Recipes

Easy eggplant lasagna

y-IW1ntcIngredients:

  • 3.5-4 tbsp oil
  • Eggplant
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups Italian blend cheese
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • Ground turkey
  • Mushrooms
  • Red sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Slice eggplant and spread over 1-2 baking sheets.
  3. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake slices for 25 minutes, flipping half way through.

While that’s baking…

  1. Saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes, add turkey. Season to preference.
  2. Pour in sauce, lower to simmer, and cover.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, and 1/2 cup Italian cheese.

Then it’s time to combine them…

  1. Put a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of baking dish.
  2. Add layer of eggplant slices.
  3. Add a thin layer of the ricotta mixture.
  4. Repeat until done.
  5. Top with 1 cup Italian cheese blend.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let rest for about 5 before serving.

We cut ours into 4 servings, and here is the nutrition for it-

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Nutrition is easily calculated with this site. Numbers will very depending on what amounts you use, or if you add/omit anything. My husband says he actually prefers it to store bought, as well.

Enjoy!

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About Me, Life

Almost 2 Months

It’s been nearly 2 months since I’ve written. In 5 days it would mark that point (I checked out of curiosity, actually). I’ve been move active on my YouTube, to be honest.

It’s been a very active 2 months for me. Not activities wise, but mentally, and emotionally.

Therapy has been going well. My next appointment is in 3 days, and I’m looking forward to it. She’s so easy to talk to, and I don’t ever feel judged. I’ve always struggled with who I am. When she asked me about myself I told her that. I told her that it changes so often that I can never answer that one simple question.

I’ve struggled with my gender for years. Looking back, it started well before I was ever aware of it. On February 23rd, I came out as transgender. It felt right. I came out to my friends, family, and my husband (of course). I donated a bunch of clothes, bought a few new ones, etc.

After I came out to my therapist just a couple weeks later, she asked me something that changed everything. “Do you think your childhood trauma, and how you were raised effected your gender identity, and gender expression?” I was floored. I had never in a million years thought of that.

Now, I’ve written about my childhood a fair bit on here. But, for those that are new, here’s the cliff-notes version: ex-stepfather is a manipulative, chauvinistic, emotionally abusive, mentally abusive, and over all- a sorry piece of shit.

I vlogged about that session just a couple hours after I got home. I hopped on that treadmill and vlogged while I had this…emotional high. That question sparked so many others in my mind.

Every day, that question played in my mind. I had been trying, for years, to protect myself. To be strong- and being taught that as a female, I wasn’t- meant feeling male. I don’t even know how the entire thought process behind it. But, subconsciously, I felt being a woman was bad, weak, and more. All while I tried to fight for women’s equality, and to prove to my kids that’s not what women are.

Talking about it in my video was fair easier than typing it out, that’s for sure. And even then it was difficult.

I’ve been doing pretty well on the working out front. Most days I reach my goals, some I don’t. That’s just life, however. I’ve been trying not to beat myself up when it comes to food, weight, etc. Those are some hard habits to break, but they’d be worth it.

One day at a time.

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Life

Not as Long as I’d Thought

*TRIGGER WARNING: SELF-HARM, OCD*

I used to have an app on my phone that tracked how long since you’d used your addiction of “choice” (I used that word as I couldn’t think of another that worked). I removed it after a relapse, not wanting to see the number start over again. I also didn’t want the pressure of having that number staring at me.

Or the having to reset it should I relapse again.

Now, since that relapse, I had thought I’d done well. While I’ve had the urge to cut, I’ve been able to avoid it.

And then I got to thinking. I’m a scab picker. Gross, I know, but whatever. I googled it’s correlation to both OCD and self-harm. About 25% of those with OCD pick their skin (and their scabs). While I simply have OCD tendencies (as my old therapist called it), I’m guessing that’s one of them. It’s been a bad habit for years.

It also does fall under the category of self harm. Which was both slightly surprising to me…but also kind of expected. If that can even make sense.

So, I guess I haven’t been clean from self-harm as long as I had thought. Which is a bummer, but at the same time, I guess that gives me more drive to stop doing it. At least when I notice it. Sometimes it’s not something I notice until I’m sore/bleeding. -_-

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About Me, Life

The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.

Growing up, family loyalty wasn’t something that was mentioned. At least that I can recall. I was taught that respect was earned, not given. And yet, I was constantly in trouble for not respecting the very man that uttered those words often. He didn’t earn my respect, so I failed to see the reasoning behind acting like he got it. I was taught many things when I was younger, many of which I still struggle with to this day.

I watch a lot of reality television. Not the romance crap, either. More power to you, if that’s your thing. I mean things like 600lb Life, a lot of true crime, Family by the Ton, and Hoaders: Buried Alive. It’s been therapeutic in many ways for me. While I await my own actual therapy to start, that is.

A constant theme in many of the shows is working through things with family, and that family is very important. They talk about repairing relationships, forgiveness, and the like. “You can never heal until you forgive.” Is one thing that I’ve heard. I’ve never forgiven the man who ruined my life, and my mind. Why should I? People would say it’s for my own peace of mind, but that wouldn’t give me any peace of mind. Not even close. It would give me peace of mind to be told he died, or is unable to hurt anyone else. Nothing shy of that will give me ‘closer’ or whatever the fuck people talk about.

I’m not close to many family members. I can likely count on one hand those that I speak to. I don’t have contact with any of my father’s side of the family, or my father himself. I don’t keep in touh with many from my mother’s side, either. I’ve never had a mother daughter relationship like many you see on tv. I’m not close to either of my brothers. One I haven’t spoken to in 12 years. And it gives me no pause. There’s no desire to suddenly reach out to him. There’s no want to establish something of a sibling relationship with him, either.

I don’t do emotions well. At all. I don’t know how to allow myself to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable leads to more pain in my mind. While I’ve gone through enough pain in life, I have no desire to endure more. Yet, even keeping walls up, I allow myself to be hurt.

The thought of opening up like I see people do on these reality shows fascinates me. I think of discussing something difficult and I will tear up, become anxious, and shut down. I avoid it at all costs. I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. I don’t know how to work through things like most people. I wasn’t taught how, and therefor, I am like a child at times.

In many ways, my two young children are more emotional mature than me at times. I encourage them to express themselves, and to use their words. I am hoping to give them a better outlook in their lives than I have for mine.

How do people change their actions, and thoughts after 30+ years? How do people overcome their own anxiety? Because it baffles me. There’s so much I want to do, but I can’t even bring myself to talk about something as important as my emotions? When I can’t even have a normal family relationship?

I won’t lie and say I’m not envious of those that are close to their parents and siblings, because having that would be something normal in my warped life.

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Life

It is what it is.

I meant to write a post last week about life after CPS. I had planned to write how the experience has changed our lives, mainly for my kids. But, I can’t. Life after CPS isn’t here yet.

Backtrack, right? I don’t think I’ve ever written about why CPS is even in our lives to begin with.

Back in October, we took my son to the doctor for something on his gum. It was sore, and didn’t look right. We got antibiotics and moved along. Then, just two days before his 8th birthday, CPS showed up. Apparently, they were called in because he seemed unhygenic, and ‘smelled’. First of all, this was our main doctor, who we have seen 2-3 times since switching to her office. We generally deal with one of the nurse practitioners. Our son still has accidents now and then, and face it- he’s a little boy! Sometimes, they stink for no apparent reason.

We had been fighting an uphill battle with roaches, as well. That caused us to lose our kids for 16 days. We busted our asses, trying to get our babies home. I was at a loss. One of my worst fears as a parent was coming true. Never did I imagine that I’d actually hear the words telling me my children could not remain in my home. They are well fed, happy, always have clean clothes, and are cared for.

After 16 long, dreary, depressed days, we got the okay for them to come home.

Since, our 4 year old has anxiety. She is completely terrified of sleeping in her own room. She’s terrified of waking up somewhere else, and even a simple weekend trip to my mom’s makes her worried. “You’ll be picking us up soon, right?” “Are we getting taken again?” Words that no child should have to utter.

In November, there was a followup, and I was told that our caseworker was looking to close the case. Awesome. Months passed, and then my husband told me that on January 2, they would be back. Family services would be here to check on the kids, etc.

It was during that visit that we were told we would now get weekly, unannounced visits.

I was floored. They also finger printed my kids, and counted my son’s Ritalin. This weeks visit is over with, thankfully. I don’t have to feel the daily anxiety that they’ll randomly show up.

Logically, I feel I have nothing to worry about. However, feelings don’t always listen to logic. If ever, really.

I grew up dealing with CPS- until into high school. I can’t recall my brothers ever being taken for any reason. In high school we were never threatened with it, either. My step-father was a pot head, a major one, and our apartment more often than not smelled like it. Yet, they never said a word about it. He’d slap on a smile, and they would just eat it up.

Is it because a well off white female doctor called us in?

Is it because I don’t meet what they view as mother material?

Is it because of the age difference between my husband and myself?

Is it because of the area we live in?

I can’t say for sure. We are looking into buying a house in March, and I hope that if they are still checking on them, that they see we are trying to better their lives as much as we can. We took this house because no one would rent to us when we moved to Florida. Despite my husband being retired military, we were turned down by everyone. Spending hundreds on application fees.

We were backed into a corner. We had two young kids to think of, so we took what we could get.


I finally asked my doctor for a referral for therapy, knowing I need it so badly. She referred me to my psych, who only does medications. It took them from back in November to even do this one, and now I’m forced to wait even longer. Having Tri-Care, I have to have a referral. I can’t just call up a therapist and make an appointment.

It’s very discouraging when I’m trying to better many parts of my life at once, and I hit a road block.

I hope to get my learner’s permit next week, and my goal is to have my license by the end of May. We are driving out to Indiana to see my step-daughter and her little family in June, so I think that’s a good place to start.


I’m trying to eat healthier, and get in better shape, as well.

It’s hard when I’m stressed out by the kids, by CPS, and my mental illnesses piling on at once. I’m doing my best to push through them and not let them control my life anymore, and it’s hard as hell. It was hard letting them lead my life, but at least this has the possibilities of me living my life, as opposed to just barely surviving.

I can’t say whether I’ll finally lose the weight that has piled on. I can’t say whether I’ll ever be comfortable about cops or CPS. I can’t say that I’ll ever live a normal adult life.

All I can do is run with what I got.

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Life

New Year’s Resolutions and Me

I’ve never been one to create New Year’s resolutions. I suck at staying on track, and I get really upset with myself when I don’t meet a goal. It’s probably also why I never really try new things, or stick with things long.

This coming NYE, I’m still not creating any resolutions. At least not like I’ve seen most people do them. Nothing grand, nothing over the top, and nothing monumental to be read here. I’ve seen traveling resolutions, I’ve seen shying away from the scale for a year (uh, bra-fucking-o. I applaud you).

Instead, I’m going to try to do 12 smaller goals. One goal a month. If I stick with it after that, I’ll be proud. Hell, if I stick to them at all, props to me.  Maybe I’ll reward myself for each goal kept. Maybe I’ll reward myself at the end if I can keep over half. Maybe both. Manicures? A nice bouquet of flowers? An awesome new shirt? The options are endless.

Y’all are more than welcome to join me, too. Even if you don’t do the same, feel free to pick 12 small goals for your year. Most of mine will likely focus on family, mental health, and personal growth.

I’m very hard on myself and it’s tiring. I’ve been trying to live up to goals set for me as an honors achieving young woman. That is not who I am, so why can I not shake the perfectionist mindset? Why can I not evolve my thoughts to catch up with my now?

We all have to start somewhere. So, here I start. 12 small goals to get me through the next year.

  1. January- 10 minutes of BOOK reading a night. I plan to get my goodreads back up, and log that nightly. Feel free to ask for my handle, as I’ll have to get it for you (it’s been months since I’ve logged on).
  2. February- Monday night family game nights. Right now it’s honestly random when we play, but I think this would be excellent for the whole family.
  3. March- No make up or nail polish. This is actually easy on the make up front, but nail polish is the tough one. I’ve been big on getting healthy, and I’d like to take a month that is usually refreshing to do so.
  4. April- Color two nights a week. Any two nights, just sit and color with the kids.
  5. May- Spend more time outside. The kids love to play outside, and May is the perfect time to start doing that. Before it gets way too hot for us to be out long!
  6. June- No alcohol. I had to pick the perfect month for this. Jan, Feb, and May were no goes because of holidays and anniversaries. June it is (it helps the husband isn’t a big drinker so it’s not like omg hubby’s birthday, need drinks lol)
  7. July- Give myself 30 minutes of ‘me’ time to write, to blog, or whatever. Completely alone at least 3x/week.
  8.  August- No energy drinks. This one is tough AF. I tend to buy the zero versions, but cutting them out for a bit can only be good….right?
  9. September- Make it to Pride. Yes, this gets a whole month. Why? Social anxiety is a bitch, and it’ll take a lot of courage to make it, and it’ll take a lot to recover from.
  10. October- Do more fall crafts with the kids. Having OCD tendencies and parenting is one of the worst combinations you could have. Crafting and cooking with them takes a lot of effort on my part. I love watching them, I do not love the mess, the clean up, or the mental effort of not ‘fixing’ what their doing because I’m internally cringing. Yep.
  11. November- Vlog more. I don’t know what about, but vlog once a week. Good thing that’s months away.
  12. December- Lots of winter and Christmas activities. Start traditions and rewire my brain from being ‘meh, holidays’, to feeling more upbeat and magical for the two little butts in my life. Okay, and the husband. Mr. Photographer would probably like more picture chances!

I think those are pretty reasonable goals for my year. It was so hard not to focus on my physical goals, letting those go in hand with a happier life for me and my family. I plan to put these in my planner, to remind myself of what I’d like to accomplish this year.

Of course I want to get more fit, of course I want to lose weight. However, if I want to show my kids that’s not what you need to focus on, I need to show them. I do my best to be honest with them. I do my best to explain things in ways that they can understand, but kids learn by example. Up until now, I know I haven’t been the best parent. I’m thankful that Anakin doesn’t remember me at my worst. I’m glad that he never will.

Now to make better memories.

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About Me, Life

Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships.


Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on borderline personality disorder. Everything I’m writing is my thoughts, and not to be taken in place of a medical professional’s opinions.


Does BPD affect parenting?

Yes, it does. BPD effects every relationship in your life. Making each more difficult, and making you need to learn how to deal with things as well as you can.


What was your first thoughts when you were diagnosed and/or researched bpd?

That is was spot on, and that I had never read anything I related to more. It was like someone was writing about me, and I finally had answers to every question I’d ever had, and some I never even thought of until then.


Did you know about BPD before being diagnosed?

I did. I had been researching everything I could to give me peace of mind. I read more and more and it hit home. So, I mentioned it to my therapist at the time and we discussed it at length. I had previously been diagnosed as bipolar, but she says that’s common.


What’s the worst feeling that comes with BPD? Is there any positives to it?

The extremes. It really messes with you, and it’s tiring. Nothing is simple for someone with borderline personality disorder. Love or hate- imagine bouncing between the two. Not only with how you view your relationships with other, but how others see you. You could have a tiny disagreement with your best friend, and suddenly, they’re nothing. Or they think you’re stupid and hate you and you need to rush to apologize.

Sometimes it’s the feeling suicidal, but not actively. It’s not caring if you die, but not wanting to do it yourself. To think “it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t wake up”, but not “I’m going to kill myself tonight”.

The only good I can see from it is that we love with everything we have. We are empathetic, and that’s all I got.



In my experience, it may explain why things are happening, and help me notice them…but I have yet to be able to stop my destructive behaviors. I can tell when I’m not in my right mind, and when I’m blowing things out of proportion, but I can’t stop. Even when that’s all I want.

There is no cure for BPD. It is something you live with for the rest of your life. There’s therapy, and learning to manage, but it’s never gone.

It’s being terrified of being abandoned when you haven’t heard from someone in X amount of time. It’s being afraid to tell someone how you feel because you know sometimes that you sound crazy. It’s failing at relationships because of your own extremes. It’s the self-loathing, the self-destructive behavior, and constant worry.

I’m sitting on my back steps at 6:45 pm EST, listening to the random noises of nature and my kids playing in the moonlight, only aided by our one back light. They’ll come in dirty, and in need of a shower, and a bath. They’ll whine about brushing their teeth, they’ll fight about bedtime, they’ll ask a million questions…

And then it’s quiet.

That’s when it starts. The worrying you didn’t do enough that day. It’s the worry that your extremes got to you while you were trying to get your kid to brush their teeth. That you were too harsh when it comes to getting them to bed. It’s taking the usual parenting worries and multiplying them by 100. It’s being terrified of this rubbing off on them. Two completely innocent beings who watch everything you do, and listen to everything you say. It’s going to bed with tears threatening to break because you weren’t present enough. It’s promising to do better the next day, and hoping with everything in you that the next day is better.

Because those bad days?

Can fucking break you.

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