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.

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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? 

Suicide silence. 

September 19, 2016

Candid post warning. 

September is always one of reflection, being suicide awareness month. 

Suicide sucks. Period. End of story. 

As any death does. 

I think it’s harder to understand because we don’t all feel so lost or weighed down by the pain that those who die of suicide do. Often we can’t fathom how death would ever be an ideal option. Most victims are loved, and love after all. I assure you those who pass of suicide don’t die because they don’t love us,or think of us. They do. A lot. 

They aren’t as selfish as society makes them out to be.  

Some churches still refuse funerals for those lost or consider it a mortal sin,  some won’t pay respects because of archaic beliefs or stigmas attached.  And that is just plain sad. These are people. Amazing, strong and courageous people who succumbed to an illness. 

The loss due to suicide doesn’t hurt less than other deaths.  Albeit they may leave us more confused, likely questioning and carrying guilt.  It’s something that crushes us to the core, yet we still stay quiet, we don’t speak of the pain leading up to the passing, often we’re left in shock. We stay silent because it’s easier than discussing such a taboo subject. 

I speak often of doing all we can to prevent our son from dieing of suicide.  It’s a daily thought in our minds, have we done enough? We just don’t know. 
 What I don’t speak so much about is that I am a survivor of being on that brink. I wasn’t there because I was selfish. I was there because the pain was unbearable.  Putting my family through my pain was unbearable. Thankfully with help and support I survived. I am here, where the thought no longer creeps in, where I am living a full life. I survived. 

I also don’t speak of the double digits of childhood friends lost due to suicide. Their stories aren’t mine to share. But with every one I’m brought back to the others. With every one my voice gets a little louder for those who are silent or can’t find their voice. 

We must remember suicide is not our fault. Suicide is not their fault. 

Many don’t know where to go,many don’t get treatment or help, especially boys and men, because of stereotypes. That needs to stop. 

Shame and embarrassment is often piled on top of the already agonizing pain, to the point death truly does seem to be the only way to help. There is no shame, or there shouldn’t be. 

 There is support,and help and often stability if we just open our minds and hearts enough. Sometimes, as heart breaking as it is, those aren’t enough. I truly believe that less lives would be lost if there wasn’t the added stigmas and shame of asking for help however. 

I am not promoting suicide, quite the opposite, I am promoting support, help, ridding of stigmas and stereotypes. Most of all I am promoting love and compassion for those who are lost.  
Remembering and hoping ❤

Suicide silence. 

September 19, 2016

Candid post warning. 

September is always one of reflection, being suicide awareness month. 

Suicide sucks. Period. End of story. 

As any death does. 

I think it’s harder to understand because we don’t all feel so lost or weighed down by the pain that those who die of suicide do. Often we can’t fathom how death would ever be an ideal option. Most victims are loved, and love after all. I assure you those who pass of suicide don’t die because they don’t love us,or think of us. They do. A lot. 

They aren’t as selfish as society makes them out to be.  

Some churches still refuse funerals for those lost or consider it a mortal sin,  some won’t pay respects because of archaic beliefs or stigmas attached.  And that is just plain sad. These are people. Amazing, strong and courageous people who succumbed to an illness. 

The loss due to suicide doesn’t hurt less than other deaths.  Albeit they may leave us more confused, likely questioning and carrying guilt.  It’s something that crushes us to the core, yet we still stay quiet, we don’t speak of the pain leading up to the passing, often we’re left in shock. We stay silent because it’s easier than discussing such a taboo subject. 

I speak often of doing all we can to prevent our son from dieing of suicide.  It’s a daily thought in our minds, have we done enough? We just don’t know. 
 What I don’t speak so much about is that I am a survivor of being on that brink. I wasn’t there because I was selfish. I was there because the pain was unbearable.  Putting my family through my pain was unbearable. Thankfully with help and support I survived. I am here, where the thought no longer creeps in, where I am living a full life. I survived. 


I also don’t speak of the double digits of childhood friends lost due to suicide. Their stories aren’t mine to share. But with every one I’m brought back to the others. With every one my voice gets a little louder for those who are silent or can’t find their voice. 

We must remember suicide is not our fault. Suicide is not their fault. 

Many don’t know where to go,many don’t get treatment or help, especially boys and men, because of stereotypes. That needs to stop. 

Shame and embarrassment is often piled on top of the already agonizing pain, to the point death truly does seem to be the only way to help. There is no shame, or there shouldn’t be. 

 There is support,and help and often stability if we just open our minds and hearts enough. Sometimes, as heart breaking as it is, those aren’t enough. I truly believe that less lives would be lost if there wasn’t the added stigmas and shame of asking for help however. 

I am not promoting suicide, quite the opposite, I am promoting support, help, ridding of stigmas and stereotypes. Most of all I am promoting love and compassion for those who are lost.  
Remembering and hoping ❤

I care about someone with mental illness. 

September 5, 2016
    • Do you or a loved one battle mental illness?  I have had the honour of raising a child, not done yet, a son who has battled almost all of his short life. He battles hard. 

      When we started this journey of parenthood, we did not expect this particular road. We have had to adjust to the multiple twists and turns that come along with parenthood, let alone parenting of a non typical child . I made it my mission to learn everything I could, from ptsd to bipolar to anxiety. Along the way I have learned more and more, not only about my child but about myself and others who live with illnesses that are not visible.  I care. A lot. 

      1. Acceptance.  Accept the diagnosis. Let go of your pre conceived ideas of mental health or that it’s not a “real” illness because you can’t see it . Accept that it is very real,and very scary. Accept that you will have to explain this,and much more repeatedly to those who question the reality. Accept that you will need to fight.  Denial will help no one.  Least of all those with the illness. Denial could in fact cost them critical help and support. Accept the reality and with that surround yourself with a support system and professionals you trust and move forward.

      2. Get educated. Research. Ask questions. Help your loved one do the same. It helps everyone to be prepared and truly helps in understanding the illnesses.  When armed with knowledge you can become a huge assest in the treatment and careof yourself and loved ones and aide in breaking down some of the societal barriers. Knowledge really is power and knowledge of illness is one of the most powerful components.  

      3. Advocate.  With the knowledge you gain you will be able to advocate more gratefully and well for your loved one or yourself. Our world is slowly learning but there’s still much to  learn. You may have to advocate in numerous areas of life. There is still a lot of ignorance and stigma surrounding mental health and often those living in the trenches aren’t up to the task of explaining or advocating for themselves. Be their voice and use yours. With each voice those stigmas and intoletances will become less.

      4. Be kind and forgive. To not only your loved one, but yourself.  Often as parents we feel guilty. Let the guilt go. We all mess up. We all make mistakes. Learn from them, forgive and carry on. 

      5. Don’t make them all about the illness.  There are times when the illness is all consuming, for them and yes you. At those times yes every ounce of everything is about the illness and getting through. Those people with mental illness have a disease, but they are not just a disease. They are so much more. They are human. Don’t solely focus on the illness part of them, focus on all of them. 

      6. Be positive.  This is not their fault. Nor is it yours. It truly is what it is. Absolutely there’s many tears,ample amounts of frustration and every emotion possible. No its not all positive, don’t pretend it is. Live those emotions, but don’t stay there and don’t try to find blame, there is none. Try to remember that this to shall pass. 

      7. Be patient.  There’s no quick fix. No matter how much we wish there were. There’s a lot of trial and error . With each individual needs vary. Mental illness is the least cookie cutter illness there is.  Try and try again.  Be patient with yourself during these times and most importantly be patient with those struggling. I promise they’re far more frustrated then you are. For chronic mental illness there’s no real cure, so getting to a point of stability will try all your patience, and you will question regularly when that point will tip. For many people with mental illness, you will eventually find what seems to work, and be treated successfully. In the mean time your patience also will be tried and tested. With mental health patience really is a virtue. And with it and hard work illness can be at least become manageable. 

      Cherish your loved ones and yourself, always ❤

I’m just his mother. 

August 20, 2016

Well it would appear that summer is coming to a close.  It would appear I completely missed it. 

I’ve spent a busy summer working and trying desperately to figure out this new phase of life.

One which finds my Dude growing in Independence and more stable and level then we’ve seen in 10 years. It’s wonderful and odd all at once. 

One in which finds my Punk just growing into this amazingly independent, open minded and compassionate young woman. 

I have spent a lot of time looking back and reflecting on where we started, our journey so far, and how we reached a point of not wandering through everyday with a deep seeded fear of not knowing if our child would make another day. 

I’ve come to realize that the journey so far most certainly was not easy.

 For years we attended 3 weekly appointments with the closest being 40 minutes away. We had to make heart wrenching decisions to admit our little boy to the hospital. Unlike if he was hospitalized for a physical illness where we could sleep beside him, we left standing and breaking on the opposite side of a locked door. This was necessary 3 times before he was 10. Nothing, I mean nothing, is worse than leaving your baby in what you hope are capable hands and trying to carry-on for weeks filled with your own tears and cracking heart.

  We spent years trying meds,tweaking meds. We walked on eggshells.  We watched our child every moment of many days trying anything to ease the pain.  We hid every sharp object to prevent the only way he could think to ease it. And we held on for dear life. Our child’s dear life. 

I’ve also come to realize that the journey so far has been SO worth it. 

It didn’t happen overnight. In fact it’s been so gradual I hadn’t really even noticed. He’s stable and level and I have the child I knew was in there, back.  Of course we don’t know for how long, we don’t know what tomorrow holds. But if this journey has taught me one thing,it’s to be in and embrace and celebrate the good moments. 

 It’s taught me that I am strong and fierce when it comes to my children.  It’s taught me that for my children i will do anything. It’s taught me that no two people are alike. It’s taught me to judge less and accept more. It’s taught me that little things,things we take for granted, are in fact big and life living moments. Its taught me that working your ass off does make a difference. It does pay off. 

We can listen to him ramble about all things random for hours, for he is talking full of joy. We can listen to his eclectic mix of music for days,because he’s sharing a passion. We can’t hear his laughter enough, because we hadn’t heard it for so long. We can breathe a little bit more, because we held our breaths for so long. 

We are here. Now. In this incredible moment. We are not looking ahead. We are though looking back the odd time, to remind us of where we started. 

This child of ours is a warrior. A fighter. A survivor.  He is why we are where we are. He is the one who has the determination and the courage to live. He is the one who fought and fights the hardest battles. He is the one who has battled and likely will again the trenches of illness and worked hard to get to today. He is empathic, compassionate, caring, kind, open, funny, sincere and loyal. He is my son. 

I am just lucky enough to be his mother.

Time out of reality.

June 26, 2016

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With the school year ending and getting nearer to our little cabin in the woods being ready, it’s time again for me to unplug a bit.

This has been a learning year. A year where we stepped away from the traditional school system for our Dude and opted to start schooling at home.

I won’t lie. It hasn’t gone quite according to this mama’s plans.  But then does anything really with parenting, especially a child with unique needs?

Homeschooling is definitely not what I thought in our future, I am definitely not this good teaching mom. I actually suck at it. It’s not something I typically encourage even.

Self discipline isn’t a 14 year olds strong suit, let alone one whose got a brain that works completely different from the norm, one that over works 24/7. Or ones whose parents both work, who can’t be there constant reminding them to be on task.

I struggled immensely with the time lines, with structure, with almost everything being a homeschooling parent meant.
I beat myself up a lot. For a long time.

Then after hearing numerous wise words from people who are my support. I accepted that I can’t be all and do all.

I also came to realize that somethings are far more important than grades or finishing a grade on time. And those things were things we were seeing in our child for the first time in many years.  We saw happiness, stability and even a bit of confidence.

And it dawned on me; his health and happiness is priority. 
I’m not saying schools unimportant, far from it. 
I’m simply saying a break from pressure, stressors or triggers are not a bad thing, no matter your age.

When you are 14 and lived through and with what our 14 year old has, if he was an adult, he’d be having a break. Working on his work in a different way.

So I let that sink in and  let societies expectations go. That was tough.
I took a step back and accepted that a year of a slower pace is not the end of the world I thought it was. I took a step back and saw what a difference these few months have made and that what really matters had actually been accomplished. That life is to precious and short to worry about my or anyone else’s preconceived notions of childhood/teenage hood, life in general.

We are good.  Good for the first time in 9 years. And I’ll take that over almost anything.

And with that it is time to sign off for the summer. It is time to focus on recharging the soul ❤

Be you.

June 13, 2016

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Once upon a time I tried to fit what everyone around me thought I should be. Be it an athlete, horse lover,or anything in between. And it was maddening.
We all at some point try to fit a mould that doesn’t make quite fit us. Breaking that mould and making your own is not only freeing, but life changing.

I also had a pretty good idea of what kind of parent I was going to be and what kind of children I would have.

And then I had children.

They had a different plan.

The eldest brought differences, and acceptance of such, to the forefront of our lives.
We have witnessed judgement, criticism, stigma and stereotypes. Simply because he has an illness others can’t see. We’ve fought for 12 years to save his life. Not only from his illness, but from others cruelty.
He’s not alone. In his illness or simply by not being what society deems the norm.
Different is not bad.

Because of that I refuse to groom my children to March to anyone’s drum but their own, and I have learned to lead by example.  I am me, they are them and you are you.
 
We are allowed to be ourselves. We are allowed to be different. We are not less because of.

Because of the child I was blessed with,  I see the world a bit differently, I firmly believe that different is good. I believe that being the same is not all its cracked up to be. That the world is a much more beautiful place when you just accept differences. Others and our own.

I honestly don’t care if you understand others or not. I just don’t.  You don’t need to.
What do I care about?  Empathy.
It seems to be lacking to often.

No one, ever, deserves to be harmed, physically, mentally or emotionally because another doesn’t understand them. Someone marching to a different beat does not give others the right to burn them over the coals.

I am really not concerned with your religion, your race, your sexuality or status.  What I am concerned about is kindness towards others. Non of the above give others the right to persecute. We are not God, and sorry we are not so important in our ways that others ways are wrong.  Race,religion, sexuality,  status or any other difference are not  reasons to be hurtful or harmful. And using them as a reason to be so,is a damn poor excuse.

I do believe if we all thought the same thoughts, felt the same way and liked the same things; or world would be a very robotic, bleak and scary place.

I do believe in the right to personal opinions.  However I struggle to understand them being used to hurt others. Again difference in opinions doesn’t allow cruelty.

I know I see the world differently.
I know not everyone agrees.
I know our world can’t be all sunshade and rainbows.
I know though that kindness is far better than hatred.
I know that love and compassion is a nicer feeling than fear or hate .
I also know that different can be amazing.

Be brave enough to be you.  And be brave enough to let others be them.

Just be well.

June 1, 2016

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Ya I  know, it’s now June.  Forgive this chaotic mother for missing my most important awareness month by a day.

If you have read my site for some time, you are well aware of how I feel, you’re also well aware that the initial meme  (solely the top of the above picture) sends me into a bit of defensive mode. (So thank you ranela, whoever you are for this version)

Why do things like that inital post send me to a defensive place? They are mostly well intended after all.

For many reasons.

First we all know nature is wonderful. It’s medicinal and it’s calming.  I head out to live in a trailer surrounded by trees for 2 months every year because it’s good for my soul, and good for my children’s.
I know how wonderful and soothing nature is for my multiple diagnosed child. If he could live in a tree house, he would. But it would have to have wifi….

I get it, nature is good.
I also get that sometimes it’s just not enough. If you happen to be one of those people who it is enough for, wonderful.
  For my child, many others, and even myself, it is not. Many illnesses are based on chemistry and/or the inner workings of one’s brain. Those things you can not treat solely with nature. Nature and other such things are most definitely a helpful tool, and yes even one type of anti depressant, but believe me, there’s many others.

Unfortunately as of 2016 trees don’t emit brain leveling chemicals needed to function. And grass has yet to grow the array of wires needed for the brain to rewire.

Second: memes saying such, minimize legitimate illness.
They add to the stigma instead of helping break it down.
They isolate those suffering and quiet their voice when sometimes they need to be heard, for fear of judgment.

By saying  that nature  (or anything else, this is one of many examples ) is an anti depressant, you are implying  (maybe not intentionally) that anything else is horrible. Implying that depression and mental illness are blown out of proportion, that it’s not that bad, and that it’s not real.
I assure you folks,it’s real, it’s far from blown out of proportion and it sucks.

I know, I’ve heard it many times, “they’re just pictures/quotes/memes, don’t let it bother you “.

But it does, and I’m not alone.

Here’s the thing.

No 2 people, even with the same diagnosis, are alike.

Some find walks,  meditation, oils,natural supplements,vitimins,etc to be just what the doctor ordered.

Great.

For many, like my dude; nature is absolutely 100% Beneficial and helpful. But the vitamins, supplements and everything else I’ve been told will cure my child by well meaning home based sales, reacts within him horribly and causes more harm.
I’m sorry but after some horrible mental reactions to such, I’m sticking with science on this one.
And here’s a little news flash. For some there simply is no cure. And  treating mental illness is a pretty complex, there’s numerous components.

My point yet again is, everyone is different.

Do what YOU need to do to be as well as you can be.
Go for a walk. Meditate. Take your supplements. Rub on your oils. Take your meds.

I don’t care. Just be well.

Days like yesterday.

May 16, 2016

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There’s days like yesterday that are scary and overwhelming.

There’s days dude needs his space, and there’s days, like yesterday I just can’t give it to him.
There’s days like yesterday  he himself knows that he can’t be alone. Where he doesn’t even trust himself and will ask to not be alone.

There’s days like yesterday that we check on him every 5 minutes. We get on his nerves. But he knows we get on his nerves out of love and worry. He gets it.

There’s days like yesterday that as parents our stomachs tighten and our hearts race and we hold on tight.

There’s days like yesterday where his little sister is left confused and scared and her eyes fill with tears of worry.

He is quiet on days like yesterday, but his mind is screaming.  And ours are on high alert.

There’s days  like yesterday  if I ask him if he’s wanting to hurt himself, he will reply that absolutely he does, he’s done, he can’t do it anymore.  But he won’t. Because of us. And I can’t help but hope that even 10 years from now, that will be his thought process,that he will hold on in those moments for fear of hurting those who love him, until those moments pass. Until the tomorrow comes.

There’s days like yesterday that when he’s tucked into bed safely, there’s a little sigh of relief, but then you tuck yourself into bed holding your breath, hoping and praying that tomorrow is a better day.

Then there’s this morning, when all is well and good. And you remember that there will always be days like yesterday. 

But that was yesterday.