I’m hosting a pity party this year on your behalf. It is just now beginning and it won’t end until, I don’t know, Jesus returns. I wanna love this time of year. Basketball is in full swing and oh how you LOVED to watch your kids in sports. So loud, you were so loud at the games. God bless those children.
This month is B’s bday month, Father’s Day, my anniversary, and yet, it makes my heart heavy. I wish things were different. In the end, I wish it didn’t even happen. Your children are healthy, yet struggling. You are grandma times two! I can’t even fathom you and me being grandmothers! Seriously, how did that even happen? We aren’t old enough.
It’s the Month
The month. The month that changed me forever and a day. That phone call, the screams, your children’s faces. Your face. Your eyes. The smell of your freshly washed hair. It was still damp when I took it down. It had gotten so long. I don’t remember where the hair tie went. What did I do with it? I don’t remember.
Honestly, that is now going to bug me. Maybe I used it to tie up the little bit of hair that I snipped off to give to your mom, brother, and kids. I don’t know. Whoa, I just had to call a friend and check in because my mental status is not good right now.
Honestly, I went to call your mom to ask her and it hit me. She is gone too. Your kids and going to only have each other, their uncle, and me. In reality, I don’t even count. I’m going to have to stop now. I can’t finish.
Be at peace, my friend. Dance with the angels. Smile your smile. Talk your loudest. I miss you and you were loved. Your life meant something and I’m sorry you lost sight of that for a moment.
Whatever it takes to keep your peace intact…do that. I am serious. As hard as it can be Whatever it Takes, Do It. Peace, according to Webster’s Dictionary means “a state of tranquility or quiet or freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”
These two things walk hand in hand for me. A state of tranquility and freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions. The last SEVERAL years have been riddled with chaos, pain, confusion, sadness, and intense oppressive thoughts and emotions.
My Scripture reading, for today, was in Philippians 4:8 and it states “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Whatever it takes, do it. Whatever it takes to fix your thoughts on what is true. The definition is “freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions.” When our thoughts are on the things of this Earth, they can easily become oppressive. Yet, God wants us to have freedom in our thoughts.
You can have freedom from your thoughts by capturing those negative emotions and casting them aside and realizing what is truth. Truth according to the Lord. This can be hard to do, but it can be done.
What is honorable. So, whatever it takes to be honorable, do it. Be a person that is that city on a hill, be the salt and light of the world. When you are in that spot of depression that yields a lack of peace, it consumes all of you.
I almost feel like I am in a barrel and there are times when I cannot even see a pinpoint of light. The last 2 years have been horrible. I have no peace. Well, I am getting it back, but it was gone, like the wind. I did not do whatever it takes for peace. It’s almost like I succumbed to the chaos around me.
There was no honor in anything I did because all I did was put down myself and live in self-pity. There was no self-care, self-acceptance, or self-love. I let the actions of others dictate how I looked at myself.
What is Right and Pure
Nothing I did was right or pure. It was derogatory towards myself and my circumstances. I let a few people control my mind. Satan used “friends” to destroy my self-confidence. I’m so thankful the Lord allowed my vision to clear up.
By Him doing that, it allowed me to see people for who they really are. These are the people that I had to step away from, for my own sanity. I could not have done what I did without the encouragement of my husband.
He sees me, daily, and he sees through me. He sees my pain and offers love, support, and occasionally a thought that would lead me to fix the problem. I am blessed with him, my mom, and my sisters. Without support, I may not be working towards healing.
Whatever it Takes, Do It
I had to do the unthinkable to begin my peace journey. There were minor things that I changed, like being off of Facebook. Facebook is toxic. It can be a pleasurable space to keep up with family if you can change some settings.
I shut everything down. There was no one, outside of my friend’s list, that had access to anything. I deleted all my albums and began a new email address to keep those unsavory wolves in sheep’s clothing away from me.
That is minor compared to the other things I have had to do and am currently doing. My goal is to achieve peace and retain what joy I have left. It can be done though it has been the hardest thing of my life.
In Lockup: Extended Stay, I just completed a four-day stay in the hospital because of my mental health. I am not ashamed to say that’s why I was in the hospital. I needed help, and I can admit that now.
Things have been bad for me for basically a month, and I had nothing left to give. It started with me realizing that even though I have forgiven myself for my brother’s death, it didn’t make it any less painful like I was expecting. I thought that if I had forgiven myself then the hole in my heart wouldn’t feel as big.
On top of that, I have started remembering things from ten years ago and that just hasn’t worked out in my favor so far. I also had the anxiety of what to do with the information I was remembering. Do I report this even if it may ruin my family?
Do I report it even if I will have no biological family afterward? That decision was made for me, but now I’m dealing with the anxiety of wait to hear from the police. Every time the phone rings, it’s like my world stops. I start shaking, and I get really nauseous. I hate this feeling.
First Few Nights
My first few nights at the hospital were very lonely. I didn’t even start to make friends until the night before I left. I only knew those people for a short amount of time, but they made a huge impact on me. I can’t help but think about where they are in the world.
Did Katie and Michaela get out today? Did Jamie’s mom ever pick him from the hotel room? Did the other Katie get the Job she interviewed for right after she got out? Did the girl with super long hair throw a chair through the window? Where are they now? Are they doing okay?
Dawn, the Night Nurse
My night nurse made the biggest impact on me. Dawn deserves a raise because she doesn’t make enough money for what she does. From the moment I met her, she was nothing but caring. She answered any question I had. She got me food from the fridge when I was too anxious to do it myself. She treated me like I was her own child.
On my last night there, she shared something with me that she has never shared with anyone. I won’t say what it was because that’s not my story to share, but it made me believe that I can talk to the police. That I am strong enough to get through this.
I am Home Now
Now that I’m out, I feel like there’s this pressure that I have to be good now. Like I feel like I can’t be anxious or depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I am the best I have ever been, but it’s still not great. If that makes sense. The bar was literally on the floor before now. I feel like I now appreciate the people around me a little more now.
Looking back, I know I wouldn’t have made it through the past month without them. That’s not something I’ve been shy about either. I’m so grateful to Bart (you guys may know him as “Big Daddy”) and Brandi. They have completely changed my life. I love them with my whole heart and I could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.
This was written by one of my favorite people. She is so precious to my soul. I am so encouraged by the strength that it took for her to admit that there was something not quite right. There have been so many days and nights that I have seen her struggle to just maintain. The dam broke. With the help of her medical provider, his nurse, and my son…she would have never had the strength to stand up for herself. She would have never sought the help that she needed.
Since doing that, it was discovered that she has Serotonin Syndrome. There are many symptoms that range from excessive sweating to goosebumps. All of this is caused by an accumulation of serotonin. Some, your body produces, some is caused by antidepressants.
Thankfully, she is on the right medication. She was on too many SSRIs and now she has completely leveled out. There is no shame in getting help. Had she not gotten the help she needed, she would have never discovered the meds to help her were actually hurting her.
In this piece, my guest blogger talks about how she is healing through anger. Anger is a valid emotion, as Jesus was angry when He turned over the tables in the temple. Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness. In this piece, you can see her fear, clearly. Also, you can feel her sadness. Please pray for this young girl as you think of it.
I Am So Angry With You
I know I have said it a million times, but I am so angry with you. If I were in the business of hating people, you would be first on my list. The thought of you makes my blood pressure skyrocket. Why couldn’t you be a normal stepfather? Seriously, why did you have to abuse me? Why me? I was a child. What kind of man likes children?
I wish my mom would have never met you. Honestly, I wish I did not blame myself for what you did. I know I was young, and I know it was not my fault. It’s yours. You are the one who abused me not the other way around.
Tell the Truth
I have had a few opportunities to tell you the truth, to say whatever I wanted to you, but I did not. Part of me wishes I would not have been such a coward. I want you to know how much you hurt me. The other part of me knows that it would not matter what I said you would not care. You would enjoy the attention, you always like all the attention being on you.
What I Want to SCREAM
I want to scream at you and tell you that you hurt me. To tell you that you traumatized me. I want to tell you how I cannot even change clothes in the comfort of my own home without feeling uncomfortable or like I am being watched. To yell that you took my childhood and my innocence away from me. That is something I will never get back. I cannot go back and act like a child again. Not all of that is your fault, but a big piece of it is.
I am never a violent person, but I would like to punch you in the face a few good times. I bet that would help me release some of my anger. That sure would make me feel better. I do not understand how you can have four different types of cancers, and still be alive. I guess that is just how my life goes.
Papa T is Crossing the Line
I heard a phrase today that I had not heard in a long time. A phrase that makes me nauseous. “Daddy T” I never understood why you made us call you that. Mom does not understand why that name makes me uncomfortable, and to be honest, I don’t completely understand it myself. All I know is the name makes me physically sick. My sister told me today that you want her daughter to call you “Papa T” And it incited some rage in me.
Yet, That Baby is Safe From You
Luckily that baby lives far away now so you cannot get your hands on her. If she were still around, I can promise you that you would never meet her. I would go to jail before that happened and I would be okay with it. You will never get the satisfaction of her calling you “papa T” which I feel is WAY too close to “Daddy T”
You will never get the satisfaction to take that baby’s innocence away from her, and that brings me just a little bit of you. Your abuse ended with me, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it goes no further.
Working on Forgiveness
I know it does not sound like it, but I truly am trying to forgive you. It is just a slow process. The thing is, I am not forgiving you for you. I am doing this for me. To heal. I am doing it so I can put you in the past and finally move on. To better myself and be the best person I can be. I know in the end you will get what you deserve, and I will not even have to lift a finger.
In this piece, Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me, my guest blogger begins to outline her life when she was younger. What a powerful voice she has, yet still too scared to let it out loudly. Time and Jesus will cure that. I’m so proud of her and all that she has been doing to heal.
A Born Fixer
Every since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to do was please you and to help you. All I have done my whole life is what you needed. You needed someone to bathe a kid, I did it, you needed someone to help feed a kid, I did it, you needed someone to complain to, that was me.
I grew up listening to everything wrong in your life, your husband or ex-husband drama, your “my kids hate me”, my kids are terrible, my kids don’t love me. Did you forget I was your kid too? Or am I just an ear to listen and a body to help work? You’ve definitely groomed me well for the job I would like to have one day. If anything I am a listener and I like to help others to the best of my ability. So at least there is a positive within all the negativity I have listened to and experienced during my life.
This Thing Called Life
My life has been a series of what does mom need me to do next? What does my youngest brother need? Or even what can I help another brother with? He may have had most of the attention from you growing up but that also meant that he got the attention from the men in your life too. So there was a lot of negative things going on in his life as well. As much as I don’t like him I do love him so I didn’t like to see him so upset.
You have complained to me so many times about so many different things that it makes me scared to share anything good or bad with you because I am afraid it will upset you. I feel like if I tell you some things you’ll stop caring, stop loving me. In fact somethings, I would rather just bottle up or ignore because I know that you wouldn’t approve or would hurt your feelings.
What About Me and My Feelings
Like sometimes I want to point out that I have feelings too and I’m tired of having only one-way conversations about you and your kids like I’m not one of them. I know you don’t mean anything by it towards me but it still hurts me. Especially when you say we are all unmotivated kids that’s don’t care about you. Maybe not in that order but they have both been said. I am motivated, I work, I’m trying to move out, I do love you. Stop putting us all together like we are all the same.
One day I would like to have a conversation with you about me. About my life, and about things that I am learning about myself. Like I remembered what it was like to be motivated to finish something. Sure it’s just a sweater but to me, that is an accomplishment. To be able to wear something that I made. Just because it’s not interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s not important.
The same with schooling, just because it’s not what you want me to do doesn’t mean that it’s not something I can do. I want to work in the psychology field with kids. But that’s not good enough for you. You want me to be able to support myself and I get that but why can’t you support me in my decision on what I want to do it just might take me a while to get there.
The Truth About My Engagement
I would love to be able to sit down and talk with you about why I truly didn’t get married. How it was a lie to begin with sure it wasn’t intentional but a lie nonetheless. I would like to tell you that I have recently learned that I am not interested in men but more confused than anything. I’d like to have your support while I try to figure everything out all the way. But you’d disown me for that thought or try to shame me out of it.
I have listened to everything you have had to say about everything and everyone. I have supported you through good and bad decisions. In short, I have loved you and accepted you as you are. But you would not do the same for me I am sure. You would just hear the words and then you’d be done. Done with me and done with everything else because without me who will you talk to?
Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me
Without me who will help you when you’re down? Without me who will help pick up the pieces that are left and glue them back together when anger or sadness strikes?
I love you and I worry about you more than I worry about anything or anyone else. So me keeping this one thing from you. Keeping it under lock and key may hurt me but at least I know you’ll be okay. Cause I’ll still help you. The sad thing is there’s not anything you could do to make me stop loving you but just three could make you hate me.
Today, I am thankful for the bravery of this young lady. She certainly has powerful emotion behind her words. Also, she is using them to help her sort through the muddy water. She is loved and a treasure. May she be blessed in her courage and continue to speak for those who do not have a voice.
In Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, my guest blogger shares her thoughts on this subject. I have a mental disorder that can be crippling at times. When I say crippling I mean I cannot get myself out of the bed. I have thoughts in my head on a continuous loop that should not be there, to begin with. Those days when I don’t call, text. or even speak to people. Hell, I don’t even come out of my room. When I say I can’t get myself out of the bed, I mean, I literally will stay in it for days. I will only leave to go to the bathroom or to eat.
The “Happy” Place
There are also days when I am “happy” these are the days when I can really get myself into trouble. when I talk ninety to nothing and spend all of my money in one place. Or I could get in the car and just drive in one direction not knowing where I am going but going anywhere is better than where I am. These are the days when I bombard all of my friends that I haven’t talked to in days that I want to do something. On these days I don’t sleep, I could be up for days at a time and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I make poor choices when I am like this.
This is Bipolar Disorder in a Nutshell, at Least in my Case.
I am tired of the stigma on mental illness or mental health in general. If you have asthma, everyone can tell by the physical complications that you have. However, when it comes to mental illnesses we dare not speak of them. They don’t exist to people who don’t have them or at least they perceive it as a negative.
You don’t see people not talking to people with asthma so why shouldn’t they for people with mental illness. Honestly, I should feel free to share that I have bipolar disorder without having people think that it means I’m crazy. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to own that lie but yet here I am pretending it doesn’t exist or calling myself crazy.
I am Tired of Comparing Myself to “Normal” People
What does that mean anyway? To be “normal”. The definition of normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. So what I’m seeing is that everyone is supposed to be the same, act the same, and do the same things the exact same way? Maybe I’m looking at it in a negative way but it sounds to me like normal people are nowhere to be seen. Because no one is the same no one is conformed to the same standards.
So why do we make ourselves feel less than just because of a mental illness? Bipolar disorder is my normal just because it isn’t yours doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell me that I am wrong, not to be trusted, or dangerous because of it.
Today, I am thankful for modern medicine. It has helped me look at life a bit more clear. God is bigger than all, but He created man to create medicine to help. Never feel weak because you need a medication to help you even things out. You are not weak! Honestly, you are brave and strong.
My guest blogger writes a letter to her mom. She is working through How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom. Her path of healing has been long and difficult. She is wading through the good memories and the bad. Right now, sadly, the bad memories are more prevalent. I pray that one day, she will remember the good memories she had with her mom. Somehow, someway, it makes the bad memories more bearable.
My Dearest Mother,
My Dearest Mother, you have caused me so much pain for the past ten years of my life. I cannot count how many times I have laid in bed at night and cried because of you. Sadly, I have cried because I was not good enough for you. I have cried because at the times I have needed you most, you were not here. Also, I have cried because when I have had a hard day at work or school, I cannot call you. It is so frustrating to me that you are so thickheaded that you cannot see what you did wrong. I have written you numerous letters in hopes that they would somehow reach you, and you would come to your senses.
Spoiler alert, you have not.
For years, I walked on eggshells just to be sure I did not hurt your feelings. At this point, I do not care. I am fed up with the lies you feed everyone. Imagine saying that your eleven-year-old daughter made up a story about how you locked your sick son up in his bedroom and would not give him food. Like, I did not just wake up one day and say ‘Hm, I think I want to make up this lie and make my mom look bad today.’ Imagine trying to blame you and your husband’s actions on CHILDREN. Honestly, I have not asked you for much, just for you to admit what you did and apologize.
I know that is something I will never get.
One time you told me you were raising us the way you wanted to be treated. That just does not make sense to me. Who wants to be sexually abused by their stepfather for years? Because I certainly did not. I did not want him to watch me every time I took a shower. Also, I did not want him to watch me get dressed. I did not want him to put his hand on my butt every time I stood remotely close to him. Furthermore, I did not want him to take me and my sister up to the garage that day and assault us. I did not want all this trauma you gave me. All I wanted was a mother.
At this point
I do not even try and wonder what my life would be like had you not met my stepdad because it tends to hurt my feelings. Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Honestly, why? Why? Just why? I have so many questions for you, and I know I will not get a single answer. All I want, is a mom. Someone to look out for me, give me advice, and most importantly I just I want to experience a mother’s love.
Every night, when I pray, I pray that I am not like you. I pray that I never cause my children pain. Also, I pray that my kids will NEVER lay in bed at night crying because they feel I do not love them. I will be nothing like you, and that is a promise. Maybe one day you will come to your senses, but that is doubtful.
No Thanks to You Part 3. It was such a shock to me. It came without warning. I honestly don’t understand. Because that morning, it was business as usual. We were doing quality assurance and fixing simple mistakes on the computer. What was that you said to me?
If you would do your job right the first time, your mistakes wouldn’t be on this list? I could count maybe 5 mistakes out of hundreds that I could claim. And they were as simple to fix as checking a box. But you felt the need to point that out to me. You worked me to the very end.
That was hurtful.
When you said that to me, I cried silently at my desk. It wasn’t the first time. I cried silently a lot because of the stress you put me under. That this job put me under. The anxiety and the depression were insurmountable at the time. I put on a brave face, as one does, and carried on. I didn’t let you see me sweat.
His face, as you fired me, was that of sorrow. That he didn’t want to be in this position. He looked at me with pity, while it seemed you were doing a victory dance. Was I that bad of an employee for you to find joy in letting me go? You were so callous it was almost cruel. At least he had some sense. He knew I was a good worker and I don’t even think he truly understood your decision.
Because she was always in your ear about something. She was intimidated by me. She hated me. Therefore, you had to hate me. I blame you and her. I do not blame him, he did nothing wrong. He was just a poor, unfortunate person to be in that situation.
I can’t believe that you joked and laughed as I was cleaning out my desk. I was crying and you were laughing. That is unbelievably cruel. He walked me out, and he was genuinely sorry for the situation. But you, you were cruel.
What Happened Next
So, I feel the need to educate you on what happened to me after you fired me. The aftermath of your decision. It’s no wonder that people hit such deep lows when they lose a job. If you put 100% of your efforts into a career and you are just dumped, that hurts.
I had very little money. What money I did save went to get a new apartment. I had to move, I couldn’t stay where I was anymore. It took everything I had. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I felt like such a failure. Even with the meds, I was depressed. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be able to live with myself.
Choices are a funny thing, we make them every day. But our choices affect those around us. Your choices affected me negatively. In a bad way. I was already depressed and your choice made it so much worse. When it rains, it pours, and you were the last thundercloud. The straw that broke the camels’ back.
I was a broken human. Frankly, I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I just remember being so sad. So numb. I didn’t feel anything anymore. Nothing made me happy. I was in such a deep pit I didn’t think anyone could save me. Honestly, I want you to know that. I hope my life will be a lesson to you, what man meant to do harm, God intended for good.
It wasn’t good for a long time.
God knew that it is only by His grace that I survived that period of my life. He knew that was the worst possible job I could be in. He knew that was a bad fit for me and my personality, though I was good at it. So really, it became a blessing. But don’t think for one second that I don’t still hold resentment towards you. Even my ex-co-worker can’t stand you. No one can. Because you are rude, you talk over people, you rub people the wrong way, not many people like you.
Without your poor choice
I would not have made it to the job I have now. I wouldn’t have met my forever love. My job now is awesome, and I am very good at it. I am highly respected by everyone that knows me. And well-liked by many in my profession. I tell people how it is, I do not judge them, I do not micro-manage, and I am not micromanaged.
I am free to do things my way. And my way works. I am still medicated, but it is for the best that I am medicated. It helps me cope with those dark days. Those days that are so uncertain, I never know when one is going to come up. But they are manageable now.
Here, from my guest blogger, is No Thanks to You Part 2.
No Thanks to You Part 2
I didn’t do things the way you wanted me to. Honestly, I like to make myself notes, I don’t shred things as often as you would like because I am afraid of losing something important. Frankly, I still do that to this day. I am good at returning phone calls, but you insist that I write down every number and every message so I don’t forget to call them back. Lastly, I can do several things at once, and you didn’t like that.
You are very controlling, too much micromanaging my work. Honestly, you knew I did good work, so why didn’t you let me do things my way? You told me everyone does things differently and gets their own rhythm. I had my own rhythm, but you wanted to change who I was as a person and as an employee. I took issue with that.
Depression Over my Job
I got so depressed at this job, and so anxious over doing a good job that I had to get medicated. Every time you walked into the room, I wondered what I had done wrong now? You started making a point to notice every small detail of something I missed or got wrong. That is not how a boss should be to his employees. You didn’t praise me anymore, you didn’t give me any sign that I was enough for this job.
You expected more and more from me. When I needed help, you were conveniently not around. I tried to get your help with a matter, and you were not available to help me. I made a mistake, I acknowledge that. But your biggest mistake was not being around when I needed you. And not training me as you should.
Another Low Blow
I cannot believe that you tried to take my unemployment from me. That was one of the lowest things that you did to me. I was mortified. And when I explained to the woman at the unemployment office the situation, she quickly understood that it was not me, but you. I am glad she saw it my way.
You kept meeting with me with a disappointed look in your eyes. And you dragged him into this? The look on his face was that of regret for having to deal with your misogynistic, sexist, backward, lying actions. Telling me we can fix this, if you get yourself medicated then it will be fixed. You made me feel like the problem was with me and not you. That it was all my fault for the very few mistakes I did make.
You made me feel less than human.
That I was just a troubled, sad person that couldn’t perform well at my job without being medicated. Do you have any idea what I was going through at that time of my life? That I was going through a break-up months from getting married? My grandfather almost died and you didn’t bat an eye. I was so sad. And you made me feel like, at least in the beginning, that we were a team and you would help me through anything.
But you didn’t even bother to ask. You just assumed I was fine and moved on. Frankly, you didn’t care what happened to me. You didn’t care. And that was hurtful because you said I could trust you.
Smack in the Middle the Lies Began
Then, in the middle of all the shit, I was dealing with, you let me go. Within a week of the end of my probationary period. I had nothing. Nothing. Nothing to live for anymore. You were the last straw in my life. I was already dealing with so much pain and agony, and you treat me this way. After all the work I did for you. All those extra hours I worked.
You told me that I was rude to inmates. That I talked over them. That was all a lie. You told me that a clerk filed a complaint against me. That was also a lie. I don’t even know what I did to offend her but life goes on. The judges liked me, they still do. Funny thing how lies work. I have never had a single issue in that courthouse in my job now. I am respected and well-liked. By everyone.
You told me that I wasn’t a good fit.
Then why waste my time and yours? You could have let me go a lot sooner. If I was that bad of an employee, you would have cut your losses sooner. Isn’t that what you told me about Charlotte in Frankfort? That you should cut your losses and fire me.
You told me that just to scare me. I don’t even think that woman knows my name or anything about me. I was a week from being a tenured employee. And you decided to cut me then, you milked me for all the work I was good enough for. Then you dumped me on the curb like yesterday’s trash. I was no longer your prodigy.