Archive for the ‘reality’ Category

Dear Me. 

September 26, 2017

If someone had told 15 year old me who I would be 22 years later I would laughed or more than likely punched them for suggesting I would be something I wasn’t right at that moment. 

Dear 15 year old me,

Be you. Just you. Simple as that. You are  enough. And one day people will realize that, most of all you will! One day you will know that you are fine, just the way you are. You will embrace and accept that you are unique, feel deeply, and your giving a shit is actually ok. That you are good enough. 
Let it go. Let the worlds expectations of you go. Let the anger about them go. Ignore the comparisons to others. Don’t let them consume you and make you bitter. Let go of the idea you must fit into a mould or a box. Smash the damn box and stand up tall.

Use your voice. Not your fists. Settle down with the punches. You have voice, a strong one, use it instead. Use it with kindness and acceptance and grace. Your voice will serve you well. Better than your fists.

You are not dumb! I know, I know you feel stupid, alot of the time. You are deemed lazy and blah blah blah. You are not! You are smarter than almost anyone has given you credit for. Don’t carry the burden of that stereotype with you, or any of the other ones either. One day you will realize just how smart you are. It may be when you turn 40 or 50 or 70, but you are not dumb. Not now, not before and not in the future. Don’t ever doubt yourself. 

Accept the bad, the good and the ugly. Life is going to throw you curve balls. Lots of them. You are going to scream and cry and feel completely lost. You are going to question if it’s worth it, I promise you it is. All of those tears, frustrating and make no sense times will be a part of your story, they will help you become a better person and show you that life is hard but beautiful. The bad and the ugly often bring the most beautiful.

Smile. Smile a bit more. Life will give you plenty to frown about, so remember to smile at the little things, because even those little smiles are important, somewhere along the way you will realize they’re actually the most important. Life will bring you tears, but oh will it bring you joy. So much joy. 

Hang in there. Life is about to get crazy. Hang in there. Lean on your parents, and family. They are there. Always. You are going to be ok. You are going to be more than ok. You are going to be just fine.

Sincerely,

Kind of an adult you. 

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Take me to sesame street! 

September 1, 2017

I remember when my biggest question was how do I get to sesame street? That and who the hell was that creep pokaroo?

Years later I have a far bigger question :

How did we get here?

*How did I end up with 2 teenagers?  How did we survive and persevere the years gone by and land on our feet?  How did we navigate health issues that appeared insurmountable of our son as young parents? How did we manage to turn out better than we would have imagined. I don’t remember getting here. 

*How did our world turn into what it is? Full of so so much good, but mixed with a hate I’d wished to never see in my lifetime, and certainly did not expect to witness a rising of. What the hell happened doesn’t begin to cover my feelings on current events. I had hoped certain human rights issues would continue to evolve in a positive way, instead I find myself dumbfounded by the opposite. When and why did this all happen? Why is it remotely acceptable?

* When did I become a freaking adult? I won’t say responsible because that’s dependent on the day. But seriously. When did I grow up? 9 years into running a business, 16 years into being a mom and 17 years into being a wife and I can’t help question the sanity of actual responsible adults in my life trusting me with this stuff. It’s almost like I have a clue. And I almost feel like I have them all tricked. Me, in charge of anything? Ha! I suppose maybe I am smarter than I or the majority of people give me credit for? None the less I still can’t figure out how I got here. Tome warp possibly? 

Obviously I need to turn off my brain but most of all I still need to figure out how to get to sesame street! 

Everyone’s Child.

August 16, 2017

Here’s what I know. 

I know that denying or ignoring issues does nothing. 

I know that in many things in life it would be or is easier to ignore problems or shrug them off.

I know that in life ignoring or pretending certain things aren’t a reality doesn’t make them better or go away. 

I wasn’t always the person I am today. My heart used to be good but not the same as it is today. It’s evolved. Along with my mind through the years.

You see having a child who is classified by the general population as “different ” (that’s about the kindest thing he’s been labeled) has opened my eyes greatly.  Has given me perspective and opened my mind even more than it was.

I’ve been asked “why waste your time? ” I’ve been told “you can’t get worked up over things.  Just let it go. ” etc. 

One thing I have learned through parenting a child who battles daily and who has never fit the norm (OK 2 now) is that not speaking up or acknowledging issues does nothing to help. In fact ignoring and denying is often a large part of the problem when talking about stigmas, stereotypes and prejudice.  

If you ignore and deny does that not make it more blissful for the ignorant? 

It may be blissful for them, but for those who live outside of that ignorance, who many are ignorant about, it can and is often hell.

I don’t think those living in glass houses shouldn’t be made aware of the stones often cast at others. Why should they get to decide who is better than who? And why should they get to ruin lives while looking out of their windows but doing nothing?

We all have our passions, opinions,views etc . Most I can appreciate and even follow with enthusiasm at the very least I can understand and respect. I can’t, simply can’t, when they involve hurting or judging other human beings based on stereotypes, prejudice and ignorance.  I just can’t. No matter how much I try.

If your child was outside of the “norm” you preach. If your child (or you) was pushed out, put aside, beaten, emotionally and mentally abused by a portion of society for nothing more than being alive or themselves, would your stones still be cast? Would you just sit by quietly and let them be pummeled? Because after all shouldn’t you just let it go? Should we all just shut up and pretend it’s not reality and do nothing while your child is broken from the stones or hanging from a tree because society has deemed them not worthy? Would you still find it acceptable or not worthy of your attention if it were your child? 

Everyone is someone’s child. 

It matters to me.

July 26, 2017

I haven’t written in a while.  Partly because I am busy in my florist role, partly because I try to enjoy  every piece of what little summer we have. And partly because I wonder, does it even matter?

In the last year I have been disheartened and discouraged by the ignorance and lack of education I have witnessed  (often online because that seems to be the safe place to post ignorant things) and I have found myself wondering why I even bother trying to make a dent in lessening ignorance, stigmas and stereotypes surouning so many things but mostly mental illness.

I find myself shocked. Shocked by the lack of compassion, understanding or even willingness to understand or accept difference. And I wonder how my one little voice can help.

Because I am well aware of how many people on my friends list find my awareness and posts around mental health annoying.  I am well aware of the people who think I am over talking,looking for attention or have no idea what I am talking about because I don’t have a PhD behind my name or I am not peddling some miracle cure. That old saying “walk a mile in my shoes…” comes mind….

Then I realize those people are exactly who need to be “bothered”. Either they don’t understand mental illness on a raw personal level (congratulations) or they think it’s better to not speak of  such things out loud. Both are part of the problem. Sorry but they are. Instead of being annoyed take a minute to read instead of complaining about being annoyed. Instead of being quiet, make a  comment online or in person to show others they are not alone.

In my world openness and being vocal is crucial.  Not only for my loved ones but for others – I  have had frantic messages, visits and phone calls from those I don’t know well reaching out for support,advice or an ear. Had I not shared our journey on a regular basis, they wouldn’t have. Not saying they wouldn’t have found those things elsewhere but would they have felt comfortable or even known they could ask questions without judgements or gossip if I just sat quietly?  probably not. And I like to think maybe I was able to bring a bit of comfort. A bit of guidance.

I have been brought back recently that stigmas and stereotypes and ignorance around mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, like a big ol kick in the face.

And I am committed; that as long as those who suffer feel judged or inclined to suffer alone or end it all, that I will be a voice for them.

Be it a little voice.  For the more little voices there are, the bigger the roar. And how I wish there were more little voices.

Bipolar Moments 

March 28, 2017

There’s moments, sometimes long moments, in our house that we forget bipolar lives here. Well we do, the boy who battles, he never forgets . It’s always there for him. It’s always raging a war with in his mind. It never won’t. 

 Some moments  he wins. Some moments bipolar wins.

It’s those  moments that the illness wins, that we’re thrust back into a fraction of his reality.  It serves as a reminder that bipolar still lives here, it will never fully pack it’s bags and get its ass out the door.  

It’s those moments, when everything from pop cans to nail clippers are taken away, that we are reminded of the pain our child lives with every second of everyday. Reminded that sometimes that pain is to much. Reminded that the illness at any given time could win the battle in the ultimate way.

It’s moments that my child, is fighting to be alive,that the do gooders, know everythingers make me want to scream.  In the moments that bipolar is rearing it’s ugly head, that I hear such wonderful advice: give him vitamins. Rub his feet with oils. Try this drink. Get him outside. To much screen time. Be positive.Blah. Blah. Blah. 

I know that everyone who says such, in my life anyway, means well but seriously be quiet. Not only have we tried everything but by telling people who battle an invisable brain illness that those things will cure? You are adding to the stereotypes and stigmas these people fight daily. You add to the shame they carry.  You are not helping. 

Bipolar, really any mental illness, is no different from any chronic or life threatening illness.  And as with cancer or diabetes some of those things may help,because they do, but they don’t treat alone. Take your judgment elsewhere, better yet toss it out the door. Oh! And fyi, there is no cure.

There’s moments of peace.  And laughter. Those are my favorite moments.  Or they used to be.  But as I watch and listen to my  wise 15 year old during the crippling and hard moments I am learning.  I am getting a glimpse into a mind and soul so deep and so fragile and strong at the same time. I am finding myself liking those moments too, as hard and horrible as they are. They are favorite moments in a different way. A way that many people would question. But what my child has and does teach me through the ugly and the tears? Those are lessons many people will never learn. 

I am a mom. A mom of a complex and complicated child. A mom who has feared the next bipolar rear. A mom who will never know how long I’ll have my child. A mom who has screamed and cried,oh how I have cried. A mom who has learned and fought and stood up. I am a mom with many many moments that are foreign to much of the mom population . I am a mom who wouldn’t trade any of those moments for anything. 

I am a mom who some moments  will ask if he needs a hug. I am a mom who other times he doesn’t get a choice.

Oh my girl….

March 14, 2017

Where do I even start when I try to describe our punk? 

A girl who has never,will never be a cheerio seems like a good start.

My girl has inspired me from before she was born. Her determination, her humor and her heart and energy can’t be described. They can only be felt and witnessed. I have heard more often than not about the brown eyed girl “there’s just so about her”. And there is. And you just can’t pin point it.

There are some things that I had hoped to not pass on to my daughter. I had hoped her carefree and don’t give a shit attitude would see her through her years. Even though she will never quite change, she refuses strongly to be anyone but her, some of my fears for my girl have become a reality. 

I worried when her mind wouldn’t stop. I worried when the panic attacks started.  I worried when the negative self talk and thoughts started. I worried when the food control flags were raised.  I worried that the kid I’d known for 13 years would dissappear. 

I know better. I am ashamed that I selfishly worried that my spit fire would no longer have her spark. I know better. I don’t ever want her spark to fizzle. And I’m secretly scared it will. But I know better. 

I didn’t worry in the same way I had with dude so many years ago.  I am better equipped to handle these humps now, I have a good handle on the support stuff, I knew who to call, what to do. (Though admittedly I have royally screwed up in some of the things I have said.  That happens. I’m human. ) but I still don’t do well with my kids hurting. That I kinda suck at.
 That spark that has served her well after all, she is who she is. It is the determination of and heart that has brought her to be open with us instead of shutting down and retreating. That will serve her well in the perseverance it takes to get to that other side and hopefully one day carefree attitude back. Her heart will just continue to grow through this part of her journey.  And she will grow and take the world by storm. 

She will laugh her way through because that’s what she does.  If you ask her it’s all my fault for passing on these things, with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her lips 😉

Not an excuse. 

February 7, 2017

If I hear one more time that I use my kids as an excuse, or make excuses for them, well let’s just say you don’t want to be the person to say it. My children are not an excuse,  they are my reality.  And our reality is a bit different from many others. You not understanding it does not make it an excuse. Count yourself lucky if you don’t understand our reality, but do not assume you know or judge ours.

Being a kid/teen can be hard. I remember fun and laughter and friends and freedom when I think of my childhood.  There were hard moments but the good and easy outweighed the tough and hard. It is the opposite for my dude. As he inches toward adulthood and finding his voice he’s not only coming to grips with his illnesses but his childhood. His tough and hard outweighs the good and easy, easily. What he remembers anyway. You see a childhood of endless appointments, hospital stays,suicide attempts and bullying resulting in ptsd, has left much of his childhood locked in a dark box within his busy brain. At times fragments sneak out, but not to often. When they do,they often leave tears streaking my face. 

Surprisingly he is not bitter. Surprisingly he has grabbed his diagnosis and past trauma by the horns and educated himself,learned to cope, to function the best way his 15 year old self knows how. He hopes to share his story,little black box and all one day so people understand the difference between excuse and reason.

And with that I have learned, significant amounts of how his bipolar, anxious,sensory, ptsd brain works. I have learned that even when stable, life is hard to live for him. I have learned just breathing for another day, just coping with his brain for another day, is exhausting and frustrating. I have learned that even when there’s a smile on his face there’s still pain.  And I have learned there’s still days that he’d rather just end it all. 

Recently his sister has been having her own fight with the god forsaken anxiety. She’s not handling teenage years well at all. She’s full of panic attacks, self criticism and fear. A lot of fear. 

No you see my kids needing me is not an excuse.  My kids, illnesses or not come first. It just so happens that sometimes when they need me now, first, it’s not to make supper or run a bath. It’s to talk them through or off the ledge. 

It quite literally can mean life and death. Not that it should have to for parents, mom’s, to not be guilted about putting their children first. 

Bubbles. 

January 24, 2017

I need a time out. I need my bubble. 

I need a time out from the negative. The ignorance. The hate. The stigmas and the stereotypes. I need a time out from the mean and the cruel and the closed minds. From closed off bubbles. 

I try to be vocal. To use my voice, against those things. But right now I am tired. I’m tired of it all.  I am exhausted from the online bombardment of them. It’s sad. It’s disheartening  and it’s exhausting. And I need my bubble desperately. 

I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I can’t imagine how people  can so vehemently be against something they don’t understand or know, let alone a person or people they don’t.  (I suppose that some don’t understand why I’m not.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, that’s okay.  I do expect kindness. I do expect when disagreeing with me or others you not be ignorant or an asshole.)

 I suppose I actually do. Fear is often rooted in change. Change is scary. Being pushed out of your comfort zone or to actually think about others is tough. It’s easier to stay in the bubble we create for ourselves. To fit in with those around you, with similar bubbles.  But somethings need to change. And if you don’t consider anything other than what’s in your bubble. That bubble needs to pop. 

I asked the other day if your child was one of those who you deemed wrong or not acceptable, outside of your bubble, would you still speak the same? Would you continue to belittle, bash and hate?if your child didn’t fit what you deem acceptable. Would it still be they don’t deserve the same rights? Just because they don’t fit what’s in your bubble? Your children are listening. I feel for the kids on the fringes who will possibly fear sharing with their parents because of this.  They share our bubbles for a moment in time, they are though allowed to have their own, dont burst it because its different from yours. I fear one day parents may not have those children one way or another because they are so stuck in their own bubble. Let’s remember every person is someone’s child) could be your child.

No one answered. I am not surprised. However, I hope it made some think . 

I know I am not alone in my thoughts. I know that the world is full of us. I know that there’s troops of kind,caring,empathetic and open humans. Yet some days I feel like a minority in my thoughts and views. That’s okay.  

I am okay with being outside the bubble.

I’ll just make my own.  And it will be a bubble full of acceptance. 

Let them be different. 

January 16, 2017

Shame on us I suppose for letting our kids be themselves. Because it kinda sucks sometimes for them to not fit in the box . It’s hard in a world that expects not only our children, but us to fit a mould , to not.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s freeing and wonderful too. But it’s hard to not stand with the crowd. 

We watched our daughters basketball tournament this weekend and as we watched my husband commented “not hard to see who our kid is. One of those things is not like the others….”. It was true,is true. Where ponytails flew, her short funky hair stood out. Where short shorts were the norm, her mix matched long baggy shorts stuck out. 

Part of me was proud. I adore the indivuality of people. I love the differences. I love my child’s indivuality.  But a part of me to be honest was sad, because many don’t. It brought me back to recent comments made about her and I couldn’t help but wonder how long before she decides to fit the mould to make life easier. Then I was reassured that if anything , she is strong enough in herself she won’t cave so easily. I hope she doesn’t. 

I wonder why often? Why is different bad in our world? Why do our children, as we did and still do, bury themselves to fit in? I wish that fitting in meant individuality. Unfortunately it often doesn’t. It is easier to dress like,style our hair like,act like everyone else. Because for some sceientific  reason we like people who are only like us.  So in order for kids,teens and yup lots of adults  to be accepted and liked they have to fit what the majority deems acceptable, you might get away with a slight difference. But not a big one, you’ll be outcast for that. And that’s tough. And people can be cruel.  My biggest wonder is why? I don’t think you have to be like someone else to be treated with kindness or at the very least not be treated badly. One thing I say often: “not liking someone does not give you the right to be cruel”. Me? I like the misfits. I like the real, the individual. 

It’s not ok. But it is reality. And sometimes it sucks. Especially for kids and teens who’ve yet to realize that the world is a big place full of different. 

We’ve raised our children to be themselves, we’ve taught them to talk to people instead of about people, we’ve taught them to be tolerant regardless of the moulds and boxes society and peers set. Most of all we’ve taught them they are good enough just being themselves. We don’t want clones of ourselves , or anyone else for that matter. And yes we sure do sometimes screw up. And yes they sure screw up too. We are human after all. Mistakes don’t necessarily mean bad. They mean growth. We all make them, don’t pretend you don’t. But I think this one thing we’ve done decently. 

I want my children to be strong and kind and continue to march to their own beat. I want them to be confident and comfortable enough  with themselves to have the hair and clothes they choose but more importantly the hearts and individual personalities, thoughts and opinions they have. I want them to not be ashamed of their sensitivity, their compassion and their tolerance. I want them to have those regardless of how they may be treated. I want them to be them. I want them to always know that being yourself is the best way to be happy. 

Life can suck. It can knock you down on your way up. But I have faith that by being themselves on the way up, they will be better for it and conquer the world once they reach the top.

I don’t care. 

January 9, 2017

Well… ​it’s been a while. I often write when our dude is struggling,  to work through it. So for some reason I thought I could only write about our journey with raising a son who battles mental illness daily. Then it dawned on me, who says? I can write about whatever I want to write about. It’s always been my way of processing. So I shall branch out a bit…

I am always grateful, and always lucky and blessed. But I am also human. I get frustrated,  angry,   sad, exhausted, and plain sick and tired. I am blunt and honest and wear my heart on my sleeve, albeit I always try to be kind. If you want all sunshine and lolly pops chances are I am not your type of person. I am real, always.  I am finally ok with this. 

I have finally reached that point in my life where I am OK with me. In the last few months I think it’s become more apparent that I don’t pretend to be something im not. And I don’t expect everyone to get me, or get my opinions. But I have also gotten to a place that I won’t let people treat me badly or make me feel less than because we don’t agree. You are no better than me, nor am I you. 

I quite honestly am sick and tired of adults using differing opinions as a valid reason for belittling, blaming, shaming and treating others like crap.  Not ok! Period. Ever. Don’t care. No excuse. 

We don’t need others permission to be ourselves. I am not sure where or when we start to  think we do, but we do, all of us.  What I see playing out online sometimes, in the news  etc, is plain and simple unacceptable. It’s sad,pathetic and completely shameful. And frankly I don’t get it and I am sad that  people just don’t say anything, to avoid the above. You are allowed to use your voice. Just be kind using it. Don’t let hate and stigmas have a louder one. 

I don’t care what kind of car you drive, the size of your house, the color of your skin, which gender you like or identify with, I don’t even care which washroom you use. I don’t care if you are a scholar, a drop out, if you win medals or prefer gaming.I don’t care if you go to church, are an atheist,  any religion or somewhere between them all.  And really, if it doesn’t directly affect someone in a negative way (which I have a hard time thinking of how any of really truly  would) it does not give people the right to be cruel to you.    I don’t mean to sound harsh, I just don’t care. Be yourself. Be you. I will be me. And hear me when I say there’s people like me out here who aren’t judging or stereotyping you for being you. 

  Those things are not what I find important. Those things don’t make the person you are. I choose to view each person I meet as the person, not lumped as a group. A rotten  apple doesn’t make the whole basket rotten.  Being different does not mean bad. To me at least, it means the opposite. If we were all the same, that’s where  I would have a problem. How boring. How ridiculously boring.  
I live by one rule. If you are kind to me, I am kind to you, and I actually mean it. Oh and if you aren’t kind, I don’t assume the rest of “your kind”  aren’t. For the love of God, we are each individual. None of us are the same. That’s one of the most beautiful things about humanity to me. 

You are the only person who needs to accept you. You are the only person who you have to prove anything to. 

Those who choose to stereotype, belittle, bully and try to use their own anger and power and voice to make others feel less than? Who needs em? Not me. 

Different is good! Normal is boring. And what the hell is normal anyway?