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Domino Effect

I never liked dominoes. I never was interested in playing the game. I would just line them up, stand them up on their ends and push the first one causing the rest to fall over as I watched with amusement. I would create twists and turns with the rows of upended dominoes to see how far it would continue on after the first push. It was entertaining for me. Much more so than the game itself was. This is what it feels like is happening in my life, but I’m not amused with watching as everything falls apart around me.

It’s March 1st. I should be writing a February Goal Getter recap and a March Goal Getter Guide. I should be spouting off about everything we have accomplished and how we do it. I should be writing a congratulatory letter to myself as I get to say this week I will have successfully raised one of my threefold to adulthood. #1 of my threefold turns 18 in only a few days. I should be planning a 18th birthday party and car shopping. I should have a promotion and a raise in my sights. What I shouldn’t have is two daughters in crisis mode leaving mom to manage the onslaughts of stress, financial worries, emotional turmoil, and trying to figure out where I went wrong. Yet here I am mommin’ mental illness and trying to manage my own. It’s been the domino effect of triggered responses.

It was a week to the day I discharged #3 from her psychiatric facility for acute care. It was that same day that we discharged #3 that #2 was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for her crisis management. Today, I was back with #3 for another admission for acute crisis management. Yes. That’s right. I have two of my threefold admitted for psychiatric care simultaneously now. As much as I don’t want to be the mom who says that, I am. I’m completely lost in my own emotional overwhelm and exhaustion from the past several weeks that I can’t worry about what that sounds like or how that makes me look. All I care about is that they get the help they need. Everything else is inconsequential at this point. My dominoes are lined up and life has begun to watch in amusement as each of us falls into the darkness of depression.

These admissions weren’t by my choice or even my recommendation. With # 2 hers was initiated by her outpatient therapist. With #2’s history I was pretty much guaranteed admission as soon as I said she had been inpatient for 17 weeks during 2021. With #3 the school has requested evaluation and assessment for mental illness and trauma treatment since her first out burst three weeks ago. #3 returned to school and now here we are with another outburst, more trauma disclosures and another referral from the school for assessment. I’m back to inpatient and trauma momma in the position of chaos coordinator and crisis management. Not the promotion I had hoped for this year. I didn’t ask for the domino free fall, however the pieces are left for me to put back in place. I’m trying to stop the falls, but they are being knocked down before I can even pick up the previous fallen pieces. I’m not sure how to stop the continued cause and effect from the initial piece falling into the one after.

I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to muddle through the whole situation. I’m flailing, but I can’t fail. This domino effect will hit a spot where the fall can’t continue and the progression will end. I’m not going to let my threefold down. They won’t be left to fight this alone. They need to stand up and I’m going to make sure they stay balanced whatever it takes. I need a break, but mommin’ mental illness is a full time job with no pay and no benefits. I’m broken and they are too. All I can do is work towards finding them the right care and keeping my sanity so I can manage this crisis as it comes. I’m scared. I’m sad. They’re scared and sad. I’m not sure how the next part of this story of ours will go, but I know that it’s going to be a hard one to write until they are home with me where they belong. In the meantime, all I can say is I’m trying to be positive. I might need some help along the way, but I’ve got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Learning to Let Go

Yes, I know, hard to believe. Nonetheless, here I am at a loss for words. I’ve been quiet this week. I’ve been trying to figure out how to let go. I’ve been trying to find a way to teach my threefold to let go. Yet, I’m finding the actual process of letting go is hard, however it’s critical to find healing and to move forward. I’m writing this still unsure how to proceed. It’s imperative that we find a way to let go of the past so we can move forward into the future.

It’s been a long and emotionally exhausting week, yet again. I was excited for things to get better as I was discharging #3 from the hospital and signed my final marital dissolution agreement after two long years. I just knew that was going to take so much of the weight of worry off of my life and off of my threefold. I was right, it did. I however wasn’t expecting that weight to be thrown back on me mere hours later. I was speechless.

I was sitting in the therapist’s office for my threefold and waiting for the discussion about #2’s relapse. I could see the anxiety in my daughter’s face as the therapist and I looked at her wondering why we had been called to meet. I was sick. My stomach was in my throat as my body tensed. #2 had been having increased intense thoughts of suicide, with a plan, and the means to complete the plan. I couldn’t breathe. It was only a couple of hours before that I had picked up #3 after her 2 week hospitalization. #2 hadn’t said anything to me. Why didn’t she tell me? Sooner?! I was unsure of what to do. I knew that her being suicidal and with a recent self harm relapse, I was most likely going to have to seek a higher level of care for her. That’s not anything like how I thought this day would go. I was stunned.

I’m not sure why we didn’t follow the safety plan. I did my part, I thought I was doing everything right. I locked up the meds, I gave her support, we talked and checked in often, I was doing skin checks, she was never without supervision for longer than a few hours, but never left alone. I couldn’t figure it out. We were doing good. She was doing so good. Why. Why?! I got angry and I was scared. I was scared for her, for my threefold and also for myself. Why wouldn’t she have talked to me.

My anger met fear, and my hurt saw her pain. I couldn’t understand in that moment, but I understand much more than I care to admit now. It’s not weakness, it’s not attention, or a pity party for ourselves. It’s the past scaring us out of our future. Over the next few days, my own thoughts would betray me. I too am vulnerable to my own darkness. I wanted to quit. I wanted to stop fighting my own battle. I hate to say that I thought about it, I thought about it too much. What if it was all my fault. I needed to blame someone and that person needed to be me, because I couldn’t blame her. She is only a child with an illness and more pain than is fair. She was my responsibility therefore I was to blame.

It’s hard enough managing mental illness in yourself as an adult. I can’t fathom what it’s like to have the trauma, stress, and all of your darkness swirling at the same time and during such a pivotal time in their lives. I truly wish I could take their pain and destroy it or give it back to myself. They don’t deserve to have life be this hard, this young.

I’ve found we all are still allowing our past lives to hold so much power over us. We’ve suffered from that pain. When will we let it go and move into a future that isn’t controlled by our past experiences? I know that’s the only way we find our way forward. It’s so much easier said than done. I’ve been trying to let go of the past, but I know it’s so much more difficult when the other people in your life are working on healing too. We can trigger and influence each other. We validate the past, but when can it stop taking our future?

This is my journey, this is our journey. I’m not perfect and some days I’m barely holding on. Some weeks I question everything. I am just as damaged as my threefold or anyone else in the world. We’ve all been damaged, but some of us can’t find our way to fix it. I want to fix it. I want to fix it for my threefold. Now I must figure out how. This process may take time, but it’s time to move on.

I’ll figure it out. We’ll find a way. We always do. For now, I wait for the #2’s discharge. I distract myself from my guilt and fear. I keep running away from my own darkness. I keep fighting. For all of us. Even when they stop, I won’t. As scared as I am that my threefold and I will let the past steal our future, I know we have the strength to overcome the fear and move forward. I will be hopeful and lead us to a future that frees us from that past. We can do this. I’m positive. We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Movement

It’s been a hell of a week. I don’t want to say ‘Hell Week 2022’ because that’s like a challenge to the universe and it’s only February! I’ve been through the ringer this week, between hiding the hospitalization of #3, fighting through those feelings and dealing with the domino effect this trauma talk triggers in all of my threefold and I, my vehicle breaking down, working to distract myself, and my court chaos with the ex, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it through this week.

I felt on the verge of a mental breakdown last week when I admitted my daughter, #3, the youngest of my threefold. I am hiding that from my workplace not because I don’t feel like they would be supportive or understanding, but because I am up for this promotion and I don’t want to get the label of ‘single mom who has too much on her plate to be as committed as this position requires.’ I know I would get that label for sure. I’m more qualified and capable than even the last manager was, I know that I can excel and don’t need more stigma standing in my way. I am ready to move up, and I know my worth. Time to add the tax to that and take my place. I earned it.

I love my day job. Don’t confuse that with the fact that I would not leave in a heartbeat if I could support my family on writing and content creation, but right now that’s not feasible. The starving artist isn’t a good path when the ones starving would be my threefold. They’re growing girls and they have a grocery bill that’s higher than a car payment each week! I’ve used work as a distraction. I’m good at my job and it’s busy so I can easily get lost in it. I love that I leave it all at the door at work and escape to a place where I shine just being me. That’s true for writing and for my day job.

I got my truck out of the shop {1k later and a new fuel pump later} I realized a few years ago not having my own ride would have not bothered me at all. Now I’m so much more independent and I love it. I drive everywhere. Ruby and I are going to stick it out longer. She is bipolar too so it’s important she take her meds and I need to be more mindful of her needs so she doesn’t have a breakdown again soon.

I’ve been really hard on myself this past week in more ways than one. My self talk has been negative. I haven’t been meditating or manifesting much. My goal getter book has been empty when usually I would’ve had my goals laid out for the week. My sleep has been sporadic. My mood has shifted more often. My self care went to nonexistent. I’ve been isolating and not really in the mood to do much of anything. I tried to keep it together. It’s been really freaking rough though. This depressive episode is not near as intense as the last one but when you’ve been in a good place for a while the down feels deeper. You just want to snap out of it. Unfortunately bipolar doesn’t work like that. Instead it means med adjustments and pushing yourself to keep going. I can’t give up or give into the darkness of it. My threefold needs me to be their strength and their rock. Not a mom in bed or hiding away so they don’t see it. They know what’s going on, because unfortunately it’s like a domino effect. They can mirror my mood as I mirror theirs and those of others. I need to move myself out of this darkness.

This domino effect as I call it has resulted in depression symptoms and anxiety for everyone else. It’s also not good because no one wants to be the cause of any additional chaos. Especially when it’s obvious I’m in stressed out anxiety mode right now. This makes my threefold feel like they can’t ask for support or talk about their own feelings because they don’t want to worry or upset me more. One thing I had hoped we learned was that shoving it down and hoping the feelings subside on their own rarely works. Especially when the feelings and thoughts are intense. This led to issues across the board this week. we’ve got to move away from triggering these episodes in one another. It’s gonna start with my personal movement.

#1 of my threefold {the oldest} expressed she felt like I was too busy with everything going on with #2 and #3 that I wasn’t giving her the proper attention or focus that I should. She expressed her feelings and I was grateful she did. It is difficult to split focus when you have three and give them each what they need. Especially when they each have varying needs and those needs can change in a matter of minutes it seems like. I want to give her that security, but I also know that she will be making her own big moves soon. With her 18th birthday fast approaching I know that her independence is also going to be tested and she needs to show she can make some moves solo.

#2 of my threefold relapsed. I cried until I could no longer feel it. I’ve been so watchful and mindful ever since the beginning of her journey. She had eight months free of self harm. She was in an amazing place in her recovery for so long. She worked so hard for those eight months. Then within moments it was gone and that made both her and I feel like we were f’ing it all up. She was triggered by the increased trauma talk, the self harm discussions, mentions of suicide, and being on this side of the hospitalization equation. The guilt she felt for being hospitalized for 17 weeks last year was overwhelming. She saw me at my low, and when you’re inpatient you don’t see what is happening to your family. You don’t see the stress, the tears, the anxiety and the hurt. She saw me and realized how awful it must’ve been for me. Instead of that fueling her motivation, she allowed that guilt and remorse to eat away at her. That same guilt that my behaviors and my inability to keep it all together for my threefold is heavy on me right now. I’m trying. Everyday. This trauma drama bipolar momma bear life is hard on me too! I’m not cured of mental illness, therefore I can’t expect them to be either. we will move past this hiccup. It doesn’t negate her work over the past eight months. Im still proud of her and this time I was able to better handle my reaction and response.

I’m crossing my fingers and my toes, {and my legs because I’m a damn lady,} that Tuesday #3 of my three will be discharged. I miss her with everything in me. It’s too quiet. I’m used to her loud ass tv, the TikTok dances, jump roping, karate practice and the echoes of her laughter {or arguing} from the kitchen. I miss her fighting me to go to bed and to wake up. I miss her silly stories about school and seeing her light up as she tells me about her positives for the day. I am ready to see her face and hug her. 10 days inpatient for a 10 year old. She has never been away from me this long. Having five minutes each night to recap the day is not near enough for a mother with her child. I want her home so I can have every minute I want. Im ready for her and I to move into a direction where she knows that she is loved, supported and that she is an important part of the lives around her.

Court is finally over. I hope. A settlement is on the horizon. I refused to backdown and allow him to make decisions for my threefold. That’s a decision I will stand behind. Supposedly he has accepted that and I have agreed that settlement is going to be a much better route if possible. Now I wait for the final signatures and the freedom that those papers will give me. A chapter my threefold and I have been unable to move on from for two years. It’s well overdue. This is our chance to move on from the past and move into the future…stronger…together…in hope.

Thank you for reading my current state of the union address for my threefold and I. I’ve received many messages requesting an update with shows of support and love. Thank you so much! You will never know how much those little messages make my day.

I’m glad to be starting off a new week. I’m hoping this one has more ups than downs and more happy than sad. I’m hoping we have less trauma drama and more trauma talk. I’m hopeful, which is something I couldn’t say this time last week. I’m hoping that some relief from the stress and the strain will mean that I am able to lift some of this heaviness off me and focus on the future for my threefold and I. Move on, move up, and move into the next chapter of our lives. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Real Talk Realizations

Normally I’d have some inspirational post to start off the month. It would be part of my ‘Goal Getters’ series. It would mention all the goals I made and how I reached each one. I would give little hints to how you can also accomplish your goals with a ‘Goal Getter’ mindset like mine. It would be a fluff piece, full of positivity. It would have promised that with a few changes you can live the life you’ve been dreaming of and you can be the person you aspire to be. It would be inspirational.

THIS is NOT that piece. I’ve warned you. I have no inspirational tales of how I accomplished my goals and manifested my dream life during the month of January. I have no motivational speeches where I spit all the shit you should’ve done and shouldn’t have done. My positivity push was completely flushed down the drain when the new year began. I’m not sure why I had such a rocky start. I’m not sure where my ‘Goal Getter’ attitude and my motivational mantras went. I guess I left them in 2021 with everything else I learned last year. I know my negativity is not needed in your world either, but I promised to keep it real and this is as real as it gets. Real talk.

I had high hopes and high expectations for 2022. It was going to be the year everything started falling into place. It was supposed to be the year that I took the lessons from 2020 and 2021 and found my purpose. My plan was big, but is it too big? Maybe I still have a lot to learn if I’m going to give up on my dreams and my goals after 30 days. Who the hell am I? That’s not the girl with the grit and grind goal getter attitude. I’m NOT a quitter. I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a quitter. What the hell is happening?

I wrote three pieces, THREE, about my funked up attitude. I was aware that I was not on the right path to achieve my goals. I wrote eleven pieces in January. Seven blog posts of the eleven were not positive entries. The others could be positive, but mainly focused more on the past. I posted on Facebook for my page ‘My Threefold’ more than 30 times in January. Most were snarky posts I made about mom-life and men. They did well when it came to getting likes. They had a lot of humor, sarcasm and relatable anecdotes, but they were mainly negative.

So here we are. A month into the new year and I’m pissed off. I’ve failed miserably at making this year the year I found my peace of mind and my happy ending. I’ve been patient. I’ve been positive {mostly} for a whole year. I’ve made the right decisions and done my best even when I was at my worst. Yet here I am, still. Searching for the lesson in all this stressing! I feel, defeated. I feel, cheated. I feel most of all like maybe I’m not ever going to get to the good part. I feel like something is missing. What have I missed? Why do I feel like this?

After a long time of self reflection and trying to find the missing piece I was still none the wiser. I know I’m impatient. I know I have been asking for a lot over the past year. I’ve received a lot, so I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I just need to know what gives? What do I need to do to make this year THE year? What more do I have to do to prove that I’m a good person who deserves to get to the good part? When do I get back some of what I’ve lost and get to live out my happily ever after fantasy? When? I’m asking with all the faith I have left!

I was sulking and pouting about life. I was mad at the world for not working with me. I was sitting in the cold, in my truck alone, feeling sorry for myself away from the eyes of my family and the ‘calm down’ that I would receive as a well meaning reply from ‘E’. I didn’t want or need him to tell me ‘it will all work out in time.’ No, I wanted my happiness now. I deserve it. That’s when I found it. The answer. The missing piece. Alone in my truck. With no one to blame for not realizing it but myself. It was obvious. Too simple.

What was I not doing? I realized I had been too busy worrying about what hadn’t happened. I was constantly waiting for the next thing to fall into place. I was setting all of these goals. I was even accomplishing many of them, but I was quickly moving to the next one. ‘What now? What next?’ I was doing everything I was supposed to do and I was getting everything I wanted. I was working for all of it. That is all true. I was going through all the motions, but I wasn’t allowing myself to feel the emotions. I wasn’t celebrating my accomplishments. I wasn’t looking at all the good that came with my accomplishments. I just went straight into my next challenge. I couldn’t see all the good that is right here, right now. I was too busy searching and waiting for the next thing to give me that quick fix of happiness. The truth is I wasn’t enjoying what I do have.

I’m not going to have it all at once. Hard happens even when we feel like we are doing everything right. Good happens even when we don’t see it. I don’t want to be so caught up in the grit and grind of goal getting that I forget the good that is happening all around me. So I’m skipping my ‘Goal Getter’ post for February. I will never stop working to be better, but I will start enjoying the person I am right now and the person I am becoming. I will celebrate my successes. I will be humble with a hint of Kanye about how there may not be an I in awesome, but there is me! I will choose to be happy with everything I have now and stop waiting for the good part. The good part is happening, and I’m too focused on the future to enjoy the present. That’s my new goal for 2022. When I accomplish that, I will have the year I set out to have. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Trying to Bring the House Down.

If you want to know what it’s like to have ADHD as an adult. Here it is in all of it’s glory! You are so scatterbrained and unfocused. You don’t just lose track of time. You don’t just forget your keys in your room. It’s not just forgetting a drink before you leave. It’s not searching for hours for a key that you are the only person that has a copy of it. It’s not just locking your purse and everything in the truck. It’s next level scattered and unfocused. Stress only intensifies the scatter. That’s what January has been like for me.

One of my scattered mornings where I was rushing too much to stop and check my pockets, I locked my keys in my bedroom. Easy problem to solve right? Nope! My bedroom door can’t be picked with a skeleton key or simply unlocked with a credit card. My bedroom has a keyed lock that we installed to keep my ankle biters from creeping in and stealing our stuff. I couldn’t call the other person who had a key, because my purse was in my truck with my phone, which was also locked. My keys were behind that door and I was late for work. What was I to do? Well I probably could’ve done something else, but I did the first thing I could think of…I kicked the door in. I’m bad ass, but also have no time management skills in my possession.

A few weeks later I couldn’t find the key to the danger drawer. This is not a good situation. All my sanity and that of my threefold is locked in the danger drawer. I looked EVERYWHERE for that small key. My robe, nope. The sherage (my garage), not there. My traveling trash can (my truck), not there either! I cleaned my purse three times and checked all seventeen of its hidden pockets and emptied that black hole, still nothing. My jeans, the laundry basket, the kitchen, under the bed…no. I searched high and low. I even dug in my garbage, just to make sure. No dice. So ‘E’ had to drill out the lock and render the danger drawer unsecured. The next day it was found in my hoodie pocket that I had worn two nights before.

Probably the most dangerous conclusions of my absent mindedness came when I was pulling out of my driveway. I had realized as I was backing out that I didn’t have a coke for my afternoon caffeine kick. Much needed and very important piece of my life for full functionality. Well. What had happened was…I pulled back in the driveway and ran into the garage to grab a coke out of my outside refrigerator. I heard a crash. I came back around the front and realized I didn’t put my truck into PARK! It was rolling into my closed garage. Shiiiittt! Thankfully, my maintenance on my vehicle is pretty much nonexistent. So my alignment isn’t quite right. My Ruby {yes she has a name} took a slight left. And hit the three trash cans in front of the garage before coming to a stop at the wall. No harm. No injuries. Just some spilled trash and a lot of feelings of embarrassment at my brain malfunction. I got the coke though!

When I say all three of these events happened within weeks of each other, I’m not kidding. I have kicked off the new year and also a door in. I lost my key in a sweatshirt. I did not do this month right. I crashed and am crossing my fingers, toes, and legs {because I’m a damn lady!} that I don’t burn too. I am going to have to slow the hell down! My house can’t take the beating I’m giving it!

So that’s my recap for January. I did reach some goals, but mainly I just lost my train of thought. I was in a funk more often than I had anticipated, but February is here and it’s time to clear my brain fog! I am going to refocus, slow down and get my year in gear! January was my ‘free trial month’ for 2022, now the real deal is here. I am keeping the subscription so I’m going to use it more carefully! No option to cancel! Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M