Life

One Goal at a Time

My therapist had suggested I don’t make to-do lists. Don’t write out everything I have to do that day. Don’t write out all the little (and big tasks), as that can quickly overwhelm me. She suggested that I write one thing at a time. Somewhere I can erase it, or delete it. Such as a white board, or a word doc on my computer.

I did really well with this strategy, actually. I flourished with it.

And then I didn’t.

Then I let my mind take over and pile on everything I needed to get done. I let myself get overwhelmed with each bit of housework that wasn’t complete.

So, today, I’m taking a deep breath and going back to the one goal at a time. It likely helps that I’ve been back on my medication for a few days, and that I’ve had coffee. Who knows.

I’m starting with dishes. Washing, and putting them away. The tupperware has been getting stacked on the counter to be put away for days. I have the dishes soaking in hot water while I finish up my coffee.

Between dishes, I write, and walk. Writing means so much to me, and yet I feel guilty if I write too much when I have housework to do. I refuse to let myself feel guilty for doing something that means so much!

Once dishes are done, I’ll decide my next project. However, I won’t think of everything I have to do until then.

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Life

Truth Be Told

The truth is, it’s my fault I ran out of meds on Saturday morning. It’s my fault because I miscounted. It’s my fault that I thought that my psych would actually get back to my pharmacy in a timely manner, and that I wouldn’t have to call them.

The past few days have been a steady downfall for me. And it is a huge reminder that I will be on medication for the rest of my life.

I will never go a day without taking medication for my mood. I will never be able to function without them. I will never be free. I watched a video on ‘forgiving assholes’, just to not be chained to them anymore. I wish that was my case. I wish I could sever the chain that binds me to the assholes of my past. Mainly one. However, the need for medication makes that impossible.

While I am not actually suicidal at the moment, that moment isn’t too far off. The urge to just…give up is in my reach. The hopelessness is setting in. That life won’t get better. That I’ll forever be crushed under the weight of my eating disorder. That I’ll forever look in the mirror and want to sob. That I’ll never escape this horrible relationship I have with food. I’ll never know what it’s like to truly strive for something, because my mind holds me back. Don’t do that, you’ll fail. Don’t even try, you’ll make a fool of yourself! Don’t try to think you’ll ever amount to anything, you’re nothing. My mind is my own worst enemy.

I nearly bawled while texting Daddy about my eating disorder today. It’s not something we talk about- because I hate it. I hate that it controls me. I told him I don’t think I’ll ever be much smaller than I am. I bust my ass, and don’t lose much. I gain .2 and I feel disgusting, fat, gross, and unworthy. I gain, and I gain a lot in a short time. Since last week? I’ve gained a good 5 pounds. It takes over, and I find myself hating myself while I eat.

Then I’m left with the guilt afterwards. The stomach ache. The urge to curl into a ball and cry. It’s nothing new to me, either.

It’s 7:15, and it feels so much later because of the weight on my soul. I want to go to bed, but the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I am forced out of it. When you deal with mental illnesses, and parenting, it’s even harder.

I’m holding back tears because I’m so drained. I’m so done with myself.

I don’t want to ‘die’, I just don’t want to ‘be me’.

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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

Fighting Anxiety

We were driving back from dropping the kids off at my mom’s when my husband says “this was the first anxiety you faced” or something like that. We were on a short, low bridge. I hate bridges, and used to grip his thigh tight when going over them. That was the first bridge I walked across, and we did it randomly when taking walks together. I still have issues going over the bridge into Jacksonville, however. I play games on my phone or close my eyes so I don’t see it. You do what you gotta do, right?

I have a lot of anxieties, which feed into other issues I have. Vicious cycle right there.

I told my psych that my goal is to go to Jacksonville pride in 2018, and that I’m trying to work towards it. I’ve been doing little things here and there to push myself. She told me that she was proud, and that meant a lot.

Now, I’m ready to tackle my next anxiety.

Body hair.

Yup. Body hair gives me wicked anxiety. Correction: MY body hair gives me wicked anxiety.

Story time!

The first summer after I moved to CT from FL, I was signed up for summer camp. The day kind. Well, there were high schools who worked there. Swimming was one of the activities. Now, up until then I had no issues with my body. It never occurred to me that I was fat, or hairy. To me…I was just me. One of the high school girls there changed my life forever with one word: gorilla. She was about 17, and here I was at maybe 10. Sure, I looked older, but that was besides the point. She mocked me while I was in my bathing suit- about my size, and my body hair.

I told my Grandmother that I never wanted to go back there. She told my Uncle, who knew the people that ran the camp. She was fired, but then her words were still backed up. My Uncle told my Grandmother it was time I start shaving. I was told that it would stop the bullying. Never was I told it was natural, never was I told that she was wrong. Just that I should shave. So, I did.

For awhile, I shaved only in warmer months, not bothering when I was in pants. And then one Christmas, my then step-father saw my calf, and asked me why I hadn’t shaved. When I told him it was cold, so I didn’t bother, he laughed. He told me that guys don’t like hairy legs. I can’t recall how old I was, but it shouldn’t matter.

I’ve shaved since. Even my arms. If I go more than 2 days, I get anxious. I panic. I feel disgusting, and dirty. I completely support women not wanting to shave- legs or anything else. I envy them, to be honest.

So, that’s where this comes in.

I shaved day before yesterday. That means I’m on day 2. Goal? 7 days. I plan to go 7 days without touching my razor. We have the Dollar Shave Club subscription, which is amazing. It’s affordable, convenient, and the razors are the best quality. Even so, shaving is time consuming, and I want to be over this aversion to body hair.

Feel free to join me ladies. We got this.

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Life

An Open Letter to my Abuser’s New Family

Dear new family of his,

I’ve been thinking of writing this for months. Words tumbled in my mind over what I could possibly say. What words could even begin to encompass the feelings and thoughts that I wish to convey. And, honestly, I’m still not entirely sure.

I had given up on the hope of writing this. At first, this was meant to be private, sent to only his new girlfriend. At first, this was meant to be a private plea for her to save her girls from his vicious warpath.

And then, I watched a two part autobiography on Elizabeth Smart. I’m sure that you’ve heard of her. But, if you haven’t, google her. Read about her strength, and about the hell she went through. She gave me the words needed, and the courage to not hide away.

I know that you have an inkling of what he’s truly like. Don’t pretend that you don’t. Don’t pretend that you haven’t felt the fear that he’d lash out at you. Don’t pretend that you havne’t felt that shiver of dread when you hear his voice. I’m sure that you’ve also seen the side that he shows most people. The side that makes it so you don’t think people would believe you. The side that makes him seem like a great guy, and so easy going.

He’s not.

And, I believe you.

I wish I could say I simply suffered underneath the fear, the depression, and more for just 17 years years. I wish that finally getting away from him ended it. That I moved on, and let it stay in my past. The truth is, that’s not how my life went.

My 29th birthday is 2 days from now, and I’m still suffering, all these years later. His actions, his lack of compassion, and his words will haunt me for the rest of my life. I will never escape the consequences of a lifetime of knowing him.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with PTSD, something that I’d been suffering with for years, it seems. I was also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, OCD tendencies, and severe anxiety. Fast forward, and I had a near break down. I was almost to the point of checking myself into a hospital. I went to group therapy, and had binge eating disorder added on to my ever growing list.

Every single one of them can be tied back to him. His voice echoes in my head to this day.

I had my potential stolen from me. I had my life taken. I had my dreams dashed before I even knew what I’d be missing. I wanted to go to Duke University. Instead, I dropped out of high school. I wanted to live a full, fun, outgoing life. Instead, I’m terrified of going out, I’ve never been to a club, I’ve never done things that most people my age have. I missed out on so much happiness because of him.

“You haven’t seen him in almost 12 years, move on.” Oh, I wish I could. I wish I could move on. You have no idea what that would mean to me. When you are raised around someone who devalues everything about you, who is controlling, vile, cruel, and is there all the time? That’s your inner voice.

There’s the nightmares.

There’s the medication to be able to function.

There’s the fear of crying in front of people.

There’s the anger that comes with the memories.

There’s the mourning for a life you never had the chance to live.

There’s the mourning for your dreams.

There’s the lost hope.

There’s the lost faith.

There’s the lack of trust.

You still have a chance, I hope. You still have the chance to get far, far away from him. There’s hope for the innocent lives that he touches. I barely survived to this point, and it’s only a matter of time until he’s responsible for someone’s death. Either by murder, or driving them to suicide.

He has shaped every aspect of my life, and some days I don’t know why I bother trying to reshape it. It’s so hard. It’s incredibly difficult, and painful to try to fight the memories, to try to make it through the day. When the main thing you feel is pain, you wonder what the point is.

My kids push me through.

Save yours from a fate that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Save them from years of pain. Save them from years of self-loathing, from possibly bad coping skills, from searching for the acceptance they’d crave.

Stand up to him, and show him he isn’t the all mighty lord he sees himself as.

Show him that people are willing to put a stop to his abuse.

I used to pray to a God I no longer believe in that a heart attack would kill him. Clearly, I never got my wish. So, give me this. Don’t let anyone else suffer because of him.

Don’t let Robert win.

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Life

I Make Them Uncomfortable

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The rule of them when speaking about mental illness is simple. You don’t. You keep your mouth shut, slap on a smile, and deal with it behind closed doors.

It makes them uncomfortable. It’s hush hush. They like to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

I make them uncomfortable. Because I’m not quiet. I speak up, and I make it loud. I let the ugly monster show it’s face. I don’t play nice. I don’t put on a fake smile as much any more. I talk about what people want to pretend doesn’t exist. I show them we aren’t what they show on television. I show them that we could be anyone you care about.

Sure, they want us to get help. They want us better. That’s what they like to hear about. They like to hear about how Susan down the street with a rich husband was able to take a nice little getaway for her mental health. They like to hear about the hot guy two cubicles down talk about how jogging helped his depression.

Guess what- we aren’t all Susan. We aren’t all some hot guy at work. It gets ugly. It gets painful. You can’t pretend to want us to get help if you won’t support is.

It’s a lonely road because of our forced silence.

I quit that silence, and people don’t like that. People don’t like to hear that I had a breakdown. People don’t like to hear about how I had a panic attack. People don’t like to hear about how I had a binge last night, and nearly threw up. People don’t want to see the truth.

They want easy. They want the other side of the rainbow without dealing with getting there.

You can’t have it both ways.

I’m an addict. I’ll stand up and say it whether you think that’s a “very personal topic” and “needs to be discussed discreetly”. Well, you can fuck right off there, you neurotypical bitch. Addicts are less likely to get help for this reason. We’re less likely to say we’ve relapsed, or that it’s a rough day and we need, oh, I don’t know? Fucking support??

I suffer (yes, fucking suffer) from more than one mental illness. I won’t fake it like your wife there, pretty boy, because “that’s unladylike” or something. I won’t hide behind closed doors while breaking down alone because society is so damn selfish and lacking in empathy they’re uncomfortable with the concept that sometimes a pill and talking doesn’t cut it.

There’s something I noticed lately. The more I posted about recovery in any way- the less people interacted with me. The more I posted information about things that effect my life in a massive way- the less involved they were in my life.

Smile, don’t be depressed. Do yoga. Exercise. Go jogging. Paint.

But god fucking forbid you talk. God fucking forbid you work on erasing the very dangerous stigma around mental illnesses. Because that would make people come out of their little bubble of ignorance. And they like that bliss.

Pop, mother fucker.

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Life

Hello, sailor

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I’ve mentioned before how much I suck at relationships. Pretty much of all kinds.

In 2008, I met Anthony at work. He was the one training me. At the time, I was in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. Just 2 weeks later, and me and my cat were packed up, and living with him. He’s been through so much shit with me it’s insane.

From day one, our relationship was looked down on. Why? Because I was 19, and he was 42. Simply from them looking at us, they judged. We were called disgusting, people would glare, leave the line we were in, and I’m sure people talked among themselves.

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That’s our very first picture together.

He’s dealt with my highs, my lows, the days where I want fuck all to do with anyone, and everything in between. Talking about putting up with someone, man.

On November 15, 2013- I remember because it’s the day before my birthday- I was finally given diagnoses that made sense. Before then I was scrambling. I told him what my therapist had told me, and he didn’t even blink. He knew life would get harder before it got better. I can barely put up with myself, yet he does it, and has for over 9 years.

For 4 months after my rape, I didn’t hold his hand, I don’t remember kissing him, or sleeping curled up next to him like I had for years before. Not once did he get upset with me. He let me go at my own pace, and still does. I wasn’t big on physical contact before that, and it just made it worse. He understood how it effected my anxiety, and to this day, if I see a man in a military uniform, I freak. We were in a gas station, and about 5-10 came in. I told him I couldn’t do it. He simply handed me the keys, told me to breath, and that he’d be out with our drinks in a minute. He pushes me to be more, but never, ever, does he push me out of my comfort zone.

I can sit here and know with 100% certainty, that if he hadn’t saved me from that relationship, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t be alive. He literally saved my life. Still does.

I’m on birth control for migraines. That’s $10.
I’m on thyroid pills because I only have half. That’s $10.
I’m on Trazodone because I don’t sleep well. That’s another $4.
I’m on Vyvance for binge eating. That’s $50.
I’m on Viibryd for anxiety/depression. That’s another $50.

Those all get refilled the beginning of the month. That’s nearly $125 just for me. Thankfully, my birth control and thyroid meds are 3 month supplies. That’s not including my copious amount of doctor’s visits- primary, therapy, and dermatology. One appointment is a $12 copay, plus gas.

It all adds up. I have the worst luck when it comes to health, and he just shifts life to work around it. I’ve spent years saying I’m sorry for things that I had no control over, and I still do. He doesn’t need me to, though. He gets that I get worn out, he gets that I get overwhelmed, and he gets that half the time I can’t even explain to him what’s going on in my head.

I spent ages hiding that something was wrong. I spent years pretending that I didn’t need help. That’s what you do, right? Because being mentally ill is seen as wrong, or dangerous. He’s the first person that’s truly seen me at my worse in real life. My online friends have seen it like that- but never the need to curl up with my stuffed pig, Herbert, put in my headphones, and squeeze my eyes shut.

I’m still fucked in a lot of ways, but I’m better than I was. I don’t feel as broken as I once did.

I’ll never be completely okay. I’ll never know what it’s like to just live without having to plan and overthink, but I have him to help with that. He lets me ramble, and pulls me back when needed.

He bought me a necklace with an anchor and it says ‘I refuse to sink’. He’s my lifeboat.

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