Sorry

I haven’t been writing enough. I need to step it up a little.

I finished my first semester back to school with two B’s and an A. When I left my girlfriend she told me she didn’t think I could do it without her. Well guess what?! I did!

I have been seeing someone and while I want to talk about it I don’t at the same time. It feels like a roller coaster that is amazing at times. Other times you’re worried it will break and you will suffer horrible injuries or die.

There are moments when I feel like the confidence I had found in myself is leaking away. It’s just slowly leaving my body and I don’t know how to get it back. I want to apologize and I don’t even know what I’m apologizing for anymore. Am I just apologizing to make everything stop? To create a peace? To pacify those around me?

There is this feeling of being lost right now. And I want to apologize for even that! I shouldn’t need to apologize for feeling lost.

Spiraling Choices

Choices. Everyday we are faced with choices. Most of the time they are little and we think nothing of them. Other times they are significant and we can think of nothing else. How do you make the significant choice?

There are so many factors that it starts to become incomprehensible. In my mind I will see the choices. Then the possible outcome of each choice. Then the possible outcome of each outcome. It just keeps going. Eventually, I get so lost in it all that I don’t know what to do anymore. Sometimes I can’t even find my way back to that original thought!

So how do we make significant choices? Who do we factor into the choice? What factors do we consider when considering who we factor in? Once again it feels like a thought that is spiraling out of control.

This is my current mind set. It feels like the thoughts are spiraling.

Back To School

A couple months before summer hit I made the decision to go back to college. At 32yrs old I decided I wanted more than what I am doing now. Currently I am a pediatric home health aide, taking care of special needs children one on one. Ultimately I would like to do home health care company restricting. I would like to go into companies and restructure their low performing field offices. Making improvements so that not only does the company function better, but so clients get the care they need. There are so many clients who don’t get care or what they get is subpar. I want to change that.

So I started classes this past summer. I went to college in 2007-2008 but I was unable to keep going. My mental health hindered me and I had no help at the time. Now I am at a better place and feel that I can do this. It is not easy but I will keep going. Some days are harder. Yesterday I was in such a funk that I did nothing. I just laid there, knowing I should work, but not wanting to.

 

One of my classes requires I create a Queer Archive as a final project. For my project I am creating an Archive about individuals who have come out at a later age, late 20’s and up. It is a project that I hold close to my heart because of my late coming out. While I came out as bisexual in high school it took me till a little over 2yrs ago to come to terms with actually being a lesbian.

Now I’m here. I would like to ask a favor of the readers here and on my own blog. I am looking for personal testimonials of individuals. If you are interested you can comment here, on my personal page, or visit the page directly https://sites.psu.edu/outlate/

Growing Confidence

Over the years I have found myself pushed to the back burner by other people. This normally happened when I was interested in a female person. My high school sweetheart, my basic training love interest, my best friend that I fell in love with (even though she was taken). For the longest time I thought that I wasn’t good enough and that’s why I was never their first choice.

But a couple weeks ago something happened and I finally realized that I have worth. I had reconnected with the basic training love interest. I visited, had an awesome time, and expressed that I was interested in trying to build a relationship. They said the same thing. Yet when I got home that didn’t seem to be the case. They wanted time to heal from their relationship that had ended a while ago. Which I could understand… had they not been swiping on dating apps! It was then that something sort of just snapped! I said to this person “I am a motherfucking catch! I’ve got my own home, I’ve got a job, I have goals and I’m earning my degree, and I have kept my kids alive for quite some time.” Then I told them they were to scared to seize the moment and go for what was right in front of them.

So I stepped away from it.

Then I stepped away from the best friend.

Then I told a woman I had been talking to off when she made a comment about wasting her time talking to me if I wasn’t going to facetime. She had never directly asked me to facetime, just made a round about comment. After I told her off she apologized and told me she found it sexy that I was willing to put her in her place. So… now I’m dating someone. Someone who isn’t going to be offended, or pissy, or use what I think or feel against me.

I might not be perfect. I might have mental health issues. But I am still an amazing fucking person! An it’s time I started to see it, believe it, and act like it.

So if you find yourself pushed to the back burner, if you are the side chick/dude, or if they only make time for you when they need you; work on walking away from them. You deserve people who make you a first choice.

Due to recent events, not mentioned here, I had to make my personal page private. I would love if you want to follow me. So comment here or go to my page to request and invite!

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Tell Me

Just over two weeks ago I broke up with my partner of almost two years. June 2nd, would have marked two years. That’s a lot of 2s! I am not sad. I do not miss her. Though if you ask her I’m the biggest liar ever. Among other things. I see all the things now.

While I am not upset that the relationship ended, I am upset that no one said anything sooner. Now that it is done, my therapist says my partner had been exhibiting power and control behaviors. My mom is no longer holding her tongue and gladly speaks her mind.

Why did no one say anything sooner? I know some will say that “you have to come the conclusion yourself” or “it was your choice to make.” But how do I make that choice when I can’t see what’s happening. It’s like I was blind until a certain point. Everyone around me seemed to see these little clues. They noticed snide or rude comments she made. Or how one thing or another actually seemed like a rule. It would be one thing if you said “Hey Amanda, what she said isn’t ok.” An I blew you off. But no one even said that!

I see now I was manipulated a bunch. At the end it got worse and was much easier to see. But why did it have to get so bad? I am a victim of emotional abuse and I have been most of my life. While I actively am working to heal and become my own person, I’m still kind of blind. I am going to make mistakes. Sometimes I need help seeing.

So do me a favor, please. If someone you know is being manipulated, or mistreated, tell them. They might not listen. They might get mad. But tell them and then just be there for them. When they finally get to the point where they are ready to see, they will know that you were there. That is important.

Say something.

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Loneliness

When you have a mental illness, or several, the feeling of being alone is not uncommon. Some people have great support systems and feel lonely. Some people have little or no support and feel lonely. No matter which person you are, when that loneliness hits it can be devastating.

If you read my last post you might remember that I was in a dark place. The urge to die was the strongest it had been for years. Since then the urge to die has faded. In its place my loneliness has grown. It’s cripplingly. I sit in my car and cry. It’s like I’m drowning. My body and mind are sinking into darkness. Try as I might I can’t pull myself out of it.

I want to do things, go places, have my own people. But I don’t.

Today is better. There is a little bit of light. It isn’t as dark. It isn’t as suffocating. But it’s there. I can feel the edges of it.

I don’t know what will happen today or tomorrow. I know that eventually, I’ll resurface. Instead of drowning in the loneliness I’ll tread the waters. Chances are I will start to drown again. The cycle will repeat. One day I hope the cycle will break and I find a more permanent solution.

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Healing Power of Kittens

Lately I’ve been in a rough patch. Things with my partner have not been great. The stress of it has been suffocating. About two weeks ago, when the arguing was the worst, I hit the point where I wanted to kill myself. A feeling I haven’t had in years.

Obviously I didn’t since I’m here writing. I had an emergency appt with my therapist, it helped some. What keeps me going is my children. They need me and I can’t abandon them. Even when I am at my worst, at least I am still here.

So I made a decision on Monday that I was going to catch the kittens in my neighbors garage. So now I have 4 kittens I need to take care of and find homes for. I also caught their mama and took her to the Trap Neuter and Release program.

There are two boys Chewy & Parker. Two girls Meera & Mrs. Harvey. Chewy was first, he is black and white. His tiny nose is black and he has a patch of fur that looks like a flame. He is a cautious adventure. Then came Meera, she is white with the black and grey tabby stripes. She is sort of shy but she curled right up to our old man dog Dan when we put her next to him. Third was Peter Parker, so Parker. When we put him in the crate he climbed the side of it and hung on for dear life. Something is up with his eyes, so we will need to watch him carefully.

Last came Mrs. Harvey. She was a suprise. I thought there were only three kittens. But I set the trap again just to be on the safe aide. As I sat out back next to the fire pit I hear the sound of frantic cat crying. So then there were four. Mrs. Harvey was my music teacher for most of my life. She believed in me when I didn’t. Made me sing when I was scared. Listened when I needed her to. She saved me more than she ever knew. She was stubborn, cranky, and a bitch! When you got to know her she wasn’t as bad, she was kind. But she was still a bitch when needed.

It started with “What are the names of the witches in Hocus Pocus?” When Donna told me them and came to Winnifred, that was it. Winnifred Harvey. Mrs. Harvey. I do not think I will be finding Mrs. Harvey a new home.

When I catch them I feel good. It makes me happy and sad. Happy I can take the adults to be neutered and prevent cat over population. Happy that I can give kittens a temporary home. That I can socialize them with children and other animals. It makes me happy to clean then up and care for them. I have a hard time feeling happiness. This is a happy sad. The kind where you are so happy you could cry, happy I can love them but sad I will have to let them go.

Being a Mother and Mentally Ill

I am a mom. I am mentally ill. When I was thinking up the title I wasn’t sure which one to put first. I’m still not sure. We want to believe that being mentally I’ll doesn’t define us. But sometimes it does.

It sucks but there are days when being a little crazy wins over being a mom. Those are the days when I come home and turn on the tv or I phone it in on dinner and get happy meals.

Other days I am supermom. Like this day! I work, I pick them up, go to activity #1, home for dinner, then activity #2. If only I could be supermom every day.

I am honest with my children. Two boys. One is six, the other is four. My six year old understand, sometimes he sees it before I do. He hugs me when I need it before I can say I need it. My four year old is largely oblivious. He has moments when he says the perfect thing. He had one tonight. He told me “You’re not a crappy mom. You’re a good mom.”

It is my belief that being honest with them is the best way to go. Then when mommy loses her cool they can know that it isn’t just them doing something wrong. So I tell them that “mommy suffers from mental illness. Sometimes it makes me really sad, sometimes I cry, things get overwhelming, I can’t always focus.” You know the list.

My mother never talked about her mental illness. She suffered for years never finding what she needed. She was so wrapped up in herself that she forgot my brother and I.

When I was 13, I planned my suicide. My parents went out for their anniversary dinner. I locked myself in the bathroom with what I needed and then my brother knocked. He asked what I was doing and I told him. He called our parents. When they got home they didn’t offer me the help I needed, there were no comforting words. They told me I ruined their night out.

I didn’t really want to die. I wanted someone to save me or hold me and tell me it would be better. My mother failed me. I didn’t get the help I needed till I was 20-21. I don’t want to do that to my children.

My littlest has ADHD. He is hyper active, has impulse control issues, and becomes physically agressive. Lately he has been heard saying things like he hates himself or he is no good. So even though I’m not a big believer in positive affirmations… Every night we repeat the same thing. “I am a good boy. Sometimes I make bad choices, but I can be better. I love myself and others(then he makes a list of who he loves.”

I am a mom with mental illness. Even though my mental illness has shaped me it does not define me completley. I am a mom, I will remember that, and I will make sure my children have me when they need me.

Living in a Shadow

A couple weeks ago my partner told me that she felt like she was living in my ex husbands shadow. We of course had a conversation about it at that time. I don’t really remember the full outcome. I’ve got a shit memory. But I do know that I even before she mentioned it I was trying to minimize things that might make her feel like that.

My therapist is not the greatest and he bugs the crap out of me when he interrupts me talking. He also says “I know you’ll go home and think about this.” A bunch. No. No I won’t think about it. I can barely remember what breakfast was.

That being said I still go. So when I went to therapy I mentioned what she said about living in my husband’s shadow. What he said stuck with me.

Almost all of us are living in someone’s shadow. Be it good or bad. The people who came before our current people influence our lives still.

People of our past may not fill us with sunshine and happy thoughts. But it’s not about what happened. It’s how we handle it now and how our current people handle it.

Sometimes a compromise is needed. “Please don’t do/say that. It causes flashbacks.” Other times it’s just a matter of letting it go completely. Knowing when to let go of the fight is something I’ve been learning to do. Somethings are worth fighting for or over. Others not so much.

All the arguing over living in someone’s shadow does is cause unneeded stress. So I don’t do it as much anymore. There are times when I feel like I am living in the shadow of my partner’s wife or ex girlfriends. Sure I’d like to say something because it bugs me. But I take a breath and I let it go.

We are always going to live in the shadows of people before us. In a relationship. At work. With our children. Anywhere really.

Then the people who come after us will live in our shadows. Because even though we live in someone’s shadow most of the time. We can still cast our own shadow. We can still stand out somewhere.

 

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The Fear

Petrified doesn’t seem to express fully what I am feeling. This is my first post. When I saw the post about new collaborator’s part of my brain said “Why not?” The other part screamed “DON’T DO IT!” So I sent an email and here I am.

I have major depressive disorder, ADD, social & general anxiety, some OCD, and paranoia. Some of it is genetics. Some of it is from my life thus far. I would like to say that it doesn’t matter how I got my mental health issues. But that would be a lie. Lying is not my forte. Genetics are hard to blame. People however, they can totally be blamed for some of it.

Fear and worry often consume me. Even while I write this I can feel the fear and panic rising. I keep going back and deleting things I’ve written. Worried that I will be to all over the place because my ADD meds are wearing off. What if my writing isn’t good enough? What if no one reads it? What if no one cares? There are so many “what if” thoughts. My brain keeps sending up a stop sign telling me not to do this. I want to though. So I’m trying.

Two weeks ago, during therapy, I finally said something that I never really said and since then I keep thinking about it. I live in fear. I fear that my current relationship isn’t real, that she is just pretending. I can’t shake the thought that people who say they are my friends are just saying it because they feel sorry for me. I’m afraid to even try making new friends because I worry that they too will be lying to me. I get scared that I am talking to much or not talking enough. I over analyze conversations I had with people. I hold conversations in my mind before I do it out loud in hopes that I won’t sound weird when I finally do talk.

There are other fears, but mainly they revolve around people. All those things list above are because of someone hurting me. My husband was one person when I married him and then the switch flipped. I didn’t see the manipulation or hear the verbal abuse. When I was in middle school my best friend told me she was only being my friend because she felt sorry for me! Who the hell does that?

My therapist says that given my history with people the fear is understandable. He also said I will most likely live with this type of fear my whole life. As long as I have genuine people in my life it will get a little better. BUT… I will always be fearful of the switch in those people flipping.

Since I have no control over that fear, I’m going to take control over other fears. Starting here. I’m going to overanalyze everything I write and second guess myself every step of the way, but I’m going to hit submit.