When I see Others With Their Mother

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This is a hard one to write because jealousy is just an emotion that we have, and there is no right or wrong answer if I am honest. It hurts me to see others with their moms out in the world. I was eating ice cream the other day, and I got to see a little human being with their mom. It still hurt. I know this shall pass within my grieving process, it always does as I have read grieving books a lot lately, and even the people I was with were mother and daughter. Losing my mother and it coming on December 15th anniversary, or girefversary (I believe that is right) as Shelby Forsythia explains, the day I lost my own, it can be hard to sit see others close to their mothers.

The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing The Bipolar Writer Podcast

Episode description This is a catch-up episode of where James is right now as we head towards the end of June 2021. Catch up with James and learn the new journey he has been on over the year.  If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself. You can also find me on the following websites. You can also find me on the following websites to book your interview, ask questions, and reach out to me. http://www.jamesedgarskye.me Purchase my books at: https://www.jamesedgarskye.me/jamesedgarskyebooks — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesedgarskye22/support
  1. The Bipolar Writer Podcast: What's Going On? Why I've Been Missing
  2. The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) Assessment
  3. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Alaina
  4. The Bipolar Writer Podcast Interview with Colleen
  5. Bullying and Mental Health

It never felt envious of the mother and child. Just knowing that I see it and feeling the feels, it is very new. For a long time, I was hiding my feelings away and not dealing with the realities of life after a significant loss. I allowed the pain to get to a point where suicide was a real option back in October, and I am not afraid of that anymore. I know I always say it, but life coaching and the grief books that I have read helped me, but I still struggle to let go of those final pieces and allow my mom to be in my heart and in the grieving space I have created in my life.

Photo by Kasturi Roy on Unsplash

The upside is that I am healing my heart and not staying so much in my head. I made a pact to work on the inner I each day. That allows me to stay in the now even when depression or anxiety takes over. Depression did on Sunday, but I was always okay. I will be discussing the first anniversary of my mother’s stroke on December 6th, 2019, in detail on the next podcast episode. That day taught me a lot, and when I stayed in the moments and felt what I was supposed to feel, it changed a lot for me, and while there will be situations between now and the 15th, I feel more prepared to allow myself into each day and find a silver lining no matter how small.

It is time for this raven to spread his wings. I have been struggling to not see my Dad as a human being and something I need to protect because he is my father. I never want to lose him as well, but he is not mine to lose. No one is anyone’s to lose, and I am learning to detach from that idea that it comes to be to protect him because of a promise I made to my mom. He is an adult, and no change in him that comes from me will work, and so it is something that I am learning with my parents. Let go of the binding strings and just be who I am meant to be. I need to allow my father to grieve in his own way.

For the first time in 2020, I can see a bright future without the worry of what is next. Things will be okay, and I can stop being addicted to worries, thoughts, pressures, and problems. We have been addicted to these things at some point, and I am one of the many. I have thought about them for fleeting moments today. I need to live for me, and that is what was holding me back. I am ready for anything that comes my way. It hard to see others with their mothers, but that is okay because it also makes me smile that I had the time with my own mother that the universe allowed.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir on Amazon through my website.

Always Keep Fighting. What is the worse that can happen?

James Edgar Skye 

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My mother.

With the news of James’ mom’s recent passing, I find myself reflecting on my own parent/child relationship. How lucky am I to have her, and how much I feel for James. Please consider donating here to his family’s gofundme to help with expenses. I know that this place that he has created has helped me immensely. It has done more for me than I can put into words and I hope that we can open our arms to be a comfort in return.

______________________

I have always had an incredibly tumultuous relationship with my mother growing up. I know now that I was a bit unpredictable to say the least and with reason. What I didn’t know is how much of a comfort she would be to me now.

My mom is disabled and she lives with me. I am just on the cusp of 30 (HELP!) and many people who hear this picture an elderly woman who can’t feed or bathe herself. They look at me with sad eyes and apologize. They provide niceties about how “you shouldn’t have to take that on!”. The truth is she takes care of me. Yes, I end up grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and the occasional bathing when she is really hurting. But she does a lot for me too. We can start with the obvious: She hasn’t killed me.

I was, in all honesty, a mean little bitch. I told her I hated her, stole from her, lied, and had even hit her once growing up. I wasn’t some pot smoking, partying, rebellious teenager. I was just, bipolar. It is kinda funny now, but it really isn’t at all. I was so “moody” as we had thought that my mom wanted to send me away to a camp in an attempt to reform me. I was even more manipulative. She took me to a specialist on numerous occasions to be evaluated. The mental illness is heavy in this family. My devious ass saw right through their questions and lied my way home. Things only got better when I acknowledged I had a problem and sought out help. I only got better then.

That woman is a saint. In a few short weeks she will be 50. She had me young and endured more than she should have. She put up with me and sometimes had to keep me at a distance. So yes, I take care of her. I pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, fetch her medications, and at times I bathe her.

But she is still doing more for me. She still puts up with my sudden mood changes. The volatile sport that is Bailey. She bites her tongue when I tell her I am having an “off day” as I have grown to call manic episodes. She helps me monitor my spending during this time so I can stay on the right track. My mom stays up with me when insomnia strikes and we binge watch Netflix and crack jokes. She sets her alarm, but has no reason to get up early. It is for me. One time they raised the dose of my Seroquel and slept through three alarms and multiple calls from my boss. She keeps me accountable.

She stays on the phone with me when I choose to move 1000 miles away on a whim. When I left her with my grandmother to care for her. When I am sobbing because I am off my medication and afraid of myself. She doesn’t push me to get back into life when I move back home. She doesn’t comment on the amount of time that I have gone without combing my hair or showering. Instead, she waits for me to be ready and offers to help me sort it out.

I am so grateful for my mother. I am grateful that I have her. I am grateful for the things she does for me. I am grateful for the way she has loved me in spite of the way I have behaved.

I have no idea how it feels to lose a mom. The closest I have come is to emotionally feel like I have lost her as a teenager when she had to love me from a distance. I know now that when we speak about that period of time, we both weep. I especially am brought to tears when she tells me how hard it was to not be there, to not communicate. I know that when she is gone from this Earth, it will hurt like hell. Life will never be the same. I will have to remind myself of her words and how her heart aches when she is away from me as well, that she did not abandon me.

All of this to say that we are so lucky to have people in our lives that support us through….well, us being us. It isn’t easy to see past the terrible parts of mental illness. It is all risk and no reward. My heart absolutely goes out to James and the others that find themselves one less ally, friend, parent, sibling, or other relative to walk through life with. I hope that you know that you meant the world to them. I can say that with full confidence. You have to love someone more than a lot to stick through it.

 

 

 

 

My Healing Journey

At the beginning of the year my number one goal was for me to work on healing myself from the inside out. I had put my own inner healing on hold for a long time. I had pushed down the most painful memories of my childhood in hopes I would never have to think about them again. Over these last eight months more and more old wounds have been resurfacing. Old wounds that I forgot were even there were resurfacing. This was finally my time to work on healing myself.

 

I grew up in an abusive household facing abuse from my mother on a daily basis. I suffered from this abuse from a very young age up until my early adulthood. I suffered from physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. The most damaging towards me was the psychological abuse.

 

Growing up I always knew there was something “off” about my mom because of the way she treated me. I was the oldest child and I guess my mom figured she could take out all her aggression on me. My brother was extremely lucky because my mom treated him completely opposite of how she treated me.

 

A month ago I read a book about healing from Narcissistic abuse. It opened up my eyes to what narcissistic abuse is all about and it confirmed for me that it was the abuse I suffered from growing up. It confirmed my theory that my mom was a narcissist and the symptoms & actions described fit my mom perfectly.

 

My entire life I could never fully be myself. My mom was the one who called all of the shots during my childhood. It didn’t matter what I wanted to do, if she didn’t like it then I couldn’t do it. It was like my mom was trying to live out her life through me. I wanted to play piano and my mom hated that, she threw away my piano books because she didn’t want me to play it. I wanted to do gymnastics, but she told me no & convinced me that I was never good enough to do it in the first place. She hated me having friends and never let me hang out with my friends. This occurred throughout my entire childhood.

 

She terrorized me, manipulated me, and controlled me my entire life. This book opened up my eyes to how abusive a narcissist can be and how evil they can be.

My mom caused me immense pain growing up. She told me things no child or person should ever have to hear especially from your own mother. I was screamed at so many times. She told me lies like that she didn’t want me born, she wished she aborted me when she had the chance, no one in my family likes me, I’m a burden, I have no friends, I’m fat, I’m not pretty, and I’m not good enough. She RARELY told me she loved me & meant it.

 

Now that I’ve reached adulthood and have started my own healing, I feel like I’m starting to find myself all over again. My mom never let me express who I was so I was always fitting into the mold she wanted. I finally feel like I’m starting to find my own identity and who I truly am as a person.

 

At first I felt like I was going through an identity crisis because I didn’t know who I was as a person at first. It’s forced me to dig deep inwards to get in touch with my true authentic self. I’m still learning who I truly am on a daily basis. I’m starting to finally feel free again since I no longer have to conform to what she had led me to believe my entire life.

A Special Thank You to my Friends & Family

Right now I’m at a period of my life where I’ve been focusing more and more on my own inner work & personal development. It’s something I neglected and put off for far too long. I held the belief that if I pushed away the painful memories & experiences I could forget about them forever. I’ve learned though, that’s not the truth. At some point they will resurface and force you to deal with them.

For being 23 years old I feel I have experienced so much already in my lifetime. I grew up in an abusive household for almost 18 years being abused by my mother on a daily basis. I was sexually assaulted at the age of 19. I struggled with an alcohol addiction during that period as well. I hit rock bottom and almost killed myself. I was hospitalized for my mental illness. I was in & out of depressive episodes along with manic episodes. It was only two years ago when I got the help I needed & became stable again.

During the years when I was away at college and struggled with my alcohol addiction I stopped caring about the others around me. I stopped caring when my friends voiced their concerns about me and wanted to help me. My actions became careless and reckless that cost me friendships at that time.

I think back and wonder that if I did listen to them or if I showed more compassion maybe some of those people would still be in my life. I wonder that if I didn’t struggle with alcohol and mental illness that some of those people would still be in my life. It also showed me, who my true friends were, the ones who stuck by me through it all and are still in my life today.

It’s why I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to my family and closest friends who stuck by me through my darkest moments. I thank you for not giving up on me when I was at my lowest points. I thank you for not getting mad or leaving when I wouldn’t listen to your advice. I thank you for always being there to support and show me love even when I didn’t want to receive it.

I believe it’s always through our darkest struggles and moments that shows us the people in our lives who truly care. It strengthens us to rise up even higher than before. So again, thank you to all those who showed me support and love through my darkest moments.

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Self-Sabotage.

I have always been a giver, but how much of that is out of guilt? I made a lot of poor choices as a kid. Namely that I used to have quite the reputation as a thief. I’m talking anything from a small item to money. Always from people I knew. I don’t really get the urge to do that anymore. It was never done out of necessity. It was as if the desire would come over me and I just did it impulsively. I have come to learn that this could have been a sign of the bipolar at a young age, but I don’t tell my family that. I don’t like to talk about it with them. I think that they might see it as an excuse. If they come to the conclusion or correlation on their own then that is fine with me. I wish that I could tell them that it was the reason for things, but I really don’t know. All I know is that I don’t feel that way when I am taking my medicines.

The trouble is that I feel like I am forever trying to make up for the shit that I have done. I am trying to be the daughter, sister, and friend that I truly feel like I am. So I overcompensate. I put myself in debt to make sure that everyone has what they need and admittedly, things they don’t. I buy elaborately priced items that I know they would love, put off a bill of my own to make sure that I am doing everything in my power so that they don’t get that feeling I gave them. The feeling that they have lost control of things and I am off living my carefree life.

They shower me with words of gratitude and it doesn’t feel deserved. It feels like I should be doing these things because of the things I have done in the past. I feel like I owe them. Honestly, I don’t even feel like my mom would speak to me if I didn’t do these things because I feel like when she thinks or mentions my past she is disgusted with me. I am disgusted with me.

It’s disheartening when I really think about the reach and ripple effect that my mental illness has on my life. It has been about seven years (I think?) since I last stole something and yet the guilt feels like yesterday. Honestly, I don’t think I ever truly felt guilty about my acts when they happened. If anything, I felt guilty that I got caught. I felt bad for me. That is the one thing that makes me feel like my mental illness WAS the cause of the chaos. Yes, I made the choices. But the feeling that I was untouchable and didn’t care about the consequences? That isn’t me.

I think that everyone wants to explain away their faults and mistakes. I don’t want to be the person that doesn’t take responsibility for their actions. I also don’t want to be the person that can’t move on. I changed my behavior, dug into the root cause, apologized, made amends, and yet now I am enabling more reckless behavior. I don’t know that the feeling of betrayal and anger will come rushing back to my family members should I stop helping and doing. I also don’t know if I am strong enough to just let them go should they decide that I still have making up to do.

I know deep down that if people are only okay when you are doing for them, then they are not people I need in my life. I just know that it wouldn’t be completely unfathomable for them to still harbor anger with me. Realistically, I don’t think that it would go as far as total disconnect from my family, but my conscious is a funny thing. The way I treated them is an ultimate betrayal and I just don’t know how to shake it.

I can see how this is a sort of self-punishment or form of coping, but I find myself wondering if anyone else has made such poor choices and also experiences mental illness? I feel like a criminal (honestly I was in the grand scheme of things) and a fraud.

Weekly Wrap-up 12/4 – 12/10

My original plan was to spend my day editing and forgo my weekly wrap-up, but when I woke this morning I felt good and the need to write was there for me. What I love about writing my weekly wrap-up is it gives me a chance to close out my week and talk recap of the issues that were discussed.

So, here is the review of my week.

Cutting and Self-harm, My Story

The first blog post of the week was a reblogged piece I wrote in September but a more extensive and edited piece. Self-harm was a big part of my life as a teenager and young adult, and I felt it was important to share my own experience with the topic. These types of subjects are hard to understand if you have never had to deal with self-harm, so my aim was to tell my own story so that people can relate or at some level understand why someone would choose to self-harm.

Car Anxiety

In this blog piece, I explore a part of my social anxiety that has become a major part of my daily routine, my driving anxiety (which I really love to call “car anxiety.”) What was good about a piece like this one is that car anxiety encompasses both driving and being a passenger in a moving vehicle. It was great to get feedback on a piece like this and I made the decision to add this subject to my memoir. I am not sure if it will make the final cut but it was fun to write.

Going Through the Motions of Life

Going through the motions of life. With a mental illness as a part of your life, it is not uncommon to have this feeling. We have all, for the sake of sanity, made the decision to go through the motions of a daily schedule without actually being there mentally. This blog piece talks about how you can still be productive despite going through the motions of life.

Finding Happiness With a Mental Illness

Can you find happiness with a mental illness? I am still on the fence that I could share my life with someone who has never spent a day in my shoes. The chaos of life is bad enough but to share my mental illness with someone is an idea that I may never be comfortable with, still, in this blog post I explore my thoughts on the subject of finding happiness with a mental illness.

My Mother Saved My Life

Without my mother, there would be no James Edgar Skye or The Bipolar Writer. In this blog post, I talk about the one person who has always been there in my ten years of ups and downs that have come with my diagnosis. This piece is small because in my memoir I devoted two different chapters about how my mother saved me from myself. This was a good piece to write as we near the end of 2017. I wouldn’t have the courage to write my blog if my mother would have given up on me.

My Experience with the American Healthcare System

What can I say, my experience with the American Healthcare System hasn’t always been great. Over the course of my diagnosis I have racked up way too much medical expense debt and over the years my family has had issues being able to afford my medications. I talk about how having a “pre-existing condition” worked against me, and how finally having the ability to have insurance is no guarantee that I will be able to keep it. I really liked the response from other bloggers from other countries around the world because it shows just how messed up the American system is compared to the world.

Why the Mental Illness Community Should Share Their Story

In the coming weeks, I will feature the stories of other fellow bloggers on my blog The Bipolar Writer. Sharing my own story has changed my life and it has helped me analyze the many aspects of my illness. In this blog post, I make a simple case why sharing your story is helpful to the mental illness community.

Other Blog Posts

I talk about entering my screenplay into a competition here.

I also reblogged a couple of older posts…

A Look How Suicide Effects Families

Winter Speaks Memories

So that is my week in review. Thank you taking the time to read about my journey every week. The positive comments I get each week (and even the few negative ones) make writing this blog worth every second.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

My Mother Saved My Life

There has been one constant in my journey with Bipolar One disorder, and that is my mother. Since the day I was diagnosed she has been there for me fighting the fight that I should have been fighting all along.

She fought for me when I didn’t fight for myself.

I can’t imagine the pain that I put her through over the years. I tried once to figure out how many times in the last ten years that I hurt her. The hospital visits. The suicide attempts. When I decided to not eat most days. When I couldn’t get myself out of bed for weeks at a time. When I just ignored her or caused more problems than she deserved. When she would have to rush home almost weekly because I couldn’t handle life.

I lost track eventually.

How much it must have hurt her to see me not want to a part of the world and not wanting to exist. I just can’t imagine that pain she held inside, and what is even more amazing is that she always believed I would come back.

I don’t deserve my mother, I never did. But, I wouldn’t be here without her. The Bipolar Writer is only possible because of her.

My mother saved my life.

My mother did everything she could those early years of my diagnosis. She fought to get me to see a psychiatrist in the adult system of care. She adjusted her life so that she could take care of someone who, more often than not, told her that he wanted to not be apart of this world. I was the worst version of myself, and even when everyone told her to give up on me and put me away, she said no.

So many people have given up on me over the years and I really can’t blame them because I was insufferable for so many years. Yet my mom stayed the course. My mom was the only person that believed everything I have achieved over the last five years was even possible. Finishing my degree. Writing over the last two years.

James Edgar Skye, my pseudonym, only became possible because of her.

My mother was relentless. She would always make sure I had my medicine no matter the cost or the fact that I had no insurance. She would take me to my appointments for the first three years of my diagnosis because she knew I wouldn’t go. I was so lost, and yet she had faith in me always.

My mother has a big chapter in my memoir The Bipolar Writer, but I thought it was time to honor the one person who willed me into the person and writer I am today. To always believing in the big possibilities in my life.

I am alive because my mother had faith. My mother saved my life. I love my mother for always being there for me.

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: sydney Rae