with the intention of taking our son back home with him for a couple of weeks when he left, and I would make the trip to bring him home as summer came to a close. After just 2 days Jay received an unexpected call to go to work for a few days so his visit would be cut short and him and Little K would take the bus back home. Instead of the bus, we all piled into my car early the next morning- myself, Jay, both of my kids, and the family dog- and headed back to our little hometown. 

My mom was thrilled to see me, to see all of us, and I was equally as thrilled. It had been a month since I had visited and while that doesn’t sound like a long time, I don’t think in my entire life I have went a month without seeing my parents. Despite the issues our family had over the years and still have to some degree, we are still a close knit family and a month without hanging out with my mom feels like forever! She even made my my fav supper of fish and chips! After supper was cleaned out it was still so hot outside so my sister and I know took the kids to the beach for a dip. While the kids swam and played in the water we waded past our knees and collected pretty pieces of driftwood. It was a much needed relaxing evening. 

So, I’m staying with my parents for a few days and I say “few” simply because it’s unknown yet how long we are staying. I had to take my car to my mechanic this morning for a standard oil change. As they performed the service they discovered 2 other things that were in need of repair or replacement that could potentially be dangerous. Just. My. Luck. One of the needed parts won’t be in until NEXT WEEK and he isn’t sure when next week. Did I mention that the entire fiasco is going to cost me close to 500 smackaroos? Yup, that’s right. 500 big ones which is about 450 more than I can afford! I didn’t have bad luck I would have  no luck at all! 

Other than that negative tidbit the visit is going well. My Dads health isn’t the best of it right now and he is awaiting an appointment to have a procedure done that will help him talk better as he had almost completely lost his voice due to paralyzed vocal cords which, although it hasn’t been confirmed, is probably the result of extensive scar tissue on the brain from nearly 20 surgeries BUT that’s a whole other story for another time. His voice is almost non existent and he struggles to breath when he tries to communicate so the sooner he gets in for this procedure the better! 

Little K is loving the trip so far. He’s been outside with his friends constantly, having water balloon fights, hanging out in friends backyards, riding bikes and swimming. Big K is bored as per usual. I think that’s a teenager thing maybe? Who knows what actually goes on in the complex mind of a 17 year old!

Well, that pretty much sums up our little mini vaca so far and as far as “writing” goes, I think I managed to forge out a few words, although lacking in passion or creativity, but, my comrades of the pen, I will trudge on until alas, some profound words develop on this page. See you all again real soon. 

Until next time…. 

 

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The days are passing by quickly and the move is getting closer. I’ve been excited for months.  This is what I’ve been working towards for the past year. I made this decision a year ago and have taken plenty of time to think it over and make sure it was what I actually wanted and what was best for my little family and that it wasn’t, despite what my family thought, a rash decision made during one of my hypomania phases. 

I’ve thought about it. I’ve weighed the pros and cons and hashed out the many possibilities in my head. This is what I want. Right? So why then, am I so damn apprehensive just before the big move? 

I keep asking myself over and over again…am I doing the right thing? Will my kids be happy there? Will I be happy there? Will I regret this? 

And then I remind myself, over and over again…you will regret it if you don’t try! This is what you want, what your kids want. You are doing the right thing. You need to get out of this house, out of this town. It’s a fresh start. 

I need a fresh start, in a place where nobody knows me, my mental illness, or my history. It’s not that I am ashamed of either, because I’m not. I just need to put it aside, to put it behind me in a sense, and start anew. This is what I have wanted for so long. So why then, am I suddenly unsure? 

I’m worried about Little K. Although he is a very outgoing and friendly kid, it’s going to be hard for him to make friends until school starts up in September and I’m concerned that the summer is going to be boring for him and give him a bad first impression of the city. I’m worried that he will miss his dad and all of his friends back home. 

I’m worried that Big K might change when he gets in the big city and in a high school that’s much more diverse and populated than what he is used to. He’s been such a good kid. He doesn’t drink or experiment with drugs, he doesn’t party like a lot of teens his age do. He’s an all around good kid, although quite shy and a little withdrawn. I’m worried that, as much as I would like for him to come out of his shell, he might do so in a negative way and begin doing the things I have been proud of him for not doing. 

I’ve thought about all of these things numerous times as I weighed the pros and cons of this move. So why then are they weighing so heavily on my mind right before the move?

I have cold feet! 

I have cold feet and I’m leaving tomorrow. So what am I going to do? 

Put on warm socks! 

This is a new chapter, one that’s long overdue, and no matter how cold my feet are, there is no turning back.  

 


    I’m moving on Friday. Just 5 more days. I am excited and nervous and a little worried and scared but those emotions are all to be expected when making a big life change, right?  

    My apologies for having gone MIA again. These past few weeks have been hectic to say the least but I am back with an update, however brief. 

    Mentally, I am doing fine. I’m not up nor down. I’m balanced which is what we all strive for right, balance? I’m okay with “balanced”. It’s comfortable and safe and healthy. I do, however, miss the hypomania at times, especially now when I have so much going on and so much to do! 

    I spent all of last week in the city apartment hunting. I received the financial help that I needed and applied for and finally I could start planning our move.  

    I saw 5 apartments. The first 2 were awful! The first one had, literally, 2.5 feet of counter space in the corner of the kitchen and wreaked of puppy pee! Ewww!  The second apartment was even worse! It was obviously not kept up, with holes in the wall, plaster spots everywhere, scuffed flooring, very dirty and dingy. A definite no! 

    The third apartment was okay. The tenant who is currently living in it did not give a very good first impression of the place. She was obviously not a tidy or clean housekeeper. The apartment was a little small but it did have potential. It was pet friendly with a backyard, and had a laundry room which is super important to me. The location was great, in a quiet part of the city, close to good schools AND….on the same street that my best friend lives on! I didn’t jump on it simply because of the limited space and because the rent did not include utilities which is what I was hoping for. 

      Apartment #4 was great! Located on a quiet cul de sac, it was a good size, modern and clean, utilities included and for a decent price. It too was pet friendly and had a back yard as well as a personal deck. This was it! We had found the perfect apartment for our little family. I was so excited! The landlord and I discussed details and I told her I would be back with the damage deposit first thing in the morning. We chatted for a while longer and then my friend and I left and went for coffee and a drive, both thrilled that I had found the perfect place. 

      A couple hours later we arrived back at her place and there was an email waiting for me. The landlord’s husband had already rented out the apartment that morning without letting his wife know. We had lost our perfect apartment. I was devestated. 

      The next morning it was back to the drawing board and early in the day I found apartment #5. I got a viewing appointment right away and was in total awe of this place. Huge rooms, lots of storage, utilities included for a great price, a yard and a laundry room. The problem? There were a lot of people competing for this place, and they didn’t allow pets. So, that apartment wasn’t going to happen sadly. 

      By this point I was frustrated and I had to return home the next day, without finding a place! I was discouraged, the boys (my kids) were upset, and it was looking as if nothing would work out for us. 

      I continued to search online for an apartment after I returned home with the plan that my friend, who has the same standards I do, would go look at it once I found something. Unfortunately that didn’t happen because I couldn’t find anything that met my requirements….

      • Affordable
      • Utilities included 
      • Pet friendly
      • Spacious
      • With sufficient storage
      • A yard 
      • Washer and dryer

      However, she did go back to see apartment #3, which was the only apartment that she hadn’t seen with me because she was at work at the time, and texted me to say she couldn’t understand why I was so opposed to it. Yes it was a little small but it was a nice apartment that was pet friendly and affordable. 
      The search continued to no avail and I began to seriously consider apartment #3 and weighed the pros and cons….

      Pros:

      1. It allows me to keep my dog
      2. It has a yard
      3. It is affordable
      4. It has a washer and dryer
      5. It is in the area I wanted
      6. It is in the zone of good schools 
      7. It’s  in a short driving distance to malls, pool, parks, walking trails, dog park and much more 
      8. The landlord is super nice 
      9. It is somewhat modernized 
      10. Last, but not least, it is on the same street that my friend lives on. 

      Con:

      1. It’s a little bit small
      2. Utilities aren’t included 

      So, as you can see my friends, the pros very much outweigh the cons. So, yesterday I accepted apartment #3 and we move in on July 1st! 

      The hunt is over. We have found our new home, in the city, and in just a couple of weeks we close the chapter on this part of our life and start a new chapter, one that we are very much looking forward to. 

      Every morning I wake up, pull myself from my comfortable slumber, start the day’s routine slowly but surely. I make breakfast for the kids, push them to get dressed and brush their teeth, drive them to school and then come back to sit on the deck with a hot cup of Java and a cigarette or two. The house is quiet as the kids are off to school and my parents are not yet awake. It’s my favourite time of the day, with late nights when everyone is in bed coming in at a close second. Then as the house comes alive as my parents wake up and my fathers homecare aid arrives I feel the happiness that I awoke with quickly leaving my mind, body, and spirit. 

      I’ve come to passionately despise where I am, a mid thirties single Mom of 2 living back home with her parents in the same hell that she grew up in.  Not much has changed since my childhood days here. Words are still thrown like stones, with the intent to hurt and humiliate, the only difference being I am no longer on the receiving end. No. My mother is, which is much worse. 

      This house is no longer home. There was a time when just being here, in my old room, safe inside of it’s 4 walls, was therapeutic. I felt calmer here. I felt at ease and as if the nothing could touch me. This was where I came when I was sick or broken. It was my refuge. Or more accurately, my mother was my refuge. It was she who I ran to, not the house, but the woman who was in it. 

      But now, even being with her isn’t enough. She can’t fix the broken, and this house is breaking me even more. Evil lurks here. You can actually feel it when he starts throwing his insults. 

      This house isn’t home anymore and I need to figure out where exactly home is. 

      Lately I have been feeling as if far too much of my world has revolved around the dreaded 7 letter word that I’m trying to avoid talking or thinking about- Bipolar. For months I’ve read about it, written about it, talked about it, thought about it, and lived it every single day. 

      I’m just so fucking sick of it! 

      The lines have gotten fuzzy. Where does the bipolar end and the me begin? 

      I know that any mental health problem will affect ones entire life, but am I allowing it to control my life? Before the diagnosis I wasn’t living a fulfilling life but I was living my own life, however miserable it might have been at times. I was going to college, and before that, working, and I was raising my kids and being an involved member of my family, a constant presence in the lives of the people I love. Since the diagnosis so much has changed. I now only work part time, 8-10 days a month. Why? Because apparently that is all my disorder will allow me to work. But wait! I worked with bipolar, full time, sometimes juggling 2 jobs at once, before the diagnosis. What changed? 

      How is it that, after being diagnosed, my relationships became a struggle? I could easily show love, kindness, compassion, sympathy, and support before the damn diagnosis. Why is it so hard now? Why is it now so difficult for me to take part in family activities? It’s quite ridiculous. Take this past Thursday for example. It was my niece’s 9th grade prom. She’s starts high school next year. My sister booked a photographer to take some outdoor photos before we went to prom. I’ve dreaded it the entire day! I literally had to force myself to curl my hair, do my makeup, and get dressed up. I did it, an half assed attempt, and went along for photos. My sister was, predictabl, running late which irritated me to no end. I just wanted to get it over with so I could finally rid myself of the makeup, throw my hair into a pony tail, take off the dress and lounge around in my pjs! At the end of the evening I was glad I had went, and even felt a little guilt at having dreaded it so much. Why, I ask myself once again, are the simplest things so damn hard? 

      The meds dull my emotions- this I know. They make me numb. Yet, I can’t give them up. I want to, so much, but I am painfully aware of what can happen if I do. I could go off the deep end, either high or low, and as much as I love the hypomania, I know at extreme manic phase could be major trouble. I’ve lowered my own dosages, without the approval or advice of my doctor, and yes, I know that’s not wise but I did it anyway and so far so good. My emotions are still dulled, but they aren’t non existent, and I have a little more energy during the day then I did before the decrease in meds. 

      Still, my energy levels are low- meds or depression? I’m not sure. I feel, well, low. I’m not in the depths of depression, yet I’m not balanced or high. I’m low, but not at my lowest. 

      And I’m frustrated. And angry! 

      I’m frustrated that a disorder can cause so much turmoil in my life and that I am unable to rise above it. I’m a strong woman. I’ve overcome so many difficulties in my life, fought my way back from the pits of total and utter hell, and yet I can’t fight off the mood swings of this disorder or the miserable feelings of borderline depression, which is what I have decided to call this phase I am in. Borderline. Hovering on the border. I’m not quite in full fledged depression but I know I’m just a few baby steps away from it. 

      I’m angry. I’m mad as hell at myself and this disorder. I’m sick of being under it’s thumb, of not knowing when or of it’s going to push down and trap me under it’s weight. I’m angry that it is stronger than I am. I hate that I can’t beat it, that it has more control over me than I have of it. 

      I’m just so fucking sick of it! 

      I’m sick of being sad. I’m sick of not having any energy. I’m tired of being tired, and depressed, and feeling helpess. I’m sick of not knowing when my mood is going to swing in the opposite direction, or if the person waking up in the morning is the same person who went to bed the night before. I’m sick of the lack of motivation and not living up to my potential. I’m sick of anxiety, of fear and dread. 

      I’m sick of being bipolar. I’m so fucking sick of it that it infuriates me! 

      I still have ideas, lots and lots of ideas, and I still have plans. The problem? Getting off my ass to take any action. I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever. All of these ideas and plans are locked away in my head to be kept for a later date except the later date never comes. Is is the bipolar’s fault or is it just me? Again, the lines are fuzzy. 

      Where does the bipolar end? When am I just me and not the disorder that works it’s hardest to destroy any remnants of the person I am? I just want to be me! I don’t want to be bipolar anymore! I don’t want to have a mental illness. I want to be normal, whatever normal is. 

      Can we do that? Can we simply choose to not be something anymore? Do we have the strength as human beings to just stop something from happening inside of us? Is it possible to turn off the bipolar, to shut it off, shut it up, and forget that it exists? Is there any possible way in which I can step out of the grasp of this disorder and, like the many other disasters that have plagued my life over the years, put it behind me and move past it, eventually making it merely a memory? 

      I don’t want to be bipolar anymore. I need, desperately, to not be consumed by this disorder. If I had one wish, it would be wipe my memory clean of ever learning of this diagnosis, to completely forget that it even exists. I lived with it for decades unknowingly but yet, once the diagnosis came, everything changed. No, I wasn’t exceptionally happy before the diagnosis but I  do believe I was happier than I am now. How could  a diagnosis have such an effect? 

      I don’t want to be bipolar anymore. I just want to be me. 

      Dear Mom….

      There are a million different store bought greeting cards that could sum up in a few brief phases how I feel about you, the type of mother you have been, and the kind of relationship we share. For just a buck I could get you one of those cards, and I probably will, but Mom, none of them do justice to the enormous presence in my life that is you. 

      I have this memory of you and I, or at least I think it’s a memory, but I have seen a similar photo and often wonder if maybe my memory was just reflecting what I had seen. I choose to believe that this isn’t the case, that I do in fact remember that very day. It was a Sunday, a warm and sunny spring day and you and I were walking down the road to your parents house, hand in hand. I was 3, maybe 4 and was wearing a yellow knit poncho over my Sunday dress. You held my hand as I walked beside you, and I remember looking up at you with an enormous smile as you looked down at me, smiling just as brightly. There is no great importance or significance of this memory, other than maybe, in my young mind, I knew even then what a wonderful person and mother you were and what a huge impact you would have on my life. 

      I wish I could reflect on the happy family that we were, the happy home that we lived in, but we both know that would be a lie. The truth is our family was broken from the very beginning, our home a place of hurt and turmoil, of heartache, fear and dread. I never understood as a child why you chose to stay and live underneath his roof and his cruel words. As an adult when you have long since explained your reasoning, I still don’t understand why those vows before God should warrant you living such a difficult life. But right now, as I write about you, to you, it’s not important, but I want you to know that you never deserved it, you deserved so much more, so much better, and I want you to know that  through it all, we never lacked love, for you us enough for both parents. 

      Growing up, as I both lived it and now reflect back on it, you were my only parent. It was you who showed us love and understanding, who taught us right from wrong. You were the very one who taught us what it meant to truly love another human being even more than you love oneself. You showed us everyday. It was you who was there when we were sad, to wipe away our tears. It was you who bandaged scraped knees and nursed colds, who wiped fevered brows and runny noses. You were always there to share in joys and triumphs or to let us know it was okay when we failed as long as we kept trying. It was you Mom. It was always you. 

      It is no secret that I wasn’t always the easiest child to raise. I know having me as a daughter came with a whole other set of guidelines, each and every one of them changing with my ever changing moods. I know it was very hard at times. I know I made you cry, scared you, and made you feel completely helpless. I know at times you doubted yourself as a mother when trying to handle me and the mental illness that neither of us knew existed at the time, but please know Mom, that you did your best. It may not have felt like it at the time, when my sanity hung in the balance, but I know without an ounce of doubt that without you, I wouldn’t be here today and for that, I am eternally grateful. 

      Thank you hardly seems fitting when there are so many things to thank you for. Thank you for your many sacrifices over the years and please know they never went unnoticed. Thank you for teaching me, for showing me everyday, how to be a good mother. I am the mother I am today because of you. Thank you for teaching me courage and strength. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I had given up on myself. 

      Thank you mom, for loving me, all of me, the good and the bad, unconditionally and with your whole heart and please know that I love you just the same. 

      Happy Mothers Day Mom.