How Far Is Too Far?

I took a bit of flack on that last post, apparently I’ve gone too far since some things are meant to be private.  I cannot stay quiet on this,  I believe that secrets are usually bad things. Good things are surprises, unexpected pleasantries, happy things. Secrets are usually dark things, things that make you feel ashamed or afraid, weak or powerless, and there is nothing happy about them.

Abusive relationships are usually full of secrets, whatever the relationship, elder, child-parent, partner, lover, friend, peer or even stranger and regardless of the abuse, be it physical, sexual or emotional in real time or online. All abuse causes pain. I believe that by outing abuse, you make people aware that it is not okay to be treated this way, every human person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, without fear and abuse, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion and the list goes on. You remove the blame and the stigma from the victim survivor and eventually, with enough awareness, the hope is that no one will have to suffer abuse.

Mental Illness, until very recently, was something to be ashamed of, questioned, heavily drugged and maybe even institutionalized. It was considered a dirty little secret. Why for Christ sake? A heart attack isn’t a “dirty secret”, why should mental illness be? It’s an illness for crying out loud, don’t blame, find what works, and if that means talking to anyone and everyone then do so. If that means blogging about Bi-Polar disorder while you check every site you can find then so be it. If you have a diagnosis you take every opportunity to learn everything you can from everyone you can because there is no definitive symptom, behaviour or treatment, you try everything you learn about it and if it doesn’t work you try something else. You can never speak to too many people or get too much feedback on something you are trying to navigate and they are experienced with. Why does it have to be a secret when any snippet of advice could be of help.

As for education. Why is a child who does not know how to learn the way she is taught, not taught in a different way? I know, the teachers have a curiculum to follow and a certain number of days to get through it, a large body of students and very little one on one time, but picture this – the child who is away sick for months and falls behind in school work when she already needed help before she became ill. When she goes back she is now so far behind and the more time goes on the more behind she gets and then she begins to feel stupid. What is more horrible than being unable to “get” something your peers easily understand. Months of trying gets the child further and further behind, she is pulled from class more often to do catchup work, she feels even more stupid and is now also teased by other classmates. She becomes so anxious that she can no longer face even going to school. The child is not stupid, far from it, she can give every single relevent detail in the lifecycle of a bull shark versus a hammer head shark.  She can explain in grueling detail, complex plots in long works of fantasy fiction. She can give you a plot synopsis on any book or character in a book that she’s read in probably the last six months. However, she doesn’t get math, and therefore, well obviously glossed over that part in science where the cells divide. Why would a learning assessment be such a difficult thing to arrange? How about attempting to discern if a learning disability or difficulty, dyslexia perhaps, exists when the child is continuously unable to learn after an extented period of time.   How about instead of trying to focus on getting the child to school, we focus on getting the child an education.

My question is, are my main topics, abuse, mental illness and access to education, things that should be kept secret in any way?
I  want your feedback on this. Have I really ‘gone too far’?

Posted in Living life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

So The Psychiatrist Said…..

I have been on a journey, as you know, an exhausting journey filled with doubt and fear hope. The journey is far from over though, my mind knows the truth as I’ve exposed it, but my heart and my soul is still trying to catch up.

I had an interesting if brief conversation with a psychiatrist a few weeks ago during an assessment of my daughter E. E started having problems in grade five, she was approached by the quintessential bad guy – a guy in a white van – who tried to lure her in. She would have none of it and ran away, she ran home, phoned me, phoned the police, gave a statement. She did all the right things. She had nightmares, she had counselling, she had a fear of being left alone even in her own room, she eventually seemed to recover. But still, that’s where the problems began, or so I thought, so everyone has thought.

The following summer we moved, my mum died, E’s rabbits died, her cat died, our dog died, and she changed schools. Then she got H1N1 and missed three months of grade six. I may as well say that she hasn’t returned to school since. She has tried, she managed twenty one days in grade seven and twenty-three days in grade eight. So far she’s managed about sixteen hours of grade nine. Throughout these school years she has received no formal education. I can’t teach her, we would probably tear each other apart! The schools would not send work home no matter how many times I asked, or the social workers asked.

At ten years old E was suicidal. She was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, social phobia and agoraphobia, and bi-polar disorder was suspected. She was given anti-depressants and tried a number of them before we found one that helped. Last year she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and prescribed the appropriate medication on top of the anti-depressants. The medication is definately helping. She no longer spends quite as much time awake or asleep, she no longer flies into violent rages and tries to kill me, she no longer experiences blackouts, she no longer cuts herself or wants to die.

I should be incredibly happy with all of this progress. But the truth is, she still does not go to school, she is still not being educated and I still can’t get her to leave the house even just once a week on a regular basis. I can’t even get her to see her counsellor every week or make her group meeting. She still has sleep issues, often staying awake for thirty six hours or more followed by eighteen to twenty four hours of sleep. She will be fifteen in a week. Five years of fighting for her in endless meetings with endless teachers and psychologists and doctors and her father and I feel frustrated.

This brings me back to my conversation with the psychiatrist. So the phsychiatrist said that she is not fully convinced of the Bi-Polar Disorder diagnosis, instead she believes that I may have unknowingly projected my childhood trauma onto my own child. Her words, “don’t you think it odd that E’s problems began when she was ten and she is now fourteen, and your first memory of sexual abuse was when you were ten, and you put an end to it when you were fourteen?” At first I was floored, those words actually had a physical impact on me. I felt like I had been hit with so much force that it knocked the wind out of me, it left me breathless. Thinking about it now my heart is pounding and I feel nauseated. I was seriously sickened at the thought that my child’s pain is caused by me, that I would, even inadvertantly, hurt her that way.

I have been mulling this over and it bothers me. I’ve mulled it over a lot in fact, and I’m not buying it. I really thought I had put my childhood abuse behind me long ago, I went to counselling, I delved, I dealed, I forgave, I moved on. I was okay, I really believe that. I was okay, I was happy, had a home, a good job, had met a good man, my children were happy until E was not. I was still okay, even with all the things E was going through and our family was going through in terms of losses. I was doing okay until last Summer when my dad was arrested.
So I don’t belive I was projecting my pain onto her. She had her own pain. E has her own story. It’s not my story but I’m the author of it right now, and I’ll probably be prominently to blame, when as an adult she seeks out her own psychiatric help. I’m okay with that too!

So you see, I’m pretty damn tired from this journey and I’m really damn tired of being on it without a map and I am seriously fucking tired of the ripples of abuse. Right now I’m also kind of angry.

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What’s Your Story?

Don't Judge

Ask a hundred different people and you’ll get a hundred different stories, sometimes with only a small degree of separation.

Everybody has a story. I want to know, what’s your story? Are you strong enough to share a painful past? Are you brave enough to forge a way forward? Are you struggling to come up for air? Or are you on top of the world ready to jump from space? Some suffer from addiction or are crippled by fear. Some pulled themselves up by the bootstraps’ and others were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. One thing is a constant though, everyone has doubts and failures, even the most brilliant people throughout history.

I don’t want to ramble and I’ve already shared some of ‘my story’ in other posts. I’m also quite sure I’ll share more of my doubts, fears and failures as well as breakthroughs and triumphs, throughout various other posts in my ‘journey to betterment’, but for now, my curiosity lies with your journey.

What has your journey been? Tell me, please?  What’s your story?

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I Took A Stand

My father was a tyrant.  He was a bully.  He was mean and cruel, vicious and without remorse.  He belittled and ridiculed us, he beat and raped us.  He did not do his God given duty as a father.  He failed to uphold the primary directive for a parent.  He did not protect his children, he instead caused them harm.

He is old now, and the courts consider him too old and frail to stand trial, but his children are free.  We were able to give testimony, we were believed, and we were given back our sanity.  My whole life I thought I was not worthy, that I must have done something wrong, that I must have been fundementally flawed to cause this treatment, and must surely be overindulging myself in my despondence, after all, he always claimed he never did anything wrong.  If what he did wasn’t wrong, I must have been my own cause for feeling bad.  I felt guilty because I felt so broken, I blamed myself for my pain.  My blame might have destroyed me, or my drug or alcohol use,  or my other self destructive behaviours may have, I think I survived myself only by the Grace of God.  And now, I carry no blame.  He hasn’t been punished by the courts, but now he knows without a doubt that what he did to his children was wrong. 

When I was fourteen I went home from school and he stopped me in the kitchen.  He hugged me, pressing his groin against me, then he put his right hand on the side of my right boob and said to me, “this is how I used to cop a feel of your mother when we were going out.”  Something clicked in me then and I looked him in the eyes and said, “get your f-ing hand off me.”  His eyes widened in shock, his hands dropped, and he took a step back.  Before he could say a word I took a step forward into the space he had just vacated, got in real close, looked him right in the eyes again and very quietly but very firmly said to him, “if you ever touch me again, I will kill you.”  His face went blank with shock, he turned on his heals and walked away. 
He never tried to touch me after that.

You know the really crazy thing about it all? I loved him still. All I really wanted was his love.

Posted in Haunted past | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Roofers that Rock!

My home looks like a construction site at the moment, well, inside it does anyway, mess everywhere.  Outside where the roofers are working is a different story, they keep a cleaner work area than I do!

Flashback six days ago when I called Walter from W.B. & Son’s Roofing.  I received his name from a friend who was very happy with their work on her roof so I called for an estimate.  He booked a time to come out and there he was.   His estimate was comprehensive and very fair and we asked when he could start. (Of course this wasn’t my first estimate, I do my homework!)

Tuesday arrived and so did the crew from W.B. & Son’s Roofing, it took me a while to get an actual headcount, it seemed like a swarm had surrounded my place.  I did eventually get a count, there were six of them.  Six young men who appear to be between the ages of ninteen to maybe twenty four.  Six young men who are polite, courteous, professional and work together like a well-oiled machine.  Special shout out to Greg who is the crew leader and really seems to know his stuff.

They have done really good work in a really good time frame and kept it very close to the original estimate despite those unavoidable extra issues that always seem to pop up when working on an old home.

To make a long story short, we are very, very please with the work from this company and would not hesitate to give them a glowing recommendation.
If you are in Manitoba and need roofing, this is the crew to call!

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Daily Prompt: Freaky Friday

Daily Prompt: Freaky Friday.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?

I would love to have my daughter E spend a day as me, in fact I’d like to trade places with her, for just long enough though.
Through my eyes I hope she would learn that the world is a great place, filled with good people, amazing sights and wonderful opportunities. I hope she would learn that getting older brings freedom, not freedom from work or responsibilities or even pain, but freedom from your own worst enemy, yourself.

I’d like her to know now that embarrassment won’t kill you, failing at a task isn’t the end of the world, just an opportunity to try again.  What others say about you means nothing, because your opinion of yourself is the only one that counts. I wish she could know now that she is the one who controls how people see her, she is the director of her play, she decides her character.  She is whoever she wants to be.  She has the ability to shape her world into the world she wants.

Most of all I would like her to learn that she is a unique, amazing individual, exactly like every other individual. I want her to know she’s not alone and that life gets easier, being human becomes easier, dealing with setbacks and dissapointments may not become easier but you get better at it.  Loving yourself becomes easier.

For myself, I would love to be able to crawl into my childs mind and feel her pain so I would better know how to help ease it.

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Daily Prompt: Hello, is that you?

Daily Prompt: Unknown Caller.

You receive a call from someone an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go!

I have never been very good at grammar, and the art of conversational writing eludes me, so I will ask right now before I begin that if anyone has any constructive criticism, corrections or helpful suggestions, please let me know in the comments box. Please be nice though, my ego is quite fragile. 🙂

The shrill ringing of the phone brought the woman abruptly out of her reverie, “hello!” she snapped.

“Hello beautiful.” The deep, sexy voice on the other end made her instantly regret her tone. “Ah, ahem, well hello yourself, how are you?” she asked.

He chuckled before replying, “I’m just fine darling, dare I ask how you are?”

The women heaved a sigh and said, “well, I’m in a bit of a funk, you know how it goes. Hearing your voice has cheered me up a little though.”

“Well I’m glad I could be of service,” he drawled,  “speaking of which, I have a four hour stop over,” his voice dropped and he practically purred, “I’d love to come over and service you very, very well.”

Feeling suddenly weak at the knees and slighty breathless she replied, “u-huh, yeah, ummm, no wait,” stop over? she thought,  and fully recovering her senses, asked “ummmm, who is this?  Dan?”

A brief silence at the other end and then, “No, this is Michael, Lara?”

She sputtered a little then said, “Ah no sorry, you have the wrong number,” before very gently hanging up the phone.

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