Apologies and Explanations

Hello fellow human people. You may be wondering what the hell happened! To that end let me first say I’m so sorry, life happened in big and terrible ways. What started as a very small issue of depression quickly turned to a long-term situation that still as of yet has not completely resolved.

Some weeks ago I had a job interview for a full-time job that went fabulously well, I know not exactly what you were expecting. After which I was given the impression that I would be starting my new job there in a couple of weeks. I became incredibly excited as chasing a full-time office job has been an elusive goal of mine for over two years. On Wednesday I had written out the entire article I was in final preparation for posting when I got the text message that shattered my entire day. I know it may not seem like a lot to many of you, but being rejected again hit me really hard. I had spent the entire day writing and rewriting and perfecting an article that was all about getting this job, so when the depressing truth settled in I gave up. It wasn’t fair to you if I’m being honest I wasn’t even really fair to myself, but I couldn’t see far enough past my depression to realize or care. Loosing this opportunity was so much more than just not getting a job it was having all the possibilities it would open up ripped away.

The very next week I had crawled out of my depression enough to try to write to you to apologize to explain what I just stated above. But before I could even walk through my front door coming home from my day job I got a call. The call was from my baby brother my mother had been admitted to the ER unresponsive they believed she had a seizure and nobody knew why. I spent the entire day on and off the phone with various people trying to assess how she was doing, find out what legal actions if any needed to be taken, and most importantly why this happened.

I wish I could say it got better from there but it didn’t. By the end of the day they had decided to airlift her to another hospital where they had better equipment for monitoring her brain. This meant that somebody had to go with her to make decisions, this duty fell to my younger brother who for all of his strengths and all that he did was not emotionally capable of handling it. Thankfully with the help of friends, family; most notably my aunts, and other wonderful people in my life I was able to cross the distance to Michigan to be there to make decisions and see my mother through this. It was eventually decided that she was suffering from either viral meningitis or encephalitis which are both viral infections of the brain that create swelling. These particular infections are usually not this bad but my mom likes to do everything big. Thankfully with time and patience they were able to wake her up from her medically induced coma take out her intubation tube and move towards healing.Sadly this took about several weeks which is why I have been out all of this time.

I’m so sorry that I did not keep you all updated, that I didn’t post something. In the heat of the moment it’s not where I was at mentally. A bedside was my home until she was awake and even after that most of my time was spent talking to her or holding her hand till we were able to get her to a rehab facility. I for see no further interruptions to this blog and I pray that you will come back and read with me again. I will keep you updated on her situation as things develop so that you all can lend your prayers and energies toward healing as those around me already have. You are friends as real as anyone else in my life even if I don’t know your face, and you deserve answers from me and this is it. Thank you for reading, until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves.

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Judging Eyes

Hello fellow human people. Another week flown by and I have to say it has brought some body image struggles. To be fair it is something I have been struggling with for a little while but this week it has seemed to weigh much heavier on me. I think this is at the very least partly do to the summer heat which leads to wearing less and showing more skin. Let’s face it that can be an extremely stressful situation for women of my size.

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I have also spent quiet a bit of time around the idea of the correspondences my childhood trauma has created. For me my abuse most often happened when it was deemed I had performed poorly, be it in school or in regards to my chores. As a result I have constantly had anxiety and excessive reactions to criticism of my performance. It is something I have worked very hard on to get where I am now but I still have many years more of work to be where I want.

With these as focal points of thought this week the context of the poem I wrote makes a lot of sense. It speak of the fear of being judged, especially for how I look. Though it focuses more on my feeling surrounding conventional beauty and societal beauty standards, I think it also speaks to that place of fear caused by those repeated abuses.

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What I See, When You Look At Me

I see you judging me behind your eyes,
I hear the click clack as the abacus slides,
Tallying my highs and subtracting my lows.
Judged by a system that “society” chose.
Sometimes you see me right after work,
I am covered in dust, in a plain tee shirt.
I can see that my number is really quiet low,
So I hang my head and off I go.
Sometimes you see me when I am out on the town,
I’m all prettied up in a lovely gown.
I see it now my number has grown,
But before we even begin seeds of doubt have been sown.
When I strip off the clothes , wash the paint away
Will you run, or will you stay.
I fear the first so we never will start,
I’ll just turn away and harden my heart.

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Minds are a hard thing to fight, and retreat is not an option. But time ends all things including internal struggles and this too shall end. It may come today, or maybe not till next week but this will pass. Chin up friends, all things are temporary. Thank you once again this week for reading. Until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves!

 

Healing Waters

Hello fellow human people. With the dawning of summer comes long days, and  high temperatures two things that drive people to the water. This has put me in high spirits and deep moments of contemplation. I’ve always been a little bit of a fish, I’ve loved the water in all its glory for as long as I can remember. As a child I did multiple water sports and could be found at the public pool multiple times a week. Growing up in the desert  had great deal to do with this as it was the most appealing way for us kids to keep cool.

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Years later, as a 12-year-old girl recently relocated to Michigan,  that was when I learned the power that water had to heal. When we fled Arizona to escape my fathers abuses we all carried scars, both internally and externally, the marks of the hardships we had survived. Seeing this my grandmother, a certified nurse and tribal elder, took us to the lake shore and gave us each a small black stone. She told us that the spirits of the water would listen, ease the pain, and help us heal. She said to speak to them, leave our pain in those stones, and give them to the water. That was the start of a practice that would give  me the strength to survive the next 6 years.

No the pain didn’t simply disappear, I was not instantly made emotionally whole. But real magic doesn’t work that way. Real magic exists in the belief, in the force of will we but forward into simple daily ritual to make something the way we want it to be. What my grandmother gave me wasn’t a quick fix, it was never mean’t to be, it was a tool to change my pain into healing.

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I spend most of my teenage years perched on a beach or a rocky shoreline staring out at Lake Superior or Dukes Lake. I would sit for hours just talking to the water, thinking, and listening. I found peace even from the demon that was my own mind, it was my refuge in a sea of hormones and past horrors that collided all around me. I would bring the water gifts and it would give me peace. A very simple exchange but it mean’t the world to me.

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A picture I took of Lake Superior during a Super Moon.

It was a very slow process one that would continue long after i moved away from those glistening waters, but I continued that ritual whenever possible. I don’t credit it alone but I will say without it I don’t think I would be where I am in my place of healing today. Now you don’t have to believe in magic or water spirits, I find my life far more interesting for it but it isn’t required. However, many cultures acknowledge the ties between water and healing and that is hard to argue with. Thank you for reading and until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves!

 

♥♥♥The Power of Love♥♥♥

Hello fellow human people. Firstly, I want to thank you all for coming along with me on this mad journey, and continuing along even when I changed our path in the middle. You all have embraced the changes and it means the world to me. I have traded out agonizing for hours or days over what I should write and gained agonizing for hours or days over what I should write… Confused? Don’t be, I agonized before because I couldn’t think of anything that I thought would be appropriate for the theme of my blog. Now free from the confines of a theme I find inspiration everywhere and I can’t decide which one to write first. Inevitably though when it finally comes time to sit down and write it all out something stands apart, it speaks to me, and that is what I give to you. Every week, it is the thing in the sea of inspiration that shouted at me the loudest “I am here take me!” that I sculpt into existence for your literary delight.

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This week I spent a lot of time pondering over those same many ideas and I came back to one that has been rattling around for awhile. As a writer I cannot help but live in a place where words have power, each having a meaning that is incredibly important. However, sometimes certain phrases hold so much more than the words that are actually spoken.

No other phrase says more I think than the three most powerful words you can say together in a sentence: I love you. They are words we first say to our parents as a thank you for being there and showing us the ways of the world, how to live, thrive, laugh, and just be. Those of us lucky enough to have siblings say them when we discover that they are our very first friends. This phrase is used to express a bond from one human being to another, one of affection and caring.

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But those three words say so much more than their individual meanings. We use them to say “thank you for always being there.”or “you are the most amazing person in my life.” “I love you” can even convey things we can’t begin to find the words to express. No phrase has quite the same power to lift someone from a dark place and give them a hope to go on. Nor is there any other phrase that has quite the same power to change the world.

Too few people say this to each other. We hold the words tightly to our breast, like love is the most finite resource we possess. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. This phrase we use to describe and celebrate a million types of bonds, that gives voice to feelings when there are not words to describe them, it represents something that is not finite! It is infinite, for when we give it away it multiplies 10 fold!

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My first grade teacher Norma Knox told me that there are different kinds of love and when we feel it for some one we should share that feeling without shame. It is a lesson that has stuck with me through the years. She was a very smart, kind woman and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better in my early years of education. She believe that love had the power to change the world and none had a more unfettered capacity for it then our youth.

I do not have children of my own but I do believe that Miss Knox was right, teaching them to love freely and without fear will change the world for the better. Raising a child to know that loving your friends is not wrong, loving humanity is not wrong, will lead to a generation steeped in compassion. I know it is unrealistic to hope for a world free of violence and chaos but against love those things will always lose. So I ask, why not let that be the weapon we give to the next generation, their sword against the the darkness. Let us teach them the power of the words “I love you!” and the many meanings it conveys. Let us show them a path to a world where all people are their people, all of us connected by love across the worlds family tree.

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Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy it. This is something that’s rather close to my heart and its a lesson I have carried with me for many years. One that is sorely needed in our world today. I hope one day the world realizes how strong love can be. Until next time stay your wonderful mad selves!

Even Productivity Requires Moderation.

Hello fellow human people! Firstly I deeply apologize for the tardiness of this article, I passed out without posting and I am so sorry. I hope you all can forgive me, and please enjoy the article!

This week all the things! Rapid fire productivity has been the name of the game. From doing the laundry, to rearranging the entire apartment … twice, to making the time to socialize I have tackled each task and each has fallen by my hand. It’s an intense feeling of accomplishment, and validation of everything good I feel when I see so much get done.

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Now working two jobs on top of writing this blog life has become much more hectic which was rough and I let a lot of things slip. I am finally getting back in the swing of doing all those adult things, you know caring for your house, paying your bills, calling all the numbers that you have on the list that you need to call. It’s not fun nor very exciting, but there is a sense of gratification when you look at the list an its finally completed.

Unfortunately for the non-Nuro typical as well as those who deal with limited spoons, two things that I struggle with, you can see your accomplishments and still it is a little bit tainted by how exhausted you feel. Let’s be honest when your adulting there’s never an end there’s always something else that needs to be done. I personally tend to have a rather all or nothing attitude. I barrel into a list and don’t stop, I ignore everything else including how I feel until I collapse and there’s nothing left to give. This leads to exhaustion on a multi-day scale having a Job that makes me work through that multi-day exhaustion just adds to it until I finally have a day where I could do something and now I spend it in bed all day.

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The solution to this is obvious if not the easiest to accomplish. One simply needs to break down the list of tasks into smaller more easily manageable groups of things that need to be done. The hard part of this for me is being able to say “that’s good enough”. I have to learn to except that though my mind may say go go go my body is saying no no no.

I have met many people who are non-Nuro typical spoony’s who also go through cycles of depression anxiety and then work overload which then drives them back into the cycle of depression and anxiety. What we all have to realize is only we can be the masters of overcoming that cycle. Yet another thing that is not easy nor fun, in fact if we are being honest it’s going to drive you a little nuts to start with. Even when you manage it to some success there will still likely be times where we let it, slip by necessity or choice. But trying is better than constantly doing this to yourself over and over again, my friends that’s the definition of insanity.

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We have to do a little at a time. If we do what we can and stop pushing for perfection we can have that happiness that we were productive while also saving enough energy to continue a quality of life, after all isn’t that what we deserve. I hope you’ve enjoyed, thank you all for reading. Until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves.

 

The Spark in the Darkness – Humanity and Compassion

Hello fellow human people. This week has been beset by rain, float away like Noah, rain. Some days pass without a glimpse of the sun and we have thunderstorms most nights. It’s so gloomy even those that like the rain, like myself, have begun to feel the slow seep of depression. It is in these times of darkness we seek out light, things that help us not to fall into our pit.

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For me there are several things that shine brightly in my life particularly fantasy worlds. I can escape and travel with heros to far off places saving the land from evil, perhaps a parable for the darkness in my own life that I cannot seem to fully conquer. This is an easy escape many have mastered but there are other ways to  find light, such as in the people around you.

Now friends and family are obvious choices, they are the support systems that hold us up in our darkest hours. But there’s something to be said for the conversation that is had with the kind stranger. You can shed light on your own life by understanding others, remind yourself to hold compassion for others, and make you  feel a little less alone.

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As you may know I don’t drive, as a result I am relegated to public transportation on a regular basis. A happy side effect of my regularly scheduled bus ride is I get to see many unfamiliar faces. This week huddled beneath the bus shelter, hiding from the bleak rain I happened to met a very nice gentleman and decided to say hello.

We spoke for a very short time but I learned a lot about him. He is a father and a grandfather, a man who still works very hard every day, and believes in respect and discipline. Georgia was not his original home but he  made it his after being forced to leave Louisiana due to lack of work. Despite all of his hardship he was  kind, he had a gentle voice and indulged me with several stories before his bus came to carry him away. In the eyes of that man who had endured much hardship I saw a kindred soul and the light of a survivor.

 

I find that it is in these small very human interactions that we find true humanity; The light that burns inside each of us that allows us to be a beacon to others when they are lost. Sometimes we lose sight of it in this great electronic world we live in. We are so plugged in faces are things we need not acknowledge, and words need not be spoken a text will do just fine.

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So the lesson of the week is this: If we wish to stay compassionate toward all peoples we have to nurture our light. There was a time when you would speak to the person next to you on the bus just because it was polite conversation. I fear we have lost that and it is a custom we are sorely in need of. So with safety always in mind I ask that you try to foster that light in your selves and  others. Go have a conversation with that kind stranger, see what stories they have to  tell. Perhaps you’ll find a friend, a kindred soul, a light in your darkness, and maybe you’ll find a little spark of yourself. Thank you so much for reading and until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves.

And So the Wheel Turns – The Lesson of the Robins

Hello fellow human people! Life continues the wheel turns, I watch as the new step on and the old step off, and all the while it continues, unendingly. In the shadows of everyone else’s busy lives there are tiny tucked away places where life marches on untamed. In those places beautiful, magical things are happening.

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This week I was reminded how much life there is in the city, and not just people. I moved here from a place where wild things live side-by-side with humans because there wasn’t enough sound or craziness to drive them away. Here wildlife in general is much more cautious, always striving to remain hidden from our eyes. We are only privileged enough to see the occasional glimpses of them in the early morning or twilight of our days. Though they may not be gone it’s far different than what I was used to and for a long time that saddened me. This week reminded me that in small ways the wild still lives side-by-side with us no matter how much of the domestic world creeps in.

It doesn’t take much to notice but you have to have the time to stop and really  look, for a change I took the time to do just that. While walking to the bus that would  deliver me home I saw beneath a small grouping of artfully planted and perfectly manicured pine trees, something none but mother nature can control. I saw a mother and a father caring for their offspring, I saw a life snuffed out to breathe life into their  young. It’s sounds terrifying till I tell you, they were robins. Watching that beautiful interaction, the fervent struggle to find the food to bear their young to maturity so that they  might go forth and create young of their own. To see that struggle so easily accessible  in person was increddible. Much different than simply turning the channel to National Geographic. The wheel turns and mother nature always finds  her way, a way for  the wild things to live with us even if it’s only in small bits and pieces.

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This week I would remind you to take time to stop look and appreciate the glories of the world around you, 10 – 15 minutes can show you entire lives that exist in the shadows of our own. Appreciating these little pieces of life, viewing things from a different perspective, can shine a new light on our own struggles offering solutions previously   not thought of.  My encounter reminded me that all things are temporary, this life is fleeting, I may feel like crap today but there’s always tomorrow. Those robins didn’t have to struggle for food today, the rains had brought them everything they needed, tomorrow their day may be harder. Everything is constantly changing, for good or for ill, we need only wait for the next turn of the wheel.

Thank you so much for reading.  I hope your week of looking into the small spaces of the world bare you great fruit, and I invite you to share in the comments below. Until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves!

Burning the Box of Convention!- My week in review… Sort of

Hello fellow human people. Following last weeks post, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was writing this blog and why. What I wrote last week felt really freeing I was just talking to you guys about what I was thinking, feeling, going through, and how I was trying to deal with it. This blog originally started with the idea that I would write about all the things that mattered to me and I’ve done that… a little bit. However, somewhere along the way I got wrapped up in this idea that I needed to “specify” in order to “capture an audience”. I let people hand me their box of expectation and I tried to force myself to conform to it. I don’t blame them, they all meant well, but what this has become its not me. Yes, I am passionate about people truly understanding mental illness, how to cope with it, and how to be better support systems for those around them. But that’s not all I’m passionate about and it falls very short of all the things I wanted this blog to encompass. So I have taken that well intentioned box and thrown it on the pyre. I have watched it burn to ashes and smiled as the curly cues of smoke float away on the breeze. Its time I got back to doing things my way. In that spirit what you will find following is not going to be what you may have come to know, but I hope it will still be something that you can enjoy.

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The blog is not the only thing that has taken a little bit of a turn since last week, I too seem to have taken a turn for the better….. I think. It’s taken a lot of work and more than a little bit of tears. I actually have found myself this week breaking down into fits of snotty ugly face crying more than once. The funniest in retrospect being right at the end of the finale of Vampire Diaries, which left me weepy on the floor of my living room for about 30 minutes. Now don’t be alarmed that is just what happens when you take deep depression mix in period hormones  and add just a touch of Mother’s Day reminding you of your loss. Honestly some people think it’s unhealthy but I personally believe when you’re in that deep depressive state, if you know which buttons to push to do it right, sometimes the deep sobbing cries can be really liberating and lift you back up, at least for a time.  So thanks to some good cries and  a healthy dose of uplifting music from animated children’s movies I am actually feeling quite a lot better. Although this might also be attributed to the fact that A good friend has swept in to save the day offering up an additional option to bolster my financial situation. Yay!

Honestly a lot of things  have looked up this week, I’m not feeling nearly as sad and down in the dumps and just generally, bleck. However, I’m still finding myself a little bit less than motivated and really tired a lot of the time, but progress is progress and so I have to be OK with that.  The biggest lessons that I can take away from this week  are 1) I need to be myself, I can’t expect myself to be OK if I am trying to live by someone else’s rules. 2)  (More of a reminder than a lesson but whatever.) Sometimes a little is enough.

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I often spend way too much time in these depressive swings because I don’t feel like I’m doing enough. My motivation gets sapped and suddenly ever negative thing my anxiety  tries to sell me about myself seem confirmed. I have to remind myself I have an illness, I have to remind myself that sometimes I’m not going to do a lot.  Some days I will be hard-pressed to simply do what I need to to function. But on those days it’s OK if my biggest accomplishment is to get out of bed, take a shower, and feed myself.

So I guess that’s my advice for you this week: been true to who you are and know that what you do, it’s enough; Even if all you can do today is take care of you. You should never feel pressured to do more or be more than you are comfortable and capable of. It is always  good to  challenge yourself to be your better but that should never come at the cost of your health mental or physical, and it should never come at the cost of your identity artistic or otherwise.

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I hope you all can appreciate the new and improved KMMM. They won’t always be about the same things or done in the same way. All I want is for there to be some grain of wisdom you can take away ever week and for it to be what makes me happy. Let me know what you think in the comments on  the sites Facebook page you can find the link in your top left-hand corner. As always I appreciate your likes and your shares! Until next time stay your wonderfully mad selves.

Where is My Head At; Your Gift to Me – Vulnerability

Hello my fellow human people. As you maybe aware by my posts to the facebook page it has been a rough month or so. It would be nice to tell you that it’s all past all is well and I’ve returned to smiles, rainbows, and butterflies. Truth is, though it’s better it’s not great and I am struggling. It dawned on me recently that I was not being very forth coming to an audience I was asking to trust me for advice on how to deal with exactly how I am feeling right now. How can I share these little scraps of wisdom with you but not be ok sharing the whole, ugly truths and all? I can’t, not if I want you to see the real picture, the one I said I wanted people to see.

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So many changes have happened in the last month and a half,  so much so that I haven’t been able to process it all.  This has caused the stress on me to slowly multiply. Work is not filling the account the way that it was now that I’ve transferred to a new location, this hasn’t helped the situation. Needless to say the whole adjustment is proving to be a tough pill to swallow.

It is in the facing of these stressors ie, the move, paying of the first months bills, and the first paycheck at the new location which amounted at two weeks to be half a week pay at my previous location  have all built up. The small pebbles of problems, stress, and anxiety building till it feels like I am carrying a mountain around that threatens to crush me any moment. In spite of my best efforts and like many others in the country gainful employment has eluded me for sometime I have interviewed with good results but always end up passed over for  someone with more experience. After awhile it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore to the incessant little voice in the back of my head telling me I am a failure, that I am worthless. I mister all my strength to push her away as I always do and carry-on knowing she is  a liar, I know better that to listen. However, when she  whispers the same thing every day, over and over, and nothing changes and you exhausted from just trying to be ok you can’t help but wonder “maybe she isnt entirely wrong.”.

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What is probably the hardest though of all of the things that I’m dealing with is that my husband who is usually my anchor is not in the place to be that for me right now. Thank fully I have friends around me and they are willing to help, I just had to let them know how bad it was. Take off the mask I wear everyday to convince everyone that I am adjusting well and everything is fine in hopes that it will become true. I had to be vulnerable, something I have realized I don’t do so well.

In the mean time I will try to focus on the things that are going right, even if that list seems tragically short. What is going right is  that I have a home, it belong to me and the beautiful man who calls me his. What is going right is the numbers on the blog have finally come back up thanks to you, my readers. What is going right is that I am alive and if I remember that each time I open my eyes and know that that means I can begin again every day, I know I can make it through.

I knew when I started on this journey that there would be dark days. Days when it wasn’t easy to find the words to tell you what I wanted to say, days when ideas are grains of sand that have slipped through my fingers, and days when writing would be a battle. But I never counted on how much comfort it would give or how much it would change me. The vulnerability it took to admit how bad it was to really say it out loud before a breakdown, it’s not something I possessed before. I know we’re not very talkative bunch here very few of you leave me comments, but I hope that you hear me when I say you being here, it matters to someone and your thoughts if you choose to share them, they matter too. More than for myself, I want what you read here to help you when you’re sitting here in the dark spot in your life and you’re not sure where to turn or what to do I hope that something you read here makes that little bit a difference. We have to be the light for each other when all other lights have gone out.

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Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding. I want to give a really big shout out to my bestie  Dia who helped me gain some ground today. Until next time stay  your wonderfully mad selves.

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Having Children: My Fears & My Victories

Hello fellow human people. Many of us, be they man or woman, have heard the gentle internal tick-tock of the clock in the back of your head, the one that tells you need a cradle to rock. Society implies the need for our youth to go forth and make families, to bring forth the next generation into this world, but the world can be a damn scary place. I for one know that if you’ve been touched by the darker side of this world, the parts that makes people afraid, it’s hard to reconcile the idea that you should bring anyone else into it.

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We’ve talked before briefly about my childhood and its horrors. Without delving to deeply it’s safe to say abuse was a daily occurrence on multiple fronts. When we finally moved away from that situation I was faced with people telling me constantly the old myth that the abused become the abusers; that statement is in fact not true. Only about 10% of abuse victims ever abuse. I think the people who told me this, though misguided, were trying to help me find some understanding as to why this might’ve happened. However, having already been diagnosed with general anxiety, and I don’t know? being a child, all this did was feed a fear that no matter what I did, I would turn out to be the worst aspects of my parents for my children.

I have found that among trauma victims the fear that we will damage our children because of some aspect of our previous abuse is incredibly common, whether they’ve heard that old adage or not. Some fear that they will become the parents that hurt them so, damaging another generation. Others are deeply afraid that they’ve had no good example so how could they possibly know how to raise a child properly. Still others are faced with the fear that even if they do everything right, dodge all the bullets, managing to raise their children well, there’s still evil people, just like those in the shadows of their past, who could hurt them the same way they themselves were hurt.

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This is the fear that I heard reiterated over and over again by survivors of traumatic childhoods. But when you talk to people about trauma, especially childhood trauma, it is not something that generally comes up. One can understand then why it terrified me when I started to hear the tick-rock of my baby clock. I spent years fighting it, terrified that if I got pregnant, I would just destroy everything good about the child in the raising of it. Overdramatic? Yes, it might be, but it was a very real fear and it gave me horrific night terrors.

Don’t get me wrong I spent lots of time around other people’s children of various ages. I wasn’t afraid that I would actually hurt children just my own. I understand now that there’s no difference, it doesn’t matter if they are yours or not. If you’re that kind of person anyone is fair game. But for some reason I still couldn’t see past the idea of having my own kids.

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I had a lots of help, many in my corner bolstering me through, and a lot of time around other peoples children including some who came under my own care. But it wasn’t until I spent several months with my goddaughter, a child I had cared for since she was five. It wasn’t until I had to help coparent her while her mother was laid up after surgery that I truly saw the difference. I was not my father, hell I wasn’t even my mother, I was myself and I had won. In small ways, over a long period of time I had conquered everything that I feared. It wasn’t really a consciously choice that I made, it wasn’t some quest I set out on, but it was in the small victories of being able to work a real job and prove that to myself. It was in the small victory of having a real relationship with another human being that didn’t require violence or deception. It was in those little victories that I defeated the poison I feared I would carry unto the one thing that I wanted most. The thing that most every person who wants children sees as the most precious.

Shortly after that revelation I had a dream, not like any other dream I’ve had before or since. This one was a good dream and in it I met my children. It’s hard to describe how I knew that that was what this dream was. There was a deep knowing, an understanding that comes only in dreams, but there was something else. There was also the children I had cared for in my life, they were there reminding me that motherhood was something I had already accomplished. They reminded me that motherhood is something that is achieved when you care for a child as your own, even if they’re not. It was the first instance I had ever had of lucid dreaming and I spent the entire time trying to learn as much about my children as possible. Sadly I remembered very little of the conversations that we had. However,  I do remember a beautiful dark haired little girl, and two little boys. Realistically I can’t know for certain that that’s how my children will play out and I’m still not in a place where I feel financially stable enough to support them. Where I am though, is in a place where mentally if tomorrow I showed up pregnant I wouldn’t scream in terror and fear for my ability to psychologically handle that pregnancy. I would probably weep with joy. The future would be full of much uncertainty, I don’t work a great job, I live in a tiny house, and I don’t know how we would support a tiny new life. But I wouldn’t be afraid of the life itself and that is the greatest victory I could have hoped for.

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I don’t know how many of you who read this are also from homes of traumatic abuse. But if you are feeling the pressure of having a family and fearing that you will destroy it,  know that you’re not alone, and more than that, it’s going to be OK. We do not have to be that which they made us, nor do we have to be those who raised us, we can be ourselves. We have walked through fire and it can make us stronger, if we let it. Our past doesn’t have to simply be a scar we must bear it can be a guide book that makes us better parents. It will temper our anger with compassion, it will give us patience in the face of stress that would break lesser people. To live through the life that we lived at an age where we had no preparation, it prepared us for everything. You may not always feel like a superhero, but do not superheroes have the most tragic backstories? So what else could we possibly be, if not the heroes of our own stories.

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