Balance

Balance

8.22.14

“PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human

 event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.” 

― Susan Pease Banitt

I always like to start things off very light because some of the subject matter can be difficult.  So, being one of two mothers to a toddler boy age 2.5 years can be quite funny at times.  For instance, Marshall has this new thing about wanting us to read his books before he goes to bed.  No big deal, right?  But, now he wants to read them back to us.  The other night I was the chosen parent to listen to him telling a story about a truck.  Story goes like this……”Vrrrrroooommm Vrrrrooommm a mess, bath, clean…the end!” I couldn’t help but to laugh and tell him, “That was such a good story.” His response was , “Truck dirty.”

We have also realized all of his creative ways to manipulate his mommies when it’s time for bed.  The other night Marshall convinced my wife, Melody, to do a full and complete room check for monsters.  I mean, if you think about it, what kind of price would Ghostbusters charge for a service like that?  Nevertheless, eventually, he ended up in the bed between his moms.

In the morning, I have one of his feet on the side of my head.  Apparently, he’s going to be a soccer player because I must’ve taken kidney shots from him all night.  But, what made me chuckle was that he was lying across our pillows at the top of the bed.  I think Melody is in a coma from pure exhaustion from having to hang on to the 3 inches that Marshall allowed her to use as her bed for the night.  I was laying face down in what seemed like a weave that belonged to a cat right next to the concrete wall.  I start sneezing like I had just snorted some kind of deadly allergen.

Kids are so innocent. They understand what is in front of them and don’t worry about tomorrow.  They call it like they see it until they are conditioned by parents, friends or society to try and conform otherwise. That’s where my job comes in for him as his parent.  I worry about things all the time concerning him.

I have said that I was going to take a break from blogging because of my physical symptoms.  But, mentally, I have to be able to process somehow.  So, I’ll do the best I can.

Yesterday started off with me all excited to blog and do therapy assignments.  One of the assignments, I knew would be difficult.   Blogging has always seemed to be what I need for now. I took all kinds of medicine and smoked some as well.  All day long, I would change my treatment approach to help defeat the “Atomic Migraine” that was forming.  I already didn’t feel good but I finished most of both assignments.  My wife reminds me that she has an acupuncture appointment later that day.  No worries, I’ll get Marshall from daycare.  A few hours when she got home, I couldn’t close my eyes or try to walk without feeling nauseous.  I begin to think, “Maybe both activities were too much for me today.” I take stronger medicine and begin to smoke wax and keif for something stronger for the nausea and headache.  Anxiety meds were added as well because my back hurt so bad.   I tried to walk but looked like I had just left a bar that I had been at for several hours.  The right side of my head felt like it was on fire and boiling. When I get severe headaches like that, sometimes I exhibit neurological issues. My brain basically turned off once we got in the truck headed to her acupuncture appointment.  She actually let me take her appointment because I was so sick.  After about two hours of treatment, I was able to walk more normally again. I was still shaky but much better.  Most of the rest of the evening was and still is a blur.

So, I don’t know what my exactly my “balance” looks like or is going to feel like.  But, I that’s what I keep striving to find.  Life is about “Balance.” Right now….well….balance is like a word from another language that I can’t have translated or understand.  Even my best day is a struggle.

Carpe Diem

#Thispuzzledlife

Back Again

Back Again

8.17.14

“Triggers are like little psychic explosions that crash through avoidance and bring the dissociated, avoided trauma suddenly, unexpectedly, back into consciousness.” 
― Carolyn Spring

I wake up this morning sadly realizing that the nightmare every day hasn’t ended.  This morning I wake up very startled that no one was in the bed with me.  “Oh Shit! I have to get up!  What if he’s already home from work?  Did I lay out anything for dinner?  Has he already fixed his dinner and is patiently waiting to berate me for sleeping? Why had I been sleeping?” Something is telling me that things are going to be bad when I walk into the den.  I’m instantly nauseated by the heavily approaching headache. Stomach cramps have begun to let me know of their existence.  I have to face this to figure out what has happened.

I stand up and my body feels “disconnected” but has a severe pain in my chest.  This feeling is surely to lead to total annihilation of my mind and body. With my “insides” beginning to shake with fear, I make the dreaded walk down the hall.  I notice nothing but the task before me.  Everything sounds like I’m in a cave.  I notice nothing but the familiar way that my body prepares for his emotional venom.  Just get ready to disappear! I say to myself.

I walk into the den where Melody and Marshall sat watching TV.  A sigh of relief hits my body when I realized that I must’ve been in a really bad dream.  It was a bad dream that happened several years ago.  My body seemed to somewhat relax as much as it could. The build-up of tension from my scare had already activated my autonomic nervous system.  ‘Shock and awe’ hit instantly.  I can tell that everything inside of me was all out of whack.

Just another day that started off with a flashback.  What did I do? I survived to be able to tell you about it. Trauma can manifest in many different ways. This way, unfortunately, is a frequent side effect of PTSD that I experience. Sometimes, it can manifest with pictures, sounds, etc. that can trigger a painful event.  There is the also, just as disturbing, the feeling of being in the situation right at that moment.

It is nighttime as I’m finally able to write about the event this morning. Mentally and physically, I have well……been somewhat of a ‘mess.’  That doesn’t mean lying around ‘snot crying’ all day. Sometimes one can bounce back from remembered event and not having anything more than a few feelings that they feel.  However, for me, I have very little memory of anything since it happened.  Had you been right here when it happened, you would’ve had no idea that I would be as affected as I was today.  I have been fighting severe anxiety all day with no success. I have smoked weed, taken all kinds of medicine with no relief.  I haven’t been that scared in a long time. Maybe all of my ‘insides’ just got upset and haven’t had enough time to settle down.

I have a thousand different thoughts that run through my head like it’s on a marquee and never stops.  This event has rocked my world today.  All I can say to any of my perpetrators is…..”THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!”

#Thispuzzledlife

Morning Monsters

Morning Monsters

8.15.14

“Your mind is your prison when you focus on your fear.”

—-Tim Fargo

I woke up this morning just feeling discombobulated for no reason that I can understand.  I know that my stomach hurts and I’m nervous to the point of almost being scared. I just have that deep and dark feeling that something bad is about to happen. I check the house for intruders with the toddler by my side thinking we are hunting for Scooby-Doo (doo-doo-doo toddler version). Everything seems safe but very unsettling. I found nothing in the house to signify any breach of “safety.”  Marshall, however, did find Scooby Doo in DVD format. So, I get the movie started and take my cannabis wax pen with me to the bathroom just in case I begin to vomit.  The buildup of tension has led to another early morning bout of ‘shock and awe.’

The one thing that I have begun to do is listen to what my body is saying.  This too is a relationship that includes work.  My body, seems to know, even though my mind doesn’t understand, that something feels very threatening.  I immediately, go to where my vaporizer is warming up and prepare to take my morning medicine.  Scooby-Doo, a superhero toddler and medical marijuana sounds like a good combination to settle what’s happening in my body.  After a few good vapes, I begin to feel my body and mind relax.

Ok, back to normal “mommy duties.” But, something still doesn’t feel ‘ok’ about this morning.

Anyway, said toddler grabs two “baby paws” full of fresh, cherry tomatoes from the garden bucket for a morning snack.  I’m thinking, “at least he’s going to eat something healthy for breakfast.”  I start getting dressed to take him to daycare and begin to revel in the moment of being by myself. I try to ignore the nauseating feeling creeping to a very uncomfortable level.  I switch to my wax pen which is much stronger concentration than what’s in my vaporizer. I take a couple of ‘hits’ and within a few minutes the nausea begins to subside.  In the meantime, Marshall has taken his paws full of ‘snacks’ and has begun shoving them ever so forcefully into a magnetic bottle opener on our refrigerator.  I now have seeds and tomato juice on everything. I cleaned it all up but not before he starts screaming like I just set him on fire.  Yes, what he wanted was to keep his squished cherry tomatoes, seeds and juice.  I then remember that Marshall is meeting textbook criteria for a diagnosis I call “Chronic, Intermittent Toddler Psychosis.” This disorder is often exhibited most often while out in public.  This is when everyone that is around now posts a new Facebook status about a crazed toddler. .  My first thought was, “Why didn’t we use protection?”  Next thought, “I hope like hell Comcast is working this morning and this child can watch Netflix.”  I look over to our modem and “Halleluer! The angels are singing in heaven! I have a signal!”  I find Scooby-Doo on Netflix and “Toddler Psychosis” appears to have forgotten about what activated the event.

I vape for a few more minutes just to make sure I don’t get sick while attempting to take him to school.  Something is still very unsettling from within.  I tell Marshall to come on so we can go to school. I begin turning off all the lights like I was so gently reminded, as a kid, about how ”leaving lights on costs money.”  Marshall meets me at the door with a truck in each paw along with his blanket, sippy cup and Scooby-Doo DVD case.  Telling him,” Scooby can stay here during the day was not working this morning.”  Picking my battles, we take everything he has gathered to the car.  I begin buckle him in and we head off to the daycare.

I begin backing out of my driveway, when I feel the ‘weight of the world’ hit my chest like a bullet in war. I sit there wondering if I was dying. My chest begins hurting to the point of tears.  I take a couple of vapes off my wax pen hoping for quick relief.  It takes a few minutes, but I now feel like I can get him to school. By the time, we start leaving the military base that we live on, I can feel the battle between the chest pains and mmj happening.  I start heading in the direction of his school which is only about 5 minutes away from the house.  The radio was playing some very familiar songs from my high school days and the seat heater was warm which seemed to be comforting.  OMG! I forgot that some schools have started backThe panic has started.

 ‘There are too many cars. Something is going to happen to you because you can’t keep an eye on all of the people on the road.  Everyone is looking at you.  Everyone is judging you.  You don’t know them, but they know you. If anyone steps out of line with a look or a comment…I’m ready! Be ready for any and everything! Please don’t say or do anything stupid!’

I drop Marshall off at school hoping no one notices how I feel on the inside. What would they think? Do, I look like I’m acting “normal?” So, I throw a few jokes and toddler stories out there for the employees to laugh at while I try to slide out the door without my emotions being detected.  I make it out to my vehicle where I just sit and breathe for a few seconds.  My body and mind feel like I’m on the run from a serial killer. I notice now that not only is my chest pounding. But, now my back hurts to the point that I feel as though I have been impaled with something.  My jaw hurts and the rest of my body feels like everything is cramping.

Brief insanity moment thinking: “Go to Wal-Mart and go shopping.” “Are you kidding? I just barely made it to the daycare to drop Marshall off and stayed alive!” I notice the vehicle going the opposite direction from Wal-Mart. My body feels like I have just been beaten with something.  I finally make it back home where all of the anxiety from getting out in public hits me.  I now have to have mmj and the toxins (regular medication) to attempt to gain control over my symptoms.  I realize that the symptoms from earlier are from the anticipation of going in public. You’ve just witnessed on both the inside and outside what point ‘social anxiety’ has its grasp has on me.  All of the physical and emotional symptoms are because of the trauma that I experienced from someone who made the choice not to work on their own trauma.

This is a process that has no time limit.  I have 30+ years of trauma to process.  Even while writing this, my body still has not reached its ‘normal balance’ after almost two hours since being home from taking Marshall to daycare. I got lucky that I didn’t have to really interact or be rubbed up against like being at a mall.  I don’t know about this process.  I usually have everything mapped out and I now feeling like I’m going in blind. And that scares me to my core. My childhood coach, Nick Kolinsky,  I mentioned in a previous day’s post told me about how a winner plays ball…..”Little things make big things happen!”  This is how, I’m trying to face this big challenge before me.

#Thispuzzledlife

Hello world!

I initially started blogging about 5 years ago.  I’m originally from the deep south in Petal, MS.  It’s exactly half way between Gulfport, MS and Jackson, MS and just across the bridge from Hattiesburg, MS.  Petal has a population around 11,000 now but growing up as a small child and teenager there were significantly less people.  Small town USA complete with the noisiness, conservative politics, religion, strong beliefs, great food, respect taught through the generations, southern hospitality, friendly neighbors who are loyal as family, resilient, head strong and loyalties within a “good ole’ boy network.”  No more loyalties than any other small town I’m sure.  But this “loyalty” hurt me and changed the course of my life forever.

Me and my wife completed Master’s degree in Couseling and then moved to Albuquerque, NM to begin our careers and start a family.  But as life would have it, Mental Illness began to effect our hopes and dreams one day at a time. A few years later I would be diagnosed correctly….finally…with Dissociaitve Identity Disorder.  We would eventually have two little boys that we adore and make you want to keep going with things get difficult.

puzzlepieces2

My writing is about the struggles of living as an individual and LGBT family with a parent with severe mental illness. The sometimes the humor of it all and the often heartbreaking reality of the effects of abuse and mental illness on the indivial and family unit as a whole will keep those that struggle from feeling that you live on an island.  And the families will see that you can love someone with a mental illness without becoming a prisoner to their behaviors.  And maybe you will also see that the struggle for us as your family memeber have more struggles then what we let on at times.

Anyway, enjoy the laughs and tears with our family as they support me while I search for the puzzle pieces of an abusive life.  I will say this…I don’t sugar coat anything.  Sometimes my blogs can be graphic but abuse isn’t pretty.  I’m in the process of healing so topics are frequently repeated and attitudes change from positive to dark.  Either way, this is MY life and MY therapeutic journey towards healing.  Hold on because this ride is bumpy.

Hit the “Follow” button and watch us grow. I don’t write every day because my functionality can change on a dime.  I cover many different topics related to abuse and mental illness.  This blog builds so read from the beginning and see Where we were. Where we are now. And where we are going.  Happy Reading!

#thispuzzledlife