A Mother’s Fight

It’s really incredible how quick life can pass by. You can sometimes think back on your kids being little, stomping through the house, and asking a million questions. Back then, you used to be annoyed by it at times. Even ignoring them sometimes. I remember spending every waking minute with my daughter trying to make things perfect, which doesn’t exist by the way.

Although we never had much money, I always wanted her to have the shoes she wanted, the clothes she wanted, and there’s not a picture I look back at where her outfit wasn’t cute and in every single one, her socks matched her bows.

I spent all this time doing this partly because I never got the chance to be girly. I have always been tomboyish. I wore boy clothes a huge chunk of my early teenage years, and never got too heavy into makeup unless there was an occasion specifically for it, and even then, it was black lipstick, or something dark.

Everyone made fun of me the whole time my daughter was little because I never let her get dirty. And if she did get dirty, I would follow her around with baby wipes cleaning her up. I carried 8-9 outfits with me at all times in a diaper bag and if she got so much as a single stain on her, I would change her entire outfit. I carried the whole can of formula, and the whole box of cereal in the bag, and pretty much a whole pack of diapers. It was as if I was always prepared to leave and never come back, if necessary.

I was more than over-protective. I was constantly fearful, that what happened to me in my life, would happen to her. I didn’t want anything to ever even come close to making her feel, how I had felt most of my life.

In the end, turns out, I further damaged her by protecting her so much. By the time I braved up to start letting her doing anything, she didn’t really know how to make friends. And really didn’t trust people (Also my fault). Each attempt at social pairing has for years, been mostly a flunk. And each time, I blame myself.

I wonder to myself constantly if one day, she will also blame me. Or, does she already blame me now?

The struggles we face today aren’t just simple bullying trials, or even just fighting off loneliness with no friends. It’s a pure and constant sadness. Darkness. Each day, a new demon to fight off, and each night, another night I lay my head on my pillow feeling like a failure, like I failed her and myself.

For 15 years, 7 months, and 28 days, each second of my life has been dedicated to wanting every best light in the world I could think of for her. Everything to chase the darkness away.

I spent my life before that, chasing my own darkness away. Did I morph my demons into this beautiful little girl just by merely being her mom? Did my overprotectiveness do everything except….. protect her?

I wanna see happiness fill her til she overflows. How do I get there? The one lesson I learned the hard way that I avoid reminding myself of constantly is that you can’t make other people happy. But I want to. I would be sad and dark forever if it meant her life could be filled with happiness, never-ending love, and a future filled with hope and the greatest of adventures.

I know my page is normally much deeper with poetry, and poetic views of real life situations.. But sometimes, you need to let people who support you see the truth. Real, raw, and unequivocal truth.

My life is not this mysterious bed of roses. It’s just the thorns. It’s the instant pain when they prick your finger, and the shock when you stub your toe.

My baby is depressed. And that is a summary. She is deep in a basement with no light, depressed. But to me, that’s not all she is.

She is my coffee in the morning. And the only light I see. She is orange blossom, in a field full of pink roses. She is a powerful rock and doesn’t even know it. And she is my reason for breathing. She’s creative. And when in motion, completely unstoppable.

But she is depressed. It is taking her down, and I’m fighting that demon like a soldier on the frontlines. I’m not sleeping, barely eating, and none of my smiles will be real, until hers are.

I am her mother. And in the light that she doesn’t see, I am her warrior, her biggest supporter, and even when she shuts me out completely, I am still here, fighting with everything in me, and loving her to top of every mountain we need to climb. And one day, we’ll get to the top and rejoice at the echo of our victory.

Hold On To Me

 

woman looking at sunset
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When I look back, I should have saw it coming. The drift of the fallen bark, floating down the creek bed that I now sit and stare into. I felt the empty drift in as something in my head screams, “it’s right there”. I’ve no more ever expected anyone to stick around than I have myself to do the same. But he was a wind that I wanted to keep blowing across my face and in my hair. A sound echoing that I just can’t seem to place anywhere else. I wrapped my heart around his smile, and for once, even if just once, I felt safe for a moment.

But isn’t that how it goes when self-sabotaging? You let each moment slip right through your fingers. Why would I ever ask someone to stay in such an uncompleted life? I guess I was thinking he completed it. We should never sit around and dwell on the things we think we deserve. Good or bad. We should just accept things as they are. But if given the chance, I would kiss his lips once more. Without them, my lips a shade of blue, suffocating.

If he could have just waited just a bit longer? But why ask that of someone..

These changes are fast-coming. I can feel them. I will revel in them now…alone. When we say we miss someone, it’s not really enough is it? To lose them speaks volumes of its own. I will try and go at it alone, which is a path I know and recognize all too well.

Have you ever felt so alone and empty that it’s almost like you’re starving, and your stomach is sinking into your back. That growl in your stomach becomes louder than your thoughts, and you have no way to feed it?

I have failed him, and seemingly failed myself. But he failed me too? For if he had not, I would instead be sitting here reassured and loved in person and not dripping pathetic tears down my neck and blowing snot that could clear a room during this sad pandemic.

His face like a constant reminder of an almost, and a memory of kiss, or a drunken night by the fire laughing, talking about the stars, slowly will drift from my memory while I try to hold onto every second of it.

Truth is, I would have spent my life in this chaos and fought through every second of it if it meant the ending was us….

But goodbye is a word I know all too well…

Worst Case

blue filter me

As you sit, dazed on the front steps, the noises of the wrinkled grump off in the distance on his rusted machinery. You play music in one ear, and listen to your surroundings with the other thinking to yourself, man.. That pill didn’t hit right like it used to. You can still feel. You don’t want to. The stress of each day mounting and you struggle to keep your eyes just barely peeled open each and every day. Smile now, they’re looking. All is fine you say, while your feet are on fire. And just for a moment, you can feel the breeze coming that will spread that blaze.

One hit from a penny pincher. Counting change for the future. A future that is fast changing.

The vibrant garden seeded and grown so beautifully with love wilts quickly, as does your desire and will to tend it. Fast approaching is a day you must face all facts and deal in truth, no matter how hard or fast the rocks will roll down the mountain. And you can no more outrun them than a cat can outrun a wild pack of coyotes.

Alone is not a bad word, nor a bad thing, but the authoritative view and forced fate of alone or being spoken over you is different. Like a magic carpet under you that you have no control over. As they would say, 6 steps forward, and for you, 13 steps backwards.

A bent and broken rod can’t be reshaped in the same form it was. Once bent, it is forever different, as is its uses.

You could blow bubbles of truth that would hurt the masses, but instead are forced to sow your mouth shut while stuffing it with rags for the riches of others. Your turn got skipped, and I’m sorry is an apology you’ve long had to accept without receiving it.

Still dazed on these steps, you think of forgiveness and how far you’ve came within it. Still in pain, untrusting, and at times, completely numb. But in another way, you don’t carry anger for it anymore, just a pinch in the side, or a pin-prick.

Just tell them to hit you again. Hurry. Before long, you’ll be back at the sink, washing dishes, doing laundry while dinner is cooking. Thinking about what you need to do next to keep your mind superbly busy to continue your magnificent escape from these talks the other you has with you about the worst things that could happen, and the helplessness you will feel when they do…..

The Mind of the PTSD

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She sleeps in a dark abyss,

sealed with a fated fatal kiss 

water slowly pouring, filling the space within

she begins to take these last breaths,

accepting the death that comes with these sins.

Screams are deafened by gurgle of her lungs

strum your guitar, echo through the waves, 

maybe she could hold her breath long enough

to navigate these deep caves…

Drowning in the silence, 

she thinks of each memory she had erased;

and the ticking of clocks winding down,

due to the distance and time and space. 

It won’t be long now, 

the water now mixes with sand,

vision’s become blurred, 

almost too late for a rescue hand..

It’s so dark here, 

and a familiar song is on repeat.

Muffled by the muddy water, 

now concreting her feet. 

If only she could find a light,

an opening to escape,

then maybe she could find the breath 

to recooperate.

But alas she kneels sinking,

into the sand that has claimed her sadness.

And she’s no longer thinking clearly 

becoming much more friendly with the madness…

Heartbeats slowing, echoing like a drum,

slowly reversing back all the pain, 

as she begins to leave this slum….

She begins to smile in the struggle,

succumbing to the release of this horrible pain,

the voices of torment, finally being muzzled.

There’s a light…she hopes is a sunrise,

but alas, it can’t be, in this deep demise. 

Nonetheless, it calls to her, foolish as it seems,

she feels it’s finally her call to redeem.

The light is warm, 

far from the cold, damp waters that have kept her here..

Is it true, is is over? 

These decades of cold pain, 

held down by the most massive of boulders.

She closes her eyes, one final time.

To open them now, would take a supernatual force of change.

She’s never been so dead, to be so alive. 

No one else left to blame. 

It’s beautiful here,

although the light is blinding.

and almost all the chains are gone, 

that had once caused the binding. 

This new life of freedom, is a mystery.

almost scary, to this new she. 

Everything she could imagine, 

in a life free from pain. 

And all the time that was wasted, 

is now hers to gain. 

She takes off running, 

no destination in sight.

A hesitant smile on her face,

arms open wide.

Runs fast through fields of clover,

falling and rolling in laughter.

She thinks for a moment, 

all the heartache was worth it, 

for this ever after..

She doesn’t even know how much time has went by, 

or if time even exists here. 

She only knows that as far as she can see, 

everything has never been more clear. 

Freedom lives here. 

And now, so does she? 

She second guesses for a moment, 

on what the catch might be.  

Having never felt deserving, 

or that she earned a fleet of bliss. 

She runs again to find the damage.     

Storm clouds appear in the distance, 

and the ground begins to shake. 

And all the clovers she had knelt in,

begin to melt away.

Vines begin to chain her,

to ground that briefly was this bliss. 

The winds fly through so strongly, 

it takes her breath away. 

And the storm clouds once in the distance, 

begin to steal the light of day. 

It’s too late to realize, 

this daydream is over, 

and her hell has once again risen. 

What once was her freedom, 

is once again becoming her prison.

A mind never truly happy. 

A soul never quite saved. 

She slowly begins to wake, 

as this violent storm tries to take her away. 

The wake is no more freeing, 

than the winds that ripped through that field.

Or the mind that she is trapped in,

deciding the things that are real.

She awakes coughing up water, 

choking on sand,

wipes it from her face, 

preparing to start the day again. 

She tells herself that someday, 

the freedom will be real. 

And all the light that filled her face,

is something she’ll one day feel. 

 

Until then… 

This is her brain. 

These are her chains. 

These are her truths. 

And this she is…………. me.

that will surely drown her again

Wake up! The Sun is blinding…

journey2018It has taken me a while to want to write this entry. It’s the hardest one. At least to this date anyway.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in the turmoil that is our life, that we think things couldn’t possibly get worse. But we are always wrong. Everyone knows that things can absolutely always get worse, and as parents, we take advantage every single day of the time we have with our children, and the opportunity we have to shape their lives. And we fail. Daily. We all do. I am no exception.

On February 26, 2018, I got a call that any parent would consider a worst nightmare.

The 7th grade school counselor called me. It was about 10 or 11 am. I was dressed like a washed out homeless person, no makeup, greasy hair in a ponytail… I actually looked like a person who had already gotten the news that I was about to receive.

She had my daughter in the office with her and asked if I could come there as soon as possible and talk with them, and assured me that my daughter was not in trouble. Of course, out of immediate fear and concern, while tossing my shoes on and freaking out, the counselor mildly filled me in on what’s going on.

So, there I sat with my daughter to my left refusing to make eye contact with me, and the bubbly school counselor across from me. After thanking me for getting there so quickly, she proceeds to tell me that a “friend” of my daughter’s had turned her in out of concern. My daughter had sent them alarming texts describing wanting to cut herself and expressed being suicidal and had ironically said that “today would probably be the day”. After careful conversation with my daughter before I got there, the counselor expressed deep concerns of the seriousness of my daughter’s want to end her life. She explained that normally, when a counselor/therapist/psychologist speaks with someone that is suicidal, the first thing they do, is try to gauge the seriousness of that person and their intentions of ending their lives. She said in my daughter’s case, she was very concerned that she was very serious about her intentions because she had taken a long enough period of time to plan out the ways that she absolutely didn’t want to do it, and the couple of ways she had narrowed it down that she did want to do it. Hearing those words about my daughter made all the background noise begin to fade, and for a moment, there was a loud ringing in my ears. I felt the air leaving my lungs, and flashes of things I had missed for so long with my daughter, began flooding my mind. At the same time, my daughter sat there, emotionless, and anything I asked her, “why didn’t you open up to me all of the times I asked you what was bothering you?” “Why, when I asked you everyday, to please talk to me, did you continue to say that nothing was bothering you, even though I knew that was a lie?” seemed as though it fell on deaf ears.

After full conversation with the counselor, we discussed that I should take my daughter to the Children’s Hospital Emergency room an hour away from where we live, rather than wait for an appointment with a therapist, which could take weeks. This way, my daughter could receive the immediate help she needed. We sent my daughter to gather her belongings in her classroom, and while she was gone, I completely broke down to the counselor, melting into the floor out of complete failure as she sat across from, pretty blonde hair, flawless makeup, assuring me that I was a great mom, and that everything was gonna be ok. And that she thought with the right help, that my daughter was gonna be just fine. She kept wanting me to know what an amazing kid my daughter was, and how intelligent she was. It was as though she was talking, but nothing was coming out of her mouth.

We also spoke of my daughter’s dangerous obsessive behavior. There was one boy whom she had became completely obsessed with, and no matter what he said to her, mean or nice, my daughter had continued to chase after him. Before I had even gotten to the school, the counselor had already arranged for the boy to be moved away from my daughter in every class to sever those ties.

By 1:00 pm, we had left the school, picked my husband up from work, went home and packed bags, and were all three sitting in Children’s Hospital Emergency room, quiet, broken, scared……

They walked us back to this locked unit. They walked us into this room where the tv was all the way up to the ceiling, unreachable, the bed was on the floor, and there was a hard couch. A nurse came in and handed my daughter a pair of paper scrubs. She was told to remove all clothing except her bra and underwear and place them in the clear plastic bag they provided. They then turned to my husband and I and handed us the same clear plastic bags and told us that we would have to relinquish all of our personal items as well. Cell phones, purses, sunglasses, etc. They explained that all of our items would be locked in a locker right outside of the unit, and any time my husband and I needed any of our items, we could get them as long as we were using them outside the unit and return them before reentering the unit.

Several different types of employees came into her room through the night. I’m not really sure who had what title, but somewhere in the mix were several hospital counselors who assessed my daughter, and by the end of the night, their concern was the same for my daughter and they began trying to find a bed for inpatient care for my daughter at either their hospital, or one of the surrounding psychiatric floors at other hospitals. We ended up staying the night in that emergency room. I took the top, very thin cushion off of the couch in my daughter’s room and placed in on the floor next to my daughter’s bed as close as I could get it. And my husband slept on the couch. They gave my daughter 3, 1 miligram melatonins so she would get some good sleep. We have only ever given her 1 miligram at home. It was the worst night of sleep I’ve ever had in my life.

The next morning, after being awake for a few hours, I was down stairs getting snacks and smoking when my husband called me and told me to get to the room. When I got there, I received the information that they had found a bed for my daughter at another hospital close to there. She was to be transported by ambulance as soon as it arrived. And we would make our own way over there in my car.

It took us a bit longer to get there. When we arrived, we had to sit down stairs and wait to do paperwork for admittance and such. It took about 2 hours. I cried knowing that my daughter was probably upstairs wondering where we were and scared.

When we finally got upstairs outside the locked unit, we were ushered into a family room and was given paperwork/questionnaire to fill out about my daughter. I ended up going back out to where the elevators were to have privacy to fill it out because there was another family there talking and being loud and I was upset and crying. While out there, a nurse came out and got me and my husband. She felt bad for us and said we could go in my daughter’s room to finish filling out the paperwork so we could see her and have privacy.

When we walked into her room, it was like something out of a horror movie. Nothing on the walls, bed on the floor, plastic mattress, a wooden desk facing a blank wall, my daughter sitting with her back to us staring at the wall in her plastic scrubs picking at the food they had given her. She sat in a big, blue, very heavy plastic chair, filled with sand so the patients couldn’t throw them. I remember gazing the room and noticing that her bathroom had a saloon door that swung so she couldn’t shut herself in it, and there was a prison toilet.

She turned and looked at us with tears in her eyes and begged us not to make her stay there. Said she absolutely couldn’t stay there. She began to get angry. She said she would be angry all week if she had to stay there. I think it really freaked her out that she would have nothing in that room. No one to talk to, no tv, nothing.

They had a wreck room down the hall that she was free to go to any time as long as they weren’t on lockdown, which happened every day during shift change, and also not when they were in school or counseling.

Once we explained that freedom to her, she calmed down a bit. We were told that we could see her everyday during visiting hours. 4-6pm.

It came time to leave her, and we were all devastated. We all cried. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, leaving my 13 year old, vulnerable baby there without us. However, I did it. To help her, to try and save her.

I immediately blamed myself for everything, but also became enraged at thinking of all of the years my husband and I had argued, and been terrible, tearing each other to pieces with arguing and screaming, right in front of her.

I had left for a new life from her real father when she was just a little baby to avoid a life of turmoil and pain, and yet, had somehow still managed to screw up so bad and fail her miserably.

Each day, we drove an hour to see her. We were allowed to bring her colors, markers, coloring books, books. She could use the colors and coloring books in the wreck room with the other patients, and keep the paperback books in her room.

On the second night, we brought the game UNO. It became our thing. We couldn’t wait to get there and play UNO every night. And she loved it.

Each day, things seemed to get easier for her, but not for me. I fell deeper and deeper in the hole I had already been in for so long.

Each day, she had school for two hours, and then counseling and lessons. And of course, lunch, freetime, visitation etc.

It came time to schedule her discharge. She was to be discharged on March 6, 2018 at 9:30AM.

That morning, the doctor came into her room to talk to us. I had prepared about 3 pages worth of questions for her before I got there. The rush that the doctor seemed to be in angered me. She seemed like she couldn’t be bothered with my questions as she stood there, yes stood there, with her coffee in hand. She gave us a diagnosis for my daughter that almost made me fall into the floor. After testing all week, counseling, and ink blot testing, they diagnosed my daughter with Autism/Aspergers. I was in shock.

We left there still fuzzy, daughter and items in tow. We were referred to go to outpatient therapy with a therapist tied to the hospital in a little over a week.

My daughter was prescribed multiple medications for depression, anxiety, mood stabilizers, and sleep, and emergency anxiety/agitation medication. By the third day, I had her on only the depression medication and one mood stabilizer in the evening before bed. And of course, I kept the emergency anxiety medication on hand, which I have had to give her several times since being home.

While my daughter was away in the hospital, my husband and I had ripped apart the house cleaning out everything, going through all of my daughter’s things, removing anything dangerous. We threw away what wasn’t needed anymore, and then took the rest, the knives, anything sharp, medicines etc. and they were locked in a closet with a key lock that only my husband and I have a key to.

I can’t even begin to get close to explaining what this has done to my family. I have been completely numbed by it, and never felt more like a failure in my entire life.

But each day, I have to find a strength that didn’t exist before because my daughter needs me.

These types of diagnosis’s are a life changer. Everything has to change. The way you view things, the way you react to things, the way you were planning things, the way you plan every minute of every day, and the way you focus your energy.

Each day I will say, that I am so grateful that someone turned my daughter in, and that I got a second chance, because there are millions of parents out there that don’t get that chance. I have my daughter, and that’s more than I can ask for.

The Downfall of Raising Polite Children

road landscape people woman
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Most of my whole life, I have been immensely affected by the actions of other people. It has made me an angry person. It has made me internally have hate for most every person I come across. Externally, I am polite, respectful, and an all around good friend. However, I am only this way because I was raised by passive people who never stood up for really anything. That’s about the only thing good I got out of it was learning to be polite. But internally, I boil. I am only that way because I truly feel that not really any one person has good intentions. I feel, because I have been hurt so many times, that most every person has a different motive than what they’re putting out there.

Luckily, it pushed me to want to raise my daughter a little differently. It made me want to mold her with a few different parts. I have taught her to be polite, but also brave, and to understand that everyone is different. I have been straight forward with her in telling her that there are evil people out there. People that live for hurting others. Most because their parents are also assholes and because they are taught sometimes through family tradition, that they are better…which they are not. I have always spoken with her about bullying, and how horribly wrong it is. And the truth is, I have taught her that we won’t put up with things like that and I want her to stand up for herself to every extent if it ever happened to her. I won’t lie. I have even told her that bullies deserve to have their asses kicked. Normally if they get their ass beat one time, they think twice about saying anything to you ever again.

With the confident, wonderful child that she is, I never really thought I would have to deal with that with her outside of that conversation. Now that we’re in 5th grade, things are a lot different. Earlier this year, this little boy cussed in class and the teacher pulled my daughter aside and asked her did she hear it and of course, my daughter didn’t lie and replied yes. Well, that made the little boy angry. He waited for all the class to be walking in the hallway and came up beside her and whispered, “I want to stab you to death”. Of course when she came home and told me about it, I could not just sit by and do nothing. The way things are in the world today, you can’t take anything lightly that people say. Because the truth is, kids do bring weapons to school and they do outrageous things. The principles got involved and he was punished with severity.

Yesterday, I get a call from the bus driver who was concerned for my daughter. There are two 8th graders that have been bullying her and other students came forward to the bus driver and told him they felt bad for my daughter and told the bus driver the two boys names. The bus driver plans on following through with the principals on Tuesday to make sure that the boys are severely punished for what they have been doing. However, the other students that came forward were also concerned for my daughter’s well-being. They said they also overheard her say that if those boys didn’t leave her alone, that she was going to kill herself. When I hear this, it makes my heart sink. It makes me want to wrap her up and never let her go. It makes me want to find these two boys and beat them till they’re not moving!

When we confronted our daughter about what was happening, we did it with the utmost sincerity in order to not push her away. We wanted her to understand that we are always here for her and to never ever keep anything like that from us. To always come and tell us when something like that is happening. When we asked her about the part where she said she would harm herself, she denied it. Just like I knew she would. We told her that she would never be in trouble for something like that. We would never love her any less, and we only wanted to be able to understand her better. We only want her to be able to come to us with full honesty and openness and know that we will always be on her side. Nothing worked. She told the truth about being bullied, but would not talk about saying she would harm herself.

By the end of the conversation, I was crying, she was crying, and we had agreed to believe her in saying that she did not say she would harm herself. I couldn’t believe I was having to have this conversation with my almost 11 year old. My heart was broken. My heart is broken. I am angry. I am sad. I feel defeated. I just want to know that she doesn’t feel sad. I just want to know that I am doing everything a mother can do to be there for her daughter. I just want her to never feel as though she is alone in anything. Because she is not. I want to crowd around her and never take my eyes off of her. But I can’t do that. Somehow, I have got to find a trust that I have taught her how to make good decisions and that I have taught her that she is loved so much by so many. I want to find these children’s parents and beat them. I want to beat their children for stripping my daughter of what little bit of innocence that she has left. For showing her just how ugly this horrible world can be. For showing her assholes come in all ages.

I will focus even more of me on her from now on. I will continue to ask her everyday…How was your day? Did anyone hurt you? Has anyone mistreated you? Are you happy? And other people will probably continue to be assholes. But in my prayers, and as a mother, I have to believe that she will be strong. She will continue to be amazing, wonderful, and smart. She will excel and one day be on top of the world looking down at how pathetic they are. Because they spent so much time being evil that they made nothing of their lives. And we will stand together smiling. Because we made it. We are a family. Not broken permanently by people that don’t matter. Words are just that, words. And we will conquer this. These individuals will mean nothing to us. They try to tear us down, but we only get stronger. She is young. She shouldn’t have to feel this way. She should be completely happy, but that is just not the way the world works. It is a cruel place. It is full of cruel people. But we, together, will survive it.